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Mackie CR4™ Creative Reference™ Multimedia Monitors

2-way powered studio monitors with 4" woofer and 3/4" tweeter

24 Reviews | 4 questions - 10 answers

Overview

Our take on the Mackie CR4™ Creative Reference™ Multimedia Monitors

Mackie built the CR4 Creative Reference monitors tough to play loud, but kept them small enough to work in even the tightest spaces. Don't be fooled by their modest dimensions or price. These pint-sized monitors deliver rich, powerful sound thanks to a combination of premium quality components and solid, all-wood cabinets. Each boasts a rugged, poly-coated woofer enhanced by a custom-tuned, rear ported enclosure for smooth, even bass extension. Their 3/4" silk dome tweeters feature a smooth waveguide design for improved sound dispersion and stereo imaging. Whether you're creating your next album or simply enjoying your tunes and videos, the CR4 monitors will deliver the goods.

Big on sound, not on space

Mackie built the CR4 Creative Reference monitors tough to play loud, but kept them small enough to work in even the tightest spaces. Don't be fooled by their modest dimensions or price. These pint-sized monitors deliver rich, powerful sound thanks to a combination of premium quality components and solid, all-wood cabinets. Each boasts a rugged, poly-coated woofer enhanced by a custom-tuned, rear ported enclosure for smooth, even bass extension. Their 3/4" silk dome tweeters feature a smooth waveguide design for improved sound dispersion and stereo imaging. Whether you're creating your next album or simply enjoying your tunes and videos, the CR4 monitors will deliver the goods.

Convenient features and flexible connections

Mackie CR4 Creative Reference Multimedia Monitors

The CR4's amplification, connections and controls are all found on the powered monitor, which connects to the passive monitor using the supplied 6' speaker wire.

Setting up your CR4 monitors is easy. The speaker's left/right selector switch lets you choose which side of your work station gets the volume knob, headphone output and auxiliary input jacks. (Thanks Mackie, a lot of us really do have a preference!)  Your choice of balanced 1/4" TRS or unbalanced RCA rear-panel inputs are ready to handle line-level monitor signals from your PC or mixer. The front-panel volume knob makes setting volume levels a snap, and allows you to turn the monitors on and off. An illuminated ring around the volume knob lets you know when the monitors are powered up and ready to play.

Product Highlights:

  • 4" polypropylene-coated woofer and 3/4" silk dome tweeter
  • Class A/B amplifier with 14 watts x 2 RMS (25 watts x 2 peak)
  • frequency response: 70-20,000 Hz (-3dB)
  • peak SPL: 100 dB
  • front-panel volume knob with power ring LED display
  • left/right speaker placement switch lets you decide which side of your workspace has the volume control
  • MDF bass-reflex cabinet with custom-tuned rear port
  • connections:
    • stereo balanced 1/4" TRS line-level inputs
    • stereo unbalanced RCA line-level inputs
    • front-panel 1/8" stereo auxiliary input
    • front-panel 1/8" headphone output
  • included isolation pads minimize vibration and provide up or down tilt for more focused listening
  • includes 6' speaker cable to connect the left and right speakers together
  • 6-1/8"W x 8-13/16"H x 7-5/16"D
  • weight: 12 lbs. (pair)
  • warranty: 1 year
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

What's in the Box:

  • Powered multimedia monitor speaker
  • Passive multimedia monitor speaker
  • 6.5' Speaker cable
  • 5' Stereo minijack cable
  • 5' Stereo minijack-to-RCA cable
  • 2 Isolation pads
  • Owner's Manual

I've used them for about 2 weeks and they sound great

Anonymous, N Palm Beach, FL

Reviews

Mackie CR4™ Creative Reference™ Multimedia Monitors Reviews

Average Customer Review(s):

(24 Reviews)

Great powered monitor

Barry from Mishawaka, IN on 1/25/2018

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I got tired of using headphones and earbuds, but my computer speakers were awful, so I decided to step up to the Mackie CR4, and I'm happy I did. These speakers are for near field listening, not for filling your room with a wall of sound. These little near field monitors produce very nice highs and mids. I found the bass to be sufficient but a little exaggerated. With some EQing the bass is more to my liking. For the price, I'm thrilled with these Mackie CR4 monitors. Highly recommend.

Pros: Affordable, great sound, easy setup. Well built, solid cabinets.

Cons: Bass may need minor tweaking

Mackie CR4™ Creative Reference™ Multimedia Monitors

Anonymous from N Palm Beach, FL on 1/4/2018

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I've used them for about 2 weeks and they sound great

Pros:

Cons:

Great Multi Use Speakers.

Thomas from Ft Worth, TX on 11/28/2017

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Great build quality, they look better than the pictures online. I wasn't sure about the green trim but they look good. I'm using for a multimedia/gaming PC and replaced 10 year old mini towers with 4 1" speakers on each side. I didn't know how good Iheart.com streaming music could sound. Gaming is just wow!

Pros: Excellent bass and high frequency's.

Cons: None so far, my only suggestion is for Mackie to add a button or method to automatically turn power on and off for PC use.

Awesome Speakers. Very Satisfied.

Mr.O Rivera from San Juan, PR on 9/19/2017

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I am happy with the Sound Quality of this Mackie CR4 Speakers. Great Bass, Detailed Highs. They worth every penny. Highly Recommended Speakers.

Pros: I have been a Crutchfield Satisfied Customer since 1985, and My Sales Advisor (Chuck) explained me about the Good Quality of this set. He Helped me a lot. Mackie CR4 Speakers does indeed sound Loud and They are indeed a very Good Sound Quality System. Decent Bass, Detailed Highs. Solid MDF wood Housing. I am very Happy with them. Will buy another Mackie Set very soon..

Cons: Nothing. Nothing at all.

Mackie CR4™ Creative Reference™ Multimedia Monitors

Dennis from Union, MO on 9/11/2017

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

The Mackie CR4 was delivered in perfect condition and on schedule. While I do not make rigorous demands from my audio system, the CR4 pair is styled just right for my computer room and performs at or above my expectations. The only improvement I could suggest is that there be a choice of highlight colors around the speak edges. Min came with green accents but blue, red, or yellow options would be nice.

Pros:

Cons:

Mackie CR4 Monitors

IsraelRaloCruz from Hormigueros, PR on 2/28/2017

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

For a 4 inch woofers sounds great, good highs. I'm using it for a turntable and I'm happy with it!

Pros: Good price, good sound.

Cons: No front grills. Doesn't have wall mount

Clear, non-fatiguing sound

Chris from Austin, TX on 1/22/2017

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

For the past few days, I've had these Mackies and a pair of AudioEngine 2+ sitting on my desktop. Guess which went back into the box for return? The AudioEngines are super appealing - they look beautiful, they're more compact and they offer easy connectivity to a subwoofer, an extra one of which I have sitting in another room. But my goal was to reduce the clutter, physical and audible, created by the old, sprawling Klipsch ProMedia 2.1 system I was replacing. The Mackies provide pleasing, clear sound while leaving less on the table, and nothing on the floor, compared to the old system. That's really nice. And while both of these new options sounded great (my wife preferred the AudioEngines), I found the mellow highs and less exaggerated bass of the Mackies to be better for all-day listening comfort. Add in the cost savings, and it was a pretty easy decision. I have these connected to my Mac via an AudioQuest Dragonfly.

Pros: Clarity, detail, sound amazing with Novation Launchkey

Cons: Won't win any prizes for their looks

Love the speakers!

Jean from Fort Collins, Colorado on 12/28/2016

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Great sound for the price. Am delighted that such beautiful sound can come from these small,reasonable speakers. Crutchfield is an incredible American company! Service is fantastic and their staff is so helpful on the phone helping us set up our sound system. They are a pleasure to deal with . Wish there were more companies like them!

Pros: Great sound

Cons:

Mackie CR4™ Creative Reference™ Multimedia Monitors

Andy from Lakeland, FL on 10/23/2016

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Have owned for 3 weeks now. I use these as tv speakers for an LED tv with no optical output. Sound is pretty good. Speaker terminals on the back are cheap. Other than that, I am happy with them.

Pros: Good sound, nice size

Cons: Cheap speaker terminal connections on the backs.

Mackie CR4's ROCK!

HOBIE from South Amherst, Ohio on 8/31/2016

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Best pair of computer speakers I have ever owned. I was guided to this product from a product specialist at Crutchfield and after during my own research, decided to purchase them and I AM GLAD I DID! They ROCK!!

Pros: easy installation, amazing sound, like the ability to choose left or right speaker control.

Cons: Power on/off switch on the back too low. My hand is interfered by the cables when I go to turn them totally off or on.

Mackie CR4™ Creative Reference™ Multimedia Monitors

COB from Spring, TX on 8/1/2016

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I purchased the CR4 Creative Reference Multimedia Monitors to replace a set of speakers which I loved (a left & right plus a sub-woofer) and had since 2002, but finally went the way of all the earth. The CR4s are powerful speakers but I noticed the absence of the sub-woofer. One of the reviews talked about using the iTunes equalizer which I did and was able to draw out a somewhat satisfactory bass foundation for me (I am not a fan or follower of rock music). The CR4s are powerful speakers with a definite musical definition and presence that works very well - especially considering the price paid. It is amazing how they can fill a room with musical clarity with the volume knob at about half way up. The mids and highs are very good for the size and cost of the speakers plus, as I said, the bass is somewhat satisfactory for my taste with an equalizer adjustment. All in all I am happy and would recommend these speakers to others for the price. I do love doing business with Crutchfield. I have always been satisfied with their service and the receivers, speakers, TVs, cables, etc that I have purchased from them over the past ten years or so.

Pros: Surprising and amazing clarity and power for the size of speakers and the cost. They appear to be well built. No rattles or vibrations that I have noticed. I like the pads that come with the set to sit the speakers on. I also like very much that it comes with all the needed cords. I definitely recommend them for their designed function.

Cons: Miss the sub-woofer. No woofer hook up to add one (I have two not being used right now).

Mackie CR4™ Creative Reference™ Multimedia Monitors

frankadoodle from Chandler, AZ on 7/28/2016

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

nice quality, better than Klipsch desktop system I've replaced.

Pros: quality build and good sound

Cons: no woofer jack.

Love this Product!!

Gregor from Milbank, SD on 4/7/2016

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Small, compact, easy to use, great sound, puts out good volume, excellent value!!

Pros: Great sound combined with good looks make this a winner of a product

Cons: None; this is a great value!

Mackie CR4

Barry from millbury, MA on 3/28/2016

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Solid pair of speakers, solid sound across the entire spectrum. Crisp highs, solid mid range and bass.

Pros: sound -- cost

Cons: none -- set up with an Audioengine wr3 for sound in another room. Sound is above average.

Mackie CR4™ Creative Reference™ Multimedia Monitors

Stanley J. from santa barbara, CA on 2/14/2016

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I am very happy w this product, these speakers are better than I thought they would be for the price, many reviews ive read before purchase stated that these could use more bass, not in my opinion, the bass packs a nice punch, anymore bass would be too much for my taste! I almost bought something more expensive because I didnt think you could get this kind of sound for the price, I live in an apartment & I can only turn the volume up about half way because these babies blast without any distortion, love these speakers!

Pros: everything you need is right in the box, easy to set up, controls on the front & easy to reach, headphones sound great through these!

Cons: none, I really didnt think I could get this kind of quality for such a low price!

Mackie CR$ - good value!

samiam from NO, LA on 11/5/2015

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

high build quality and big sound in a small package. overall sound is not as full as my previous Bose system, but i think the product performs above par with it's price. then throw in the extras, like the isolation pads and front jacks for even more added value.

Pros: build quality, big sound, extras

Cons: none

Mackie CR4 speakers

BG Lorch from New York on 10/14/2015

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Purchased by phone as desktop replacement speakers after discussion with Crutchfield sales. They deliver as promised and I am very pleased. The sound is full and clean with no harshness. Not strong on low end but quite adequate for intended purpose. I think calling them "studio monitors" is a bit pretentious but they are a very good choice as desktop speakers and I am very pleased.

Pros: Sound good. Appear to be well built. Simple to set up. Good value for the money.

Cons: don't deliver much Bass. Can't hook up to sub woofer.

Mackie CR 4

Keith T from Arizona on 9/14/2015

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Typical Mackie product. Built like a tank. Superb quality and sound

Pros:

Cons:

Best bang for the buck.

dshellhouse from Georgia on 8/2/2015

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I was amazed when I ordered these monitors to replace a worn out Monsoon system. The first thing that hits you when you open the box is the build quality. No cheap plastic here. Genuine wood habits with a flawless finish. But. we but them for the sound, and these monitors stand up to the test. Whether listening to iTunes or monitoring my recordings on Garageband, these monitors are incredibly accurate. No booming bass, no distortion, just good , clean sound. Best part, the price. No way you can duplicate these for the price. I highly recommend them.

Pros: Build quality, sound. Isolation pads, all cables needed.

Cons: None

Great Value

SamS from Indiana on 7/12/2015

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Great product for the price, easy set up and great volume from a small set of speakers. Paired these with a turntable for a Father's Day gift so my dad can relive the glory days of vinyl!

Pros:

Cons:

One of My Best Purchases

Alex L. from Texas on 6/11/2015

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

For computer speakers, these are superb. I have the Mackie CR4 monitors connected to my desktop computer in my study at home. I listen to music through the computer. However, what is really neat is that through the Auxiliary Input port on the front of the powered monitor, I can play music directly from an LP turntable (that is connected to a pre-amp; some newer LP turntables come with a built-in pre-amp) and from a dual cassette tape deck. I can do this without the computer even being turned on since the monitors are self powered. Everything that I play through these monitors, whether classical, easy listening, jazz, country and western, rock 'n' roll, etc., sounds great. To my taste, I don't feel that I need a powered subwoofer for additional bass. Incidentally, you need a 3.5 mm male to 2-RCA female splitter cable to connect RCA cables from a turntable or tape deck to the powered monitor. In my case, I have the RCA cables coming out of the turntable pre-amp and out of the tape deck going into an RCA 2-way A/V switcher (also called a two in, one out RCA A/V Switchbox). The RCA cables coming out of the switchbox go to the powered monitor. Therefore, by pushing a button on the switchbox, I can send audio signals to the monitors from either the turntable or the tape deck. This eliminates the need for two sets of long RCA cables going to the powered monitor and the need to be plugging and unplugging cables between the turntable and the tape deck.

Pros: Great sound and very versatile.

Cons: None.

Nice upgrade

John M. from North Carolina on 3/8/2015

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I had almost forgotten what my music collection can sound like. Upgrading my computer speakers to the CR4s has reinvigorated my appreciation of my collection. A nice plus is the three different input choises which allows me to use these as monitors on my mixing board and smartphone as well.

Pros: Great sound for a variety of music types. Input choises.

Cons: Wish they had grills to cover the speakers.

Great sound from small speaker.

WesE from Virginia on 12/22/2014

I was looking for a high-end computer speaker that would provide excellent sound quality. These are under the Pro Sound section, but unlike most pro sound studio monitors these are setup for ultra portable studio / computer use. I like that these is a single AC power cord, on/off volume knob on front, with aux in and headphone out on the front. Cables for computer use and using the aux input on the front are included. The most notable feature is excellent stereo imaging. Much better than the other computer speakers that I listened to in the showroom. I was concerned about the bass quality with only 4" drivers and afraid I would need an additional sub-woofer. The bass if anything to my taste is slightly muddy but for my needs no sub is needed. But the mids and highs are very clean. Overall a great sound for the size. I have not pushed these too see how they sound at high volumes...but at low to modest levels they sound great and fill a room with sound. For a small self amplified computer speaker it is a high 4 to 5. These would be great to add to a TV, Ipod, or phone to use as a stereo replacement in a bedroom, or small apartment.

Pros: simple connection excellent stereo imaging good volume for size balanced and unbalanced inputs volume knob on front included cables

Cons: factory sticker on front leaves residue no XLR inputs (but can use XLR to 1/4" adapters)

Mackie CR4

chvyetr92 from SC on 10/24/2014

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Big sound in a small package.

Pros: Line in input.

Cons:

Details

Hands-on research

Product Research

Features

Two-Way Speaker Design: Each Mackie CR4 multimedia monitor speaker features a two-way driver design with one 0.75" ferrofluid-cooled, silk-dome tweeter and one 4" polypropylene-coated woofer with rubber sound. This combination of premium drivers provides a rich and natural studio-quality sound.

Built-in Amplifier: All drivers are powered by a built-in 28W RMS/50W Peak Class AB amplifier which provides clean, articulate stereo sound and an ultra-wide frequency response of 70Hz to 20,000Hz.

Bass Reflex MDF Enclosure:  The CR4 multimedia monitor speakers employ a bass reflex enclosure with custom-tuned rear-firing ports for smooth, even bass extension. These all-wood MDF cabinets provide a natural sonic character superior to low-grade plastic designs. The CR4 speakers do not included grilles.

Convenient Controls: A convenient front-panel volume knob with lit power-ring give you On/Off/Volume control and power indication. There is a rear-panel speaker placement switch which lets you choose which side of your desk gets the speaker with the volume knob.

Balanced & Unbalanced Analog Inputs: The CR4 multimedia speakers give you a choice of analog inputs including stereo 1/4" TRS jacks (balanced or unbalanced) and stereo RCA jacks (unbalanced) on the back panel, plus a 3.5mm aux input (unbalanced) on the front-panel. A stereo minijack cable and a stereo minijack-to-RCA cable are included.

Speaker Cable: Because the amplifier is built into only one of the CR4 multimedia monitor speakers, you'll need to connected the included 6' speaker cable between the two loudspeakers rear-panel spring-clip terminals.

Headphone Jack: A dedicated front-panel headphone jack (3.5mm) provides the opportunity to quickly listen to a different source, which is great for any professional. Plugging in phones defeats the speakers for truly silent work and you can quickly adjust levels with the main volume knob.

Isolation Pads: The two included professional-grade isolation pads minimize unwanted bass buildup and allow you to tilt the monitors up or down a bit for more focused listening.

Our Product Research Team

At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team. They verify what’s in the box, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.

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Q & A

Customer Q&A

Crutchfield asked  
Why did you buy this?

Wanted a studio monitor for my office, something good but not expensive. These speakers have great reviews so for the price I figure I can try it out. [ John  Dec 24, 2017 ]
Your email recommendation for best desktop speakers (value). [ Nele  Oct 29, 2017 ]
checked many desktop speakers & reviews, called the manufacturer about the amp issue, Crutchfield advice about the CR3 vs. 4, & Crutchfield 60 day return policy plus reviews of company. [ Susan  Apr 13, 2017 ]
excellent sound ,great price [ James  Nov 17, 2016 ]
Sound quality, price point, and basic functionality. [ Scott  Aug 27, 2016 ]
These monitors have strong positive reviews from Crutchfield and other sites along with value within my price range. [ Kurt  Jul 28, 2016 ]
Crutchfield's review of the product at the online sight as well as the customer ratings that have purchased the speakers. I have used Crutchfield for numerous past purchases and have always been pleased with the products and service. [ Cecil  Jul 16, 2016 ]
Very Good Price.. And Too many good reviews.. [ Thom  Feb 06, 2016 ]
I checked out many on line reveiws & felt these are the best bang for the buck! [ Stanley  Feb 01, 2016 ]

4 questions already asked

I use the Bose Quiet Comfort 35 headphones with the Mackies and they sound excellent to my ears. True stereo soundstage seems to be maintained quite well. I think you would really enjoy these CR4's. [ H O  Jan 08, 2018 ]
These were purchased for a 2nd grade classroom. I have not actually heard the speakers myself. [ GEOFFREY  Jan 08, 2018 ]
I don't think that you can hook up a subwoofer directly to the CR4s. However, there may a way in which you can still use a subwoofer with them. You may wish to consult a Crutchfield sales representative regarding using a subwoofer with them. For my taste, however, the CR4s themselves provide sufficient bass. I love these speakers. You may wish to look at my review of the CR4s dated 6/11/2015 on Crutchfield. [ Alex  Apr 17, 2017 ]
Not that I'm aware of Paul. Perhaps, double check with Mackie. [ Michael  Apr 15, 2017 ]
If you are referring to an Xbox One, it only passes audio via optical or HDMI. You would need to look into an adapter that would convert the digital to analog. If you have a 360, I believe it has a 3.5mm audio jack that will connect directly to the CR4s [ BRIAN  Feb 13, 2016 ]
I dont know the answer to that. I would assume so. They can be hooked to a PC. Keep digging...for some small speakers they rock! [ chvyetr  Feb 12, 2016 ]
Power cord is 6 feet long. Speakers sound good. [ JOSE  Sep 30, 2015 ]
The power cord is about five feet long. [ WILLIS  Sep 29, 2015 ]
About 63 inches [ Otis  Sep 28, 2015 ]
Willard, I went to Mackie's website but could not find that spec. It appears to be 6-8 ft. I hope this helps. Best, MT [ Michael  Sep 28, 2015 ]
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