Mackie’s line of studio monitors needs no introduction. They have been among the most popular budget choices for a long time. Mackie MR10S Mk3 is the final piece of that puzzle. It is also one of the best studio subwoofers you can get under $300. Let’s check it out a little closer.
Here’s an interesting thing. Mackie’s usual design solutions include a lot of contrasting colors. Most often you’re looking at flashy rings around each driver. Some even go as far as to say that those colorful rings are the reason why a good chunk of users goes for Mackie monitors. Whether that’s true or not is up for debate, however, MR10S Mk3 is nothing like that. As a matter of fact, it is a complete opposite.
Mackie went with a plain simple black box made of good quality MDF. The side of the subwoofer where the driver is mounted is actually completely covered in a mesh grille. In terms of pure build quality, it is very solid. Fit and finish seem great and the entire subwoofer inspires confidence. It’s not too heavy nor too large, making it a great choice for smaller
Popping the proverbial hood reveals a large, 10″ glass aramid composite driver. Mackie has paired it with a 120 Watt Class A/B amplifier, which is plenty enough for most applications. On top of that, there’s an adjustable crossover network that allows you to fine tune the sub so it better matches your monitors. The back panel is where all of the controls and I/O ports are at. Mackie decided to go with stereo XLR and TRS inputs as well as TRS outputs. You get a polarity switch and a volume knob.
The back panel is also where they positioned the bass reflex port. Instead of going for a standard circular design, Mackie opted to go with a wide slotted port. Not only does that save space, but as predicted, it makes for a much tighter response overall. There’s also an AC select switch that lets you choose the voltage.
When put to use, there are two things that stand out in terms of performance. First one is the overall power of this subwoofer. Even at 120 Watts, which is far from the most powerful number we’ve seen, it moves a lot of air. The woofer reaches as low as 35Hz, while the upper limit is set at 180Hz. In other words, it operates in a much narrower band of frequencies than most other subs.
The good thing about this is the fact that you won’t see too much conflict when pairing it up with your monitors. The second thing that stands out is the transparency. Bass response feels wide, defined and flat, which is exactly what we want. For the most part, Mackie MR10S Mk3 works great in tight spaces, especially if you spend some time to properly position and tune the sub.
Once again Mackie delivers a robust but effective solution in the world of monitoring. This subwoofer packs just the right kind of power and has all the right features. At this price, it is one of the most attractive deals you can get, especially considering its size. Overall it’s great.