Mackie CR5-XBT Review – A Professional Quality Speaker at an Affordable Price

The Mackie CR5-XBT is a speaker that offers incredible sound quality without the high price tag. It has a wide frequency response, and it delivers crisp highs and deep lows. What makes these speakers so great? Read below to find out!

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Mackie CR5-XBT Review

Our Mackie CR5-XBT Review

Finding a good pair of speakers for your home or studio can be difficult. There are so many options, and it’s hard to know what you’re looking for when shopping. 

We all want our music to sound great, but if we don’t have the right equipment it just doesn’t happen. The Mackie CR5-XBT is an excellent set of monitors that will help you make better-sounding music no matter what level you are at as a musician or producer!

These speakers use high-quality components and offer professional performance in a sleek package that won’t take up too much space on your desk or in your studio. They deliver 80 watts of clean power with clarity and precision that will let you hear everything from individual bass lines to subtle details in the vocals. You’ll love how they sound whether they’re paired with other gear like keyboards, synthesizers, drum machines, etc., or used by themselves!

What Is the Mackie CR5-XBT?

The Mackie CR5-XBT speakers are five-inch speakers that are sold as a pair and provide a much more powerful sound than you might think. Each woofer delivers a lot of bass response, and in fact, there is so much depth here that you may not even need a subwoofer. This series of equipment places a lot of emphasis on the low end for a fuller and more complete sound. Unless you’re in a large studio, these may be the only speakers you need, but they can accommodate a regular-sized studio, multimedia editing, and so much more. In fact, while these high-tech speakers may not do well for some larger applications, they are great for dozens of others.

The speakers provide a great balance across all of the different frequencies, so they are the perfect option for producing. They are also great for general listening purposes and they can be used for multiple purposes as long as you place them in the right spots. With these speakers, you get mids that are clear and warm and even tonal clarity when you get to the higher frequencies. The high end is also sharp but has no grating sounds, so in all different areas, these are speakers with a crisp, clear sound that are perfect whether you’re in the studio, performing live, and doing your editing.

Keep in mind that the Mackie CR5-XBT speakers are studio monitors and therefore, the overall sound is going to be “neutral” or “flat.” If you’re used to consumer-grade speakers, you’ll definitely notice the change because studio monitors don’t “color” the sound as consumer speakers do. In fact, to people who are mastering or mixing their productions, the sound might not be ideal. Still, when you’re on a budget and you need good-quality monitors that don’t cost a fortune but which still sound fantastic, these are the speakers you’ll want.

Top Benefits of the Mackie CR5-XBT

The Mackie CR5-XBT speakers have an all-wood cabinet and are coated with polypropylene, making these speakers very sturdy and tough. There is a 0.75-inch ferrofluid-cooled silk-dome tweeter that does as well as the 1-inch tweeters do, so if you’re thinking that the sound is going to be poor just because it’s a smaller speaker, think again. You get a solid frequency response at 69Hz to 20kHz (-3 dB), and there is plenty of depth for the low end to deliver very smooth bass. When it comes to volume, these speakers can get up to 105 dB, meaning you’ll have more than enough volume to fill a small or medium-sized area.

Of course, when you get past 85 dB, the volume can be damaging to your hearing, so you should keep that in mind when setting the volume on your speakers. The CR5-XBT speakers also look great because of the bright green highlights that make the speaker a bit on the unique side. If nothing else, the green color gives them a very elegant and refined look, not to mention an expensive look. You even get a brushed-metal faceplate that adds some oomph to the look of the speakers, making these speakers small but demanding of attention regardless of how they are used. So, Mackie has designed these speakers both to work great and to look great, making them very unique indeed.

Of course, one of the most unique features these speakers have is their ability to be connected to Bluetooth, meaning that pairing is seamless and you get a constant Bluetooth connection and a great range with no dropouts. You get both balanced and unbalanced connection options, and the Bluetooth capability alone gives you a lot of opportunities that you wouldn’t otherwise have. Bluetooth capability makes the speakers more convenient to own and to use, making this a very important and very popular set of speakers.

If you’re curious about whether you need a subwoofer with these speakers, there are numerous things to consider. While a subwoofer is not a necessity with these speakers, you might want to add one anyway if you listen to electronic or bass-heavy music, or if your desk space is small and you’re using compact monitors such as these. Adding a subwoofer has its advantages; namely, it gives you a very pronounced low-end response, which many people love. Remember, though, these are high-quality monitors that give you great sound regardless of what you’re doing with them, so only you can decide if you should add a subwoofer to the collection.

Mackie CR5-XBT Review of the Pros and Cons

The Mackie CR5-XBT 5-inch speakers are given a 4.6-star rating on Amazon (out of a possible five stars), with a whopping 89% of all reviewers giving them either four or five stars. Here are some of the pros and cons of these speakers.


  • Reasonably priced at under $200
  • Good for editing, live performances, and work in the studio
  • Classic, very elegant look
  • Great overall sound for multiple purposes
  • Very well-made and built to last


  • May not be appropriate for large venues
  • Several complaints about a hissing noise
  • Some claim the light on one of the speakers doesn’t work

Customer Reactions

  • “These have a crisp, clear sound reproduction range and are perfect for medium-sized venues.”
  • “They have a great sound and give you that studio sound.”
  • “I am completely satisfied with these and would recommend them to anyone.”
  • “They sound great and they are worth more than what I paid for them.”
  • “If you’re looking for studio quality sound, these are the speakers you want.”

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Are the speakers pre-powered or do I have to power them?

A: No, these are fully powered speakers. Just plug them in and start enjoying them.

Q: Are the 1/4-inch inputs truly balanced or are they terminating at the tip and ring?

A: The 1/4-inch inputs are truly balanced.

Q: Do these speakers require an audio interface?

A: You can connect to them via a Bluetooth-enabled device or through a 3 mm audio-to-RCA cable.

Q: I’m having trouble connecting to Bluetooth. Any suggestions?

A: Make sure you press and hold the Mackie logo on the front of the speaker until it flashes. This will signal to your Bluetooth-enabled devices that it’s ready to be connected.

Q: How big are the drivers?

A: Here are the specs you need: LF – 1 x 8” / 20.32cm polypropylene cone; HF – 1 x 0.75” / 1.91 cm silk dome.

Conclusion – Mackie CR5-XBT Review

The Mackie CR5-XBT set of speakers costs around $190 for two speakers, but these five-inch speakers really pack a punch and are a great value regardless of how you look at them. They are versatile speakers considering their size, so you can use them when editing, performing live, or working in the studio. With the exception of very large venues, the speakers can accommodate your musical needs regardless of what you use them for, and the Bluetooth capability is an added edge that everyone will love.

Mackie CR5-XBT Review

They are also great-looking speakers that can provide a little ambiance whether they’re on the floor or on top of a table or desk, so if you’re looking for high-quality studio monitors at a great price, these are the ones you want.

Thank you for reading our Mackie CR5-XBT review.


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