When comparing M-Audio AV32 vs Mackie MR8 mk3, the Slant community recommends Mackie MR8 mk3 for most people. In the question“What are the best studio monitors under $500?” Mackie MR8 mk3 is ranked 3rd while M-Audio AV32 is ranked 5th. The most important reason people chose Mackie MR8 mk3 is:
What makes the MR8 a great choice for a studio monitor is that this speaker is able to deliver truly accurate sound ideal for music production. At its flat setting the bass is tight and punchy without much boom. The mids are full and precise while the highs are crisp and airy without being too sharp. This sound is achieved thanks to the speaker’s 8-inch woofer which is able to provide great bass and mids output, as well as higher volumes without distortion or hiss. This large woofer is complemented by the 1-inch silk dome tweeter for accurate and natural reproduction of the higher frequencies. Audio accuracy is further achieved thanks to the monitor’s amps being matched to the drivers used.
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Pro Clean and smooth sound with airy highs from such small speakers
These speakers are able to produce a nice and smooth sound despite being quite small in size. There is an emphasis on the higher frequencies and the bass can sound full. Imaging is forward with a lot of detail. This sound is achieved by the use of three-inch polypropylene-coated, high-temperature voice coil woofers for the low and mid frequencies and a 1-inch silk cone tweeter for the highs. Overall, the sound is clearly a cut above the multimedia speakers that are within the AV32’s price range.
Pro Clear and forward presentation of detail thanks to proprietary OptImage IV waveguide design
These speakers deliver optimal high frequency detail and clarity to the listener. This is due to M-Audio’s use of their proprietary waveguide design which allows for efficient travel of the high frequencies to the listener’s ears. This tech is further supported by the use of highly flexible silk cones on the tweeters which further reduce the restriction of the sound being produced.
Pro Can fit in most studio/desk setups due to the compact size
The AV32 can fit in virtually all studio setups thanks to its truly compact size. It's true even if you have a rather small and cramped desk. This feat is achieved via a simple and small cabinet that houses the 3-inch speaker and 1-inch tweeter combo.
Pro Can give improved convenience due to headphone output jack on the front side of the speaker
You may find this speaker very convenient to use if you also tend to listen to music on your headphones. There is a 1/8” headphone out jack which will channel the sound output to the connected headphones instead of the speakers. For added sound control, you can also adjust the volume of your headphones using the volume knob on the speakers.
Pro Offers some degree of flexibility in terms of integrating into a user’s audio chain setup
You can easily integrate these speakers into your current audio chain. These speakers offer RCA inputs at the back as well as 1/8” input in front. This makes the AV32 compatible with DACs, audio receivers, and even smartphones and mobile music players.
Pro Very affordable price for studio monitors
These speakers are very attainable price-wise. These are positioned as entry-level studio monitors with prices that are not too far off from most multi-media speakers available on the market. This makes high quality, pro-level audio monitoring speakers within relatively easy reach, and should fit many budding audio enthusiast’s budgets.
Pro Professional-grade audio accuracy and distortion-free sound to go along with high volume output
What makes the MR8 a great choice for a studio monitor is that this speaker is able to deliver truly accurate sound ideal for music production. At its flat setting the bass is tight and punchy without much boom. The mids are full and precise while the highs are crisp and airy without being too sharp.
This sound is achieved thanks to the speaker’s 8-inch woofer which is able to provide great bass and mids output, as well as higher volumes without distortion or hiss. This large woofer is complemented by the 1-inch silk dome tweeter for accurate and natural reproduction of the higher frequencies. Audio accuracy is further achieved thanks to the monitor’s amps being matched to the drivers used.
Pro Provides highly detailed sound imaging
This studio monitor is capable of producing clear instrument separation and imaging. For example, crash and ride cymbals can come off from the far left or far right of your listening space, as if you were sitting in front of the drums. This is thanks to Mackie’s proprietary waveguide design which allows for efficient soundwave travel from the tweeters to the listener’s ear.
Pro Even bass response due to rear bass ports
Lower frequencies can be quite difficult to tame, but the MR8 can provide bass that is balanced yet impactful and fast without sounding loose or floppy. This is achieved by the use of custom tuned bass port situated in the rear of the monitor.
Pro Option to enhance or cut high frequencies with the high boost/cut switch
With this studio monitor, you also have the option to boost the highs for enhanced detail and sparkle to the sound or lower the highs output to get a sound that is flatter, with more emphasis on the mids. This can be adjusted according to your preference via the High Boost/Cut Filter switch that can also be found on the rear of the monitor.
Pro You can increase bass output using the low boost switch
This studio monitor’s bass out can be increased up a notch or two, which will give you more powerful bass, resulting in more thump and boom from the woofer. This option gives the MR8 the extra versatility to be used as a multimedia speaker as, for example, explosions in movies can have a lot of oomph and rumble. This can be toggled by the Low Frequency Filter switch in the back.
Pro Can work with different studio setups thanks to a variety of input options available
You can easily use this studio monitor with a number of audio sources including computers, audio interfaces, audio receivers, and mixers due to the three input options this monitor has. This includes balanced TRS and XLR inputs as well as an unbalanced RCA input.
Con Sound may distort at higher volumes
You can definitely crank these speakers up to max in order to get extra volume. However, do expect some audible distortion at high volume levels. If you prefer loud volumes for listening or mixing, then bigger studio monitors will suit your needs better.
Con Volume output may be limited
The volume output of these speakers is not that high, which can also be attributed to these speakers’ small size. While these are perfectly usable for close audio monitoring, this may not be a good option if you want your studio monitors to fill the room with great sound.
Con May not have enough bass output due to small woofers
Some may find the bass output of these speakers to be a bit lacking. The small 3 inch woofers can only deliver so much bass and while the output may be enough in small rooms, the bass can leave a lot to be desired in larger rooms.
Con Can be difficult to fit on some desk setups due to this studio monitor’s large size
This studio monitor may not be the best option if you have a small room or a small desk. The 8-inch woofer of the MR8 requires a large cabinet design to house it, which means that this studio monitor will take up a lot of desk space. You will definitely want to use this with a large desk or a much better option would be for you to use speaker stands.
Con Bass reflections can be a problem with these monitors if placed near a wall
If you place this studio monitor with the rear near a wall, it may result in bass reflections due to the rear bass ports. This can cause you to hear too much or too little bass. Either way, this is bad for mixing. You may want to consider a 1 to 2 feet distance from the rear of the monitor and the wall. Also, you can add bass traps and other sound absorption solutions behind the speaker to minimize bass reflections and achieve optimal sound accuracy.