M-Audio AV42 vs Mackie CR4

One of the most important equipment in your home studio is speaker or monitor because they will deliver the mix to our ears and make sure we get them correctly for further process when there is something that needs to be fixed. If you are looking for a reliable monitors, M-Audio AV42 Vs Mackie CR4 are two good options to go with a fairly flat response. Before shopping, go see what they can offer below so we can choose better and pick the most ideal pair.

In this article, we are going to give you information about:

  • Why using a Studio Monitor
  • What are M-Audio AV42 and Mackie CR4
  • What M-Audio AV42 and Mackie CR4 Look Like
  • What M-Audio AV42 and Mackie CR4 can offer to you
  • How are the Sound Quality of M-Audio AV42 and Mackie CR4
  • M-Audio AV42 vs Mackie CR4

Studio Monitor

Music making is getting easier as the day goes by because humans always want to be more convenient and this is exactly why we developed many new tools and creating machines that can help or at least lessen the work. However, the process stays the same in the past and now because what we need is recording, processing, and listening to them again before being edited to match the musician’s taste. To fulfill this duty, we need various equipment inside the studio from input, computer, and a monitor.

Studio can be as simple or as complicated and expensive as you need it to be but for many users who are working from home, what we need probably only several tools with reliable software in computer for processing. Input can be microphone for voice recording or instrument of your choice, an interface to send input signal to computer, a reliable computer with audio software for processing, and the last is a type of output; can be monitor speaker or headphones.

Even when you have a reliable tools and already mix the song as you want them to be, we may have made some mistake when listening to the final mix through the output. As you may already know, the most popular type of speakers are those with booster on some of its parts which makes the song sound unlike how they should be which is why producers or musicians prefer speaker made for monitoring purpose since this type boast fairly flat response.

It is said there is no speaker with completely, perfectly flat response but, when able, we should find something that can deliver the mix just as it is so we can recognize the parts that need improvement or better tuned down. The question often asked when looking for a monitor is whether we will need them or not and like many things, the answer will be depending on their users since not all recording will need speaker for voice overs will probably fine with a good headphones already.

For those who are recording songs with instruments and have many sounds being mixed together, we recommend to get a reliable speakers because they are more capable in terms of letting you listen to the song more accurately. When using just any speaker, the chance of getting inaccuracies will be high and it will affect our work since with different speakers, the mix will sound different as well but we can minimize this mistake when working with monitors that mirror our mix while not adding much of its own color.

About M-Audio AV42

Due to the huge demand from users both from producers and music enthusiast who prefer a flat speakers, studio monitors are getting more affordable and easy to get, unlike in the past, now with a huge models to choose as well as brands. While all of them are claimed to be studio monitors, in fact not all are fulfilling the purpose and the rule of the more expensive the better its sounds can be applied most of the time yet, it doesn’t mean we can’t get a good speaker in a cheaper price.

One of the best options if you are concerned about budget when looking for a speaker or for your studio monitor is M-Audio especially the AV24 model. This speaker is loved by many due its pleasant sound but, since the price range is quite cheap for a monitors compared to middle liners like PreSonus Eris E8 vs Yamaha HS8, the quality will not going to defeat those speakers. Many people like for its price range but this may not for those who looks for higher quality on their speakers.

M-Audio AV42 Design

Cutting short, as you can see this speaker is looking like any model from the AV line since those speakers come in the same design for the entire family and compared to the brother AV32, it is definitely scaled up with AV42. M-Audio seems to like creating design that sticks out and it is clearly seen from this speaker with its shiny and glossy finish which we actually are not very fond of. It is however, made from decent quality MDF.

Its face is pretty in our opinion with the tweeter waveguide which is not only massive but also nice to the eyes. When you see closely, the volume knobs and AUX port are placed at the front but, the switch is somehow placed at the back, making it less convenient for daily use. 

M-Audio AV42 Features

When moving further, we can see what M-Audio AV42 is equipped with to deliver those pleasant sounds and as you may already guess, this model is featured with 1-inch tweeter that sits in those waveguide we have mentioned above while the lower area is to place its 4-inch low frequency driver. The speaker comes in a pair so they are wired together and deliver 20 Watts of power with maximum SPL or 101.5dB at 1 meter, suitable for a small room or bedroom.

Flipping the speaker back, we are getting I/O cluster for passive speaker output and a set of RCA inputs that we can use when connecting with some gears available. Compared to many, it may not extravagant but at least we have all the necessities for basic speaker set.

M-Audio AV42 Performance

Coming into the sound quality, as it has been mentioned above, M-Audio AV42 is definitely not the best speakers especially for critical listening but, its quality is decent since the level of transparency is comparable with similar speakers in its price range with a good lower ends due to its 4-inch driver. The treble is sharp so we will hear some bias and placing the unit is a bit tricky as well to get the best result especially on the gap between wall and speaker.

About Mackie CR4

It is true that AV42 is not the best option out there but it is still a great choice for those who are considering the budget. If you are planning to not spend more than $200, another good, affordable studio monitors you may want to check is Mackie CR4. We are sure most producers are familiar with this name since they are offering reliable and high quality equipment for the budget. This CR line speaker is slightly larger than its little brother CR3 due to their woofer size.

Mackie CR4 Design

As you can see on the sample picture above, this speaker is very simple and there is not much happening on the surface just like the most members of CR line. It is combining dark grey and green color themes, recalling some memory of certain gaming peripherals manufacturer. We like that its building quality is solid with thick MDF and baffles made from solid plastic so they are not moving much even at higher volume while the whole body is compact and not very space consuming.

Mackie CR4 Features

Like many other speakers in its price range, Mackie CR4 is packing only essentials on the body and similar with AC42, this model is also boasting its 1-inch tweeter combined with 4-inch woofer or low-frequency driver which together able to drive about 50 Watts of power split between two channels. While there is no acoustic switch due to its affordable price point, at least we have switch to change the active speaker center; left or right. The I/O cluster presented have standard unbalanced TCA and ¼-inch TRS inputs. 

Mackie CR4 Performance

When talking about how this speaker performs, many people probably don’t hope to hear much but it is actually the selling point of Mackie CR4 because it sure sounds pleasant with the 4-inch driver taking care of the mid and lows; delivering a nice sound with some details without the thump yet still tight. We also love to hear how the speaker sounds fairly flat and has only a little drop even after reaching around 100 Hz. However, to get this make sure to do some placement corrections.


Now, let’s compare M-Audio AV42 with Mackie CR4. As it has been mentioned above, these two speakers are a reliable option for people who want to spend less but still want to enjoy a fairly flat response from their monitor but, comparing the two, Mackie CR4 is the one that will accentuate the low ends while the M-Audio is a bit muddier. In addition, Mackie is more convenient due to tying its power to volume button unlike M-Audio that placed at the back.

M-Audio AV42 vs Mackie CR4

- Entry-level, compact desktop monitors to form basis of small home studio
- Flexible, uncovered speaker cones for improved sound quality
- 4-inch woofer, 20-watt per channel amplifier with Class A/B architecture
- RCA inputs for connecting gaming systems, DJ gear, mixers and more
- Studio-quality design, sound and performance ideal for multimedia creation and entertainment
- Ultra-wide frequency range perfect for full-range multimedia (80Hz - 20kHz)
- Choose which side of your desk gets the volume knob with CR4's convenient speaker placement switch
- Convenient front panel volume knob with lit power ring gives you on/off/volume control and power indication where you need it


All in all, the decision is all yours since not all of us will have the same preferences so it is better to get the monitor that fits your setup better yet, if we are to choose, Mackie CR4 is actually a better sounding monitor between the two, more convenient, and also more affordable so we can save a little.

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