The big American audio equipment company, Mackie, is currently opening up the market segment of near-ear sound reinforcement and is going with two in-ear [CR-Buds and CR-Buds+] and two over-ear headphones [Mackie MC-150]. Here we have the top model, the closed MC-250. These headphones are primarily aimed at audio professionals – in the studio as well as live.
The MC-250 headphones are equipped with 50-millimetre drivers, which offer the amplifier a 32 Ohm resistance. The MC-250’s input sensitivity is 100 dB per milliwatt and the frequency response ranges from 8 Hz to 20 kHz.
The package includes a straight, 3-metre-long connection cable, which is plugged into the socket of the left auricle and locked in place with a 90-degree turn. On both sides, the cable ends in stereo jack plugs, one side of which can be enlarged to a standard jack using the supplied adapter. The headphones themselves are completely made of plastic, which is the reason for the moderate weight of 300 grammes.
Both auricles can be folded inwards for transport. Apart from the silver Mackie logo, there are no conspicuous features on the black headphones. The haptics, however, do not look particularly polished. This can be seen in the details, such as the size adjustment, where the boom slides into the headband with a little bit of a whiny, “plastic” feeling. This doesn’t interrupt the function – it just doesn’t feel particularly smooth.
The most important findings in brief: The MC-250s’ sound is excellent for the price range. They play the whole audible spectrum balanced and without deficits. Transient impulses spread the stereo stage accurately between the ears.
In the bass range, the Mackies work with commitment and grip, reliably parrying even high listening volumes with a fair amount of muscle. Above the balanced basic tonality, there is a slight dominance in the mids. This ensures that you are in a very conscious listening situation when working with the MC-250: You don’t “sink” into the sound space and forget that you are wearing headphones, but are constantly aware of the virtual sound staging. This is a very desirable characteristic for monitoring and studio headphones, as it is all about “consciously” working on and with the sound. The MC-250s are not headphones that help you escape the world for a while, but are instead working devices, which is why the Mackies are also recommended for DJ use. The good external noise shielding is also concentration-enhancing and important when playing monitor mixes (e.g. for singers – keyword: crosstalk).
With their balanced sound, the MC-250s are, of course, also suitable for Hi-Fi enthusiasts. However, if you wear them for a long time, you will inevitably notice their closed design, which at some point will cause “hot ears”. The wearing comfort is good: Even during long listening sessions, their thick ear cushions and the neat foamed headband do a lot to prevent pressure points.
Congratulations, Mackie! The MC-250 are very well done and a very moderately priced entry into the studio headphone segment. For about one hundred euros, you get a sound-reliable working device, which also suits the DJ booth, and by reliable, I mean that they meet high standards, ensuring that a well-made mix from them also sounds reasonable on all other devices. This makes them my current recommendation in this price range for studio and recording applications.
Measurement ResultsMore measurement results
- Ear couplingOver-ear
- Transducer principledynamic
- Frequency response (headphones)8 - 20.000 Hz
- Impedance32 ohms
- Sound pressure level (SPL)100 dB
- Weight with cable265 g
- Cable length300 cm
What's in the box
- 6.35 mm stereo jack
- Carrying pouch