Introducing the Mackie MC-40BT, Mackie’s inaugural venture into Bluetooth headphones. We conducted a thorough evaluation of these headphones to provide you with an overview.
The Mackie MC-40BT headphones are over-ear, closed-back headphones equipped with Bluetooth connectivity and a built-in microphone. They also offer the option for wired use, featuring dynamic 40 mm drivers covering a frequency range from 20 Hz to 20 kHz.
Key features of the Mackie MC-40BT include:
- Balanced sound
- Integrated microphone in both headphones and cable
- Swift Bluetooth pairing
- Wired functionality
- User-friendly design
Weight approx. 300 g
Price (RRP) 178 euros
Driver dynamic, 40 mm closed
design , over-ear
Frequency response 20 Hz to 20 kHz
Impedance 32 Ohm
Bluetooth codecs SBC and AAC
Connections One-sided cable routing via 3.5 mm jack socket (connection possible on the right)
Special features can also be used wired, built-in microphone in the headphone and connection cable, fast bluetooth connection
Connection cable with microphone and remote, transport case
Initial Impressions and Package Contents:
The Mackie MC-40BT comes with a robust and well-crafted transport case. While some users may prefer a smaller carrying pouch for convenience, the provided case is sturdy and gets the job done. The headphones are available exclusively in gray and sport a modern aesthetic.
The included user manual could have been more comprehensive, lacking information about charging times and LED status indicators.
Included in the Mackie MC-40BT package are:
- 1 x Transport case
- 1 x 3.5mm jack cable with an integrated microphone and control unit
- 1 x USB-C to USB-A charging cable
- 1 x User Manual
Construction and Build Quality:
The Mackie MC-40BT boasts a construction featuring 40mm dynamic drivers, making them suitable for use as a portable headset with their 32-ohm impedance. The headphones primarily consist of matte gray plastic, with synthetic leather padding on the headband and ear cups.
Underneath the headband padding, a metal element with dual tracks allows for stable and adjustable height settings. The ear cups are foldable and rotatable, facilitating compact storage.
Comfort of Wear:
Comfort is a standout feature of the Mackie MC-40BT. Weighing around 300 grams, they are relatively lightweight. The padding on the headband and ear cups enhances comfort, with a comfortable contact pressure that accommodates different head sizes. However, extended use can lead to warmth around the ears, a common issue with closed-back headphones.
Bluetooth, Battery Life, and Practical Use:
The speed of Bluetooth pairing with the Mackie MC-40BT is noteworthy, impressing with its rapid connection. However, it supports only AAC and SBC codecs, lacking high-resolution options.
In practical testing, the Bluetooth range proved reliable, allowing some distance from the paired device before experiencing connection issues. The headphones offer an impressive 30-hour battery life at moderate volume levels, and if the battery depletes, wired use remains an option.
The built-in microphone serves its purpose, but it falls short of the quality provided by the cable’s integrated mic. Nevertheless, both microphones are suitable for tasks like phone conferences.
Noise Isolation and Sound Quality:
The Mackie MC-40BT’s noise isolation, while decent, is somewhat lacking for closed-back headphones, especially considering their absence of ANC (Active Noise Cancellation). This may require users to raise the volume in noisy environments, potentially causing sound leakage to nearby individuals.
The sound quality of the Mackie MC-40BT is its standout feature. It delivers a balanced sound profile that exceeds expectations for its price range. The bass is robust with a pleasant boost, without muddying other frequency ranges. Detail and resolution are impressive, even at higher volumes. The closed design limits spatial perception but remains quite enjoyable.
Speech clarity is excellent, reflecting the headphone’s development as a headset. The higher frequencies are well-balanced and not overly piercing.
Bass Performance: The Mackie MC-40BT impresses with its bass performance. The 40mm dynamic drivers deliver a powerful and well-defined bass range. When listening to bass-heavy tracks, such as electronic or hip-hop music, the headphones offer a satisfying thump without overpowering the rest of the audio spectrum. This emphasis on bass is tastefully done, ensuring that it enhances the overall listening experience rather than creating muddiness.
Midrange Clarity: Moving into the midrange frequencies, the Mackie MC-40BT maintains clarity and detail. Vocals, both male and female, are articulate and stand out well in the mix. The midrange performance is balanced, allowing for a rich and warm representation of instruments like guitars and pianos. This balance ensures that neither vocals nor instruments are overshadowed by the bass.
High-Frequency Detail: The high-frequency range on the Mackie MC-40BT is well-represented without being overly sharp or piercing. It offers a crisp and detailed portrayal of cymbals, strings, and other high-frequency elements in music. The headphones strike a good balance between providing clarity and avoiding harshness, ensuring a pleasant listening experience even at higher volume levels.
Soundstage and Imaging: Due to their closed-back design, the Mackie MC-40BT doesn’t offer the expansive soundstage of open-back headphones. However, within the limitations of closed-back headphones, they do a commendable job. The soundstage feels adequately spacious, providing a sense of depth and dimension to the music. Instrument separation is clear, allowing listeners to discern different elements in complex compositions.
Volume and Distortion: The Mackie MC-40BT handles volume exceptionally well. Even at higher volume levels, there is minimal distortion, maintaining the integrity of the audio. This feature is particularly valuable for those who enjoy listening at louder volumes without sacrificing sound quality.
Music Genre Versatility: These headphones excel across a wide range of music genres. Whether you’re into rock, classical, jazz, electronic, or hip-hop, the Mackie MC-40BT delivers a balanced and enjoyable listening experience. Their ability to handle various genres makes them versatile for different listening preferences.
Isolation and External Noise: While the Mackie MC-40BT provides reasonable noise isolation due to its closed-back design, it’s worth noting that they do not feature active noise cancellation (ANC). Therefore, they may not completely block out loud external noises, especially in noisy environments like public transportation. However, in quieter settings, they effectively isolate you from most ambient sounds.
Overall Sound Impression: In summary, the Mackie MC-40BT headphones offer a balanced, detailed, and enjoyable sound signature. They strike an excellent balance between bass, midrange, and treble frequencies, ensuring that no aspect of the music overpowers the rest. Whether you’re a casual listener or an audiophile, these headphones provide a pleasing and versatile listening experience, making them a strong contender in their price range.
In summary, the Mackie MC-40BT excels in sound quality, comfort, and build. It’s an excellent choice for on-the-go use, at work, or as an entry-level gaming headset, offering great value for its price. Future iterations could benefit from the inclusion of ANC, Multipoint connectivity, an app with an EQ for sound customization, and expanded Bluetooth codec support. Nonetheless, the Mackie MC-40BT is definitely worth considering for your audio needs.
- Balanced sound
- Built-in microphone in headphones and cable
- Fast Bluetooth connection
- Can also be used wired
- Pretty easy
- No app for individual sound editing
- No ANC
- No multipoint connections possible