Reviewed: Mackie Thump15BST

Amber Technology | ambertech.com.au | Expect To Pay: $1039 each

I’m sure you’ve all seen Mackie Thump speakers in stores, at gigs and even in venues over the last few years. They have proven to be a popular budget priced speaker from the company that has been bringing you power speakers for a very long time. I’ve used and heard my fair share of the different models of Thump speakers since their release, and now have a chance to listen to the latest model in the range, the Thump15BST. Not only is it an upgraded amplifier and driver to the previous Thump models, it also comes with a range of added features like digital control and wireless streaming and connection between multiple speakers. This may just be the perfect party speaker for easy setup and big sound.

Given that I had the Thump15BST, the biggest of all the models in the range, it goes without saying that this speaker has lots of guts. The Class-D power amp supplies 1000 watts to the low frequency driver and a further 300 watts to the high frequency horn, which moves plenty of air. Whilst not quite the same as a big Class A/B block amp with a wooden speaker box, which now seems very much a thing of the past, the lightweight amp design allows for greater portability in a speaker box of this size. There’s no great struggle trying to set these up in a system, for both the physical weight and the calibration of the system are no real restrictions. Turn it up and you’ll find these boxes deliver plenty of volume and can easily be linked for increased sound pressure levels.

 

As seems to be the trend these days, Mackie has integrated an app for remote control of these speakers. You don’t need the app to make adjustments on a speaker though, with a small screen and control on the back of each speaker allowing you to digitally control input levels, three-band EQ and a high pass filter. If you don’t want to put too much thought into it, you can simply choose one of the six voicing modes best suited for your system and have the preset options work for you. With two XLR inputs to the Mackie Vita preamps on each box, you also get an added input channel from wireless Bluetooth streaming from a connected device. With the Thump Connect control app, you are able to stream music as well as control and link multiple speakers all from a separate location in the room. This is something that you don’t get on the standard Mackie Thump models, and it’s what sets the Thump15BST apart as the one you’ll want to own.

 

The app allows you to control the volume and settings of each speaker connected in the wireless setup, so you can move about the room and make adjustments from your phone. If you aren’t able to run the app, this can still be done with the screen at the rear of each speaker. This screen can then be dimmed or turned off completely once the speaker is set up. A great sounding, big speaker with a modern control system, the Mackie Thump15BST is certainly a big step forward from where the Thump range first started out.

Hits and Misses

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Big sound with plenty of bottom end

Digital control over multiple speakers

Wireless control and audio streaming

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Lacks that analogue feel in the controls

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