There’s a new player in the in-ear monitor game — Mackie. The company recently unveiled the new Mackie MP-240 IEMs, which we reviewed and loved. But there’s more than one model in Mackie’s MP-series. Apart from the MP-240, there’s also the Mackie MP-220 and the MP-120. The former is the model that we’ll be taking a look at today.
At first glance, the headphones are identical to the MP-240 headphones — but do they perform as well? And do they offer a similar value for money? We put the Mackie MP-220 headphones to the test to find out.
If you’ve seen our review of the Mackie MP-240 headphones, then you’ll immediately recognize the MP-220 IEMs. They look identical. That’s not a bad thing though — we liked the look of the MP-240s, and we like it on the MP-220s too.
The headphones are built largely from plastic, but it’s generally a solid plastic that we don’t think will break easily. Printed on that plastic, you’ll find a Mackie logo on both units, as well as an over-ear cable hook that extends out from the top. The hook is a little flexible, which is good news for those that want to mould it around their ear. You’ll also notice plastic shielding on the cable, and while you might want something like a braided nylon or something else, the plastic used is much stronger and heavier duty than you’ll find on most headphones.
The in-ear units are detachable from the cable, which is good news for those that might want to replace the cable down the line. Even better news is that they attach via an MMCX connector — so you’re not locked into propriety cables if you want to buy other ones.
In the box, there are a ton of accessories. You’ll find the headphones themselves, along with a nice, heavy-duty case with a latch. That case is big enough to hold the headphones and any of the accessories you want to take with you, which is very nice. You’ll also find a 1/8-inch to 1/4-inch adapter, as well as a number of ear tips, including memory foam tips, dual flange tips, and standard gel tips.
In general, the Mackie MP-220 headphones are well-designed, plus they come with more than enough accessories.
Because the headphones share an identical design to the MP-240, they offer a similar comfort-level too. What does that mean? They’re pretty comfortable.
When you first get them, we strongly recommend experimenting with the different types of ear tips. Not only are there different sizes to try, but different types as well — the headphones come with standard tips, dual flange tips, and memory foam tips.
The arm that extends into your ear canal is slightly wide, which might provide some discomfort for some — though in general we found that the headphones were comfortable for generally long listening sessions. Of course, if you’re looking for in-ear monitors you’re likely looking for some headphones to use on stage — and we think these will remain comfortable for most average-length sets.
While comfort is a very important aspect to consider for in-ear monitors, sound is perhaps even more important. After all, when you’re on stage, you want to be able to hear what’s going on. Thankfully, these headphones sound pretty nice.
Unlike the hybrid dual drivers found in the Mackie MP-240, the Mackie MP-220 headphones offer dual dynamic drivers, which Mackie says are tuned to offer “powerful bass response and enhanced clarity.” Do they live up to that claim?
Let’s start with the bass, which definitely is powerful, as Mackie claims. Kick drums punch straight through the mix, while bass guitars are nice and smooth.
The low-mids are also a little boosted, offering a nice warm tone. The high-mids seem to be a little pulled back compared to the MP-240 IEMs, but not overly so, and we think there are still plenty of high-mids on offer.
If you want to know the different between these headphones and the MP-240s, it really comes in the highs. Mackie says these headphones offer enhanced clarity, but the clarity award definitely goes to the more expensive model. Of course, that’s to be expected — but it’s still something to note. We would have liked a little more high-end clarity from these headphones.
Like the MP-240, Mackie says these headphones offer up to 40dB of noise attenuation. Now, that largely depends on the ear tips you use, however we found that the headphones were pretty good at blocking out outside noise. As you would expect, you’ll still hear what’s going on outside, the headphones — but we think it’s dampened enough for most mid-volume stages.
In general, the Mackie-MP-220 in-ear monitors sound pretty good, but the subdued high-end definitely puts the MP-240s ahead.
The Mackie MP-220 in-ear monitors are nice monitors. They’re well-designed and reasonably comfortable for in-ear monitors, plus they sound pretty good for stage use. We wouldn’t recommend people buy these for everyday listening — but as in-ear monitors, we think they perform decently well.
That’s not to say that they’re the best out there. If you can afford it, we think the MP-240 headphones sound a little better, and the audio will cut through any background noise thanks to that heightened high-end response. If, however, your budget ends firmly at $150, the Mackie MP-220 in-ear monitors have a lot to offer.
Because of their excellent value for money, we’ve awarded the Mackie MP-220 headphones the Headphone Review Bronze Medal.
|Frequency response||20Hz – 20kHz||Active noise cancellation
|Driver size||Unknown||Noise attenuation||Up to 40dB|
|Sensitivity||104dB||Ear tip material||Memory foam, gel|
|Total harmonic distortion
|Rated input power
|Maximum input power
||No||Cable length||1.5m (5ft)|
||Yes||Case type||Hard case|