The Thump series from Mackie has consistently proven to be one of the best entry-level DJ speakers on the market, and with a brand new refresh to the entire line, they offer even more features than before. In this review, we check out the smallest option in the ThumpXT lineup, the 212XT.
Mackie Thump 212XT
The Thump 212XT is a powerful 12-inch loudspeaker with a few extra bells and whistles over the base Thump 212 model. At only a moderately higher price, it’s a great deal if you are after certain features.
The Mackie Thump 212XT presents an excellent budget-friendly option for DJs and performers that often play small to medium-sized venues. While it is fantastic value for money, it also has some minor flaws. Let’s dive in.
The Thump 212XT lives up to its name with an aggressive and powerful output that offers ample low-end grunt. It’s well suited to bass-heavy genres like electronic music but also holds up decently for live sound applications.
The bass response is hefty but a tad on the muddy side. It’s not horrible but not as refined as what Mackie offers further up its product lineup. Despite that, it is satisfying and more than enough to deliver bass for a small event. I suggest adding the Thump115S or Thump118S subwoofer to bring out the low-end performance if you play larger venues.
Moving into the midrange, everything is well-balanced and dynamic. The slight muddiness present in the bottom end doesn’t infect the midrange. A good option for speaking events and vocal performances with a healthy amount of clarity.
The top-end was also impressive. I’ve often found that entry-level speakers offer a slightly overly aggressive curve that results in a bright top end that can be fatiguing, but that is not eh case with the 212XT.
At this price point, the Mackie Thump 212XT performs well beyond my expectations. It’s loud and satisfyingly rich in detail. It is apparent this isn’t a top-of-the-line speaker, but it can go toe to toe with many mid-range offerings making it an excellent budget choice.
If you are a duo or DJ with a modest budget, this 12-inch loudspeaker is among the most enticing and impressive options available.
Previously I would have had reservations about picking up Mackie’s entry-level products. The thought and care just wasn’t there. But that is a distant memory as they have done a complete 180 and now offer some of the best budget gear in terms of durability.
The Thump 212XT offers a solid cabinet that can handle the rigors of frequent transportation and use. It’s relatively scuff-resistant, and the steel grille is thick enough not to dent and bend easily.
Impressive build quality for a budget loudspeaker.
The back panel features satisfying controls with great knobs and buttons. It lacks an onboard screen, but I am not surprised at this price level.
The internal components are also up to scratch with a high-quality and highly efficient Class D amplifier along with a ferrite woofer and polymer compression high-frequency driver.
Complementing the excellent cabinet, controls, and internals is a range of protections that ensure longevity. Peak and RMS limiting, along with power supply and amplifier thermal protection.
While I might have once had my doubts, Mackie has proven in recent years that they can take feedback on board and now deliver a level of quality that outclasses much of the competition at this price point.
Both the Mackie Thump 212XT and 215XT share the same power configuration. The Class D amplifier offers 1,400 watts of peak power, with 1,200 allocated to the low-frequency woofer and 200 watts for the high-frequency tweeter.
I’ll be the first to admit peak power ratings need to be observed with a grain of salt as they often don’t accurately reflect a unit’s potential output. But with a max SPL of 128dB, this power rating is not an exaggeration.
The Thump 212XT features loud output with good range.
Interestingly, the Thump215XT is only 1dB higher in Max SPL stats, making the Thump212XT even more enticing. If you need loud output, the Thump range delivers that with ease.
But while much of the specs so far align closely, there is a noticeable difference in frequency response between the 12-inch and 15-inch models.
The Thump212XT features a response of 47Hz – 23KHz and -10dB. This is a full 7Hz less than the larger 215XT. It makes a noticeable difference to bass performance, but if you are running this with a matching subwoofer, it’s neither here nor there, but as a solo speaker, the 215XT is more satisfying.
Dispersion is in line with what most loudspeakers offer. With 90 degrees horizontal coverage and 60 degrees vertically, it can cover a decent area, and a pair of these can comfortably cover a moderately sized dancefloor.
The Thump series offers a solid selection of tuning options. It might not be as deep and comprehensive as more expensive loudspeakers, but at this price point, it’s a robust range of choices that makes the Thump 212XT a highly versatile unit.
The primary tuning options give you access to various Voicing Modes that instantly alter the output for different situations.
Music is the default setting and the most balanced. Live brings up the upper mid-range and higher frequencies, while Club emphasizes lows and highs. Finally, the monitor mode optimizes performance when the loudspeaker is on its side.
Easy to use Voicing Modes for different applications.
These modes are easy to use and also accessible via the App. Still, I found the App a little unpredictable and unstable. It could have been a case of interference, but I’ve seen multiple reports of people having issues with App connectivity.
Beyond the voicing modes, there is also an Outdoor Mode option which boosts output at the cost of some refinement. A perfect choice for a rooftop or poolside party.
Finally, Music Ducking is also available and works reasonably. However, I would still suggest manually adjusting the Gain on Channel 1 and 2.
As mentioned, you can access all these features remotely via the Thump Connect 2 App. But brace yourself for some occasional frustration. Connecting to the speaker is a hit-and-miss affair, and any changes you make will not save once the loudspeaker powers down.
For some people, this might be a greater dealbreaker than for others. For what it’s worth, I’m glad it’s an option, and improvements to the App are always possible with future updates. While not perfect, it is a step in the right direction. And for entry-level gear, it’s hard to complain.
The Mackie Thump212XT offers a sleek and professional appearance that makes it look more expensive than it is. The hard-angled edges and attractive grille pattern set it apart from other entry-level options.
The molded cabinet ensures easy setup in the monitor position, and the integrated handles are solid and robust. The finish is also excellent and doesn’t look cheap despite the full plastic body.
Attractive and modern styling.
In regards to design, the 212XT differs from the base 212 model by offering M10 fly points which further expands the potential setup potential for this budget-focused loudspeaker.
If you like your gear to have some character while retaining a professional appearance, the Thump 212XT is an excellent choice.
The Mackie Thump212XT is a relatively compact option for a 12-inch loudspeaker. You can comfortably fit a pair of these in a car along with a subwoofer for easy transportation to and from a gig.
Lightweight 12-inch loudspeaker.
Furthering the portable nature of this loudspeaker is the modest weight rating. At 27.6 lbs. (12.5 kg), it is lightweight and easy to move around and lift for pole mounting.
The selection of connection options for the Mackie Thump 212XT is also impressive. You’ll have access to two channels, with both featuring a combo jack for XLR/TRS connections.
The second channel also features a 1/8 inch input, further expanding flexibility to connect external players, phones, and tablets. An XLR Thru connection completes the option and opens up the potential to daisy-chain multiple speakers.
Comprehensive connection options, including Bluetooth.
The other primary connectivity option is Bluetooth, a substantial upgrade over the base 212 model. This allows for music streaming and opens up the wireless control via the App.
The Thump XT series also allows for linking multiple Thumps speakers wirelessly. Still, much like the general connectivity of the App, I found it not reliable enough for me to forgo sticking to tried and true cabled connections.
So while it might not have nailed every element perfectly, the addition of Bluetooth is still solid enough for streaming to make the slightly higher investment worthwhile.
Throughout this review, you’ll likely have noticed that I’ve mentioned price point multiple times. And it’s for good reason. The Mackie Thump212XT offers exceptional value for money and has reshaped my expectations of entry-level gear.
You do not often get a solid loudspeaker with a loud and capable sound profile that also offers wireless connectivity at such a low price. This is ideal for people setting up a rig on a budget.
Don’t get me wrong, if you have more to spend, better options exist. But the Mackie Thump 212XT is hard to beat at this price point.
The Mackie Thump 212XT is a popular entry-level loudspeaker with ample high-scoring customer reviews. Most point out just how loud this unit gets and the easy-to-understand and use tuning options. But while people do love the build and sound quality, I’m not the only one that has had some issues with the App.
Quick Tips For DJing Pool Parties
Loudspeakers like the Thump 212XT, which features an outdoor mode, are popular for DJs that often play outdoor gigs like pool parties. These parties can be a heap of fun, but there are a few tips I’d like to share if you do ever get the chance to play at one.
Keep the vibe light and summery. Funky tunes and throwback classics are always crowdpleasers. Laidback grooves keep the mood relaxed while allowing for some dancing and fun.
Setup in an area with minimal risk of your gear coming in contact with water. Also, watch for people who have exited the pool and are making a beeline to your booth to make a request!
DJing pool parties can be super fun but also stressful.
Pool parties are more socially orientated as opposed to a dancing-focused club gig. Don’t push the volume too hard so people can still comfortably talk. But if you feel things are getting wilder, feel free to amp up the energy.
Try to add shade to your area to prevent your gear from overheating. Hours out in the sun can severely damage your gear, and it doesn’t help that most DJ gear and speakers are black, which further traps heat.
Above all else, my greatest tip is to have fun. Don’t let nerves get the better of you. Most people will focus more on the pool and chatting than hyper-analyzing your mixing skills. Let those summer vibes roll over you, and enjoy yourself.
The last few years have brought with them several aggressively priced loudspeakers with excellent features. While the Thump 212XT is among the best, there are some alternatives worth exploring.
Mackie Thump215XT Review
I’ll start with the bigger sibling in the ThumpXT series. The 15-inch option delivers better bass response while retaining a low price point and manageable weight rating.
- Greater low-frequency extension delivers deeper and more satisfying bass.
- Lightweight and easy to transport for a 15-inch loudspeaker.
- Suffers from the same connectivity issues as the Thump 212XT.
PreSonus AIR12 Review
If maximum volume potential is not high on your list of priorities, the refined output of the PreSonus AIR12 makes it a loudspeaker you should seriously consider.
- Warm and inviting sound profile that is more balanced than the Thump212XT.
- Attractive design and high build quality from a reputable manufacturer.
- No Bluetooth connectivity, and it is more expensive than the Thump 212XT.
EV ELX200-10P Review
If your primary focus is on portability and you don’t mind spending more, the ELX200-10P is an excellent choice. This compact 10-inch speaker is ideal for intimate gigs.
- Excellent sound quality that is loud and clear.
- Comprehensive tuning controls for precise control.
- Substantially more expensive than the Thump 212XT.
Should You Buy?
Mackie continues to impress with each new iteration of its loudspeaker lineup. The updated ThumpXT series delivers notable improvements while retaining a budget-friendly price tag.
The sound profile is dynamic and loud, albeit not as refined as some people might like. The tuning options are easy to use and make a noticeable impact. With dependable build quality and modern bells and whistles, there is a lot to like.
While I wish the App functionality was a bit more robust, the Thump 212XT is still one of the most impressive entry-level 12-inch loudspeakers on the market. It is an ideal choice for DJs and performers who don’t want to spend too much on their setup.