Fender is a household name around the world when it comes to guitars and amplifiers so it only makes sense that they’d team up with PreSonus to create an affordable in-ear monitor and amplifier package. The Fender MXA1 Bundle is a combination of the Fender DXA1 IEM and the PreSonus HP2 amplifier designed for live monitoring applications. Although it’s priced just under $200 it looks like it should be much more. My curiosity is definitely peaked and I intend to find out what the MXA1 Bundle is all about.
In The Box
There’s two parts to the Fender MXA1 bundle, the DXA1 in-ear monitor set and the PreSonus HP2 amplifier. Inside this package you’ll find the following:
DXA1 Fender in-ear headphones
MMCX to 1/8″ cable
3-sets of eartips
Presonus HP2 amplifier
Full set of A/C plug adapters
Balanced stereo 1/4″ to 5-pin balanced cable
Microphone stand adapter
The DXA1 and HP2 are designed to work together to create a strong on-stage in-ear monitor setup. Here’s some of the highlighted features of each.
The DXA1 in-ear monitors include 8.5mm titanium micro-drivers and a durable, low-profile slimline housings. According to the specs, the frequency range is 14Hz to 22kHz for “lifelike sound reproduction” and have a minimum impedance of 16 Ohms per side. Each earphone cable connects via MMCX giving you the option to upgrade or replace the cable in the future.
The HP2 by PreSonus is a heavy duty box designed to deliver amplified sound to the DXA1. On the top you have volume and pan knobs as well as a stereo/mono switch. The 1/8″ headphone jack sits just below the power/battery indicator.
On the bottom side of the HP2 you’ll find the 5-pin balanced audio jack, the 9v power adapter jack, and the power button. The bottom is where you’ll find the belt clip and 9v battery cover.
Designed For Live Musicians
The MXA1 is a pro audio package designed to deliver full-bodied sound to musicians or singers on stage without the use of wedge style monitors that can cause feedback. The PreSonus HP2 can plug directly in to a sub-mixing board or snake via the dual 1/4″ balanced plugs. The HP2 can be powered by the (included) power supply or via 9v battery to give you more mobility on stage. The pan knob gives you the freedom to listen in just one ear or only certain parts of the mix and the stereo/mono switch will let you sum your mix into mono if the stereo elements are too distracting.
The DXA1 in-ear monitors have several size tips to get you excellent isolation (up to 18dB of noise reduction).
How Does It Sound?
Setting up the MXA1 combo is quite simple and then you’re ready for live sound. I ran the Presonus amp and DXA1 earphones through some of my typical sound and SPL tests using only high-resolution music files from my Pro-Tools system. The Presonus HP2 amplifier worked beautifully. A slight turn of the volume knob and the “audio juice” starts flowing strong. The belt clip allows you to have access to the amp controls but remain hands-free the rest of the time.
The Fender DXA1 in-ear monitors fit well and the medium eartips created the best noise isolation for me. The over-ear hook design is standard for IEM’s and gives you the best support by keeping the earphones in your ears when you need to move about.
I didn’t check the technical specs before listening to the DXA1 so I was a little surprised to find out they were dynamic drivers rather than balanced armatures. Overall the sound and frequency response was accurate but I did find the output was a little more a rounded analog feel rather than the “crispness” of some high end IEM’s. I’d say the best part of the sound in the Fender is the low frequency response. After sampling many tracks from several different genres I concluded that the bass was punchy and the mids and high frequencies were decent.
The Fender MXA1 in-ear monitor headphone and PreSonus amplifier bundle is a very nice package that could easily cost twice the price. Instead, this bundle by Fender is priced very well at just under $200 making it a great buy for musicians or vocalists looking to buy an affordable yet professional IEM for the stage. It’s a great starter IEM and amplifier from two top brand names you can trust.
Find the best price on the Fender MXA1 IEM and Amp Bundle at these online retailers:
Amazon: Fender MXA1 Bundle with DXA1 Pro In-Ear Monitors & PreSonus HP2 Headphone Amplifier
Level and Pan controls
Sturdy belt clip
5/8” microphone stand mount socket
Stereo 1/8″ headphone connector
Balanced 1/4″ inputs
Custom 8.5mm titanium micro drivers
Durable, low-profile slimline shell
14Hz-22kHz frequency response for lifelike sound reproduction
116dB @1mW sensitivity for distortion-free audio