Sonarworks Reference 3 Complete w/ XLR Mic

Bundle with Sonarworks Reference 3 Speaker (1 License), Reference 3 Headphone (3 Licenses), and Measurement Microphone - AAX Native, RTAS VST, AU
5/5 2 Write review Item ID: Ref3SteMicBun
Sonarworks Reference 3 Complete w/ XLR Mic image 1
Sonarworks Reference 3 Complete w/ XLR Mic image 1
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Compatible with:


Software Compatibility

Most software is compatible with both Mac and Windows computers, but check to make sure.

If you're using Pro Tools, AAX plug-ins (or RTAS for older versions) are what you need. Most other Mac DAWs support AU plug-ins. VST is compatible with a number of Mac and Windows programs. Be sure you choose plug-ins that work with your DAW!

To learn more about software compatibility, check out our buying guide.

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Sonarworks Reference 3 Complete w/ XLR Mic
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Complete Kit for Monitoring Accuracy

Tuning your monitors with the Sonarworks Reference 3 Speaker plug-in is like hiring a pro acoustician to calibrate your studio. With Reference 3, you take the guesswork out of mixing. Reference 3 utilizes Sonarworks' proprietary Perceived Acoustic Power Frequency Response, an acoustic measurement system that measures sound the way we perceive it, while the company's Automatic Microphone Positioning System makes optimal placement of your measurement mic effortless. Once your system is measured, the Audio Calibration Filter Engine kicks in, augmented by Speaker Range Extension and Acoustic Power Simulation. These are technologies that affect low- and high-frequency speaker response and simulate different speaker models, respectively.

Individually calibrated measurement microphone ensures unquestionable accuracy

The Sonarworks XREF 20 measurement mic included with this bundle has been calibrated against an ANSI-certified reference microphone, so its accuracy is beyond question. This microphone employs a standard XLR connection. The adventurous engineers here at Sweetwater have even used the XREF 20 as a recording mic. Its accuracy lends incredible clarity to acoustic instruments.

Tap into the full potential of your headphones

Accurate headphone monitoring? You may not need to shell out the big bucks for top-of-the-line headphones. Your existing headphones may be capable of absolute accuracy, but physical limitations are keeping them from realizing their potential. The Sonarworks Reference 3 Headphone plug-in measures those limitations and creates a digital profile to correct them. Sonarworks' advanced technology produces impressive results, effortlessly.

Supported Headphones:

  • AKG K141 MKII
  • AKG K240 Studio
  • AKG K271 MKII
  • AKG K701
  • AKG K702
  • AKG K712 Pro
  • AKG K812
  • Audeze LCD-X
  • Audeze LCD-2 non-fazor
  • Audio-Technica ATH-M20x
  • Audio-Technica ATH-M40x
  • Audio-Technica ATH-M50x
  • Audio-Technica ATH-M70x
  • Audio-Technica ATH-R70x
  • Beats Mixr
  • Beats Pro
  • Beats Solo 2
  • Beats Studio 2
  • Beyerdynamic DT770 80 Ohm
  • Beyerdynamic DT770 250 Ohm
  • Beyerdynamic DT880 Pro
  • Beyerdynamic DT990 Pro
  • Beyerdynamic DT1770 250 Ohm
  • Beyerdynamic T1
  • Blue Lola
  • Blue Mo-Fi
  • Focal Spirit Pro
  • KRK KNS8400
  • Oppo PM-3
  • Philips SPH9500
  • Sennheiser HD25-II
  • Sennheiser HD25
  • Sennheiser HD25 Plus
  • Sennheiser HD25 Light
  • Sennheiser HD202
  • Sennheiser HD280 Pro
  • Sennheiser HD380
  • Sennheiser HD598
  • Sennheiser HD600
  • Sennheiser HD650
  • Sennheiser HD700
  • Sennheiser HD800
  • Sennheiser Surrounder
  • Shure SRH840
  • Shure SRH1840
  • Sony MDR7506
  • Sony MDR7520
  • Superlux HD681
  • Yamaha HPH-MT220

Sonarworks Reference 3 w/ XLR Mic Features:

  • Like hiring a pro acoustician to calibrate your studio
  • Individually calibrated measurement microphone ensures unquestionable accuracy
  • Perceived Acoustic Power Frequency Response measures sound the way we perceive it
  • Automatic Microphone Positioning System makes optimal placement of your measurement mic effortless
  • Speaker Range Extension affects low- and high-frequency speaker response
  • Acoustic Power Simulation simulates different speaker models

Additional Media

Studio Microphone Buying Guide
Studio Monitor Buying Guide

Tech Specs

Software Type Monitor calibration software with XREF 20 microphone
Platform Mac, PC
Upgrade/Full Full
Download/Boxed Boxed
Bit Depth 32-bit, 64-bit
Format AAX Native, RTAS, VST, AU
Hardware Requirements - Mac 2GB RAM or more recommended, 1024x768 or higher display
Hardware Requirements - PC 2GB RAM or more recommended, 1024x768 or higher display
OS Requirements - Mac OS X 10.7 or later
OS Requirements - PC Windows 7 or later
Manufacturer Part Number 12-41439

Customer Reviews

Based on 2 reviews
Write your review


I am still struggling with disbelief over how effective this software appears to be in the four hours I've used it so far. I rarely post product recommendations, but for anyone mixing audio out of speakers, I really think this software plugin + mic is a game changer. In 4 hours of experimenting with a mix in my currently very imperfect and completely untreated room, I'd say the quality of the mix has improved by at least 50% or more. Essentially, I've been unable to have almost any level of confidence in my mixing ability until now, despite having a track record of making praised composition, tonal, and other production decisions. I am looking forward to improving in my mixing ability now because I finally feel like becoming a good mixer is possible with this software. I think every studio should own this and employ it. But especially if you are working in an imperfect, non-acoustically designed room, I really think this will be a huge asset to you.

A Great Improvement

To start off with, I've owned the Reference 3 system for a year now. Personally, I believe that monitoring is the most important part of my studio. My current monitoring setup is a UAD Apollo running to a Yamaha sub and Focal CMS50 monitors (on speaker stands). I also use a pair of MixCubes (not used with Sonarworks). My room is a typical, rectangular home studio treated with Primacoustic. Like most all home studios, my treatment helps but does not correct all issues I face. Between my speakers and room, I still suffer from typical 3-5dB boosts and cuts throughout my frequency range. After calibrating several spaces and setups over the year that I've worked in, I have to say that my latest setup yielded the most obvious results with Sonarworks. I can hear more dimension to music, hear problems that were far from obvious before, and trust that the moves I make translate to other systems. The simulation features of this plugin are also great! I find myself using the NS-10 and Small Home Speaker ones often. This doesn't fix everything. This isn't something you use instead of acoustic treatment. This is just a very powerful tool to use alongside a setup that is as good as your knowledge and budget can provide. It takes a little time to get used to the workflow of adding and bypassing the plugin, but it's brought life and clarity that I never knew existed before in my studio.
Music background: Audio Engineer
See also: Condenser Mics, Sonarworks, Sonarworks Condenser Microphones, Sonarworks Earpads, Cables, and Accessories, Sonarworks Monitor Management