What is it?
Many people will be more familiar with IK Multimedia from the Italian company’s software, but it has been making waves in the hardware world too. In recent years it’s added synths, drum machines and audio interfaces to its line-up, along with a couple of sets of interesting monitor speakers. The larger of the two, the IK Multimedia iLoud MTM, are mid-range nearfield monitors with a focus on accurate sound reproduction and neutral tonality, with special tools to help you calibrate them to whatever space they are being used.
In keeping with IK’s push towards providing portable music-making gear, there is also a little brother to the MTMs; the IK Multimedia iLoud Micro Monitor. This package combines two smaller active speakers, each with a 3” woofer and ¾” tweeter, along with a front-facing bass port, isolating base and control over positioning EQ. Connectivity is taken care of via stereo RCA and a single 1/8” TRS stereo input, while there is also Bluetooth on board for streaming audio from a mobile device or laptop.
The MTM iLoud monitors received widespread praise by virtue of the fact they paint a true representation of your mixes, whether they sound good or not. In doing this, you can be sure your final tracks sound good across a range of systems. Yet the smaller size, addition of Bluetooth, and lack of XLR or ¼” TS inputs means the iLoud Micro monitors are perhaps aiming at a different market. Do they retain the pro-grade credentials of their larger siblings? Let’s take a look.
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Performance and verdict
The first thing to note about the IK Multimedia iLoud Micro Monitor set is that they are indeed small. Tiny, in fact. For connectivity, we tried a few different setups; our mixer channel provides a pair of stereo RCA outs, so that was an easy decision, but for our audio interface – which offered XLR or two ¼” TS jack outs, we had to source a different cable. Not a deal-breaker, but worth factoring in if you opt to buy the Micros. For basic content consumption – watching films or box sets, for example – we simply hooked our laptop’s headphone output into the speakers and we were on our way.
The iLoud Micro Monitor set differs from the MTM system in that you’ll need only one power supply to operate both speakers. Perhaps to aid its portability, all inward connections – power and audio – are sent to one speaker, which then daisy-chains sound and power to the other. You can have the speakers located either way around, depending on your studio, and there’s even fold-out ‘feet’ on the bottom which aid with isolation from your desk. Failing that, both have microphone stand connectors on their bottom side so they can be placed off the desk entirely. All very well thought through, and useful.
Once connected, any fears over the sonic potential of the Micro Monitor system were quickly thrown out the window, and then some. The amount of clean headroom on offer here far outstrips anything else in the size and price bracket, which gave us confidence. The stated frequency range is also better than average, heading towards the 55Hz range without too much trouble. Much of the frequency crossover response is powered by internal DSP, which is where IK’s expertise shines through. There is even a selection of switches to the rear of the powered speaker which allow you to adjust various pre-set EQ settings to ensure they suit the space in which they’re located. This is a nice touch which, in conjunction with the front-facing bass port, meant our speakers being situated directly by a wall didn’t colour the low-end as much as you’d expect.
It’s clear, from all these small details, that the IK Multimedia iLoud Micro Monitor speakers have been made by people who understand studios, and music production. From the calibration EQ to the isolation stands; these are all sensible, practical additions that elevate the iLoud Micros above other speakers in their class. For small studios in particular, we think the IK Multimedia iLoud Micro Monitor system excels in every respect. Sure, you can watch Netflix through them, or stream your Spotify playlists over Bluetooth, but those are all ‘nice to have’ features. For their true intended purpose – accurate mixing – they are practically flawless, particularly at this price point.
Produce Like A Pro
Type: Class D Bi-amp system (50W)
Frequency response: 45Hz – 22kHz
Tweeter: ¾” silk dome
Woofer: 3” composite
Connectivity: 2 x RCA, TRS 1/8” stereo input, 4-pin speaker cable (included)
Size: 180mm x 195mm x 90mm