On the face of it, this popular micro monitor speaker set has a lot going for it, with IK Multimedia claiming that it features the ‘smallest footprint of any reference quality studio monitor system.’ Sounds promising! So, does it deliver a true high-end sound on the road or is it guilty of cutting corners? Let’s take a closer look.
The biggest positive of the iLoud is the fact that they are so compact, measuring just over 7” tall by round 4” wide (and 5” deep). Cramming such a high-end sound into such small boxes has to be applauded. The plastic build is also very worthy of praise – it’s robust, durable and very practical. They feel like they could survive pretty much anything a sweaty studio or club could throw at them.
Aesthetically, there is nothing much to get excited about with these speakers as the design is a little boring, with a simple black (although a white version does exist) plastic casing. Meanwhile, the plain iLoud branding on the side doesn’t really enhance the feeling of quality. These days, anything with ‘i’ before the name looks a little like an Apple copycat.
Still, they come with a few other worthwhile design features, such as the integrated isolation base – which allows you to adjust the angle of inclination to find the sweet spot – and an integrated mic stand thread so you can mount it on a regular mic stand, with no additional accessories.
The iLoud is loaded with a 3/4” silk dome tweeter (neodymium magnet), with a 3” high-rigidity custom composite woofer. In terms of specs, this translates to a hefty power of 50W RMS and a great frequency response of 45Hz to 22kHz.
All the controls are located on the back of the speakers, with a volume rotary knob, Bluetooth pairing button and a selection of EQ controls. One of these allows you to switch between either a free field or desktop setup. As for connections, these are very flexible, featuring both 1/8” stereo mini-jack and RCA inputs, as well as a handy wireless Bluetooth connection.
So far, the iLoud has shown a solid build with plenty of innovative features. How does it sound? Awesome! In fact, it is bang on par with others in the sub-$300 category, which is very commendable for such a small footprint.
The iLoud promised a high-end sound and it delivers, with great definition and sonic accuracy, while the bass response is unbelievable for the size – thanks in part to the high-performance bass-reflex port. Ultimately, it all boils down to a high-end sound at a mid-range price, and makes critical listening on the go a much easier task.
Down to the performance alone, the iLoud would be a very good set of monitoring speakers. However, when you throw in the portability, connectivity and versatility, all for under $300, you realize the true value of these speakers. Perfect for small studio setups or for a producer who is always on the move.