Friday 17th March 2017,
BBOY TECH REPORT

iLoud Micro Monitors Review

iLoud Micro Monitors Review

IK Multimedia recently released a new addition to their iLoud line, the iLoud Micro Monitors. The iLoud Micro Monitors are a pair of 70W (peak) – 50W RMS, 2-way active, bi-amped studio monitors. They are small enough to fit into my backpack without breaking my back. iLoud Micro Monitors weigh in at just under 4lbs. But best of all they pack a pretty powerful punch in a very compact package. Lets dig in…

So, I recently took the iLoud Micro Monitors out on a trip with me from Los Angeles to New York. I figured I’d map out a portable beat making rig for the trip. My rig consisted of a Macbook Pro, Ableton Push 2 and the iLoud Micro Monitors. I know most would likely say Push 2 is not very portable considering other options on the market. To that I’d say, this is what I had and I like the idea of getting to know Push 2 a bit more without other distractions (side eye to the modular rig and the MPC).

Anyway, the iLoud Micro Monitors worked out pretty well. As you can see below, they have a small foot print that made for easy travel and set up. Although I’d used them at home prior to the trip, I wasn’t necessarily prepared for the huge sound they output in the hotel room. Obviously, they bang but in the hotel room I was suddenly concerned that I might be disturbing the neighbors.

As for the build… They are solid. The hard plastic seems durable. My back pack was not lined with any sort of protective anything and they came out on the other side totally intact (carry on of course).

The iLoud Micro Monitors are bluetooth enabled. Pairing was simple. Press of a button to put them in paring mode. However, the bluetooth technology doesn’t render the iLoud Micro Monitors to exist cable-less. The micro monitors still require the power cable because they are not battery-powered unlike the original iLoud speaker. Also, there is a cable that goes from one speaker top the other that allows the audio signal through to the other speaker. That said, they aren’t meant to be a wireless system but they are bluetooth enabled for ease of use and pairing to other bluetooth enable devices such as iOS devices and computers.

As you can see from the specs below the iLoud Micro Monitors are powerful for such a small package. Frequency response is 55Hz – 20kHz at -3db and 45Hz – 22kHz at -10db. The bass response is superb! Still they don’t distort. The sound remains clear and punchy but not at all muddy (unless of course your mix is that way intentionally).

On the back there are EQ settings that allow you to tune the monitors exactly how you like them. Although they don’t have knobs for the tweaking of the sound, they have switches instead. The acoustic settings are high shelf (0dB or -3dB from 4kHz up); low shelf (0dB or -3dB from 250Hz down); desktop (+3.5dB between 1kHz and 10kHz and -1dB below 400Hz). Also, on the back are the input connectors – 2 x RCA input (cable included); TRS 1/8″ stereo input; 4-pin speaker connector (cable included).

There is also a multi-colored LED on the front that gives some visual feedback about the levels. It turns red when peaking. Otherwise, it’s white.

I dig the little special features like the kick stands and mic stand mounts on both speakers too. The kick stand folds out to allow the iLoud Micro Monitors to sit at a slight angle. When folded down the kick stands allows the iLoud Micro Monitors to sit flat.

iLoud Micro Monitor Specifications

  • Type: 2-way active, bi-amped studio monitor
  • Frequency response (-3dB): 55Hz – 20kHz
  • Frequency response (-10dB): 45Hz – 22kHz
  • Crossover frequency: 3kHz
  • Tweeter: 3/4″ silk dome, neodymium magnet
  • Woofer: 3″ high-rigidity custom composite material
  • Maximum SPL @ 50cm (with two speakers playing, averaged sinewave from 100 Hz to 10 kHz): 107dB
  • Number of amplifiers: 4
  • Amplifiers type: High Efficiency Class-D
  • Total output power (both speakers): 70W (peak) – 50W RMS
  • Low frequency output power (single speaker): 18W RMS
  • High frequency output power (single speaker): 7W RMS
  • Acoustic settings: high shelf (0dB or -3dB from 4kHz up); low shelf (0dB or -3dB from 250Hz down); desktop (+3.5dB between 1kHz and 10kHz and -1dB below 400Hz)
  • System total latency (analog input): 1.02 ms
  • System total latency (Bluetooth input): 155 ms (depends on host implementation, tested on iPhone 6S / iOS 10.0.1)
  • High performance Bass-Reflex port
  • Totally DSP controlled
  • Connectors: 2 x RCA input (cable included); TRS 1/8″ stereo input; 4-pin speaker connector (cable included)
  • Bluetooth® compatible with A2DP protocol
  • Size: 180mm/7.09″ x 135mm/5.31″ x 90mm/3.54″
  • Weight: 920g/32.45oz (left speaker), 800g/28.22oz (right speaker), 1,720g/60.67oz (left + right speaker)

bboy_review_scale_4_5If I could change or add anything to the iLoud Micro Monitors, I’d add a headphone out. Seems like it would come in handy to have an alt output for headphones. Also, if technology would allow it. It would be dope to have this pair totally wireless. I know that the price would probably sky-rocket with the addition batteries and additional bluetooth tech but still, it would be dope.

When all is said and done the iLoud Micro Monitors are solid. They travel well. The specs are more than I would have imagined for such a small package. But the proof is in the pudding and practical use. That said, they are a worthy set of travel / small set up monitors. I’d even go as far as to say that I’ll definitely have these set up with my main monitors as an alternative reference set. All in all they sound incredible good. If you need a set of small monitors go get these no matter the application. At $299, I find them to be a good buy. Check ’em out.

 

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About The Author

The BBoy Tech (Corry Banks) is a writer, emcee, producer, hip hop artist (google Phashara) and IT Pro. Hip-Hop culture, beat making, gear and technology have always been his passions. In these pages, Banks explores and reviews all things beat making & hip-hop related in a techy sort of geeky but bboy cool way.

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