When IK Multimedia released its iLoud Micro Monitors, we were distinctly impressed by their sound and performance relative to their compact size. You can read our review here: https://ask.audio/articles/review-ik-multimedia-iloud-micro.
Now, the company has gone one step further and announced the iLoud® MTM, a compact, no-compromise, reference monitor designed to deliver pristine sound and an unprecedented level of accuracy that redefines nearfield monitoring for the modern, computer-based, professional and home studio. Here's the details.
When IK's earlier monitor system, the iLoud Micro Monitors, launched in 2016, producers and engineers at every level marvelled at the performance coming from such a small setup, so IK challenged its design team to push this concept even further and create a new compact design with a sound quality that would rival monitors several times the price and provide innovative features not found anywhere else.
iLoud MTM offers an ultra-flat frequency response, but more importantly, a truly linear phase response as well - a premiere feature in this price segment available only on a handful of products costing considerably more - to provide natural, true-to-life sound. This is achieved through IK's advanced DSP expertise that also provides for digital crossovers and self-calibration derived from IK's award-winning ARC™ System.
This enables iLoud MTM monitors to deliver unsurpassed accuracy, clarity and transparency, with a generous 100W RMS power and a class-defying 40 Hz to 24 kHz frequency response. In addition, the symmetrical MTM design provides superior imaging and precision, even at close distances, with a perfectly perfect sweet-spot, thanks to the included tilt-able isolation bases. This enables users to create mixes that will translate across multiple playback systems, with no ear fatigue.
Building upon IK's acclaimed iLoud Micro Monitors, this new compact monitor delivers the accuracy and bass response of larger monitors, and superior audio quality when listening at close distances. This makes iLoud MTM the ideal monitor for nearfield work and a workhorse monitor for desktop use in a home or project studio.
The primary role of any studio monitor is to deliver accurate, uncoloured sound for easier mixing decisions that will translate across multiple playback systems. iLoud MTM uses the most advanced DSP techniques to provide total control of the speaker's performance, delivering results simply not obtainable with traditional analogue designs.
Highs are neutral and defined, mids and lows are clear and as balanced as ever. Users can mix for hours with no ear fatigue, and their work will translate better than ever. And of course it's loud, with 100W RMS total power per speaker and 103dB SPL maximum sound pressure, delivering the exceptional volume the iLoud brand is known for.
iLoud MTM uses audiophile-grade, high resolution algorithms and top-of-the line A/D converters to carefully manage cross-overs, filtering, time alignment, equalization, dynamics control and auto-calibration. Totally DSP-controlled and precision time-aligned, iLoud MTM also manages the off-axis response to minimize the effects of room reverberation. The advanced onboard processing is the product of IK's over twenty years of experience in digital signal processing, helping iLoud MTM deliver sound far beyond anything in its size or class.
iLoud Micro Monitor surprised the world with bass performance delivered from a 3" speaker that "defied physics". iLoud MTM offers even more, with bass response down to a surprising 40Hz, ideal for modern music styles.
iLoud MTM also debuts IK's new patent-pending Physical Response Linearization (PRL™) system that uses a precise model of the enclosure's design, construction and materials, combined with electro-mechanical measurements of the real units, to correct the system's performance in real time. The result is a stunningly "firm", balanced and defined low end, to surpass the sound of speakers even twice iLoud MTM's size.
The great majority of conventional studio monitors - even high-end designs - suffer from skewed phase response caused by traditional, phase-shifting crossovers and driver/enclosure phase alterations. The end result is an unfocused stereo image, blurry transients, and overall lack of detail.
iLoud MTM leverages IK's two decades of DSP experience to offer a true phase coherent response across the useful frequency spectrum, for unbelievably realistic, natural sound. Users will hear instruments and dialogue as if they were happening live, discover more detail in their tracks than ever before, and avoid wasting hours trying to EQ away issues that were never there. This linear phase response is rarely found in speakers even several times iLoud MTM's price.
iLoud MTM uses a midrange-tweeter-midrange symmetrical design, with a pair of 3.5" high performance woofers and one 1" high definition tweeter, which provide ultra-precise, defined, point-source sound that simply can't be achieved by traditional 2-way systems at close distances.
The result is a more natural, life-like sound that minimizes the ear fatigue caused by traditional 2- or 3-way designs where different frequencies arrive at the listener's ears at different times, so users can mix longer with less effort.
iLoud MTM's design also offers exceptional sound dispersion, enhancing the transparency and neutrality. The controlled dispersion minimizes the impact of room acoustics, for even truer monitoring. The end result is faster, easier mixing with better results. On top of that, this innovative design keeps the monitor dimensions to a minimum (30 to 50% smaller than comparable monitors), to fit in even the smallest spaces.
Today's studios range from dedicated, acoustically-treated spaces to a spare bedroom. To help optimize the monitoring for any room's particular acoustics, iLoud MTM monitors feature built-in acoustic auto-calibration derived from IK's award winning ARC™ System, with IK's reference ARC™ microphone included, to automatically adjust the frequency response to their positioning. Users simply set up the monitors, place the mic in the preferred listening position, and press a button to instantly provide custom calibration for the specific listening environment. iLoud MTM also offers a low-frequency extension control and low and high-frequency trim controls to adjust the response to suit individual tastes.
iLoud MTM includes a tilting mount that not only helps isolate it, but also adjusts from 0° to 20° for correct positioning in a wide range of setups. That's higher than most other "tilting" monitors that too often can't actually reach the required angle for desktop or other close-listening setups. To cover the full spectrum of installation options, a rubber base for horizontal shelf-placement, and a bottom thread to mount conveniently on mic stands, are also included.
Combined with its symmetrical design and phase-coherent response, iLoud MTM allows for ultra-focused, accurate monitoring anywhere.