Review & Video: IK Multimedia iLoud Micro Monitors

Review Summary:

They're tiny and pretty nondescript to look at, but once you realise they are crafted as serious studio monitors but with lots of features to make using them in a small space fun and productive, they grow on you. Indeed, they're the smallest monitors we now recommend to DJ/producers.

Micro Monitors
  • Micro Monitors
  • Rating: 4.5
  • From: IK Multimedia
  • Price: $299
  • Reviewed by:
  • On April 24, 2017
  • Last modified:April 21, 2017
Micro Monitors

For tiny production studios, DJing in a confined space, or anywhere else where there just isn't room for bigger speakers but you need professional sound, iLoud has come out with the Micro Monitors. We review them today...

Full Micro Monitors review

IK Multimedia is a company that has always specialised in small but high quality devices for the travelling or at least space-conscious electronic musician, and the iLoud Micro Monitors certainly fit that remit. However, they're sold as serious micro studio monitors, with a price tag to match. Do they hold up to scrutiny? Let's find out...

First impressions and setting up

They're even smaller than you might think, and they're pretty nondescript: Plastic moulded boxes, albeit with a reasonably attractive painted finish. They have a 3" woofer and 0.75" tweeter, and a small bass reflex port on the front.

There's subtle black-on-black "iLoud " branding on the sides, and they have small rubber feet at the front that can be folded in or out to angle the speakers up towards you at your production desk or have them more horizontal. As they are a master/slave configuration, all the controls are on the back of the master speaker, with simply a socket for the lead from the master on the back of the slave.

While under the cover they are bi-amped and pack 50W of output, to all intents and purposes they appear just like multimedia speakers, an impression reinforced when you see that they have Bluetooth pairing too. As well as the wireless Bluetooth input there are a pair of unbalanced inputs (TRS minijack and twin RCAs).

iLoud

Here's a look at the front and rear, showing the various functions and what they do.

The volume control is accompanied by three rocker switches: One for "flat/desk" (designed to try and compensate for you having them on a desk, close to a wall), and roll-offs for high and low frequencies of -3dB. Input is 9V DC (a rather bulky transformer is included in the box), and also in the box, you get a useful twin RCA to minijack lead, and a rather thick lead to connect the two speakers together.

In use

I really wanted to like these, as IK Multimedia has made some cool products that fit the Digital DJ Tips ethos of "small is better" - and luckily, I did. They couldn't really be far more removed audio-wise from typical multimedia speakers if they tried.

They packed clarity, were engaging and bright, and went pretty loud - although they do distort at highest volume, despite having a DSP (digital signal processor) built in to try and sort that stuff out. Nonetheless, they had a full bass, clear mids and basically, are up to the job of production in tiny spaces.

The clutter of leads and the big transformer mean, I feel, I'd rather be setting these up in as small space and leaving them there rather than carrying them around everywhere with me, but that said, you can buy a carry bag for them at around $40 if you want something portable. They are certainly small enough for that, all said.

iLoud

Studio small? Working in a cupboard? Banished to the box bedroom? iLoud has your back - these are serious monitors in a tiny package.

Conclusion

These are aimed at a very specific use case - the person DJ practising or producing in a tiny space. Think box bedroom, converted under-the-stairs cupboard - that type of thing. And they deliver what's needed in such situations in spades.

They have the basics (good sound quality, basically), and throw in lots of quirky extras to be useful in such situations: EQ and positional roll-offs, Bluetooth connectivity, lots of inputs, stands to alter the positioning...

I'd have like to have seen the stands angle the speakers up a bit more, and to me the speaker connecting lead appears curiously thick, but they're small things; overall, they're filling a gap in the market well. If cheaper multimedia speakers don't cut it for you DJing or producing in a small space (and they shouldn't), and even something like the smallest KRK Rokits are too big/impractical for your set-up, look at/listen to the iLouds. I think you'll like them.

Review Summary:

They're tiny and pretty nondescript to look at, but once you realise they are crafted as serious studio monitors but with lots of features to make using them in a small space fun and productive, they grow on you. Indeed, they're the smallest monitors we now recommend to DJ/producers.

Micro Monitors

  • Micro Monitors
  • Rating: 4.5
  • From: IK Multimedia
  • Price: $299
  • Reviewed by:
  • On April 24, 2017
  • Last modified:April 21, 2017

Video talkthrough

Are you in the market for a pair of tiny but serious speakers? Do you like the look of these? Let us know your thoughts in the comments...

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Comments

  1. Lorie Johnson says:

    I purchased these speakers because I also like what IK puts out for folks with 'backpack' setups and small spaces. Until I get my library room turned around, I can't really use larger monitors, so these fit that 'just right' spot. Right now, I have them parked on a TV tray with my laptop. I'm currently taking the Digital Music Production Course and getting into Ableton Live, and the speakers really proved their worth.

    Things I had to struggle to hear properly in some of the track demos (like turning down the levels on some of the loops) really jumped out at me when I played my Ableton project through these speakers. The clarity is amazing. They also nicely staged certain percussive elements in the mix, giving it real life. If something isn't right in a mix, these speakers will definitely highlight it.

    For someone who is just starting out, has limited space or budget, or wants a portable set of speakers, I definitely recommend these. They fit nicely in my backpack with the laptop, but I may splash out of their own little carry case. Phil complained about the big transformer- my complaint about that is that it's a bit on the short side, length wise, compared to the transformer for my laptop This might create issues when trying to power them when the outlet is not nearby.

    Get some. You won't regret it.

  2. I moved my home studio from a bedroom to the living room to give some space for my baby which is coming in July.
    Unfortunately I was also "forced" to reduce the studio space too. Therefore I sold my KRK Rokit, replace the S8 by a push2 and I bought the ILoud. Honnestly, I'm really happy with them!
    All fit in less than 90 centimeter space, including a laptop, a push2, scarlett 2i2 headphones and the ILoud. Soon a reloop mixtour will complete this small setup.
    The ILoud is good to produce and good for DJing. Even bass frequencies sounds very good!
    I only use the bluetooth function to listen music, not for Djing/producing due to a small latency even if that can be corrected with Ableton.
    Keep Flex
    Bleks

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