• Price: £340 each
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IK Multimedia iLoud MTM Monitor Speaker Review

Phil Morse
Last updated 29 June, 2020

2376

The Lowdown

IK Multimedia’s iLoud MTM are a very compact monitor solution designed for producers working in small spaces who nonetheless need to rely on their monitors to give them accurate sound. With a calibration system provided in the box and lots of flexibility, they are a powerful and great sounding option if size is important to you.

First Impressions / Setting up

You can buy these singly, although they’re also now sold in a pair, which is how I guess most people will buy them, and what we were supplied for this IK Multimedia iLoud MTM review.

They’re sold as being able to rival 5″ and 6″ monitor speakers, and so the size is the first thing you notice – they’re pretty small at 264x160x130mm and 2,5kg, with two 3″ speakers and a single tiny tweeter between those speakers, which have attractive shaped black metal grilles. The speakers are tall, slim and rounded, and finished in the kind of plastic that feels metallic due to its paint job. There’s a white LED on the front to tell you they’re switched on.

They feel substantial enough, and come with useful stands to tilt them on a desktop to the right angle for your ears – the first of many useful touches. However, they can also be mounted on microphone poles via screw mounts, of which there are two for different angles, or they can be placed horizontally with the enclosed rubber stands.

iLoud MTM
The back of the speaker shows you the wider-than-usual range of options for fine-tuning the sound from them.

The back of the speaker shows you the wider-than-usual range of options for fine-tuning the sound from the speakers. You can tweak low and high frequencies and can choose between -3dB, flat, or +2dB. There is also a “low frequency extension” button that apparently can give you extended lows at 40, 50 or 60Hz.

There’s also a sensitivity adjuster, which is basically input gain, and there’s also a volume control knob, although this doesn’t reduce the volume to zero, just a range between quieter and louder.

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The single input per speaker (they are independently amplified, of course, to 100W RMS) is an omni socket that can take 1/4″ TRS or XLR (no RCA option), and there is a push-button on/off switch on the rear too, alongside the AC power socket, a standard IEC, with the power transformer built in to the speaker. For me this is a good thing for as with smaller speakers there is always that temptation among manufacturers to put the transformer in a power brick with a flimsy lead and plug/socket.

At the top of the speaker at the rear is a small reflect port for bass.

iLoud MTM
They come supplied with a rubber stand to “mount” them horizontally, too.

So the only other thing I’ve missed out is the calibration system. There’s a setting on the rear that lets you choose between three frequency response settings overall: desk, flat, and calibrate.

When you select “ARC” self calibration, you can plug in a special calibration microphone into an 1/8″ socket on the back, position it in your listening position, and the speakers will calibrate themselves. If you’ve ever used Truplay to calibrate a Sonos system, it’s much the same thing, and helps the DSP to learn the characteristics of your room.

In Use

As these are of course DSP-controlled, IK Multimedia claims to have achieved near-flat frequency response from 40Hz to 24kHz, and the sound definitely has a presence, openness and clarify that defies the size of them. Glorified computer monitors these are not – and nor would you expect that at this price.

We used them in two circumstances. The first was in our reasonably acoustically dead studio, and frankly in a space that size (it is around 3 metres by 4 metres), you wouldn’t want anything bigger. They worked admirably.

The calibration system did indeed fine-tune the sound, but you can always then fine-tune further. For instance, we often use speakers at very low volume because we are filming teaching, and there are live voice mics in the room, and so it was good to be able to boost the HF to +2dB to keep some clarity at that volume.

iLoud MTM flat frequency
iLoud is claiming an impressive flat frequency response from 40Hz upwards to 24kHz, thanks to the design and the built-in DSP – amazing for a speaker this size.

But the other use we put them to was something completely different – as monitor speakers for a DJ livestream, played in the open air.

From a DJ’s perspective, what you’re looking for in a monitoring system is clarity between instruments, and no muddiness, to make getting the EQ right between tracks (especially when mixing) and to help pick out elements for tight beatmixing. You also want to know you can “trust” the bass response you’re hearing, so you can keep your low-end tight and under control in the mix.

In all these areas, they excelled. As anyone who has ever played any kind of live DJ set will know, you really need to be playing through speakers that can cope with the dynamic environment of a dancefloor, where volumes only ever rise, and I’d never recommend anyone to use monitor speakers like this in those circumstances – they’re too small, they’re not designed for it, and they may well blow.

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But the DSP handled the input, the speakers sounded sweet at relatively high volume (after all, a pair is pushing out 200W RMS, which is plenty for a poolside livestream at home), and only with the LF extension set to 40Hz and the LF boosted to +2dB did I get any sign of muddiness and distortion in the by-now ridiculously loud low-end. That is incredible for 3″ drivers, frankly.

Conclusion

There is much to like about the IK Multimedia iLoud MTMs. They’re practical by design, with a multitude of angling and mounting options, and just by virtual of their small size. They’re smart, due to the DSP and the calibration system. And they’re great sounding – way beyond what you’e expect at the size.

There’s really not much like these on the market. They look like a computer speaker, they sound like a lower-end pro monitor, and they have smarts that neither typically have. I guess the Genelec 8010AP is one you may consider alongside them, with its aluminium body, but it’s a different kind of monitor, in a lot of ways more traditional.

In short, if you have a small studio space, but also want to flexibility to take your monitors anywhere with you and still have them sound good, you should look closely at the IK Multimedia iLoud MTMs – we were hugely impressed.

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