IK Multimedia iLoud MTM Compact Studio Monitor Speaker 2-Way 100W RMS - Black
About this deal
The speakers look like three-way monitors, but in fact they have a two-way/three-speaker setup, so they include two midrange and one tweeter. This design provides a sound that minimises ear fatigue. Other companies-such as Genelec and Pioneer use coaxial designs, with the tweeter in the centre of the woofer. For the iLoud MTM the mid-bass drivers are located on either side of the tweeter to provide a similar design and effect.
Measurements that you are about to see were performed using the Klippel Near-field Scanner (NFS). This is a robotic measurement system that analyzes the speaker all around and is able (using advanced mathematics and dual scan) to subtract room reflections (so where I measure it doesn't matter). It also measures the speaker at close distance ("near-field") which sharply reduces the impact of room noise. Both of these factors enable testing in ordinary rooms yet results that can be more accurate than an anechoic chamber. In a nutshell, the measurements show the actual sound coming out of the speaker independent of the room. There are three calibration settings to choose from. IK’s proprietary ARC calibration system compensates for room acoustics using the measurement microphone.Though compact and affordable, IK's newest monitors manage to cram in a remarkable amount of tech – and the results speak for themselves." You essentially get two ways to adjust the frequency response of the Precision range to deliver a flat response according to their surroundings. Both of these involve connecting up the X-Monitor software running on your Mac or PC to each speaker via USB. You can choose from a selection of preset frequency curves (see picture above) and the speakers will then raise or lowerparts of the frequency range accordingly. Following on from the popular iLoud Micro Monitor, the iLoud MTM introduces a double woofer system and the ability to tailor the sound to the room.
These Precision 6s really do deliver extra detail over and above our very decent (albeit cheaper) reference monitors. We were impressed not only with the extras we were getting across the frequency range in our mixes but also the tightness – the fast response of the speakers to the transients in the music. It’s often overlooked – your studio monitors’ tweeters need to point at your ears. This is even more critical in modern studios where more and more musicians are using them at very close distances, like on a desktop beside their laptop or computer screen. Given the short distance to such monitors though, it is easy to go over the thresholds listed so use the tilt mechanism built into the base to point the tweeter at you.
iLoud Precision overview
Developed and handmade in Italy, the iLoud Precision series comes in three sizes: 5″, 6.5″, and MTM (midrange-tweeter-midrange), which features two 5″ midrange drivers. For reference, the Micro and standard MTM models feature 3″ and 3.5″ drivers, respectively. iLoud MTM includes a tilting mount that not only helps isolate it, but also angles 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 needed angle for a desktop or other close-listening setup. In the Box
The iLoud MTM sounds and kind of looks like a "multimedia" speaker but it clearly enjoys much better design. Tonality is neutral and sound is wonderful as a result. My only beef with it is that it just doesn't get loud even though its amplification specs are better than most budget monitors. I suspect fair amount of headroom is stolen internally to equalize the speaker and give it good bass. So if you expect to play it loud, these are not for you. And most definitely don't think of using them in far field listening. Though compact and affordable, IK's newest monitors manage to cram in a remarkable amount of tech — and the results speak for themselves.As to the question I raised on the interaction between the iLoud MTM EQ options and the use of ARC, the protocol is that the desk EQ option is unavailable when ARC is operational, however the other EQ options can still be engaged on top of the corrected response. This makes reasonable sense to me. The desk EQ option is effectively an acoustic correction that, if the monitor is desk mounted, ARC should provide, while the LF and HF EQ options are more a matter of personal taste.