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IK Multimedia iLoud MTM Review (active monitor)

amirm

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#1
This is a review and detailed measurements of the IK Multimedia iLoud MTM Monitor (active speaker). I purchased it when it was on sale for US $299 on Amazon. Normal cost is US $350 (each) with the calibration/EQ microphone.

Despite being quite narrow and rather small, the iLoud MTM has a quality feel and weight to it:

IK Multimedia iLoud MTM Review.jpg


From stand to the speaker enclosure, it looks and feels kind of like Genelec. Of course the configuration of dual mid-woofers and tweeter is unlike Genelec.

Back panel shows a unique feature:

IK Multimedia iLoud MTM Review Back Side Calibration EQ.jpg


There is a mic plug that once utilized with the included microphone, performs some kind of calibration. Sadly there is no software that came with the speaker to see what it is measuring and what it is correcting. They have such software on their site but I don't think you get to use them for free (I recall them costing something like $149).

Here is a close up shot of the controls:

IK Multimedia iLoud MTM Review Back Side Calibration EQ Settings.jpg


There is a bass extension which I left in the default 50 Hz. All other settings were neutral during testing. As you see, I had to turn the gain way down to test the unit. So even though we have balanced input, sensitivity is quite high even in +4 dBu mode.

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.

I performed over 1000 measurement which resulted in error rate of 1 to 2%.

Temperature was 58 degrees F although the speaker was in much warmer environment prior to testing. Measurement location is at sea level so you compute the pressure.

Measurements are compliant with latest speaker research into what can predict the speaker preference and is standardized in CEA/CTA-2034 ANSI specifications. Likewise listening tests are performed per research that shows mono listening is much more revealing of differences between speakers than stereo or multichannel.

All measurements were referenced to tweeter center. I tried to prop the unit up vertically but only succeeded in having it tilt back a couple of degrees.

iLoud MTM Measurements
Acoustic measurements can be grouped in a way that can be perceptually analyzed to determine how good a speaker is and how it can be used in a room. This so called spinorama shows us just about everything we need to know about the speaker with respect to tonality and some flaws: (note: actual SPL = 86 dB)

IK Multimedia iLoud MTM Measurements CEA2034 Spinorama Frequency Response.png


I must stay, I did not expect such a nice frequency response out of this speaker! The word "multimedia" makes me think of mostly junk consumer speakers for computers. The iLoud MTM firmly belongs in "pro" space with this kind of good on-axis response and reasonable directivity. The sharp drop off in bass indicates good use of DSP to flatten bass way better than these two little midwoofers could do by themselves I suspect. Sure, there are some resonances but their overall effect seems mild.

Measuring each radiating surface at close distance shows us potential source of those resonances:

IK Multimedia iLoud MTM Measurements driver response.png


Seems like both the port and woofer (s) have resonances around 2 to 4 kHz causing slight response errors.

Early window response shows more of a mid-range dip so avoid ceiling reflections if you can:

IK Multimedia iLoud MTM Measurements CEA2034 Spinorama Early Window Reflections Frequency Resp...png


Predicted in-room response is for far field listening in a typical room so not as applicable to monitors on a desk:

IK Multimedia iLoud MTM Measurements CEA2034 Spinorama Predicted In-room Frequency Response.png


Still, results are pretty good.

Depressing news was waiting for us though in the form of distortion and SPL testing:

IK Multimedia iLoud MTM Measurements relative distortion.png


86 dBSPL response on the left is fine and shows very low distortion from midrange to upper treble. 96 dBSPL though shows "conduct unbecoming a pro monitor!" :) I could hear alien sounds as I ran the sweeps! Spec oddly says 101 dBSPL and I but not sure how they got that:

IK Multimedia iLoud MTM Measurements distortion.png


There is not a lot of directivity control but given the small woofers, the situation is not too bad:
IK Multimedia iLoud MTM Measurements horizontal beam width.png


IK Multimedia iLoud MTM Measurements horizontal directivity.png


There is more than usual freedom in vertical axis as well:

IK Multimedia iLoud MTM Measurements Vertical directivity.png


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 MTM Speaker Listening Tests
It took all of 5 seconds with the first female track to know that the tonality of this speaker was "right." Sound was neutral yet beautiful. Track after reference track worked just as well regardless of genre. There was decent amount of bass as well.

I wondered what the auto-EQ would do so I plugged in the mic and followed the instructions to start the calibration. Alas, it was a hurried process giving me just 5 seconds to run back from the back of the speaker to my listening chair. Anyway, calibration happened very quickly. The result was disappointing though. Bass was cut way back and treble seemingly increased. The resulting sound was light and bright. I suspect the measurement showed room modes but it was too aggressive in cutting them back seeing how with a small speaker some amount of room reinforcement should be left in there. Or at least a bass boost with a shelving filter. I am just guessing here though as we really need a graph or our own measurements to see what is going on. Better results may be possible if someone less lazy than me spent time on it.

I should note a serious deficiency here: there is just no dynamic range here. Turn up the volume a hair beyond average and the clipping indicator blinks red. Go up a bit more and you are greeted with awful distortion from the little woofers. And that gap is very small. While I can get just about enough volume out of any active speaker, here I could not. I had to run the volume down to avoid clipping. A pair of them may still be satisfying but I only bought one speaker so can't test that hypothesis.

Conclusions
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.

I am going to recommend the IK Multimedia iLoud MTM Monitors. What they do within their capability is excellent. I personally would not buy them because they don't get loud enough but you may have different priorities.

------------
As always, questions, comments, recommendations, etc. are welcome.

Any donations are much appreciated using: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/how-to-support-audio-science-review.8150/
 

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MZKM

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#3
chart 6.png

Bass was cut way back
iLoud states with calibration that bass increases, 40Hz goes from F6 to F3, the latter seemingly the graph above.

As for the upper treble roll-off, Amir measured a bit below the reference axis as he stated:
tried to prop the unit up vertically but only succeeded in having it tilt back a couple of degrees.
Looks about 5° off:
chart 7.png


_______

Normal cost is US $350 (each) with the calibration/EQ microphone.
For respective buyers, they sell a bundle with 1 mic, but you actually save 1¢ buying 2 orders of single units each with a mic.
2x $349.99 vs 1x $699.99
No clue what iLoud is thinking.
 
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amirm

amirm

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Thread Starter #4
Given lack of dynamic range, last thing I would want to ask these speakers to play is lower bass!
 

MZKM

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#6
They have such software on their site but I don't think you get to use them for free (I recall them costing something like $149).
$100, on sale for $80.

Correction done over the average of 7 placements instead of just 1 placement.
Ability to adjust the EQ.
etc.


Terrible name though, as Anthem’s room correction is also called ARC (Anthem Room Correction), which I thought this was using until I saw the site and it’s simply Automatic Room Correction. Not sure if done on purpose to mislead. Their site claimed it used Audyssey XT32 technology up to version 2.5 (it’s now on version 3), so that’s also weird if the purposefully meant it to be confused with Anthem.
 
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617

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#8
The little waveguide around the tweeter appears to be helping the directivity in the MTM configuration. In theory the narrower vertical dispersion should help avoid sound bouncing off your desk.

I am very suspicious of any automated room correction, so I'd skip that feature.

Does distortion seem to go down if the bass trim is adjusted, or is it all through the midrange regardless?
 

leeroy 85032

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#9
This is a review and detailed measurements of the IK Multimedia iLoud MTM Monitor (active speaker). I purchased it when it was on sale for US $299 on Amazon. Normal cost is US $350 (each) with the calibration/EQ microphone.

Despite being quite narrow and rather small, the iLoud MTM has a quality feel and weight to it:

View attachment 98775

From stand to the speaker enclosure, it looks and feels kind of like Genelec. Of course the configuration of dual mid-woofers and tweeter is unlike Genelec.

Back panel shows a unique feature:

View attachment 98777

There is a mic plug that once utilized with the included microphone, performs some kind of calibration. Sadly there is no software that came with the speaker to see what it is measuring and what it is correcting. They have such software on their site but I don't think you get to use them for free (I recall them costing something like $149).

Here is a close up shot of the controls:

View attachment 98779

There is a bass extension which I left in the default 50 Hz. All other settings were neutral during testing. As you see, I had to turn the gain way down to test the unit. So even though we have balanced input, sensitivity is quite high even in +4 dBu mode.

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.

I performed over 1000 measurement which resulted in error rate of 1 to 2%.

Temperature was 58 degrees F although the speaker was in much warmer environment prior to testing. Measurement location is at sea level so you compute the pressure.

Measurements are compliant with latest speaker research into what can predict the speaker preference and is standardized in CEA/CTA-2034 ANSI specifications. Likewise listening tests are performed per research that shows mono listening is much more revealing of differences between speakers than stereo or multichannel.

All measurements were referenced to tweeter center. I tried to prop the unit up vertically but only succeeded in having it tilt back a couple of degrees.

iLoud MTM Measurements
Acoustic measurements can be grouped in a way that can be perceptually analyzed to determine how good a speaker is and how it can be used in a room. This so called spinorama shows us just about everything we need to know about the speaker with respect to tonality and some flaws: (note: actual SPL = 86 dB)

View attachment 98781

I must stay, I did not expect such a nice frequency response out of this speaker! The word "multimedia" makes me think of mostly junk consumer speakers for computers. The iLoud MTM firmly belongs in "pro" space with this kind of good on-axis response and reasonable directivity. The sharp drop off in bass indicates good use of DSP to flatten bass way better than these two little midwoofers could do by themselves I suspect. Sure, there are some resonances but their overall effect seems mild.

Measuring each radiating surface at close distance shows us potential source of those resonances:

View attachment 98783

Seems like both the port and woofer (s) have resonances around 2 to 4 kHz causing slight response errors.

Early window response shows more of a mid-range dip so avoid ceiling reflections if you can:

View attachment 98784

Predicted in-room response is for far field listening in a typical room so not as applicable to monitors on a desk:

View attachment 98786

Still, results are pretty good.

Depressing news was waiting for us though in the form of distortion and SPL testing:

View attachment 98787

86 dBSPL response on the left is fine and shows very low distortion from midrange to upper treble. 96 dBSPL though shows "conduct unbecoming a pro monitor!" :) I could hear alien sounds as I ran the sweeps! Spec oddly says 101 dBSPL and I but not sure how they got that:

View attachment 98789

There is not a lot of directivity control but given the small woofers, the situation is not too bad:
View attachment 98790

View attachment 98791

There is more than usual freedom in vertical axis as well:

View attachment 98792

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 MTM Speaker Listening Tests
It took all of 5 seconds with the first female track to know that the tonality of this speaker was "right." Sound was neutral yet beautiful. Track after reference track worked just as well regardless of genre. There was decent amount of bass as well.

I wondered what the auto-EQ would do so I plugged in the mic and followed the instructions to start the calibration. Alas, it was a hurried process giving me just 5 seconds to run back from the back of the speaker to my listening chair. Anyway, calibration happened very quickly. The result was disappointing though. Bass was cut way back and treble seemingly increased. The resulting sound was light and bright. I suspect the measurement showed room modes but it was too aggressive in cutting them back seeing how with a small speaker some amount of room reinforcement should be left in there. Or at least a bass boost with a shelving filter. I am just guessing here though as we really need a graph or our own measurements to see what is going on. Better results may be possible if someone less lazy than me spent time on it.

I should note a serious deficiency here: there is just no dynamic range here. Turn up the volume a hair beyond average and the clipping indicator blinks red. Go up a bit more and you are greeted with awful distortion from the little woofers. And that gap is very small. While I can get just about enough volume out of any active speaker, here I could not. I had to run the volume down to avoid clipping. A pair of them may still be satisfying but I only bought one speaker so can't test that hypothesis.

Conclusions
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.

I am going to recommend the IK Multimedia iLoud MTM Monitors. What they do within their capability is excellent. I personally would not buy them because they don't get loud enough but you may have different priorities.

------------
As always, questions, comments, recommendations, etc. are welcome.

Any donations are much appreciated using: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/how-to-support-audio-science-review.8150/
sounds to me like your initial room adjust efforts are very similar to what i experience often with yamaha avr correction.. just a passing thought...
 
OP
amirm

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Thread Starter #10
Does distortion seem to go down if the bass trim is adjusted, or is it all through the midrange regardless?
Subjectively it even clipped with vocals, string guitars, etc. So it is not just deep bass.
 

DanTheMan

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#11
This is about what I figured these would do. IK Media doesn’t have the best “pro” rep, but it only comes from their pretty packaging and iPad/Phone/Pod compatibility And marketing. Their midi devices are nice for the money (keyboards particularly, and doubly so for iPhone and iPad Pro) and their iPad/Phone apps, SampleTank and Hammond Organ, have got to be the best for live shows in that platform And certainly competent for recording. They are for real even if they lack street cred. They are the Tom Brady of the pro audio world.
 

Francis Vaughan

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#12
I am going to recommend the IK Multimedia iLoud MTM Monitors. What they do within their capability is excellent. I personally would not buy them because they don't get loud enough but you may have different priorities.
Some curious irony in the name. "i-not-very-loud" perhaps.

One suspects the amplification is on the edge of usefulness. Teardown?
 

spacevector

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#13
@amirm, did you get the wide bandwidth frequency response to see where the internal sampling is at?

Also, the distortion drops at 6.5kHz - is this due to 20kHz bandwidth limitation for this calculation?
 

Kachda

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#14
Interesting. I have the iloud micro monitor, and at reasonable listening levels (around 80-85db at my desk) it never clips.

similar to amir though, i have to keep the gain very low even though i use a apple usb c dongle as the dac which i believe only outputs 1v.
 

Maiky76

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#15
Hi,


The raw data with corrected ER and PIR:
Score no EQ:
With Sub:
Spinorama with no EQ:
  • Not as Flat as i would expect, maybe because the multimedia usage?
  • Still pretty good
  • As expected the power handling is not great but given the size...
iLoud MTM No EQ Spinorama.png

Directivity:
Better stay at tweeter height (MTM configuration...)
The wave guide seems to be not that efficient on the Vertical plan and/or the XO not optimized?
Pretty good on the horizontal plan
Given the very near field intended usage just ON should be considered?
iLoud MTM 2D surface Directivity Contour Only Data.png

iLoud MTM LW Better data.png

EQ design:
I have generated two EQs. The APO config files are attached.
  • The first one, labelled, LW is targeted at making the LW flat
  • The second, labelled Score, starts with the first one and adds the score as an optimization variable.
  • The EQs are designed in the context of regular stereo use i.e. domestic environment, no warranty is provided for a near field use in a studio environment although the LW might be better suited for this purpose.
  • A few sharp adjustments that would need careful listening to validate.
  • Added a High Pass filter as the THD seems to indicate it could do with it.
  • Preamp gains not to be ignored, clipping may be an issue so the EQ might diminish even further the dynamic range of the speaker.
  • Too bad we don't have a measurement of the built in EQ, would have been interested to see what it does...
Score EQ LW: 5.76
with sub: 7.96
Score EQ Score: 6.27
with sub: 8.04
Code:
iLoud MTM APO EQ LW 96000Hz
December132020-110110

Preamp: -4.7 dB

Filter 1: ON PK Fc 47.3 Hz Gain 0 dB Q 1.09
Filter 2: ON PK Fc 817 Hz Gain 1.5 dB Q 3.35
Filter 3: ON PK Fc 1608 Hz Gain 2.5 dB Q 3.48
Filter 4: ON PK Fc 3248 Hz Gain 1.35 dB Q 3.02
Filter 5: ON PK Fc 8410 Hz Gain 2 dB Q 1.19
Filter 6: ON PK Fc 18250 Hz Gain 4.39 dB Q 2.08

iLoud MTM APO EQ Score 96000Hz
December132020-105239

Preamp: -4.4 dB

Filter 1: ON HPQ Fc 47.3 Hz Gain 0 dB Q 1.09
Filter 2: ON PK Fc 817 Hz Gain 1.63 dB Q 3.75
Filter 3: ON PK Fc 1541 Hz Gain 2.6 dB Q 7.2
Filter 4: ON PK Fc 2500 Hz Gain -2.13 dB Q 10.5
Filter 5: ON PK Fc 2885 Hz Gain 1.44 dB Q 1.33
Filter 6: ON PK Fc 5359 Hz Gain -2.31 dB Q 2
Filter 7: ON PK Fc 6934 Hz Gain 1.67 dB Q 1.19
Filter 8: ON PK Fc 18262 Hz Gain 4.2 dB Q 2.48
iLoud MTM Zoom EQ Design.png

Spinorama EQ LW
iLoud MTM LW EQ Spinorama.png

Spinorama EQ Score
iLoud MTM Score EQ Spinorama.png

Zoom PIR-LW-ON
iLoud MTM Zoom PIR-LW-ON.png

Regression - Tonal
On is flat with the EQ Score
iLoud MTM Regression - Tonal.png

Radar no EQ vs EQ score
Nice improvements
iLoud MTM Radar.png

The rest of the plots is attached.
 

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amirm

amirm

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Thread Starter #18
@amirm, did you get the wide bandwidth frequency response to see where the internal sampling is at?
No, I used an older template and didn't go up high. Didn't see it until I was posting the review.
 

YSC

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#20
8B1AD528-F568-4D48-99EC-6BC7492BE466.png

For spec they did say the 103 db is from 200hz up, and 93 db 100hz up, so it means basically no bass at all in those ranges
 
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