IK Multimedia iLoud MTM studio speaker test
The iLoud MTM is the ideal choice for those looking for a compact studio speaker for professional mixing, or for those who have limited space to fit a speaker. With its richly detailed sound, it is also ideal for home studios.
IK Multimedia iLoud MTM features
Type: 2-way/3 speakers with two amplifiers, digitally controlled studio monitor
LF drivers: 2 x 3.5″ polypropylene custom-made midrange drivers
HF driver: 1″ low distortion, rear chamber silk dome tweeter
Acoustic design: DSP tuned bass reflex
Number of amplifiers per speaker: 2
Amplifier type: high efficiency class D
Total power: 100 W RMS
LF power: 70W RMS
HF power: 30W RMS
Crossover type: linear phase variable sequence
Crossover frequency: 3.1 kHz
Frequency crossover: 50 Hz to 24 kHz +/- 2dB (40 Hz -6 dB if mismatched, -3 dB if cal)
Phase response: system remains coherent within +/- 15° between 200 Hz and 20 kHz
Sensitivity at +4dBu: 0dBu signal generates 100 dB SPL at 1 m
Sensitivity at -10dBV: -11dBu signal generates 100 dB SPL @ 1 m
Maximum SPL @ 1 m, playing one speaker on axis: 103 dB from 200 Hz sine wave, 95 dB at 100 Hz sine wave, 93 dB pink noise
Position adjustment: manual switches for LF Extension, LF trim, HF trim, Desk position
LF extension: switch Sets the frequency response to -3dB at 40, 50 or 60 Hz
LF switch: Low shelf, +2dB or -3dB from 100 Hz down
HF switch: high shelf, +2dB or -2dB from 8 kHz upwards
Desktop switch: -4dB at 160 Hz and +1dB at 1.8 kHz
Calibration: fully automatic and built-in digital calibration, microphone included
Measurement microphone: Omnidirectional, Mems-based precision measurement microphone
Full DSP control
Connectors: 1x combined XLR-1/4″ TRS balanced input; 1/8″ TS ARC microphone input, 1 USB type B (service only), AC POWER socket
Power requirements: 90-240 V AC, automatic range, 50 or 60 Hz, 120 W maximum power consumption
The iLoud MTM is a compact active studio monitor. It measures 264x160x130mm and weighs only 2.5 kg. The iLoud MTM features a linearization system that provides real-time performance enhancement for superior sound. The special design ensures optimal, even sound dispersion, a prerequisite for good acoustics. Its compact size means it can fit virtually anywhere. The rubber base allows the speaker to be placed horizontally. The iLoud MTM can be tilted up to 20 degrees when placed on the table.
There are three calibration settings to choose from. IK’s proprietary ARC calibration system compensates for room acoustics using the measurement microphone.
With a total power of 100 W, the maximum sound pressure level is 103 dB. Thanks to the on-board DSP, the speaker sounds natural and realistic. It produces solid bass.
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. Here, the mid-bass drivers are located on either side of the tweeter to provide a similar design and effect.
The woofers are called midrange, so you might think that the bass is not intense enough. In fact, however, they are designed with a bass extension up to 40 Hz and use IK’s Physical Response Linearization (PRL) system to ‘achieve a balanced and distinct bass response’.
IKM boasts that the speakers have a completely flat, neutral response, but in fact the frequency response can be calibrated to suit the room, so this means they provide accurate, flat sound regardless of the room.
These adjustments are very easy to make on MTM studio monitors. Simply connect the supplied ARC reference microphone to the back of the speakers and place it in the desired listening position. Press and hold the button and each speaker will immediately calibrate itself to try to provide a response that compensates for the room acoustics. The process takes less than 30 seconds. Of course, for perfect acoustics, it’s essential to manage the acoustics of the walls in the room, especially in a studio. Special sound absorbing panels and diffusers, specially designed for acoustic purposes, are needed. Only with the right studio acoustics can sound materials be produced that sound ideal in any room.
We tested the speakers in a very small home studio. Fortunately, the acoustics of the studio were ideal, with leather membrane acoustic absorption panels and QRD diffusers on the walls. The compact IK Multimedia monitors sounded subdued compared to the width and depth of the larger, three-way Dynaudio Core 59 monitors, although there was no shortage of punchy bass. We heard extended tones, silky smooth, tight mids and controlled bass. Comparing them to the much cheaper JBLs, the MTMs are much more defined in the midrange.
This small pair of studio monitors is not at all inferior in sound compared to the larger models. Its size makes it easy to fit into even the smallest studios. The sound is absolutely right for studio work, with a sufficiently neutral tone. The soundstage is a little less wide than on the larger monitors, but that’s not a big problem. Bass was controlled. The calibration system can be used to further optimise the sound. All in all, this is a great little speaker that we heartily recommend to everyone.
Written by Róbert Polgár