I hate purchasing new studio monitors. I find I get plagued with self-doubt while I wait for new monitors to be delivered as I really don't know if what I've chosen will be truly suitable for me until some projects have been blasted through the drivers in my studio.
In March 2017 I was in the market for a small set of studio monitors to be used as a second set of monitors to reference mixes on. Years ago I used to have an NS10 setup as my second set of monitors. Sadly, due to having a small studio I had to sell the NS10s, I couldn't practically set them up in a suitable position when I moved the studio to my smaller home studio.
In 2016 Eli at Logic Pro Expert reviewed the iLoud Micro Monitors praising their sound quality and amazing value of money, so I had to try these for myself. Luckily, I had the chance to sit in front of a set at NAMM 2017. The first thing I had to test was the iLoud Micro Monitors at maximum volume. The name of these monitors suggests that the woofers could kick us in the wedding veg if provoked. I'll tell you now, these monitors do not disappoint in the power department and do truly live up to their bold name of Loud.
Stand Out iLoud Micro Monitor Features
- Two 25W Active Monitors - combined 50W RMS
- Built-in fold out front stands to position monitors upwards.
- Pair via BlueTooth or connect using mini jack
- One single power cable that powers both monitors via an addition single cable that carries power and audio signal from one monitor to the other.
- Each monitor has a microphone stand thread in the base enabling mounting, nice alternative to speaker stands.
I've said it before and I'll say it again; The iLoud Micro Monitors look very much like PC speakers that came bundled with desktop computers in the 1990's - you know the ones... we all owned them, we all hated them, we all binned them but I don't think I'll be tossing these away anytime soon as we've tested the iLouds pretty hard and I can report that these are very durable - I don't expect them to break anytime soon.
Upon taking delivery of the iLoud Micro Monitors my wife Georgie suddenly got very interested in my day, I saw what was happening, I was about to lose my new monitors. As it turns out we both now share these in our working weeks. My wife packs them up two days a week and uses them when she teaches music at local schools and I use them later in the week when I have clients in. Using the iLoud Micro Monitors both in and out of the studio has tested them quite well. They have been unplugged, moved, thrown in the back of the car, used by teenagers, left in the sun and everything still works, even the cables.
As you'll see from this frequency response graph the iLoud Micro Monitors are fairly neutral, but you shouldn't really pay much attention to graphs like these as they don't tell the entire story. Yes, these monitors do sound very neutral with ultra solid lows and clear highs but to get the best-balanced sound from them you will need to get these monitors setup correctly. On the back of the monitors are positioning EQs that can lift the sound ever so slightly but I don't use them, instead, I take my time in positioning the monitors as I've found if they are not well setup they can sound a little boxy to my ears.
Tracking & Mixing
The iLoud Micro Monitors are well suited for both tracking and mixing applications, I've even recorded bass guitar parts with these and they stood up to the task with no problems or crackles. At times I forgot about their small form factor size as these really do sound massive.
These monitors remind me of that scene in Waynes World 2 where Wayne and Garth meet the Radio Present Handsom Dan in person. Handsom Dan, The big sounding voice on the radio - When Wayne and Garth meet him they are surprised to see that the big radio voice comes from a a man with an appearance they didn't expect - That's the iLoud Micro Monitors, Handsom Dan.
- See Also: iLoud Micro Monitors featured in Portable Recording Studio Gear That You Can Buy For Less Than £250
The Elephant In The Room
These are very much a personal monitor solution as I believe the perfect listening sweet spot is quite narrow. Don't expect to get half a band sitting in between these monitors to critically listen to final mixes, they will all hear different things. Personally, I don't mind the narrow sweet spot, as I said at the beginning of the article I was looking for a small set of monitors to be a second reference set for mixing, referencing really is only for the mixer not really the client.
We don't do star rated reviews on Pro Tools Expert but if we did the IK Multimedia iLoud Micro Monitors would get 10 out of 10, two thumbs up and a lolly pop for being good. IK Multimedia sometimes gets a bad rap for their hardware products being too consumer or not "pro" enough, that may be true in some areas of their product range but don't paint the iLoud Micro Monitors with the same brush. The iLouds are a multi purpose, extra portable, affordable studio or road monitor package that delivers exceptional sound quality for the price and size. The iLoud Micro Monitors then, they punch above their weight and if you turn them up full they punch you in the wedding veg as well - We're not worthy!
Visit the IK Multimedia website for more information on iLoud Micro Monitors