Though compact and affordable, IK's newest monitors manage to cram in a remarkable amount of tech — and the results speak for themselves.
Our esteemed editor reviewed the IK Multimedia iLoud Micro back in SOS November 2016 and, given that monitor's minuscule dimensions, Paul was extremely impressed. So, when the new iLoud MTM was announced I was intrigued. My intrigue, however, was not based entirely on the iLoud track record, it was also spiked by the MTM's D'Appolito configuration (more below) and by the fact that IK's acoustic room correction system (ARC) is integrated into the monitor's electronics. As far as I can recall, the iLoud MTM's built-in room correction is a first for an entry-level nearfield monitor. So there's a fair bit to consider with the iLoud MTM, but to kick things off I'll begin with a description.
Firstly, the iLoud MTM is a decidedly small monitor and is equally suitable for either desktop or more conventional nearfield monitor installation — either side of a DAW screen on wall brackets, for example. In order to help with desk mounting, the monitors are supplied with adjustable stands that attach to the bottom of the enclosures and enable the upward angle to be adjusted from horizontal to +20 degrees. The stand also provides a degree of mechanical decoupling, which will likely be beneficial when desk mounting is employed. In addition to the stand, the iLoud MTM monitors are also supplied with profiled 'rubber' pads that enable them to be used in landscape mode. I suspect, however, that landscape mode will be the exception rather than the norm — particularly as the acoustic dispersion characteristics that result from the monitors' D'Appolito format will likely be most beneficial in portrait mode.
Being so compact, it's perhaps no surprise that the iLoud MTM enclosure is constructed entirely from injection–moulded plastic. It feels reasonably rigid and non-resonant, however, and, in contrast to some of the distressingly heavy monitors that have recently passed though my studio room, the iLoud MTMs are refreshingly light at just 2.5kg each. The plastic enclosures (and, for that matter, the stands) are finished in a dark grey textured paint. Oh for a bit of colour in my monitor-dominated world!
Around the front, the iLoud MTM sports three drivers: twin bass/mid drivers and one tweeter, hidden behind black perforated metal grilles. IK Multimedia give little away on the specifics of the driver technology employed in the MTM monitors other than that the 3.5–inch (90mm in real money) bass/mid drivers incorporate a polypropylene cone and that the 1–inch (25mm) 'silk' dome tweeter has a back chamber. A back chamber on a tweeter is often a good thing as it acts to lower the driver's fundamental resonance, which in turn can make a low crossover frequency more viable. The only further front panel features of note are some modest waveguide–style profiling around the tweeter, and a multi-colour LED that displays in different colours to indicate various operational and setup modes.
The back panel of the iLoud MTM plays host to the expected mains input and signal sockets (analogue only on XLR/balanced jack 'combi' socket), a variable gain control that I left at maximum, and a bunch of push switches used to select EQ and input sensitivity options, and to engage the ARC room–correction mode. A USB port is present for applying firmware updates, and there's also a mini-jack input for the ARC mic and, finally, a reflex port. Flaring on the reflex port exit is not hugely generous, but, again, the compact dimensions of the MTM make that a bit tricky — there simply isn't the requisite back panel real estate. And while I'm on the subject of ports, considering the iLoud MTM's compact dimensions and competitive price, IK Multimedia would have had few options but to go with port loading. Closed–box loading would have required much more heavily engineered bass/mid drivers and significantly more amplifier power. Speaking of amplifier power, the iLoud MTM's bass/mid amp is rated at 70 Watts and its tweeter amp at 30 Watts.
Before I flesh out the iLoud MTM EQ...
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