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IK Multimedia announces iLoud Micro Monitor - the smallest studio reference monitor Studio Monitors
Old 17th April 2017
  #151
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chris661 View Post
The port is too small to stay noise-free (let alone linear) at fairly low listening levels. That's a serious design flaw IMO. 80dB peaks per speaker would already be having problems.
Using passive radiators (or a bigger port, though fitting it in the cabinet would be difficult) would've prevented this before it ever became an issue, which is why I think the design team made a mistake here.

Chris

So, perhaps any difference between your and my opinion is semantic. What you call a design flaw, I would call a design trade-off (or at least be open to that belief, pending more info).

Specifically, as you noted earlier in the thread, blocking the ports (or creating a cabinet with no ports) would reduce the lower-end SPL.

Could you tell us more about your design software? In particular, can you model the same speaker as before, but with no ports? What does your simulation show the reduction in low-end SPL would be with no (or blocked) ports?

(If the reduction in SPL is significant, I would say that the narrow-frequency port noise has to be weighed against a reduction in lower frequencies (above 60 Hz))

Also, why would it matter where you place the port block, i.e. near the beginning or the end of the port tube?

Let me end by admitting that I am no speaker designer, so I ask these questions sincerely, hoping to learn something.
Old 17th April 2017
  #152
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Be warned - amateur home recordist here.

I'm considering picking these up at a local music shop after work on Tuesday. Hoping you guys will verify/tear down my eval of these and help me choose. They'll be replacing my M-Audio BX8a's and I've no idea how they will compare. The BX8a's have served me well for nearly ten years now, albeit with major low-end issues (room related too, of course) but a new apartment forces me to think differently. Whatever my new main monitors will be, they'll have to serve as main speakers for entertainment in general, probably standing behind the TV, and be moved to a desk center room whenever I make music.

Here's what I'm thinking after a few days of research: The iLoud Micro's provide the best bang for your buck if size & cash is a very real issue. The main selling point is portability, and a lot of pro's appear to get them because of this, but amateurs with small rooms / untreated rooms could use these as their main monitors as well - so long as they're set up properly. Whilst a sub would be preferable, these monitors, more so than other similar small solutions (JBLs, Genelecs), are less dependent on it because they're engineered for a better response at low frequencies as well. It is generally advisable to avoid cheap ported monitors due to resonance issues, or be ready to plug them with socks if you do, but in this case the main issue with the ports appears to be a trade-off made to reach the target speaker size which causes some turbulence/rattling when fed a 50Hz sine wave at high volume. There are always trade-offs. As far as I can tell, this issue should not bother an amateur such as myself at all, and even if it did the size & performance in general appear to outweigh the sum total evaluation of the iLouds vs. alternatives. I expect to be able to record and mix on these, after my ears have learned this new room and my second ever monitor set. Room size is 3.6m/12ft x 4m/13ft.

How am I doing? Am I completely off the mark here? Do you think I'll miss my BX8a's?

Cheers,
Old 17th April 2017
  #153
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edva's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by invoid View Post
Be warned - amateur home recordist here.

I'm considering picking these up at a local music shop after work on Tuesday. Hoping you guys will verify/tear down my eval of these and help me choose. They'll be replacing my M-Audio BX8a's and I've no idea how they will compare. The BX8a's have served me well for nearly ten years now, albeit with major low-end issues (room related too, of course) but a new apartment forces me to think differently. Whatever my new main monitors will be, they'll have to serve as main speakers for entertainment in general, probably standing behind the TV, and be moved to a desk center room whenever I make music.

Here's what I'm thinking after a few days of research: The iLoud Micro's provide the best bang for your buck if size & cash is a very real issue. The main selling point is portability, and a lot of pro's appear to get them because of this, but amateurs with small rooms / untreated rooms could use these as their main monitors as well - so long as they're set up properly. Whilst a sub would be preferable, these monitors, more so than other similar small solutions (JBLs, Genelecs), are less dependent on it because they're engineered for a better response at low frequencies as well. It is generally advisable to avoid cheap ported monitors due to resonance issues, or be ready to plug them with socks if you do, but in this case the main issue with the ports appears to be a trade-off made to reach the target speaker size which causes some turbulence/rattling when fed a 50Hz sine wave at high volume. There are always trade-offs. As far as I can tell, this issue should not bother an amateur such as myself at all, and even if it did the size & performance in general appear to outweigh the sum total evaluation of the iLouds vs. alternatives. I expect to be able to record and mix on these, after my ears have learned this new room and my second ever monitor set. Room size is 3.6m/12ft x 4m/13ft.

How am I doing? Am I completely off the mark here? Do you think I'll miss my BX8a's?

Cheers,
The only real issue I think you may have is using them behind your TV, since they are intended for nearfield use, and, as is generally the case with many nearfields, the high frequency projection/balance will fall off dramatically at any significant distance, i.e. they will sound very dark from far away. Up close however I find them to be very well balanced and accurate, at least down to their stated low freq roll off point, and certainly no ear fatigue. I bought them fir portability, but they are flat enough to mix on IMHO. I've never heard the BX8's so I don't know if you will miss them or not. Good luck.
Old 18th April 2017
  #154
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invoid, it seems like you are moving from an 8" woofer to a 3" woofer, and a speaker that weighs a small fraction of your M-Audios. I think the iLouds are great for what they are, but you are paying a premium in the micro monitors for small size and weight. If you are primarily only transporting across the room, I would think there are several 5 or 6 inch woofer options that will provide a better value for your situation.

Nothing against the micro monitors, I really like mine! But I will use them primarily for travel, where weight and size are major considerations.
Old 18th April 2017
  #155
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Thanks :-) I tested the speakers today. Awesome little buddies, but I'm going to re-think my strategy in terms of main monitors!

-Cheers
Old 18th April 2017
  #156
Gear Nut
 

...fwiw..."Also, why would it matter where you place the port block, i.e. near the beginning or the end of the port tube?"...a partial technical answer would be that the placement of the "blocking" would alter the internal physical volume of the enclosure depending on the position and that the "blocking" itself would remove the acoustic impedance of the port termination/s (openings) and, therefore, alter the apparent acoustic mass load on the low-end driver thereby affecting its frequency domain response...yada, yada, yada...(Long,et al...if you care to google)...hth.../s~
Old 19th April 2017
  #157
Gear Maniac
Quote:
Originally Posted by klaberte View Post
So, perhaps any difference between your and my opinion is semantic. What you call a design flaw, I would call a design trade-off (or at least be open to that belief, pending more info).
It is semantics, agreed, but 80dB peaks per speaker is a serious limitation IMO.


Quote:
Originally Posted by klaberte View Post
Specifically, as you noted earlier in the thread, blocking the ports (or creating a cabinet with no ports) would reduce the lower-end SPL.

Could you tell us more about your design software? In particular, can you model the same speaker as before, but with no ports? What does your simulation show the reduction in low-end SPL would be with no (or blocked) ports?

(If the reduction in SPL is significant, I would say that the narrow-frequency port noise has to be weighed against a reduction in lower frequencies (above 60 Hz))
The software I'm using is freely available online, and is called Hornresp. I'd recommend trying WinISD Pro to learn the basics, though, and then graduate to Hornresp once you've gone through some tutorials.

Predicting the exact reduction in SPL is tricky. I've attached the model for my test driver in ported and sealed configurations. I EQ'd the ported box flat, and then tried the sealed box.

There are some caveats to this, which I'll try to explain. It's a little difficult, though.

There are two parts to this:
- First up, there's the fact that I'm using a generic 3" driver. I can get away with it because the amount of air a 3" driver can move is the same as any other. A 3" cone moving 3.41mm one-way will produce 80dB at 60Hz, and that's a fact for all 3" cones. They'll all push the same amount of air through the port, too.

- Secondly, there's the EQ. Now, IK are using EQ to correct the frequency response at low-frequencies. I don't believe there's a driver in the world that can give a graph as good as they've got in a box that small, so some manipulation is necessary. When you put a driver in a box, the frequency response curve can be simulated using the driver's Thiele-Small Parameters. Those are operating parameters for the driver, and include things like resonance, mechanical and electrical damping (ie, how well the suspension and voicecoil help to damp the resonance), voicecoil inductance and a whole bunch of other things.
So, you put the driver in a (simulated) box, and a frequency response comes out. Chances are it'll be very similar to what I've attached. Now, if we use EQ to correct that response (ie, apply boost to make it flat instead of dropping down towards the bass), we'll get something with a flat frequency response (generally a good thing for studio monitors). This puts us back in the first situation: while different drivers may require different amounts of EQ, they'll all produce the same SPL for a given amount of cone travel.

So, my attachment at the bottom of this post has the ported box (grey line is raw, red line is EQ'd with the parameters shown) at the top, and the sealed box at the bottom with the same EQ.
Because different drivers will require different amounts of EQ in the same box, I can't promise the EQ curves are exactly what IK are doing. I can say, though, that the driver I chose wasn't random. It has a large magnet and a powerful motor, similar to what I expect IK to be using.

It looks to me like blocking the port will lose in the region of 6dB at 50Hz. If anyone has an SPL meter, I'd be interested to know how accurate that is.

(the following numbers are the cone excursion requirements to produce the SPLs shown in the attachment)
However, there's a bigger problem. Bass reflex ports apply a lot of pressure to the cone around the tuning frequency, which stops the cone moving much. With the ported box, you get around 7mm one-way travel at 70Hz, but the cone excursion drops around 50-60Hz since the port is becoming more active. With the sealed box, the port isn't helping the driver - it's got to do it all on it's own. You now get 10mm travel at 70Hz, and just under 14mm of travel at 50Hz. This is not something a 3" driver can be asked to do.
The biggest problem with sealed boxes is not the change in frequency response, but the loss in headroom.

A 3" cone moving 1.5mm one-way (3mm peak-to-peak, about as much as I'd ask of that driver) can produce 70dB at 50Hz for a sealed box, or 78dB at 80Hz where the port is inactive.

Quote:
Originally Posted by klaberte View Post
Also, why would it matter where you place the port block, i.e. near the beginning or the end of the port tube?
I was talking about shaping the port exit into the cabinet. Adding a roundover helps reduce turbulence, which is what we're hearing here. I believe the turbulence is happening at the port's exit inside the cabinet, so using some modelling clay inside, it might be possible to alleviate the problem by manually adding a roundover and smoothing out sharp edges.

Quote:
Originally Posted by klaberte View Post
Let me end by admitting that I am no speaker designer, so I ask these questions sincerely, hoping to learn something.
I hope you've learned something

Chris
Attached Thumbnails
IK Multimedia announces iLoud Micro Monitor - the smallest studio reference monitor-ik-eq.jpg  
Old 19th April 2017
  #158
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chris661 View Post
I hope you've learned something

Chris
Absolutely. Great post. Thank you. Also thanks to steveGS, who's answer makes a lot of sense.
Old 20th April 2017
  #159
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Anyone have any opinions on these vs the Genelec 8010?

Price aside.
Old 20th April 2017
  #160
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LuXx View Post
Anyone have any opinions on these vs the Genelec 8010?

Price aside.
The general consensus is that Genelec speakers sound too good and you have to learn the way they sound. These are designed with referencing mixing in mind, so mixes should translate a lot better. They aren't designed to sound pretty out of the box...which is a good thing for mixing.
Old 21st April 2017
  #161
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A quick follow up. I am currently listening to "Wait for It" from the Hamilton soundtrack (both the original performance as well as the brilliant cover by Usher). The repeating bass line includes sustained notes B-flat (58 Hz), A-flat (52 Hz), and G-flat (46 Hz). The last note is much softer than the others, due to the pretty steep bass response drop below 48 Hz. I can feel a lot air moving at the port. Not once have I heard the wind turbulence. I'm inclined to keep the ports unplugged. YMMV.
Old 25th May 2017
  #162
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I was looking at buying a pair of these but have since cooled after hearing the problems.

Dave Pensado absolutely loves them, and he's no idiot, so they are obviously very good. He said he knows one top mix engineer who is mixing records on them.

I'm going to wait for a V2 to come out, and hopefully they will have a 1/4" TRS or XLR.
Old 25th May 2017
  #163
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elasticc View Post
I was looking at buying a pair of these but have since cooled after hearing the problems.

Dave Pensado absolutely loves them, and he's no idiot, so they are obviously very good. He said he knows one top mix engineer who is mixing records on them.

I'm going to wait for a V2 to come out, and hopefully they will have a 1/4" TRS or XLR.
I trust Mr. Pensado on most things but this video...ugh....

Old 26th May 2017
  #164
JGM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doom64 View Post
I trust Mr. Pensado on most things but this video...ugh....

So why does this particular video bother you so much?
Old 26th May 2017
  #165
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elasticc's Avatar
 

I don't get it, why does that video bother you?
Old 26th May 2017
  #166
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doom64's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by JGM View Post
So why does this particular video bother you so much?
Quote:
Originally Posted by elasticc View Post
I don't get it, why does that video bother you?
Talk talk talk and blah blah blah in the video. Dave did zero objective testing/measurements. No double blind before/after testing. SNAKE OIL!!!!

Ethan Winer's comment on YouTube said it all:

Quote:
Any change that is audible is measurable. It's trivial to prove that a replacement power cord improves fidelity by measuring the output of the connected audio device with both power cords.

But the people who sell these "placebo based" products never do. Or if they do the data is either fraudulent or incompetent. Shame on Dave for falling for one of the oldest scams in audio.

More information, including a detailed explanation of what affects audio fidelity and what does not, is in two AES workshop videos
By the way, my opinion comes from someone who is a believer in better instrument cables/guitar pedal patch cables. I can hear a real difference. Slight but it is there and worth the expense for me. I also have a few Furman power conditioners...mainly for their EVS surge protection technology...not sure if the line filtering stuff is legit or not but it's in them anyway.

As for special power cables? Facts and audio samples or GTFO, Pensado!
Old 26th May 2017
  #167
JGM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doom64 View Post
Talk talk talk and blah blah blah in the video. Dave did zero objective testing/measurements. No double blind before/after testing. SNAKE OIL!!!!

Ethan Winer's comment on YouTube said it all:



By the way, my opinion comes from someone who is a believer in better instrument cables/guitar pedal patch cables. I can hear a real difference. Slight but it is there and worth the expense for me. I also have a few Furman power conditioners...mainly for their EVS surge protection technology...not sure if the line filtering stuff is legit or not but it's in them anyway.

As for special power cables? Facts and audio samples or GTFO, Pensado!
Got it.
So have you or Ethan Winer done any scientific experimentation using the exact products discussed in the video to disprove the legitimacy of the claims made in the video? Please post the findings that I may be informed. I will also then contact Dave to ask him why he would make a video promoting a product that has been easily disproved and discredited by Ethan Winer and/or a gearslutz member. I'll also send him your findings so that he makes a public retraction.
Thanks.
Old 26th May 2017
  #168
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doom64's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by JGM View Post
Got it.
So have you or Ethan Winer done any scientific experimentation using the exact products discussed in the video to disprove the legitimacy of the claims made in the video? Please post the findings that I may be informed. I will also then contact Dave to ask him why he would make a video promoting a product that has been easily disproved and discredited by Ethan Winer and/or a gearslutz member. I'll also send him your findings so that he makes a public retraction.
Thanks.
Hilarious.
Old 4th June 2017
  #169
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Regarding 50Hz tone/sine wave rattle issues, if I add a subwoofer that has high pass filter, would it solved the problem ?. Since I am using iloud for a digital piano, the rattle really unacceptable, it really pronounce whenever I hit certain note in lower octave, especially with electric piano sounds (wurly, rhodes). Nevertheless I'm inclined to keep this monitor due to their form factor and sound quality ratio
Old 5th June 2017
  #170
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malekmusic's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by elasticc View Post
I'm going to wait for a V2 to come out, and hopefully they will have a 1/4" TRS or XLR.
they are already v2!!!!!
Old 5th June 2017
  #171
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doom64's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by malekmusic View Post
they are already v2!!!!!
Say what?
Old 5th June 2017
  #172
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doom64 View Post
Say what?
IK Multimedia | iLoud - Portable personal studio monitor

thats the first version. the second version sounds much better, but its essentialy still the same speaker with a slightly better amp and improved digital processing going on. also the speakers got separated in the second version.


price is also about the same. the old ones are not available since the new version came. iloud micro is nothing else than iloud mk2.
Old 5th June 2017
  #173
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elasticc's Avatar
 

I've seen some brand new for quite cheap - I wonder if some places are selling off V1's a bit cheaper?
Old 5th June 2017
  #174
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Quote:
Originally Posted by malekmusic View Post
IK Multimedia | iLoud - Portable personal studio monitor

thats the first version. the second version sounds much better, but its essentialy still the same speaker with a slightly better amp and improved digital processing going on. also the speakers got separated in the second version.


price is also about the same. the old ones are not available since the new version came. iloud micro is nothing else than iloud mk2.
They may share the iLoud name but their designs and purposes are quite different. Hence the Micro Monitor distinction.

I still don't know why IK thought it was a good idea to not use balanced TRS quarter inch phone inputs.
Old 5th June 2017
  #175
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edva's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kakaze74 View Post
Regarding 50Hz tone/sine wave rattle issues, if I add a subwoofer that has high pass filter, would it solved the problem ?. Since I am using iloud for a digital piano, the rattle really unacceptable, it really pronounce whenever I hit certain note in lower octave, especially with electric piano sounds (wurly, rhodes). Nevertheless I'm inclined to keep this monitor due to their form factor and sound quality ratio
Yes, I think if you high passed the monitors above the "rattle frequency" then there would be no rattle.
Old 5th June 2017
  #176
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Peter - IK's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
iLoud is a portable Bluetooth speaker and while it is quite a "high fidelity" product compared to consumer speakers (no intentionally overhyped low-end or other methods used in speakers used by consumers to listen to their favorite music), iLoud Micro Monitor is a near-field studio monitor that happens to also have Bluetooth connectivity available for convenience (listening to reference tracks easily, etc) and is a completely different and new design in comparison.
Old 6th June 2017
  #177
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edva View Post
Yes, I think if you high passed the monitors above the "rattle frequency" then there would be no rattle.
That's what I was thinking, it just that I don't have any previous experience and knowledge with studio gear. Thanks
Old 8th June 2017
  #178
Did someone already compared the Ilouds to Eves´SC203 ?
Thanks in advance.
Old 9th June 2017
  #179
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SecretSociety View Post
Did someone already compared the Ilouds to Eves´SC203 ?
Thanks in advance.
Yes. There is a $400 difference.
Old 19th June 2017
  #180
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I returned my Iloud Micro to Amazon a few weeks ago because of this "rattle frequency" issue. Apart from this, I realy liked them and was considering to get another pair, hoping my speakers were just a defective batch, but this thread confirms it is a design flaw so I discard completely then.

It is a serious issue when playing bass synths, pads or any sustained instrument at those frecuencies. It affects also the versatility of the product because the result, when using as multimedia speakers for movies or games is unnaceptable (when rumble sounds, explosions...)

A shame because those speakers could have been great for the size.
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