iLoud Portable Speaker
By David Cox
Years ago, portable speakers were heavy, cumbersome affairs. If there were batteries at all, they generally were not rechargeable and ran out of juice quickly.
The iLoud portable speaker
IK Multimedia, iLoud
IK Multimedia, iLoud
The whole point of small speakers was to have powered amplification where you needed it
outside or in situations where you could not plug in easily. The 6X AAA battery-powered Roland Microcube and its ilk filled a niche for a while about 10 years ago, for guitarists and keyboardists, and did the job pretty well, but these were really solid mini-stage amps, scaled down for small cafes and busking, not really suitable for say DJ-ing in galleries or at a party. If you were trying to play your iPad through them, it was like using a loud-haler – not much subtlety to the highs & lows, but okay if you were ripping it like Curt Cobain. The alternative really was to bring a small hi-fi but that again is a different kind of experience, and not really a self-contained speaker as such and you’re still plugged in to that wall socket.
But now both speaker technology AND battery technology have advanced such that very powerful and very high quality speakers can be manufactured that pack a fairly hefty wallop when it comes to delivery of sound and bass response, while at the same time leaving a relatively small footprint. Studio monitor speakers, once the sole preserve of high end recording booths have escaped into the laptop bags and DJ kits of the smart device generation and have joined the plethora of hardware of peripherals that accompany the sample driven music performance world of today.
IK Multimedia, today launched iLoud®, the first portable stereo speaker designed for studio monitor quality on the go, is now available from music instrument and consumer electronics retailers worldwide. The iLoud battery-operated speakers combine superior power, pristine frequency response and amazing low end in an ultra-portable design that makes it the perfect alternative to studio speakers for music creation, composition and playback on the go.
Loud Clear and Bassy, like a Lo-Rider at Night in San Francisco’s Mission District going by Low and Slow my Brother.
The iLoud speaker is indeed very loud. In fact, it’s 2 to 3 times louder than comparable size speakers – a blasting 40W RMS of power. But iLoud is extremely clear at all volume levels thanks to an onboard DSP processor and a bi-amped 4-driver array of high efficient neodymium loudspeakers, that provide accurate, even response across the entire frequency spectrum for unbelievable realism of sound. For deep bass response iLoud’s bass-reflex allows frequencies to go down to 50hz, an amazing low end for this small enclosure.
I’ve been using the iLoud for a few days now with Netflix and DVDs and have been amazed at how much I can actually hear on these movie soundtracks that would otherwise remain hidden. I’m talking about very densely mixed films like Ip Man (both 1 and 2) and that true litmus test for all movie sound design perfectionists, Dennis Hopper’s 1988 Gang-vs-Gang-vs-Cops film Colors (play it LOUD!!). For more on why this film is so important for understanding the importance of film sound, see this excellent article by Philip Brophy.
iLoud is the ideal speaker for musicians and audiophiles who demand an accurate reproduction of a wide range of musical styles from rock, hip-hop and electronic dance music, to more nuanced and sonically demanding genres like jazz, classical and acoustic.
Portability and the types of gigs this implies.
The iLoud speaker is powered by a high-performance Li-ion rechargeable battery with smart power-management features that reduce its power consumption so that it can be used for up to 10 hours without recharging. This makes iLoud an ideal portable speaker solution for mobile musicians. I find it will fit in a backpack very easily for gigs I can prepare for of the sort previously that would have required different ways of thinking about in terms of transport. I’m thinking; playing soft electric guitar via the iPhone at the cafe table or in the backseat of a car. Or playing keyboard WITH movie soundtrack in small gallery with a dataprojector to a group of 20 visitors, but on the sidewalk or in the alleyway with the barbecue and the beer buckets.
The Real Innovation – Wired and Wireless Connectivity
iLoud supports Bluetooth operation for wireless audio streaming anywhere and everywhere from a mobile device such as an iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Android smartphone or tablet for casual listening. For sound sources like MP3 players that do not have Bluetooth capabilities, the iLoud also has a stereo 1/8″ mini-jack input for connecting line-level devices such as home stereos, DJ gear, mixers, MP3 players, and more.
Plug and Play Convenience
iLoud also offers the ability to connect a guitar, bass or dynamic microphone directly to the speaker and process the sound with a multitude of real-time effects apps on iOS devices. It features the same circuitry as IK’s iRig – the most popular mobile interface of all time – and allows users to plug in guitars or other instruments and access AmpliTube or other audio apps on their mobile device for practicing, performing and recording. The input also accommodates dynamic microphones, making it possible to run an app like IK’s VocaLive for real-time vocal effects and recording.
I recommend the iLoud for the experience of having a well-made and truly portable RECHARGEABLE (very important) speaker that is truly studio quality with you whenever you need it. And watch “Colors” with it when you get a chance. LOUD!!
Pricing and Availability
iLoud is priced at $299.99/€239.99 (excl. tax) and is available now from the IK network of music and electronic retailers around the world.
For more information, go to:
For a comprehensive collection of videos that showcases iLoud’s feature set, go to: