Published on Wednesday, 06 August 2014 17:43
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Testing wireless portable speakers while I’m away on business or during one of my very short yearly vacations is something i really do enjoy doing but although I’ve tested plenty such devices in the past I’ve always felt that there's no way I’ve seen it all in terms of features and performance. Sure numerous models have passed through here ranging from very compact ones that can fit in the palm of your hand and up to very large ones which i wouldn't quite call "portable" but all of them had one thing in common, target audience. For good or bad every single one of those speakers was aimed at regular consumers who just want to listen to their favorite tunes and although i also belong in that category there are people who don't and would like something more from a portable speaker. IK Multimedia caters to professional musicians around the world and their latest iLoud Studio-Quality Portable Speaker might just be exactly what some of them have been looking for.
It all began in a small town in northern Italy. Not just any small town, but a town rich in heritage — a heritage of innovation. A town known as the sports car capital of the world, and also known for its exquisite cuisine and as the birthplace of Balsamic Vinegar. And the birthplace of one of the most innovative companies in the music industry - the town of Modena, Italy. Way back in 1996 — around the time electricity was discovered and cell phones were the size of your average 4-slot toaster — two Italian engineers got together to solve a problem in a recording studio. Could you get the sound of classic analog gear from a computer? One of them said (in Italian, of course) "Could we emulate electronic circuits using DSP algorithms and feed an audio signal through the computer and get the same sound?" The answer was yes, the piece of gear they emulated was a vintage Abbey Road console, and a company was born. Although that's a pretty simplified version of how IK came to be, it reflects the driving philosophy behind all of our products: give musicians the tools they want/need to be creative and productive. IK Multimedia is a multi-national company based in Modena, Italy. We have direct operating units in 4 countries: Italy, the United States, the United Kingdom and Japan. Our products are sold in over 120 countries with a network of 15,000 resellers and used by millions of musicians worldwide. The IK team includes nearly 100 people that take care of all aspects of our music creation products enterprise with passion.
The iLoud is not your average portable Bluetooth wireless speaker not only because it's twice as large compared to most mid-sized models in the market currently but also because it can output up to a massive 40W of power (probably RMS) thanks to its four class-d amplifiers, tuned bass-reflex and via its two 3 inch precision custom woofers and two 3/4 inch precision custom tweeters (bi-amped design). It also comes ready with onboard DSP (used to maintain accuracy and efficiency at all volume levels), a special iRig input which you can use to connect compatible guitars and dynamic microphones with iOS devices to create and process your very own content with the help of several mobile apps including AmpliTube and VocaLive. With all these in mind I’m quite certain that we all realize that this is not just a portable wireless speaker like the rest of the crowd. However the thing that interests me the most is audio quality so let's see if the iLoud Studio-Quality Portable Speaker is really the ideal companion for musicians around the world.