Home » reviews » IK Multimedia iLoud Precision Monitors

Three compact, next-level nearfield options join this popular monitor family


Review by Alex Hawley

IK Multimedia took the budget monitor market by storm with the ‘physics defying’ iLoud Micro and MTM monitors. I reviewed the iLoud MTM monitors in our September 2019 issue, and they haven’t left the meter bridge in the A Room at Coupe Studios (Boulder, CO) ever since! It’s no surprise that IK Multimedia has decided to expand the lineup, taking everything that made the Micro and MTM so popular and amping (pun intended) them up to the next level.

Precision Overview

Developed and handmade in Italy, the iLoud Precision series comes in three sizes: 5″, 6.5″, and MTM (midrange-tweeter-midrange), which features two 5″ midrange drivers. For reference, the Micro and standard MTM models feature 3″ and 3.5″ drivers, respectively.

The nearfield-focused Precision series is designed to offer a precise ultra-flat response in a compact footprint. All three monitors feature extensive onboard DSP, built-in ARC room calibration (measurement mic included), and X-MONITOR software for control of additional voicings. The monitors also ship with isolation pods (little hockey pucks), which decouple the monitors from your desk.

Precise Specs

All three models essentially yield the same frequency response, which boasts +/-1dB across 45 Hz–30 kHz, with its complete response reaching down to 36 Hz at -4dB. IK claims to achieve a true linear phase response above 150 Hz,
thanks to its integrated 96 kHz DSP system, digital crossover and custom class-D power amplifiers.

The Precision series also achieves impressive time coherence across the spectrum, nearly reaching peak theoretical performance. This ensures that all frequencies arrive at your ears simultaneously, which is one of the main appeals of high-end 3-way monitors. IK claims the cohesive time alignment of the Precision series contributes to a detailed transient response, reduced ear fatigue and improved mix translation. Keep in mind all three Precision monitors are 2-way designs, so incorporating a sub will require careful, measured calibration to achieve the same level of time coherence described above.

When deciding between the three monitors, size, cost and SPL capabilities are not the only factors to consider. The MTM configuration features a “naturally limited vertical dispersion,” which means the response is more directional. In theory, this makes your room’s acoustics less of a factor than the standard dispersion found in the Precision 5 and 6. IK points out that Precision 5 and 6 will sound more natural as they interact more uniformly with your room, which is closer to a traditional audiophile listening experience. The point source imaging of the Precision MTM provides a more forward, detailed sound, as IK describes it “almost like a magnifying glass.”

Rear Control Panel

A lot is going on around back. Starting with physical I/O, all three models feature a combo XLR-1/4” balanced line input, an XLR ARC mic input, USB type-B port for firmware updates or diagnostics, 3.5mm jacks for an optional remote control (more on this later), an output level control (-5dB to +5dB) and an IEC power connection with on/off switch.

A series of push buttons tweak the response based on your needs or environment. LF (low frequency) extension activates a high-pass filter with a choice of FULL, 35, 50, 65 and 80 Hz. Two additional rows apply low or high shelving filters (Flat, +/- 1.5 or 2.5dB at 100 Hz and 10 kHz, respectively).


The calibration setting—FLAT by default—offers options of a preset DESK filter that bumps the lower midrange or a saved user-calibrated setting. This can be created using the ARC System 3 calibration software or triggered without software by holding the calibration button down for three seconds.

Please Standby

The last button engages the now industry-standard Auto Standby mode. I did experience a bit of inconsistency with the pre-set listening threshold. A few times I encountered the monitors going into standby while I was actively mixing at moderate 70-75dB levels, which was enough for me to turn this feature off to avoid further interruptions.

In Use: Pro Studio

I had the opportunity to leave all three pairs set up side-by-side for a few weeks of daily mixing and listening sessions. I found an immediate familiarity with the Precision series. By that, I mean there weren’t any unpleasant surprises in my usual reference mixes, such as the ol’ standby Aja by Steely Dan. Everything translated exactly as expected, and switching between models on the fly resulted in an impressively uniform sound across the line. Every track sounds natural and accurate, without any noticeable coloration. For most of my testing, I set the rear controls to FLAT and didn’t impose any DSP room correction in the treated control room at Coupe Studios.

Precision MTM Experiences

The iLoud Precision MTM has a beautiful soundstage with laser accurate imaging, punchy transients, and truly physics-defying bass. Despite setting up the system intentionally without a sub, I had to double-take after listening to “Ekuté” by Pino Palladino + Blake Mills. The sense of sub-bass frequencies produced (specifically by the kick when the drum kit comes in) made me pause to ensure another engineer hadn’t rigged up a sub while I wasn’t in the room! That being said, the low end doesn’t overshadow the rest of the spectrum on the Precision MTM—I don’t detect any abuse of bass just for the sake of bass. The low end is capable when the content demands it but accurate overall.

The rest of the response follows suit, with an incredibly balanced tonality throughout the spectrum. In some cases, monitors designed for ‘accuracy above all else’ can be clinical and often don’t make music fun to listen to—making you work harder for your mixes. While there is a place and need for those types of monitors, I think IK found a pleasant middle ground. While tuned for accuracy from head to toe, the Precision series models still translate the energy and excitement in the source material.

The enjoyable listening experience is partly due to the deep and detailed stereo imaging. At times the monitors seemed to transparently dissolve into the meter bridge.

Precision 6 Experiences

The Precision 6 feels like a slightly scaled-back version of the MTM, with a touch less bass reproduction, yet still capable of achieving a nice sense of loudness. Our A Room at Coupe Studios typically hosts Genelec 8351B 3-way monitors (armed with dual 8” woofers and a matching sub from Genelec), and the Precision 6 didn’t feel underpowered for the space. They are more than capable of enveloping larger spaces while maintaining a fast and accurate response. The only notable difference when jumping between the MTM and the Precision 6 was the slightly more taxed low-end reproduction, and vocals seemed to translate marginally more forward on the Precision 6.

Precision 5 Experiences

While the Precision 5 also performed admirably in the larger control room environment, they did feel a tad underpowered for the space. So, to give the Precision 5 a more accurate representation of a real-world room they’d typically be set up in, I decided to put them through the paces at my (much smaller) home studio.

In Use: Project Studio

If you’re mixing in a smaller space (or need portability) but still demand precision, the Precision 5 thrives here. I spent time mixing in my home studio—with and without ARC room correction and a small sub (ADAM Audio Sub7). In this environment, the Precision 5 provided an enveloping sound stage with crisp transients and a transparent tonality throughout the spectrum. It didn’t take long to gain confidence in what I was hearing, which was confirmed by the excellent translation to the bigger Precision siblings at the studio and various other playback systems I tried. The ARC room calibration enhanced the response, most notably in the lower midrange in my case, as it accounted for my less-than-ideal placement against a wall.

After some testing, I ultimately left the sub on, which provided a small amount of low-end support. However, I’d put the supplemental sub in the “nice to have” category with the Precision 5, not “need to have.” Similar to its 6″ sibling, the bass response in the Precision 5 is admirable for its size but isn’t quite as effortless in the sub-bass realm as the larger Precision MTM.

X-MONITOR + ARC System 3

I previously covered the ARC System 3 software on its own in November 2020, in September 2019 (part of the original iLoud MTM review), and July 2021 (part of Total Studio 3 MAX). In short, it compensates for your room’s acoustics using the included measurement microphone and stores these profiles in a dedicated plugin or directly into the Precision monitors.

The X-MONITOR software is included with the Precision monitors, opening the door to additional acoustic and voicing adjustments. X-MONITOR integrates with the onboard DSP seamlessly, even allowing for adjustments to the back panel controls entirely through the software. It also provides visualizations for pre and post-correction curves, creating your own frequency response and the option to emulate more than 20 additional iconic monitors.

The optional remote control allows you to store four different monitor ‘voices’ and toggle between them on the fly. This could be handy if you want to A/B the accuracy of the Precision monitors against another style of your choosing, offering a whole new perspective while mixing.

Final Thoughts

As mentioned, I was already a fan of the previous iLoud series, and The IK Multimedia iLoud Precision line builds on the stellar iLoud reputation. In fact, it over delivers, surpassing all expectations I had entering the review. All three models straddle the line beautifully between purpose-built accurate mixing tools and monitors on which you want to kick back and listen to your favorite albums. I found myself mixing for long periods without encountering significant signs of fatigue, and across the board had excellent mix translation to all types of consumer and pro audio systems.

At the end of the day, that’s all you can hope for in a monitoring system—confidence and trust in what you’re hearing. If it manages to simultaneously get you excited to mix and listen to music every day, that’s an even bigger win.


Price: $899 (each) iLoud Precision 5; $999 (each) iLoud Precision 6;
$1,199 (each) iLoud Precision MTM

More from: ikmultimedia.com


Precision 5

Total RMS Power: 135 W

Max SPL (peak, pair, music): 114.5dB

Crossover Frequency: 2.1 kHz

LF Power Amp (Short-term): 110 W

HF Power Amp (Short term): 25 W

THD: 0.005%

Unit-to-Unit Variance: +/-0.5dB


Precision 6

Total RMS Power: 150 W

Max SPL (peak, pair, music): 116dB

Crossover Frequency: 1.9 kHz

LF Power Amp (Short-term): 120 W

HF Power Amp (Short term): 30 W

THD: 0.005%

Unit-to-Unit Variance: +/-0.5dB


Precision MTM

Total RMS Power: 175 W

Max SPL (peak, pair, music): 119dB

Crossover Frequency: 1.9 kHz

LF Power Amp (Short-term): 145 W

HF Power Amp (Short term): 30 W

THD: 0.005%

Unit-to-Unit Variance: +/-0.5dB