iLoud Review: ‘Studio quality’ Bluetooth speaker for musicians

IK is hoping that the iLoud speaker is a class above the competition, offering 'studio quality' audio in a relatively small package. Full review here.

iLoud Bluetooth Speaker Price: £200+ Available from: Shopomo The Bluetooth speaker market is a crowded one, with a whole host of gadgets of varying prices battling it out for the title of audio king. IK is hoping that its iLoud speaker for musicians is a class above the competition, offering 'studio quality' audio in a relatively small package. Look and feel The iLoud is a great looking piece of kit and the audio accessory feels particularly sturdy when it's sat proudly on your desk, propped up nicely by a small stand on the back of the device. Turning the volume dial on…

iLoud Review

Design
Usability
Functionality
Value for money

Top sound

The iLoud looks and sounds brilliant, and IK's library of apps sweetens the deal.

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iLoud Bluetooth Speaker

Price: £200+

Available from: Shopomo

The Bluetooth speaker market is a crowded one, with a whole host of gadgets of varying prices battling it out for the title of audio king.

IK is hoping that its iLoud speaker for musicians is a class above the competition, offering ‘studio quality’ audio in a relatively small package.

Look and feel

The iLoud is a great looking piece of kit and the audio accessory feels particularly sturdy when it’s sat proudly on your desk, propped up nicely by a small stand on the back of the device.

Turning the volume dial on the front of the iLoud is met by a satisfying clicking noise, and whilst this may sound like a small addition, it certainly helps to solidify the iLoud’s position as a premium device.

The front of the speaker is covered by mesh with an iLoud logo sat at the bottom of the panel and the central volume toggle is surrounded by light when it’s turned on, so the iLoud looks rather snazzy in low lighting.

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According to IK, the iLoud provides ‘an unparalleled high-quality music experience’.

IK Multimedia’s iLoud feels fairly hefty when you pick it up (It’s 1.3 Kg, actually), so it’s not perfect for chucking into a backpack for a weekend away. This is made more apparent when you consider smaller alternative speakers that are better prepared for transport and the outdoors.

Even so, iLoud’s makers say the gadget can make it into a backpack, citing the fact that the speaker ‘has the overall dimensions of an iPad, is only 6 cm (2.3”) deep and features a tilted shape for optimal listening on a desktop’.

In summary, the iLoud looks and feels like a premium device, boasting a clean, neat design protected by a solid frame.

Sound quality

As expected, the sound quality you’ll be treated to with the iLoud is fantastic.

IK has a vast back catalogue of tools and equipment designed with music folk in mind, and the iLoud is no exception, described as ‘the first portable speaker for musicians’.

During our time with the iLoud, we were impressed by how well the gadget handled bass-heavy tracks during music playback. There’s a nice ‘boom’ to the audio on offer here.

We also dusted off our electric guitar and hooked it up with impressive results, surprised by the volumes that the speaker can generate when you crank the volume.

Downloading IK’s AmpliTube app for iOS devices allows iLoud users to add some effects to the audio output of the speaker.

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Plug in your guitar and crank up the volume.

According to the app’s makers: “AmpliTube comes with 11 stompbox effects (delay, fuzz, overdrive, wah, envelope filter, chorus, flanger, phaser, octave and noise filter plus distortion, once registered), 5 amps (clean, crunch, lead, metal and bass) with full controls, 5 speaker cabinets and 2 microphones (dynamic and condenser)”.

Whilst the additional apps aren’t a vital part of the iLoud experience, they’re certainly worth looking into if you like getting experimental with music production.

Usability and Bluetooth

Thanks to the iLoud’s long lasting battery, the speaker is able to survive around 10 hours with ‘normal’ usage and auto standby. Naturally, if you’re blasting music at full volume you’ll get less, but this is still a respectable amount of charge.

Pairing the iLoud with iOS and Android devices is a hassle-free experience, and we were able to use the speaker wirelessly with multiple mobiles and tablets.

Our verdict

The iLoud aims to function effectively as both a mini amp for musicians and a Bluetooth speaker for more casual users and we think the iLoud succeeds in its mission to please both parties.

Of course, if you’re a casual music fan looking for a cheaper alternative, there’s a seemingly endless list of possible Bluetooth speakers out there.

Ultimately, the iLoud looks and sounds brilliant, and IK’s library of apps sweetens the deal.

The Shopomo editorial team writes our buying guides and reviews based on first-hand knowledge of the products featured and the marketplace they operate in. Shopomo makes a small commission on links to a retailer if a purchase is made but the final decision to feature a product, and how highly it is rated, is purely an editorial one.