I have already posted the launch announcement and my first impressions, so it is time to close things out. And I really thought that the best way to do it was to highlight the five things I like best, that have kept iLoud at my side since it arrived. I have included a new hands-on video as well.
Loud and Clear
Wired and Wireless
Plug and Play Convenience
My Five Favorite Things:
Here we go!
1. It IS Loud: I didn’t use a dbm to measure the sound like IK Multimedia did in their comparison videos. I really didn’t need to – it is just massively loud. Put your hand near the back and just FEEL the bass. This is more than ‘listening to music in the kitchen’ loud … it is ‘fill the large room’ kind of volume.
2. Sound Quality Volume is great, but I remember plugging the output of a tape deck into my bass amp back in high school – it just wasn’t tuned right for general music playback. iLoud brings clarity along with volume. You will hear the highs and kids and feel the bass, but be able to separate it all out.
3. Easily integrates with wired and wireless: pairing up was simple, as was plugging in my guitar. As with any Bluetooth device once you pair a few things to it there is ‘infighting’ to see who connects first, but aside from that I never had an issue – it responds quickly and I never lost any output.
4. Great battery life / portability I didn’t get a full estimate of how many hours, but I was up to a dozen when I left the iLoud powered on overnight with my iPad plugged in next to it. It charged quickly when I first got it, then charged back quickly. It is also great that it bypasses the battery when plugged in.
5. Integrated iRig Circuit: It took me a minute to figure it out, but by connecting a guitar to the 1/4″ jack and a 3.5mm cord from your iOS device to the iLoud, you get full use of signal routing through AmpliTube and back through iLoud. And yes, that IS as awesome as it sounds!
My Single Complaint:
The big dial in the center of iLoud is your volume control, but while it clicks as it turns, it lacks any sort of ‘0 – 100%’ feedback. So when you turn on the system, you have no idea how loud it will be. Similarly, as you turn it up the dial just spins. You get a feel after a while, but I would prefer a simpler direct control system.
Because it lacks things like speakerphone and track controls, it is clear that IK Multimedia wasn’t going for an ‘all things to all people’ approach. And I appreciate that – for me it hits the proper notes: great sound quality, loud volume with minimal distortion, and built-in capabilities for musicians – all in a wireless package with great battery life! The question comes down to price: at $300 this is not cheap, but offers a great value for those juggling various types of music needs – and I look forward to hearing it fill up a large retail store as DJ Chris uses it to drop some beats on Thanksgiving night!
MSRP: $299.99 from IK Multimedia
What I Like: Great sound; LOUD volume; easy pairing; simple connections; multiple uses
What Needs Improvement: Non-deterministic volume knob.
Source: Manufacturer supplied review sample
Here is my hands-on review:
And my original first impressions video: