Owning a versatile set of studio monitors can open up a lot of flexibility and opportunities to achieve the best results in the studio. In this review, we explore the iLoud Precision 5, a studio monitor that offers a lot of technology to help you sculpt its output to your heart’s content.
IK Multimedia iLoud Precision 5
The IK Multimedia iLoud Precision 5 is a jack-of-all-trades studio monitor. With comprehensive tuning flexibility, it’s a professional monitor worth your attention.
The IK Multimedia iLoud Precision 5 is one of the most feature-rich studio monitors on the market. Below we take a detailed look at how it performs in each of our review categories.
The iLoud Precision 5 offers deep flexibility to adjust the sound output, so it can be tricky to define the sound quality fully. So many potential variables thanks to both tuning options and the X-Monitor voicing, but I’ll aim to judge the monitor on a more holistic level to help you get a better idea of how it performs.
Out of the box, the iLoud Precision 5 packs a meaty punch in the lower frequencies. But it doesn’t just offer a straight punch. It also provides enough warmth and depth to round out the lower end. For a 5-inch monitor, it’s pretty impressive. Sub-bass will still be an issue, as is often the case with monitors of this size. But you can quickly remedy this with a good subwoofer.
Ultra flat frequency response that rivals more expensive monitors.
The mid-range is also wonderfully precise and rich in detail. The response is neutral and reliable without sounding bland and uninteresting. It’s a tricky balance and one that several monitors don’t achieve. The mid-range can be among the busiest sections of a composition, so having the appropriate accuracy here is appreciated.
I also liked the top-end delivery. While other monitors have a sharp and sometimes brittle top end, the Precision 5 is noticeably softer. For some, they might be a little too recessed, but it was a breath of fresh air for my tired ears.
There is a lot to like here, even before you explore the Room Calibration and X-Monitor options which I’ll cover later in the review. It’s a serious monitor that delivers on its promise of high-quality and dependable sound.
The iLoud Precision 5 oozes professionalism and attention to detail. Unlike some of their other more consumer-friendly monitors, the Precision line features wooden cabinets for a warm and more decadent sound profile.
Outstanding build quality and attention to detail.
The engineering and assembly occur in Italy, and the craftsmanship is superb. The cabinet is cut, then the panels are bonded by an actual human and checked for alignment. The next stage involves sanding by hand and painting. You can see the care in every monitor, and the consistency from one monitor to the next is flawless.
Internal components are equally superb and individually tested. Every step in the production process features an extensive range of checks, ensuring there won’t be any unforeseen issues by the time it is in your hands. It’s rugged, expertly crafted, and built to last.
Digging into the specifications highlights a range of features worth covering. The 46 Hz to 30 kHz frequency response is generous for a 5-inch monitor with an extension as low as 39 Hz at -4dB. Enough to deliver a satisfying bass response.
The response is also tight and accurate, with near-ruler flat delivery that puts some other monitors to shame. Accuracy is critical in a studio setting, and these are up to the task.
The Precision 5 has enough power to deliver high sound pressure levels.
A total of 135 watts of RMS power is on hand in a Class D bi-amped configuration with 110 watts for the low-frequency woofer and 25 watts for the high-frequency tweeter. Speaking of the drivers, the 5-inch woofer offers ultralight coated paper, and the larger-than-average 1.5-inch tweeter is a chambered textile dome.
The max SPL for a pair can reach as high as 114.5 dB at 1 meter. Ample headroom for you to crank these up without placing stress on the unit. The continuous SPL is also high at 98.5 dB.
The phase response is also superb, with high detail and satisfying stereo imaging. Precise time alignment also results in no ear fatigue, which is ideal for long stints in the studio.
This area offers an extensive selection of options and sets the iLoud Precision 5 apart from the competition. There are three sections to cover, so let’s dive in.
Let’s start with the basic onboard controls. You’ll have access to a range of options that you can switch between via dedicated buttons.
The first allows you to alter low-frequency extension with 80Hz, 50Hz, and full. The following two options give you control over low-frequency output and high-frequency output. A quick and straightforward way to sculpt the sound profile. The next option allows for a Desk or Flat setting and, last but not least, the Calibrate function.
Excellent basic tuning controls for quick setup.
This calibration is one of my favorite features of the iLoud Precision 5. With the included microphone, you can apply Advanced Room Correction to adapt to the dynamics of your space. Adjusting to your studio space is often one of the most complex elements to get right, so I appreciate how much more accessible and streamlined this process is with the included ARC microphone.
However, the tuning options don’t end there. Adding to the already extensive flexibility is the X-Monitor processing capability. This technology gives you deeper control over the output. You can switch between different voicing profiles, some of which mimic other industry-standard monitors.
The iLoud Precision 5 doesn’t have a shortage of options; for the seasoned veteran, it’s a treasure trove of flexibility that is a joy to play with. But for the absolute beginner, some of these features might be overwhelming, and the nuances might lead to a sense of paralysis through analysis.
Appearance-wise, the iLoud Precision 5 keeps things simple with a restrained and professional all-black design. It doesn’t draw attention and will comfortably blend into any studio setting.
The slightly textured finish also ensures no fingerprints and minimizes dust build-up. The cabinet itself also maintains a slim width with not a smidge of wasted space. Some people might prefer a flashier-looking monitor, but I like IK Multimedia’s refined approach with this monitor.
The Precision 5 is a simple yet attractive rear-ported monitor.
I’ve covered many technical design elements in the specification section, but one final component is worth highlighting.
The iLoud Precision 5 is a rear-ported studio monitor. Typically rear-ported monitors are not the best choice for smaller studios where you are often forced to place your monitors against a wall. This can lead to bass build-up that will impact sound quality.
But you can quickly address many of these issues with the range of tuning options, voicing modes, and room correction. The iLoud Precision 5 is a superb example of clean and functional design in appearance and technical proficiency.
The IK Multimedia iLoud Precision 5 is a relatively slimline studio monitor compared to some others. The width is appropriately sized for the 5-inch woofer, but the lack of excess cabinet helps these squeeze into tighter spaces more so than other monitors.
The Precision 5 is slimmer in width than most 5-inch monitors.
The height and depth, however, are roughly on par with other 5-inch monitors available. Due to the robust MDF cabinet, the iLoud Precision 5 is not as lightweight as some monitors with a plastic cabinet. Despite this, it is not overly heavy and bulky at 13.4 lbs. (6.08 kg).
The iLoud Precision 5 maintains its professional focus with one primary input jack that supports XLR and TRS connections. Balanced connections are always preferable, so I don’t miss the lack of an additional RCA option.
There is also a dedicated XLR point for the included ARC microphone. A USB port is also present with an extended 8.2 ft. (2.5 m) cable in the box.
The Precision 5 features a range of connection options.
The final connection option is for an optional remote control. It’s a small black box with four numbered buttons. You can assign these buttons to various functions, including switching between voicing modes. It’s a handy extra worth picking up if you frequently change modes.
Beyond that, no other consumer-friendly connection options like AUX or Bluetooth exist. But considering this monitor has a keen eye on professional settings, I’m not surprised to see them omitted here.
If I were to complain about one thing regarding the iLoud Precision 5, it would be its high price tag. This is not a cheap monitor, but some perspective is required to assess the value offering fully.
You can spend thousands on studio monitors, and in some cases, the super high price tags are justified. But in other cases, there is a diminishing level of returns for your investment. Lines up against other pro studio gear, the Precision 5 is not that bad of a deal.
Included in the box is the ARC microphone, along with a stand for said microphone. Adding to the value proposition is the set of 4 isolation pods which is excellent for decoupling your monitor from surfaces and reducing vibrations.
The Precision 5 comes with the ARC microphone, but the remote control is a separate purchase.
While you can spend a lot more on your monitors, you can also spend a lot less and still acquire a capable and flat monitor for studio work. The extra bells and whistles, like the X-Monitor voicing functionality, also add value, but that will depend on how much you intend to use it.
The price point of the iLoud Precision 5 does place it firmly in the upper midrange. More than any other, this area offers some enticing alternatives and stiff competition from some of the leading studio monitor manufacturers. So while I consider the Precision 5 decent value for money, you’ll need to weigh it up against other options before committing.
One of the most flexible elements of the iLoud Precision 5 is the X-Monitor software and the options it opens up to producers.
No matter how well you craft your latest production, there will always be differences and nuances you might miss due to various monitors’ different sound profiles.
The X-Monitor software is superb but could be overwhelming for beginners.
With the X-Monitor software, you won’t need to ever second guess yourself again. It does a remarkable job of mimicking leading studio monitor sound profiles. This gives you the unparalleled ability to cross-reference your mix across different voicing types.
Beyond that, it can also mimic popular hi-fi speakers and mobile devices. Instant access to hear how your latest creation will sound across various output types. And the part I like the most? The ability to do all this remotely from the comfort of your studio.
The IK Multimedia iLoud Precision 5 is a fantastic monitor, but it might not be the right choice for you. Below we take a glance at some other monitors worth considering.
Neumann KH 120 Review
The Neumann KH 120 is a professional-level monitor with outstanding sound quality, and it’s also super rugged and dependable.
- A super accurate and detailed sound profile ideally suited for serious studio work.
- A comprehensive range of tuning options and front-ported design.
- Much like the iLoud Precision 5, this is not a budget-friendly monitor.
Neumann KH 120
PreSonus Eris Pro 6 Review
Another superb studio monitor is the PreSonus Eris Pro 6. Its coaxial design catches the eye and delivers excellent performance.
- Incredible detail and clarity while maintaining supreme accuracy.
- The broad sound dispersion makes finding the sweet spot in your studio easy.
- Once again, the price point of this monitor will not appeal to bargain hunters.
PreSonus Eris Pro 6
ADAM Audio A7V Review
The ADAM Audio A7V is another upper-midrange monitor that is worth considering. Its exceptional clarity level will appeal to detail-orientated producers.
- The flat frequency response and high detail are excellent for serious studio work.
- Rotatable X-ART high-frequency driver delivers super crisp top-end performance.
- The integration with Sonarworks is fantastic but not very beginner friendly.
ADAM Audio A7V
Should You Buy?
The IK Multimedia iLoud Precision 5 faces stiff competition at this price point. But no other monitors have a feature set on par with the Precision 5. This is a highly adaptable monitor and an absolute dream for producers who love to tinker with output.
The sound quality is reliable and accurate, with high clarity. It lives up to its name with ample precision across the frequency range. The excellent build quality and slick simplistic appearance also add to the appeal. While perhaps a little too complex for beginners, the iLoud Precision 5 is definitely worth exploring, thanks to its supreme versatility.
IK Multimedia iLoud Precision 5