Turbosound Review: iP100021/03/2017 11:17:00 a.m.
A closer look into Turbosound's most impressive series
Turbosound: A mainstay of British sound reinforcement and loudspeaker development since the 1970s, has consistently delivered a solid catalogue of products and systems regardless of any sized setting. It comes to no surprise that the iNSPIRE series comfortably follows the same tried and tested formula under the company’s umbrella. The iNSPIRE iP1000 addresses the demand for a compact, portable and versatile loudspeaker system for small to medium sized venues, bridging the gap between their competitors.
The iP1000 is a powered modular column loudspeaker that comes in two pieces: a bass unit and a thin column driver mounted on top. The base unit houses the amplifiers, controls and 2 x 8in subwoofers and the column comprises 8 x 2.75in mid-range drivers and 1 x 1in tweeter. At the base of the columns, there are four spikes to ensure the system is connected the right way round to prevent it from toppling over, while an electrical connector slides home to provide signals to the speakers in the column. Providing a simple yet effective solution, which obviates the need for speaker stands and connecting cables.
With columns made from aluminium and the sub from plywood – the main unit is covered in a hard wearing semi matt black paint finish – which should be able to handle general wear and tear. The unit stands just shy of two metres, where the columns alone are 1.3 metres. Located in the top half of the column are the iP1000’s mid-range drivers, with the tweeter positioned at the top; this ensures that even in a floor-mounted configuration the sound should still carry over the heads of a standing audience.
The iP1000 benefits from Turbosound’s fraternal association with Klark Teknik and thus uses its Class-D amplifier technology to deliver up to 122dB max SPL, which is controlled by Spatial Sound Technology. It also utilises Bluetooth to enable audio streaming and facilitate remote control. The unit houses two XLR/jack combo inputs on the back, which can cope with microphone or instrument inputs, as well as two XLR link outputs.
The basic operation is very straightforward and intuitive for first-time use, while experienced users will feel at home with the iP1000’s interface. Once switched on and powered up, the unit is operated via the control panel, which features an LCD screen, four buttons (Process, System, Exit and Enter) and a dial. Navigation is very simple – there are two main menus (Process and System) with four submenus, each of which has a single parameter page to avoid endless scrolling or getting lost within the various menus.
The System menu gives access to Bluetooth pairing, a separate control for the subwoofer level, the Info screen and the Setup menu – this allows adjustment of the LCD screen contrast and toggles its backlight as well as do a factory reset or lock the unit with a PIN (to prevent unwelcome tampering). The digital mixer and master EQ is located via the Process menu, as well as the Mode and Positioning settings. The mixer allows simple level control of the three inputs while the EQ offers the ability to boost or cut the bass, middle or treble. There are four modes available: Music, Live, Speech and Club, each of which applies a different EQ, providing different settings to cater for the surrounding environment. The positioning menu is where Music-Group’s famous Klark Teknik Spatial Sound Technology comes into play with three options: Floor, Wall and Corner.
Bluetooth pairing is intuitive and requires little to no effort to connect. It is clear that Turbosound has actively thought about this while designing the system, and it shows. The sound from the Bluetooth source was crisp and clear, the bottom end was firm and not overpowering, while the mid-range was slightly dominant when producing sound. Overall the Bluetooth option included in the system provided quality sound.
In a live setting with musicians, the iP1000 performed valiantly. The default live EQ settings comfortably; covering all bases. The generic EQ settings provided an easy and quick way of tuning on the fly. Although there might be some minor tweaks here and there depending on the acoustics of the surrounding environment, the main Live mode EQ setting works seamlessly for the majority of live situations.
Turbosound has included an additional remote app, worth noting that iOS is the only supported platform currently. The app is comprehensive mirroring the onboard controls and tools found on the actual system itself. The main controls presented in the app are displayed in a simple interface with large knobs for level controls and simple sliders for adjusting the EQ. The app gives access to all the available functions and removes the need to go to the unit itself to adjust anything, which is very helpful when self-engineering the system.
Overall Turbosound’s iP1000 has stricken a balance between providing enough features to enable trouble-free sound reinforcement while not overwhelming the user with a feature set that requires a complex interface to operate.
For more infomation on the iP1000, click here.
Review originally was written by Andy Coules of Audio Media International
Coules, A 2016, Review: Turbosound iP1000, 2016, Audio Media International, accessed 14 December 2016, < http://www.audiomediainternational.com/live/review-turbosound-ip1000/05608>.