- Written by Jim Clements
- Published on 02 July 2014
Induction Dynamics ID1 Floor Standing Speakers Review Highlights
The Induction Dynamics ID1 speakers represent a unique design with their very own style and interesting installation flexibility. Secrets has reviewed numerous Floor standing Speakers over the years. In the current review, I gave the ID1 speakers a thorough evaluation complete with a full slate of bench tests.
The speakers measured well; low distortion and a full frequency response from 25 Hz all the way out past the limits of human audibility. But that was only one part of the story. Subjectively, these speakers had an articulate sound that remained smooth and non-fatiguing at all playback levels. And they showed excellent imaging properties, filling the room with all their lusciousness.
Induction Dynamics ID1 Floor Standing Speakers Highlights Summary
- • Excellent imaging
- • Full-range frequency response (4-way, 5-driver towers)
- • Articulate sound
- • Excellent bench test results
- • Plays really loud
- • Deep and clean bass response
- • A little wobbly with no floor spikes
- • Pedestrian styling
Introduction to the Induction Dynamics ID1 Floor Standing Speakers Review
I’ve wanted to review these speakers for quite some time. It took awhile for the stars to align so I could get these bad boys in and give them a good going over. Now I’ve had my time with them and they proved to be everything I had hoped for.
INDUCTION DYNAMICS ID1 FLOOR STANDING SPEAKER REVIEW SPECIFICATIONS
- Design: 4-Way Floor standing Speaker
- MFR: 25 Hz – 22 kHz
- Tweeter: 1.125" Titanium Inverted Dome
- Midrange: 3” Soft Dome
- Woofer: 6.5” Kevlar Cone
- Subwoofer: 2 ~ 10” Mica-Graphite Poly Cone
- Loading: Bass-reflex
- Crossover Frequencies: 80 Hz, 700 Hz and 3.8 kHz
- Sensitivity (2.83V @ 1 m): 89 dB
- Nominal Impedance: 8 Ohm (Upper), 4 Ohm (Subwoofer)
- Power Handling (RMS): 150 Watts (Upper), 800 Watts (Subwoofer)
- Inputs: Gold-Plated Binding Posts
- Weight: 90 Pounds/each
- Dimensions: 45.25" H x 11" W x 10.5" D
- Available Finishes: Piano Black and Custom Satin Finishes Available
- MSRP (Pair): $11,786 in any Satin Paint Finish or $13,877 in Gloss Black, USD
- Induction Dynamics
- SECRETS Tags: Induction Dynamics, Induction Dynamics ID1, Floor standing Speakers, Main Speakers, Full Range Speaker
Against the backdrop of other speaker companies, Induction Dynamics truly marches to the beat of a different drummer. Their speakers do not appear to follow industry norms. You won’t find them designing speakers with the technology du jour or beholding to other current trends in speaker design. Instead, they use tried and true technologies that they have developed and refined over decades of research, development and through thousands of units in the field. When you get right down to it, their philosophy really could be the old adage “form follows function”.
In the case of the ID1’s, Induction Dynamics has built a large and tall floor standing speaker that is a bit precarious in its stance with a cabinet that is wider than it is deep. They somehow managed to shoehorn five drivers into this cabinet. This would be an inverted dome tweeter, a soft dome midrange, a Kevlar mid bass driver and two 10” subwoofers. That is a lot of speaker in the cabinet and there are some hidden technologies in there as well.
Design and Setup of the Induction Dynamics ID1 Floor Standing Speakers
The Induction Dynamics ID1’s are very unique speakers in many ways. One quality that screams for attention is their panoply of 5 active drivers, each of which is specially chosen to fulfill its specific role in the system. Secondly, the ID1’s are quite tall with an unusually shallow cabinet. One would think these speakers would have special bases or spikes to stabilize their awkward equilibrium, but they do not.
These are the most obvious differentiators. But might there be any less obvious features that make these speakers stand out further still? Well, duh, YES! That would be in the dual subs that can be driven separately. This is not via the typical vertical bi-amped method shared by virtually every other speaker with dual binding posts. Nope, these bad boys require outboard bass management via a pre pro, receiver or active crossover along with dedicated amps for the subs. What other speaker companies do this? None in my experience. That’s how many.
The speakers have a switch on the back where they can operate as a stereo pair (4-way) or as a stereo pair with sub (3-way). If you select 3-way, then you will need an active crossover (or receiver with bass management) and separate amp for the subwoofers. Then you would remove the binding posts straps and wire the upper and lower units individually. The main advantage of doing this would be a theoretical increase in headroom.
If you just use the ID1’s as a stereo pair, then you set the switch to 4-way operation, leave the binding post jumpers in place and then drive them with a nice stereo amp or a pair of monoblocks. You cannot vertical bi amp these speakers.
I used them as a stereo pair throughout my review. I wanted to test them using a Krell s550i integrated amp. This amp is conservatively rated to deliver 275 watts per channel into 8 ohms. It also has a superior resistor ladder network volume control versus the mass market volume control on the LSI chip that is in my surround processor. LSI’s are thoroughly explained by Dr. David Rich in this technical article. Why would I use the surround processor when I want to test these speakers in the most favorable light? Be that as it may, the Krell integrated was able to drive these speakers to near concert levels without any hint of strain and firmly gripped the subs all the while.
Speaking of the subs, Induction Dynamics hasn’t spared any of their own special technologies in this important aspect of the speakers’ design. The ID1’s have dual 10” mica-graphite poly cone subwoofers. These high-performance drivers are accompanied by specialized filter circuits that eliminate resonance peaks and “produce a fuller sound expressing all bass frequencies”. These circuits also include excursion limiters that kick in when things heat up to keep the drivers’ distortion below audible limits (when used with the optional A2 subwoofer amplifier). It must take a lot to engage these limiters as the lower units are rated at 800 watts per channel!
The ID1’s also include the patented S4X™ Super Fourth-Order Crossover and driver-control technology. The basis of this design is a steep slope crossover network. It's claimed advantages include improvements in frequency response, phase and impedance. The steep slopes are said to allow Induction Dynamics the opportunity to specify the best possible drivers for each frequency range.
Induction Dynamics also promotes these speakers as having “Wide Angle™ phase alignment technology”. This is said to increase the usable listening window in both the vertical and horizontal planes. In practice, this worked really well for me. I started with the speakers about 12’ apart and 10’ from the listening position and I needed just the slightest scooch of toe-in for the stage to lock on with absolutely no hole in the middle. This is the least toe-in I have used with any speakers in the last few years.
The ID1 units I reviewed were gloss black. This is one of three standard finishes with the other two being Rosewood Gloss and Black Satin. You can also order yours with any of several custom paints and stain. Plus, the snap-on grilles are available in 63 different colors. Induction Dynamics also offers in-wall versions of these speakers.
The Induction Dynamics ID1 Floor Standing Speakers In Use
I was feeling a little nostalgic when sorting through my movie collection one day. That’s when I when I stumbled across “Mission impossible” on Blu ray. I used to watch the original Mission Impossible TV series with my dad and brothers. We really loved this show and I personally enjoyed the way the first movie followed the original formula quite closely. And that was perfectly fine by me.
This movie has quality, epic music throughout. Over the ID1’s, the opening musical score started things off on the right foot – with the horns displaying a satisfying, realistic splat and blat.
Later during one of this movie’s iconic scenes, the rush of the cascade of water billowing from the aquarium was fleshy and full sounding. Then in the closing bullet train scene, the music and complex audio effects were clean, full and clearly delineated. I plainly heard all the sounds both subtle and brash alike as I sat there with my eyes wide open, really into it! This was total awesomeness.
Next up, I listened to the 2-channel PCM track off the Rush 2112 Music Blu-ray. This format is such a great idea. I hope to see more of these in the future. For those of you who do not know, this disc has high resolution audio in stereo and surround. The music is accompanied by a video about the songs. The video on this disc is a series of frames that are like story boards and are reminiscent of the pages from an old comic book. This video presentation brings life to the stories in the songs.
The ID1 speakers love to rock and this Blu ray brought out their best in so many ways. The remastered audio possesses grand dynamics on a grand scale. The ID1’s got this right and they also passed more subtle cues in the transient attack of the drums, the sparkle of the cymbals, the clarity of the vocals and the driving electric guitar. These were all notable, but I most enjoyed the bass that was revealing of significant changes in character between songs all while remaining true to pitch.
I kept cranking it up to live levels and there was no hardness or glare. Just pure rock goodness. In the Overture’s Finale, I enjoyed the fat bass, driving guitar rhythms and the seat shaking kick drum without a single ounce of listening fatigue.
So it was proven through cinema and rock that the ID1’s have slam and boogie potential but the real test is on other forms of music, music that tests the most important realities of sound reproduction. And that would be in the midrange. Take Lightnin' Sam Hopkins on heavy vinyl courtesy of Arhoolie Records. The tonal palette of this recording is recessed in the bass due to the instrumentation. This puts a greater emphasis on the mid and upper registers. The quality in these areas really governs the believability of the performance.
The ID1's revealed their voicing as an accurate monitor with a smooth, peak-free rendering that traced Lightnin’ Hopkins voice like a champ and never faltered on soft and loud passages alike. Take “Ice Storm Blues” as an example. The ID1’s treated Hopkins’ voice and guitar work with great care on this track.
The unmitigated dynamics of the music shined through with deeply quiet backgrounds. This enhanced the percussive effect of the piano on “Do the Boogie”. This was certainly as realistic sounding over the ID1’s as vinyl can be.
I subscribed to Hi-Fi Choice many years ago. They included free, full-length CD’s with the magazine back in the early days of digital audio. I have hung on to a few of these discs. One of my favorites is Daniel Levy Piano Recital on the Edelweiss Emission Label. Levy is certainly one of my all-time favorite pianists and this disc shows him in the best light.
Over the ID1’s, I felt like the piano was 5' or so behind the plane of the speakers. This was a much more laid back perspective than I was expecting and was indeed a pleasant surprise.
The greatest beauty of the ID1’s in this case was their ability to convey all the piano's voicing from the percussive to the melodic and from very soft to very loud. My favorite piece that tests all these elements is Track 8, “Schumann Kinderszenen”; the piano was rendered with such beauty and the tonal balance was spot on. This held true on the next track as well, “Brahms Ballad in G Minor” (minus the coughs, footfalls and chair squeaks in the audience). Levy pounds the keys here, but the sound held up with nary any hint of audible distortion or compression.
The Induction Dynamics ID1 Floor Standing Speakers On The Bench
All below measurements are in-room response. The frequency response tests were performed at 1-meter, the distortion measurements were on-axis near field measurements with the mic tip precisely 1’ from the driver under test.
The first test I ran was a 1 kHz sine wave at 90 dB SPL. THD measured just 0.17% with the first harmonic being 76 dB below the test tone.
Still tested at 1 kHz, but bumping up the SPL to 100 dB, the ID1’s THD rose to 0.54% and the first harmonic in this case was 59 dB below the fundamental.
The next test was 5 kHz and 90 dB. The THD was very low again at just 0.11%.
Then at 5 kHz and 100 dB, the distortion remained below the threshold of audibility and measured only 0.28% despite that there are signs of cone breakup in the test plot.
This plot shows the response of a 10 kHz sine wave at 100 dB. The titanium tweeter achieved this level of output at just 0.40% THD.
The Kevlar driver produced this 100 dB signal at 500 Hz with a very low percent THD, just 0.14%.
This plot is the output from one of the two subwoofers within the left channel speaker cabinet. 100 dB at 60 Hz with an incredibly low 1.08% THD.
The distortion rises to 4.87% when the frequency is lowered to 40 Hz. This is generally considered to be inaudible at this frequency.
I can hardly believe this test plot, but even at an ass-shaking 20 Hz and 100 dB, the THD is just 2.22%! Look how the first harmonic (40Hz) is 44 dB below the test signal. This low distortion and serious bass extension are among the many reasons these speakers could play back rock music at levels that mimic a live concert and do it cleanly.
Despite the floor bounce issues below 200 Hz; this is essentially +/- 5 dB out to 25 kHz. Many manufacturers claim this kind of treble extension but then fall short under actual test conditions, but not the ID1’s.
The off-axis plot is a little choppier than the on-axis, but the bass extension to 20 Hz is equaled by the treble extension that still approaches 25 kHz. That is why I liked these speakers with little toe-in.
Conclusions about the Induction Dynamics ID1 Floor Standing Speakers
Starting at a shade under $12,000 a pair, these are expensive speakers, relative to most consumers' viewpoint. To the ultra-high end market, not so expensive. But they offer real value to the consumer insofar as the technology and implementation of the ID1’s, and the price reflects the sound quality.
Performance-wise, I honestly can't stress enough how the smooth, full-range frequency balance coupled with the low distortion design makes for a total you-are-there experience with the ID1’s. The excellent dispersion and imaging qualities of the ID1’s take the whole experience to even greater heights. And my subjective impressions are backed with a solid set of bench tests.
I think the team at Induction Dynamics has a lot to be proud of with this particular product. It represents a remarkable accomplishment of acoustic engineering. The design and engineering give you the performance you want. The only negative I have has to do with their plain Jane styling. I would hope they can upgrade the finishes, maybe add some artistic qualities to break up the visuals, and magnetic grilles would be nice while you are at it.
In the end, though, these speakers are highly recommended for their superior music and movie performances.