X-Rite ColorMunki Display Review (CMUNDIS)

X-Rite ColorMunki Display Review Featured CMUNDIS

X-Rite Colormunki Display Review In Few Words (Mini Review)

Calibrating your display is something anyone serious with working professionally in digital art is must. As you need to ensure that the colors:-

    • Match between your different monitors and with different computer.
    • Match between your computer and printer, or you will get prints with different colors than what you see on your screen (using a device that supports this function).
    • Match Between your computer & other devices you use like projectors.

And for that, ColorMunki Display provides an easy way to calibrate your displays & get the best colors right away. While I mentioned professionals as the primary audience for ColorMunki Display, hobbyists can also get results from color calibrations devices as well, especially those aspiring to become professionals.

ColorMunki Display works with many kinds of display devices from LCD or LEF to Wide Gamut, Plasma, RG Phosphor, OLED and Wide Gamut. So it is very likely going to work for your monitor.

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Pros Of Colormunki Display

  • An easy to use way to calibrate your screen or display device.

Cons Of Colormunki Display

  • The USB port can be short to use with some desktop users.

Technical Specifications

    • Perfect for quick & easy display calibration with professional level results – edit, share and print your images with confidence.
    • Equipped with similar hardware and color engine technology found in X-Rite’s industry leading professional level i1 display calibration solutions (Note that it calibrates slower than i1 display Pro).
    • EXCLUSIVE X-RITE TECHNOLOGY! Mobile Friendly – Compatible with X-Rite ColorTRUE mobile app for calibrating Apple iOS and Android mobile devices
    • Incorporates technologically advanced filter and optical systems, fast measurement speed, and unrivaled color accuracy on all modern display and projector technologies, such as LED, Plasma, RG Phosphor, OLED and Wide Gamut
    • Future Proof – spectrally calibrated, making it field-upgradeable to support future display technologies
    • EXCLUSIVE X-RITE TECHNOLOGY! Flare Correct measures & adjusts display profile for reduced contrast ratios caused by flare light (or glare) falling on surface of display
    • Intelligent Iterative Profiling – an adaptive technology that measures and analyzes the color capabilities of each unique display for increased color accuracy
    • Ambient Light Smart Control: measurement, compensation and ongoing monitoring of ambient light conditions.

Monitors display differently, important for professionals.

Eyes are not a good measure for that, though sometimes displaying the same photo on multiple monitors, you will see the differences.

    • Match colors from monitor to monitor.
    • Allows you to check how the colors of your display are before & after the calibration.
    • Compatible with Windows 7, 8, 10 & Mac OSX.

Works with many kinds of display devices:- LCD, LEF, Wide Gamut, Plasma, RG Phosphor, OLED and Wide Gamut.

An Overview About Colormunki Display

X-Rite ColorMunki Display CMUNDIS Design

If you are a professional, or aim to be one, then getting accurate colors from your monitor is a must for you, there is nothing worse than printing a picture or publishing it on the web only to find that the colors are off compared to what was on your screen. Even a hobbyist can benefit from such device, as it can speeds up your workflow by having accurate colors from the outset.

ColorMunki Display is not limited to calibrating monitors only, but projector devices as well.

Setting Up

ColorMunki Display consists of a software & hardware parts, the hardware part is placed on the screen (in a designated place indicated on the application window). The software has two modes, basic mode & advanced mode. The basic mode is good to start with, while the advanced mode gives you more options to work with, more on that later.

Once the calibration begins, the software displays certain colors and eventually adjust the colors based on the values read by the device. Once the calibration is done, you will get to see how the colors looked like before & after the calibration, which has a nice feeling that you got something really worthy.

The calibration process takes few minutes, which is pretty fine if you plan to calibrate your device on interval periods. But for faster calibration, then you will need to get i1display pro, which the higher model of ColorMunki Display, and the one that provides a faster calibration speed.

Tilted Screen, Calibration

To make sure the device stay in its place during calibration, on the USB cable of your X-Rite, there is a counterweight you place on the other side of the monitor, to hold ColorMunki Display in place. The counterweight can be adjusted so that it always falls on the back of the monitor, so it can be adjusted for use on many displays sizes (if your monitor is too big, then that may not be possible). Besides using the counterweight, you may also lean your monitor backward to that the device stays in its place.

ColorMunki Display can be used to calibrate other monitors as well, to do that, all you have to do is to drag your X-Rite program to the other monitors & calibrate it.

Since you may need to calibrate your device on a regular basis, you can set the software to remind you to re-calibrate on a regular basis, like every week or so.

There is one thing I need to mention about that the ColorMunki Display’s USB cable is short(about 70-inch), which means if you use a Desktop computer, and that computer is placed below your desk. Then the cable is likely going to be short for you. Laptop users are unlikely going to have a problem with that.

Advanced Mode

While ColorMunki Display can be used easily in the basic mode, you also has the option to use it with the advanced mode, which gives you with more options and more control. Knowing more about the technical differences between the various options in the advanced mode can help you achieve better results. In general, the advanced mode allows you to pick things like the white point, which is also known as color temperature. Which is generally recommended to be set to D50 (or 5000) for print, or D65 (6500) for web. But that can be different depending on your preferences.

The advanced mode also allows you to adjust the luminance of your display, as well as activate the Ambient Light Sensor, which I will talk about shortly.

Ambient Light Sensor

ColorMunki Display comes equipped with an Ambient light sensor, which can read ambient light from the lighting of your room and correct colors based on that. That way, it takes the room lighting into account when it does the calibration. If you work on a workspace where the lightings change periodically, like in case you have a window in your office or something, you can set ColorMunki Display so that it adjust the screen brightness at intervals, so that the colors you see remain accurate at any time of the day.

While the ambient light sensor is supposed to be a useful feature all the way, some artists don’t like it & think it is unnecessary, while some others recommend using it. So I pretty much advice you to experiment calibrating your monitor with & without that feature.

Support For Mobile Devices

Since mobile devices & tablets are becoming increasingly used for graphics nowadays, ColorMunki Display provides a support for those devices as well. And for that, X-Rite provides the ColorTRUE mobile Apps for both iOS & android. Microsoft Surface Pro can simply use the same Windows application as the one you would use for your Desktop or Laptop.

The app works similar to how the desktop application works, you place the device on a designated area, and it does the calibration.

ColorTRUE gives you the following options:-

    • The ability to check how the colors on your screen looks like before & after the calibration.
    • Ambient Light Compensation:- So that your images are accurate in any lighting condition.
    • Print simulation:- To preview your images with printer profile.
    • ICC Profiling.
    • White Point Selection:- The ability to choose the White Point, or Color Temperature to match your computer screen.

For the Android app, a supported device is needed, and according to the app page on Google play, only the following devices are supported:-

    • Samsung Galaxy Devices
    • Nexus Devices
    • HTC One Devices
    • Moto X Devices
    • LG Devices
    • Xiaomi

The iOS app provides support for more X-Rite products. Whether you own an Android or iOS device, ColorMunki Display is supported on both apps. It requires iOS 7.0 or later. And it compatible with iPhone, iPod Touch & iPad.

Supported X-Rite devices on the iOS app:-

    • ColorMunki Smile.
    • ColorMunki Display.
    • i1Display Pro.
    • i1Pro 2.

Supported X-Rite devices on the iOS app:-

    • ColorMunki Display.
    • i1Display Pro.

Note:- While it is pretty nice that there are mobile apps that support calibration with ColorMunki Display, note that by the time of writing this article. The apps has around 3 stars out of 5 rating on both the App Store & Google Play.

Possible Problems With Colormunki Display

While many people reported using ColorMunki Display and being happy about it. There is still a chance you run into a problem when you use your ColorMunki Display. Especially for the first time. So I included a list of common problems that you may encounter in case you decided to get ColorMunki Display.

Colormunki Display Not Working With Max OS X 10.9 (Maverick) Or Later

If you use Max OSX 10.9, also known as Maverick, you need to upgrade the X-Rite device services, click here for information on that. This tip may also work for later versions of Mac OS X.

Colormunki Display Not Working On A Windows 10

According to this page in X-rite’s site, ColorMunki Display requires that for Windows 7, Windows 8 & Windows 10, you need to have version 1.1.1 or higher, and that’s the case on both 32-bit & 64-bit systems.

Colormunki Display Working On USB 3.0 Port

There is a possibility that ColorMunki Display won’t work on USB 3.0 ports, if that happened to you, there are two solutions to that (taken from this page on X-Rite’s website):-

    • Switch to a USB 2.0 port.
    • If you computer doesn’t have a USB 2.0 post, use a powered USB 2.0 hub.

Crash At Startup With Colormunki Design On Mac OS X El Capitan 10.11

If you use Max OS X El Capitan, and ColorMunki Design kept crashing on you, then this article will explain how to fix this issue.

Windows Keeps Unloading The Monitor Profile (Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 10)

If the profiles you created using your ColorMunki Display kept being unloaded after you restart your computer, or after it wakes up from sleep or hibernation. This article contains instructions that will hopefully solve the problem for you.

Tips For Using Colormunki Display

  • In case you don’t like X-Rite’s software, you can also use your ColorMunki Display with other software like DisplayCAL (formerly dispcalGUI). 
  • Try to calibrate with the dim lights in your room to get good results.
  • In general, it is advisable to set the gamma to 2.2 for web, 1.8 for print.
  • Bear in mind that if you have an old or bad monitor, then all the calibration software won’t get you great color from it. And it should be time to invest in a new monitor.

Other Calibration Devices

Following are a mention for other calibration products from X-Rite and Datacolor, the point of this mention is to help you decide if ColorMunki Display works for you, or you need a higher or lower model.

X-Rite Colormunki Smile

X-Rite CMUNSML ColorMunki Smile

The lower-end model of ColorMunki Display, which is cheaper but provides you with only the basic features. It provides no ambient color correction, white point setting nor custom gamma. Giving its limited options, it is not a product I would recommend to a professional.

 X-Rite I1display Pro

X-Rite I1display Pro

The higher end of ColorMunki Display, i1Display Pro can calibrate your screen much faster than ColorMunki Display.

With the exception of look & calibration speed, i1Display Pro provides the same hardware as ColorMunki Display, but comes with a better software that does the faster calibration. It also gives you more options as well, like the support for Automatic Display Control, which allows i1Display Pro to adjust your monitor directly instead of creating a profile.

Datacolor Spyder5pro

Datacolor Spyder5pro

The direct competitor to X-Rite. From Datacolor. It is very similar to ColorMunki Display, except that it doesn’t support projector calibration or flare correction. It also no longer support mobile devices calibration. It is a fine product in case you don’t need these features.

And Finally

In essence, ColorMunki Display provides you with a good solution to calibrate your monitor(s) at a good price. And it also supports calibration a wide variety of devices, including projectors. The Ambient Light Sensor is a huge boon if you work in a room with changing lighting conditions. So unless you need faster calibration speed or more control, then ColorMunki Display is the device for you.

I hope you liked my ColorMunki Display review, and see you again in another review. ^^

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SweetMonia
I am an anime artist, and huge fan of digital art. I love drawing with pencils too. But I rarely do that anymore nowadays. Since some aspects of digital art can be tricky, I try my best to explain the concepts as easily as possible.

2 Comments

  1. Thanks for your review! I’m shopping for a new monitor for use with Adobe Lightroom & Photoshop. As a photographer, color calibration is very desirable, so I’m also considering ColorMunki Display. This gave me a lot of great information. I particularly like your section on common problems and solutions. Thanks again!

    1. Hello Derek,

      You are welcome, I am glad my review was able to help you, even for a little bit. I hope you won’t run into any of the problems I listed in my review too ^^

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