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ColorMunki Display review


X-Rite ColorMunki Display review

Published on July 12, 2011  |   Updated on December 02, 2019

New! Since October, 2019, the ColorMunki Display has been replaced by the i1Display Studio.


The ColorMunki Display calibration sensor has long been the mid-range product in the X-Rite range. It did not replace any sensors in July 2011 when it was released but has just been replaced by the i1Display Studio model in October 2019. When it was released, it was placed, in terms of possibilities and price, under the superlative i1Display Pro, which has the same colorimeter and only the choice of target values and calibration speed could differentiate it. This ColorMunki Display was really excellent and I bet that its replacement, which now uses a lighter version of i1Profiler, will always be at the top for those who don't need a multitude of options.


In July 2011, X-Rite launched two new display calibration sensors: the replacement for the famous Eye One Display II, the i1Display Pro and its i1Profiler software, clearly positioned at the top of the range, and this real new sensor, oriented for amateurs, advanced amateurs and professionals who do not want to benefit from all the latest crisp settings: the Colormunki Display. It is significantly cheaper than the i1Display Pro at around $130 while offering a real colorimeter - the same as the i1Display Pro - with organic glass filters and the possibility to calibrate wide gamut monitors, laptop screens, Apple iMacs or Apple iPad or tablets under Android in a simplified but not simplistic procedure ! It is characterized by its versatility - screen and projector calibration - and its adjustment range is largely advanced enough to satisfy many photographers while remaining simple. Perhaps the best compromise?

Since February 2014, it is possible to calibrate the iPad or tablets under Android with the ColorTrue app.


In a few words...


ColorMunki Display

Replaced by i1Display Studio

It certainly limits the checks after calibration but when we said that it has the same colorimeter as its big sister, the i1 Display Pro, we said it all! It has just been replaced by the i1Display Studio which still uses the same colorimeter - a guarantee of quality - and a simplified version of i1Profiler - the second guarantee of quality! - Read my conclusion  

  New! X-Rite i1Display STUDIO  



Introduction to the X-Rite Colormunki Display

This display calibration sensor calibrates all the latest generation displays with wide gamut and LED technology and, thanks to a new ADC function, makes it possible to calibrate Apple laptop or iMac displays that have only one brightness setting and has therefore also been able to calibrate tablets under iOS or Android since February 2014.

The calibration kit and its box

The Colormunki Display monitor colorimeter from X-Rite comes with a new three RGB channels with organic glass filters guaranteeing a good durability and, like most monitor calibration colorimeter, with a little weight to put on the USB cable. The colorimeter also has a classic thread to fix it on a tripod to calibrate a beamer. The kit typically contains the drivers and calibration software. Nothing but classic !

ColorMunki Display Colorimeter to calibrate monitors

The setup of the Colormunki Display software

It is particularly simple and classic. When you click on the application icon, the language detection is now automatic. The main menu of the software opens directly on two possibilities: "Characterize my display" or "Characterize my projector" in a very nice dark grey interface. I appreciate it!

Menu principal du logiciel Colormunki Display
  Two calibration and characterization options: display and projector.

Main features

  • Ergonomic multifunction measuring instrument at the forefront of technology;
  • Glass filters on three channels;
  • Friendly software: "easy" and "advanced" modes, with presets activated with a single click, or assisted options for more control;
  • Iterative intelligent characterization : adaptive technology that measures and analyzes the color capabilities of each unique display for an increased accuracy of profiles;
  • Intelligent control of ambient light : measurement, compensation and ongoing monitoring of ambient light conditions;
  • Flare Correct™ - New ! - measurement and compensation of reflections on the surface of the monitor;
  • Automatic Display Control (ADC) - New ! - to accelerate the characterization process and avoid manual settings;
  • Video projector calibration;
  • iPad or tablet calibration under Android;
  • Multi-screen calibration on the same reference - Association mode.
  Technical specifications  
  ColorMunki Display Average price: $150.00
i1Display - RGB + ambient light sensor
ColorMunki Display 1.1.5 / Mac + PC
  Panel technology Automatic
Yes, with accuracy
Color temperature
D65 (basic) / Multiple (advanced)
  Gamma setting 2,2
Ambient light control
  Multi-screen alignment Yes
  Projector calibration Yes

ColorMunki Display software installation (in its latest version)

Essential note! Download the latest version of ColorMunki Display (1.1.5 in april 2019) to ensure maximum compatibility with the latest display technologies.


Download the latest version of the software as well as the XRD !

The ColorMunki Display software (PC and MAC), sold with the ColorMunki Display, is available for free download in its latest version - Download ColorMunki Display 1.1.5 (apr. 2017)   (ColorMunki Display 1.1.5 works on Mac OS Mojave.)

Download the XRD 3.0.17 for PC only (feb. 2018)    if your system does not recognize the colorimeter.





Calibration with the ColorMunki Display: step by step

The Colormunki Display software allows you to characterize a monitor or projector in a really simple sequence from its main window.

Note! This software is not used to calibrate tablets like the iPad. To do this, you must install the ColorTrue app on your tablet.  

1 - Colormunki Display software preference settings

Before starting any calibration, you should go through the software preferences to choose two important options:

  • Choice of profile standard (V2 or V4),
  • Activating the ADC (Automatic Screen Control) function.
ColorMunki Display Software Preferences
  Default Colormunki Display software preferences.

A - Choice of profile standard: V2 or V4?

If your photos appear too dark in some software such as the Windows viewer when they normally appear in Photoshop, it is because the profile standard has remained in V4 (the most recent but unfortunately not yet implemented in all image viewing software).

In the Colormunki Display preferences select the profile version V2:

ColorMunki Display Software Preferences: ICC Standard

B - The ADC function:

This ingenious feature that allows you to calibrate even laptop screens or iMacs that have only the brightness settings as their screen settings must be enabled here:

Activating the ADC function of Colormunki Display
  Once you have validated these options, click OK to return to the main window.
Main Window of ColorMunki Display Software

2 - Choice of the monitor to be calibrated

When you click on "Profile my display" a new window opens, in which you will choose the monitor to calibrate if you have more than one. Select the monitor to calibrate in the list.

ColorMunki Display: choice of screen to calibrate

Multi monitors calibration!  If you have already calibrated at least one monitor, the software also asks if you want to align the new monitor to another one already characterized, to harmonize your color workflow or set of monitors. I note that this function is accessible from this so called "expert amators" colorimeter in the X-Rite range.

3 - Choice of an easy or advanced calibration

Select the profile setting that is to say"Easy" or "Advanced" mode.

ColorMunki Display: choice of simplified or advanced calibration mode
  Here is a summary of the differences between the two modes:
  Setting choice / Modes Easy Advanced
  Brightness No Yes / from 80 to 140 Cd/M2
Color temperature
D65 - 6500K D50-D55-D65
2,2 2,2
  Ambient light Mandatory Possible
ADC function
Yes Yes

A - In "easy mode" - you do not have to choose the target values ​​: Brightness, gamma, color temperature. Everything is done automatically using a D65 light, so a color temperature of 6.500 K, a gamma of 2,2 and a brightness that will depend on the ambient light measure, step that is now mandatory and that I advise against. 

B - In "advanced mode", which I invite you to choose - You will have the choice of two target values: the illuminant i. e. the color temperature - D50, D55 or the classic D65 - and the brightness of the display, between 80 and 140 Cd/m2. The D65 works very well with all screens and I like it around 100 Cd/m2 which is now a reference when you print your photos in a not too bright environment or for more Web use.

ColorMunki Display: choice of illuminant and luminance

4 - Advanced options of the advanced mode

ColorMunki Display: choice of ambient lighting measurement

ColorMunki Display ColorimeterA - Ambient lighting - You can only choose in advanced mode! Light measurement is expected to improve the quality of the ICC profile. In 2017, I would rather advise against this option which, even if it only adapts the brightness of the screen without affecting the colours, will change the brightness of the screen too much and take us away from our target values. From morning to evening, I display my screen at 80 Cd/M2 and I prefer to play with the shutters of my windows than with the brightness of my screen.

B - Flare Correct - I personally uncheck and if anyone knows what it's for in real life, I'm interested!

Note! With the Colormunki Display sensor, ambient light is measured only in luminance, unlike the i1 Display Pro sensor, which measures in Luminance AND color for greater accuracy when correcting the ICC profile.

5 - Plug your colorimeter


Be careful if you calibrate a laptop or an iMac!

Indeed, these computers always activate by default in their monitor preferences the "Automatic brightness" option, which must absolutely be deactivated BEFORE starting the calibration.


6 - Reset your monitor and choose the factory or sRGB profile

OSD menu of a screen


7 -Place your sensor as shown on your screen

But to start, turn the diffuser of the ambient light sensor over as shown.

ColorMunki Display: place the ColorMunki Display colorimeter on the screen

a - In easy mode - Then, run the calibration and characterization directly if you have chosen the easy mode. In this mode, the ADC (Automatic control of the brightness and contrast of the monitor) is done automatically. This is a real advantage for laptop display and iMac calibration, as I could verify.

Note! Even in easy mode, the number of color patches that pass in front of the colorimeter is impressive (119), guaranteeing a precise ICC profile. A very good point!

b - In advanced mode -The software will help you to adjust the brightness level compared to the target value selected. Simply follow the instructions. Then, as in simplified mode, an important serie of color patches, for a software of that price level, will be displayed and measured by the colorimeter.

Finally, you will, if you choose the "Flare Correct" option, measure the reflection of your glossy display to slightly correct the contrast of your image of that glossy panel. I have disabled this option personally.

8 - Save your monitor ICC profile

Profile achieved! Name your ICC profile with the settings you want using the proposal of the software, or adding for example the date, or even specific settings that you would be trying.
Finally, note that it is always possible to ask, as a reminder, the notification of the calibration need, every week or up to four weeks. It may be a little short, especially with recent monitors if you are the only one working on your monitor and you are sure that nobody has changed your settings during calibration. In a collective working area, I highly recommend a calibration every month. Finally, if you work or edit photos for a client whose colors, in time, are strategic, I advise you to repeat at least one characterization before your editing session

ColorMunki Display: save the ICC profile after calibration

9 - Before/after comparison

Very informative most of the time!

10 - Ambient light control (Advanced mode option)

As I explained above, the brightness adjustment, in easy or advanced mode, is based on the ambient light measurement. So, it might be interesting to perform a measure on a regular basis as this feature is automated, especially if the light in your room is changing, which is likely to be the case, unless using continuous lighting, as this function is automated.

Important note! With this control mode, the software will adapt the ICC profile created based on changes noted during this measurement. This control of ambient light can be done very regularly, as it is possible to do it again every five minutes ! Two options:

  • From 5 minutes to 1 hour;
  • Automatically monitor and correct changes in ambient lighting / or monitor and notify me if there are significant changes in ambient lighting.

It only remains to check in time, if this feature is relevant or just a gadget ... I personally do not like it because under certain light conditions, the cure is worse than the disease.  




Use and checking of the ICC profile

As indicated on the Photoshop color preferences page, it is prudent to verify that Photoshop is using this new ICC profile to correctly display the colors on your screen.




  ColorMunki Display  
Color fidelity 9,5/10
Implementation / settings 7,0/10
Manufacturing quality 9,0/10
Quality / Price ratio 10/10


  I like it very much...  
  • Excellent quality/price ratio!
  • ADC function for the calibration of laptop monitors or Apple iMac
  • Very simple calibration but of high quality and for good reason, it uses the same colorimeter as the i1Display Pro !
  • Beautiful shades of grey with very few break tones, even on TN panels
  • Globaly nice grey neutralization.
  I regret...  
  • Lack of settings in advanced mode (but there is the Pro version for that!)
  • A little slow, maybe... count 6-7 minutes for a complete calibration/characterization
  • On a classic TN panel (desktop display), it may remain some grey that are not fully neutralized - same for the competitor and whose to blame ?
  My overall rating...  
  8,75 / 10  
  My conclusion...  
  Colorimeter Colormunki Display on screenOne of the best quality/price ratio on the market, certainly... until the release of its replacement: the i1Display STUDIO in the fall of 2019 which uses the same colorimeter but a simplified version of i1Profiler. However, this sensor has been performing very good calibration of laptop screens, Apple iMacs or tablets (iPad and Android) since February 2014. The first calibration is often the right one... but you don't want a TC of 6000K or a calibration report... !  
New! X-Rite - i1Display STUDIO
Here is my complete review of the ColorMunki Display from X-Rite.
- Review of the X-Rite Colormunki Display
  - Introduction to the ColorMunki Display
- Calibration with the ColorMunki Display
- Conclusion and rating

- Why and how to calibrate your monitor?
- How to choose your monitor?


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