Kali Audio are relative newcomers to pro audio. After launching at the start of 2018 they have already begun to shake up the market in budget studio monitors, mostly because the sound and quality of speaker doesn’t scream budget.
The Kali LP-8’s feature an 8” woofer and are the bigger brother of the LP-6’s (6.5” woofers), a series of speaker intended to be some of the most balanced and evenly responsive speakers on the market. They’re Californian made, very affordable and very honest. They’re painfully honest. But, in mixing, if there’s no pain when listening back to mixes that you thought were finished, then there’s no gain. The Kali Audio LP-8’s feature Kali’s boundary EQ settings to assist in tuning your speakers to the room, a balanced sound fairly solid low-end.
Situated above the 8” woofer is a 1” tweeter that begins responding around the 1.8kHz crossover point. The speaker enclosure, mostly solid black for a professional and inconspicuous look, also features a bass port that provides powerful bass response without being boomy or overbearing. The speakers frequency response is listed as 37Hz-25kHz, which is really all you’d need to hear, and then some. The speaker as a whole is powered by a Class-D amplifier but remains clean and clear throughout the entire frequency spectrum. Besides a little bump at the very edge of human hearing, the response of the speakers is remarkably even, and gives a phenomenally balanced and honest representation of sound for you to build mixes on, or attenuate issues while recording. The LP-6 and LP-8 feature Kali Audio’s boundary EQ, a room tuning EQ that anyone can figure out. Depending on where your speakers are situated in your room, and what they’re situated on, you can toggle between a series of little on/off switches on the back of each speaker. There’s clearly labeled diagrams of speakers close to walls, on desks, on speaker stand or on consoles for you to toggle between to get the best response out of your speakers.
Getting the best out of these speakers isn’t hard though, and that’s what sells them. They sound great, you’ll notice flaws and they’re easily fixed without chasing your tail trying to fix problems that no one else will hear. They’re a great option for a main speaker because they’re so balanced. In a small collection of speakers they’d still be a go to, and other monitors may become something you’ll switch to to double check, and that’s about it. There’s a small upper mid bump that may cause you to attenuate a little too hard, but nothing that will ruin a mix. The lows are balanced and the highs are un-hyped, an issue with many budget speakers. What’s more - the mids are honest in the Kali’s, something even less common amongst budget speakers. Other speakers sound great and exciting, but that’s not what you need while you’re mixing.
All in all, the Kali Audio LP-8s would be great for a mix engineer of any level. They’ll tell you what you need to know and leave it at that. There’s no hype, except the excitement around these speakers in general, and they won’t break the bank. Get a set for the studio and a set for home. They look professional, feel professional, and the room tuning software is easy to get to grips with. There’s nothing complicated about these speakers, and they make for a less complicated mix.
Hits and Misses
Good bass response