Kali Audio LP-UNF in the real world

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Kali Audio LP-UNF in the real world

Kali Audio
Words by Jamie Colic

“Ultra-Detailed. Ultra-Accurate. Ultra-Nearfield.”

With the needs and requirements instilled upon Pro Audio equipment rapidly changing as time progresses, there has been an increasing demand for mixing and monitoring solutions for engineers and producers who are working on the go outside of the typical environment such as a commercial studio.

Kali Audio LP-UNF Nearfield Reference Monitors

Whilst headphones have been a long-standing solution and we have all heard about industry legends such as Andrew Schepps ditching his $100,000 Neve console in favour of a Macbook, it seems that there has been somewhat of a void in the realm of smaller, semi-portable nearfield monitors that actually cater to the pro level demographic. 

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This is where Kali Audio has stepped up to the plate. Famous for their LP-8 reference monitors among other things, Kali Audio have acknowledged the call for what many modern engineers require in an era where professionals are required to be more adaptable than ever and working environments are sometimes constantly changing. 

The goal of the LP-UNF is to provide the user with a professional nearfield monitoring solution that is easy to set up within the confines of a desktop or similar small space. Small driver reference monitors are by no means a new concept, however, they have often been regulated to serve a more casual user demographic. A market trajectory that has often left the pro-level engineer out in the cold. 

Kali Audio LP-UNF

Boasting a class-D power amp, and a maximum SPL rating of 103dB, the LP-UNF Nearfield Reference Monitors pack in the same design hallmarks that have made its bigger brothers a resounding hit amongst pro audio circles. This seal of quality is important when depending on a reference speaker to provide an accurate image, especially in an untreated room such as an office or bedroom. 

In terms of power output, the LP-UNF pack an impressive 40 watts per channel meaning that you will never be hankering for more grunt whilst working in your desktop or temporary studio environment. SPL rating is measured to be 85dB continuous at 8 metres with a respectable 20dB of headroom, further driving the point home that power is no issue when it comes to the Kali Audio LP-UNF Nearfield Reference Monitors.

A frequency range of 54Hz to 21kHz ensures that the Kali Audio LP-UNF are giving you an accurate impression across the whole frequency spectrum. This is especially impressive when you take into account that the speaker’s subwoofer driver is a mere 4.5” wide. In turn, the LP-UNF takes care of all of the high-end detail via its 1-inch HF driver leaving no important frequency range unaccounted for.

Kali Audio have put an immense amount of thought into the design of the LP-UNF, incorporating a front-firing port tube that utilises a special fluid dynamics shape. This design element ensures that you can place the LP-UNF close to or even against any wall without experiencing any unwanted sonic artefacts such as unwanted bass buildup, port noise or compression. All issues that can afflict some other small studio monitors when not placed correctly. 

As a matter of fact, the Kali Audio LP-UNF reference monitors come with a selection of presets catered to specific placements within any given room. These include: 

  • On stands behind your desk
  • On a desk, away from walls 
  • On a desk, against a wall 
  • On a desk, on speaker stands, away from walls
  • On a desk, on speaker stands, against walls
  • On a recording desk with rack units, away from walls
  • On a recording desk with rack units, against walls

This plethora of options guarantees that no matter how your room is set up you can rest easy knowing that Kali Audio has you covered when it comes to providing an accurate monitoring scenario within any given space.

Connectivity: USB-C, Bluetooth, RCA or TRS

In terms of connectivity Kali Audio has you sorted with a plethora of options including USB-C, Bluetooth, RCA or TRS. This means that no matter what your current setup utilises you will have absolutely no issues in regards to incorporating the LP-UNF Nearfield Monitors into your workflow. This is great as it means less time flipping pages in an instruction manual and more time mixing!

When unboxing the LP-UNF you will immediately be greeted with both reference monitors, their handy interconnect cable, a power supply and the local power cable. Kali Audio ensures to pack in everything you need to get started right from the get-go. 

In terms of size, the LP-UNF pair are as small as one would expect, measuring 10 inches tall, and 6.5 inches wide. A speaker depth of 7.4 inches ensures that these reference monitors will fit quite comfortably into even the most compact of spaces. The fact that such small speakers push out such a big sound doesn’t quite compute upon first firing them up and we still haven’t really picked our jaws up off the floor.

Whilst on the topic of the LP-UNF dimensions we might as well mention their weight, which is a very modest 3.2kg for the primary speaker and 3.7kg for the secondary speaker. As these reference monitors are powered this weight measurement will be very appealing to anyone who has the intention of moving the LP-UNF around on a regular basis. 

In use the Kali Audio LP-UNF Nearfield reference monitors provide a phenomenally life-like stereo image, providing all the details one would expect from a professional studio monitor “but perhaps not expect from a pair this size”. This fantastic imaging is achieved via a 3D imaging waveguide, much like what is utilised in the LP-UNF larger brothers such as the LP-6 and LP-8.

All in all the Kali Audio LP-UNF set a new standard when it comes to small-size nearfield monitors, offering a pro-level listening experience to any engineers who are looking to monitor in smaller spaces. As a matter of fact, the LP-UNF would also make a fantastic choice for any commercial studio looking for a small pair of monitors to incorporate into a larger monitor array for purposes such as cross-referencing. 

For local enquiries, visit National Audio Systems.