Kali Audio is a relative newcomer to the studio monitor space. But that doesn’t mean they don’t have experience. Launched by a team of dedicated professionals from JBL Pro they have made quite the splash in the market. In this review, we check out the 2nd wave of the popular IN-8 studio monitor.
Kali Audio IN-8 V2
The Kali Audio IN-8 V2 improves on the original in almost every way. A great sounding monitor with innovative design. Let’s see where it shines and where it falls short.
The Kali Audio IN-8 V2 has a lot to offer artists looking for an 8-inch studio monitor. Time for a deep dive into this exceptional speaker.
By far the most outstanding feature of the Kali Audio IN-8 V2 is the sound quality. I don’t throw words like superb and exceptional around lightly. But in this case, the praise is well justified.
The full frequency range is perfectly presented and balanced. The top end is crisp and clear without a hint of any distortion. The mids are smooth, warm, and spacious. The lows are equally impressive. Plenty of punch and fullness without muddy tones or boominess. It is difficult to encapsulate just how good these monitors sound. Even more impressive is the attractive price point.
The Kali Audio IN-8 V2 offers exceptional audio quality.
The sound stage is also fantastic. Spatial placement is distinct. Within an instant, you can pinpoint the position of elements in a mix. This monitor is ultra-flat while delivering a pleasing and non-fatiguing listening experience. It is great in the nearfield but also performs well at longer distances. The sweet spot is also generous.
There is nothing to fault in this area. An exceptional speaker that delivers on what it promises.
The Kali Audio IN-8 V2 also maintains a high level of quality. Higher than other monitors at this price point.
The cabinet is solid and robust. The three-way driver configuration is excellent. Poly-coated low and mid-frequency drivers compliment the textile tweeter. The Class D amp delivers and distributes power.
High-quality components and a 3-way driver system set the IN-8 apart from competitors.
The large front bass port also sports an excellent design. It is low noise and pushes air out at an even velocity. This ensures a punchy and tight low-end.
It is a high-quality speaker designed and developed with care.
The IN-8 V2 offers a frequency response of 45Hz-21kHz (±3 dB) and as low as 37Hz-25kHz (-10 dB). While many other monitors may tout similar figures the Kali Audio does something many others can’t match. Across the full range, there are no obscure bumps or dips. Delivery is even and consistent across the board. This is an ultra-flat monitor. Excellent for analytical listening.
The Kali Audio IN-8 V2 offers three drivers.
The Class D amp offers 60W to the low-frequency driver. A further 40W each for the mid-frequency driver and high-frequency driver. A total output of 140W across all three. Plenty of power.
At a max SPL of 117dB, it also offers an abundance of volume and headroom. Even more satisfying is the excellent delivery at all volumes. While you’ll unlikely need to push this monitor to its limits often, it holds up well.
There is an abundance of corrective options available on the Kali Audio IN-8 V2. The range of dip switches controls the output. They compensate for a large number of potential studio configurations.
The first three switches offer a tailor-made EQ compensation for 8 different scenarios. Whether the monitor is close to a wall, on a console, or a desk you’ll have options up your sleeve. And they all work as intended. A further set of two dip switches offer control over the high frequencies. To round out the options a pair of switches are also available for the low frequencies. Finally, an RCA switch is available if you are intending to use an RCA input.
The IN-8 V2 offers a guide on the back to help tune it to your space.
The Kali Audio IN-8 V2 gives you full flexibility. The only complaint I can offer is that for some these switches may feel a bit fiddly especially if you have large hands. It is the most minuscule of complaints but worth mentioning.
The Kali Audio IN-8 V2 isn’t going to win any beauty contests. It is an attractive monitor but does lean towards the plain side. High-quality function is the purpose and in that regard, it smashes it out of the park. But if you like your monitors with a bit more life and color the Kali IN-8 V2 is a letdown.
The Kali Audio IN-8 V2 is a professional-looking studio monitor.
The layout here is also a highlight. Other coaxial monitors offer just two drivers. One for the low end and one for the mid and highs. This can lead to some sonic distortion due to the thump and rumble from the low-frequency driver. The Kali Audio IN-8 V2 eliminates this problem by allowing the low-frequency driver to have its own space.
Aesthetically it does impress but the overall design mentality behind the box is well thought out and executed.
8-inch monitors are large and the IN-8 V2 is no different. If you have a small studio space these are going to be overkill. I’d suggest looking at the IN-5 V2 as an alternative. This monitor dominates the space and demands a spacious environment.
The Kali Audio IN-8 V2 is a large studio monitor.
On the weight side of things, the Kali Audio IN-8 V2 is in line with other 8-inch monitors in the space. It comes in at 23 lbs. (10.4kg). It’s hefty but you can’t expect lightness from an 8-inch studio monitor.
On the connectivity front, the Kali Audio IN-8 V2 also gives you good flexibility. You’ll have access to a balanced XLR input along with a balanced ¼ inch TRS. You’ll also have access to an unbalanced RCA connection point. While I wouldn’t recommend using RCA it is handy to have it available.
The IN-8 V2 offers a good selection of connection options.
There are no other auxiliary options available. No Bluetooth and no headphone port. It’s unsurprising considering the target market for this monitor. But, if you do require these features you’ll need to look at other options.
This is another area where the Kali Audio IN-8 V2 impresses. It isn’t cheap but it also isn’t insanely expensive. When you consider the exceptional level of quality on offer it’s an excellent achievement. A pair of these can be the price of one high-end monitor. And in many situations, the IN-8 V2 will perform better. It’s aggressively priced and provides fantastic value.
The latest V2 model is still rather new but the positive reviews are already flooding in. By far the most common compliment is the excellent audio quality. No surprise considering how well-rounded and detailed the delivery is.
Frequency Response Accuracy
Frequency response is often one of the first specs that people will assess when selecting a monitor. But the number in and of itself doesn’t always tell the full story. Many monitors offer excellent reach in the frequency spectrum but they don’t always deliver it accurately.
It’s important to have an accurate response to properly master your creations.
The accuracy of a monitor is when it maintains a consistent response across all those frequencies. No wild dips or spikes. This allows you to properly master your work. This ensures you can have high confidence that your mix will translate across a wide range of listening platforms. Taking it further the response should be consistent at a variety of volume levels.
There are several alternatives in the 8-inch studio monitor market. Here are a handful of high-quality options also worth considering.
KRK Rokit 8 G4 Review
KRK is a popular brand of studio monitors with a long history in the industry. The latest generation offers up innovative features and precise granular control.
- Solid and robust level of build quality.
- Advanced tuning options with an LCD screen. Simple yet rich in features.
- Doesn’t offer as flat a response as the Kali Audio IN-8 V2.
Read our full KRK Rokit 8 G4 review for more detailed information.
KRK Rokit 8 G4
Yamaha HS8 Review
Yamaha is another well-known brand with an excellent track record of delivering great monitors. The HS8 is often among the top recommendations for 8-inch studio monitors.
- Ultra-flat response with a high level of audio clarity and fidelity.
- Reliable monitor that is a true workhorse in the studio.
- The low-end isn’t as rich and well-rounded as other options.
Read our full Yamaha HS8 review for more detailed information.
PreSonus Sceptre S8 Review
The PreSonus Sceptre S8 is another monitor that utilizes a coaxial design. It has plenty of power and an impressive level of sound quality.
- Wide soundstage with plenty of depth across the frequency spectrum.
- No distortion or interference to audio quality even at higher volume levels.
- While still good value it’s substantially more expensive than the IN-8 V2.
Read our full PreSonus Sceptre S8 review for more detailed information.
PreSonus Sceptre S8
Should You Buy?
There is a lot to love about the Kali Audio IN-8 V2. It offers one of the best, if not the best listening experience in this price range. It’s a perfect monitor for medium-sized studios and working professionals. It oozes refinement. A studio monitor that is both ultra-flat without sounding boring. If you love finding the details in a mix the Kali Audio IN-8 will not disappoint. When you factor in the affordable price point it is easily one of the best 8-inch monitors available today.
Kali Audio IN-8 V2