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Kali Audio’s IN-8 monitor: Easy on budget for sonic superiority

Studio monitors are arguably the most important tool in any audio engineer’s toolkit. While two-way monitors are adequate for many people, producers and engineers in search of heightened detail often opt for three-way monitors.

In this type of monitor, the additional driver allows each speaker to more accurately and transparently reproduce audio. Cost is also a notably huge obstacle for many when considering purchasing three-way studio monitors.

Fortunately, our friends at Kali Audio have developed a three-way monitor that not only sounds great but is also friendly on your budget, the Kali Audio IN-8.

With only a slightly larger form factor than the LP-8, the IN-8 easily integrates in smaller studios while still boasting accurate and dynamic listening. The speakers also feature an idle mode which dims the bright blue LED on the front panel when the speakers have not been in use.

The Kali Audio LP-6 and 8 thoroughly impressed us when we tried them early this year and in 2018. Since our reviews, both models have gone on to garner even more positive acclaim. Their latest speaker the IN-8 continues their legacy, offering unparalleled accuracy and quality for an awesome price.

The IN-8 features 140W of class D power and 1% on average less THD than the LP-8. The coaxial design of the combined tweeter and midrange driver sounds and looks excellent. This is a feature we’d expect to see on much more expensive studio monitors.

Sonically the IN-8 is on par with the Dynaudio LYD 48 and is much more reasonably priced. The front-facing port also makes the IN-8s superior for smaller studios and we experienced no unwanted port noise or chuffing.

The Kali Audio IN-8 has a punchy and revealing sound that is perfect for working with film, dialogue and music. The sound could also be described as clear- at high and low volumes the monitors retain their clarity.

It’s easy to hear the effect of compression and other dynamics processing in a audio engineering setting. The amplifiers are decently quiet and seem to provide plenty of power for each driver. We experienced no added noise using balanced versus unbalanced cables but we opted for balanced, just to be safe.

With more expensive powered 3-way studio monitors a lot of your money is going to the brand name and reputation. The IN-8 has transparent frequency reproduction and can be used in a professional application as primary near field monitors.

There isn’t as much of a low mid ‘bump’ as is common on many two-way monitors and the crossovers are musical and don’t resonate unpleasantly. The IN-8 also features the familiar EQ dip-switches present on the LP-6 and 8 which is a fantastic feature of the monitors.

The boundary EQ settings we dialed in for our pair of IN-8s made them shine even brighter!

We’d love to see a subwoofer from Kali Audio in the future. We think it would really round out their product line as well as provide the perfect match for their studio monitors. Who knows, maybe our wish will come true sooner than expected…

Kali Audio was founded in early 2018 and their products are designed and engineered in California. By purchasing their monitors you support a US-based brand with extreme attention to quality, customer care, and affordability. The Kali Audio IN-8 studio monitors are now available for $800 a pair.

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