The world of audio and musical equipment can be a tricky one to navigate at the best of times. With so many different products, conflicting opinions and confusing reviews, it’s hard to know what’s actually the best product for your needs. Luckily, the team at Mixdown have put in the legwork for you, sifting through the spec-sheets and putting the products through their paces to bring you Mixdown’s Picks - a new series of expansive, category defining product guides across our digital channels. Anything that has made the cut has rated highly across the board with the Mixdown staff, garnering a unanimous tick of approval from our staunch critics.
For this special, we're focusing on the massive range of studio monitors - the heart and soul of any studio set-up - glancing our eyes over everything from entry level creative reference monitors through to high-end solutions for mixing and mastering professionals.
Kali Audio IN-8
Key Features: Despite launching as recently as 2018, Kali Audio have attained a tremendous level of attention in the audio world in the short timeframe they’ve been around for, with audio professionals praising the company’s intuitive approach to making their budget near-field monitors sound as if they’re punching far above their price-tag.
Released in May of this year, Kali’s powered, Class-D IN-8 monitors seek to offer a slightly more premium offering to the brand’s own LP-8 models; a monitor we praised in excess upon test-running a pair back in June 2019. With an improved three-way co-axial mid-range and tweeter that forms its waveguide and assists in imaging, the IN-8s deliver a natural sounding monitoring experience that’s strikingly transparent, and makes the sound-staging of these speakers a true feat of electro-acoustic design.
Meanwhile, bass is delivered through a whopping 8” woofer and low-noise bass port to ensure that the IN-8s handle the dirtiest of low frequencies without bending under pressure, while a frequency range of 37 Hz - 25 kHz ensures that your ears stay trained on the sounds that matter the most.
While rather bulky and baring an ominous appearance, it’s the power and performance of the IN-8s that really help them stand to out from the pack and shine as frontrunners in the home studio market. However, they’re also incredibly easy to operate and tweak, with low frequency and high frequency trims letting you shape their sound to suit any room. There’s also a trio of XLR, TRS and RCA inputs on the back of the unit, ensuring that the Kali Audio IN-8s are ready to conquer any source you may throw at it.
Mixdown Says: One of Kali Audio’s greatest claims to fame with their monitors is their pristine stereo imaging, and I can safely report that the IN-8s certainly live up the legacy of their forbearers. The immersive sound-staging of these monitors truly is something wonderful, with the shared acoustic centre of the midrange and tweeter making for a pristine 360 degree listening experience.
If you’re mixing a record, or even critically listening to a reference track in order to scrutinise each minuscule element that lays beneath it, you’ll hear the difference of the IN-8s immediately - there’s few monitors that sound this ‘real’ out there, and thus, the IN-8 experience is one that you’ll remember.
Overall: With their immense power, gorgeous stereo sound-staging and unprecedented versatility, I think you’d be hard-pressed to find a better option than the IN-8s given the price bracket they’re in. If Kali Audio weren’t already on the road to attaining trailblazer status, then the IN-8s have well and truly put them in the fast lane.
Head to NAS Solutions to enquire about the Kali Audio IN-8 studio monitors today.