By Erik V. Miller
When DJs, producers, and audio enthusiasts think of studio monitors they often consider worthy brands like Yamaha, JBL Pro, KRK, Adam Audio, and more. But there’s a newer name to the market that music makers will want to consider.
Pasadena, Calif.-based Kali Audio was introduced to the world in January, 2018, with an employee base that has decades of pro-audio experience. So far, their products are named after cities in California. For example, the LP in LP-6 studio monitor stands for Lone Pine, a Cali town from which mountain climbers would begin their journey to the summit of Mt. Whitney. To Kali Audio’s founders, it was an apt metaphor for their new journey into the world of pro audio. (In addition to the active studio-monitor range, Kali offers wall-mount accessories and the MV-BT, a unit which links Bluetooth devices to pro-audio gear.)
So now that you’ve had the company history lesson, let’s jump into the specifics of these impressive powered monitors. Upon receiving, I found the monitors’ packaging very nondescript, and once you pull the LP-6s out, you realize they are a lot bigger than you expect them to be. These beauties stand at 14⅛-inches tall by 8¼-inches wide and 10¼-inches deep.
With a 6.5-inch woofer and a 1-inch soft-dome tweeter, these dimensions compare in size to similar models by Yamaha, KRK, and Adam Audio. However, by offering an 80-watt driver, it falls short of the 90- to 100-watt average speaker size usually seen in the market. That doesn’t necessarily mean that you should count these out, but it is something to note when talking about the capability of the LP-6s. (It should be noted that the LP-8, with its 8-inch woofer, has 100-watt output.)
On the back of the LP-6, you find a set of RCA unbalanced inputs, a set of TRS inputs, and also a set of XLR inputs. From there, you find something really interesting – a set of dip switches that are boundary EQs for ensuring you get the best sound, based on your placement of the monitors. Settings include on-stands, against-the-wall, wall-mount, on-the-desk, and more that you can customize by looking at the diagrams on the back of the monitors and moving the dip switches. Looking at the maximum sound-pressure levels, which determines how many decibels the monitors can take without distorting, these beasts can go up to 112 dB. When comparing that to other monitors in its class, you don’t find too many that come close to it for the pricing and size, but also for the quality and level of sound that is produced.