Kali Audio LP-6 [pair] [Best Budget Studio Monitors On The Market
These compact monitors from new company Kali Audio strike an enticing balance between performance and affordability. US‑based company Kali Audio may be a new name in monitoring, but after trying out a new pair of their LP‑6s, it seems they’ve pulled out all the stops in endeavouring to deliver the highest level of performance at little more than an entry level price. Part of the Project Lone Pine series — which also includes the eight‑inch‑woofer model, the LP‑8 — the LP‑6 is designed to be used in the nearfield and is rated with a continuous output of 85dB at a distance of 2.2 meters, with additional headroom to accommodate brief 112dB peaks. That doesn’t make it the loudest monitor of its size, but it’s certainly more than loud enough for practical monitoring. Both the six‑inch LP‑6 and the LP‑8 are equipped with a limiter circuit to protect the driver, and when the limiter kicks in, distortion becomes audible — a non‑subtle hint that you should turn things down. Outwardly the LP‑6 looks like a pretty typical two‑way, active speaker, its drivers mounted in an unfussy but functional black foil‑skinned particle‑board cabinet. A one‑inch soft‑dome tweeter feeds an asymmetrical waveguide, a moulding that also incorporates the woofer surround, to optimise its dispersion pattern and to maximise the size of the sweet spot. Though these are not expensive speakers, the woofer features a 1.5‑inch voice coil and a very large magnet to keep the low end clean. A front‑exiting port is used to tune the cabinet, but this has been designed to reduce port noise by being shaped to minimise turbulence within the port. With an overall cabinet size of 35.9 x 22.2 x 26cm, and weighing in at just a hint over 7kg each, the speakers are suitable for desk/shelf mounting on suitable platforms, or they can be placed on rigid hi‑fi style speaker stands. As with most active speakers, there are rear‑panel controls that modify the response to suit different room placements and user tastes, in this case controlled via an eight‑way DIP switch. To make life easy for the user, all the settings are presented as speaker position diagrams printed on the rear panel, so if you don’t know what half‑space loading is, it doesn’t matter — just pick the diagram that matches your setup and set the switches as shown. A row of DIP switches lets you tailor the LP6’s response to their placement in your room, and setup is aided by a series of diagrams showing typical usage scenarios. A row of DIP switches lets you tailor the LP6’s response to their placement in your room, and setup is aided by a series of diagrams showing typical usage scenarios. HF and LF adjustment options (±2dB) are included here, also as DIP switch settings, along with on/off setting for the RCA phono input. This latter option is there to prevent interference being picked up when the RCA input is not being used. A rotary control with a centre detent at the 0dB position sets the input gain, and there are input options for unbalanced RCA phono, balanced/unbalanced quarter‑inch jack, or balanced XLR. The frequency response is specified at 39Hz‑25kHz at the ‑10dB points, or 47Hz‑21kHz at the more usual ‑3dB points, and the crossover point is at 1.5kHz. With its woofer rated at 80 Watts and the soft‑dome tweeter at 40 Watts, the Class‑D amplifier pack can deliver 40 Watts to each driver while keeping heat and power consumption to a minimum. Power comes in on a standard IEC mains lead, with a rear‑panel switch to turn on the power. A blue LED on the front panel shows when the speakers are powered.
Label: Kali Audio