Kali Audio LP-6 is a product that may make you reconsider your expectations when buying budget products. They’re extremely inexpensive, and in terms of sound quality, we were surprised by the results. Let’s take a closer look.
Our verdict on the Kali Audio LP-6
For what it’s worth, the Kali Audio LP-6 performs phenomenally. Despite some distortion and issues with frequency response, this is near a perfect monitor. It’s very unlikely you’ll be able to find another set of monitors that will perform better in its price range.Check availability and current price: SweetwaterAmazon
Power and frequency response
Designed for near-field use, the monitor has a continuous output of 85 dB, with ample headroom for the occasional 112 dB peaks. While the bass may be a bit shy at times and the speaker can be somewhat harsh, a little bit of parametric EQing can go a long way in improving the performance of these monitors.
At the -10 dB points, the frequency response from the Kali LP-6 settles at 39 Hz – 25 kHz. At the more standard -3 dB points, the frequency response is 47 Hz – 21 kHz, while the crossover frequency is right at 1.5 kHz.
As a side note, we really appreciate Kali Audio’s effort as a company to clarify what figures they’re providing in relation to how the monitor performs. Unfortunately, manufacturers will too often slap on a single number, with no further context for us, the consumers, to relate it to.
The point is that it’s a huge red flag whenever these bigger companies state that a monitor’s frequency response is just “45 Hz – 20 kHz”. The lack of additional context leaves the info next to useless – and furthermore, is a subtle way to take advantage of the less-informed buyers. Kali has gone above and beyond by providing a link to a free viewer software to inspect the monitor’s performance and a copy of the full test data. Good job, Kali.
The design of the LP-6 is tastefully subtle. The speakers are surprisingly light, and they feel solid all-around despite being encased in plastic. The monitors are front-ported, allowing them to be placed closer to walls. The ports have also been specially designed to reduce any port noise, which is normally a bigger issue when coming from the front of the speaker.
I/O and controls
On the rear panel, above the IEC socket and On/Off switch, the LP-6 comes with balanced TRS and XLR inputs, as well as unbalanced RCA. There is a volume knob, which allows you to set the monitors anywhere from +6 db, to muted. There’s also a dip switch that allows you to adjust the EQ of the monitors to adjust them to whatever environment you’re in. There are also graphs printed on the rear to help you pinpoint the best DIP switch settings in relationship to your positioning of them.
Compared to other studio monitors
Here are some other monitors that we set against the LP-6, that might be worth your consideration. Also, check out our picks of the best budget studio monitors and the best monitors under $500 (a pair).
Kali LP-6 vs. KRK Rokit 5 G4
Without bogging you down with too many details, the KRKs are overhyped budget monitors. Whereas the Kalis can be considered more high mid-class monitors, at least in terms of sound. KRKs are great if you make bass-heavy music, or are looking for really energetic drum sounds, but they are far from accurate.
Check out our full KRK Rokit 5 G4 review
Kali LP-6 vs. Yamaha HS5
If you’re looking for a monitor pair with a flat response and fuller low end, the Kali Audio LP-6 is the better option. The Yamahas are far brighter and have a lot of mid-range that will get in the way if you’re looking for any semblance of neutrality. Obviously, with the smaller woofer, you can expect the bass to be lacking as well. However, the Yamahas do have a place of consideration if you’re looking for more serious reference monitors.
Check out our full Yamaha HS5 review
Kali LP-6 vs. Kali LP-8
The results in comparing the LP-6 to the LP-8 are just as you would expect. The LP-8 is bigger, bolder, and fuller sounding. Not a surprise in the slightest. You really can’t go wrong with either pair.