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Kali Audio LP-8 V2 review

In this review, I’ll be taking a look at the Kali Audio LP-8 V2 (2nd Wave) studio monitors. The original LP-8 were exceedingly popular, so let’s see if the new installments of the LP line hold up to their reputation.

About the author

I’m a producer and audio engineer with a decade’s worth of experience with a wide range of gear and recording techniques. I’ve worked with a huge variety of monitoring systems, including Genelec, Neumann, Kali Audio, and Adam Audio among others.

testing Kali Audio LP-8 V2 studio monitors
Image: Higher Hz

Final verdict on the Kali LP-8 V2 4.7

For those of you who were fans of the original LP-8, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to find that Kali has upgraded the monitor’s performance without sacrificing what made the first installment so great. The LP-8 V2 monitors have little to no distortion, and all of the harshness and brittleness of the high end has all but been taken away.

What I like

  • No more self-noise.
  • Smoother high end.
  • Accurate.
  • Affordable.

What I don’t like

  • Slight peak in the midrange.
Buy Kali Audio LP-8 V2 at: SweetwaterAmazon

Power and frequency response 4.5

The Kali Audio LP-8 V2 studio monitors have a frequency response of 37 Hz – 25 kHz (at -10 dB) and an SPL of 117 dB. Tonally, these speakers are very similar to their predecessors, although Kali Audio has made some key improvements to the overall design.

For starters, they’ve bolstered the monitors with a Class-D amp module, allowing for the monitors to have about 12 dB less of self-noise, as well as increasing the input sensitivity by 3 dB. In layman terms, these speakers are far cleaner-sounding than the originals. Significant improvements have been made to the high end as well, which is far more accurate and smooth.

Some may still find these speakers to be a bit clinical-sounding, but I view this as a positive. They aren’t particularly colored in any way, and now that the self-noise and harshness on the top end has been improved, there isn’t much to complain about.

There is a bit of resonance somewhere between the 500 Hz – 1 kHz region, which can add some “chestiness” to what you’re hearing, but some simple parametric EQ can easily resolve this.

I/O and controls 5.0

On the rear panel, you will find your standard IEC socket, an On/Off switch, an XLR-in, a TRS-in, RCA-in, and a volume control knob.

Kali Audio LP-8 V2 inputs and controls closeup
Image: Higher Hz

There are also boundary EQ tunings, that allow you to adjust the monitor’s EQ for being placed on a stand, desk, etc. There’s also new boundary EQ tuning for 2nd Wave, which allows you to place them on a desk that has built-in speaker stands.

Build quality 4.2

The design of the LP-8 V2 studio monitors is very tasteful, and the speakers feel very solid despite being fairly lightweight. They are front ported, allowing them to be placed close to the wall without affecting the sound of the monitors.

Compared to other studio monitors

While the LP-8 V2 may be the perfect studio monitors under $500, here are some alternatives to consider in comparison.

Kali LP-8 V2 vs LP-6 V2

The LP-6 monitors are just as good as the LP-8, and are better suited for those of you with a smaller setup and/or recording space. You can’t go wrong with either, but it’s important to consider which would work better for you.

Kali LP-8 V2 vs Yamaha HS8

If you’re in the market for a monitor pair with a flat response and full-bodied low end, the LP-8 is the superior choice here. The Yamaha’s are notoriously bright and have an exaggerated midrange which will stand as an obstacle in the face of a neutral sound reproduction.

Read the full Yamaha HS8 review

Kali LP-8 V2 vs KRK Rokit 7 G4

While the Rokits have a hefty bottom end that can serve well for artists working in EDM, hip-hop, or contemporary pop – they’re severely colored. If you want a more accurate monitoring experience, I recommend you go with the LP-8.

Read the full KRK Rokit 7 G4 review

Who are the Kali Audio LP-8 V2 studio monitors best suited for?

The Kali LP-8 V2 studio monitors are perfect for engineers looking for an accurate set of budget monitor speakers. While there are other options available to you, the Kalis might be the best deal for their price and performance.

Buy Kali Audio LP-8 V2 at: SweetwaterAmazon