Native Instruments have long been at the forefront of what’s possible in music production.
While their original Komplete Audio 1 and 2 would have been left in the cold if not for their striking looks – the new Komplete Audio 6 Mk2 has a little bit more to offer to make it stand out.
Our verdict on the Komplete Audio 6
The Komplete Audio 6 Mk2 is a well-designed interface. Its performance is nearly unmatched at this price, and those who buy it will not regret their decision.
While the price is almost double of the original models – we’d say that it’s completely worth the cost.
The extra I/O makes it far more versatile, and the new DC-coupled outputs are a breath of fresh air.
I/O and controls
On the front panel, are two XLR/TRS combo inputs. Both inputs have a designated gain control knob, as well as a switch to toggle between line and instrument level.
The unit has a switch to toggle between mono and stereo recording, under which is a button to engage 48 V phantom power.
To the left, there is another toggle between inputs 1 and 2, and 3 and 4 which are located on the back.
The Komplete also features a direct monitoring knob which allows you to blend between your direct signal and the audio coming in through your DAW.
Lastly, the unit has two 1/4″ TRS outputs for your headphones, which are accompanied by volume control knobs.
The top panel features LED metering for each input to help identify whether your signal is clipping or not. They aren’t the most accurate but we appreciate the gesture.
There are also LED lights to indicate whether the unit is engaged, as well as phantom power and MIDI. Most of the top panel is taken up by a large monitor control knob.
Turning around to the rear, you’ll notice two TRS inputs (inputs 3 and 4) on the right. Moving to the left, are four balanced TRS outputs, S/PDIF I/O, MIDI I/O, and a USB port.
Native Instruments’ KA6 Mk2 is undoubtedly a step up from the original unit, the Komplete Audio 6, which only had a maximum sample rate of 96 kHz.
The interface is now capable of recording up to 192 kHz at 24-bits, which should be a huge sigh of relief for anybody working in film or gaming.
The original model was limited – best suitable for hobbyists or lo-fi bedroom artists in need of a mic input or two.
We think it’s amazing how Native Instruments has been able to reimagine the KA6 in such a way, that the unit is now a totally viable option for professional producers.
Producers and DJs can plan to utilize it during live performances as well, which simply wasn’t possible before.
The built-in mic preamps of the Komplete Audio 6 Mk2 are reliable and solid. They’ve been remodeled to achieve a lower noise floor and higher gain.
At home studio
The Komplete Audio 6 Mk2 is small and compact – so however your setup is put together, the unit will have no trouble fitting in.
There will be a few questions you’ll need to ask yourself when buying this: do you want something with more connectivity, or do you want a cheap unit with the ability to manipulate a Eurorack or other modular devices?
For the latter question, you really can’t go wrong here. For the first, we would say that the KA6 Mk2 is still perfectly fine for amateurs or musicians just starting out, but veterans of the audio engineering world would probably look elsewhere.
The Komplete Audio 6 is exceptionally light and compact, so bringing it around with you won’t be an issue.
In fact, in regards to how well this interface can fare during live performances, traveling without it might not even be an option for some of you.
As far as build quality is concerned, you won’t find much to complain about here. The Komplete Audio 6 Mk2 is a robust and sturdy interface.
The knobs don’t wiggle, the box feels solid – for the price of the unit, nothing feels plasticy or cheap.
With Native Instruments being as big a name as it is in the audio production world, it should come as no surprise that the software bundle here is fantastic.
The interface comes with Ableton Live 10 Lite, as well as several gigabytes of sounds and effects all from the Komplete lineup.
You’ll even receive two e-vouchers – a gift card to the Native Instruments online store as well as a two-month pass for samples at Sound.com.
Compared to other audio interfaces
Komplete Audio 6 vs. Focusrite Scarlett 4i4
While the Focusrite is slightly cheaper, the extra I/O on the Komplete – as well as its modular capabilities – make it the obvious choice.
Komplete Audio 6 vs. PreSonus Studio 68c
The PreSonus is slightly more expensive than the Komplete – however, it offers the same DC-coupled outputs that the KA6 Mk2 does, and is arguably the better purchase just for how well designed it is.
Komplete Audio 6 vs. Solid State Logic SSL 2
The SSL 2 is currently priced at around $230, which isn’t too far off from the price of the Komplete Audio 6 at $250.
The trade-offs are drastic, however, and we would rather invest in the Komplete for more connectivity.
Who is the Native Instruments Komplete Audio 6 best suited for?
The Komplete Audio 6 is ideal for musicians and producers regardless of experience level.
Its user-friendly design makes it great for the novice just starting out, and its performance and connectivity is perfect for professionals in need of a mobile interface.
- DC-coupled outputs.
- Great recording quality.
- Durable build.
- No gain control for inputs 3 and 4.