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If you’re a studio gear head, you would have likely heard the Kali Audio hype in 2019. If you are unaware of the hype, then welcome to this review of the Kali Audio Lone Pine LP-6 and LP-8 active studio monitors. After reading many reviews online, we had to find out if the stories were true. Do the Kali Audio LP-6 and LP-8 perform as well as everyone says? Let’s find out.
Kali Audio LP-6 and LP-8 Specs
Aside from the difference in size, the Kali Audio LP-6, and LP-8 look identical. When compared to other studio monitors, the LP-6, and LP-8 look somewhat standard in aesthetics.
Each features a woofer with 1″ dome tweeter and a bass port at the bottom. Having the bass port in front of the speaker is actually a smart move by Kali Audio. Most of us position our speakers near walls or in the corner of a room. Usually, monitors tend to have a bass port on the rear of the speaker enclosure.
The issue with this is you tend to get coloration as the air (sound waves) leave the bass port and reflect off the wall behind the speaker. The result is often a boomy, wooly bass response.
If you have ever purchased a decent pair of speakers, you’ll notice the manufacturer usually recommends a minimum distance between the speaker and rear surface. This is to prevent any of this coloration from happening.
The result for the LP-6 and LP-8 speakers is a much tighter bass response with a controlled low-end punch. More on what the speakers sound like later in this review.
Getting That Perfect Sound for Your Room
Another fantastic acoustic feature is the comprehensive boundary EQ control at the rear of the speaker. Kali Audio have included a simple dip switch EQ system to fine-tune the speaker’s audio profile to match your room.
A usual high-pass and low-pass filter are available, but then you also can adjust the EQ based on speaker placement. These settings include whether your speakers are on stands or a shelf, the distance from rear surfaces, the angle you tilt your speakers, and more.
The instructions for tweaking your Lone Pine speakers couldn’t be easier to follow and, they actually work! This is one area where Kali Audio has received a lot of praise. A boundary EQ system like this is usually reserved for high-end speakers. The fact Kali Audio has got this right for budget studio monitors goes to add significant value to the Lone Pine series.
Each Lone Pine speaker is individually powered, which means you will have to run separate power and signal to each speaker. If you have purchased studio monitors before, then this won’t be an unusual setup. Audio inputs include 1/4-inch AUX, RCA, and XLR.
What Do The Kali Audio Lone Pine (LP-6 & LP-8) Speakers Sound Like?
So, is the hype about the Kali Audio Lone Pine speakers real? Yes! Absolutely. The LP-6 and LP-8 sound incredible, especially for a pair of speakers on the budget end of the pricing spectrum.
Like most studio monitors, it is essential to set the Lone Pine speakers up correctly. Follow Kali Audio’s instructions and recommendations to find the perfect sound. Straight out of the box, the Lone Pine’s don’t sound right. You have to get a good position and then use the dip switches to find that perfect sound. Once you get the settings right, everything tightens up.
The first thing you’ll notice is the LP-6 and LP-8 have excellent separation. Competing speakers at this price point also sound decent, but they just don’t have the same separation as the Lone Pines. This sort of frequency separation is usually only found in speakers at least triple the price.
The next impressive acoustic experience is the “sweet spot” of the Lone Pine speakers. Again, budget speakers typically have a narrow listening position. You have to sit in the perfect location to get the best experience. The LP-6 and LP-8 both have excellent dispersion creating a wide “sweet spot.” This is not just good news for studio use but make the Lone Pine a great pair of speakers for the living area.
When it comes to the actual sound, the Lone Pines perform superbly. The low-end response is controlled and punchy. Here both the LP-6 and LP-8 outshine the competition in the same price range. With it’s bigger woofer, the LP-8 does produce a more prominent bass sound, but both are similar sonically.
The mid-range response has excellent separation from the low-end. The sound is forward with vocals and instrumentation presented clearly. Again, the separation is good with each element seemly sitting apart in the mix. Highs are crisp, providing excellent overall intelligibility to the Lone Pines.
There are a couple of issues with the Lone Pines, however, these a minor when compared to similarly priced speakers.
The first is an HF hiss. It’s not unusual for studio monitors to have some HF hiss but, if you’re used to consumer audio monitors, this might be an issue. This sound won’t, by any means take away from your listening experience. In fact, for the most part, you probably won’t even notice it until the speakers are off and you’re close by. In a studio environment, however, it will be audible.
The Lone Pines come fitted with an eco-power mode which shuts down the monitors when not in use. The problem is the Lone Pines often shut down for a few seconds even when they are in use. It’s bizarre and obviously annoying. Fortunately, you can disable this feature by merely flicking a switch. You will have to follow some instructions to open the speaker enclosure to find the switch but once disabled, the power mode won’t bother you anymore.
Kali Audio Conclusion
So, who are the Kali Audio Lone Pine monitors for? If you have a home studio and don’t want to fork out hundreds of dollars for monitors, the LP-6 or LP-8 are an excellent choice. The price is perfect, and you’ll enjoy high-quality reference speakers.
With the Lone Pine’s wide dispersion, general consumer applications like watching movies, gaming or listening to music can be achieved. The sound is true, giving you a professional audio experience.
The LP-6 will be great for small to medium-sized rooms while the LP-8 will be better suited for larger spaces. For the most part, you’ll get more than sufficient sound from the LP-6.
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