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Kali Audio IN-8v2 (Second Wave) 3-Way Studio Monitor Review

andymarks

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Yeah, I mean it's a rig I throw up in temporary working spaces so it never gets much of a chance.

But yes, different frequencies, filters, slopes, time alignment, EQing & aligning separately before or after Dirac or Trinnov, Dirac'ing the sub and main separately and combined, etc. etc.

Maybe if I tried hard enough in a permanent install I'd get there with it. But my gut feeling is, crossovers introduce problems, so I never expect to able to add another crossover to a system without it doing *something* to the sound.

Edit: but obviously as @andymarks pointed out, it's a win in other ways, so I still lug the subs around with me and go with it!
I think you would be better off with full range speakers in a mobile setup.
It is hard to get a sub to sound integrated. At least for me it is. Let alone 3 subs.
This my current response, sub below my desk near the front wall.

kalis plus sub 2.png


I used REW while tweaking Equalizer APO manually both speakers and sub on the same output.
 

audio2920

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I think you would be better off with full range speakers in a mobile setup.
For sure if there was a speaker that could do what IN8+WS12 does, while being cheap enough and portable enough to be thrown in a truck on a regular basis, I'd be getting my check book out!

I'm happy with the current system though. It sounds better and has more headroom than I hoped for at the price point, size & weight.

What I use it for isn't usually super critical stuff, but I like that it sounds decent!
 

andymarks

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For sure if there was a speaker that could do what IN8+WS12 does, while being cheap enough and portable enough to be thrown in a truck on a regular basis, I'd be getting my check book out!

I'm happy with the current system though. It sounds better and has more headroom than I hoped for at the price point, size & weight.

What I use it for isn't usually super critical stuff, but I like that it sounds decent!
I tried but send back the KRK ROKIT 10-3 G4
https://www.krkmusic.com/Studio-Monitors/ROKIT-10-3-G4
Which are also at this price point. Cheaper if you discount the need for subs. They also go louder.

They sounded great and full range. but at 1 meter the hiss was way too loud for me. You need to be at least 3 meters away.
Mid field or far field they could be your thing. A lot easier to move, place and tune than your current setup.

Still the Kalis sound better to me.
 

audio2920

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KRK ROKIT 10-3 G4
Not a bad call! I've been meaning to try that one, but not got round to it yet. Not convinced it will do what I everything I need without a sub, but would certainly cover more setups/jobs than the IN8 on it's own.

Out of interest, was there anything specific you didn't like, or was it just the hiss? As you say, in midfield (like I normally work) hiss is unlikely to be an issue. I grew up in hissy analogue studios, so I'm rarely bothered by it anyway :) Maybe it even sort of comforts me, haha!
 

andymarks

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It was just the hiss at 1 meter distance that I couldn't live with else I would have kept them.

I just don't remember to hear the same 3d projection and clarity I got with the Kalis.
But I am not really able to compare without A/B-ing them next to each other. Their placement in my room was a bit different also, because they were really too big for my space.

This a review of the previous version. They sounded a bit forward.

You could order a set and A/B them, send them back if they are not a valid replacement.
The edges are rounded off which is nice for carrying, but they felt a bit plastic-empty-boxy.
On the other hand the speakers themselves are probably less prone to damage than the Kalis due to the kevlar.
 

audio2920

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Thanks @andymarks

Maybe I'll do just that next time I get some downtime! But yes the "soundstage" and general "clarity" of the IN8s is remarkable to me at this price. I'd go so far as to say, bar a few minor issues, it's really not chalk and cheese compared to the 708Ps I've currently got in my studio.
 

andymarks

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Lastly, I want to say on this thread that Kali Audio Customer support has been great as well. They responded to all of my questions and suggestions...

Turns out I am now happy using a sub to extend the IN-8's, I found out a few things. The sub crossover has a very slow filter, it plays up to 200hz when crossover is at 50hz. So before I had the crossover higher and it was probably messing up my mid lows and me locating the source of the bass. My location is dead center now, so this solves part of that problem.
If anyone tries to boost a high amount of sub low below the woofer roll off of the IN-8s, it will result in rattle / distortion. The woofer can't handle it.
I now have them flat around their bass roll off.

Both the crossover point and the woofer rattle I found using EQ apo. It proved handy not only to flatten the response but to isolate problem areas.
 

JWAmerica

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Will the IN-8 cut it at 4 meters for home theater use? I'd rather buy an Aiyima amp or two for LP-8s if the powered version is going to be a limited by its inbuilt amp.
 

Bruce Morgen

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Will the IN-8 cut it at 4 meters for home theater use? I'd rather buy an Aiyima amp or two for LP-8s if the powered version is going to be a limited by its inbuilt amp.

"I do not know that I would recommend these for high volume listening more than 3 meters but for most volume levels and/or closer distances, a pair of these should be more than enough to satisfy your needs."
-- Erin Hardison, from Kali Audio IN-8v2 (Second Wave) 3-Way Studio Monitor Review

Four meters would generally be considered a little beyond the near/mid-field distances for which the IN-8 was designed, so whether they would be good in your application would depend on the volume at which you intend to listen. There are no passive versions of Kali's monitors and the active models have no provision for using external amplification. Moreover, their performance is heavily dependent on their built-in DSP, the function of which would be difficult -- to say the least -- to duplicate with passive crossovers, and pushing their drivers harder (with presumably more powerful amps) would carry a considerable risk of damaging them.
 

Sancus

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Will the IN-8 cut it at 4 meters for home theater use? I'd rather buy an Aiyima amp or two for LP-8s if the powered version is going to be a limited by its inbuilt amp.
With subs crossed at 100hz they'll play about 101dB @ 1m at the max. You'll lose like 8dB for 4m, leaving you maybe 93dB at the listening position. So I would say no, personally, unless you know you only listen relatively quietly. They'll be OK at 70-75dB average at the very most, and even 75 is pushing it, HT peaks will be compressed by the limiter.
 

audio2920

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Back on the 2nd page of this thread I think this subject has been covered (and then IMHO well summarised by @Sancus)

the IN-8 is IMO not quite an appropriate speaker for an 85dBC reference level system, but it doesn't need to be.

Of course it depends on use case & expectation, but from experience of the IN8v1, personally I would be happy with them for general home (HT) use at 4m, so long as they're crossed to sub.

If building a dedicated HT room with large budget and all the bells and whistles, then well no, clearly you can do better than an IN8 :)

@andymarks pointed out the KRK 103g4 to me a while back, but I've not had the chance to see what they can do. Could be another option.
 

audio2920

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Although we have instantaneous compression data from Erin's Audio Corner on the IN8's SPL capability, I thought I'd just try an IN8*v1* in my dining room to see what actually happened @ 4m. There's nothing here we don't already know really, but I've done it now, so might as well share it :)

I simply whacked the gain up to +6 on the IN8 and ran sweeps at -28 (approx 80dBC), -18, -8 and -5dBfs, and because I'm such a pro I didn't even bother to measure the voltage coming out the DAC... Clearly the room affecting things, but we can kinda look at the relative differences:
  • 80dBC = Green
  • 90dBC (target) = Yellow
  • 100dBC (target) = Red
  • The -5dBfs sweep (target of 103) was basically off the chart, so I've excluded it.

Difference.jpg


As per the "proper" measurement from Erin, it's clear the biggest restriction is below 250Hz.

Apparently the IN8 v2 does better in this regard, but I don't have one here to abuse. It's also worth saying this is an over simplified measurement of peak output as it's just done with a sweep, so doesn't really take in to account the limiter's parameters (attack, release etc).

Long story short, IMHO, I think this is likely to be capable of real world peaks in the mid-90s @ 4m with minimal limiter interference/distortion. Maybe even a bit more in the midband, if you accept some more limiting & a dose of other distortion will likely occur with that much gain (especially on on stuff that utilises the LF driver.) The tweeter also rolls over, but that's less of an issue for anything, really.

Given the reduced dynamic of Home Entertainment mixes as against a raw Theatrical Cinema release, for me these numbers correspond to a pretty healthy dialogue level while leaving just about enough headroom for the loudest stuff, even at 4m. Again, I would be happy with this SPL capability in a living room; but not in a fully fledged HT room.
 

tlkmx

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Are they a bit too big for a 4/3m studio where I a bit less than one meter away from the speaker ?
I currently have Adam f5 with Adam sub7 because I moved and just wanted something to listen a bit more casually without headphones but didn’t like thoses speakers much.
How do they compare to Neumann kh80 dsp ?
 

Chromatischism

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How do they compare to Neumann kh80 dsp ?
There are reviews and measurements on both of these speakers. Respectfully, I recommend looking at both instead of asking for someone else to do the work.

 

tlkmx

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There are reviews and measurements on both of these speakers. Respectfully, I recommend looking at both instead of asking for someone else to do the work.

I’ve dude and the measurement aren’t the same as real life usage and comparison. You should know that it matters no
 

Bruce Morgen

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btw ive had a read on the website reviews on all of thoses products and i'm asking ppl with real life experience to chime in.

FWIW, my IN-8v2s are a lot closer than a meter from me in my very small office space and they sound magnificent -- just position them so your listening position is 10-20 degrees off axis as per Erin's review. Unfortunately, I have no experience with those Neumanns and can't provide any impressions of them. As an aside, given that I have a sub a pair of IN-5s would have probably done just as well in my ultra-nearfield setup -- but I got a great deal on the IN-8v2s via eBay and they've worked out just dandy, to say the very least.
 

tktran303

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OK I've just got a single one of these for my home gym. From the listening position:

3CD584AD-D6C5-4B16-9E4C-EF14F80B1009.jpeg


After listening to it for about 20mins it was enough to go looking for Erin's measurements to correlate with what I was hearing.
Some minor differences will be due to sample to sample variation; major differences will be due to room variation.

I agree with virtually all points with Erin's review. Here's my extra 20cents:

1. Bass and midrange tonality is spot on.

2. Yes, depending on your listening material, things may be a tad hot in the mid highs- around 5-8Khz.
Is that intentional by Kali? To give that showroom sound of "extra detail"?
If we took a sample of 10 random units; how much variation is there anyway?
It's not clear from his review whether Erin measured/listened to a single speaker, or a pair?

I thought my sample was a bit too “splashy”. And easy fix with a DSP update, should Kali choose to. But then some people might complain that speaker is flat or not exciting (neutral). :rolleyes:

2A. Regardless, not problem for project studios to EQ out. I used two parametric notch filters, @ 4700 and 8500Hz, with a gain of -2dB and Q=6. That takes off the edge of the highs, and thus smoothens out the 2nd top octave globally (on axis, LW, ER and PW).

Here's what happens if I apply this EQ to Erin's reviewed speaker:
1656208995481.png



How do you know you might benefit from it?
Well the overall tonal balance really depends on you and your room.
If you start to find that the highs annoy you, or you find yourself turning down the volume because they are "too loud" - that's your ears complaining it’s a bit much. If so, then try it out!

If you have no problems with your listening material/room then Don’t Do It!

2B. Now if you don’t have access to a parametric equalizer (or don’t want to bother this) try flicking the Dip switch #6 to ON- that turns down the treble a tad.

3. All things considered, INcredible value.
How is Kali able to release these for US$400 pp retail?? Watch out for upcoming recommendation from Sonarworks…
Oh look: already recommended by Pierre Aubert : https://pierreaubert.github.io/
@pierre Have you got a pair?



Here’s my usual listening room speaker (a custom on-off) that my ears are used to.
0FBCFD86-37C3-4797-8FBF-ABD852B7B488.jpeg3C5B1039-51A5-4CEA-A6BF-05A6357BC19B.jpeg
(For size reference those are 12” woofers and the TV is 55” TV)

To say I can buy a speaker off the rack, that are fraction of the size, and cost, of what I'm used too... well I never thought I'd see the day...
this is like a Miata to Ferrari...

Reserved: When I have time I will measure my sample to see if the top two octaves are similar to Erin's sample.
 
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