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

Sancus

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I’m not sure if diffraction is the right term… but there is some interaction between the transition between tweeter and mid-driver causing it.
Kali Audio previously described the >10Khz on-axis disturbances on the IN-8 as "diffraction from the baffle edge of the midrange". They've clearly improved it quite a lot on the v2.

Is this a real thing or just coaxial design issue which is not really noticeable?
It's a real thing. The solution is not to listen on-axis. It is also a common problem with coaxials and to my knowledge the only manufacturers of coaxials who seem to have mostly eliminated diffraction effects are Genelec and Kef. And even Kef have their shadow flare weirdness.
 

nbot

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When you say dull or neutral, what specifically do you mean in comparison to the IN-8? Is it mainly the rising response off-axis at 12k? I really would not know how that sounds in comparison as I have not heard them side by side… but if you look at the directivity curves, it also isn’t sustained and drops off even more steeply off-axis. This narrowing directivity could be beneficial or not depending on how you position the monitors. For me, in the S8, it just happens to help avoid destructive interference with my immediate sidewall since I position them very close to the wall.
I was referring to S8s because I don't have IN-8s. Sceptres are known for not being super overexaggeraded in the upper frequencies. I read somewhere that there might be a tendecy to keep reverb tails longer because of that (not sure if this can be EQ'd)

It's a real thing. The solution is not to listen on-axis. It is also a common problem with coaxials and to my knowledge the only manufacturers of coaxials who seem to have mostly eliminated diffraction effects are Genelec and Kef. And even Kef have their shadow flare weirdness.
Thanks, I missed that post from Kali Audio and it also explains some YT videos where it feels like there's a strong midrange but hights are missing (videos are recorded on axis AFAIK). I also wonder if this is a real issue when working with those monitors. I guess I have to listen to them somewhere
 

ernestcarl

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Sceptres are known for not being super overexaggeraded in the upper frequencies. I read somewhere that there might be a tendecy to keep reverb tails longer because of that (not sure if this can be EQ'd)

With regard to the difficulty of judging reverb, I believe this actually might be because of the extreme highs dropping pretty steeply esp. off-axis in comparison to other speakers -- in that sense, even though the S8s are somewhat vocal forward, very "present" and already quite "bright" all in their own by default, there still remains, indeed, some semblance of "dullness" -- very specifically in the highest frequencies. If you do use the HF filter settings at the back of the monitor, I feel that the -1.5dB and -4dB presets are just a tad too little and too much. I noticed this comparing them to wider directivity speakers like the Neumann KH120 and JBL LSR305. Early decay above 14kHz or so drops "fast" and can be seen in the cumulative spectral decay graph view. I also read in that same review stating the balance in the high-mids were a bit in excess... and for that, I normally EQ it down.

Now, when I do apply any kind of negative high shelving EQ, I compensate by applying a reciprocal positive high shelf around 15kHz or so to avoid reducing the extreme highs too much.

Quick example:

HSF 2kHz -2.5dB
HSF 15kHz +2.5dB

Now, that's just an example, and so you can always apply more compensation according to what you feel is more correct to your ears.

Below I vector averaged 20 spatially separate measurements across the main listening position and applied frequency dependent windowing:
1640875962882.png

*I try to keep my "speaker" EQ as simple as possible nowadays, before I sort of went bonkers and applied as many as 20 PEQs just above 1kHz!

My unequalized left S8 unit just happens to have a bit more of an energy deficiency (blue trace) around 1750Hz (in comparison to my right S8 unit) which I compensate with my "flat" EQ (red trace) preset. However, there still remains a slight high-mid excess if the monitors are to be kept as much as possible within their out-of-the-box default "linear" setting -- which one may want to reduce further with EQ -- it's all up to your personal requirements, really. For someone who wants the speakers to sound even more "linear", I suppose that would make sense.

Oh, yeah, as you probably already know, unlike the IN-8 you can listen to the S8 exactly on-axis just fine without the same exaggerated HF dip/disturbance.
 
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andymarks

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I currently run Behringer Truth 82031A monitors with equalizer apo and peace. I boost 36hz with 16db with a Q of 1 to extend the deep bass response. It does cost me in headroom but at 110 centimeter (my listening position) it easily still does 80db but I rarely listen that hard. This setup enables me to produce techno music without two subs. I also have an extra sub, but I prefer sub bass coming from the speakers so that pressure feels equal, direct and inline with the rest of the music. So I currently don't use the external sub with my setup.
For anybody owning Behringer's check out this page http://noaudiophile.com/Behringer_Truth_B2031A/

Both sweeping manually and using REW I see I got a decent full range frequency response now. From a single point sound source.

I am think about upgrading to the Kali IN-8 v2's to get better mids as I feel my current solution is probably distorting lows and mids a bit as both are produced by the woofers of the Behringers. I don't have any proof of this however, it only seems logical to go 3 way in terms of upgrading.

Does anybody have experience boosting the deep subs on the IN-8 v2's considerably?
Would upgrading to Kali's improve my mid detail?
Is it possible to choose depth over headroom on these speakers?

I get the feeling these Kali's are slightly less powerful and so the limiter might be an issue in boosting +16db on the deeps.
 
Last edited:

nbot

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With regard to the difficulty of judging reverb, I believe this actually might be because of the extreme highs dropping pretty steeply esp. off-axis in comparison to other speakers -- in that sense, even though the S8s are somewhat vocal forward, very "present" and already quite "bright" all in their own by default, there still remains, indeed, some semblance of "dullness" -- very specifically in the highest frequencies. If you do use the HF filter settings at the back of the monitor, I feel that the -1.5dB and -4dB presets are just a tad too little and too much. I noticed this comparing them to wider directivity speakers like the Neumann KH120 and JBL LSR305. Early decay above 14kHz or so drops "fast" and can be seen in the cumulative spectral decay graph view. I also read in that same review stating the balance in the high-mids were a bit in excess... and for that, I normally EQ it down.

Now, when I do apply any kind of negative high shelving EQ, I compensate by applying a reciprocal positive high shelf around 15kHz or so to avoid reducing the extreme highs too much.

Quick example:

HSF 2kHz -2.5dB
HSF 15kHz +2.5dB

Now, that's just an example, and so you can always apply more compensation according to what you feel is more correct to your ears.

Below I vector averaged 20 spatially separate measurements across the main listening position and applied frequency dependent windowing:
View attachment 175563
*I try to keep my "speaker" EQ as simple as possible nowadays, before I sort of went bonkers and applied as many as 20 PEQs just above 1kHz!

My unequalized left S8 unit just happens to have a bit more of an energy deficiency (blue trace) around 1750Hz (in comparison to my right S8 unit) which I compensate with my "flat" EQ (red trace) preset. However, there still remains a slight high-mid excess if the monitors are to be kept as much as possible within their out-of-the-box default "linear" setting -- which one may want to reduce further with EQ -- it's all up to your personal requirements, really. For someone who wants the speakers to sound even more "linear", I suppose that would make sense.

Oh, yeah, as you probably already know, unlike the IN-8 you can listen to the S8 exactly on-axis just fine without the same exaggerated HF dip/disturbance.
Very interesting post - thank you! I'll try that EQ technique. Too bad S8s don't have more fined grain control over HF filter.
I never botherred before to equalize them but will surely try it now. Slightly lowering mids and high shelfing hights should bring back
the tails as they should be
 

nbot

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I currently run Behringer Truth 82031A monitors with equalizer apo and peace. I boost 36hz with 16db with a Q of 1 to extend the deep bass response. It does cost me in headroom but at 110 centimeter (my listening position) it easily still does 80db but I rarely listen that hard. This setup enables me to produce techno music without two subs. I also have an extra sub, but I prefer sub bass coming from the speakers so that pressure feels equal, direct and inline with the rest of the music. So I currently don't use the external sub with my setup.
For anybody owning Behringer's check out this page http://noaudiophile.com/Behringer_Truth_B2031A/

Both sweeping manually and using REW I see I got a decent full range frequency response now. From a single point sound source.

I am think about upgrading to the Kali IN-8 v2's to get better mids as I feel my current solution is probably distorting lows and mids a bit as both are produced by the woofers of the Behringers. I don't have any proof of this however, it only seems logical to go 3 way in terms of upgrading.

Does anybody have experience boosting the deep subs on the IN-8 v2's considerably?
Would upgrading to Kali's improve my mid detail?
Is it possible to choose depth over headroom on these speakers?

I get the feeling these Kali's are slightly less powerful and so the limiter might be an issue in boosting +16db on the deeps.
I don't have a direct answer to your question, but all I can tell you I switched from Behringer Truths B3031a to Presonus S8 and it's night and day. The main issue for me with them was missing mids and mostly due to the problem with their directivity. You had to sit in a proper, single point to hear them somewhat detailed mids. 82031A might be better in that regard but I never heard them
 

nicolasG

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After many hours of listening and comparison whit my old Yamaha hs50m, i noticed that there are transients missing in the high frequencies. The cymbals lose a part of their attacks.
Despite all the undeniable quality of Kali Audio monitors, it makes me doubt the choice of these speakers for the mixing and i wonder if the Neumann KH 120 AG would be more suitable for me, especially since I have a resonance room around 41hz and on these harmonics.
 

andymarks

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I don't have a direct answer to your question, but all I can tell you I switched from Behringer Truths B3031a to Presonus S8 and it's night and day. The main issue for me with them was missing mids and mostly due to the problem with their directivity. You had to sit in a proper, single point to hear them somewhat detailed mids. 82031A might be better in that regard but I never heard them
I always try to sit at the same listening position straight at the desk with the speakers right behind them tilted on their side 110cm away in an equilateral triangle and tilted up a little. It's a small room 3 meters wide with half a meter of absorption on each side and some more on the back of each speaker. A few centimeters away from the optimal location will change the response quite a bit is my experience. As for details in the mids. I don't know what I am missing really. It only seems to make technical sense that boosting the mid / bass driver this much will affect the mids.
That is the idea of the Kali IN-8 v2 upgrade. To get a semi-dedicated mid speaker not affected by me boosting sub bass.
They are about the same size as the Behringers so the replacement would be very straight forward.

I took a look at the presonus s8 I think in my case it might still distort the mids as I would boost 38hz with 16db at least which would probably affect the horn a bit. I know I might be asking a bit too much from these small speakers. Another option would be to get a minidsp and a second sub, place both subs directly under the Behringers then I also get dedicated mids. But I think even in that case I could gain from the IN-8's instead of the Behringers.
 

audio2920

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i wonder if the Neumann KH 120 AG would be more suitable for me
I've not used the hs50m in anger for a mix, but between the IN8 and the KH120, the KH120 is probably the more 'reference' speaker overall IMHO. But it's also more expensive and has less LF and SPL capability though.

I'm a huge fan of the IN8, value for money is incredible. But the diffraction issue at around 10k on-axis does bug me. I assume if you're using a stereo pair that you've tried listening with them less toed inward?

(In a 5.1 config I've used them all on-axis to match the center, but it did mess with my brain a little that they got brighter rather than duller as I moved off axis...!)
 

nbot

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I always try to sit at the same listening position straight at the desk with the speakers right behind them tilted on their side 110cm away in an equilateral triangle and tilted up a little. It's a small room 3 meters wide with half a meter of absorption on each side and some more on the back of each speaker. A few centimeters away from the optimal location will change the response quite a bit is my experience. As for details in the mids. I don't know what I am missing really. It only seems to make technical sense that boosting the mid / bass driver this much will affect the mids.
That is the idea of the Kali IN-8 v2 upgrade. To get a semi-dedicated mid speaker not affected by me boosting sub bass.
They are about the same size as the Behringers so the replacement would be very straight forward.

I took a look at the presonus s8 I think in my case it might still distort the mids as I would boost 38hz with 16db at least which would probably affect the horn a bit. I know I might be asking a bit too much from these small speakers. Another option would be to get a minidsp and a second sub, place both subs directly under the Behringers then I also get dedicated mids. But I think even in that case I could gain from the IN-8's instead of the Behringers.
Gotcha - I guess the only way to find out is to listen them yourself if you have this possibility
 

ernestcarl

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I get the feeling these Kali's are slightly less powerful and so the limiter might be an issue in boosting +16db on the deeps.

Check Erin’s measurements. What level do you listen and at what distance? You can sort of figure out from that already whether you would encounter compression and limiting.

Having a separate bass driver should mean less or no real impact in the mids with the boost. But with the type of music… why would augmenting with a sub be much worse — unless your studio positioning/placement and room response is not optimal.
 

andymarks

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Check Erin’s measurements. What level do you listen and at what distance? You can sort of figure out from that already whether you would encounter compression and limiting.

Having a separate bass driver should mean less or no real impact in the mids with the boost. But with the type of music… why would augmenting with a sub be much worse — unless your studio positioning/placement and room response is not optimal
Yeah it looks like it starts to break up above 96db at 1 meter both in frequency response and in the limiter kicking in. So I guess I could boost 15db in the lows and playback at 80db to stay under the limit which is enough for me. I think I'll order the Kalis where I can easily send them back if it sounds less than my current setup, it looks better on paper, I don't mind less tow in to get more off axis it will give me a few centimeters more room for absorption on the back of the speaker.

The thing about the external sub is that bass feels more direct to me coming from the same speaker location. Maybe with a minidsp and then getting another identical sub aligned and placed both right under the main monitors, maybe then it blends better. I am sensitive to the bass pressure when it's placed to one side and in the center it sounds sluggish and makes my room rattle more. This room is actually too small for a good result some will say. But my current setup works best to my ears, looking to improve it further.

I just thought maybe somebody already tried extending the deep bass on these speakers.
 

ernestcarl

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Maybe with a minidsp and then getting another identical sub aligned and placed both right under the main monitors, maybe then it blends better.

I see. I have my single sub close to midpoint between and behind my two monitors. The monitors are also playing full-range as this helps increase the sensation of the bass originating on the same plane level as the monitors. I lose a lot of bass below 100Hz with the monitors pulled away as they are from all the walls, nevertheless, it gave the best stereo imaging with the least amount of EQ correction required. Boosting the KH120’s down low, though, simply would not be enough — drivers are too small and we lose audio quality, so a sub is absolutely necessary in this particular configuration. But depending on the setup, one can get away with the use of only a single sub — I experience no real bass localization problem — in other placements, such as moving the sub a little too much to the left or right, localization then starts to creep back in.
 

andymarks

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I see. I have my single sub close to midpoint between and behind my two monitors. The monitors are also playing full-range as this helps increase the sensation of the bass originating on the same plane level as the monitors. I lose a lot of bass below 100Hz with the monitors pulled away as they are from all the walls, nevertheless, it gave the best stereo imaging with the least amount of EQ correction required. Boosting the KH120’s down low, though, simply would not be enough — drivers are too small and we lose audio quality, so a sub is absolutely necessary in this particular configuration. But depending on the setup, one can get away with the use of only a single sub — I experience no real bass localization problem — in other placements, such as moving the sub a little too much to the left or right, localization then starts to creep back in.
Yeah I tried placing the sub left and right of my feet under the desk but it rattles my room more and sounds indirect, it was also annoying to kick it now and then. I didn't experience localization this way though. The Behringers have enough headroom and the same size woofer as the IN-8's, they can produce the lowest bass. I used to run old speakers as double subs in this room that worked quite well but the current setup where everything comes from a single speaker location sounds best to me... it sounds even and the most direct that I have heard in this room.

I think the IN-8's could be a good upgrade to my mids though as I suspect I am now distorting lows and mids a bit.
It depends whether the IN-8's can handle the extra bass load below 40hz the way the Behringers can.
 

Arnandsway

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@KaliAudio_Official
Do you all have plans to make more speaker series? If so, will these be called Big Pine or Fish Springs? :D

For the rest of us on this forum, look at the manual of the IN-series:
Where does “IN” come from? The official name of this product line is “Project Independence.” Kali names all of our product lines after towns in California. Independence is a town in the Eastern Sierra. On the map, it is “one up” from Lone Pine. As the IN-Series shares many components with, and offers many improvements over, our Lone Pine series of monitors, we thought it was a fun way to distinguish the two products.
 

cata02

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Genelec 8030C+ a sub or IN-8's?
I had recently had the same dilemma and chose 8030 due to stock issues.
Looking to get the 7350 sub soon, bc the 8030 are not cutting it for me.
One thing i am worrying about is that 1 sub is just 1 source of low frequencies, while the kali, while they don't go so low as 7350, they are 2 sources of low frequencies, which will probably create a better sound overall, less bass nulls, or boomy spots.

Can't compare with in-8, but i can tell that, at least w/o calibration and without a sub, they sound small, and i'd bet the kali would not have this problem (though even kali would benefit from a sub i gues), Due to their small size, they were damn easy to place in my environment, no stand needed :D

But the 8030, for me, have an addictive sound, i feel like moving to the couch and working from there instead. Clear, precise, just nice to my ear, in the listening position. For some reason, i get a sense that outside of the listening position sound is not that great, but probably this is more to my asymmetric room, then the speakers.
 

Pearljam5000

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I had recently had the same dilemma and chose 8030 due to stock issues.
Looking to get the 7350 sub soon, bc the 8030 are not cutting it for me.
One thing i am worrying about is that 1 sub is just 1 source of low frequencies, while the kali, while they don't go so low as 7350, they are 2 sources of low frequencies, which will probably create a better sound overall, less bass nulls, or boomy spots.

Can't compare with in-8, but i can tell that, at least w/o calibration and without a sub, they sound small, and i'd bet the kali would not have this problem (though even kali would benefit from a sub i gues), Due to their small size, they were damn easy to place in my environment, no stand needed :D

But the 8030, for me, have an addictive sound, i feel like moving to the couch and working from there instead. Clear, precise, just nice to my ear, in the listening position. For some reason, i get a sense that outside of the listening position sound is not that great, but probably this is more to my asymmetric room, then the speakers.
Looking for your update when you receive the sub;)
That's exactly my dilemma
"small sound" but more clarity and accuracy or" bigger " sound but less good overall.
I guess you can't have it all unless you go for the big Genelecs
 

cata02

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Looking for your update when you receive the sub;)
That's exactly my dilemma
"small sound" but more clarity and accuracy or" bigger " sound but less good overall.
I guess you can't have it all unless you go for the big Genelecs
for my use case i'd actually still want the kali, bc i am not producing music, etc.
but man, i really like their sound; this is not saying that the kali would not be just as good in this regard.
Do keep in mind the room does have an impact and it could be that in my and maybe yor room the super mambo jumbo nice things ab genelecs are not delivered (reflections, etc).

In an ideal world: genelec 8340, 2x7350 subs.....that would be sweet big time.
but, an arm, a leg, debt for my kids to pay hahaha.
 

andymarks

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for my use case i'd actually still want the kali, bc i am not producing music, etc.
but man, i really like their sound; this is not saying that the kali would not be just as good in this regard.
Do keep in mind the room does have an impact and it could be that in my and maybe yor room the super mambo jumbo nice things ab genelecs are not delivered (reflections, etc).

In an ideal world: genelec 8340, 2x7350 subs.....that would be sweet big time.
but, an arm, a leg, debt for my kids to pay hahaha.
Since I started treating my room I am now totally convinced that looking for any speaker upgrade is pointless without some 30cm or more of absorption in some spots of your room and the more you can cover the better. Such depths especially on the sides next to your speakers will lower the mids and high reflections to where suddenly your speakers will start to sound much clearer. The smearing of delayed bass is to some extend inevitable in my small room, it is like that in most rooms I believe as you need 50cm plus 50cm airgap to take away those lows. As soon as you approach such amounts of absorption you are gonna be in an semi-anechoic chamber for your mid and high frequencies which is probably also not what you want.

I have heard several Genelecs, I remember them being clear but harsh to me. You can not compare such a more expensive product to a budget 3 way like the IN-8's, also the IN-8's are only a solution for near field with the on and off axis fluctuations and less power, even more so when you lift the sub bass a bit. With dedicated subs you get more power and probably a lot less distortion in lows if you go for high quality subs.
Still I am hoping the IN-8's will be a good upgrade for me. It's out of stock at the best place to order for me, waiting for the next batch.

Meanwhile if anyone with these speakers could try extending the lows, I would like to know how the speakers perform in that situation.
 
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