Kali Audio may be the new kid on the block still, having been around only since 2018, but they have made huge waves in the budget monitor game, coming out swinging with their LP-6 monitors at only $199 each. Now they’re reaching higher with their IN-5 monitors ($349 each), and we’re taking a closer look at those today.
I tried out the Sweetwater-exclusive white versions of these monitors for a few months now, and they are very striking looking in my setup. I’ve been using them to listen to songs on my Friday streams and as secondary monitors more than anything else, but also doing a lot of active listening and creating on them. The first thing I noticed right away was the power of the low end – you can feel it straight away without cranking them too much. It doesn’t sound boomy or muddy in my room, just full. It’s a bit of a delicate balance, of course – you don’t want exaggerated low end, but you also need to be able to feel and hear the low information in your mix without having to blast it.
The Boundary EQ feature on Kali speakers is one of the most important assets – you can pay good money for very expensive monitors, but without proper placement, treatment, and EQ to compensate for boundary issues you could be throwing money down the drain for nothing. The idiot-proof Boundary EQ switches and guide on the back of the IN-5 monitors ensures that someone even as dumb as myself can set the ideal EQ curve on the monitors to get the most accurate sound out of them. This also is extremely convenient because most of the other solutions for this involve either a dedicated hardware EQ or some kind of plugin running all the time to compensate – this is a set-it-and-forget-it solution built right into the speakers, and it works like a charm. Being that these are budget speakers, you can bet that they’ll likely wind up in some less-than-ideal acoustic spaces, and Kali knows this – and they’ve got you.
Kali claims that the frequency response of these is “ruler-flat”, and I found nothing to cause me to dispute this in my tests. They’re certainly not flattering – I know when something sounds too good in spite of the source material that I’m not listening through accurate sources, but the IN-5s held up in this category – even against my tenfold more expensive Focal Trio6 BEs. Sure, they’re better speakers – but not ten times better.
Kali has once again dropped a heavy contender into the budget studio monitor arena, and I would be hard-pressed to name a better monitor at this price point these days.
Pick up the Kali Audio IN-5 speakers for $349 each at Sweetwater here.
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