Submitted February 14, 2020 by Russell
"Best bang for the buck in this price range"
Budget monitors is a crowded category that is hard to sift through. I think these are probably the best value out of anything under $250 a speaker, but there are tons out there that should be great that I haven't heard. These were an upgrade from my Rockit Gen2 5 inchers, so take that into consideration.
The most important category. They definitely have better bass imaging than my KRKs, but I think that's because of the larger bass driver more than anything else. I'm still getting used to balancing my overall bass levels with these but I can heard differences down into the 35 Hz range, where with the smaller speakers anything under 45ish Hz was just a mooshy guessing game. The midrange overall was emptier than the KRKs- they made my mixes sound worse but that's a good thing. The KRKs have a tendency to smooth out the edges and make what you're putting through them sound better than it really is. Which is why those speakers sell quite well, but it leads to mixes having a lot of the same "blind spots" so to speak. Kali 6s definitely don't have that issue, although it takes time to really notice to what degree. i will also say the high end I am also not used to. The crossover on these is pretty steep, and sitting up straight I get a way different impression of the high end than with slouching slightly. This might be a good thing? I don't like it personally. I've taken to using headphones to criticize the high end after switching to these. I'll get to more comparisons and the dip switches below.
Ah yes, the dip switches. I will say that the room treatment ones are worth having- they pretty much do what they should. I tried a lot of different settings because my room is a little nonstandard but the right setting ended up being what the recommendation was. I would like to know if you have different room situations going on with each speaker if you can set one one way and the other another way. I'm thinking no and I didn't try. These room switches I think are a large part of why people find these effective. I wouldn't think these were as well balanced (especially low mids) if not for those.The EQ switches I found useless though. 2db is way too much. I definitely need to treat the low end on these and the EQ switches are severe. Same with the high end. I need like half a db on the high end reduced, not 2 db which is massive. Since these are just blanket settings with just one curve, I would think 1 db would be the way to go. However, anyone serious about this will get an RTA mic (the Behringer one is pretty good) and some halfway decent software to fix things the right way.
Ease of Use
If you follow the room switches you are good to go. I'd call this a necessary feature for amateur studios these days since so few of us have room treatment.
As good or better than any other speaker in this price category
These really beat out anything else I've heard, dollar for dollar. The larger driver is such a difference maker I think, and at $300 a pair there isn't anything decent except the M-Audios, and I think the Kali have those beat. They smoke any KRK I've ever heard. I think they're probably a push against the Yamahas or JBLs, but they are less than half the cost of the comparably sized Yamaha and the 8" version of these is the same price as the JBL 8". I'd love to hear a head to head between those, but I'm imagining it'd be pretty close. Fluid, Presonus, Tannoy, and Adam all have new, strong entries in this price range (which I haven't heard), but they are all smaller and after experiencing the upgrade I think the bigger bass driver is more important than most anything else. 8" is probably only necessary for those with a large space and hiphop/EDM people who should probably just get a subwoofer anyway at that point.
The Wow Factor
Honestly, I was impressed by these but I think they are a little over-hyped. They are without a doubt the best value for under $300 a pair, and sound unbelievable compared to speakers from ten years ago, but at the end of the day I think the biggest thing they have going for them is the 6.5" bass driver vs the typical 5". I probably would have been just as happy with the JBLs or Adams but I got more for my money with the Kali.
Longtime musician, home recordist/mixer for about ten yrs
rock, experimental electronic
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