warning - I decided to write a full longer review, because I feel there is no review so far which would really provide any useful info for potential buyers, moreover video reviews almost seem as biased/paid, and most written reviews are merely summary of info provided on manufacturer website;
also, I am no sound engineer (though my background is at IT, tech/studio/live design/support, so excuse my "non-artistic" point of views,
additionally, I "bombarded" Kali support with plenty annoying questions, so I'll be quoting some of their replies as well,
I bought pair of the IN-8's together with WS-12 sub after almost half year waiting for Thomann to have them in stock, been using them for roughly month and half by now, hopefully have enough experiences to share :)
1) SELF HISS
yes it's loud, my measurements (roughly 1-2cm from cone) showed about 10-12dB over "idle" room (closed windows, computer whispering), I'm using them roughly 2-2,5m far and even at that distance I can clearly hear the hiss, but as soon as I play anything on them, it's "masked away", also I did a comparison to Genelecs 8331 at close distance, and actually using IN-8's at 2m distance provide more dynamic range than Genelecs at 0,5m distance (in Reaper DAW, I threw JS White Noise generator at -12, I could hear the white noise signal over the IN-8's self hiss at roughly -55 on fader, while on Genelecs, I could start to hear any signal at -45, so losing about 10dB of dynamic range on nearfield placement - something to be aware of when choosing monitor placement!
on the back of the monitors, it's actually possible to turn input gain down to significantly minimize the hiss, I contacted Kali support about that and their answer was following: "Regarding the volume knob on your speaker, we recommend the 0dB location first of all because the notch makes it unlikely to have unbalanced speakers and secondly because its the output level that experiences the lowest amount of compression and the greatest transient response for our transducer material." - so I put it back at 0 and decided to get used to the self noise when monitors are idle, not a big deal actually in my opinion, BUT if anyone considers those for critical audio restoration or noise removal, they will simply not be able to provide (compared to cheap alternatives without any noticeable self-noise, like Presonus Eris series for ex., which I used before)
I'd like to mention on thing here - Kali Audio support is amazing (do note they're in America, so reply may take day or two for us Europeans due to timezone shift) and immediately offered replacement in case I would find any problems with the monitors, to quote Kali support: "Please keep me updated with the buzzing from your monitor. Consider swapping the cables on the back of your two units and see if the buzzing follows your problematic unit. If not, its likely an issue within the signal chain. If we do isolate this to an issue with the monitor itself, I would like to get that replaced for you." later followed by "Should you feel like your crackling problem increases or gets worse in any way, let me know and we can isolate the issue. We’ll consider any future warranty claim on your speakers initiated on June 12th, so don’t worry about your warranty expiring." - that is a very professional yet honest approach I genuinely value, and is something which really should be a standard among manufacturers!
2) STANBY MODE
it actually turned out, my monitors were from the newer batch, which has this (supposedly annoying) feature completely removed - a bit misleading was the fact there was no mention of it in included printed manual, I contacted Kali support which provided me the info, and by now pdf manual on their website does include a section about determining what batch IN-8 you get is from potentially having stanby feature factory-removed
3) ADJUSTMENT DIPS
they're basically useless, because main problems are caused by individual room dimensions, according to Kali I contacted again, answer was following: "The exactly boundary EQ specifications for the IN8 are proprietary information, but I can tell you that all cuts and boosts are under 2dB. We measured and developed the boundary EQ settings at the Village Studios in Los Angeles, so rooms with different modes and resonances may exhibit different responses to the EQ settings." so obviously my house room is no LA studio to benefit from same settings
4) COAXIAL + 3-WAY DESIGN
this is absolutely a game changer, there are no other monitors at such price point offering BOTH coaxial mid/high cone and active 3-way design,
why is it so important?
COAXIAL design radiates frequencies equally from single point, which also means any unwanted REFLECTIONS in (untreated) room are reflected from single points, significantly reducing the feel of the "room" from the sound, to be honest I've so much used to coaxial design (thanks to previously aforementioned Genelecs 8331, and also 8351) I simply can't go back to traditional speaker design
3-WAY design is another crucial thing, because it helps "leverage" the most important spectrum (1-4kHz) human ears are most sensitive, and most music actually happening there, so there is no "hole" around 2-3kHz area (which most 5,6,7,8" 2-way monitors suffer from, as their crossovers are set in that area) and I can finally hear harshness, but also clarity (especially vocals and guitars) regardless of what's happening in the lower range (bass, drums, lower keyboards, woodwinds etc..)
sum those both things up, and you're basically getting best of both worlds, and subjectively to me, more naturally sounding bass of "real" 8" cone compared to dual-elipse design like coaxial Genelecs (this is highly subjective to me though)
a quick note here - I do appreciate having them purchased together with Kali Audio WS-12 subwoofer, because I can further "leverage" the ultra low frequencies away from IN-8's to let their 8" woofers breathe more without compromising the clarity on dense mixes/music (my room and placement condition lead me to crossing subwoofer at 60Hz)
5) COST-SAVING CHOICES (I don't like, but understand them)
*included power cables are ridiculously short, around 140cm - to quote Kali support I contacted in that matter again: "The length of the cables we’ve deemed as a non critical component to the sound quality of the speakers and were a place we could “shortcut” on the keep prices low while including high quality componentry that allows us to have very low distortion and professional transient response. A big part of our job in creating professional speakers at the consumer price point is figuring out what we can compromise on so we don’t have to compromise on the important stuff!"
*it's not possible to use angled XLR connectors due to XLR/power/button layout on the back panel, which is exactly same like LP-8s sharing same "legacy design flaw" as admitted by Kali support, let me quote again:"The XLR’s position relative to other cables is a legacy design from the precursor LP model. I believe the reasoning for this is to keep people from butting their speakers directly up against walls, which can have a significant impact on the response and imaging from the speakers. It also may have some relationship to the resonant resistant design of the cabinet, but I’d have to check with our engineer to make sure."
IN-8 is shipped as single box (pair = 2 separate boxes), brown Kali-branded cardboard, inside there's white Kali-branded cardboard, monitors are supported by polystyrene frames, they're placed upside down, so I could conveniently pull them up with my hands grabbing bassreflex front ported holes (nice detail Kali!), package includes printed manual (may include outdated info, better check Kali website for up-to-date pdf manuals) and aforementioned short power cables, Thomann delivery was solid as always, cannot complain about anything (only little curiosity each box was rated at rather different shipping weight, no idea why)
7) DESIGN & BUILD
Kali IN-8's look very subtle, compared to my previous Presonus Eris E8's, they look actually smaller because of more sharp edges (I like that design, looking more sleek and modern in my opinion), front panel is plastic, but definitely doesn't feel cheap or wobbly,
coaxial cone's tweeter is NOT protected (unlike coaxial Genelecs), handle with care,
center of coaxial cone is roughly 36cm from the bottom, so plan the placement carefully (my IN-8's are roughly 80cm from the floor to match my ears/seat at desk, bare minimum I'd say),
front blue LED indicator is very subtle in the middle between coaxial cone and woofer, FAR less annoying than Presonus Eris had, it turns orange when switching monitors on and off (and would go orange if standby mode wasn't removed),
bottom front firing bass reflex port does its job, but also serves as very handy handle (as mentioned above, especially useful when unpacking) which comfortably fits even a big hand (no worries you'd touch woofer from inside, port hole shape continues to the back)
back panel (connectors, gain pot, dips) I hopefully covered enough above, I'd just add here gain pot has indent only at 0 position, which allows precise adjustment, but not easy to adjust multiple monitors exactly same
Kali Audio IN-8's have no direct competition on the market right now at similar price point 3-way monitors are already rare, and combination with coaxial design is unmatched, enginners at Kali did amazing job on cost-saving decisions, most apparent is amplifier choice which results at relatively loud hiss prioritizing superior transient response/clarity and respectably low harmonic distortion (as I mentioned in review, self-hiss can be significantly reduced by turning input gain down, compromising audio quality),
scope of use is far beyond studio use, due to "single-point" coaxial 3-way design, they can serve as TOP "audiophile" choice for (not so acoustically treated) living room main listening system, not even mentioning potential ear-melting surround monitoring experience;
I'd say, unless you really critical nearfield monitoring for noise critical audio restoration (for which you really should be looking at either headphones, or coaxial Genelecs (which cost multiple times more for subjectively not really better sound, just objectively far less self noise), you should definitely give Kali IN-8's a try, no worries returning them back thanks to Thomann return policy (due note, for customers outside Germany, after 14 days you'd need to pay for shipping if returning within 30-day grace period)