Review: Kali Audio Mountain View
An almost stupidly simple concept, with brilliant results.
Contact Kali Audio
We first came across Kali Audio through the company’s debut offering, the LP-6s. The ‘LP’ stands for Lone Pine, the town where Kali Audio is based and the first place climbers visit on their way to the summit of Mount Whitney, the highest mountain in the United States. As well as having an evocative name, the speakers themselves are pretty incredible and we concluded that: “Kali Audio’s opening salvo in the speaker market is a great one. The LP-6s are some of the best monitors at this price point and can easily out-punch models twice their price or more.”
The company’s follow-up product, Mountain View (again, that’s nice), is not another set of monitors, but a clever and simple device that delivers a Bluetooth signal to a professional audio setup. So it is essentially a two-channel box with two sets of outputs (XLR and TRS) so you can connect those professional monitors you own to any Bluetooth input. The thinking is that you are not relying on a gimmicky Bluetooth speaker, but can now enjoy those mobile Bluetooth benefits with your own studio monitors.
The unit is solidly built, has one button for Bluetooth connectivity and one dial for volume – and that’s it. We found that it paired best with our laptop or phone on power up, but you press the Kali logo button for two seconds and it blinks, ready for pairing.
There are a couple of obvious uses that producers might have for Mountain View. Laptop musicians will love the fact that they can move around the studio working on a project and can instantly monitor. It’s also a great device if you’re collaborating: you simply both plug into the same monitors via Bluetooth to share ideas. As a permanent studio fixture, you might consider pairing it with another interface so you can easily switch between Bluetooth and traditional setups. Of course, you wouldn’t necessarily use Mountain View for monitoring while recording, as Bluetooth has an inherent latency that will delay your input playing too much to record in sync.
We tried it with Logic and, sure enough, playing and recording along with our mixes in time was not good, thanks to Bluetooth. But for playback, checking ideas and simply enjoying music wirelessly through your pro setup, this is a simple but brilliant idea. Good value, too.
● Bluetooth-input controller module
● 2 channels
● Bluetooth, 3.5mm (aux) inputs
● 2x XLR, 2x TRS balanced outputs
● Size (h x l x w in mm): 84 x 138 x 154
● Weight (g): 500
● In the box: local power adaptor
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