Native Instruments Komplete Audio 6

Review: Native Instruments Komplete Audio 6

Native Instruments, in their quest to streamline their product lineups into easily understandable categories, recently released the Komplete Audio 6 and booted their Audio Kontrol 1 into retirement. Rather than a simple rebadge however, they’ve designed a whole new product; we take a look to see what’s changed…

Product: Native Instruments Komplete Audio 6

Compatibility: Mac/PC

Connectivity: 4x 1/4″ TRS outputs and stereo S/PDIF out, 2x 1/4″ TRS inputs, 2x combi inputs with +48v and stereo S/PDIF in. MIDI in, MIDI out, headphones.

Price: £249GBP / $299USD

The Komplete Audio 6 doesn’t stray too far from the design blueprint NI laid out for their audio interfaces a while ago; a thick steel coat wraps around three and a half of the box’s surfaces, with the sides tough matt plastic and the fascia a glossy black with lights to indicate levels and inputs.

The Komplete Audio 6 doesn’t stray too far from the design blueprint NI laid out for their audio interfaces a while ago

NI have given the displays a refresh, and the new look (shared with the Traktor Audio 6 and 10) makes it easier to take in information at a glance… and we think it looks nicer too.

Input and output wise, every analogue connection is balanced, with a stereo S/PDIF input and output, four ¼” TRS outputs and two inputs round the back, and two combi jack inputs on the front which can provide phantom power. There’s also MIDI in and out on the back, as well as a clever USB port that locks the cable in and makes it really difficult to pull out by mistake – perhaps a feature developed more for NI’s Traktor Audio range than what will in most cases be a somewhat sedentary piece of equipment, but cool nonetheless.

The Komplete Audio 6 supercedes the Audio Kontrol 1, and the hardware is much more streamlined.

Komplete Audio 6 supercedes the Audio Kontrol 1, and the hardware is much more streamlined

The top panel now simply features an analogue 5o’clock – 7o’clock dial which attenuates the level of output one and two, with gains for the inputs and direct monitoring channel on the front of the unit. Output three and four adjustment no longer have analogue gain attenuation, permanently set to 0dB.

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