Finding a pair of good value studio monitors is not an easy task. There is a large amount of choice out there. It pays to stick to well-known brands that have a long history of producing quality products. One such stalwart of the studio monitor space is KRK. With the new G4 range of studio monitors, they aim to once again draw a line in the sand with quality and affordable monitors.
KRK Rokit 5 G4
KRK is no stranger to the studio space. It wasn’t uncommon to see the G3 series of studio monitors in both home studios and professional studios. With the new KRK Rokit 5 G4, they have once again pushed the boundaries of what they can offer while keeping their range of monitors affordable. Have they improved on the previous generation? Let’s find out.
With their reputation on the line, there is a lot to expect from the new Rokit 5 speakers. Let’s dive into the details and discover if they have delivered with this new generation.
The most important thing to cover is the sound quality. The previous generation of KRK Rokit 5 was great but not perfect. They suffered from a more exaggerated low and top end. This was great for general listening but not always ideal in a studio environment.
The Rokit G4 has balanced out the frequencies for a much better soundscape compared to the previous model. The treble feels less pronounced and sits more comfortably with the upper-middle frequencies. The KRK Rokit range of studio monitors is a favorite for many artists.
The punchy low end also made the Rokit range a preferred choice for DJ studios. That is still the case with the new generation. The redesigned front-facing bass port has also helped to clean up the low end. It’s meaty and clean without distortion. Unless you need pounding bass you won’t need to add a subwoofer to your setup.
The balance between the frequencies may not be ideal for those looking for the flattest possible studio monitors. While these are not HiFi speakers they do still color sound ever so slightly. Despite this, they will be a better option for monitoring compared to even the best headphones for DJs.
The sweet spot was more narrow than I expected and not as broad as other monitors. Having said that they are near-field monitors that are not designed to fill a room with sound.
One of the biggest changes from the previous generation is the addition of Kevlar. Not only for the woofer but also for the tweeter. This is a growing trend among studio monitors and one which KRK has decided to follow. It’s for good reason as Kevlar offers a consistent distribution of sound when implemented well.
The rest of the cabinet is up to the quality you’d expect from KRK studio monitors. Solid, durable and well made. The case is also designed with low-resonance in mind. This keeps the low-end smooth and punchy without build-up. I’d still recommend you pick up a pair of isolation pads to assist with keeping vibrations to a minimum.
The frequency response on the Rokit 5 is 43Hz-40kHz for a good spread across the frequency spectrum. The new Class D amp also increases the power capabilities compared to the previous model. This also results in less heat and weight across the whole speaker.
The KRK 5 G4 offers a solid frequency range in a relatively lightweight package.
At 104dB max SPL, they are also plenty loud. If you do want a little more headroom you can always look at the Rokit 7 G4 or Rokit 8 G4.
There is also a brick wall limiter built-in. This prevents you from damaging your speakers. It also helps in delivering consistent balanced sound output. I have blown a couple of speakers in my early days so it’s a nice feature to have built-in for people that are new to studio monitors.
The biggest change comes in the brand-new onboard DSP with an LCD screen. The volume control doubles as the selector for this feature. While other monitors will restrict you to a couple of tuning options the Rokit KRK 5 G4 has 25 different EQ settings. This allows for full flexibility when adjusting the speakers for your studio space.
The other unseen benefit is that you can customize the sound based on your personal preference. For example, if you are not interested in flat analytical response you can boost up the low end to enjoy bass-heavy music. This makes them a great choice for not only producing but also for casual listening.
There is a dedicated app as well. The KRK Audio Tools app will help with monitor placement as well as tuning. This is another great tool for the first time user who doesn’t know much about how to optimize their studio monitors. Even seasoned pros will appreciate the features available in this free app.
The amount of features they have packed in is very impressive. From adjusting the dim for the front logo panel to having the ability to lock your settings in place.
This huge leap forward alone makes the KRK Rokit5 G4 an attractive choice for your studio needs. Even more impressive is that they have managed to add these features without a huge increase in price.
Rokit 5 monitors continue the tradition of their iconic black and yellow color scheme but with a twist. These newly designed speakers have forgone the bright yellow and now are a softer more mellow yellow. There is also a white model coming soon.
The KRK Rokit 5 G4 is both functional and attractive.
The shiny black plastic is also replaced by a textured matte black finish. These two changes make for a more professional and attractive speaker.
Striking the balance between personality and style these look great and would make an excellent addition to any studio.
Input wise there is a combo connection at the back of the KRK Rokit 5 speakers that supports both TRS and XLR. Both outputs support balanced audio.
The KRK Rokit 5 studio monitors offer a combo jack that can support both TRS and XLR.
As with most studio monitors, it is worth picking up high-quality cables and a good audio interface. Also, it’s worth noting that if you are a new DJ you should check what connection options are available on your gear. Even the best beginner DJ controller offers just an RCA option.
The new KRK Rokit G4 does offer attractive value. There are cheaper studio monitors available but none of them will offer the detailed tuning options you’ll find on these. The number of improvements over the previous generation also makes these a worthy buy over the previous models. Once you also factor in the high build-quality the price point is even more appealing.
What Others Have To Say
Rokit 5 studio monitors have done it again. The tradition of producing high quality yet affordable studio monitors continues. Many people are enjoying the new features.
Why Tuning Options Are Important
Before we dive into the detailed review it’s worth covering a key feature to look out for. No studio monitor is perfect. Every studio space is different. As a result, a studio monitor may sound great in one studio but horrible in another.
This is a challenge when you are buying your first pair of studio monitors. Even with in-store testing, there is no way to know how they will sound in your specific setup. If you have a large studio space small monitors may sound hollow and washed out. On the flip side, if your space is on the smaller side large monitors may be overbearing.
One of the best ways to mitigate any issues is to select a studio monitor that offers excellent tuning options. These tuning options allow you to adjust the parameters of the speaker to suit your studio space. For example, you can trim off low or high frequencies if you have a reflective environment. It can also help if you ever change your studio space. If you decide to add some soundproofing or other acoustic treatment you can go back and refine your monitors output.
Studio monitor placement is very important but good tuning options can also help you get the best sound quality from your speakers.
It’s often the smaller more budget-minded monitors that need the most help to maximize quality. The problem is that these types of features are usually reserved for more expensive models.
As technology continues to evolve so does the studio monitor space. More and more manufacturers are looking at how they can handle the shifting needs of their customers. Having some form of tuning options is one of the main ways to tackle this difficult situation.
When purchasing your studio monitors takes some time to assess the tuning options. These extra features can turn an average studio monitor into an exceptional one.
While innovative and a great studio monitor the KRK Rokit 5 G4 is not the only option. Check out some other choices below or go to our full guide covering the best studio monitor speakers.
Edifier R1280DB Review
If you’re not interested in flat response and want an all-rounder the Edifier R1280DB is a good choice. With extra connectivity choices, it can double as speakers for your home entertainment needs.
- Bluetooth connectivity with an included remote control.
- Loud considering it has a 4-inch woofer.
- Does suffer from some distortion when pushed to higher volumes.
Read our full Edifier R1280DB review for more detailed information.
JBL 305P MkII Review
The narrow sweet spot on the Rokit 5 speakers is not for everyone. If you like to move about your studio space the JBL 305P MkII is a better choice.
- Satisfying low end that still maintains clarity.
- Broad soundstage for a larger sweet spot.
- Does have a notable hiss when no sound is running through it.
Read our full JBL 305P MkII review for more detailed information.
JBL 305P MkII
Yamaha HS8 Review
For a larger studio, 5-inch woofers will sound isolated. Going up to an 8-inch model like the Yamaha HS8 is a good alternative. It’s also a good choice if you are not a fan of the yellow and black Rokit design.
- Offers flat and clear sound across all frequencies.
- Mountable version is available.
- Not as budget-friendly as other studio monitors.
Read our full Yamaha HS8 review for more detailed information.
Should You Buy?
There is always a sense of trepidation when a seasoned classic is remade. KRK continues innovating and offering studio monitors that feel perfect for the hobby producer. Even a seasoned professional will enjoy the new range of options. This new generation of KRK 5 is a hit, unlike the many abysmal movie remakes that we’ve had to endure over the years! If you are looking to buy a pair of 5-inch studio monitors the Rokit 5 G4 should be high on your list of options.
KRK Rokit 5 G4