- An in-depth test of the KRK Rokit G4 monitors in varying listening environments
- See how they compared to other monitors in a similar price range
- Get our tips for ensuring you get the best sound from these monitors
- Also, check out our post on the best studio monitor subs for music production
If you’ve seen behind-the-scenes home studio photos, then it’s likely that at some point, you will have seen the black and yellow colors of KRK Rokit monitors.
KRK is back with their latest installment of these monitors, the Rokit 5 G4s, which have quickly become the most popular Nearfield Monitors online.
Widely considered as an entry-level option but also used by artists and engineers including Armin Van Buuren, FKi 1st, and Jacquire King (Kings of Leon / James Bay), where do these studio monitors really stand and are they suitable for the average musician, and producer?
KRK Rokit 5 G4: Breakdown
The Rokit 5 model is a professional-grade studio monitor that includes low-distortion Kevlar drivers and an efficient Class D power amp with a built-in brickwall limiter. It also features an optimized high-frequency waveguide for a wide, dynamic sweet spot and great imaging, as well as a low-resonance enclosure and front-firing port for excellent low-end response and easy speaker placement.
- Quality build
- Value for money
- Impressive high-frequency response
Build Quality: 9/10
Sound Quality: 8/10
Value for money: 10/10
Coming in at under $400 for a pair, the KRK Rokit 5’s are an excellent option for those who are looking for reliable monitors on a budget.
This latest update makes the Rokit 5’s feel tailor-made for those working in home studio scenarios, adding precise EQ controls to allow adjustments for all kinds of untreated rooms.
The Technical Bits (What Do They All Mean?)
KRK boasts some big numbers and exciting words in the specifications of these monitors, but what does it all really mean?
5″ Glass Aramid Woofer and 1″ Glass Aramid Tweeter
Matching materials across the tweeter (the speaker cone providing the higher range frequencies) and the woofer (the speaker cone providing the lower range frequencies) are used to provide consistency and integrity across all frequencies.
Bi-amped Class-D Amplifier
KRK’s new amplifier is aimed at driving the speakers evenly, again increasing consistency across the frequency range while also reducing the operating temperature of these monitors.
Maximum Sound Pressure level: 104 dB
The maximum sound pressure level (or Max SPL) is the maximum volume these monitors can reach. With a rating of 104 dB, the Rokit 5’s can go significantly louder than its main competitor, the Yamaha HS5s (90 dB).
Frequency response: 43-40,000 Hz
The Rokit 5’s boasts an impressively high-frequency response (meaning more detailed treble on playback); however, with the low-frequency range only reaching down to 43 Hz, some low-end will be sacrificed on playback (most modern music can reach down to around 30 Hz, with kick drums often placed around 50 Hz).
The Rokit 5’s are Nearfield Monitors, meaning they’re best suited for use at around 3 to 5 feet from the listener; perfect for use in smaller spaces.
The Visual EQ
One of the main new additions to these monitors is the impressive onboard Visual EQ, allowing the adjustment of 25 settings to adapt to the space you are working in. All settings can be controlled directly from the KRK smartphone app, meaning you can adjust the sound directly from your listening position.
This is an impressive feature for these entry-level monitors and is one that will often be needed for the untreated home studio spaces many of us find ourselves working in.
How Do They Sound, and How Do They Compare?
When testing, I was pleasantly surprised by these monitors – they provided a clear overall sound and increased my perception of dynamics in the songs I had been working on.
As expected, the bass did feel a little light and may make it harder to mix music; however, for general production use, I didn’t feel this would be a problem.
I found these monitors to provide impressive reliability when compared to other monitors in a similar price range, with mixes also translating far better across systems than when working on similar-priced headphones.
I also tested these monitors in my untreated bedroom and found the versatility of the Visual EQ to be a massive help in achieving a sound I could work with within a less-than-ideal space.
I used the Sonarworks SoundID Reference Measurement Microphone to capture the frequency balance of the speakers in the untreated room, finding a big spike in the low-mids – an easy fix to make using the monitors’ new EQ functionality.
The Rokit 5’s main competitors are the Yamaha HS5s, the ADAM Audio T5Vs, and the Presonus Eris E4.5 BT, which all fall within a similar price range. Compared to the T5Vs and the E4.5 BTs, the Rokit 5’s felt clearer, especially in terms of dynamics.
There was a noticeable difference in the high frequencies, most likely down to the extended frequency response of the Rokits, while the low end felt slightly more rounded.
The HS5s were much closer in sound comparison, and while they may feel more ‘familiar’ in a way, the Rokit 5’s felt much more versatile and adaptable.
When it came to testing in an untreated room, the Rokit 5’s were a mile ahead of the competition. The Visual EQ and smartphone app make it quick and easy to adjust the speaker sound, while the alternatives could not compete on both adaptability and ease of adjustment.
Overall, I was pleasantly surprised by the latest Rokit 5 monitors and believe them to be deserving of the popularity that surrounds them.
These monitors offer an affordable yet reliable sound that can be precisely adjusted to your own room.
Sure, they’re never going to compete with the big speakers found in professional music studios; however, if you’re looking to get off your headphones and onto monitors, look no further than these KRK Rokit 5’s.
Before you go, check out our guide to the 7 Best Studio Monitors (All Budgets & Sizes)!