If you have read some general reviews about KRK studio monitors, you may well notice that people either love them or hate them! With the release of their new fourth-generation studio monitors earlier this year, I was keen to get a few production hours under my belt with them and see what they are like.
So how good are the KRK Rokit 5 G4 studio monitors?
I spent a day in the studio with the KRK Rokit 5 G4s and when the session was over, I was blown away by how good this new generation of speakers is. It seems that KRK has finally listened to feedback and addressed the low-end issues that previous models experienced.
KRK claims that this fourth-generation of studio monitors has been re-engineered from the ground up and I do not doubt that for one second. These sound like completely different speakers to their predecessors.
What is different with the new generation?
One of the main issues for me and many other producers around the world with previous KRK studio monitors was that it seemed they almost had a “false bass” sound about them (meaning that the bass you experienced while mixing your track was not what you heard when you played it elsewhere).
That issue seems to have been addressed with the release of the fourth-generation studio monitors and while I still don’t think that they are as true sounding as some other monitors, the “bass boost” sound that was noticeable in previous versions has definitely been reduced.
The redesigned front-firing port may be one explanation as to how KRK have achieved this more honest sound, while another reason could be that the woofer and the tweeter are now both made from Kevlar, which KRK says ensures sonic integrity across all frequencies.
Kevlar is an extremely hard-wearing substance and is five times stronger than steel, so these speakers have clearly been constructed from better materials than the third-generation models, which boasted a glass composite woofer coupled with a soft tweeter.
Another feature that really impressed me about the new KRK Rokit 5 G4s is that the front faceplate is attached by magnets, making it completely removable. A protective grille alternative is available which would be useful if you needed to transport your speakers to another studio.
However, possibly the most noticeable change of all is the inclusion of an LCD screen to the rear of the speaker which allows you to EQ and helps with room correction. A single rotary dial controls all 25 of the visual settings.
While I think that the physical EQing on the previous models was easy enough, this definitely gives this speaker a more modern feel and is already being used as a major selling point by KRK.
How do they sound?
As I stated before, my only real criticism with the previous KRK studio monitors was that they produced what I can only describe as a “false bass”. With that issue having been rectified, I was interested to see if they managed to produce a balanced sound across the other frequencies.
I was pleasantly surprised to hear that the mid-range of these speakers sounds extremely clean and the high-end is also very clear.
I did read some reviews where users were complaining that the high-end lacked the accuracy that other comparable studio monitors offer, though I spent a day making a house remix with these studio monitors and found them to be extremely well balanced.
Maybe the users who experienced these issues were creating a different kind of music where the highs are a little more apparent, but I wouldn’t like to speculate.
How much do they cost?
Almost all retailers are offering the KRK Rokit 5 G4s for $179 but you can check the latest price on Amazon here.
There is a lot of competition in the studio monitor market at this price point but I believe that the new generation of these monitors will find their way into a lot of studios around the world.
The Kevlar drivers, LCD EQ display and the KRK Room Acoustic Analyzer app are just three of the features that ensure you are getting a lot of bang for your buck. The fact that they have been completely re-engineered may also play a part in the decision-making process of some people.
How well does the KRK app work?
Unfortunately, at the time that I used these speakers, the app still hadn’t been made available via the App Store or Play Store.
KRK claims that the app will assist with setting the EQ, subwoofer levels, crossover and even the correct placement for the speakers.
Once I get the opportunity to use this app, I will update this article.
What are the technical specifications?
The fourth-generation KRK Rokit 5s are definitely an improvement on the third-generation studio monitors. The technical specifications are as follows:
Frequency Response: 43hz-40Khz
Maximum Sound Pressure Level (SPL): 104db
Power Output: 55 watts
In comparison to the third-generation model, the KRK Rokit 5 G4 boasts an improved frequency response, a higher power output and a slightly bigger overall cabinet size while managing to reduce the weight to 4.85kg, which equates to a reduction of 1.5kg.
Identical to its predecessors, the fourth-generation studio monitors are bi-amp and connect via TRS or XLR plugs.
How do they compare to other studio monitors at a similar price point?
KRK, Yamaha, Adam Audio and others all have their own fan base at this price point and it is a fair argument to say that they all have their own individual strengths and weaknesses.
However, as I have pointed out a couple of times during this article, one of the main complaints with previous KRK models seemed to be the dishonest low-frequency sound.
The fact that this issue seems to have been resolved or at least minimised will leave fans of KRK extremely happy and may convince supporters of their competitors to consider a different option when searching for a replacement.
Are there other models in the same range?
KRK has covered all bases with the release of their fourth-generation studio monitors, offering solutions at 5″, 7″, 8″ and 10″.
All of the above models are available in white colour too.
KRK has been making studio monitors for over 25 years and have re-engineered these fourth-generation speakers to include all that we loved about the previous models and discard all that was bad.
There is definitely some fierce competition at this price point, but my personal feeling is that KRK has finally got everything sounding as it should.
Maybe some people will find that the KRK Rokit 5 G4s aren’t suitable for their personal needs but I believe that you will be hard pushed to find a better speaker for under $200.
Check out the official KRK video: