The KRK Rokits are kind of like Boss DS-1 pedals in that you can find them absolutely everywhere. You can find them in the smallest of lo-fi bedroom setups, you can find them in pawn shops, in your uncle’s closet, and in professional studios, side by side with monitors that are far more expensive. Engineers have come to know and trust KRK Rokits over the years for their consistent sound quality, and the new generation, the G4s, is no exception.
Our verdict on the KRK Rokit 5 G4
The KRK Rokit 5 G4s feel like a natural continuance of everything that made the Rokits so great to begin with. If you’re a beginner on a budget, they’re a perfect option to get you started, and they’re perfect for professionals looking for an inexpensive pair of monitors to A/B their mixes. They look great, sound great, and will most likely outlast you.Check availability and current price: SweetwaterAmazon
Power and frequency response
All in all, these speakers certainly live up to the reputation of their former iterations, if not surpassing them. They offer a frequency range of roughly 43 Hz-40 kHz, while the SPL reaches its peak at 104 dB.
Although the speakers are capable of reaching such a high volume, it should be noted that the level of harmonic distortion present in the low frequencies renders the monitors more or less unusable at around 96 dB. So, if for any reason you’re looking for monitors that can handle such high volumes without losing accuracy, these aren’t the best options available.
That being said, the frequency response is generally flat. Despite a handful of spikes at around 700 Hz as well as under 10 kHz, the issues here are relatively minor and don’t detract from the total quality of the speakers.
When factoring all of this in with regards to their extremely affordable price, it’s hard not to recommend these monitors – they’re damn near perfect.
In pure Rokit fashion, the monitors sport the classic style and appearance we’ve come to expect from KRK Systems, albeit completely redesigned. The bass ports are much larger than the previous models’, and now span the full bottom of the speaker face.
The G4s are far more rectangular than the G2s or G3s and are more akin to the original design of the first generation of Rokits. However, the front edges are slightly rounded and contoured into the sides of the speaker.
Another update of the new generation’s design is that the G4’s woofers are now made using woven Kevlar rather than the glass aramid design of previous models. This was done not only to help make the monitors more durable and long-lasting but to improve the quality of sound – at least as according to KRK.
The 1″ soft dome tweeter design was also updated and is now with matching yellow woven Kevlar as well.
I/O and controls
In lieu of the previous Rokits’ separate input jacks for balanced XLR, TRS, and RCA – KRK has done away with RCA entirely and has changed the XLR and TRS inputs to be handled with but one Neutrik Combo input jack. Whether this is for better or worse is fairly insignificant, but it is a noteworthy simplification.
On the back panel, the multiple adjustment knobs have been replaced with one stepped continuous rotary encoder and an LCD with more options in digital form. Here you can do a number of different things. You can scroll through a variety of several preset low and high EQ settings, attenuate the output level of the monitors, engage or disengage the monitor’s standby function, adjust the display’s brightness, and so on and so forth.
This is a welcome change from the previous controls of former generations, which isn’t necessarily outdated yet but can be cumbersome at times.
KRK has introduced the KRK Audio Tools App to assist you with making any room corrections to achieve the best results out of your setup. The app offers a variety of different tools to help tune your monitors. Included within the app you’ll find a Level Meter, a Spectrum RTA tool, EQ Recommendation, Monitor Align, Delay, and Polarity.
The app seems to serve its purpose fairly well, except for a handful of issues. The first being is that the app relies solely on the built-in microphone of your phone, which for all intents and purposes, will be extremely inaccurate. It would be worthwhile if the app was able to be integrated with your DAW for better results, or was able to be calibrated with a better microphone, but unfortunately, this isn’t the case.
The Monitor Align function has also been said to be less than reliable. Nonetheless, the app is free. So if you’re looking for something relatively accessible – it does as much of a job as you can expect it to. Overall though, the app isn’t too great. KRK would be wise to improve it.
Compared to other studio monitors
Before concluding this article, let’s mention some other options available to consider. For more information, check out our pick of the best budget studio monitors.
Rokit 5 G4 vs. Yamaha HS5
The Yamaha HS5s are the monitors most often compared against the KRKs, and for good reason. They’re both fabulous choices, although we’ve found that the Yamahas are far brighter than the Rokits. Ultimately, it comes down to personal preference. The Rokits are slightly less expensive than the Yamahas at around $360, but again, you lose some of the high end and fullness you get from the HS5s.
Check out our full Yamaha HS5 review
Rokit 5 G4 vs. JBL 305P Mk2
Yes, at $300, the JBLs are far more affordable than the KRKs. However, their frequency response leaves a lot to be desired, only presenting 49 Hz-20 kHz. We seriously advise you to save up an extra $60 and buy the KRKs for a fuller and more accurate listening experience.
Check out our full JBL 305P Mk2 review