KRK Rokit 5 Review — The Compact Monitor

KRK Rokit 5 is the thing that will fit in any studio. It is the most compact model in the series, so it will definitely not occupy much place. Will this however affect the sound quality? Let us find out.

What KRK Company is

KRK Systems by itself is a rather small company, producing monitors, headsets and other music-producers-oriented equipment. However, KRK has a powerful parent company named Stanton Magnetics, which is a much bigger brand.

It originally started as a company producing magnetic cartridges (things happened back in 1949), that later started uniting its’ manufacturing powers with different companies doing similar stuff. As the brand grew, new developers joined it. So, KRK received a powerful base for its’ production, and Stanton Magnetics got a new crew member that made (and is still making) some awesome stuff for musicians.

KRK Rokit 5

The KRK Rokit 5 is a budget monitor developed exactly for small home studious and beginning producers. It is a compact two-way active studio device, that has A/B amplifier, 1-inch dome tweeter and rather loud speakers. There are built-in noise and distortion reductants, that make sound much cleaner and clearer.

The model also has a thin rubber isolation. It protects both the device’s body and surrounding surface from scratches and damage. The isolation also makes the sound smoother wherever the monitors are placed.

However, everything is not as smooth and perfect when it comes to business. Let us take a deeper look at technical characteristics, live performance and some feedback from real users to find out how valuable this device is in real life.

Technical Characteristics

As you could’ve already understood, KRK Rokit 5 is a small monitor. Here are the detailed characteristics and some commentary on them.

WeightEach of KRK Rokit 5’s weighs only 13.0 lbs (5.9 kg), which makes the whole set of monitors weigh only a little more than 11 kilo (for example one KRK Rokit 8 monitor weighgs over 12 kilo). This makes the model incredibly compact and transportable.
DimensionsKRK Rokit 5 is 9.7×7.4×11.2 (246 mm*188 mm*284 mm). It is the smallest device in the whole Rokit’s Generation 3 series. What I really can say about these dimensions is that Rokit 5 will basically fit in any studio, on any surface, and that it does not need any special stand to be placed on. To be able to imagine it better and probably test whether it fits in your personal case, pick four average books and stack them. The stack will be almost as big as Rokit 5.
MaterialThe material of Rokit 5 is not outstanding to be honest. It has the plastic body that has rubber coat. The inner materials are average as well. Not too good, not too bad. To be honest, plastic is not the most reliable material in the World, and it is not as good for working with sound as well, but this disadvantage is minor. If you are a beginner, you’ll notice no difference.
DesignDesign is my favorite part of KRK’s production. The Rokit Series has been incredibly good in these terms. A big black body, that gets wider, aggressive yellow speaker and Rokit’s logotype. The speakers much more expensive and professional that they really are. However, to make the product look this great, developers placed all the cushions and ports on back panel, which is not that reliable and convenient.

So, having that said, we can assume that Rokit 5 is a decent budget model. It is looking nice (idk what you say, but it’s really important for me), is really compact and is performed in a rather reliable way.

John, 23, Marketing Expert

  • Krk’s Rokit 5 is exactly that is being advertised. It is indeed a compact and reliable set of monitors for home studious. The quality test has shown that all the components and materials in an original version are made exactly of the material, that is named in technical instructions. The thing is not overpriced for sure.

However it might be not the best choice for experienced users. I am not a huge expert in musical field, but from what I already know about other producers-oriented production. There are much more worthy devices in this field, but they cost much more of course. This one might very well be the best choice in its’ price category.

More Complicated Characteristics

Now the time has come to talk about more complicated things. Let us take a look at what this monitors have inside. Here is the main information:

  • Frequency range. The frequency range is similar for all the third generation’s devices. The bottom number is 20 hZ, the top one is near 30kHz. It is way above the human hearing, but frequency range is used for adjusting sound. Such a wide variety of ranges provides really nice opportunity for sound customization.
  • Volume. KRK Rokit 5 can get as loud as 107 DB. Which can be compared to a loud train. This is definitely loud enough for listening to any music you might want and even a little louder.
  • Amplifier. This monitor has a D-class amplifier. D-class amplifiers are really smooth and provide smooth amplification. However, they are not as powerful as their A, B, and AB analouges.
  • Inputs. The inputs here are standard: XLR, TRS and RCA. This is enough to connect to any device you might use.

The insides of KRK Rokit 5 are OK. I am not saying that they are too good or too bad, because they are basically neither. They are reliable enough to serve for several years, they will produce sound of high quality. Probably, the amplifiers are not the most powerful in the World, but they will do as well.

Another thing worth mentioning is positioning of ports and indicators. The all are situated on the back, so you’ll need to keep that in mind while adjusting things. Og course, this is not really a problem, as these monitors are small (it’s easy to simply rotate them), but still. Finally, the indicator of power is located on the front panel. It looks like Rokit’s logo and is really comfortable. When the monitors are ON, the indicators are shining a little. It’s not that big of an advantage, but still a nice little plus.

Live Performance

In order to get the clearest result three sound tests had been made. One in the casual home studio, one outdoors and the last one in the garage. Here are the results that were received.

Home studio

Well, my home studio is simply my room. It is a rather small one, that has two windows (which remained closed during the experiment). The monitors were placed simply on the table near my computer.

So, I played some of tracks of my own, that were nor mixed properly in order to find out, whether Rokit’s 5 power is good enough to hear all the mistakes and be able to fix them. The result was even better than I expected. The sound was clean enough to hear all the badly mixed samples. There was also no problem with loudness and smoothness.

However, I really felt that bass was lacking a lot. It would not be correct to say that the sound was dull, but it was not as juicy as I wanted it to be. Don’t ubderstand me wrong, it is OK, I was just feeling a little bit overhyped about this device. I would rate the home studio performance with 8 out of 10 mark. Here is another feedback I found.

A Feedback by the Engineer

  • KRK Rokit 5 is exactly the thing I had been looking for. I’ve worked with some larger Yamaha’s monitors before, but they were not nearly as good as this one. The balance in this model is just astonishing. Glass Composite Woofer spreads the sound perfectly, so mixing things is much easier for real.

Outdoors

The next test was performed outdoors. What I did was an attempt to use KRK’s Rokit 5 monitors as the monitors for the family picnic and stuff like that. Basically, like something that should make a loud sound. I brought the set in the garden and activated it.

Well, the result wasn’t as good as in the studio. Though the overall loudness was enough to cover the 10×15 meters garden, it seriously felt like something was lacking. What’s even more disturbing is that when I tried setting the volume louder than 30 DB, some distorted noise appeared. However, it vanished soon.

Finally, the cover and the positioning of the ports isn’t convenient for placing these monitors directly on the ground (I was afraid that some grass or filth could get inside easily). Summing this up with the plastic body, which is not the most durable in the World, I can make a conclusion, that using KRK Rokit 5 as a monitor for Sunday barbeque isn’t the best idea ever.

Mary, 38, housewife

  • We are having barbeques every weekend. And, you know, barbeque isn’t a barbeque without nice music. I am not a big expert in all the technological things, so I asked my son to pick some loud speakers for these occasions. He, however chose some modern monitors, you know, some really small black ones with yellow middle. They were not nearly as good, as we needed.It’s not even the sound quality that was the problem, but the durability of these things. They got completely filthy after two or three weeks an were not able to produce any decent at all after that.

Garage

The last sound test was held in the garage. I do not like garage bands myself, but I can clearly imagine that some of the beginning rockers may be considering Rokit 5 as a monitor for their bands. So, I went to my friend’s garage and we tried playing some records there.

Basically, a garage is a bigger home studio, that has thicker walls, which make echo much louder. It also has better isolation.

Well, the garage studio test was just OK. I don’t really have much to say about that. The sound was as smooth and clear as in the home studio, but it had more natural reverb on it. Another thing was that the lack of bass intensity seemed even bigger there.

So, summing things up on this one, I would say that Rokit 5 is a considerable option for a garage band. However, I am sure that there are more decent options for this purpose.

Edwin, 26, Rocker

  • I’ve started my own band with the friends two years ago. We were not using equipment at all during the first several months. Later, when the decision was taken to start working on the sound quality, we purchased our first set of monitors. It was Rokit 5 by KRK. The experience was really helpful at first, however we realized pretty soon, that there should be more suitable. We picked something from Yamaha HMS series and enjoyed the result much more.

Another Monitors to consider

So, what we are looking for is a set of compact monitors for a beginner, suitable for a home studio. Here are some decent results that I came up with after looking for decent opponents.

Yamaha HS 5

Yamaha HS8 is a rather old, but still really worthy model. It has really famous coned design with recognizable white woofers. On the technical side it has two important advantages: a unique mounting system, which reduces vibration a lot and large magnets that make frequency range really wide. However, you should keep in mind two things: this one costs a bit more than Rokit 5 and occupies a bit more space. However, if you are looking for a device that will be serving for a longer time and will not need any replacement for a long time, this model might be your pick.

JBL LSR 305

This set of monitors is known for providing great volume that spreads really good all over the working place. Users claim that this device has the most balanced parameters among all the budget monitors. However, the fact that is has no large downsides is its’ only large advantage. This one will really be suitable if you do not know what you are looking for and just need something decent.

M-Audio BX5

M-Audio BX5 is the most budget monitor in this list. No huge disadvantages here, but nothing too spectacular as well. The only point worth mentioning here is the mids. M-Audio BX5 is a great choice if you are tight on budget, but if you have several hundred dollars in a pocket, you can spend them on something more worthy.

M-Audio AV42

Another M-Audio’s product of a higher price category (still remains a budget one though). They are compact and comfortable monitors for a home studio. In fact, this is exactly what their producer says: “a beginner-level monitor”. It is flexible, cause it has a lot of RCA and XLR inputs.The biggest advantage of this device is that it is compatible with any gear. Headphones, phones, tablets, laptops – whatever you have.

These are the most decent models in these price category. You might consider some other models as well, but if you do not know exactly what you need, start with these ones, as they the most balanced and are the most decent “bang-for-a-buck”. Honestly, if you are beginner, it is not that important which one you pick.

Steve, 30, Audio Enigineer

  • There is one mistake that is really spread among all the beginning producers DJs. They are picking gear for the longer time than they are actually working with it. It is only the matter of taste and budget on this period. The difference between devices only lays in some patterns, which are not noticeable at all, if you are not an expert or at least an experienced DJ.I personally would recommend looking at the following parametres:- Volume level. The louder you play the music the better you hear it (joke). The volume is important in terms of overall power. More powerful devices usually have better quality of sound as well.- Frequency range. The wider the frequency range is the more adjustable the sound is. It is better if you are learning.

So, don’t get too worried about choosing monitors. Better think about developing your skill level.

Conclusion

Let us sum things up and and make final decision. But before it, take a quick look at the most important information about KRK Rokit 5 once more.

  • It is a compact and comfortable set of monitors perfectly suitable for home studio.
  • The material and sound quality level are decent. They could be better, but the “bang-for-a-buck” coefficient is really nice here.
  • KRK Rokit 5 is really good in home studios, OK in garage studios and not so great in outdoors performance.
  • There are some other decent options in this price category, you should take a look at them at least.
  • Don’t pay too much attention to picking monitors. You are not going to use it for longer than a year anyway (if you’re going to be developing in music area), so don’t worry.

So, KRK Rokit 5 is a decent pick. Feel free to purchase it, if you are looking for a compact set of monitors that provides clean and smooth sound.

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