KRK Rokit 8 Review — Power in Simplicity

A decent monitor is a thing you’re looking for, when you start making first serious attempts to produce music. Well, monitors are not as important as headphones for example, so the budget is usually tight. Let us find out what the perfect balance is.

#ModelRatingFrequency responseWooferOur topCheck
1KRK Rokit 8 45Hz – 35KHz8″ Aramid Glass Composite1

2Pair RockVille APM 5V 50Hz – 20 kHz5.25”2

3Sony SMS 1-P 40Hz – 20KHz5.05”4
4PreSonus Eris E5 45Hz – 35KHz5”3

5Equator Audio D5 53Hz – 20kHz5.25”5
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KRK Rokit 8
Rating
Frequency response 45Hz – 35KHz
Woofer8″ Aramid Glass Composite
Our top1
Check

Pair RockVille APM 5V
Rating
Frequency response 50Hz – 20 kHz
Woofer5.25”
Our top2
Check

Sony SMS 1-P
Rating
Frequency response 40Hz – 20KHz
Woofer5.05”
Our top4
Check
PreSonus Eris E5
Rating
Frequency response45Hz – 35KHz
Woofer5”
Our top3
Check

Equator Audio D5
Rating
Frequency response53Hz – 20kHz
Woofer5.25”
Our top5
Check
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Stanton Magnetics

Let us take a quick look at a producing company first. KRK is a “child” of Stanton Magnetics, which is a company orienting on DJs on producers. It was founded more than 70 years ago by Walter Stanton, a guy who thought more of inventing new gadgets, than of making original company name.

Interesting: Stanton Magnetics was mainly known because of its’ magnetic tapes. This tendency lasted for almost 30 years.

The company had been growing really fast, uniting smaller brands under its’ powerful name. That’s basically the reason of Stanton’s success. Today Stanton has over five child companies and produces studio monitors, software, headphones, accessories and turntables.
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KRK Rokit 8 – Technical Characteristics

It is really important to run through physical characteristics first, before starting discussing sound aspects. Because the first thing you want to know is where to store this stuff, not how distorted the basses are. So:

Weight27 lbs (like 12 kg) each monitor. Because it is cool to combine sound producing and lifting.
Size38x27x32 cm. In order to imagine it better think of a square microwave oven.
DesignBig black box with stylish yellow circle in the middle. And the huge Rokit logo on the front side of course. By the way, it’s like the most beautiful monitor I’ve ever seen. 10/10 would look at it again.

You must remember that monitors do not just work by themselves. The following things are required to activate them properly:

  • A PC. Any other source of sound with basic ports will do as well, but we are talking about making music here, right? So the PC is needed.
  • Cables. One for each to connect to the PC, one for powering these things. You’ll need a couple of extra power sockets too, because monitors require their own source of energy. Think about in advance. You’ll probably want to purchase some of those multisocket devices.
All the professional monitors share the same methods of work and requirements. They need something to play sound from and the permanent source of electric energy to power the amplifiers. There are of course smaller versions, that can be powered by a couple of batteries, but they will never be able to compete with the full-sized studio analogues.Everything has its’ price. So, the professional equipment requires some time to adjust and get used to it. You’ll have to spend several hours to install and adjust it properly, place all the cables at where they have to be (better do it ASAP, in order to keep everything systemized), but the effort pays off.
Dave, 34, Engineer
So, the first meeting with these stylish things might not be the friendliest one. But you make the strongest friendship with the guys that seem to be the most reliable, not the most friendly, right?

More Technical Characteristics

Now that you have the basic understanding of what this device is and how to launch it, let us talk about more specified characteristics. We’ll go through some dry numbers first and then I’ll explain what they really mean.

  • Power – 100 Watt. This is pretty powerful. (Very powerful in fact).
  • Frequency ratio 35-35000 HZ. This is a lot. Like really a lot. The range is so wide, that you’ll never be able to listen to all the range, because average human ear stops hearing sounds that have more than 20000 hz. But it might be useful in creating background for some trap tracks.
  • Volume – 109 DB. This is something between a subway train and plane starting off. Will not make your ears bleed, but enough to make your neighbors hate you.
  • Amplifiers. There are two amplifiers. One is using low- and one high-frequency. This is not so important in the beginning, so let us leave these things as they are for a while.
The frequency ratio regulation has a long history. The first recording devices were not able provide the high quality of sound, so in order to fix that, frequency was adjusted to higher levels. It made the whole picture of audiowave smoother. As the first records of sound were made with magnetic tapes, the really high frequency rates were used.The epoch has changed, but old habits remained. There frequency regulation range on modern devices still remains really high, especially in monitors (doctors for example use frequencies up to 8 KHz only, while in music these numbers go up to 50). It still allows to make performance more smooth. John, 29, Scientist
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And, of course, it is essential to know what those knobs and cushions on the backside are for. There are:
  • Volume regulator. It is suddenly used to control how loud the volume is.
  • Two frequency regulators. If the basses start sounding weird, rotate them for a while, until the result improves. Works every time.
  • XLR and TRS ports. To connect different equipment.
Tip:History Fact: First XLRs were developed in 1950 by Cannon X. The “R” in the name stands for “rubber”, which covers the cable.

 

That is basically all the paper info you need to know. Let us take a look at what these things are really capable of.

KRK Rokit 8 in the Business

There are two types of people able to make final conclusion on the theoretical information: musical geniuses and professionals. If you’re either of them, just skip to the conclusion part, if not – check the test results out.

What the IRL Launch was like

So, the eighth Rokit was tested in a basement studio. The overall impression is positive. The monitors provide soft and balanced sound. In comparison to more expensive models they didn’t provide equally extended and deep bass, but still were decent and comfortable to work with.

Tip:Interesting: The sound characteristics make KRK Rokit 8 a great pick for small studios. If you’re working in 3×4 room, they’ll be perfect: not too loud, not too silent. The balanced thing.

Let us take a look at the advantages, that is possible to mark after the extended tests:

  • Clean bass and nice adjusting opportunities. The bass of Rokit 8 might be not the “bassiest” one, but it is not distorted at all. As a bonus it can be adjusted in two frequency diapasons, which makes it possible to play with sound a little bit more.
  • Clear overall sound. This is what I think is the most important part for the beginner. The sound must not necessary be too loud, but each instrument must be heard perfectly. This is where Rokit shows its’ full potential. You’ll be able to hear the smallest hi-hat and bell. Good both while analyzing your own tracks and tracks of the other DJs.
  • Nice frequency extensions. Whatever genre you’re producing or listening to, Rokit 8 will be adjustable to it. As it has a system of multiple speakers, adjusting the thing to suitable format won’t take much effort.
This is what Rokit 8 feels like in studio. Although it is not the most professional or expensive pair of monitors, it is perfectly suitably for small and home studios. They look great, they sound nice, their price is balanced, their quality is satisfying. Nothing is missing, nothing feels excessive. Seems like a really great pick for the first attempts of creating a studio.

I started mixing tracks half a year ago. The only equipment I had in the beginning was my own laptop and a pair of casual headphones. In two months I started to feel the lack of more serious stuff, so I decided to upgrade my studio a little. As I have the rule of my own that says: “Listen to your tracks on as many devices as possible”, the first thing I purchased was a pair of monitors. I stopped on rather cheap Rokit.A little bit more than three months has already passed since I made this purchase, and for now I am completely satisfied with my new device. The music I make is mostly chilling, so I don’t use a lot of bass and do not need super loud sounds. What is more important is how adjustable the sound is. And, well, it is adjustable and clean enough, so that I can hear all (or almost all) the mistakes I make and can mix the tracks of better quality. I would totally recommend KRK’s Rokit as a pick for a starting DJ or producer.
Sam, 23, DJ
Pros
Great near field monitors
Quality bass
Cons
Build quality

What else to consider

There are some other monitors, you might want to look through when making a choice. While KRK’s Rokit is suitable for small studios, these will fit better in different situations.

Pair RockVille APM 5V

Rockville is cheaper and more powerful analogue of studio monitor. It has 250 Watt power, and great amplifiers. On the other hand it is a product of China, which makes the quality less reliable. And, though the sound is more powerful it’s much less clean and adjustable. RockVille APM 5V might still be a considerable choice if you’re looking for device for your garage band for example.
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  • Rockville APM5W 5.25″ 2-Way 250 Watt Powered USB Studio Monitor Speakers in White ( Pair). 125 Watt RMS. Two-Way Active Studio Monitor Speaker System. Quad Amp Design: Each Driver Features Frequency Specific Independent Amplifiers. Enclosure is made of top quality MDF wood. Our enclosure is not particle board, it is true high-grade MDF! The enclosure is 0.5” thick while the front board of it is a full 1” thickness to give you the ultimate best sound quality!
  • Comes in 3 enclosure finish options Wood finish painted black. Wood finish painted white. Wood finish with vinyl front board. We use “baking paint” made for wood surface. It lasts long and is the best paint for speakers!. Beautiful finish is matte with a slight shine to it. Our designers spent a lot of time on the color to make it beautiful and elegant looking to improve the appearance of your studio or room.
  • The enclosure is built with the perfect amount of air space to maximize sound quality for a studio. The port is built to the perfect spec to enhance the sound. Full Range Class “D” Amplifier Circuitry with Auto-Switching Power Supply. LED Power on Indicator on Rear Panel . Ferro Fluid Enhanced ¾” Neodymium Silk Dome Tweeter With Metal Grill Protection. Tweeter has ¾” voice coil diameter. Curved Front Bezel Design Eliminates Standing Wave Distortion.
Pros
Nice flat rate frequency response
Clear speakers
Cons
Too expensive

Sony SMS 1-P

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1-P in the name probably stands for the “first pick”, as these monitors are perfectly suitable in the “I-am-a-beginner-with-a-tight-budget” type of studio. They are reliable, have balanced inputs and adjustment features. Each speaker can be balanced individually. Sony SMS 1-P might be your choice if you are an absolute beginner. These monitors will make start easier, but they lack on development potential, so get ready to looking for a new pair in a year.

  • Large Heat Sink and Built-In Power Amp with 15W Power Output
  • Anti-Magnetic Speaker Unit
  • Bass/Treble control for Sound that Matches the Listening Environment
  • Bass/Treble control for Sound that Matches the Listening Environment
  • Mounting Capabilities
Pros
Low price
Great resolution
Cons
The sound quality

PreSonus Eris E5


Eris E5 is the closest analogue to KRK’s production in both price and opportunity range. It is a valuable device, providing the clean and clear sound, that, however, can’t be too loud and that won’t give you the juiciest bass ever. So, basically almost the same. A nice one to start a home studio, where you make electronic dance music. The pick here depends mainly on your personal preference.

  • 2-way active studio monitors with 5.25-inch Kevlar low-frequency transducer and 1-inch (25 mm), ultra-low-mass, silk-dome, high-frequency transducer, along with a front-firing acoustic port for superior bass-frequency reproduction
  • 80 watt, Class AB amplification
  • Acoustic Tuning control for accurate mixing contour: Midrange (±6 dB, continuously variable), HF (±6 dB, continuously variable), High-Pass (Off, 80 Hz, 100 Hz) and Acoustic Space settings (flat, -2, -4 dB) for accurate mixing contour
  • Optimized, resonance-suppressing internal bracing and RF interference, output current limiting, over-temperature, transient, and subsonic protection
Pros
Great sounding
Quality speakers
Cons
Maybe: static sounds during mixing distracting

Equator Audio D5

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Equator Audio D5 is a little bit outstanding model. It has coaxial configuration of the drivers and uses digital sound processing. This technology allows to make sound more smooth and accurate. They share the same advantages and disadvantages with the previous models (clean and clear, but not the most powerful). However the advantages here are a little bit brighter due to different sort of construction, but the price is almost twice as high. This might be your pick if you are still not really confident about your skills, but not too tight on a budget.

  • 5.25″w & 1″ tw Coaxial Design for time & phase accurate mid-range
  • Internal DSP for transducer matching to eliminate image shift
  • DSP aided pin-point accurate voicing aided by award winning pros
  • New low distortion amplifier delivers 2×50 watts rms
Pros
Excellent home studio monitors
Great stereo imaging
Cons
Maybe: could be a little louder
Maybe: need just a little more representation in the lower frequency

There is no lack of budget monitors for the beginners on the market. In fact, it is overwhelmed with goods of high and mediocre quality. The only thing that depends on you is to choose the most suitable one for your case and to start using it properly.

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Tip: If you are a beginner do not purchase a super developed pair of monitors for thousand dollars, even if you can afford it. Adjusting features will be to hard, and you’ll not be able to fully work with the potential.
I remember that back in the days, when my brother started DJing he was gifted the pair of expensive monitors. He was enjoying the new thing only the first three minutes – while he was unboxing it. The amount of cushions and knobs seemed just overwhelming. The sound was greater than on his previous monitors of course but finding out what every little port is for took us several months.Later he re-gifted these monitors to me, as I already had had enough experience in working with that model, but if I were to choose something for myself three years ago, I would have probably some 200$ model and work with it. That would have been much easier.
Andrew, 26, Producer

Summing Things up

Let us look at what we’ve learned KRK Rokit 8 today once more:

  • KRK is a child  of Stanton Magnetics, large and old DJ oriented American company.
  • KRK Rokit 8 is a studio monitor which is not rather compact for a monitor.
  • KRK Rokit 8 sounds satisfyingly at least. It is not the loudest or deepest sounding model, but the provided sound is clean and adjustable.
  • This monitor is a good pick for the first studio experience.
Having that said, I can only wish you good luck in your beginnings. Pick the pair of monitors that will suit your studio in the best manner and start producing your hits ASAP.


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