With the vast development of sound technology over the last 15 years, quality sound equipment is now more diverse and affordable to just about anyone. In that same spirit KRK has released the Rokit G2 Powered Series. For this review, we will be specifically looking at the Rokit 5 monitors, but the series is available in 5", 6" or 8" woofers.
Upon arrival, the speakers appeared to be well packed in snug cardboard boxes insulated with plenty of foam and corner braces. As I removed each monitor from its respective box, I had trouble avoiding the soft dome tweeters with my fingers when trying to pull them out. My concern for the tweeters was soon pacified as the tough little buggers popped right back out. Phew! The bright yellow cones of the low frequency drivers yielded the ‘urban’ feel of past KRK lines, while still appearing fresh and sleek in design.
As I began to integrate the monitors into my existing system for testing, some obvious, practical and beneficial features grabbed my attention — first, the apparent savings in valuable real estate. At a modest 11.1" × 7.3" × 9.1," the biggest spatial dilemma will be too many placement options. Also, I was thrilled to find a thin layer of dampening foam attached to the bottom of both speakers, cutting down on vibration transfer and the additional hefty cost of buying separate foam. Someone was thinking about the customer.
I decided I would set them up alongside my Mackie HR824 near fields for an A/B comparison. I chose to compare the Rokits with those specific speakers, as I know many stations are familiar with them, and I hoped it would help give a clearer reference point.
|Performance at a glance|
5", 6" or 8" models
Unbalanced RCA, balanced TRS, or XLR inputs
Aramid Glass Fiber driver
Connections were a breeze, the Rokits offering unbalanced RCA, balanced TRS or XLR inputs to choose from. Soon after switching them on and getting some music going, I was able to match the gain structure/level of my Mackies via the volume control on the back of each Rokit. This landed at +4dB, which is admirable when you consider the size and power difference of the two monitors.
I was surprised at the sheer loudness of these monitors. The high end is covered by a 1" soft dome tweeter, while the lows burst from a 5" Aramid Glass Fiber driver. I never did feel like I was pushing them too hard, even at very hot SPLs.
The speakers performed quite well for several styles of music at various sound levels. Around 80dB there was a fairly flat response with a slightly audible dip around the 2.5kHz range. This high-mid dip seemed to benefit harsh, densely mixed music while leaving less-dense mixes sounding a bit empty. However, as I turned the various song selections up to 85-95dB, the mids filled out quite nicely, as did the low end.
I wasn't satisfied with the high end through the Rokits until tweaking yet another great feature: the HF adjustment. Located on the back of each enclosure, this feature is essentially a high-shelf set at 3kHz (on the 5 model) ±1 or 2dB. At unity gain, the high end sounded a bit harsh and brittle, kind of like the digital sizzle of a crash cymbal on an MP3; although cutting the crossover down 2dB fixed the problem completely and the sound was much more flat and smooth to my ears.
Volume appears to be the fuel to get these Rokits blasting off. It seemed the more you got the cones moving, the greater dynamic and tonal detail achieved. There was an apparent lack in dynamics and detail on less compressed tracks such as classic and jazz styles, compared to the Mackies, but in all fairness, the speakers were just out of the box and hadn't been broken in. Also, if sub-harmonic content is desirable to you, you may want to consider adding the sub KRK has optimized to go with this series of speakers. While the low end of the Rokit 5 is present fairly tight on its own, it did seem to resonate maybe ⅓ to ½ an octave higher than the Mackies.
It is obvious KRK put some work into these speakers, with intuitive features that make the Rokit Series adaptable to many acoustic environments and audio situations. I must say, when you consider the price, the sound and the features, these babies stack up pretty well against the competition. In this age of ever growing and developing sound technology, even those of us out there on a budget can afford a quality product. Good job, KRK.
Shipps is a freelance audio engineer in Kansas City, MO.
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