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KRK ROKIT 5 Gen 4 Review (Studio Monitor)

amirm

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This is a review and detailed measurements of the KRK ROKIT 5 Gen 4 active studio monitor (speaker). It was kindly purchased new by a member and drop shipped to me. It costs US $176 each from Amazon including Prime shipping.

I think these yellow drivers look cute :):

KRK RP5 Rokit G4 Review Studio Monitor.jpg


Nice to see the cabinet sides curved to reduce diffraction. A small waveguide is provided another tweeter:
KRK RP5 Rokit G4 Review DSP waveguide Studio Monitor.jpg


Given the small woofer, it is probably sufficient.

You can't see it here since the unit is not powered up but despite being a cheap black and white LCD, I was surprised at its usability (JBL, are you listening?):

KRK RP5 Rokit G4 Review DSP Studio Monitor.jpg


There is an App that lets you pair with it and apply equalization. I did not test that. On that note, all measurements and listening tests were performed at factory setting.

Measurements that you are about to see were performed using the Klippel Near-field Scanner (NFS). This is a robotic measurement system that analyzes the speaker all around and is able (using advanced mathematics and dual scan) to subtract room reflections (so where I measure it doesn't matter). It also measures the speaker at close distance ("near-field") which sharply reduces the impact of room noise. Both of these factors enable testing in ordinary rooms yet results that can be more accurate than an anechoic chamber. In a nutshell, the measurements show the actual sound coming out of the speaker independent of the room.

I performed over 1000 measurement which resulted in error rate of around 1%.

Measurement temperature was 63 degrees. Left the heater on overnight by accident. Probably cost me $5 in heating bill!

Reference axis was center of the tweeter.

Measurements are compliant with latest speaker research into what can predict the speaker preference and is standardized in CEA/CTA-2034 ANSI specifications. Likewise listening tests are performed per research that shows mono listening is much more revealing of differences between speakers than stereo or multichannel.

KRK ROKIT 5 Gen 4 Measurements
Acoustic measurements can be grouped in a way that can be perceptually analyzed to determine how good a speaker is and how it can be used in a room. This so called spinorama shows us just about everything we need to know about the speaker with respect to tonality and some flaws:

KRK RP5 Rokit G4 Measurements Spinorama CEA-2034 Frequency Response Studio Monitor.png


The on-axis may look a bit messy to the eye but really, if you zoom out a bit, it is more or less flat. We do have a port interference around 680 Hz which is common with front ports:
KRK RP5 Rokit G4 Measurements driver response.png


Back to spin graph, directivity is good. Tweeter has some ups and downs as we also see in the drive response.

Early window shows a drop in mid-range but also a droop in highs which is not bad a thing:

KRK RP5 Rokit G4 Measurements Spinorama CEA-2034 Early Window Frequency Response Studio Monitor.png


As noted, floor (and ceiling) reflection are the issue here so put some absorber there or keep that path length long.

Predicted in-room response in far field shows what we already know:

KRK RP5 Rokit G4 Measurements Spinorama CEA-2034 Predicted In-room Frequency Response Studio M...png


Beamwidth is surprisingly good:
KRK RP5 Rokit G4 Measurements horizontal beamwidth.png


This small woofer is mating well with that wave-guided tweeter. The sharp narrowing toward the end is probably not a bad thing to take away extra sharpness.

We see the same in our contour plot:
KRK RP5 Rokit G4 Measurements horizontal dierctivity.png


Vertical response is typical of these two-way speakers so stay at or slightly above tweeter axis to avoid the holes at 2 to 3 kHz:

KRK RP5 Rokit G4 Measurements Vertical dierctivity.png


Waterfall shows some resonances:

KRK RP5 Rokit G4 Measurements CSD waterfall response.png


We see the prominent one around 680 Hz which we observed in spin graph just as well.

Distortion is quite good actually at 86 dBSPL, and horrible at 96, the latter of which I could hear during testing:
KRK RP5 Rokit G4 Measurements relative distortion.png


I am going to show the 96 dB graph in absolute form as I always do. Question: should I switch to using 86 dB in the future for smaller speakers? It will make it harder to then compare all speakers together.

KRK RP5 Rokit G4 Measurements THD distortion.png


KRK ROKIT 5 Gen 4 Speaker Listening Tests and EQ
I only needed 10 seconds of listening to my standard first reference track to know the sound was right. Very nice tonality which continued to deliver just the same through the rest of my tracks. I took a shot at correcting the resonance at 680 Hz:

KRK RP5 Rokit G4 equalization eq.png


I thought the effect was positive. Paradoxically, the sound became a bit warmer. Given the high "Q" of the correction, I don't trust my ears fully to be correct in this regard so do your own testing.

Once there, I could not stop listening to the ROKIT 5! I played track after track while preparing this review.

Pushing the volume up caused the woofer to gradually get distorted. Distortion level would then scale with volume which I prefer to speakers that play and all of a sudden break up badly. Despite only testing one speaker, I could get reasonable loudness so a pair should be very much sufficient in workstation/desktop environment.

There is almost no hiss coming out of the tweeter! I could barely hear it at 1 inch. Past that my PC noise would dwarf it. I expect noise to be a non-issue.

Conclusion
I don't know why but I went into this review thinking this speaker would not do well. But it did, both objectively (if you zoom out a bit) and subjectively. Despite its budget price, it delivers.

Overall, I am happy to recommend the KRK ROKIT 5 Gen 4 monitor. If it could handle more power and was a bit cleaner, I would rate it even a step higher!

Edit: Video review posted to youtube:

------------
As always, questions, comments, recommendations, etc. are welcome.

Appreciate any donations using: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/how-to-support-audio-science-review.8150/
 

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dfuller

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That's not too bad... And 86dB/1m is quite a bit louder than I'd expect a 5" speaker to get and sound good at $300 a pair, and especially not with 55 watts of amp in the whole thing!
 

wwenze

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No hiss + built-in PEQ + decent enough performance = I will get this over JBL

Pic of the PEQ in action:

EQ-Setting.jpg.webp

https://www.doomsquadmusic.com/rokit-g4/

Unfortunately it does not look like that app nor the speaker control mentions q-factor anywhere.
 
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spacevector

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I am going to show the 96 dB graph in absolute form as I always do. Question: should I switch to using 86 dB in the future for smaller speakers? It will make it harder to then compare all speakers together.
Going forward, can you change this relative scale graph to only include these three traces: Fundamental (at 96dB), THD 86dB, THD 96dB? The harmonic information is readily seen in individual graphs already. Such graph will keep comparison with old graphs possible and allow fairness to small speakers at same time.
 

napilopez

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Wow, this is a nice surprise! A cheap monitor that does most everything right within reasonable expectations. And it's a wide directivity design, for those of us who like that.
 
OP
amirm

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Unfortunately it does not look like that app nor the speaker control mentions q-factor anywhere.
Yeh, I saw them calling it graphic equalizer so not as useful.
 

wwenze

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OP
amirm

amirm

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Going forward, can you change this relative scale graph to only include these three traces: Fundamental (at 96dB), THD 86dB, THD 96dB? The harmonic information is readily seen in individual graphs already. Such graph will keep comparison with old graphs possible and allow fairness to small speakers at same time.
You mean something like this?
Distortion.png
 

jam

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Pretty good overall considering the performance, the features and the relatively low cost. It would make a good pair of desktop speakers for a computer.
 

phoenixsong

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This is a review and detailed measurements of the KRK ROKIT 5 Gen 4 active studio monitor (speaker). It was kindly purchased new by a member and drop shipped to me. It costs US $176 each from Amazon including Prime shipping.

I think these yellow drivers look cute :):

View attachment 114730

Nice to see the cabinet sides curved to reduce diffraction. A small waveguide is provided another tweeter:
View attachment 114731

Given the small woofer, it is probably sufficient.

You can't see it here since the unit is not powered up but despite being a cheap black and white LCD, I was surprised at its usability (JBL, are you listening?):

View attachment 114732

There is an App that lets you pair with it and apply equalization. I did not test that. On that note, all measurements and listening tests were performed at factory setting.

Measurements that you are about to see were performed using the Klippel Near-field Scanner (NFS). This is a robotic measurement system that analyzes the speaker all around and is able (using advanced mathematics and dual scan) to subtract room reflections (so where I measure it doesn't matter). It also measures the speaker at close distance ("near-field") which sharply reduces the impact of room noise. Both of these factors enable testing in ordinary rooms yet results that can be more accurate than an anechoic chamber. In a nutshell, the measurements show the actual sound coming out of the speaker independent of the room.

I performed over 1000 measurement which resulted in error rate of around 1%.

Measurement temperature was 63 degrees. Left the heater on overnight by accident. Probably cost me $5 in heating bill!

Reference axis was center of the tweeter.

Measurements are compliant with latest speaker research into what can predict the speaker preference and is standardized in CEA/CTA-2034 ANSI specifications. Likewise listening tests are performed per research that shows mono listening is much more revealing of differences between speakers than stereo or multichannel.

KRK ROKIT 5 Gen 4 Measurements
Acoustic measurements can be grouped in a way that can be perceptually analyzed to determine how good a speaker is and how it can be used in a room. This so called spinorama shows us just about everything we need to know about the speaker with respect to tonality and some flaws:

View attachment 114733

The on-axis may look a bit messy to the eye but really, if you zoom out a bit, it is more or less flat. We do have a port interference around 680 Hz which is common with front ports:
View attachment 114734

Back to spin graph, directivity is good. Tweeter has some ups and downs as we also see in the drive response.

Early window shows a drop in mid-range but also a droop in highs which is not bad a thing:

View attachment 114735

As noted, floor (and ceiling) reflection are the issue here so put some absorber there or keep that path length long.

Predicted in-room response in far field shows what we already know:

View attachment 114736

Beamwidth is surprisingly good:
View attachment 114737

This small woofer is mating well with that wave-guided tweeter. The sharp narrowing toward the end is probably not a bad thing to take away extra sharpness.

We see the same in our contour plot:
View attachment 114738

Vertical response is typical of these two-way speakers so stay at or slightly above tweeter axis to avoid the holes at 2 to 3 kHz:

View attachment 114739

Waterfall shows some resonances:

View attachment 114740

We see the prominent one around 680 Hz which we observed in spin graph just as well.

Distortion is quite good actually at 86 dBSPL, and horrible at 96, the latter of which I could hear during testing:
View attachment 114741

I am going to show the 96 dB graph in absolute form as I always do. Question: should I switch to using 86 dB in the future for smaller speakers? It will make it harder to then compare all speakers together.

View attachment 114742

KRK ROKIT 5 Gen 4 Speaker Listening Tests and EQ
I only needed 10 seconds of listening to my standard first reference track to know the sound was right. Very nice tonality which continued to deliver just the same through the rest of my tracks. I took a shot at correcting the resonance at 680 Hz:

View attachment 114743

I thought the effect was positive. Paradoxically, the sound became a bit warmer. Given the high "Q" of the correction, I don't trust my ears fully to be correct in this regard so do your own testing.

Once there, I could not stop listening to the ROKIT 5! I played track after track while preparing this review.

Pushing the volume up caused the woofer to gradually get distorted. Distortion level would then scale with volume which I prefer to speakers that play and all of a sudden break up badly. Despite only testing one speaker, I could get reasonable loudness so a pair should be very much sufficient in workstation/desktop environment.

There is almost no hiss coming out of the tweeter! I could barely hear it at 1 inch. Past that my PC noise would dwarf it. I expect noise to be a non-issue.

Conclusion
I don't know why but I went into this review thinking this speaker would not do well. But it did, both objectively (if you zoom out a bit) and subjectively. Despite its budget price, it delivers.

Overall, I am happy to recommend the KRK ROKIT 5 Gen 4 monitor. If it could handle more power and was a bit cleaner, I would rate it even a step higher!

------------
As always, questions, comments, recommendations, etc. are welcome.

Appreciate any donations using: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/how-to-support-audio-science-review.8150/
Yess table bounce is a thing! I always wondered how the effects differ from floor bounce though
 

Vovgan

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Question: should I switch to using 86 dB in the future for smaller speakers? It will make it harder to then compare all speakers together.

I think no, it’s good to keep the main limitation of the small speakers in plain sight. People should see it before they buy it.

Looking forward to seeing more of larger speaker reviews! Thanks.
 

YSC

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this looked great for such a budget monitor with small footprint, looks close to the Adam T5V ballpark.
Only "issue" to me seems to be the resonance and the HF dip at around 10khz, both have a difference of ~5db from depression to peak with low Q, would this make them more audible?
 

Grotti

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I think no, it’s good to keep the main limitation of the small speakers in plain sight. People should see it before they buy it.

Looking forward to seeing more of larger speaker reviews! Thanks.
I think small monitors are commonly used in the range of about 86 dB. And since most of the people in Western Europe live in flats with direct neighbors, playing levels about 96 dB too often will result in starting a war.

If someone wants to play music at high levels: get bigger speakers with bigger woofers, which can handle bass levels at 96 dB or higher. But even then I would like to see the behavior of the speaker at a "common" level of about 86 dB.
 

HiFidFan

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Great review Amir

These look like great desktop speakers
 

Robbo99999

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@amirm , you say "should I switch to using 86 dB in the future for smaller speakers? It will make it harder to then compare all speakers together."

If most people are gonna be using small speakers below 86dB then I think it makes sense to change to 86dB for that large graph. As for comparing to other speakers perhaps you can include a small thumbnail pic that is expandable when you click on it of the 96dB graph so that folks can always use that one to compare speakers if they want.

Seems like this speaker is pretty good value, given it's pretty good performance. When I was looking at the spinorama I didn't like some of the sharp peaks and dips, but you can't always have perfection for a low price (well you could get JBL 308p which has excellent spinorama, but higher distortion in Amir's tested unit). I like the EQ option on the back of the speaker, that's quite intriguing and a good value addition, would be interesting to know more about that in terms of number of PEQ filters available, etc. Directivity was quoted as being good, but I thought I saw a lot of places on the spinorama where the gap between early reflections and on-axis was widening & narrowing repeatedly, so I thought that was the opposite of good directivity. I thought good directivity was when early reflections mirrored the on-axis and there was no "concertina effect" of the gap between the two widening & narrowing repeatedly.
 
Last edited:

sharpty

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Looks like KRK went with class D this time, and they got it right! I was expecting it to be class A/B like previous gens, considering the apparent lack of hiss. Would be interesting to see some board shots :)
 

restorer-john

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