Anyone who has spent too much time lurking around studios will be familiar with the distinctive yellow and black design of KRK speakers and will most likely have heard a set of Rokit monitors, along with the enthusiastic endorsement of their owners.
Such is the popularity of the Rokit range of speakers that they need no introduction to most studio heads, and these active studio monitors have gained their popularity through a mix of audio fidelity and good old-fashioned value for money.
Given the similarity to its predecessor, this latest incarnation of the Rokit 5 could be mistaken for being a slightly reworked version of the second generation — but closer inspection reveals much has changed.
As far as looks are concerned KRK haven’t reinvented the wheel and have kept the distinctive yellow and black design, along with the overall cabinet shape and profile, opting for subtle tweaks like rounder corners and removing the screws from the front of the speaker, giving an overall cleaner and more professional finish. In addition to the cosmetic changes the bass port has been redesigned along with the tweeter’s wave guide design.
The back of the Generation 3 Rokit 5 reveals further new features — this time in the form of a new knob that controls low frequency adjustments, with settings of -2dB, -1dB, 0dB and+1dB all available, perfect for adjusting bass levels to suit specific studio spaces as well as for use with sub woofers. A high frequency adjustment knob is also provided, with the same settings available as the low frequency knob.
The Rokit 5 G3 has three types of input sockets, with both a balanced XLR and jack as well as an unbalanced phono (RCA) style socket. A volume knob rounds off a simple-but-well-featured rear control panel.
Of course aesthetics are all well and good, but while nobody wants an ugly unit the real test of a speaker is how it sounds, and the Rokit 5 G3 sounds good, very good in fact. The brand-new tweeter and wave guide design make a dramatic difference and the improvement can be heard immediately, providing clear and sharp top-end sonic reproduction.
The bottom-end has also improved noticeably when compared with the second generation Rokit 5 monitors, and the result is a much tighter and clearly defined bass sound.
The separation between mid and high frequencies has also improved, with better clarity and separation between frequencies.
The Rokit 5 G3 performs well at all volume levels, with clarity at moderate listening levels as well as the ability to pound out some serious decibels without distortion.
When it comes to setting up these monitors in a new studio the low and high-end adjustment knobs really help the task, and given the high quality sound reproduction getting top-notch mix-downs can be achieved quickly and without fuss.
With more than 25 years of design and development behind the Rokit series of monitors it is not surprising that this latest incarnation proves that KRK know more than a thing or two about creating professional studio monitors.
Rather than trying to change a winning design and possibly ruin it in the process, KRK have refined and upgraded their studio workhorse to create a fantastic new speaker that is more than worthy of wearing the Rokit moniker.
While KRK have kept the sensible pricing of the new Rokit 5 Generation 3 speaker, this latest evolution really steps up the game in terms of sonic performance and should be regarded as a completely different beast to its predecessors.
Given the solid improvements that have been made, it is easy to recommend the upgrade to existing Rokit 5 G2 owners, and it is even easier to recommend these cut-price powerhouses to anyone who is looking for a new set of studio monitors.
Overall the Rokit 5 G3 provides outstanding performance along with the KRK Rokit legacy, at a price that is very reasonable indeed.