This is our second part of our review on the KRK Ergo and the VXT8 monitors. The first part focused mainly on the ERGO digital room analysis/correction system. Part two focuses on the top model of the VXT Series monitors.
KRK is a popular brand for monitors. There a lot of other brands in the price segment of the KRK monitors. Readers might be interested to read what others think about these monitors. When it comes to monitors it boils down to personal taste most of the time. But I did listen to a lot of monitors and ended up with an audiophile DIY Scanspeak monitors which put a smile on the face of the average audiophile. So I might be able to give an interesting perspective on these monitors.
Unpacking the monitors gave a good impression since these units are heavy which is a good sign by itself. Heavy duty magnets and transistors can handle more. I didn’t open them to see if there was a brick inside but since these units are loud I think that is OK.
KRK are known for their yellow accents in the subwoofers. That is yellow colored kevlar that makes them light but strong so they can handle heavy loads. For me the light behind the KRK logo isn’t necessary. The tweeter is in the middle so there is no difference between left and right. The gap under the subwoofer is the bass reflex port.
The backside is flat and has a few switches and a volume potentio meter which you ideally shouldn’t use. The flip switches are for HF and LF adjustments +1dB and -1dB. Together with the Ergo you don’t need to use them. In a smaller room you can cut the low ends a bit to tune down on standing waves. Adjusting the high ends are more like related to personal taste. The flip switch for the limiter you shouldn’t need since it deteriorates the sound way too much. These monitors will go so loud that you even shouldn’t need it except when you hooked to your soundcard directly without a volume knob in between and your computer crashes and put tons of noise on the outputs. The ground lift flip switch can come in handy when suffering from ground loops. The inputs themselves can handle (balanced) TRS jacks or XLR. There is a power switch and a fuse which will be blown if you take the unit too far.
When chosing monitors take your time. Use music you know very well will make it way easier. Whenever possible ask if you can use the monitors in your own room and try them out. Keep in mind that human hearing is very flexible and your ears can adjust to the sound most of the times. So when looking for monitors it’s more important to find out if you can hear what you should hear than the sound itself. My own speakers took me 2 months of getting used to.
I didn’t listen to the VXT8’s for 2 months but for several weeks intensively. I did not listen only to music but also TV, movies and during gaming. It is the best way to get used to monitors the fastest. During this time I noticed some things. These monitors are coloring and I will try to explain this. The VXT8’s sound rather clear but for my personal taste too bright. For vocals it will be harder to figure out the balance. When it comes to Trance it has an advantage since most Trance is mixed too bright you will hold back on that whilst using these monitors. In this case I wouldn’t mind that the Ergo would allow you to adjust the EQ a bit. With an EQ on your end-mix bus with -2dB on 3kHz made the sound more acceptable to me. Perhaps a good example was when I was listening to the TV and a commercial was airing and the sound of the mix made the sound pop out quite a lot.
The frequency spectrum of these monitors has some gaps. If this is because of the cross-off filter of the monitors I’m not sure off but between 400-1200Hz ranges the sound is less detailed. With basses and percussion like toms it appears that the low end seems to be detached from the rest of the sound. This effect even gets stronger at higher volumes. This might be because of the bass reflex but it also might be because of the balance between woofer and tweeter isn’t optimal. Both are amplified differently which has it advantages sound wise. When low-ends are important you can work with this because the lowends are tight which is a plus in this price segment.
The most important test was using these monitors during composing. During these test I got the impression that these monitors helped me making good mix decisions. Making decisions about mixing vocals was relatively easy as well. Low-end mixing kicks and basses worked as well even though the boosting holds you back a bit.
Good price performance on these monitors those mostly are suitable for dance related music because of the coloring. These monitors also are suited for composing and mixing with a fair stereo image. Another advantage is the sound level. Less defined in the 400-1200Hz range and too much in the 2-4kHz range (bright).
Click here for the first part of our KRK review which features the KRK ERGO System.