For more then 25 years the KRK Rokit series of monitors can be considered as one if the most popular and best selling monitors on the market, till this day. You will find the monitors not only in studio environments but they are finding their way more and more to the DJ booth as well.
Rokit Generation 3
With high quality and newest technology in mind KRK thought it was a good time for the next generation of the Rokit series. We were lucky enough to have the generation 3 Rokits in our studio as maybe the first in the world. Generation 3 Rokits will have the same model types as the previous versions, so monitors with 5, 6 and 8 inch woofers. KRK send us the Generation 3 Rokit 5’s to have a test with.
Design and Looks
First impression when we open the box, is that nothing really changed. Maybe KRK’s development team thought: “Never change a winning design!“. However, after a closer look things aren’t really the same. In terms of size of the cabinet nothing changed. But the cabinet design looks a bit tighter. All corners are a bit rounder and the main difference is that there are no screws anymore on the front of the monitor. It looks all a bit ‘cleaner’. Finally the logo and font used have had a few alterations. All in all, we already liked the original design, now it has just got a little better!
At the backside there are a few changes as well. The logo has been changed and the on/off button has been rotated 90 degrees. And that’s about it, … or is it? Well, not really. There is actually a major change here, as with the GEN3 version of the Rokit 5 you now can alter, not only the high frequencies, but also change the LF settings with steps of -2dB, -1dB, 0dB and +2dB. This is ideal for use with sub-woofers and alterations of your room/environment and the creation of more headroom. These options were only available with the previous versions (GEN2) of the Rokit 6 and Rokit 8.
Next to the minor cosmetic changes the GEN3 monitors do get a complete new tweeter which sounds more clear. The monitors now have a frequency response up to 35 kHz. Also, the monitors have a better stereo image now. Thanks to lighter glass-aramid composite woofers there is less resonance which gives an even more honest sound.
So far ‘specs and techs’. Now it is time for the most important subject, sound! For this we set up an A/B test with the Gen2 and Gen3 Rokit 5‘s side-by-side for a decent comparison in our techlab. We were seriously curious if this was a real upgrade our just an attempt to look ‘younger’.
Regarding the sound we can definitely say, yes, we hear changes. With both versions of the Rokit 5’s side by side we do hear a change in the high frequencies right from the start. Both having experience with the RP5’s MKII before, we immediately noticed this.
Continuing the listening session with different kinds of music, we notice the much clearer high frequencies, but also a better division between the high and middle frequencies. As if the speaker is better balanced. We both welcomed this. Even at long sessions you won’t experience any ‘listening’ fatigue
KRK managed to improve the low end as well. We notice here a slight ‘fuller’ sound. However, as we were testing the RP5 version, this still isn’t perfect. And what about high volume? No problem, even when you crank the volume up to setting ‘very loud’, this speaker still delivers the goods without distortion. A definite plus here!
Finally the best improvement overall in our opinion. On the RP5 GEN3 you can now alter the high and low frequencies volume with two seperate rotary buttons on the back. Like we mentioned above, ideal for customizing the sound to your studio or for creating more headroom. DJ’s will love this too, as they can ‘beef up’ the low end a bit more.
KRK delivers ‘the goods’ with this proper upgrade on the RP5’s. It is not only about cosmetics. The GEN3 Rokits do have improvements under the bonnet. The improved clarity in the high end, the better seperation between the middle and low end, and the extra setting options for the high and low end, give this speaker just that what we missed with the GEN2 speakers.
So, can we recommend GEN2 owners to upgrade or at least go and check them out? Absolutely! This new generation Rokits is a true upgrade. However, monitors, like headphones, are very personal pieces of equipment for a DJ/producer. So when they arrive, go and test them yourselves. We are pretty confident you will love ’em too!