True studio monitors have been out of the reach of consumers for quite some time, given the generally high cost. Sure a few companies have marketed what they call monitors at a low cost, but they do not sound very good or monitor like at all. Along comes KRK with a low cost high quality line of studio monitors they call the “Rokit” series. This leads me to the RokitG2 6 studio monitor that I recently picked up for the sole purpose of listing to music from a computer or mp3 player, and not the normal use of a monitor for studio applications. At $199 each ($398 per pair) the Rokit 6 is not a cheap solution and I didn’t know how well they would work for a living room setting, considering as they a marketed as studio fixtures. Continue and find out if they are a hit or miss for listening to music in a home environment.
- KRK RokitG2 6 Specs
- Woofer: 6 inch Glass Aramid Composite Woofer
- Tweeter: 1 inch Neodymium Soft Dome Tweeter with Ferro Fluid
- Inputs: XLR (3-pin), RCA & 1/4″ TRS – 10k Ohm, Balanced / Unbalanced
- Amplification: 100 Watt Dynamic Power Bi-amp, 24 dB Octave Filters
- Freq Response: 49Hz – 20kHz (+/- 1.5 db)
- Dimensions : (H x W x D) 32.1cm x 22.5cm x 26.6cm
- Weight: 8.9 Kg
Power to spare
The Rockit series are self amplified in that they need no external amp. Interestingly enough both the woofer and tweeter have separate amp stages unlike cheaper speakers.
Color the sound or not
Color refers to the speakers sonic characteristic that may change the audio it produces. KRK touts the rokit series as a studio monitor, meaning that it has a flat even frequency response, or free of “color”. In ideal circumstances this means that the KRK monitors should not exhibit any bump in frequency over the spectrum.
Curves, ports, and tweeters
Once out of the box you can notice a few things different on the Rokit G2 series over most other speakers. The first thing is the port, it is front firing and a large non circular shape. A front firing port means you can have the speakers close to a wall without artificially padding the bass or making them sound boomy. The shape also is what KRK refers to being “just right” to minimize turbulence (or what I like to call port flatulence).
Most tweeters are mounted flush with the front of the speaker, this is another area the KRK G2’s differ. The Rokit G2 makes use of a wave guide to help widen the sweep spot to increase the perceived spaciousness of the sound stage.
KRK uses a curved cabinet as well to minimize wave diffractions and allows the sound field to be radiated towards the listener and not back at the speaker.
What you get
Upon opening the box you will find the speaker and a power cable with accompanying manual and warranty card. This is very minimalist, but it is the speaker you are looking for, and it is packed well.
Speaker or tank?
When you first get the Rokit 6 out of the box you will notice the size and heft of the speaker. It feels well built, almost epic in quality. No creaky sensation when applying force to the cabinet and you really get the sensation of the speaker being dense like a brick when you knock on it. Be sure you have a place for them being 22.5 cm wide and 26.6 cm deep they are no wimpy multimedia pack in computer speaker. The speakers have a decoupling pad on bottom to minimize vibration transfer to the surface you have them on. Unlike some other brands of studio monitor, krk has even used a non intrusive power indicator, which illuminates the krk logo a nice soft white. This is great compared to some monitors that use a blinding blue led that blinds the user during close range operation (looks at you m-audio).
You found a place to put them, what now?
KRK really gives the user quite a few options in how to connect the speakers to the audio device of your choice. You do not get anything extra in the box so you will need an audio cable to connect your device. You have 3 options: RCA, XLR, and TRS ports to indulge in your connectivity needs. As the power cable goes, you do get one in the box, if you need a longer one it is the standard power cable you will find on most computers.
Full of Knoby goodness
So you made your connections and hopefully have the units powered, you will notice that you have 2 controls on each speaker. “A separate gain control on each speaker” you may mutter, how do I get them balanced ?! Well KRK thought this one through, the gain controls click into place, so you can count the clicks and repeat on the other speaker to get the gain balance exactly even. I say gain control as its not really meant as volume, you set your source on the loudest level while the speakers are at the minimum gain. Then you turn the gain up on the speakers until you get the loudest you would ever want the speakers to be at and use the volume on your source to adjust the loudness.
Moving on to our second control, the HF level adjust. This allows you to boost the treble or remove some treble form the speaker if your room tends to make the speaker sound to bright (harsh). I kept mine at the default level of 0, but your experience may differ, play with it until it sounds how you like it.
But what do they sound like ?
KRK makes the Rokit G2 series shine on paper, but many companies make a product that looks good on paper. I have used the Rokit 6 G2 for a few days now and can say they are amazing. Even though the manual states they are for use in near field (close to the listener) configurations, they shine even as a mid field or far field monitor. The claim of being flat is true but in no way are they boring. Sure enough the so called “sweet spot” is expansive, allowing the listener to experience a good stereo image any place between the two speakers.
One concern to voice to a prospective buyer is in no way are these speakers “polite”, they do not smooth out bad source audio. If you feed them trash you will get trash out in the end. You feed them a good recording and that’s when they shine.
The highs are vibrant and never harsh unless the recording you are listening to is harsh in the first place. Bass extensions are amazing for a 6 inch woofer, in practice they seem to push out even lower than the rated 49 Hz. Even at lower listening volumes they really shine in the bass extension department. At higher volumes the bass never gets flatulent nor do the highs sound over driven. The internal amps seem to have quit a bit of head room when you decide to go for that mythical push to 11 (over the cliff).
All music I have tried from Bach to the fine classical stylings of Opeth perform amazingly well. Even with music that needs quit a bit of bass expansion do well without a sub. That said I would love to eventually add a KRK sub to the mix to see how well this would work out.
What else is around?
I really can not compare them to any other monitor I have listed to, the m-audio series in this price range are laughable at best comparatively, and even pricier Adam studio monitors seem like a bad value when using the KRK Rockit series.
Conclusion (worth the price?)
I could say most people will find amazing value in these speakers, e
specially when people are shelling out the same amount of money for some speaker docks from other companies. Once you give them a listen you will not go back to lesser listening experiences. You can buy the PR6′s from Amazon in the US with free shipping and no taxes. Available at Amazon UK as well.
Also check out the RP5 G1 Review.