Important Specs Overview
|Model||Rokit 4 G3||Rokit 5 G3||Rokit 6 G3||Rokit 8 G3|
|Speaker Type||powered, 2-way, front ported||(<--same)||(<--same)||(<--same)|
|Power Output||30 W||50 W||73 W||100 W|
|Max SPL||102 dB||106 dB||107 dB||109 dB|
|Response Range||51 - 35 k Hz||45 - 35 k Hz||38 - 35 k Hz||35 - 35 k Hz|
|Woofer Size||4 in||5 in||6 in||8 in|
|Unit Dimensions (w x d x h)||6 x 9 x 8 in||7.5 x 9 x 11 in||9 x 11 x 13 in||11 x 12 x 15.5|
|Unit Weight||8.5 lbs||14 lbs||19.5 lbs||26.5 lbs|
Review And Discussion
KRK’s Rokit studio monitors have been a popular mainstay for many years, and the now appending G3s are the further improved third generation of the Rokit lineup. The Rokit G3 comes in four different sizes that have incrementally bigger woofers and power/spl output, but otherwise have the same build and design, hence a cumulative review herein. We’ve excluded the largest model of the bunch, the Rokit 10-3 GS3, because it’s a leveled up 3 way design that adds a midrange woofer and thus warrants a separate review. Hopefully we can eventually get a pair and review it too, because that thing looks like an absolute unit.
The Rokit monitors are powered, meaning the amplifier is built in and you thus don’t need an external amp or receiver, rather they just plug right in to the wall and source and they’re ready to go out of the box.
And while the traditional disadvantage of powered speakers is that they brought less power and sound quality for the money and were often prohibitively quiet overall, that has really changed in recent years: more and more companies are making conveniently powered speakers that are absolutely on par with passive counterparts, without being exorbitantly expensive.
Enter the new Generation 3 Rokit studio monitors – excellent build and industry leading specs for the price that give both powered and passive competitors a serious run for the money.
The cabinet is pretty standard MDF all around with contoured edges around to the front where a separate baffle piece that houses both the tweeter and woofer within fairly small and simple looking waveguides. The tweeter is a nice looking full 1 inch soft dome and the woofer is an aramid glass blend, which is basically a fancy woven fiber that if well built can be very stiff and light.
Looks wise? Eh, they’re not the greatest. The glaring yellow drivers, while synonymous to many will look kind of juvenile to others, and the contoured cabinet with the sheen finish doesn’t really help. They’re reminiscent of the iconic Cerwin-Vega speakers with their giant red surrounds. So they look… the way they look, which many/most people won’t care about. We will say one minor but legitimate functional issue with the design is that there are no covers nor a a seemingly easy or feasible way to cover them.
The Rokits are also heavy. Heavier than JBLs monitors and even still heavier than Yamaha’s HS monitors, and Yamaha sure likes to make their speakers big and heavy. Heavy is good if it means the the cabinet is thicker and less prone to resonance, but bad in that they might be harder to place. However the front firing slot port is a nice feature because you don’t have to worry about them having room to breathe in the back.
Lets talk about the specs now: they’re fantastic, and arguably the best you can get for the price on any powered speaker currently. Particularly impressive is the response floor, even with the slightly more liberal 10 dB differential – they can really get down there for two way bookshelf speaker. The power/volume is also excellent. Any speaker that can get above 100 spl, even at close range, will be plenty loud enough for just about any room. While the highly popular and regarded JBL 3 series monitors have slightly higher volume, the Rokits have slightly better response specs, which we think is more important for near/mid field listening, because no one is ever going to need 110+ dB from desktop speakers unless they want to eventually go deaf. The particularly high ceiling of the tweeter is worth mentioning too, because what that means is that it has a lower floor as well, which gives the woofer more room to really focus on the mids and lows.
Nothing can ever truly replace a subwoofer, but, for desktop studio monitors, these Rokit speakers are probably about as close as you can get, and for many will sound great on their own.
Input wise the Rokit speakers have pretty much everything one could need, including a line-out to add a subwoofer if you wish, which is often lacking in powered desktop speakers. They also have additional tweeter and woofer EQ knobs that befit a so called studio monitor in the true sense, allowing you to further tinker the balance and get the sound just right for you.
KRK offers a three year warranty on its powered speakers which is top of the line coverage – you’re generally lucky to get 1-2 years of warranty that includes active electronics.
Our Overall Take, As Compared To The Competition
Outstanding industry leading specs, great build/design, nice features, and tolerable aesthetics all for a very competitive price. While the “studio monitor” descriptor has been kind of muddied down in recent years, the Rokit speakers are true to the term in that they’re really designed for optimized sound on a near field desktop setting. If that’s what you’re looking for and don’t mind bigger and heavier speakers, these are, as of now, likely going to be the best choice. The smaller 4 and 5 will be plenty for most people.
Alternatives exist that are more aesthetic, light, and compact, but none quite have the specs that the Rokit speakers have. These are going to be hard to beat. Less expensive alternatives exist if you don’t mind a marginal decrease in volume and/or overall quality. See the links below for some such alternative recommendations.