After carefully testing several of the monitor sets at my local Guitar Center, I finally decided that for a home setup nothing works better than a pair of KRKs. While each size of the KRK Rokit series has it’s own pros and cons, I chose the Rokit 8 speakers because they have a great sound with nearly any electronic music application, while still being fairly accurate at reproducing something as gentle as acoustic music. In this article I’ll discuss the features of the KRK Rokit 8, where these monitors really shine, and a few faults with this model.
Rokit 8 Features
One of the key features to the Rokit series monitors that make them so different from competition is the Glass Aramid Composite fibers used to create the woofer on the speaker. While that might come across as a KRK marketing scheme to make their speakers different, the material actually helps the longevity of your monitors. Aramid has been used in military and space applications due to the strength of the synthetic fibers, and is also highly resistant to heat, so even if your speakers get hot, there’s virtually no damage to the woofer.
The Rokit 8 is rated for frequencies ranging from 45 Hz up to 20 kHz, which is really decent for its price. You might lose some low end content using only these speakers, adding a subwoofer to your playback system would take care of most any lower frequency issues. The sonic quality of these monitors is also increased by the shape that they take. Much like a good live room, the speakers try to avoid right angles in their shape. The front of each Rokit speaker is rounded on all corners, which greatly improves the image of your audio and avoids any boundaries created by the speaker itself.
The inputs are really key to the versatility of the speakers in different recording environments. It has multiple options including both shielded and unshielded inputs to work with whatever interface you utilize. The speakers have a 1/4″ TRS input and an XLR input for your shielded options. I utilize the TRS, as there are no XLR outs on my main interface. You could also utilize the RCA inputs on the Rokit 8 for an unshielded option, but I’ve noticed a significant introduction of noise using unshielded cables (and had to split the cable far enough to reach both speakers from the source). For added control over your sound, the speaker also has a HF (high frequency) fine adjust separate from the volume control. This gives you the option to add 1 dB to anything above 2 kHz, or reduce it by 1 or 2 dB.
These speakers really reproduce almost anything great. Testing songs with content as diverse as Queen’s “Fat Bottomed Girls” up through the vocals of Imogen Heap’s “Hide n Seek,” these monitors gave an amazing listening experience. There’s such a wide stereo spread with these monitors that you can separate most any mix into a large wall of sound. Another thing that is key to these monitors is their ability to stay clear even into low decibel levels. I usually like to mix softer elements using headphones, but with the KRK Rokit 8 I can still do a decent job when a pair isn’t available nearby.
My biggest fear when buying the Rokit 8 monitors was a comment that I’ve seen on several forums regarding muddiness in the lows. At first, I thought I had noticed an issue in a rock mixing application, until I realized that it truly was the mix, not the speakers. These speakers reproduce very accurately for their price range and if you can clean up the mud coming out in a mix when using them, it will sound even better when played through most other mediums. If you’d rather not deal with the low-end frequency clutter, you could always buy a pair of the Rokit 6s, but those really just mask the issue. For the truest sound in the Rokit series, the 8s are the way to go.
Looking for a set of monitors for your studio? Make sure you check out our other monitoring reviews before you buy!