Yamaha HS5 vs. KRK Rokit 5 | CLEAR WINNER!

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The Yamaha HS5 vs. KRK Rokit 5 is a pretty interesting comparison, given the difference in sound signature and overall look and feel. Before we get into more details, grab a snack, sit back and relax because..

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Yamaha HS5 vs. KRK Rokit 5

Yamaha HS5 vs. KRK Rokit 5

What I will bring you in this review

of each monitor

  1. Specifications/Price
  2. Summary
  3. Pros
  4. Cons
  5. Who these monitors benefit?
  6. What you will need?
  7. Thoughts from Stu’s notepad
  8. Consensus/Conclusion
  9. Similarities & Differences
  10. Sound Test
  11. Final Word

Now without further ado, let’s get rolling!

Yamaha HS5Yamaha HS5


  • Price: Check amazon! | check eBay!
  • Powered: Yes
  • Power configuration: Bi-amped
  • LF Driver Size: 5″
  • LF Driver type: Cone
  • HF Driver size: 1″
  • HF Driver type: Dome
  • LF Driver power amp: 45W
  • HF Driver power amp: 25W
  • Total Power: 70W
  • Frequency Range: 54Hz-30kHz
  • Crossover frequency: 2kHz
  • Enclosure type: Ported
  • Input types: 1x XLR, 1x 1/4″ (TS). TRS vs. TS. Find out about your cables!
  • Height: 11.2″
  • Width: 6.7″
  • Depth: 8.7″
  • Weight: 11.7 lbs.


The Yamaha HS5 is the perfect reference monitor for your small to medium sized room.  They do best for critical listening as opposed to easy listening. The sound is very flat, neutral, and clean. You will be able to tell a bad mix from a good one almost instantaneously. If your mix sounds good on these, it will sound good on most anything!

They also have a rock solid build, and will sound bigger than their footprint. A ton of reviewers reported being able to pick out even the smallest of details, which comes in handy when you really need to dissect a mix and find flaws quickly.


  • A massive improvement over the Rokit 5. I kind of spoiled it! 😀
  • Tight, flat, and clean sound. Very neutral.
  • Clear highs, mids, with just enough low end.
  • Clarity and separation of highs, mids, and bass is phenomenal.
  •  Very revealing. If your mix sounds good on these, it will translate extremely well to other sources.
  • Minimal changes required after initial mix-down. Very accurate and true. 
  • Solid construction/heavy enough.


  • They may not provide the punch that people are looking for. You may have to upgrade to the HS8’s or add a subwoofer.

What these monitors are good for

  • Hip hop production. Some were saying that while they are good for hip-hop, don’t buy them solely for this purpose, as the bass may be a bit difficult to mix. There’s simply not much there, and it’s been said that if you can hear the bass on these, you have too much.
  • Audio/video post production
  • Guitar performance (Critical listening).
  • Acoustic/Chamber music
  • Keyboards
  • Good with the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 and 2i4. Check out my Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 Review!

Not as good for

Your home speaker set up. Definitely don’t buy these expecting them to bring the house down. They are reference monitors and won’t do quite well if you need something loud/entertaining.

What you will need?

An audio interface is highly recommended. I touched on the 2i2 above, but generally you want a good one. It will give you a good, clean digital to analog conversion, and will power the monitors with relative ease. Check out some of these helpful links on sound!

  1. Your audio interface
  2. Bit depth vs. sample rate (how your computer processes sound).

Thoughts from Stu’s notepad

  • One reviewer said that the Yamaha HS5’s are better than the LSR 305’s, Adam F5’s, as well as the Adam F7’s. Check out my JBL LSR 305 Review! If what he said is true, you’re in for a world of excitement if you purchase the HS5’s. I’ve had the LSR 305’s since Dec. of 2014 and they are phenomenal.
  • Make sure to purchase balanced cables to avoid noise/ground floor issues.
  • There were quite a few people complaining about a lack of low end on the HS5’s. As mentioned above, they do well with hip hop, but if you were going to be mixing only that genre, you might consider the HS8’s. They are better suited for that. You may also purchase a separate sub-woofer if you’re really craving that bass.
  • The HS5’s are pretty bright overall, and work best in small to medium sized rooms.
  • You may opt to treat your room for the optimal mixing environment. Check out my post on Acoustic Sound Treatment!
  • After your ears adjust, the HS5’s will really start to sound fantastic.
  • A modification on these is said to bring out the bass, among other things. Check out this review for specifics!


A great reference monitor with a rock solid build. May not have quite the bass response that some are looking for. A separate amp, or the upgraded HS8 are viable options here.


KRK Rokit 5 (3rd generation)

KRK Rokit 5 G3

KRK Rokit 5 G3


  • Price Check amazon! | check eBay!
  • Powered: Yes
  • Power configuration: Bi-amped
  • LF Driver Size: 5″
  • LF Driver type: Cone
  • LF driver material: Kevlar/Aramid
  • HF Driver size: 1″
  • HF Driver type: Dome
  • HF Driver material: Soft
  • LF Driver power amp: 30W
  • HF Driver power amp: 20W
  • Total Power: 50W
  • Frequency Range: 45Hz-35kHz
  • Maximum peak SPL: 106 dB
  • Enclosure type: Front-ported
  • Input types: 1x XLR, 1x TRS, 1x RCA
  • Height: 11.2″
  • Width: 7.4″
  • Depth: 9.7″
  • Weight: 17 lbs.


The KRK Rokit 5’s are a solid, heavy and durable set of monitors. They get very good reviews, and the 3rd generation model is said to be crisper and more clear, with rich treble. They have a much bigger and grander overall sound from the HS5’s, and while decent for mixing, are more suited for entertainment.

Reviews claim they are punchy and balanced, with a mid-range that is clear and well defined. They have good treble and bass, but the low end may get a little muddy with the bass boosted. They can reach pretty high volumes without distortion from the high end. Overall they are pretty flat and neutral with an emphasis on the bass.


  • Good build quality, heavy construction.
  • Rubber pads on the bottom.
  • KRK illuminated logo.
  • Flat overall. Punchy and balanced.
  • Mid-range clear and well defined. Good treble and bass.


  • Auto mute feature is annoying. These will randomly shut off at times.
  • KRK’s tendency to get muddy with bass boosted. quality recordings it sounds like the band is right in front of you.
  • Not really for casual listening.
  • Steep drop off at the low end. mid bass has a weird peak (fine if you have subs).
  • Not very accurate.
  • One tweeter bad.
  • Needs more power? 5″ woofer not enough (one reported this).
  • Tinny highs, flat lows.

What these monitors are good for?

I’ve seen them endorsed for:

  • Gaming
  • General listening
  • Parties
  • Video editing
  • Classical
  • Rock
  • Ham radio
  • EQing vocals
  • BBQ’s/Pool side
  • Relaxation/movies

What you will need?

The same components apply as with the HS5’s.

Thoughts from Stu’s notepad

Well as you can see, the reviews are a bit mixed/contradictory, which doesn’t give me a very good feel. I would rather you go with the HS5 outright, or The JBL LSR 305 if you want to spend less but get amazing results.

The KRK may be decent, but as you’ll see in the sound test below, the bass kind of just drowns out the other frequencies and sounds very muddy. It has been said that the only people who think the KRK’s are any good are folks who don’t have much else to compare them to besides crappy computer speakers. I can certainly see why this claim could be legitimate. Maybe it depends on your taste, but to my ears the Rokit 5’s just don’t sound that great in any regard.

Other notes:

  • Speakers are exposed (no grill).
  • Each speaker has it’s own power (need 2 power cables)
  • 3 inputs on the back: TRS, XLR, RCA
  • Treble, bass, volume adjustments on the back
  • Will want to purchase separate interface first to power them. they will sound better with an audio interface and TRS balanced cables, or a mixer.
  • The bundle of two speakers only comes with 1 TRS cable.


A solidly built monitor with some issues in the low end, as well as an overall muddy and repressed sound signature. When stacked up next to a JBL or Yamaha, it’s clearly outclassed.

Similarities & Differences


  • They are both near-field monitors, meaning they should sit pretty close to you forming an equilateral triangle.


  • The HS5’s are much better for reference purposes, while the Rokit’s are more for entertainment.
  • The HS5’s are clear, articulate, and well defined. The Rokit 5’s are muddy and very repressed. It feels like the sound is drowning in a sea of bass to be honest.
  • The HS5’s have significantly less bass than the Rokit’s.
  • The Rokit’s are a bit more affordable.
  • The Rokit’s have a tad more flexibility connection wise, with a TRS, XLR, and RCA option. The HS5’s only have an XLR and TRS/TS option.

Sound Test

Final Word

Luckily for you, there is a really easy solution here. If you’re looking to spend around $300 on a pair of monitors, go with the JBL LSR305’s. They are light-years better than the Rokit’s for the same price, and still pack a ridiculous punch even though they are marketed as reference monitors (which they are). I can’t say enough good things about them. They’ve been going strong in my studio for quite awhile now.


If you want a more honest pair of reference monitors, the HS5’s will do the trick admirably, and are admittedly a little better than my beloved 305’s :D. You may actually opt to go with the 305’s though, as it’s a very close call! Just be aware that if you’re only going to mix hip hop on the HS5’s, you may want to go with the HS8’s, or add a sub-woofer.


Well that’s about it for today my friend! I hope I’ve covered everything in this Yamaha HS5 vs. KRK Rokit 5 comparison review! If not, please leave a comment down below or Contact me with any questions. I would love to hear from you.

All the best and God bless,





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