Home Studio Monitor Comparisons Yamaha HS5 vs. KRK Rokit 5: 2 Significant Sound Differences

Yamaha HS5 vs. KRK Rokit 5: 2 Significant Sound Differences

by Stuart Charles Black
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Greetings mate and Welcome aboard!

Stuart Charles here, HomeStudioBasics.com helping YOU make sound decisions leading to a beautiful audio experience that will make you fall in love with music (NOT gear) all over again, so…

Before we get into the Yamaha HS5 vs. KRK Rokit 5 comparison, grab a snack, sit back, and relax because…

You’ve come to the right place!!

Yamaha HS5

Price: Check Amazon! | Check Sweetwater! | Check B&H! | Check eBay!

Specifications

  • Type: Near-Field
  • 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: Rear Ported
  • Input types: 1x XLR, 1x 1/4″ TRS
  • Height: 11.2″
  • Width: 6.7″
  • Depth: 8.7″
  • Weight: 11.7 lbs.

The Yamaha HS5 is an incredibly well-built studio monitor with a mostly neutral sound and a few caveats to consider:

Bass

The bass response is flat until about 65 Hz where it starts to roll off considerably.

If you mix EDM or any super bass-heavy tracks, you may want to opt for something like an HS7 which I use for mixing hip-hop.

Mid-Range

There is some excess energy around 1kHz which is not present in the HS7.

There’s also a bit of a dip around 2kHz, but aside from those things, the HS5 is a mostly neutral monitor and thus good for beginners on a budget in small rooms. I wouldn’t recommend these for medium to larger-sized rooms. For that, get an HS7 or HS8.

Treble

Like the HS7, the treble here isn’t sibilant but also not too veiled. I find it to be a good compromise as you get a little sparkle but nothing over the top.

These monitors, in my opinion, are not bright or dark.

Pros

  • Mostly flat and good for reference work.
  • Built well.

Cons

  • Bass doesn’t reach down deep enough.
  • 1kHz peak is a bit jarring.

What they are good for

  • Audio/video post-production.
  • Guitar performance (Critical listening).
  • Acoustic/Chamber music.
  • Keyboards.

Not as good for

  • Your home speaker setup. Don’t buy these expecting them to bring the house down.
  • Anything that requires a significant amount of bass information in the lower registers.

What you will need?

What Is 48v Phantom Power?An audio interface to handle the Digital-to-Analog Conversion is mandatory.

I’m using a Universal Audio Volt 2 (pictured above) with my HS7s, and it will be just fine for an HS5 as well.

Secondly, snag 2 pairs of balanced TRS to TRS or TRS to XLR cables for both of the monitors. The Volt 2 has balanced TRS outputs on the back for the right and left monitors.

Universal Audio Volt 2 Review

Room Treatment

This goes a long way and helps to mitigate reflections, standing waves, etc.

Check out my post on Acoustic Sound Treatment for more tips and tricks!

Consensus/Conclusion

The HS5 is a pretty good reference monitor with a rock-solid build. It may not have quite the bass response that some are looking for, but its mostly neutral response means you’ll get better than average mixdowns if you understand its limitations in the bass department.

A separate subwoofer, an HS7, or HS8 are all viable solutions as well. Just make sure you’re buying the appropriate monitor for your room size.

General Room Sizes

I get asked this question quite a bit so I’ll go ahead and outline it here for you.

Generally speaking:

  • Small Room – 10×10 or smaller
  • Medium-Sized Room – 12×12
  • Large-Sized Room – 14×14, 14×16 or larger

KRK Rokit 5 (3rd/4th generation)

Price Check Amazon! | Check Sweetwater! | Check B&H! (4th gen) | Check eBay!

Gen 3 vs. Gen 4

 

Specifications

  • Type: Near-Field
  • 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.

Profile

The KRK Rokit 5s are a solid, heavy, and durable set of monitors with a relatively flat response outside of a couple of notable sound differences over the HS5.

  1. The mid-bass is a bit more pronounced around 70-90Hz.
  2. There’s no peak at 1kHz, but there’s still a subtle decline moving into 2kHz.

In addition to that, the Rokit 5s contain front-ported bass enclosures, but slightly less power. (50 total watts vs. 70 for the HS5).

The Rokit 5 also has an LED on the back that you can, with an app, use to EQ. It’s graphic and not parametric, but still pretty nifty.

Pros

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

Cons

  • Distortion may be an issue at higher volumes.
  • Strange cut around 600Hz.

What they are good for

  • Gaming
  • General Listening
  • Parties
  • Video editing
  • Classical
  • Rock
  • Ham radio
  • EQing vocals
  • BBQs/Poolside
  • Relaxation/movies

What you will need?

The same components apply as with the HS5s.

Consensus/Conclusion

The KRK Rokit 5 is a well-built monitor with a mostly neutral sound outside of the mid-bass but does suffer from a couple of strange cuts and dips. That said, it’s a more than viable option for producers on a budget and the EQ option is a thoughtful add-on.  

Final Verdict

Outside of the mid-bass and mid-range discrepancies discussed above, the Rokit 5 also reaches down a bit deeper in the sub-bass (45 Hz vs. 54).

At this point, it’s pretty much unanimous that while the HS5 is a perfectly serviceable monitor, it lacks considerably in the bass department. So, unless you don’t need a lot of bass and/or you’re in a tiny room, we can safely omit it from consideration.

The Rokit 5, despite catching heat over the years, is a good choice, but is it the best choice?

I may be a little biased, but I believe the HS7 is the monitor to get, as it digs down deeper than an HS5 but is a bit more suited for reference work than the Rokit 5 (in my opinion).

Learn More:

 


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,

 

 

-Stu

[Xtr@Ba$eHitZ]

Be sure to check out my Reviews and Resources page for more helpful and informative articles!

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6 comments

Sid Wilson July 31, 2019 - 5:43 pm

As a DJ for a popular band based out of Des Moines Iwoa I can tell you for a fact that both of these monitors are good options. Personally NS-10’s are the way to go, but as a head to head comparison I think this was well written.

#0
Sid Wilsom

Reply
Stuart Charles Black August 3, 2019 - 3:36 pm

Thanks so much Sid!

Man I would really love to get my hands on a pair of NS-10’s. I really like old vintage stuff and boy howdy would those look good in my apt. I appreciate you stopping by!

-Stu

Reply
Phil Sills June 7, 2020 - 12:51 pm

I use a pair of Yamaha HS50m’s combined with a pair of ROKIT 8’s. They really complement each other well with the Yamaha’s really giving that reference signature with the Rokits adding the fun and nice deep bass element. I use behringer studio kit to EQ (an untragraph pro and a sonic exciter sx3040) which I bought second hand to enhance the sound to exactly how I like it and tune to the room.

I used to use a yamaha sub with the HS50m’s but it just wasnt good enough to give me the accurate bass punch I was after, TBF it was a Home Theatre Sub as the Studio version was just too expensive. The combo I use above sounds great to me.

Reply
Stuart Charles Black June 10, 2020 - 2:44 pm

Nice man! I’m actually in the market for a new set of studio monitors. Was thinking about the HS7’s..

Reply
Ben February 24, 2024 - 10:40 am

The comparison mentions “3rd/4th generation” of the Rokit. But which was it? Aren’t the G3 and G4 Rokits pretty different animals? Word on the street is that the G4s have a much more neutral response with less heightened bass, and they now feature an LED screen on the back for a graphic EQ that can be dialed in using an app. Frankly, I’m happy Rokits have a leg up on the competition but are still regarded as inferior – used prices are great. It’s like the years when you could get 70s Made in USA tube amps for cheap because the Peavey logo was on it, although it seems like people have finally figured that one out!

Reply
Stuart Charles Black February 27, 2024 - 8:23 pm

Ben,

Thanks for stopping by man!

You’ve inspired me to rewrite this article and make it simpler, so thank you. I think the 4th gen still has that mid-bass bump, but overall it was handled better than Gen 3. It’s not as harsh in the highs; one thing I absolutely noticed. Seems more neutral overall. I will clarify that in the rewrite as well.

Which ones do you have? I invested in a pair of Yamaha HS7s and couldn’t be happier. I mix hip-hop/beats. My brother in law mixes metal/rock and has some KRKs. They are freaking enormous LOL. I can’t remember what model, but he really likes them!

In any event, just holler if you have any questions.

-Stu

Reply

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