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..
Input types: 1x XLR, 1x 1/4″ (TS). TRS vs. TS. Find out about your cables!
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.
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!
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. If what he said is true, you’re in for a world of excitement if you purchase them. I’ve had the LSR 305’s since Dec. of 2014 and they are phenomenal. Here’s my 305 Review if you were curious: JBL LSR 305 Review!
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, as long as your room is large enough. 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.
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:
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.
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.
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 since 2014 and sound breathtaking. In fact I still haven’t cranked up the dial past 7 on the back. They will blow you away and then some homie!
If you want a more honest pair of reference monitors, the HS5’s will do the trick admirably, and are a bit more neutral with less bass. 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.
Stu is determined to provide the truth about all things audio, and strives to deliver excellent content to you the reader! In his spare time, he likes to fish, paint, play guitar, attend church, take photos, record videos, graphic design, and more. His attention to detail and perfectionist attitude are what allow him to excel, but it can be both a blessing and a hindrance at times.