Home Studio Monitor Comparisons Yamaha HS5 vs. KRK Rokit 5 [With Sound Test]

Yamaha HS5 vs. KRK Rokit 5 [With Sound Test]

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…

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…

You’ve come to the right place!!

What I will bring you in this review

of each monitor

  1. Specifications/Price
  2. Summary
  3. Pros
  4. Cons
  5. Who do 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 HS5

Price: Check Amazon! | Check Sweetwater! | Check B&H! | 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.
  • 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 almost 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 and mids, with just enough low end.
  • The clarity and separation of highs, mids, and bass are phenomenal.
  • Very revealing. If your mix sounds good on these, it will translate extremely well to other sources.
  • Minimal changes are required after the initial mix-down. Very accurate and true. 
  • Solid construction and build.


  • They may not provide the punch that people are looking for. You may have to upgrade to the HS8s or add a subwoofer.

What these monitors are good for

  • Hip-Hop production. Some were saying that while they are good for the genre, 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!

Check out some reviews of the HS5 on Amazon!!

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 very well if you need something loud and entertaining.

What you will need?

Focusrite Scarlett 2i2

Chillin’ in-studio 🙂 This is the 1st generation model. They have since come out with a 3rd!

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).
  3. What does an audio interface do?

Thoughts from Stu’s notepad

  • One reviewer said that the Yamaha HS5s are better than the LSR 305s, Adam F5s, as well as the Adam F7s. If what he said is true, you’re in for a world of excitement if you purchase them. I’ve had the LSR 305s since Dec. of 2014 and they are phenomenal. I can’t imagine something sounding better in the entry-level category, but: Here’s my 305 Review if you were curious: JBL LSR 305 Review!
  • My cousin Greg was telling me about how amazing the HS5s sounded with Tidal and Master Tracks.
Tidal is the sh**. I have Yamaha HS5s hooked up to my PC with Tidal. Master tracks are unbelievable.Gregory Papalcure
  • 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 HS5s. As mentioned above, they do well with hip hop, but if you were going to be mixing only that genre, you might consider the HS8s. 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 HS5s 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 HS5s 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. It may not have quite the bass response that some are looking for.

A separate amp or the upgraded HS8 are viable options here.

You may also just opt for the LSR 305s, as a lot of people are reporting a great monitor in the HS5, but with no bass response.


KRK Rokit 5 (3rd/4th generation)

Price Check Amazon! | Check Sweetwater! | Check B&H! (4th gen) | 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 HS5s, and while decent for mixing, are more suited for entertainment.

Users report that the Rokits 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.


  • The 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.
  • A steep drop-off at the low end. mid-bass has a weird peak (fine if you have subs).
  • Not very accurate.
  • One tweeter could go bad.
  • Needs more power? A 5″ woofer is 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
  • BBQs/Poolside
  • Relaxation/movies

What you will need?

The same components apply as with the HS5s.

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 feeling.

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 KRKs 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 its own power (need 2 power cables).
  • 3 inputs on the back: TRS, XLR, and RCA.
  • Treble, bass, and volume adjustments on the back.
  • Will want to purchase a 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 HS5s are much better for reference purposes, while the Rokits are more for entertainment.
  • The HS5s 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 HS5s have significantly less bass than the Rokit’s.
  • The Rokits are a bit more affordable.
  • The Rokits have a tad more flexibility connection-wise, with a TRS, XLR, and RCA option. The HS5s 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 or less on a pair of monitors, go with the JBL LSR 305’s.

They are light-years better than the Rokits 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!

JBL LSR 305 Studio Monitors

Entry-level heaven.

Interested in learning more about them?


If you want a more honest pair of reference monitors, the HS5s 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 HS5s, you may want to go with the HS7s, 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,





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


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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.

Sid Wilsom

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!


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.

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..


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