KRK through and through, these are a great choice if you want to step up from multimedia or general purpose speakers to your first pair of dedicated DJ/production monitors. Get them positioned correctly and they’ll perform well enough for DJs and budding producers.
First Impressions / Setting up
As somebody who has often used KRK’s iconic Rokit range of speakers over the years, the Classic 5s are instantly familiar – the shape, style and of course yellow cones give the KRK game away. As far as I can tell, they are to all intents and purposes a slightly tweaked Rokit 5 G4, and could just as easily have been called the Rokit 5 G5.
Everything about these speakers is what I expected, and there is nothing I didn’t. Front bass reflex port? Check. HF/LF adjust knobs? Check. RCA, TRS and XLR inputs? Check. IEC power socket, rocker power switch, stepped volume control? Yup, all present and correct.
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They’re finished in vinyl-covered MDF, with the 5” bass cones directly beneath the small, black 1” tweeters, and gently curving plastic moulded front section. The bottoms of the speakers have a glued-on layer of foam – good if you use them on bookshelves or a DJ workstation directly.
These are designed for small rooms, and we used them in just such a setting (with and without the 8S2 subwoofer, which we have reviewed separately).
They’re bi-amplified (different amplifiers for each of the speakers), and because they’re class AB rather than class D, they do get hot – but that also means they should perform well – and indeed they do.
For the size, the bass is great (not earth-shatteringly deep of course, but defined), and the highs are if anything a little too prominent, unlike the mids which maybe roll off a little. This stuff is all so dependent upon positioning in the room, though, and we found that when close and angled correctly with the highs rolled off just a notch on the rear control they hit a “sweet spot” for us.
They’re rated at 30W woofer, 20W tweeter for a total of 50-55W RMS per speaker, and in the real world, they’re plenty loud enough for the purpose. Just don’t start trying to use them at parties – near-field monitors really aren’t designed for that. Decent speaker stands will make these sing.
There are no gimmicks here – no apps to tweak the sound, no “club” buttons on the back like some other brands, no extra inputs for Bluetooth devices or ⅛” minijack leads… they are, as the name says, “classic”. And for the job they’re designed for, they perform well.
Whether they’re for you or not depends upon what you want monitor speakers for. If they’re only for your DJ or production set-up and you don’t need to be constantly plugging and unplugging things from them, they’ll be fine for you.
Likewise, as long as you’re not a pro producer (for whom the limitations on audio, especially the mids, might be irksome), the sound quality is great – perfect for DJing, and easy to use the controls around the back to give a little extra bass boost for more fun when mixing!
All in all, they’re good value and they “do what they say on the tin”. Classic, indeed.