Strother Bullins on KRK Rokit 4 G3 Nearfield Studio Monitors & 8S Studio Subwoofer

12/23/2016 2:56 PM Eastern Last updated at 6/23/2017 3:04 PM

I’ve long been a fan and frequent user of KRK Systems’ various powered studio monitor lines. From the overachieving VXT Series—a mid-priced, remarkably well-built and great sounding range rivaling the performance of respected European brands at nearly twice the price—to the entry-level Rokit line, KRK builds the most prevalent powered studio monitors in the world today.

On the heels of the AES Convention in Los Angeles where KRK announced their new line, the V Series (slated to replace VXT), I felt inspired to check out the smallest, most affordable KRK 3-piece monitoring system available today, a Rokit 4 G3 Nearfield Studio Monitor stereo pair with the 8S Studio Subwoofer, priced at $139.5.

Compared to most other powered speakers classified as studio monitors, the magnetically shielded Rokit 4 is tiny, measuring 8.31” x 6.09” x 8.82” and weighing less than 9 lbs., each. Though total power is 30 W, when the Rokit 4 is paired with the 109 W, 26 lb., 13.3” x 11.57” x 14.25”-sized 8S subwoofer, the system’s sound is full, frequency-balanced, remarkably smooth on the top end and punchy, detailed and deep on the bottom. For this review, I swapped out my normal 8-inch woofered full range active monitors with this Rokit rig and didn’t miss a beat; the 8S’s 35Hz-133Hz frequency response reaches down deep, making it a great choice for listening to bass-heavy content—from modern educational gaming to impressive in-house multimedia productions.

As with all KRK products I’ve had the pleasure to use, this system’s MDF-comprised cabinetry is well designed and assembled, and both the Rokit 4 and S8 offer comprehensive pro- and consumer-grade I/O, allowing the system to be used in a wide variety of ways. Aesthetically, the Rokit 4 fits a comparably wide range of environments, since it is available in traditional black, “Mac Book-ish” silver, and white.

Further, features abound between the Rokit 4 and S8, revealing KRK Systems’ understanding of the needs of its customers; for example, where other brands may leave its subwoofer’s driver exposed to potential damage, the S8 comes with a kick-proof grille, which is nice considering most S Series subwoofers will be under small desks and other non-traditional studio environments, despite their usage.

In all, the Rokit 4/S8 system is an ideal desktop monitoring system well suited for anything from music, A/V and multimedia production to high-quality institutional monitoring in schools, houses-of-worship, theaters, and more—all for less than $650 street.

Strother Bullins is Technology Editor for NewBay Media’s AV/Pro Audio Group. sbullins@nbmedia. com

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