KRK isn't prepared to sit back on the success of its low price Rokit range, and has opted to up the ante with the new Generation 2 models. On trial here is the baby of the line, the RP5 G2 with its 5-inch woofer and 1-inch tweeter.
The stated improvements include cabinet voicing and driver performance, but the most obvious change is the curved front baffle design. The speaker has been shaped to reduce diffraction effects (phase-related frequency shifts that narrow the effective listening area and create 'smearing') caused by sharp cabinet edges.
By curving the front baffle the frequency response of the monitor is kept more even across a wider range of angles, thus improving stereo imaging and off-axis listening positions.
KRK has also improved the waveguide design around the tweeter which allows better high-frequency voicing over wider angles. Things that have been kept include the front firing bass port and the KRK emblem.
At the rear the impressive input array has been retained: balanced XLR and TRS, unbalanced RCA. There is also a volume knob for overall level adjustment and a 4-position HF level adjustment knob which allows +1dB to -2dB shelving from 2kHz.
A nice touch is the rubberised footing on the bottom of the enclosure to reduce low-frequency coupling. Though more isolation could be gained with a set of speaker spikes, we found a good degree of coupling via the rubber foot pleasing at the low end.
Though the specs state a range down to 52Hz, there is sufficient articulation down to the subsonic filter cutoff of 45Hz. There is a slight lift around 60Hz which is probably due to the cutoff 'knee' of the subsonic filter, but it doesn't affect the overall low-end evenness. The generous excursion limit of the woofer allows for high SPLs at low frequencies which other monitors can gracelessly square off.
A full low-end can often come at the cost of poor low- and mid-frequency performance, but the RP5s still deliver a tight and well articulated sound without obvious dips and peaks across this important 'body' range. There is a slight scoop around 1-3kHz, but this may only be in comparison with our other monitors, and frankly, we found it preferable during long listening periods.
The high-frequency range is detailed and un-hyped, belying a fast transient performance from the neodymium tweeter drivers. It's in this range that the curved front baffle and improved tweeter waveguide design make a difference, as the stereo imaging and off-axis high-frequency propagation are in a class well above the Rokit's price range. There is no stated maximum SPL figure in the manual, but these monitors can crank up very loud without distorting.
We would describe the Generation 2 RP5s as flattering, easy to work with, detailed and punchy beyond their price. Our monitoring space is large and reverberant, yet these small monitors still deliver a full and detailed soundstage with accurate stereo imaging.
Anyone looking for a quality small nearfield monitor for a project studio would do well to consider these updated RP5s in preference to products costing two or three times as much.
A small room/project studio oriented monitor that performs much better than its price and size might suggest.