HS5 vs Rokit 5 Review | Ultimate Comparison 2020

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The Yamaha HS5 and the KRK Rokit 5 are popular monitor speakers for those new to the mixing world.  However, how do you know which one to pick? After a comprehensive comparison between the two, we’ve found the Yamaha HS5 as the winner. 

While the Rokit 5 is more geared toward bass-heavy production, the HS5 is a wiser choice as a reference monitor. It provides a more natural sound and is a better assistant for beat markers.  With this in mind, let’s explore the HS5 vs Rokit 5 battle and check out each in more detail so you can make your final decision with more confidence.

Yamaha HS5 

Yamaha HS5 Powered Studio Monitor

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Yamaha HS5 | Complete Review

Anyone with a music interest has heard of Yamaha. It’s produced music instruments since 1887 and its reference monitors since 1967. But, the company has gained all the popularity for one reason: accuracy, with the HS5 being an excellent example of this.

Yamaha’s HS5 is a 5-inch studio monitor with a compact design, which is excellent for small studios. Unlike larger models, you can put it rather close to your desk and still have a coherent sound. Just like other HS series versions, the HS5 offers a realistic sound and is great for mixdown purposes.

Also, producers and beatmakers appreciate it for the flat response curve. The minimal ups and downs in the response curve indicate their output is more than accurate.

The biggest downside is that it lacks a little definition at the low-end. So, if you need it for hip-hop production, look to invest in a subwoofer.

While mixing down, make sure you don’t put the speaker close to the wall. It has a rear port to avoid resonance issues, which won’t do its job properly if blocked.

Specs

  • Powered: Yes.
  • Power Configuration: Bi-amped.
  • LF Driver Size: 5 inches.
  • LF Driver Type: Cone.
  • HF Driver Size: 1 inch.
  • HF Driver Type: Dome.
  • LF Driver Power Amp: 45W.
  • HF Driver Power Amp: 25W.
  • Frequency Response: 54Hz-30kHz.
  • Crossover Frequency: 2kHz.
  • Maximum Peak SPL: Not given.
  • Input Types: TRS, XLR.
  • Enclosure Type: Rear ported.

Pros

  • Powered studio monitor with bi-amped drivers.
  • Accurate, flat and neutral sound.
  • Wide frequency response range.
  • Suitable for small studios.
  • Adjustable knobs, such as High Trim and Room Control.

Cons

  • May need a subwoofer to hear the punch notes.
  • Not designed for large studios or hip-hop producers.

mixer vs audio interface cartoon letters

KRK Rokit 5

KRK RP5 Rokit 5 G4 Professional Bi-Amp 5' Powered Studio Monitor Pair, Black

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Rokit 5 vs Rokit 6 | Comparison Review

As one of the world’s top loudspeaker manufacturers, KRK’s new Rokit series, including the Rokit 5, is a constant favorite of audio enthusiasts, first-time producers and DJs.

It’s a 5-inch speaker that produces enough sound level for limited spaces. And, customers comment on how this medium-sized speaker has a clear bass and a well-defined midrange.  Although not the best bet for pro-level mixing, this model is durable and excellent for producing EDM, DubStep, and Bass House genres.

Despite their impressive sound level and wide frequency ranges, customers believe that Rokit models deliver colorful sounds compared to the Yamaha series. This indicates they may inaccurately represent the sounds.

It’s not a good idea to use them for mixdown scenarios, but they’re excellent for creative production.

Specs

  • Powered: Yes.
  • Power Configuration: Bi-amped.
  • LF Driver Size: 5 inches.
  • LF Driver Type: Kevlar cone.
  • HF Driver Size: 1 inch.
  • HF Driver Type: Dome.
  • LF Driver Power Amp: 55W.
  • HF Driver Power Amp: 20W.
  • Frequency Response: 45Hz-35kHz
  • Crossover Frequency: Adjustable.
  • Maximum Peak SPL: 104 dB.
  • Input Types: TRS, XLR, RCA.
  • Enclosure Type: Front ported.

Pros

  • Durable body.
  • Great value.
  • EQ settings and LCD screens.
  • Smartphone apps for easy adjustments.
  • Reaches high notes.

Cons

  • Doesn’t have a true sound representation.
  • Gets a little muddy when the bass comes up.

HS5 vs Rokit 5 Face to Face Comparison

Before deciding which speaker suits your needs, look at the specs below for a quick comparison between HS5 vs. Rokit 5 loudspeakers.

Yamaha HS5 Powered Studio Monitor
KRK RP5 Rokit 5 G4 Professional Bi-Amp 5" Powered Studio Monitor Pair, Black
Yamaha HS5 Powered Studio Monitor
KRK RP5 Rokit 5 G4 Professional Bi-Amp 5" Powered Studio Monitor Pair, Black
$199.99
$358.00
Yamaha HS5 Powered Studio Monitor
Yamaha HS5 Powered Studio Monitor
$199.99
KRK RP5 Rokit 5 G4 Professional Bi-Amp 5" Powered Studio Monitor Pair, Black
KRK RP5 Rokit 5 G4 Professional Bi-Amp 5" Powered Studio Monitor Pair, Black
$358.00

Sound Quality

Many customers comment on how the Rokit 5 is only applicable for mid to upper bass. And, it creates a buzzy sound when the bass is boosted.  The Rokit 5 produces tracks in high volumes. So, it may sound very impressive at first, but it doesn’t mean it’s representing the actual sounds.

In contrast, the Yamaha HS5 is more accurate. It has a flatter response curve and produces high-resolution sounds. With this monitor, you can recognize the smallest notes and distinguish a poor mix from a good one.

Yamaha HS5 Powered Studio Monitor

Winner: HS5

hs5 vs rokit 5

Tech Specs

Powered

As active/powered loudspeakers, both the HS5 and Rokit 5 have embedded amplifiers inside their cabinet. This means you don’t need to bother matching the speakers to amps.

What’s more, all active studio monitors have a more compact design. They’re easier to connect to other devices because you don’t need an additional component.

Another advantage of active speakers over passive ones is that their crossover is more precise.

Winner: Draw

Power Configuration

Both monitors are bi-amped, meaning they have separate amplifiers for HF and LF drivers. So, they don’t need extra amplifiers to supplement different frequency ranges.

Winner: Draw

Best Studio Monitors For Hip Hop

LF and HF Drivers

Both the HS5 and Rokit 5 have a 1-inch dome tweeter for HF enhancements, plus a 5-inch woofer as the LF driver.

The only difference is that the HS5 woofer is made of a stiff paper cone while the Rokit 5 has a glass-aramid woofer.

According to customer reviews, Aramid fabrics—such as Kevlar—are more efficient at transferring the sound. They have fewer vibrations, and therefore, don’t dampen the low frequencies.

On the other hand, paper is a bit “lossy.” It breaks up the sounds and provides a less accurate result.

Both paper and aramid composites have low densities. So, if the manufacturer uses multiple layers to provide more stiffness, they don’t increase the monitor’s weight. However, other than the light weight, aramid composites are very strong.

KRK RP5 Rokit 5 G4 Professional Bi-Amp 5' Powered Studio Monitor Pair, Black

Winner: Rokit 5

LF Driver Power Amp

The HS5 uses just 45W to feed the LF driver and 25W to run the tweeter. In comparison, the Rokit 5 has 55W available to the woofer and 20W to the tweeter.

In total, HS5 has an amp power of 70W, and Rokit 5 has an amp power of 75W. Although the difference isn’t considerable, the HS5 speakers are a bit more efficient. 

Winner: HS5

Frequency Response

The Yamaha HS5 has a frequency response range of 54Hz to 30kHz, making it pretty powerful for the middle-range and high-end of your music.

Although 54Hz gives adequate low-end for most purposes—such as guitar performance, keyboards and chamber music—it doesn’t provide the bass extension for hip-hop or EDM styles. So, you’ll need to buy a subwoofer for these productions.

On the other hand, the Rokit 5 (G3) gives you access to a wider range of frequencies. It has a frequency response of 45Hz to 35kHz, allowing you to mix the highest and lowest frequencies.

Winner: Rokit 5

Crossover Frequency

Yamaha HS5 has a crossover frequency of 2kHz, while the Rokit 5’s crossover frequency is adjustable. The variable crossover helps you filter the undesirable frequency waves so that they won’t deviate from one range to another.

Winner: Rokit 5

Maximum Peak SPL

With an SPL of 104 dB, Rokit 5 speakers can reach exceptionally high volumes without distortion from the high end. But, oddly, Yamaha hasn’t provided the maximum peak SPL for the HS5 series.

All in all, the Rokit 5 has a much greater sound compared to the HS5. But, customer feedback indicates that it’s not as clear as the HS5, which makes it more suitable for dance music and beats rather than mixing.

Yamaha HS5 Powered Studio Monitor

Winner: HS5

Input Types

Other than TRS and XLR connections, which you also get on the HS5, KRK’s Rokit 5 has an additional quarter-inch socket and RCA input jack, allowing you to insert phono inputs.

Winner: Rokit 5

Enclosure Type

The HS5 has a rear speaker port, while the Rokit 5 has a frontal speaker port. What does this mean? You can’t place the HS5 near the wall or other obstacles, while the Rokit 5 excludes these limitations.

However, the HS5’s reflex enclosure works better at minimizing resonance. So, it prevents any kind of sonic coloration—a crucial feature for precise monitoring and mixdowns.

Winner: HS5

Dimensions

The HS5 is a compact reference monitor at:

  • Width: 6.7 inches wide.
  • Height: 11.25 inches.
  • Depth: 8.75 inches.

Although small-sized, Rokit 5 is a little bigger than the HS5 but not remarkably so:

  • Width: 7.48 inches.
  • Height: 11.22 inches.
  • Depth: 9.49 inches.

Winner: HS5

Weight

As per the dimensions, the Rokit 5 is also heavier than the HS5: 13lbs vs. 11.7lbs.

Yamaha HS5 Powered Studio Monitor

Winner: HS5

Build Quality

The HS5 and Rokit 5 are by no means identical when it comes to the construction, but they provide almost the same amount of durability.

For one thing, both speakers are made of MDF, which is solid and durable. They also have rounded corners to minimize unwanted diffraction. Besides this, both are ported to deliver further acoustic clarity.

Yamaha has protected the HS5’s woofer with rubber surrounds and has a metal cover around the tweeter. In comparison, KRK has used foam surrounds on the Rokit 5’s woofer.

Both metal and rubber are sturdy materials, stronger than foam. They offer more protection for the woofer and higher resistance against physical damage. So, the Hs5’s woofer surrounds last longer. 

Winner: HS5

Design

All Yamaha HS monitors mimic the appearance of the classic Yamaha NS10s, which was an industry standard for years. With their stereo-like appearance, black exteriors and signature white woofers, Yamaha monitors add a professional studio look. They also carry a nostalgic vibe.

The philosophy behind this simple design is to reflect the acoustic purity of Yamaha’s reference monitors.

On the other hand, the Rokit 5 features a more modern appearance that adds decor to your surroundings with its black and yellow scheme. There’s also a large LCD at its bottom to enhance your settings.

The HS5 model lacks this fancy feature, but you can find the EQ controls at the backside instead. 

Winner: Draw

Lease contract, close-up

Warranty

According to Yamaha, all its speakers, including the HS5, have a three-year warranty for parts and labor. But note that the manufacturer won’t honor warranties unless you’ve bought the monitor from Yamaha Authorized Dealers.

Similarly, KRK offers a three-year warranty on its studio monitors. If your monitor stops working or produces hisses or annoying sounds, the manufacturer will help you through the customer service. If they fail to address the issue, you can send the monitor to the dealer to repair it.

Winner: Draw

Add-Ons

The HS5’s tuning options, such as Room Control and High Trim switches, allow you to tune the settings based on the room’s environment.

It also has a small white LED that indicates the on/off mode and a power cord and user manual to ease the setup process.

But, the Rokit 5 also has a little LCD controller rather than just a high and low trim. What’s more, it’s equipped with an Android and iOS application to give you more control over the device.

Overall, the Rokit 5 is ideal for tech-savvy people because it comes with more extras and high-tech features. However, the HS5 follows a simplistic approach in terms of control options.

Winner: Both

Price Points

Customers seem to praise value for money in both models because they don’t sacrifice performance over quality, or vice versa.

However, the HS5 is a little more expensive than Rokit 5.

Generally speaking, KRK monitors come at an unbelievably affordable price, which is a big reason for their popularity. Also, you can use them for a wide range of applications.

But, this doesn’t mean that the Yamaha HS5 isn’t worth the price tag. The Yamaha HS series offers optimum clarity and accuracy, which is exceptional in the industry. So, they’re also worth every penny you spend on them.

Winner: HS5

Stand-Out Features

These are the Yamaha HS5’s standout features:

  • Accuracy: The HS5 offers exemplary accuracy for its users. It neither plays down nor magnifies the sounds. So, you’ll hear each thread of music as it is.

Whereas, the Rokit 5 also has some unique features compared to the HS5:

  • High-tech: It boasts several innovations and technological features compared to similar products, e.g., LCD and iOS and Android applications.

Conclusion

With a dense record of cutting-edge features, great sound quality and budget price range, the Rokit 5 sounds very advantageous for studio-owners. On the other hand, HS5 wins over the Rokit when it comes to honesty and reliability. 

While there’s a very tough, close call between the two 5-inch speakers, they’re both suitable for different situations:

Go for the KRK’s Rokit 5 if you:

  • Are a DJ.
  • Deal with a variety of frequencies.
  • Want to use the speaker at dance parties.
  • Need a speaker with high volumes.
  • Mostly work on hip-hop or EDM styles.
Sale
Yamaha HS5 Powered Studio Monitor
  • 2-Way bass-reflex bi-amplified nearfield studio monitor with 5" cone woofer and 1" dome tweeter
  • 54Hz-30kHz frequency response
  • 45W LF plus 25W HF bi-amp system for high-performance 70W power amplification
  • Room Control and High TRIM response controls
  • XLR and TRS phone jack inputs accept balanced or unbalanced signals

Choose the Yamaha’s HS5 if you:

  • Want a speaker for filmmaking or any kind of analytic listening.
  • Usually produce high-end music.
  • Are a mixing engineer with a small studio.
  • Need a good tweeter performance.
  • Don’t mind buying a subwoofer for a low-end extension.
KRK RP5 Rokit 5 G4 Professional Bi-Amp 5" Powered Studio Monitor Pair, Black
  • Professional grade 5“ (bi-amp) studio monitor designed and engineered in the USA
  • 5” matching woofer and 1” tweeter made with Kevlar
  • Built-in efficient Class D power amp
  • Proprietary speaker drivers built in-house from the ground up
  • Onboard LCD visual ds-driven EQ

If you want both accuracy and low-end efficiency in a single package, you can add a subwoofer to your HS5. Or, simply buy its bigger alternative, the Yamaha HS7.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Rokit Speakers Good?

Rokit speakers are good for a variety of purposes. From DJing and mixing to entertainment purposes, such as dancing and playing video games, these speakers are admired in the industry. However, when it comes to producing music, we recommend them for beginners only.

Are Yamaha HS5 Good?

The Yamaha HS5 series is more than good for its size. Also, it’s the best studio monitor you can get at this price range. A long-tested speaker, it has a durable body, quality woofer and a very flat sound. The only downside is that it lacks enough low-end, but you can easily address this with a decent subwoofer.

Can I Use Normal Speakers as Monitors?

You can use normal speakers as monitors, but they won’t reflect every detail, and the result will be nothing but a jumbled, poorly mixed track.

Winner – Yamaha HS5 

Yamaha HS5 Powered Studio Monitor

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