The KRK Rokit 7 G4 is a front-ported, bi-amped monitor with a DSP-powered EQ section, to help deal with typical room and speaker placement problems. There are also five–, eight– and 10-inch variants available, the latter being a three-way design. For typical home studios, seven- or eight-inch drivers tend to be popular; the five-inch version is suited to small rooms where the low end can't be trusted, and the 10-inch's greater bass extension means it would be best suited to a medium-sized room which has effective acoustic treatment.
The Rokit 7 G4's seven-inch woofer and one-inch tweeter have yellow woven Kevlar cones and are set into a moulded front baffle with radiused edges, to help reduce diffraction effects. The enclosure, which measures 339 x 225 x 284mm, is largely finished in a lightly textured back plastic foil. The wide, shallow port is designed not only to extend the low end, but also to allow more flexibility in room positioning than a rear-firing port. The base of the cabinet has a grippy rubber pad, though proper isolating speaker platforms are recommended. Power (indicated by the KRK logo lighting up) comes from a Class–D amplifier, with a peak total power of 145W producing a maximum SPL of 110dB at 1m, and the frequency response is quoted as 42Hz to 40kHz. If you're worried about children poking the drivers, optional protective grilles are available, and fix in place using magnets.
A small, monochrome, back-lit LCD screen on the rear and a single turn-and-push knob are used to access all level settings, setup parameters and EQ. The DSP-hosted EQ has 25 permutations (five HF, five LF) of preset settings to compensate for room placement and for desk reflections, and these settings are offered as an alternative to the usual basic HF and LF balance. The presets make use of shelving and parametric filters to compensate for placement relative to boundaries, and a notch filter to reduce the effect of desk reflections. Some settings are just HF/LF EQ while others include the desk/notch filter. The input is on a balanced TRS/jack 'combi' connector and the metal rear panel is inset so as to be flush with the rear of the casework. As all the settings are covered using the Volume/Parameter knob and display, the rear panel is very uncluttered. A conventional IEC mains inlet and power switch sit at the bottom of the panel.
Some of the earlier KRK speakers I tried sounded a touch hard, but that's all in the past — these speakers come across as detailed but smooth-sounding.
On power–up, the Home screen is displayed, showing volume and EQ settings, and pressing the knob accesses the EQ and setup menus. By default, the input sensitivity is set to the +4dBu standard but it can be adjusted in 0.1dB steps if required. A more detailed online manual gives advice on room placement, after which the usual procedure is first to listen with the HF and LF EQs set to flat, then run through the EQ presets while listening to familiar material to see which sounds the most accurate in your room. Setup options include screen backlight brightness, contrast, standby mode, KRK logo illuminated or not, factory reset and a settings lock.
Happily, the speakers sounded fine in my room with the response switches set to flat, but in more challenging rooms these could be very helpful. I recall that some of the earlier KRK speakers I tried sounded a touch hard, but that's all in the past — these speakers come across as detailed but smooth-sounding with clean mids and a bass end that is tighter than you might expect from a small ported speaker. The sense of stereo imaging is strong, and while I'd categorise these speakers as capable rather than exceptional, they get the job done at a very attractive price, providing a good sense of what your mixes are really doing without sounding aggressive or fatiguing. Given their performance, this asking price is not at all unreasonable.
$478 per pair.