One of the most vital components in your studio that should never be overlooked is a quality pair of studio monitor speakers, without which you would not be able to hear your music in its true form.
Two long-standing legendary studio monitor speakers to consider for your studio are the Tannoy Reveal line and the KRK Rokit line, both providing exceptional sound quality.
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Between the Tannoy Reveals and the KRK Rokit G4’s, the Rokits have a better variety to suit a wider range of needs with four options ranging in size from 5” – 10”, while the Reveals offer three options between 4” and 8”.
For bass response, the Rokit 10-3 G4 is the winning choice going as low as 23Hz and the best price for the specs.
Let’s go through the stats of each monitor line to help you decide which pair would fit perfectly on your studio desk and meet all of your production needs.
Starting with the Tannoy Reveal’s, this line includes three sizes of high-performance bi-amped studio monitoring speakers with tuned front-firing bass ports, ideal for home and professional studios. These sizes each come with their own specs and are known as the Reveal 402, 502, and 802.
The Reveal 402, 502, and 802 all have the same high-quality build with a black casing complemented by a silver-colored woofer and bass port ideal for close wall monitoring. The design is sleek with rounded corners finished off with a sound-absorbing, rubberized foam base.
Each version of the Reveal line is custom-tuned and features active cross-over filters allowing you to listen freely from anywhere in the room without losing the stereo-imaging you worked so hard on in your mix.
This popular line starts off with the Reveal 402’s. These are the 70 watts, 4” versions, featuring ¾” poke-resistant soft-dome tweeters and 4” high efficiency, low-frequency drivers offering an extended bass response. Their frequency response is great for their size, with a range of 56Hz – 48kHz.
In the middle, we have the Reveal 502’s, the 105-watt versions of this line. They feature 1” poke-resistant soft-dome tweeters and 5” high efficiency, low-frequency drivers, offering a slightly better bass response than the 402’s. Their response range being between 49Hz – 43kHz.
The largest set of this line, finishing it off with a bang is the 802’s, coming in at 140 watts with 8” custom high efficiency, low-frequency drivers, and a 1” poke-resistant soft-dome tweeter like the 502’s. Topping it off is an impressive frequency response of 42Hz – 43kHz and the best max SPL of the lot sitting at 114dB.
For their excellent specs, each version of the Tannoy Reveal line comes in very well priced with the 402’s costing around $100, the 502’s at around $160, and the 802’s, the biggest of the line, costing upwards of $500. For smaller home studios the 502’s price is unbeatable!
As one of the top competing models for recording studios around the globe, the Tannoy Reveals have many highlights worth mentioning. Here are a few:
- Excellent extended bass response with clean mids and treble
- Poke-resistant tweeters
- Front-facing bass ports for close wall monitoring
- Wide frequency response ranges as low as 42Hz and as high as 48kHz
The Tannoy Reveal range is stiff competition amongst the market, but there is one issue that may be a problem for some:
- Depending on your application, the treble may be a little smooth.
With so many great specs it is incredible how well these bi-amped studio monitors are priced. Depending on your room size, you can find the 402’s here, the 502’s here, and the 802’s here subject to their availability.
KRK Rokit G4
Second to review, but competing fiercely is the KRK Rokit, the worlds leading line of studio monitors with their latest set, the G4’s, exceeding the Rokit’s prior reputation. The G4 line includes four sizes of active studio monitor speakers with matching Kevlar drivers and front-firing bass ports.
The four sizes included in the line are the Rokit 5, 7, 8, and 10 studio monitors, each with improving specs as you move up in size. All four sizes have the same iconic KRK Rokit look, with a semi-matte black finish accented with a soft golden yellow woofer and tweeter. Each monitor is also layered with an acoustic Iso-foam pad for lowered vibration transmission.
What really sets the Rokit line apart from its competition is the built-in DSP-driven Graphic EQ with an LCD screen and 25 settings to help you set up your monitors perfectly for their environment. The tool is controlled by a convenient phone app compatible with both Android and iOS for easy EQ from anywhere in the room.
For smaller applications, the Rokit G4 line starts off with the Rokit 5 G4, the 5”, 55 watt set of monitors, featuring the 1” Kevlar Aramid Fibre tweeter and the 5.25” Kevlar Aramid Fibre woofer. The frequency response for this pair is exceptional ranging between 43Hz – 40kHz.
One step up from the 5”, is the Rokit 7 G4. The 7 G4 is the 145 watt set of monitors featuring the same 1” Kevlar tweeter as the Rokit 5” and a 6.5” Kevlar Aramid Fibre woofer. The frequency response is almost that of its smaller counterpart, ranging between 42Hz – 40kHz.
Further up is the Rokit 8 G4, a 203-watt bi-amp pair of studio monitor speakers featuring the 1” Kevlar tweeter and an 8” Kevlar woofer. The frequency response on these monitors is a big step up from the smaller Rokit 5’s, and 7’s, ranging between 36Hz – 40kHz showing an exceptional bass response.
Finishing off the G4 line are the Rokit 10-3 G4’s, an impressive pair of 300-watt tri-amp studio monitoring speakers with a 1” Kevlar tweeter, a 4.5” Kevlar woofer, and another 10” Kevlar woofer. Where this pair really stands out is its incredible bass response with a frequency response range of 26Hz – 40kHz, the widest in the line.
It is no surprise that KRK, a popular professional choice in the audio production industry, came up with this line that just oozes with quality. However, the surprise element comes in with the shockingly affordable prices for such great specs and reputation. The Rokit 5’s come in at a highly budget-friendly $180, the Rokit 7’s at around $240, the 8’s at around $300, and the 10’s at around $500.
The KRK Rokit line of studio monitors has so many great highlights that make it stand out from its competition. To name a few:
- Excellent bass response, with wide frequency response ranges reaching as low as 26Hz.
- Front-facing bass ports for close wall monitoring
- Built-in DSP-driven Graphic EQ with 25 settings
- Bi and tri-amp options
It is hard to find any faults with a range as versatile and professional as the Rokit G4 line. However, there may be one thing to be aware of:
- The app and the Graphic EQ have their limitations and aren’t fully customizable as some might want.
Overall, any of the monitor speakers from this line are worth every cent. You can find the Rokit 5 G4’s here, the Rokit 7 G4’s here, the Rokit 8 G4’s here, and the Rokit 10 G4’s here subject to availability.
Tannoy Reveal Vs. KRK Rokit
Comparing the Tannoy Reveals and the KRK Rokit G4’s is not an easy comparison to make. Both systems are quality with incredible specs for highly affordable prices, not to mention that every speaker system has its own sound signature. However, with that being said, there are a few reasons why the Rokit G4’s come out on top.
In terms of specs, the KRK Rokit G4’s are the better choice if you’re looking for killer bass. Their frequency response ranges are wider with far better bass response than the Tannoy Reveals with their Rokit 10-3 G4 showing off with a frequency response as low as 26Hz!
The KRK Rokit G4 line also appeals more to producers working in a larger, or more precise monitoring set-up, with the largest model featuring two powerful Kevlar drivers, one 4.5” and one 10” for improved tri-amp monitoring.
Price range is also a strong point for the Rokit G4 line, with the largest monitor choice of 10” costing about the same as the 8” monitor in the Tannoy Reveal line. The Rokit’s also come equipped with the app-controlled DSP-driven Graphic EQ with an LCD screen.
However, the Reveals do have a few strong points where they may be the better choice depending on your production needs. For instance, if you are working in a tight space and need high-functioning, quality yet compact studio monitors, the Reveal line offers a 4” model with a front-facing bass response perfect for this application.
The Reveals smallest 4” model also happens to have the best high-end response, reaching up to 48kHz! It is the model with the lowest price between both brands making it an ideal place to start for producers needing high-quality monitors on a tight budget.
Both ranges offer models to fit a variety of applications, the trick is to choose the one with the specs and size that suits your needs.
Comparison of Specs
This chart compares the specs of the three Tannoy Reveal models and the four KRK Rokit models for easier analysis of the specs:
|Tannoy Reveal Studio Monitors
|56Hz – 48kHz
|49Hz – 43kHz
|42Hz – 43kHz
|KRK Rokit G4 Studio Monitors
|Rokit 5 G4
|Rokit 7 G4
|Rokit 8 G4
|Rokit 10-3 G4
|43Hz – 40kHz
|42Hz – 40kHz
|36Hz – 40kHz
|26Hz – 40kHz
Definitions of Terms
Frequency response is the range of frequencies a device can reproduce. Frequency is measured in Hz (Hertz) which refers to the number of cycles that an audio waveform oscillates per second. A lower note cycles at a lower number. For example, the frequency of Middle C on the piano is approximately 440hz. While C one octave higher is about 1,200hz (or 1.2kHz). Frequencies above 1,000Hz are usually measured in kilo-hertz (kHz).
Instruments like bass guitar, kick drum and synth-bass all extend down to the lowest frequencies (down to around 25Hz). Frequencies lower than about 35Hz are not usually audible to the human ear, but the vibration of these frequences can be ‘felt’. If you’ve even been into a club with the sound system pumping, you’ll have ‘felt’ the low frequencies pounding in your chest!
Instruments that fill the higher frequency range include cymbals, (like the ‘tsk tsk’ of hi-hats) and the ‘S’ sound of vocals.
Frequencies above about 12kHz can not usually be heard by the human ear. As you age, you usually loose some hearing off the top end of the frequency range. Young children can often hear higher frequencies than adults!
For example, if a monitor can reproduce a frequency response range between 35Hz – 35kHz, any sound falling beyond this range will not be heard.
The abbreviation SPL stands for is Sound Pressure Level. The SPL of a studio monitor refers to the amount of sound pressure it can handle before resulting in distorted sound. The SPL is generally measured in dB.
Which KRK Rokit is the best?
Out of the four models in the KRK Rokit G4 series, the Rokit 10-3 G4 has the best specs, with the highest frequency response range of 26Hz – 40kHz and tri-amp monitoring. However, not every studio will be well suited to these due to their size.
It is more important to choose the monitors best suited to your room size and treatment as opposed to the one with the best specs.
Are Rokit speakers good?
Yes, the latest KRK Rokit studio monitoring speakers enter the market with some of the best specs available for the price range not to mention they are the #1 selling monitor in the world and are used by professionals globally.
Either model amongst these two top monitoring speaker lines will be a great addition to any home studio, or professional studio alike, especially those needing the highest quality monitor systems available for the price bracket.
The final decision for which option is better comes down to your personal choice and specific needs. Always consider your studio size, the type of music you will be producing, and your personal preference when deciding on the perfect studio monitor speakers for your setup.
Tim Wells is an experienced musician, producer and, audio engineer. Tim has toured the world as the drummer for The Luminous Sky, an alternative rock band that has traveled to over 20 different countries. Tim has also been involved with several recording projects, working in professional recording studios and now more recently in his own custom home studio.