KRK RP5 G3 revisited, plus KRK 10s subwoofer short review

Hi there!
Today, I have for You my second look at KRK RP5 G3, and a short review of matching KRK 10s subwoofer.

As I already mentioned in previous post, I recently traded my bechmark monitors, JBL LSR305, in effort to get a used set of KRK RP5 G3 monitors, that I already tested last summer. I really enjoyed them last time, especially natural and dynamic sound, build quality and looks. They  were lacking a bit behind JBL LSR305, was sound quality, mainly highend end smoothness and imagining, but they were very capable nonetheless. When opportunity raised to get them, second hand, for good price and, in bundle, with 10 inch studio subwoofer from KRK, the KRK 10s sub, I decided to trade JBL's and jump on the occasion. I really enjoyed the way, set of recently tested, Presonus Eris E4.5 monitors and Temblor T8 subwoofer performed, so I expected a treat from the bigger, more powerful  KRK trio as well.

KRK RP5 G3 Monitors Revisited

After setting up KRK RP5 G3 monitors on my desk, I started listening to them without the subwoofer. After few sessions, most of my findings about RP5 G3, I had last time, confirmed. Starting from the looks and build quality, they are excellent. Slightly smaller than LSR305 and better built, they win hands down (that beautiful backlit logo screams quality) . They actually make Your desk look better, and it is not something I could tell about JBL, not at all. The sheer heft of RP5 G3, compared to rather lightweight, JBL's, is very reassuring and cabinets feel very inert. I really enjoyed the auto off option, if You want to turn them off, You just leave them on for 20 minutes ,without any music playing, and they switch off automatically. When You want them to wake up again, just play some music, and give them few seconds to turn on again! Simple and useful at the same time. No reaching on the back to turn them off here!  :)

But than again, KRK RP5 G3 is not as good as JBL LSR305 soundwise. It is close, but still for the ultimate sound quality, it is JBL that is better. KRK RP5 G3 lacks a bit of refinement in the upper ranges, (upper midrange and high frequencies are not as clear and transparent), soundstaging is less holographic and bass is less precise, especially in upper bass ranges, compared to JBL. All of theese are not big differences, and on their own KRK sounds really impressive. It is dynamic, well extended for nearfield, precise and natural, but ear fatiguing at all. They can punch hard when asked for and work great with rock and acoustic music. Electronic music also sounded great. Soundstageing is very stable and detailed with good depth, sound is completely detached from the boxes. One thing I would not recommend is setting them up horizontally. I did tested this setup (as You can see on the pictures) and even with big rise up from the desk, sound dispersion was flawed. Sweet spot shrieked and soundstage felled apart when I moved from the sweet spot only a few inches. Typical vertical setup is the way to go! KRK RP5 G3, overall, is an engaging and honest monitor, excellent for high quality desktop audio setups.

KRK 10s Subwoofer Review

When I decided to incorporate the KRK 10S subwoofer in to the equation, thing has changed. It took me few days to really tune in the sub, but when it was done, amazing things started to happen. But before we take a look at the sound, let's start with a few technical facts. 

KRK 10s, as the name suggest, is an active subwoofer with 10inch driver and front-ported cabined. 10s is a heavy thing at almost 18kg, and big, substantially bigger and heavier than Presonus Temblor T8, I had pleasure to review not so long ago. Temblor T8 was more compact and easier to hide under my desk as well, where KRK is a bit of a chore. KRK looks good though, with yellow driver lurkin from behind of the black grill so. If You consider KRK 10s, please make sure You have space for it ;)
10 inch driver is made of glass aramid composite, and to move it, inside the cabinet , KRK installed a 150W amp, build in traditional A-B class. Frequency response promised by KRK is rated from 34Hz up, but in room I was getting useful, clean signal down to around 30Hz. This was plenty enough for basically all of my music libary, also movies rocked the space easily. KRK 10s, without a problem, ratteled stuff on shelves in the kitchen, when volume was higher than normally and even then gived clean output. What I also finded useful, unexpectedly, was ground lift switch. For the first few days, I used the sub without groud lift switch engaged (not even realizing it), and I was dissapointed with subwoofer's humming, caused by digital noise from my PC. Everything was connected using balanced cables,  and that was enough to keep the noise from coming thru.. Not in this case, subwoofer was almost constantly humming with that low bass, sometimes quite strongly. To my relief, after few days, I tried to engage ground lift switch, located on back of 10s and humming dissapeard. Great succes!

As we all know, typical 5 inch monitor like KRK RP5 G3 and JBL LSR305, has plenty of bass, but it is kind of bass, that will not shake Your room or hit You hard in the guts. That is just a laws of physic at work. When You crave more bass than Your typical desktop monitor can give You, than a good quality subwoofer can be an answer to Your prayers. KRK 10s subwoofer, that I got in bundle with KRK RP5 G3, is excellent at filling the music with low, articulate bass. On their own, KRK RP5 G3, can only go so far down (60Hz, no less). When paired with this sub, and set up correctly, together, they become a full range system capable of  30Hz reach down low, that is plenty enough for 98% of music out there.

As with good quality subwoofers, it is not all a chore for my neighbors when used on sane levels. When sub is dialed adequately, it is only audible when the music calls for it, and it never booms or overhangs the note it plays, it sings only at the time it is required to. It took me around 3 full days before I was completely happy with 10s setup. After that, it started to play with extension and level, that was perfectly in line with RP5 G3's performance. They compliment each other perfectly.

With all the levels matched and filters set (unsurprisingly, I settled with low pass filter for sub at 80Hz position, high pass for monitors is also set at 80Hz by the factory with no option to adjust), I had full range, coherent sound that was nuanced and spacious beyond what KRK RP5 G3's could create on their own. Bass response became full and tactile, each hit of the kick drum was felt and heard with all the detail. 10s never tried to come to first place, it was always in the background, helping RP5's display full range of each track I played. I not only heard each full note of bass guitar, but also felt it, and it was much more realistic compared to RP5's playing solo. Soundstage grew bigger and became more realistic as well, low end room ambiances gave music extra demiention and realism. What is important to mention is that not all of the music was equally more impressive with sub than with out. It's work is easiest to appreciate subwoofer's performance of bass heavy music. But even music with less prominent low end, the difference was audible and enjoyable as well.

On their own, KRK RP5's sounds a bit forced and thumpy in the upper bass ranges, but with 10s, the upper bass is more natural and effortless, perfectly stitched together with strong and detailed low bass from the subwoofer. The transition between monitors and subwoofer is seamless, bass response is very coherent, with no smearing. There is no difference in improvement of sound quality, regarding music "genre". Acoustic, electronic, rock or classical music, each one reached another level of realism thanks to KRK10s subwoofer.

Compared to, not long ago tested, Presonus Temblor T8 subwoofer, KRK 10s is very similar in music performance. Both Presonus Eris E4.5 and KRK RP5 G3's reached new levels of performance with addition of subwoofer.  of using sub with high pass filter for monitors,  improved performance in their upper bass and midrange quality. Woofers in E4.5 and RP5, when relieved from performing low bass duties, had more smoothness and refinement to the way they reproduced upper bass and midrange. This difference is audible and much appreciated. Thank You, sub!

One significant area where KRK10s is superior to Temblor T8, is movies and multimedia. 10s perssurized the room more easily (I have to add that my listening room is on the big side at ca 20square meters), performing movie effects with more authority. I also briefly compared the KRK RP5 G3 and KRK 10s combo with big Prodipe Pro Ribbon 8 monitors sporting two 8inch drivers. Prodipes, even though were much bigger than KRK RP5 G3, could not compete with bass from RP5 G3 and dedicated only to bass buties KRK 10s. Again, in most of the music without big bottom end, the difference was not that obvious, but when used to play bass heavy music, KRK 10s shined in comparison, playing very accurately and yet presurrazing the room in a way Prodipe Pro Ribbon could not. One advantage of having big monitors instead of small ones aided by sub, is the fact that bass from big monitors is more even across the room, where single subwoofer caused more problems with bass dips and peaks in different parts of the room.

Below, You can check my video comparison between KRK RP5 G3 with and without KRK 10s subwoofer. To hear the difference, please use good headphones.


So, to conclude, let's start with KRK RP5 G3 first. It is a very good monitor worth it's (quite steep) asking price. It is build very well, looks good for a studio monitor, and should last for years. RP5 G3 gives it's owner an honest, yet dynamic reproduction of music. It will not shake Your walls, just like most 5 inch design won't, but in near field setups, it really does not have to, to be enjoyed. It delivers the goods.
KRK 10s subwoofer is a bit different story. Since the Presonus Temblor T8 test, I knew I want a subwoofer in my setup. When the opportunity arised to get KRK 10s, I was all for it. This sub is very musical, tidy and accurate, just as Temblor T8 was, but it adds these few hertz of extension Temblor could not deliver. Together with KRK RP5 G3 they blend perfectly and create almost full range system, capable of shaking room with huge basslines and heavy kick drum hits, as well as playing small scale music with intimacy and coherency. This set up is also great for movies and games, even better than Presonus Eris E4.5 and Temblor T8 I tested recently. KRK 10s is highly recommended for all off You, bass lovers and music lovers in general!

KRK 10s verdict : 9/10