Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Computer Audio › Audioengine A5 vs. KRK Rokit RP6 G2…Nice!!!
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Audioengine A5 vs. KRK Rokit RP6 G2…Nice!!!

post #1 of 71
Thread Starter 

Powered Speakers?  Really?  Now?   Why?...There are so many of them…

 

Well, let’s see.  They are efficient, small-ish (some) and you don’t have to worry about an amp, great for computer audio etc.  Oh and maybe they sound **** good (when connected properly).  Monitors?  Near-Field, Mid-Field, Outfield?  Let’s get it together. 

 

I dabbled into the powered speaker world over a year ago or so.  I wanted something for my laptop as well as my ipod via the dock connector.  I decided on the Audioengine A5s.  Great purchase for me and they did what they were intended to do- laptop & ipod use (via line-out).  I connected them to various DACs / Pre-amp combos, Ipods, Ipad, Clip+ (all via line-out).  Sounded very good and I was pleased.

 

 

 

A5's (Front).jpg

 

A5s (Rear).jpg 

 

If you have been around here for a while “pleased” is a never ending story and the quest for “more, more and more” always seems to creep up.

When I was making my decision on the A5s, the close second choice was KRK RP 5 or 6.  I always wondered about them after my purchase.  Very different aesthetically as well as connecting options but same price range (give or take)…………..Hmm……….

 

A5s- One speaker holds it all (input, power) and the L & R attach themselves via speaker wire.  The A5s have 2 inputs (both 1/8” mini)(one top, one rear) and a usb charging port for iPods (top).  Also has an RCA line-out.  Volume control is on one speaker (controls both).

 

KRK- Each speaker is its own boss (input, power, volume control etc.).  Two balanced inputs (XLR, TRS) and one unbalanced (RCA).  Each has an IEC connector for power and each has its own input and volume control as mentioned (rear).

 

 

 

KRK RP6 G2.jpg

 

 

 

 

A situation facilitated itself and I got my hands on some KRK RP6 G2, not too long ago.  I connected them to various DACs / Preamps etc. in all possible ways.  I went balanced and unbalanced with various cables and adapters.  I wanted to try all the connections and make sure everything was working as advertised and there were no issues with any connections.

I was impressed with their sound whether it was a balanced or unbalanced connection.  Variety of music and formats (Rock, House, Trance, Hip-Hop, 16/44.1, 16/48, 24/48, 24/88.2, 24/96 and even some 32/192 vinyl rips. All lossless and all on laptop).  I have moved all my CDPs, DVD-A/SACD players downstairs w/ my floorstanding speakers.  All computer audio in the office.  All my music with a click of a touchpad. biggrin.gif

 

Well, how did they compare?

 

The RP6 just had more overall better presentation (b@lls).  Filled the room completely with emotion and then some.  They responded to everything without looking back.  It was full-bodied and kept on coming.

 

I personally don’t like to break up the spectrum (bass, mids, highs) when I listen.  Seems a bit tedious and not fun.  We all listen to different kinds of music, so emphasizing a particular aspect is a moot point, imo.  I like the overall sound picture.  If something is lacking, you’ll catch it, without trying to break everything down.  Overall presentation throughout a variety of music.

 

The A5s don’t get set too far behind.  I’m lucky I was able to compare them side by side.  Neither lack presentation or bass, but the KRK just sound more complete and fills up bigger rooms easier than the A5s, without giving in.

 

There are many lessons to be learned as we travel in time through this site.  I have learned many in my five years.  One of the most important ones- don’t ever bash a product unless you are positive your connections and chain are all in order (examples- connecting HD650s to an ipod and saying they suck…connecting an amp to iPod via headphone out and saying it sucks….saying something hisses and makes noise when connected improperly…)  I went back to a lot of the reviews and communicated with the individuals on certain gear used and found out a lot of negative reviews had a lot to do with connections.  They were connecting to the outputs of laptops with all the noise and various soundcards that were not up to the task of proper signal path.  You must have a proper signal path and must feed these speakers with proper nutrients.

 

Through the years I have collected many cables and adapters for various implementations.  I connected these speakers in so many different ways for weeks that it was really tiring, but at the end of the day, I knew I had exhausted the possibilities of something going wrong and double checked.  Connecting gear correctly is paramount and nothing else will matter if your signal path is not on par....Again noted...

 

Both these speakers are very quiet with no music playing.  Yes, I test volume on max on pause and do all kinds of things to make sure there is no hiss, interference RF ghosts or what have you.

 

I had the A5s a long while before I acquired the KRKs and honestly I was very happy with them (and still am).  If I had to do it all over, I would just go straight for the KRKs.  I would not have known it until they were side by side, however, before they were side by side, I enjoyed the A5s without comparing.  Again, the A5s don’t lack imo, just the KRKs make the picture deeper and clearer.  Neither one sounds “tinny” or “lifeless”, like I read before purchase….Connections, connections…Chain, chain…

 

Wherever your path takes you, just make sure your connections and chain are in order and I don't believe you'll go wrong with either choice.  Get several different types of cables to try everything out.  Not different brands, just different connecting options…Throw an adapter in there if you want to try a different balanced / unbalanced flavor.  (No, they do not degrade sound quality).

 

I prefer going preamp out personally to either of these.  It’s great to control the volume that way and the attenuation is much better.  Couple of DACs I tried were too “hot” to even turn the volume one turn on the speakers.  Set it right and forget about the volume on the speaker, just control with pre-amp.

 

All my listening was lossless (FLAC, WavPack or ALAC) w/ Foobar (WASAPI, KS or ASIO), Winamp (ASIO), iTunes (straight dirty DirectSound..lol)

 

I finally settled on these setups:  (Can't tell from pic, but speakers are 8" from wall).

 

 

IMG_0654.jpg

 

 

IMG_0659.jpg

 

 

KRK RP6 G2- Balanced- XLR To TRS w/ E-MU 0404 USB (Pre-out).

 

KRK RP6 G2- Unbalanced- RCA-- Woo Audio WA2, fed by an A-GD NFB-3 or LD DAC_I (Pre-out).

 

Audioengine A5s- Mini To RCA- A-GD C-2, fed by NFB-3 or LD DAC_I (Pre-out).

 

Audioengine A5s- Mini To RCA- A-GD FUN (A) (Pre-out) & Line-In To iPod w/ Dock.

 

I can also connect headphones to any of these setups if I’m not in the speaker mood.  Good times…

 

 

Connection options: 

Hosa GXP-246 (XLR To TRS).jpgXLR (Male) To TRS.jpgXLR Female To RCA.jpg XLR Male To RCA.jpgXLR To XLR.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

post #2 of 71

interesting reading

post #3 of 71

Nice write-up. Did you experiment much with placement? Stands vs desk, near vs far, etc.

 

I'm feeling a bit defensive, owning the A5--moreso after seeing the KRK for $180 on Amazon! But it's all good. I'm pleased with the A5, and the KRK would be likely too big for my desk. I may consider KRK in future years, though.

 

EDIT:

That's $180 per speaker, not pair.


Edited by Rainbow Randy - 7/31/11 at 3:01am
post #4 of 71
Thread Starter 

Thanks guys...!

 

ChiComm4,

 

I did mess around with placement in various rooms, on desk, table and w/ stands etc. to try them out.  They really sounded good no matter where they were.  The chart on the manual showed near and mid setups with about 45 degress angled inwards.  I settled on my final setup for now (KRK- straight, on stands, A5s- 1/2" rubber sliders underneath,slight inward angle.) both about 8-10" inches from wall.  I had the KRKs angled as well for a little while but straightened them out due to the stands were used with the A5s before and the KRKs are bigger and I did not feel confident, as the base where the speakers sit on is fairly small.  I did not want them to accidentally fall off from a slight bump to them.  So, I went sturdier, so to speak.

 

That being said, I love the A5s and don't see myself getting rid of them.  Last couple of days I have been switching every few hours and am really satisfied with both. 

 

When I first saw the A5s and the 2 inputs, my plan was to put my ipod dock (RCA or mini) connected on top and then run a preamp to the rear.  Received them, set them up and plugged everything in and when I turned them on there was static and distortion.  I was not pleased at all...lol...Checked my connections and everything was in order.  When I went to move the ipod dock and I disconnected it, the noise was gone and everything was dead quiet.....Contacted Logan at Audioengine and he confirmed, only one input can be connected at once whether the source is on or not.  I have a tube amp that performs in that fashion as well, that after investigating I found out.

 

Not a big deal really, but a small quirk.  That is why I emphasize connections (you think, lol).  I would of returned them (several folks have from what I learned) because I thought they were defective when in reality they were not.  That's why I always use all inputs and outputs whenever possible at least to try them out.

On the KRKs, only one balanced connection at a time, however, one balanced and the unbalanced connection plugged in at once is good to go.

 

For the A5s, I have a couple of RCAs to mini that I leave connected to the gear and swap them out whenever I switch...No biggie...

 

Couple of pics with A5s and portable gear:

 

beerchug.gif

 

 

Sansa Clip+ & A5 (#2).jpg

 

 

iPod Touch 2G & A5 (#1).jpg

 

 

iPod 5G & A5.jpg

 

 

 

iPad & A5 (#1).jpg

 

 


Edited by HeatFan12 - 7/31/11 at 3:25pm
post #5 of 71

Great review HeatFan12! I recently purchased a pair of RP5 G2's. I've been trying to decide on whether I should get a DAC with or without balanced outputs. In your experience, do the Rokit monitors sound better with balanced connections? Is there a large difference between balanced and non-balanced?

post #6 of 71
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cheezies View Post

Great review HeatFan12! I recently purchased a pair of RP5 G2's. I've been trying to decide on whether I should get a DAC with or without balanced outputs. In your experience, do the Rokit monitors sound better with balanced connections? Is there a large difference between balanced and non-balanced?



Hi cheezies,

 

Thanks!

 

Before I settled on my current setup, I tried the KRKs with various dacs (balanced & unbalanced).  I liked both really and the difference is not night and day.  Clarity is elevated a bit but the KRKs sound very clear regardless.  Like I stated, I would try to get an all-in-one w/ pre-out, that way you set the volume on speakers and control via dac.

What dacs were you thinking about purchasing?

post #7 of 71

Hey HeatFan12, do you find any difference in sound when the RP6 are placed closer or further from walls? I'm asking since they're front ported, afaik.

post #8 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeatFan12 View Post





Hi cheezies,

 

Thanks!

 

Before I settled on my current setup, I tried the KRKs with various dacs (balanced & unbalanced).  I liked both really and the difference is not night and day.  Clarity is elevated a bit but the KRKs sound very clear regardless.  Like I stated, I would try to get an all-in-one w/ pre-out, that way you set the volume on speakers and control via dac.

What dacs were you thinking about purchasing?



I have been thinking about DACs perhaps too much lately! biggrin.gif I've been considering a few, namely, EMU 0404 USB, Maverick D1, Cambridge DacMagic and a Matrix Mini-I. I see you settled on a 0404, how does it compare against other DACs you have tried?

post #9 of 71
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cheezies View Post

I have been thinking about DACs perhaps too much lately! biggrin.gif I've been considering a few, namely, EMU 0404 USB, Maverick D1, Cambridge DacMagic and a Matrix Mini-I. I see you settled on a 0404, how does it compare against other DACs you have tried?



Thinking about dacs is a good thing...biggrin.gif

 

I have three of the dacs you mentioned and tried the Rokits with the Matrix as well (balanced & unbalanced).  Sound was great too, but at the moment I have my Matrix with my HDTV/Blu-Ray & media player, so just unplugged it to try things out.  I have had the 0404usb for a while and was using it with a tube headamp before I switched.  I did not try the DM w/ the rokits though.  I was looking for pre-out to Rokits so left the DM as is.

 

Don't know what the prices are nowadays but the A-GD FUN is a good choice with pre-out, line in etc.  I have it connected to the A5s with a Moon HDAM and it rocks as well.

 

 

post #10 of 71
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric_C View Post

Hey HeatFan12, do you find any difference in sound when the RP6 are placed closer or further from walls? I'm asking since they're front ported, afaik.



Hi Eric,

 

The RP6s sound good wherever they are, to be honest.  When I first received them, I had them on my dining room table (wife was out of town...lol) for a couple of days when I connected several dacs to them.  Had them in various rooms with no problems whatsoever.

post #11 of 71

Hi HeatFan12,

 

Thanks for the great review. Actually, I was considering between the exactly two speakers. But one of my worries was that if I place them in a small room, the sound will bounce off of the walls or furnitures, and ruin the experience. Did you by any chance try them in a smaller sized rooms?

post #12 of 71

I've had KRK RP6G2s for a few months now and love them. They sound incredible and have a very surprising amount of bass and power. Even at high levels there isn't any distortion and even though the speakers are professional grade, they are still forgiving towards low-quality music input. My main reason for getting KRKs over A5s was because I needed front-ported speakers, but I've never looked back. 

 

Good review, thanks

post #13 of 71
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lazerboy2000 View Post

I've had KRK RP6G2s for a few months now and love them. They sound incredible and have a very surprising amount of bass and power. Even at high levels there isn't any distortion and even though the speakers are professional grade, they are still forgiving towards low-quality music input. My main reason for getting KRKs over A5s was because I needed front-ported speakers, but I've never looked back. 

 

Good review, thanks



Thanks Lazerboy...Yes, the RPs do have great power and bass and like you said no distortion whatsoever....Great purchase and has flexibility for different uses.

 

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by juman231 View Post

Hi HeatFan12,

 

Thanks for the great review. Actually, I was considering between the exactly two speakers. But one of my worries was that if I place them in a small room, the sound will bounce off of the walls or furnitures, and ruin the experience. Did you by any chance try them in a smaller sized rooms?



Thanks juman...Well, my home office where I have them is not really a big room, just a regular sized bedroom.  I don't think with either speaker it would be a problem on a smaller room.

 

 

post #14 of 71

I recommend the Audio-GD FUN with Earth OPA if you are contemplating the Rokits. I have been running mine with the RP10S from the FUN for months now and the sound is just awesome. Great review heatfan, well written and I'm sure very helpful to people looking at a starter desktop speaker setup.

post #15 of 71

HeatFan12, matthewh133

 

I've been contemplating the Audio-GD FUN, it's quite a bit more expensive than the Matrix Mini-I (+$50). Assuming the FUN offers better audio quality than the Mini-I, would the balanced outputs close this audio quality gap or perhaps even surpass the FUN?

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Computer Audio
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Computer Audio › Audioengine A5 vs. KRK Rokit RP6 G2…Nice!!!