KRK Rokit G4 8 vs JBL 308p MkII: review and complete comparison

Are bookshelf and studio monitors the same?  Today we are going to focus on studio monitors and their use cases. Studio monitors are not bookshelf speakers. The KRK Rokit G4 8 vs JBL 308p MKII are some of the competitive speakers to choose from.

KRK is a very popular brand and the JBL is owned by the renowned company Harman Kardon. Both these models are the updated and improved version of the previous ones. While inputs of driver size might be the same, their audio performance and approached technology are different.

Comparing KRK Rokit G4 8 vs JBL 308p MKII, we see that the Rokit has some more options than 308p but both of them sound excellent with better soundstage, deep range, and clear mids.

Bookshelf speaker vs studio monitor: which one should you choose?

Based on the size and looks you might think bookshelf speakers and studio monitors are the same. Well, they are not. The main difference is their audio quality and way of use.

The studio monitors focus on delivering flat frequency response so that there is no distortion or coloration to the audio. They are used for home studios, singers, or DJs who love audio recording or mixing. So the speaker doesn’t manipulate the music recorded or edited by professionals.

Bookshelf speakers are designed so that the audio is produced in a warm and neutral tone as a result music lovers will enjoy the music. They might alter to ‘color’ the audio while producing them. This is for people who just want to listen to music from multiple audio sources.

If you are an audio engineer, singer, home DJ, or have a music studio where you want to record, edit or mix audio then the studio monitors are for you. Find out if you Can You Use Studio Monitors for Regular Speakers.

Comparison chart of KRK Rokit G4 8 and JBL 308p MKII:

 KRK Rokit G4 8JBL 308p MkII
Amplifier type/powerClass D,
HF amplifer:68 W RMS
LF amplifier: 135 W RMS
Class D
HF amplifier:56 W,
LF amplifier:56 W,
Driver 1” tweeter, 8” woofer1” tweeter, 8” woofer
Driver materialKevlar drivers
Soft-dome tweeter,
Long-throw woofer
Frequency response 36Hz – 40KHz45Hz – 20kHz (±3dB)
Crossover frequency 1.8 kHz 2.4 kHz
Maximum SPL 111dBPeak:112dB
Continuous:102dB
THDNot specified0.2% THD @ 1 kHz / 2.83 VRMS output;
I/O1 x Combo XLR
¼” Balanced/Unbalanced Male Analog
Input
balanced XLR and ¼” TRS inputs
Cabinet Baffle: molded plastic MDFBaffle: Injection-molded structural ABS
15mm MDF
Enclosure typeFront portedBack ported
AppKRK AppNo
Dimension 10.4 x 15.7 x 12.1” (W x H x D)10.0” x16.44” x 14.5 (H x W x D)
Magnetic shieldingyesyes
PriceCheck Price on AmazonCheck Price on Amazon

JBL 308pMKII: Overview

Technology

  • JBL 308p MKII is the updated version of the LSR308 model. The size is similar to bookshelf speakers that we keep on stands or large desks. It is a bi-amplified speaker that has an MDF cabinet with glossy plastic on the front and comes without any grille.
  • Bi-amp means that each driver will have an individual amplifier which causes the sound to be more precise and detailed compared to a single amplifier.
  • This model uses technology used in high-end M2 reference monitors. It uses a patented Image Control Waveguide responsible for a broader soundstage and wider ‘sweet spot’ so that the audio is not affected by your position. It also helps with good imaging and transition between the transducers.
  • This studio monitor has a patented Slip Stream™ low-frequency port that enhances the bass performance. The ‘double flared design of the port is made such that it improves the low-frequency extension.
  • It uses a Class D amplifier that delivers 56W power to the tweeter and woofer individually. This amplifier is well-known for producing audio with details and precision. It has a 1” soft dome tweeter and 8” woofer which is magnetically shielded.

Specifications

  • The woofer has 1.5” voice coils which eliminate interference. It has a self-repairing dust dome that prevents fingerprints or any scratches. The woofers have long-throw so the speakers are louder as the drivers can move a larger distance. They have high directivity and the bass is deep and rich in the low-frequency extension.
  • The soft dome tweeter is damped to deliver a better transient response and reduce distortion. Both these drivers contribute to excellent and improved sound to listen without a fatiguing ear.
  • As a studio monitor, it has different inputs compared to bookshelf speakers. They have balanced XLR and ¼” input connectors. The input sensitivity option at the rear pane allows us to choose from +4dBu / -10dBV. So that you can connect consumer-grade or high-output professional audio sources.
  • The backside has a volume knob, High-frequency Trim (-2dB, 0, 2dB) which toggles the high-frequency response to compensate for the alteration by the room acoustics (reflective or absorptive materials).
  • The Boundary EQ switch (-3dB, -1.5dB,0) is a low-shelving filter that minimizes the disturbance of low-frequencies due to wall acoustics, that is if the speaker is placed closer or far away from back/sidewalls.

Performance

  • JBL 308p is a pair of active studio monitors designed for professional use. These are best for audio mixing in DAW software along with editing and recording. This speaker has a bass port at the back and a frequency response of 45Hz – 20 kHz. This gives a deep bass but you need to be careful about the placement of the speaker, that is, they shouldn’t be too closer to the walls. It’s almost the same as JBL 305 mkii.
  • The waveguide and port technology along with drivers are selected so that users get the optimum performance. It will deliver a wider soundstage with clear imaging and the controls of HF trim and LF trim (Boundary EQ) makes sure the audio is not affected by any reflection of absorption in the room.
  • The studio monitor delivers rich lows and accurate mids and highs making them better-sounding speakers. It has a wider sweet spot, turbulence-free bass, and a better transient response.
  • The performance of the speaker is enhanced by the High trim and Low trim options which deliver placement flexibility so that the speaker sounds great in different room adjustments. At the price range, it delivers consistent imaging with unified audio and better transient response.

KRK Rokit G4 8

Technology

  • The KRK is easily recognized by their shiny yellow drivers and room-shaking bass while lacking treble or mids. They listened to consumer complaints and made sure the new model doesn’t only have bass.
  • It is smaller than JBL 308p and has similar low-resonance MDF cabinets with shiny plastic on the baffle. The bottom of the speaker has isolation pads to separate it from the desktop table/stand.
  • It uses patented Kevlar drivers and a unique scientifically designed enclosure along with the deployment of a Brickwall Limiter. The KRK also uses DSP for fine-tuning the audio against room acoustics.

Specifications

  • It has a Class D amplifier that allows speakers to run efficiently at lower operating temperatures and enhances overall audio performance. It has a 1” tweeter and 8” woofer both made from patented Kevlar material.
  • In the middle, there is the acoustic axis consisting of the full frequency range. KRK says the similar material for both drivers generates better uniform response at all frequencies and has a balanced tone which reduces fatigue. The drivers cause audio to spread with clarity and detail.
  • It has KRK Brick Wall Limiter that shields the drivers from amplifier overload. It helps speakers to deliver a neutral sound with better dynamics while protecting the system. These technologies are also found KRK ROKIT 5.
  • On the backside, it has 1 x Combo XLR / 1/4″ Balanced/Unbalanced Male Analog Input. You can add it with a microphone, audio interface, or any consumer-grade device like a smartphone, iPhone, Tab, turntable, etc.
  • It has a dial/knob for digital EQ settings that comes with an LCD display. It has 25 different presets to adjust high and low shelves. The low shelf changed the gain of low-frequency and the high-shelf or treble control adjusts the high-frequency gain. This helps to achieve maximum audio performance while minimizing the effect of the acoustic environment.

Performance

  • The matching drivers, specially-designed enclosure along front-firing port all work together to deliver deep bass, clear mids, and highs. This ensures your audio recording or mixes are precise without any coloration or alteration.
  • The front port along with the frequency response of 36Hz – 40 kHz which is lower than the JBL 308p MKII contributes to punchy and deep bass while taking care of other frequencies as well. It also makes the placement flexible.
  • The build quality of drivers and enclosure are very rigid with a high tensile strength-to-weight ratio that is needed for supreme audio production.
  • KRK comes with a mobile app for iOS or Android which includes several features. Such as the Spectrum RTA, Level meter, Monitor Align, Polarity, etc. all these features try to make sure the speakers are placed accurately while delivering tuned audio.
  • The KRK is known as a professional studio monitor ideal for studio homes where you can play, record, mix or edit music. It ensures a broader soundstage with clear and undistorted

How to figure out the ideal spot for the speakers?

Studio monitors are expensive. So when you buy a pair for the use of audio mixing or editing then you should be aware of the other factors that affect the audio quality. A ‘poor placement’ can ruin the sound and make you regret buying the speakers.

Since the monitors are for sensitive listening where we don’t want the audio to be ‘colored’ the placement plays a huge role. KRK Rokit G4 8 vs JBL 308p MKII both of them emphasized on the ideal place of speakers.

KRK Rokit G4 8

The KRK design team has painstakingly modeled and analyzed hundreds of monitor placement and room acoustic situations to ensure that KRK delivers the most useful EQ tools with minimal adjustments. Room acoustics is the biggest issue in today’s studios because we are not in the perfectly built rooms now.

Many great studios are just in a revamped house. We are giving you control to correct some of the anomalies you get from these types of situations. With the LOW EQ and HIGH EQ, we have given you 25 different combinations of EQ voicings to help you correct for your studio’s acoustics to deliver more accurate monitoring.

Start with LOW EQ and HIGH EQ set to 3: FLAT, which is truly flat, no cut or boost, and the VOLUME set to 0.0dB. Set them up in your room per the information and diagrams below. Listen to some of your favorite songs and mixes.

Try different positions in your room and different placements before making EQ adjustments and then adjust the EQ to give you your best listening and monitoring experience. SYSTEM SETUP Overall system setup is crucial to avoid unnecessary room acoustic interaction.

A room’s natural acoustics may alter the sound level at various frequencies due to abnormal damping or reflections. Follow the checklist below for more details.

Room placement and set up

  • Place the speakers on the first 1/3 area of the room so the peak frequency buildup is minimized.
  • Place them on workstations or stands but make sure the speakers are at your ear level for optimum performance.
  • If you place them on workstations make sure they make an equilateral triangle with you with a gap of 3-5ft between the speakers.
  • The speakers should be placed so that they are centered on the left and right sides of the walls. This ensures an even frequency response.
  • Sit at least 3 feet away from the wall. Remove any object like decorations of a larger showpiece which might alter audio.
  • Use diffusers as well as absorption products which can reduce reflections and thus improve room acoustics. If you use carpeting it will minimize reflection from surfaces like hard floors.
  • Use isolation pads so that desk vibration doesn’t affect the audio.
  • Do not keep any refrigerator or fans in your studio which might add low noise.

JBL 308p MKII

  • Attach the rubber pads at the bottom of the speakers.
  • Place the speakers vertically on a table or stand and angle them so that the tweeter is positioned parallel to the ear level.
  • It is recommended to put them on stands instead of a table to eliminate vibration or resonance that may affect low-frequency extension.
  • The speakers should be at the center between two walls. And the speaker should form an equilateral triangle with the user

Product Differentiators

KRK Rokit G4 8 vs JBL 308p MKII, what are the differences? Well, although they have similar driver size, cabinet material and are ideal for professional use, there are differences. The technology, EQ settings, and overall audio of the speakers are defined in their own way.

Compared to JBL 308p, KRK has 25 presets of EQ while JBL 308p has an input sensitivity setting for professional and consumer equipment. The inputs of the speakers are also similar. KRK comes with an app and LCD display for EQ and it seems that it gives users more flexibility and freedom of tuning the speaker.

Alernative Products

Yamah HS 8

Pros:

  • Elegant in looks
  • Affordable in price
  • Neutral and clear sound
  • Wide frequency response range for a mid-range
  • Easy to setup
  • Excellent room control options

Cons:

  • No shutdown option

Klipsch R-15m

Pros:

  • 25-inch copper-spun high-output IMG woofers for intense bass
  • Rear-firing port
  • Narrower design than other units to slide into cramped spaces
  • Robust sound not compromised from a lower price tag
  • Dynamic tractrix horn dynamic in producing a natural sound
  • A light carry at 10 pounds
  • A brushed polymer finish blends with home décor and is difficult to significantly damage
  • Comes in two colors
  • Small, compact footprint
  • Creates stunning mids

Cons:

  • Requires an amplifier
  • No mounting support
  • Not designed for big venues

Conclusion: KRK Rokit G4 8 vs JBL 308p MKII

KRK Rokit G4 8 vs JBL 308p MKII, both are better quality studio monitors perfect for people who love mixing, tuning, or recording.  The cost is higher but the engineering and technology behind the speakers to make sure audio is not distorted makes it legit. Yet, in this case, we are going for KRK ROKIT 8 G4.

Author’s Pick: KRK ROKIT 8 G4

The ROKIT G4 8s was big assistance in my studio as a second point of reference, especially for assessing hard bottom-end EQ changes, since they responded with a lot of detail and sensitivity. Even if the EQ isn’t the finest sounding, I can’t think of any other monitors at this price point that can offer as much SPL, punch, and smooth dispersion. Even as the cheap nearfield market warms up with strong rivalry, I predict the G4 series to stay up with its G3 predecessors in popularity.

FAQs: KRK Rokit G4 8 vs JBL 308p MKII

People Frequently ask on audio forums about KRK Rokit G4 8 vs JBL 308p MKII.

How to connect JBL 308p MKII with turntable or TV?

The phono preamp is supposed to have an RCA connector while the speaker had XLR or TRS inputs. So you can use RCA to ¼” TS cables.  While connecting consumer devices you should make sure you select the appropriate input sensitivity.

How can I connect JBL 308p MKII with a computer?

To connect them to a PC, you can use 3.5mm TRS to Dual 1/8 inch TS Stereo Breakout Cable. You can also use the cable to connect them to your phone because these speakers don’t support Bluetooth.

Will the KRK Rokit G4 8 speakers be good for audio mixing?

Although KRK speakers are blamed for ‘bass only’, the new KRK G4 8 is an improvement. The engineering and EQ tweaking while make sure these are ideal for your studio where you can do mixes.

If you are looking for other studio monitors then you can visit PreSonus Eris 4.5 vs Mackie CR5: Big Boys of Multimedia Monitors if you want to use studio monitors at home then this Can you use Studio monitors for regular speakers?