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Two items testing this coming weekend.

Audio Technica ATH-M50x 

KRK Rokit 5 G3

I'll do a tear down on the KRK along with some measurements etc. If they are worth a shit, I'll bring them to Iowa.
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  • I'm interested in your thoughts on the AT cans. When they had the blue and copper colored edition, I almost bought a set.
  • Initial impressions are highly positive on the ATH-50x. I have been rotating between a set of Senns, Akai, and a cheaper set of Sony's. So far, I *think* I prefer the AT. The others all have a bit of bloated bass compared to these - a welcome change for me personally as I realize my ability to really pick apart high frequencies has started the inevitable decline due to age and genetic factors. Was nice to set the low bands on the EQ back to flat. Apparently I am not alone in this impression on these cans. It sounds very balanced and neutral out of the box. The others, even the ~$400 Senns are bottom heavy, and I think this must be a common trait in headphones as I have noticed it more often than not on so many pairs. 

    Anyways, not a super cheap pair at $150 but not a bank buster either considering how much someone *can* spend on headphones. Fit and finish is just fine, very subtle good looks. I'll spend more time with them tomorrow night and this weekend, see if I still like them.
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  • I'm curious about the KRK monitors. Will they be flat - or hyped up top or down low to make them sound more exciting? 
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  • I find them to be neutral enough with the tweeter set to the -2 and woofer set to +1. 

    I took a limited set of measurements, confirmed XO point, and have done some listening. 

    I will recommend these to anyone looking for a quick way to get an amplified system at their desk. The bass is very nice, but are otherwise unremarkable. They are on par with most DIY designs under ~$200, plus these are amplified. They use AB topology, each one has its own two channel amp, will take RCA, 1/4", and balanced inputs. 

    I did my testing with volume control set to -6 and full volume through the Dragonfly. As you'll see in the pictures later, it isn't exactly low distortion at that listening level, but at near field levels it is probably fine. 

    Overall, these are a surprise. Given the near universal hatred of KRK by the self-described online studio master community I will admit I was prepared for the worst - and they are really not bad. They will shame the famous Yamaha things, for example. 

    Going through online reviews it becomes apparent there is a bit of a #metoo movement going when it comes to hating these. I am now going to sit back and lol whenever I read those. 

    These will be given to my kid for use in her little graphic arts nook. I just bought her a 20" graphics tablet, as well. I'm hoping she starts tinkering with audio at some point. 

    Visually, these are absolutely up my alley. Nice faceted baffle, understated satin finish, bright yellow cone, and the KRK logo lights up! 

    It could benefit from a few upgrades, there is a cabinet buzz audible at extremely high volumes, so an additional brace or some other kind of treatment internally would probably yield an audible improvement at hearing damage levels. It isn't bad - unless you are cranking and close, which tells me a lot of younger people will hear it. 

    I don't know if it uses a passive crossover, not sure when I will take it apart to see either. 

    Looking at pictures of replacement drivers online, it appears to use a long throw woofer with KRK logo cutouts under the spider. That is definitely not a driver feature you generally see on cheap speakers. I had it really pumping earlier with no bottoming out, so I imagine it has a high pass built in. 

    All in all, considering what $300 gets you these are a good gift, casual desktop use, or both. 
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  • Distortion 96db@1M

    Horizontal 0-45 degrees:

    +1,0,-1,-2  on tweeter controls. I found -2 to be the most listenable. 
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  • I never knew there were KRK bashers out there. Sounds like the camera world - a bunch of people with too much time on their hands. 

    Those look pretty decent. Actually flatter than I thought they would be, but I'm surprised they have the broad rise starting at 4K. Wonder why they didn't flatten that out with the DSP. But still, I guess I shouldn't be surprised they sound good - I have the KRK 8400 headphones and I really like those. 
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