KRK is well known for producing some fantastic studio monitoring speakers, both at the budget level and for professional commercial studios. Their VXT line is a significant step-up from their budget Rokit series, both in quality and in price, with most design features being revised to provide a far superior series of studio monitors. The VXT series is made up of the smaller VXT4s, the larger VXT8s, and the VXT6 which are being reviewed here. While there is, indeed, a lot of competition in this price range from other name brands including Mackie, M-Audio, Adam, Dynaudio, Genelec and others, the KRK VXT6 still manages to edge out the competitors with a great overall studio monitoring package. Read on to find out what sets it apart from the crowd, and why the staff at Studio-Monitors.com decided to purchase a pair for their own studio.
Features of the KRK VXT6 monitoring speakers
The KRK VXT6 is a two-way active monitoring speaker with a rounded enclosure shape patterned after KRK’s more expensive Expose E8B studio speakers. Its design is as eye-catching as it is functional, as the shape’s radical curves are designed to considerably improve imaging and provide better sound than traditional rectangular studio monitoring speakers. There are a number of monitors also using similar design features in order to prevent diffraction caused by sounds being reflected back into the sound field. While we can’t say for sure if this works, we can say that the KRK VXT6 is able to produce excellent sound and imaging plus an adequately broad listening sweet spot.
The KRK VXT6 features a woven Kevlar cone woofer designed to minimize mass while increasing stiffness. It makes use of vented coil formers that eliminate heat, therefore minimizing the effects of power compression. Not only does the material reduce the degree of distortion, it also improves low-end performance. Producers of hip-hop, drum ‘n’ bass and other bass-centric music will be left satisfied by how this speaker presents the low-end with vibrant clarity. The soft-domed tweeter, on the other hand, is made of pure silk—allowing for a fast transient response. High ends are well-presented, with hi-hats fizzing appropriately. The frequency response is claimed to be 49Hz to 22kHz. The KRK VXT6 also offers a clean mid-range, allowing you to enjoy added attention to detail.
Many serious amateur and project studios need the ability to do monitoring at lower volumes for most of the day and night, and the KRK VXT6 does very well under such circumstances. The KRK VXT6 also performs admirably at higher sound pressure levels, the flared bass port does not add any apparent noise, and there is plenty of headroom available for the typical nearfield monitoring application. The speakers also manage to maintain their overall frequency balance at both low and high sound levels, something which many other speakers fail to achieve.
At Studio-Speakers.com we are very conscious of the fact that optimal placement of studio monitors is simply not possible in most project recording studios, hence we believe a good monitoring speaker going into one of these spaces should still perform well. Placement of ports on the rear of speaker enclosures tend to couple with nearby walls and impact the low frequency sound quality, dictating the placement of the speakers a considerable distance from the closest wall. In most project studios this is simply not practical due to the available space, which often means close wall proximity is required and that the speaker balance ends up being compromised. The KRK VXT6 has ports placed on the front face of the speaker, which really minimises this as an issue, helping the speaker to sound great not only in the showroom, but also in the recording studio.
The KRK VXT6 utilizes a proprietary ABS Structural Foam within its cabinet. This durable and impact resistant material eliminates internal parallel walls, preventing sound-coloration due to internal reflections within the speaker cabinet. Additionally, it is claimed to have better damping characteristics than speakers made of more traditional materials, such as MDF. A trained set of ears can often “hear the box” in less expensive speakers, but there is no sign of this with the VXT6s.
In terms of adjustments, the low frequency response can be adjusted to compensate for room response and desktop positioning (whole, half, quarter wavelength). Adjustment of the high frequencies is also provided to compensate for room acoustics and to reduce ear fatigue (+1dB shelf / Flat / -1dB shelf). There’s also a rear-mounted level control that allows you to modify the volume between -30 to +6 dB. In practice, we found that the KRK VXT6 sounds balanced with all settings left flat, even with close wall proximity and poor room acoustic properties.
|Woofer||6” Woven Kevlar|
|Power Output||90W (30W High / 60W Low)|
|Frequency Response||49Hz – 22kHz (+/- 3dB)|
|Max Peak SPL||111 dB|
|Input Impedance (Ohms)||10K Ohm Balanced|
|Power||100V, 110-120V, 220-240V|
|Weight||27.0Lbs. (11.6 kg)|
You can also see more information at the KRK Systems website.
Studio-Speakers.com had the opportunity to compare the KRK VXT6 with it’s bigger and smaller siblings, the VXT8 and the VXT4. The VXT8 had an audibly fuller bottom end, which is to be expected due to the larger bass driver size. However, a trade-off with the larger bass driver is that clarity and instrument separation is lost in the mid-range. The VXT8s are also quite large speakers, and it simply won’t be practical to fit them into a smaller studio environment. The VXT4s are tremendous monitors and punch way above their size, making them a perfect fit for monitoring in very tight spaces. While the low frequency extension is impressive for such a small monitor speaker, the VXT4s simply can’t compete with their larger siblings in the bass department. This leaves the KRK VXT6s in the sweet spot; great mid-range with plenty of low frequency extension. Antillas, a renown producer, has also selected the VXT6s out of the KRK range to take care of his mix monitoring duties.
If the KRK VXT6’s default settings do not suit your studio’s acoustics, you can modify the high end by +/- 1dB with a shelf above 2 kHz. Unnatural bass boost that comes with having the monitor too close to walls can be reduced by changing the ‘whole space’ switch to ‘half’ or ‘quarter’ space setting. In practice, we didn’t need to make any adjustments to achieve a well balanced sound in our small studio environment.
Studio-Speakers.com are not the only reviewers who’ve found the KRK VXT6 to be an excellent choice. Many have praised them in their reviews, including:
“The most impressive part of the new cabinet is the clarity of audio in the low-mids (100Hz to 800Hz). The reproduction in this range is very good. The mids are smooth and the overall imaging is well defined… For broadcasters these boxes pack a lot of punch for a modest price.”Dan Israel, Radio Mag Online
“When it comes to any KRK monitor, you really can’t ever go wrong, and the VXT6 won’t disappoint. If consistent quality, particularly in the low end, is what you’re after, this is the monitor to have in your studio.”David Larkin, Crossfadr Magazine
The KRK VXT6 is a fantastic studio monitor. It offers good bass, midrange and high frequency reproduction, is well balanced at all volume levels, and performs flawlessly even in non-ideal studio environments. Not only is the VXT6 our recommended monitor for this review, we’ve also voted with our wallets and have purchased VXT6s to go into our own project studio. If you’re looking for a monitor in this price range, it will be hard to go past the KRK VXT6.
Do you already have these monitor speakers? Feel free to tell us what you think in the comments section.
The KRK VXT6s are a high quality and great sounding set of studio monitoring speakers.
- Sounds great across all frequencies
- Maintains balance at all volume levels
- Impressive bass extension and clarity
- Excellent value for money
- Outperformed by much more expensive speakers