Available in four-inch and three-inch configurations, the GoAux Portable Monitor System from KRK is designed to be a portable, versatile monitoring solution that is adaptable to a wide variety of critical listening applications. For the GoAux Monitoring System, portability is the main operating concept, but it also provides enough connectivity and professional features to do real tracking and mixing work in all kinds of acoustic environments. Any comparison of the GoAux with a typical pair of computer monitors is dispelled as soon as you pick them up. Construction of the GoAux 4 is of high-impact plastic, and there is a respectable weight and sturdiness to them. The overall impression when you pick them up is that the GoAux 4 are a high-quality, albeit miniature, set of studio monitors.
From top to bottom, the back of the left-side GoAux speaker has several connection points, including a Stereo 1/8-inch analog aux input for connecting to your computer, media player, or cell phone outputs. There are also a pair of RCA unbalanced inputs for connection to audio interfaces, mixing consoles, etc.; as well as a pair of TRS balanced inputs and a Type B USB input (both on the GoAux 4 only) that allows GoAux to be used as your computer’s or DAW’s primary audio output. Finally, Bluetooth input enables wireless streaming from your computer, phone, media player, etc.
The middle set of controls on the back of the left speaker have low- and high-frequency EQ adjustment points (+ 2dB, Flat, and -3 dB) to help balance GoAux to your specific listening environment. A connection point for linking the left and right speakers is provided, as well as an on-off rocker switch and outlet to connect the included power cable. The front of the left GoAux speaker has a push-on indented rotary volume control that lights up when the GoAux is powered on. A 1/8-inch stereo headphone input is provided, as well as a 1/8-inch port for connecting the included ARC room correction microphone. All the electronics, power amplifiers, etc., are housed in the left-side speaker, which has an 8x5x5-inch enclosure (GoAux 4).
If that’s not enough bang for your buck, the system also includes an adjustable listening stand for each speaker and a professional-quality carrying bag for transporting and storing your GoAux and the accessories. The speaker configuration is a two-way, ported system (the bass port is on the top rear of each speaker). The GoAux 4 features a four-inch woven glass aramid driver with KRK’s distinctive bumblebee design for handling low- and mid-range frequencies, as well as a soft textile dome tweeter. The GoAux 3 features the same speaker configuration but with a three-inch woven glass aramid driver. A protective metal grille covers the driver and tweeter. Except for the front left volume control, all the other connection points are flush or recessed within the back of the speaker. The overall construction and build quality seem to be more than up to the task of moving from gig to gig, setup to setup, etc. The included padded carrying bag should afford enough protection when storing or moving GoAux around in most situations.
Basic setup and configuration of the GoAux 4 via Bluetooth is simple. Just connect the monitors to each other with the included cable and position each speaker on its included stand (via thumb screws). The included 15-foot connection cable is long enough to position the speakers on each end of a room. I’m not sure why KRK chose to include such a long cable for what ostensibly are designed to be nearfield monitors, but I guess it’s good to have placement flexibility. The adjustable speaker stands offer fine-tuning for height and angle. Turning the rear power switch on and depressing the front left rotary volume knob puts the GoAux in pairing mode.
The time it took to connect the speakers, position them on my desk, and pair them with my iPhone was less than five minutes. You can also pair the GoAux 4 via Bluetooth by pressing the “Pair” button on the back of the left speaker, which glows blue when the GoAux is successfully connected.
That being done, I hit play on an MP3 mix I was working on earlier in the day and sat back to see what the GoAux 4s sounded like. My first impression was being somewhat shocked at how much sound was coming out of such a small footprint. When I say how much sound, I mean the overall stereo imaging, bass, and mid- and high-frequency response. The general listening experience was clear, color-neutral, and sonically accurate. To be honest, the stereo imaging was so good and the sound so big that I found myself looking around my studio wondering if I was somehow playing back my MP3 through my main nearfield monitors.
That said, all studio monitors have their own character, and you will have to decide if the GoAux Monitors are right for you. I have another, much larger pair of KRK monitors in my studio, and there is more than a passing resemblance to the overall sonic characteristics between the two sets of speakers. The other takeaway here is the GoAux 4s are designed to deliver a flat, color-neutral listening experience. As stated earlier, there are a number of ways to connect the GoAux 4s to your computer or DAW. Connecting GoAux 4’s directly to any of the high-quality portable audio interfaces currently on the market should yield great results and make for a portable recording system you can effectively use anywhere you can plug in your laptop.
Going deeper into the capabilities of the GoAux 4 Portable Monitor System: it includes the same ARC acoustic real-time correction capability found on some of KRK’s larger studio monitor systems. The GoAux 4 also comes packaged with a sub-miniature microphone, which works with the KRK Audio Tools App, a free suite of downloadable tools for iOS and Android to help you dial in the acoustics of your room or workspace. Given the portable nature of what the GoAux is designed to be―a portable monitor system designed to work in constantly changing acoustic environments, I’m not sure how much of a difference GoAux’s room correction capability will matter in most situations, but it is good to have if needed.
When I first saw the GoAux 4’s, my initial thought was that they would be a good alternative to a good pair of studio headphones. In reality, the GoAux 4’s proved to be much more than that: they are a highly capable pair of nearfield monitors delivering enough clarity and punch, not to mention surprisingly impressive stereo imaging, to make them practical to use for real work. Just as important, I found the GoAux 4’s generated minimal ear fatigue and were easy to listen to for longer recording sessions. If you’re looking for a second or traveling pair of studio monitors, the KRK GoAux 4’s are worth checking out.
The KRK GoAux 4’s are available now for $449. The KRK GoAux 3’s are available now for $379. Find out more at: krkmusic.com/GoAux-portable-nearfield-monitors.