2012 Editors’ Choice Awards Page 15
KEF R Series speaker system
The Uni-Q concept — a driver design that places the tweeter in the pysical center of a woofer where a dustcap would normally reside — has been a mainstay of KEF’s speaker line. For good reason, too, since it yields excellent off-axis response, among other benefits. The KEF R Series system we tested in 2012 packed plenty of Uni-Q magic into an elegant-looking, compact system. Based around the R100 (a “very fine small speaker, “ according to our reviewer Daniel Kumin), the $5,700 package we tested also included a R200C center, R800ds surrounds, and R400b subwoofer.
In his review, Daniel praised the R100’s “even note-to-note balance” and stronger low bass “than I usually hear from speakers this size.” With the R400b sub in the mix, that translated to “very satisfying deep bass” on music, and “floor-bending bottom octave” on movies. The “smooth, constant directivity” provided by Uni-Q also resulted in a “near-perfect match” between the main L/R, center, and surrounds, which meant “unchanged tonality” at off-axis seats, and “impressive cohesion” with discrete surround effects. At $5,700, the KEF might be priced at the high end for a small system, but when you consider its “legitimately full-range” sound and ability to produce a “pure, seamless sphere of surround sound,” that cost seems quite reasonable.