KEF sharpens the cutting edge


KEF announced today the Blade loudspeaker, a commercial version of their Concept Blade - a project (designed by KEF in collaboration with Eric Chan of ECCO Design) that had been widely understood to be only a test bed for trickle-down technologies, unlikely to see the light of day on its own aside from the single pair that had been making the rounds in 2009. The British manufacturer (celebrating its 50th anniversary this year) has rethought its position on the Blade, in a move that's likely to generate a lot of excitement among audiophiles.

The Blade's "Single Apparent Source" technology is engineered so that the entire array (four side-firing low-frequency drivers, arranged in opposing pairs along with to KEF's signature Uni-Q midrange/tweeter array) sounds as if it's emanating from the same location in space. KEF's engineers claim that this approach gets as close as they've come to the theoretical acoustical ideal of a full-range point source, and should make for better stereo imaging from a greater range of listening positions than possible with conventional designs.

The speakers - wrapped in sculptural glass-reinforced composite - are available now (in gloss black or white; a range of custom colors are on the way) at $29,999/pair.

- Michael Berk