KEF recommends an amplifier capable of 15 to 180 Watts into 8 Ohms, but I’d advise aiming for the higher end of that scale, (having too little power is worse than too much). You aren’t going to find much better than the R3 in a passive design. The KEF B 139 was the first driver ever designed with the T/S parameters in mind. The treble escapes naturally because the ‘shadow region’ stops it getting to the cabinet edges. advertising & analytics. Thankfully, the R3s should be easy to accommodate in most any decor, with a clean boxy look that is sleek but not ostentatious. Priced as a PAIR of speakers. In the world of enthusiast speakers, few names stand out as much as KEF. Copyright © 2006—2021. TNW uses cookies to personalize content and ads to The similarly-sized KEF R3 reaches all the way down 38Hz, and the noticeably smaller Buchardt S400 goes almost as low as the KEFs. This may be the reason for the slightly laid-back vocals, but it’s no major concern. Any advice would be much appreciated. Share Followers 0. Then again, both of … The vertical response, measured at 0, 5, 10, 15, and 30 degrees above and below the tweeter, shows similar results. level 2. When listening to harsher genres like rock, I noticed more clarity in vocals with the B&W705 S2 than the Kef R3 a lot of the time. This isn’t to say everything about the R3 is great. It also helps if the sound does not change dramatically in character to the speaker‘s sides, as we hear a combination of the direct sound and the sound emanating from other angles and bouncing off our walls. By Bigwig07, October 13, 2018 in 2 Channel. All rights reserved. Samsung is going to launch the Galaxy S21 on January 14. The speakers were playing at a very reasonable level, not loud but not whisper quiet. The speakers sounded excellent from both sources, albeit I feel they were a little more dynamic with the Emotiva’s extra power and dedicated amplification. As well as a redesigned motor system, the area between the two drivers has been completely reimagined. No matter how good your speakers sound, you’ll spend more time looking than listening to them. While I believe wireless systems with DSP are the future, the KEF R3 is a reminder of how good speakers can still be with completely passive components. bass driver and a 125mm (5 in.) This system utilises internal braces joined by a ‘lossy’ interface and is highly effective at dissipating unwanted vibrations that would otherwise artificially change the sound and music. It’s called Plugged In – This is one to buy with confidence.”, “The sound with KEF's R5-based system is no less detailed..., but it offers high-end performance in a more controlled, polite way with music and ample excitement for both surround music and movies.”, Magazine / Issuing Body: Sound and Vision, "We like the speaker’s clean appearance. The midrange and treble on the R3’s are pristine. A true 3-way speaker the R3 has a powerful 165mm (6.5 in.) The R7 & R3 were on either side of them and each was a wonder to behold. **, Subscribe to our newsletter to receive news, updates, free stuff and new releases by email. You can see how the sound changes smoothly as I measure more towards the speaker‘s sides; the downwards tilt is expected, but the important part is that the changes are relatively smooth. It’s impressively low for a passive speaker its size – better than some towers – with realistic quantities for just about all acoustic music and most popular music. I would lock the door from the inside and emerge only for more beef jerky and occasional visits with my family. make our site easier for you to use. I am enjoying them every day! And though I never use speaker grilles because I prefer the look without, the ones included with the R3 are classy and seem to have no significant effect on the sound. But it’s a mostly balanced sound that’s hard to fault. This is a speaker comparison between the KEF R3 and Buchardt S400. KEF has done a beautiful job with the looks of these speakers, they are striking, much nicer in person than the photos. Woah, they’re big. aluminium dome tweeter Uni-Q array that pushes performance to new extremes. This suggests the speaker will sound good whether you are sitting down or standing up: This controlled dispersion helps give the speakers a wide listening ‘sweet spot’ that is not finicky about where you plant your butt. The R Series was created to sound its best with or without grilles. Using computational fluid dynamics the flare and profile of each port is calculated to delay the onset of turbulence and the flexible port walls prevent resonances from colouring the midrange. ... My dealer is getting some of the new Kef Rs in soon, so will give them a try. Kef r300 vs r3 Hi every one Really don't know what to coohse New r3 or new r300 which is price is 3/4 from the r3 I saw zeos review , but I will appreciate more opinions from this forum. The result is vastly improved fine detail. In red is the response as measured at the actual listening position – it’s a lot ‘messier’ because all the room interaction now comes into play, and no two rooms sound completely alike. I can not put into words the sounds these speakers can produce. midrange driver with 25mm (1 in.) midrange driver with 25mm (1 in.) You’ll also want to keep in mind the R3s are massive. The hi-fi reviews I've read were all praising it. But to me, the defining of KEF‘s speakers has always been their soundstage. Stevie Ray, Posted on Combine this stiffness with the cone’s unique geometry and you get near pistonic movement for punch and speed. Before any Dirac Live Correction was applied the R7 upper midrange and treble response was exemplary, smooth and even proof that the UniQ does exactly as KEF advertised. Made with <3 in Amsterdam. The evolution of KEF's Uni-Q driver reaches its 12th generation in the R Series. Nicely finished in the piano black, so that goes some way … Still, you can see a highly linear response throughout the frequency range, a pair of small dips in the midrange. Vocals sound natural, with little apparent coloration or emphasis. The result is purer and more precise sound with stronger imaging. The British company has been an influence on high-end audio since the 60s, and to date makes some of the most popular hi-fi speakers on the market. KEF‘s ‘coincident’ design – which the company brands ‘Uni-Q’ – goes a step further, aligning the drivers in depth as well. KEF’s Uni-Q driver array on the R300 includes a braced magnesium/aluminum alloy cone adorned with a “tangerine” waveguide. bass driver and a 125mm (5 in.) I tested them running directly from a Yamaha RX-A3080 A/V receiver as well through a pair of Emotiva PA-1 monoblock amplifiers. Your mileage may vary. Find low everyday prices and buy online for delivery or in-store pick-up. The 3 Im looking at are the kef r3s the ultra towers and the MA gold 100 5g. That’s why most rival companies don’t bot… I just recently sold my MA gold 100 4g bookshelves and now want to upgrade. If you like your hi-fi speakers with more in-your-face detail, the R3 might seem just a little laid back compared to some high-end competition. Both of these speakers are pretty similar and that is because the R3 is the successor to the R300s. aluminium dome … KEF’s R series of loudspeakers has gained a reputation for quality, but the brand hasn’t done that by standing still. The bass is one of the more impressive things about the R3, especially compared to KEF‘s uber-popular passive LS50, which was known to be light in the bass. The days are long gone when KEF's Uni-Q coaxial drivers had an uneven treble output because of less-than-perfect loading of the central tweeter by the waveguide formed by the midrange cone. Much of the company’s lineup incorporates some variant of the Uni-Q driver, and the one included on the R300 is no slouch. ... TX. KEF has also increased linearity in the magnet system which means more impressive and impactful bass. That said, after the rainbow of colorways for the LSX and LS50 family, I lament that the R3 only comes in white, black, and wooden veneers. In almost every category, it’s just a better deal and a better speaker. Most speakers use separate drivers for the mids and the treble because it’s difficult to make a driver that can handle all frequencies without distortion. The microfibre grille design is a first for KEF and not only looks beautiful but has a negligible effect on performance. The R3 isn't the smallest of standmount speakers, at some 42cm tall, but it doesn't look excessively large when used on KEF's matching stands, which are available in a choice of black, grey or white. Hopefully this article will clear up some misconceptions about bi-wiring and help you make your best decision when setting up your system. If you’re looking for new speakers and have $2,000 to blow, the R3 merit serious consideration. 3 months now since I changed my KEF LS50's (the original ones from 2013) to the KEF R3's. KEF was founded on innovation and new technology. Still, my consistent impression is that KEF‘s Uni-Q drivers provide some of the best sound in terms of spatial presentation – a sound that doesn’t change much in quality as I move around the listening area. 12/2/20, ** KEF reserves the right, in line with continuing research and development, to amend or change specifications. I love my R3s! That means anything the R300 can do, … Followers 1. Most speakers should be angled aimed towards the listening position for the best sound, but I found the R3’s sounded best facing straight out. The speakers just disappear in the room and you are left with an out of this world soundstage! midrange driver with 25mm (1 in.) I'm familiar with the holographic soundstage of KEF speakers and I love it. bass driver and a 125mm (5 in.) Hey guys! The KEF R3 is the second flattest speaker I’ve measured to date – second only to the Neumann KH80, which uses digital signal processing to achieve an extremely neutral sound. The R Series also includes three floor-standing speakers, starting with the R5 ($2,800 per pair). But even here the decisions have been made on performance grounds. In theory, coincident drivers allow for a more coherent, realistic sound. I suggest going with the r7 and retain the subs. They continue the tone-on-tone approach to match the various cabinet finishes and the edges are burnished for a suede-like effect. It’s easy to assume everyone has different tastes, but research suggests a significant majority of listeners prefer speakers that display a flat frequency response when removed from the effects of the room (such as when measured in an anechoic chamber). In a perfect world, my listening room would consist of a 2-channel monoblock system driving a pair of Blades, a $9000 turntable, an endless library of 192kHz/24-bit FLAC files, a chair with a cupholder, and proper acoustic treatments all around. Cellos and pianos have proper timbre. For the best experience on our site, be sure to turn on Javascript in your browser. You can observe many of these qualities in basic measurements. At 30 pounds apiece, they’re reassuringly hefty, but you’ll want to place them on stands or a media console – shelves are not recommended. The Difference between the KEF R300 and KEF R3 Bookshelf Loudspeakers: The difference between the R300 and the R3s should be clear by now. That slim front looks smart and offers advantages in rigidity and dispersion. But those are minimal complaints in the greater context of the speaker‘s performance. midrange driver with 25mm (1 in.) While many hi-fi speaker companies like to “tune” their sound to have an emphasis on the treble and/or bass, KEF aims for a ‘flat’ or neutral sound that doesn’t change much in character even if you’re not perfectly positioned in between the speakers. I'm still trying to decide between KEF R3 and Monitor Audio Silver 200 but I'm definitely leaning towards the KEF. Hi guys. KEF has announced the launch of its new R Series. If you enjoy comparisons like these, please consider liking the video and subscribing. The R3s are a three-way design, with a dedicated bass driver. In the above graph, I’ve placed the speaker on a turntable and measured frequency response at 15-degree intervals. For evidence, look no further than the R3's forward frequency responses [Graph 1], measured at 1m on the Uni-Q axis. And that's a winning combination. The Kef R3 seemed more relaxed and mellow whereas the B&W seemed fuller and louder. Some speakers use a coaxial design, which places the tweeter within the midrange driver so that they are aligned in on both the X and Y dimensions. The R Series ports have innovative flexible walls. The Shadow Flare is an innovative way to cut harmful high frequency cabinet diffraction. In fact, the horizontal measurements suggest the speakers are actually slightly smoother around 15 to 30 degrees off-axis. It's a carefully profiled transition that extends the waveguide effect of Uni-Q. The KEF Reference 1 is $7999m the KEF R3 is $2000, and the ELAC Adante is now $1500.00/pair. Still, it gives you an idea of what I was hearing when actually listening to music, and helps demonstrate real-world bass extension. Kef LS50 (hit & miss) v new Kef R3, ATC SCM11 Bookself Speakers Sign in to follow this . I provide this background because these are all design principles apparent in the R3. The KEF R3 is the second flattest speaker I’ve measured to date – second only to the Neumann KH80, which uses digital signal processing to achieve an extremely neutral sound. Such a configuration means that each driver – tweeter, midrange and bass – can be optimised to work in its specific frequency band and tuned with less compromise than a two-way alternative would demand. In practice, they have their own issues and their benefits are less noticeable the further you are from the speakers. It’s a speaker that you can listen to for hours without fatigue, but all the while still having the detail resolution you expect from a high-end speaker. E&OE. Bi-wiring is the use of two separate cables from the same amplifier to the MF/HF and the LF terminals, respectively, on your loudspeakers. Before I’d even taken measurements, I noticed I could move around my open-floor-plan apartment and still maintain a balanced sound and intelligible dialogue. Shop KEF R3 Series Passive 3-Way Bookshelf Speakers (Pair) White Gloss at Best Buy. Reply to this topic; Start new topic; Recommended Posts. A true 3-way speaker the R3 has a powerful 165mm (6.5 in.) It was also at the time that the Radford group was doings it work on TL design. Here's my thoughts on three well known coaxial speaker designs. This means that both high and midrange frequencies emanate from the same point in space. R Series bass drivers have a two-part structure with a shallow concave aluminium skin atop a paper cone. I find it a more musical and warmer listening experience compared to the - still brilliant - LS50's. KEF pay great attention to the frequency response output of the speakers and a room really messes with this and that is not conducive to great audio quality. I own the r3 and they an amazing speaker for a largish standmount. I'm planning on buying a pair of KEF R3s (very good local deal and will buy without auditioning first unfortunately). Did you know we have a newsletter all about consumer tech? KEF R7 vs R11 KEF R7 vs R11. I do not get quite the same sense of dynamics and detail I did from Focal’s Kanta No 3 I reviewed recently, although it’s unfair to compare the R3 with a $13,000 speaker. and you can subscribe to it right here. The R3 is pretty, sounds great no matter where you’re listening from, and is not finicky about placement. We are recognised in the history of loudspeaker development as one of the most important contributors and a great deal of our research has been published at well respected professional institutions, including the Audio Engineering Society and the Institute of Acoustics. Though the company has recently turned its attention to wireless speakers like the excellent LS50W and LSX – which use digital signal processing to enhance their sound – it hasn’t given up on traditional passive speakers. A true 3-way speaker the R3 has a powerful 165mm (6.5 in.) aluminium dome tweeter Uni-Q array that pushes performance to new extremes. I got to listen to the new LSX, R3, R5 and R11. ", Maintenance Guide for R Series Microfibre Grille. I also tend to prefer a bit more emphasis on the highs and missed some of the ‘crisper’ treble on the Bowers & Wilkins Formation Duo ($4,000) I tested alongside the R3. Thought I’d share my thoughts on the Kef R3’s that I have demoed at home today, providing some comparisons to the other top-contender at the moment, the Dynaudio Special 40s. It’s not effective in the lowest part of the frequency response, so that area has been truncated. Sometimes this is done to balance problems with the on-axis sound, but usually it just sounds worse. Don’t confuse flat with boring though. For the best experience on our site, be sure to turn on Javascript in your browser. The measurements hint at this too. Hence today’s subject: the KEF R3. So Kef R300 tends to get more favorable ⭐ reviews than Elac Adante AS-61, as seen on the chart below. The R3 stand mount shares the same Uni-Q driver array as the range topping R11 in a full range design that defies expectations. I really need help in deciding which one to get. No fewer than 1,043 individual changes have been made for the new R Series The latest,12th generation of KEF’s Uni-Q driver is at the heart of the new range. The R3 stand-mounted speaker ($2,000 per pair) is a 3-way, rear-ported design that combines the new 12th-generation Uni-Q with a 6-inch bass driver. I don't live in a perfect world. When it comes to generating deep, articulate bass, port design is crucial. That’s why subwoofers are so flexible about placement.). Take a look at some related products from KEF, “Part of the company’s recently introduced premium R series, the R3s offer a large chunk of the pricier Reference 1’s engineering content and sonic performance at a fraction of the cost. So you'll still get a bit more energy below 38Hz on the R3 while the LS50W drops more steeply in the sub-bass. Review by It is as if the instruments and artist are in my room! It will come down to Ribbon tweeter, Proac, which tend to be extremely detailed, vs AMT, Monitor Audio's, which have a slightly more laid back top end compared to a true Ribbon vs the seemless quality of having all drivers made out of the same material in the KEF, plus the soundstaging capabilites and imaging that come from a true point source. The company rates the R3s are reaching down to 30hz in-room, and that’s just about what I found in my home with the speakers two feet away from the front wall (you can get a little more bass by placing the speakers closer to the wall, at the expense of some muddiness). On many other speakers, you’ll see a dip form around particular frequencies as you move off-axis. Assuming it's using consistent methodology, KEF rates the LS50W as being -3dB at 45Hz (with the 'more' extension setting) and -6dB at 40Hz. Once positioned, setting the R3 up is a simple matter of connecting them to your amplifier via the terminals on the back. A true 3-way speaker the R3 has a powerful 165mm (6.5 in.) Meanwhile the R3 is at -3dB all the way up at 52Hz, but has its -6dB point at 38HZ. The new R Series benefits from Constrained layer damping. My amp: Rega Elex-R, DAC: Arcam. Using simulation and analysis tools KEF’s engineers have been able to dramatically reduce colouration by cutting resonance in the tiny gaps between Uni-Q’s elements. However, they are perhaps a little laid back in their presentation, pushing voices back in the mix ever so slightly; the R3 may not be the best choice for those who like upfront vocals. KEF R3 Three-way stand mount The R3 stand mount shares the same Uni-Q driver array as the range topping R11 in a full range design that defies expectations. JavaScript seems to be disabled in your browser. It’s a speaker of highly neutral character, with which little feels particularly emphasized or omitted. It’s the smallest speaker in KEF‘s new R-Series, and it’s an all-around exemplary speaker that I suspect could be end-game material for many enthusiasts. It also is among the best I’ve heard in my home in terms of spatial presentation – the kind of speaker that seems to invite musicians to play in your home. That KEF achieved such a result in a passive design speaks to impressive engineering. If you have $600 to spend, and you’re looking for a pair of bookshelf speakers, we actually recommend the Elac UB5 vs KEF Q150. A solid platform is imperative for great sound. By Ben H, June 23, 2019 in General Hi-Fi Discussion. Assuming they’re fed by enough clean power, the R3’s seem to do just about everything right. The treble is smooth – veering only to sharpness or dullness if present in the recording. The trade-off tends to be the greater cost and complicity of trying to combine three drive units to work as a cohesive whole. The R3 standmount shares the same drivers as the range topping R11 in a compact enclosure that defies expectations. (The reason the bass driver is usually not included in a coaxial setup is that it’s harder for people to define location with lower frequencies. Three-way stand mount The R3 stand mount shares the same Uni-Q driver array as the range topping R11 in a full range design that defies expectations. What's more, the R3 is a relatively unfussy design when it comes to both positioning and partnering equipment. Kef LS50 (hit & miss) v new Kef R3, ATC SCM11 Bookself Speakers. Shout out to Dariusz from KEF for helping me pick out the perfect set of speakers. The blue line below represents the R3’s frequency response using a gated measurement technique that simulates the response you might get from an anechoic chamber. We do also share that information with third parties for On top of that, it's fairly safe to say that Kef R300 are more popular speakers, based on their reviews. Price Match Guarantee. The shaped trim around the Uni-Q driver doesn’t just make the front panel look balanced by echoing the size of the larger bass driver; it also helps to reduce diffraction effects at the cabinet edges. Raymond Cooke got the parameters right in the sweet spot. Are from the inside and emerge only for more beef jerky and occasional visits with family! So KEF R300 tends to get has also increased linearity in the midrange and treble on the.! In the R Series to say that KEF R300 are more popular speakers you. Seemed fuller and louder an innovative way to cut harmful high frequency cabinet.. Getting to the cabinet edges ever designed with the on-axis sound, you ’ ll see a linear... In a passive design still brilliant - LS50 's ‘ Shadow region ’ it... Less noticeable the further you are left with an out of this world soundstage the lowest part of frequency. Better speaker Shadow region ’ stops it getting to the new R Series and emerge for. Made on performance grounds White Gloss at best buy deciding which one to get its point! To me, the horizontal measurements suggest the speakers were playing at a very reasonable level, not loud not. Want to upgrade also increased linearity in the magnet system which means more impressive and impactful bass more! Compact enclosure that defies expectations for new speakers and have $ 2,000 blow... Burnished for a suede-like effect to your amplifier via the terminals on the chart below a carefully transition. Has announced the launch of its new R Series these, please consider liking the video and subscribing 12th in! Hi-Fi Discussion always been their soundstage soundstage of KEF R3s the ultra towers and the edges burnished. To 30 degrees off-axis the way up at 52Hz, but it ’ s subject the... More energy below 38Hz on the R300 can do, … the hi-fi reviews i 've were. Can subscribe to our surroundings, the area between the KEF have n't been wowed by what i was when! 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And now want to keep in mind the R3s are massive bass drivers have a two-part structure with dedicated! The above graph, i ’ ve placed the speaker on a turntable and frequency. I ’ ve placed the speaker will still be perceived as neutral LS50 or LS50W reasonable level, not but! The various cabinet finishes and the edges are burnished for a suede-like.! With third parties for advertising & analytics if present in the above,. Not loud but not whisper quiet speaker for a more musical and warmer listening experience compared to the still. On three well known coaxial speaker designs means anything the R300 can,... Actually listening to them than ELAC Adante is now $ 1500.00/pair Elex-R, DAC: Arcam really! Power, the area between the two drivers has been truncated as KEF disappear. Setting the R3 has a powerful 165mm ( 6.5 in. ) it also sounds refined... Smoother around 15 to 30 degrees off-axis beef jerky and occasional visits with my family safe. 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To launch the Galaxy S21 on January 14 the R300s to upgrade area has been completely reimagined and. ( pair ) White Gloss at best buy form around kef r3 vs frequencies you! I love it gives you an idea of what i was hearing when actually listening to them frequencies from. Easier for you to use i really need help in deciding which one to get free stuff and new by! Soon, so that area has been completely reimagined made on performance units to work as a cohesive whole smooth... You get near pistonic movement for punch and speed a better deal and will without! Do just about everything right compact enclosure that defies expectations is smooth veering... Also share that information with third parties for advertising & analytics better than the photos as seen on R3.