Hifi News

R Series loudspeakers revamped by KEF

KEF has announced the launch of its new R Series. 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. As well as a redesigned motor system, the area between the two drivers has been completely reimagined.

The design of Uni-Q necessitates a narrow gap between the drivers, which can be excited by sound waves at certain frequencies. The new structure and damping system “…eliminates these resonances, resulting in an even more smooth, transparent and detailed treble performance than ever before,” said the company. 

R Series loudspeakers revamped by KEF

The Uni-Q Driver array’s role as a waveguide is further expanded by KEF’s ‘Shadow Flare’ trim ring design. 

R Series loudspeakers revamped by KEF

For the new R Series, KEF has completely re-worked the low-frequency drivers. The new bass drivers have greater excursion, as well as an improved motor and a new cone. 

R Series loudspeakers revamped by KEF

The new R Series also utilises a new internal bracing system called Constrained Layer Damping. Originally developed for the LS50, the system uses internal braces which connect to the cabinet panels via a lossy interface (as opposed to being fixed rigidly). 

All the ports in the R Series speakers are “precisely positioned” and flexible walls, which prevent, “…longitudinal resonances from colouring the midrange,” said the company. 

R Series loudspeakers revamped by KEF

A suede-like, microfibre grille design, utilises 1801 precision-cut holes for each driver.

The new R Series consists of the R11, R7 and R5 floorstanders, the R3 standmount, the R2c centre speaker and the R8a Dolby Atmos-compatible speakers. 

All the loudspeakers in the range come in three contemporary finishes: Black Gloss, White Gloss and Walnut.

Available from this month, Prices are: 

R11: £4,000 per pair

R Series loudspeakers revamped by KEF

R7: £2,600 per pair

R Series loudspeakers revamped by KEF

R5: £2,000 per pair

R Series loudspeakers revamped by KEF

R3: £1,300 per pair 

R Series loudspeakers revamped by KEF

R2c: £850

R8a: £800 per pair

To learn more, click www.kef.com

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25 Comments

  • Reply
    Tim
    10th September 2018 at 1:14 pm

    These look awesome. I wonder if there will be a wireless version of the R5. I would love an active floorstander

    • Reply
      Paul Rigby
      10th September 2018 at 1:17 pm

      Hi Tim – if/when I get any more info on these, I’ll be sure to pass it on.

  • Reply
    Tim
    3rd December 2018 at 1:47 pm

    Well, we’ve had a new active speaker from KEF (the LSX), but still no active floorstander : – (
    Where is the R5 wireless?

  • Reply
    Filip Dufoort
    4th February 2019 at 3:31 pm

    Hi,
    Can you recommend an “affordable” amplifier for the KEF R5?
    Thanks!

    • Reply
      Paul Rigby
      4th February 2019 at 4:52 pm

      When you say “affordable” what sort of budget are you looking at Filip?

  • Reply
    Filip dufoort
    5th February 2019 at 6:56 am

    Hi Paul,
    A few years ago I bought a pioneer VSX 932, not really good thinking of what i really wanted.
    Now i just ordered my KEF R5 speakers. I was thinking around 1000€, I dont know if that exists.
    Thank you!

    • Reply
      Paul Rigby
      5th February 2019 at 10:59 am

      Hi Filip – sorry, I’m not exactly sure what advice you need for your €1,000. You’ve ordered the KEFs so are you looking for a new receiver or something else?

      • Reply
        Filip Dufoort
        5th February 2019 at 12:52 pm

        Hi Paul, I was wrong I meant a receiver, I’m sorry!
        Now I have chromecast, spotify,… on the pioneer and that’s a nice feature.

        • Reply
          Paul Rigby
          5th February 2019 at 1:02 pm

          No problem, Filip – just wanted to be sure 🙂 So, a receiver for a €1,000? Can I ask, what is your main source? Digital? Analogue? If digital, what exactly?

  • Reply
    Filip
    5th February 2019 at 7:08 pm

    I play mostly Spotify, Vinyls or radio. No CD’s anymore. Had a lot of them but now I love the sound of vinyl again 🙂

    • Reply
      Paul Rigby
      6th February 2019 at 11:16 am

      Which is the priority, Filip? Is the digital side the most important or is analogue your primary listening source? This will have a bearing on my advice, you see.

  • Reply
    Filip
    6th February 2019 at 7:49 pm

    To listen I would say analogue. But I still want to have the possibility to play spotify through the speakers and connect my iPad or cellphone. But for listen quality vinyls. I’m sorry for the difficulties 🙂

    • Reply
      Paul Rigby
      7th February 2019 at 10:23 am

      Hi Filip – what you can do is stream Spotify from your iPad, through Bluetooth set within an amplifier and then utilise a separate phono amplifier to retain top sound quality. On that basis a Cyrus One would be ideal as it features Bluetooth. Then you’d need a Rega Fono phono amp: https://www.cyrusaudio.com/products/cyrus-one/.

  • Reply
    Filip
    7th February 2019 at 7:52 pm

    Hi Paul,
    Thanks! I will check if I can find this in Belgium!
    Greets Filip

  • Reply
    John Daniel
    25th February 2019 at 6:07 am

    Hi Paul my name is John.I am planning to downsize my music system due to space constraint.Retired and moving to a smaller place.
    I currently have Audio Research LS 22 Pre Amp
    VTL M125 monoblocks power amps.Rega Rp6 Turntable
    KEF 107/2 speakers
    CD player
    Planning to get KEF LS 50 passive sumiko S9 sub woofer
    or Kef R3.Do I need a sub woofer too,?
    Bear in mind I am.replacing my KEF 107/2
    Regards Thanks.

    • Reply
      Paul Rigby
      25th February 2019 at 11:01 am

      Hi John – thanks for the question and good luck with the down sizing. Hmmm, there’s a slight essence of wanting to have your cake and eat it here, I reckon 🙂 You’re obviously concerned about losing that lower bass. Personally, I would say no, don’t go the sub route and prepare for less bass because that’s the nature of your speaker replacements. While you will loose lower bass, the sound will remain balanced. The one issue about this set up I have with a sub attached is a possible timing issue where the lower bass drags and bloats the overall presentation. Instead, I’d allow the smaller KEFs to do what they do best and retain their lively, springy, nippy demeanour. Also, don’t forget that smaller rooms need less low frequency stimulation to sound good so you might not miss the bigger speakers as much as you think. Give your new place a demo first without a sub and see what you think.

  • Reply
    ion cojocaru
    10th March 2019 at 10:43 am

    hi paul!
    Sorry for the nubby question i am about to ask. I am new to sound systems but i would love to be finally able to listen to music on a hi definition system. And i am in love with the Kef R5 speakers. I would love to start a system from skretch around these speakers and i am mostly playing from my macbook ( flacs) or iphone. So, the question is : is there a simple yet powerful way to stream my music from my iphone to the speakers? like a cyrus one but with amp integrated? i would love to have just one source in between my iphone and the speakers. really thank you for the time to answer me back. cheers.

  • Reply
    ion cojocaru
    10th March 2019 at 7:27 pm

    Hi Paul. Thank you very much for your quick answer. I have seen that you recommended the Cyrus in an earlier comment together with Rega Fono phono amp and i was wondering if just Cyrus One HD is enough. Dos it have amp built in?
    Thank you again for the answer.

  • Reply
    Damien Walker
    1st June 2019 at 1:57 pm

    Hi, I recently bought a pair of the walnut R5’s to partner my Naim Atom, though not a cheap combo (£4000.00 combined) they compliment each other so well and out perform many systems costing several thousands more!!, if anyone is looking a simple one box solution I cannot recommend this set up enough, truly stunning.

    • Reply
      Paul Rigby
      2nd June 2019 at 11:25 am

      Good stuff – thanks for the update Damien. Appreciate you taking the time to report this.

  • Reply
    John
    18th July 2019 at 6:07 pm

    Hi, hope you might be able to assist? I fancy a pair of Keff R3s and wonder how they might perform with the new Sonos amp?

    All my music is streamed.

    Would appreciate your thoughts. I see lots of reviews on either one or the other, but never anything comparing components of a complete system.

    • Reply
      Paul Rigby
      19th July 2019 at 12:12 pm

      Hi John – the Sonos offers great lifestyle features and is a solid streaming system but I think the KEF speakers would be an overkill. In hi-fi terms, the Sonos is ok, it does the job and is decent but I wouldnt go further than something like this: https://theaudiophileman.com/3020i-q-acoustics-speakers-review/

      • Reply
        John
        20th July 2019 at 3:44 pm

        Many thanks Paul, will take a look.

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