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.
The Uni-Q Driver array’s role as a waveguide is further expanded by KEF’s ‘Shadow Flare’ trim ring design.
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.
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.
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
R7: £2,600 per pair
R5: £2,000 per pair
R3: £1,300 per pair
R8a: £800 per pair
To learn more, click www.kef.com
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Tim10th 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
Paul Rigby10th 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.
Tim3rd 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?
Filip Dufoort4th February 2019 at 3:31 pm
Can you recommend an “affordable” amplifier for the KEF R5?
Paul Rigby4th February 2019 at 4:52 pm
When you say “affordable” what sort of budget are you looking at Filip?
Filip dufoort5th February 2019 at 6:56 am
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.
Paul Rigby5th 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?
Filip Dufoort5th 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.
Paul Rigby5th 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?
Filip5th 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 🙂
Paul Rigby6th 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.
Filip6th 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 🙂
Paul Rigby7th 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/.
Filip7th February 2019 at 7:52 pm
Thanks! I will check if I can find this in Belgium!
John Daniel25th 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
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
Paul Rigby25th 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.
ion cojocaru10th March 2019 at 10:43 am
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.
Paul Rigby10th March 2019 at 1:27 pm
Hi ion and thanks for the question. If you like Cyrus then the Cyrus ONE HD would be ideal as it features Bluetooth. You can stream from your phone to the Cyrus and then through your KEF speakers: https://www.cyrusaudio.com/products/cyrus-one-hd/
ion cojocaru10th 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.
Paul Rigby11th March 2019 at 11:58 am
Hi ion – indeed it does, as long as you use a MM cartridge. Check out this link, scroll down a bit and the phono bit is seen on the rear image, top centre: https://www.cyrusaudio.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/CYRUS-PIG-ONE-HD-v0.3.pdf
Damien Walker1st 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.
Paul Rigby2nd June 2019 at 11:25 am
Good stuff – thanks for the update Damien. Appreciate you taking the time to report this.
John18th 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.
Paul Rigby19th 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/
John20th July 2019 at 3:44 pm
Many thanks Paul, will take a look.
Chris4th August 2020 at 6:34 am
Hi Paul, was wondering if the Marantz pm7000n will make a good pairing with the R7’s?
Paul Rigby4th August 2020 at 3:06 pm
Hi Chris and yes, that should be fine.
CHRIS12th November 2020 at 6:08 am
Thanks Paul! I did get the R7’s and the pm7000n. Now I’m choosing between the Rega P3 and the Rega P6 with the Ania cartridge and Rega Fono MC. Would love your opinion on which turntable to get.
Paul Rigby13th November 2020 at 9:59 am
Hi Chris, the P6 would be the obvious choice.
CHRIS12th November 2020 at 6:55 am
I forgot to mention that the Rega P3 will come with the Elys cartridge.
hadrien17th January 2022 at 1:58 pm
Hi Paul, which amplifier would you recommand with KEF R5 with a 2500 eur budget?
Mainly listen to Spotify but I aslo have a vynil turntable
Paul Rigby17th January 2022 at 4:15 pm
I like the Parasound Halo.
Pete Bowe15th April 2023 at 3:10 pm
Hi, sorry this is not completely on point. But I’m looking for some expert opinion on the KEFs,
I’m hoping you can give me some guidance on a speaker project I’m building. I have four B&W LF00507 (Rohacell Diamond Nautilus series) CT8 LR bass units (whole speaker specs are -6dB at 23Hz and 40kHz 93dB spl (2.83V, 1m) (mf/hf) 8Ω (minimum 4Ω) and would like to build some really nice speakers for a HiFi stereo sound (mostly streamed but with phono analogue) that can also be the optional L&R of a simple 5 way theatre system. The power amp is a Carver Sunfire TGA 5400, it gives 400 Watts per channel into 8Ω or 800 Watts per channel into 4 Ω. I still have the B&W CT8XO 2 external active crossovers for each of the whole units, but nothing else is left from those two original CT8 LR speaker cases (not a happy tale!). As an aside, Is it possible to re-use these active crossovers for the new speakers?
To the question. I was wondering if I can match them with 5” KEF 12th gen uni-q two way MF/HF drivers from the Reference Meta series? The idea is to keep the original MF/HF crossover from KEF, but have a new XO built to match them with the B&W LF drivers. Should point out the KEFs are native 4Ω and the B&W are 8Ω but can deal with 4Ω. The amp can do both. The room space is sloping from single to double height and 12m X 7m
I will build the enclosures to respect the necessary dimensions, rigidity and insulation for the original closed unit box of the B&W. I want to keep the size down so the design is based around Magico Mini design from stacked CNC cut Birch ply anechoic slices, with a slightly curved Corian™ front baffle for minimum resonance. I’m planning on keeping the KEF shadow flare trim to keep the throw of the R series. I have good quality cabling with Neutrik connectors for the interconnects , so I was thinking of using 4 pole Neutrik connectors to bi-wire them with minimal hassle. I ‘m hoping that will give a real presence and detail, and to do justice to the quality of the amp and bass units without spending £10k on parts. What do you reckon?
Thanks for your time. Really look forward to any constructive comments you may have or alternative ideas for the MF/HF drivers.
Paul Rigby17th April 2023 at 3:43 pm
Thanks for asking Pete but your question is way over my head in terms of the technical qualifications I would need to advise you properly and with authority. I can just about open a bottle of milk so advising you on crossover use et al is quite beyond me, I’m afraid. I would advise seeking out a self-build forum. Possibly on Facebook? Asking such a question to people who are in a similar position to yourself would seem to me to be the best course. Sorry I couldn’t help further.