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KEF Readies R Series Speakers

Indianapolis – A new series of in-room speakers that KEF will bring to the CEDIA Expo will fit between the company’s Q series and Reference series in price but come much closer to Reference performance than any previous series that was available at roughly the same price range, the company said.

Nine R series models, available in October, consist of three floorstanding speakers, two bookshelf speakers, two timbre-matched center channels, one dipole surround speaker, and a dual-driver, 500-watt subwoofer. Prices of the left-right speakers range from $1,199/pair to $4,999/pair, a step above the Q series prices of $499-$1,599/pair and below Reference prices of $10,000-$20,000/pair.

To deliver performance to a level said to be “nearly comparable” to Reference performance, the company incorporated many of the technologies used in its $29,999/pair Blade speaker, which uses a variety of technologies and design elements to ensure that the entire audible frequency range has the same acoustic center, the company said. The result is a soundfield that is “virtually indistinguishable from a live performance,” the company contends.

In the R series, the Uni-Q tweeter/midrange array places the tweeter in the midrange cone to give both drivers the same acoustic center, thus reducing distortion and widening the soundfield over their frequency range. The speakers also use the same vented tweeter used in the Blade. The tweeter’s dome structure is said to be so stiff that it operates pistonically over its entire working range. KEF’s “tangerine” waveguide also helps disperse high frequencies evenly across a wider angle.

The midrange drivers use a braced magnesium/aluminum alloy cone, KEF’s Z-flex surround and a decoupled, die-cast aluminum chassis to deliver fast and smooth midrange response, the company said.

The speaker’s bass drivers feature large vented magnet assembly and a large, lightweight aluminum voice coil that drives a light, stiff cone to deliver clean, deep bass with excellent dynamics and power handling, the company said.

The R series floorstanders are the R900 at $2,499.99 each, the R700 at $1,799.99/each, and the R500 $1,299.99/each. The two bookshelf speakers are the R300 at $1,799.99/pair and R100 at $1,199.99/pair. The two center channels are the R600c at $1,499.99 each and R200c at $999.99 each. The R800ds dipole surround speaker retails for $1,799.99/pair, and the R400 subwoofer is $1,699.99 each.