Three-channel passive home theater sound bar with KEF Uni-Q® driver arrays
Our take on the KEF HTF8003 by Crutchfield's Emily S.
Incredible KEF audio for your front soundstage
I've been awed by the room-filling sound of KEF's LS50 speakers every time I've heard them. So I was excited to see KEF include some of those signature technologies — especially their Uni-Q drivers — into one streamlined sound bar.
The HTF8003 combines individual left, center, and right channels into a single acoustically inert aluminum cabinet. Its glossy, black finish and slim oval profile will look cool whether it's wall-mounted or sitting on your TV stand. But remember — it's passive, so you'll need a home theater receiver to power it.
All the spots are sweet with Uni-Q
Each of this sound bar's three channels includes KEF's patented Uni-Q driver, which places the tweeter in the acoustic center of a bass/midrange driver. This single, focused audio source means the sound is more evenly distributed throughout your room. In short, the “sweet spot” is wherever you happen to be sitting.
A thorough test drive by a Crutchfield expert
When fellow writer Dave Delamere offered to take the KEF HTF8003 for a spin and give me the rundown on it, I was stoked. As the leader of our Demo Days team, Dave regularly helps us get hands-on here at Crutchfield HQ, so I knew he would provide some great insight. He did not disappoint. Here's what he had to say about this passive sound bar from KEF:
"I hooked it up to my older Yamaha AVENTAGE receiver (110 watts/channel), and I have a 3.1 configuration in my 700-square foot apartment. Source is an Xbox One for Blu-ray, streaming audio and video, and gaming."
"When taking it out of the box, I could tell it was well-made. A serious speaker. The aluminum cabinet has some heft, and it has a nice finish to it. It comes with wall-mounting hardware, as well as rubber wedges for placement on a shelf or stand (which is how I used it). These wedges let you control some of the angle, which is handy when it's lower on a shelf. Great option for my tight space."
Connected and cranking
"I had the movie Sleepy Hollow going, and the HTF8003 had really good direction. The dialogue was clear, while not overly bright. The effects were solid and impactful, even at low volume. What impressed me the most was the dynamic control. Quiet passages were super-quiet, but when it had to deliver sound quickly, it went at it full-force. Note: You need a subwoofer. There's no getting around that. I switched my sub off, and this sound bar doesn't offer much on the low-end, which was never its intent."
"I was most interested in music. Overall, sound bars aren't known to be very good with it. I switched on SomaFM (the Lush, Left Coast 70's, and Secret Agent channels) for some streaming tunes. The HTF8003 didn't have the spaciousness that a conventional 2-speaker system would, which I expected. However, the Uni-Q drivers provided the consistent, accurate output that I've also heard from the KEF LS50 and Q350 speakers I've listened to. Very smooth and natural. I found myself listening longer than I thought I would… and enjoying it."
The bottom line
"For someone who has limited space for a front speaker array and who wants the power and versatility of a home theater receiver, the KEF HTF8003 sound bar would be a great addition to their surround sound system."
— Dave Delamere, Crutchfield writer
- includes separate left, right, and center channels in a single sound bar speaker design
- non-powered — connects to your home theater receiver's front three channels
- designed for TVs 42" and larger
- includes rubber feet for tabletop placement and a bracket for wall-mounting
- frequency response 70-22,000 Hz (±3dB)
- sensitivity: 87 dB
- impedance: 8 ohms
- each channel contains a three-way speaker system:
- KEF Uni-Q® driver with 3" bass/midrange driver and 5/8" tweeter
- 3" woofer
- 3" passive bass radiator
- 3 sets of gold-plated spring post speaker terminals (one set per channel)
- banana plugs not supported
- rigid aluminum enclosure
- gloss black finish
- 37-13/16"W x 4-3/4"H x 3-3/8"D
- weight: 13.2 lbs.
- warranty: 5 years
- Our 60-day money-back guarantee
What's in the Box:
- Passive soundbar loudspeaker
- Wall-mount bracket
- 2 Metal kick-stands
- 2 Rubber feet
- 2 Threaded posts
- Installation Manual
- Registration Card
- Wall-Mount Template
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Features and Specs
|Pieces in System||1|
|Surround Sound Decoding||No|
|4K Video Compatible||No|
|HDR Video Compatible||No|
|Audio Return Channel||No|
|Remote IR Passthrough||No|
|Works with TV Remote (IR)||No|
|Control by App||N|
|Mounting Bracket Included||Yes|
|Surface Mount Stand Included||Yes|
|Speaker Parts Warranty||5 Years|
|Speaker Labor Warranty||5 Years|
|Amplifier Parts Warranty||N/A|
|Amplifier Labor Warranty||N/A|
|System Frequency Response||70Hz - 22k Hz|
|Sound Bar RMS Power||0|
|Subwoofer RMS Power||N/A|
|Inputs and Outputs|
|Mini Stereo Audio Inputs||None|
|RCA Stereo Audio Inputs||None|
|Optical Digital Audio Inputs||None|
|Coaxial Digital Audio Inputs||None|
|Sound Bar (inches)||4-3/4H x 37-13/16W x 3-3/8D|
|Sound Bar Weight||13.2 lbs|
|Subwoofer (inches)||No Subwoofer|
Passive Soundbar Loudspeaker: Delivering on the promise of KEF's legendary sound quality and rock solid sonic imaging, the HTF8003 passive soundbar loudspeaker produces the home theater's front soundstage from a single acoustically inert aluminum enclosure that recreates the performance of three discrete loudspeakers (Left Front, Center, and Right Front).
Note: The KEF HTF8003 is a passive soundbar loudspeaker (not an active soundbar speaker) and will require a separate AV receiver or integrated amplifier.
3-Channel Design: Each of the HTF8003 passive soundbar's three channels (Left Front, Center, & Right Front) is comprised of a three-way speaker system containing a KEF Uni-Q driver with a 0.6" tweeter and 3" midrange, a 3" mid-bass woofer, and a 3" Auxiliary Bass Radiator (ABR).
Uni-Q Driver Array: The HTF8003 utilizes KEF's patented Uni-Q driver configuration that places the tweeter in the acoustic center of the midrange cone. This creates a single focused audio source that disperses the sound image evenly throughout the room so that everyone enjoys the full richness of music or movie soundtracks. KEF's patented "sit anywhere" Uni-Q driver in the HTF8003 places a 0.6" tweeter in the acoustic center of a 3" midrange cone driver. This allows both the midrange and tweeter to act as a single, focused source of sound that is dispersed widely and evenly throughout the room. The practical benefit is that great sound can be experienced from anywhere in the listening environment removing the "sweet spot" effect.
3" Mid-Bass Woofer & Auxiliary Bass Radiator (ABR): The KEF HTF8003 pairs three 3" mid-bass woofers with three 3" Auxiliary Bass Radiators (one woofer and one radiator per channel) for extended bass output from a passive soundbar loudspeaker.
Aluminum Enclosure: The KEF HT8003 passive soundbar loudspeaker incorporates an acoustically inert aluminum enclosure for uncolored and natural sound.
Spring-Post Terminals: Each channel (Left Front, Center, and Right Front) of the HTF8003 features a set of spring-post terminals that will accept up to 12AWG bare wire. The spring-post terminals are too small to support banana plugs.
Mounting Options: The KEF HTF8003 soundbar loudspeaker is sized to perfectly complement 42" and larger flat-panel TVs. The HTF8003 soundbar comes supplied with both a wall-mount bracket and table-top feet which make it an elegant compliment to almost any flat-panel television. Wall-mount screws not included.
- Wall-Mount Dimensions: 37.8125" (w) x 4.75" (h) x 3.625" (d)
- Table-Top Dimensions: 37.8125" (w) x 4.75" (h) x 4.5" (d)
Optional Powered Subwoofer: A KEF Kube series powered subwoofer (sold separately) is the perfect addition to the HTF8003 soundbar loudspeaker.
Our Product Research Team
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