Our take on the KEF R300 by Crutchfield's James Ralston
Lovely, lively, and refined
KEF's R300 is the type of bookshelf speaker I could listen to all day. I recently got a chance to check out a pair in Crutchfield's demo lab. We set them up along with a pair of less expensive (but still excellent) KEF Q350s and drove both pairs with an Integra DTM-7 stereo receiver.
Both sets of speakers sounded natural and detailed in a non-fatiguing way. But I felt that the R300s stood out nicely on tracks with punchy drums and bass, where they had a chance to open up more during dynamic peaks in the music. Higher-frequency sounds like cymbals were clearer and more defined than with the Q350s. (The beautiful high-gloss piano black finish is a nice step-up, too.)
A room-filling "sweet spot," thanks to Uni-Q® technology
KEF's patented Uni-Q technology places each speaker's 1" tweeter in the acoustic center of a 5" midrange driver. This concentric array allows sounds to originate from a single point source, making the "sweet spot" (the ideal listening position) much larger.
A high-tech woofer for punchy bass
Each speaker also contains a 6-1/2" aluminum woofer with a cool-looking flat design and silver trim ring that caught my eye. Massive magnet structures and large aluminum voice coils help these woofers kick out tight, musical bass.
Good stands are highly recommended
Just as with any bookshelf speakers, you'll do yourself a favor if you place the R300s on a nice, solid set of speaker stands, which help minimize vibrations that can color the sound. And because these particular speakers are rear-ported, they'll sound better if you can place them with a little extra space between them and the wall behind them.
- 3-way design
- 1" vented aluminum dome tweeter with waveguide
- 5" magnesium/aluminum midrange driver
- the tweeter and midrange use KEF's Uni-Q technology, which places the tweeter in the center of the midrange driver
- this specialized positioning creates a large listening "sweet spot" in your room
- 6-1/2" aluminum woofer
- frequency response: 50-28,000 Hz (±3 dB)
- sensitivity: 88 dB
- impedance: 8 ohms
- recommended amplifier power: 25-120 watts
- bass-reflex cabinet with CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) rear-firing ports for accurate, musical bass
- nickel-plated binding posts accept pins, banana connectors, or bare wire
- two sets of input terminals allow bi-amping or bi-wiring
- high-gloss piano black finish
- detachable magnetic cloth grilles
- 8-5/16"W x 15-1/4"H x 13-5/8"D
- weight: 26.4 lbs. each
- warranty: 5 years
- Our 60-day money-back guarantee
What's in the Box:
- 2 Bookshelf loudspeakers
- 2 Grilles
- 8 Self-adhesive rubber feet
- 2 Foam port plugs
- Installation Manual
- Warranty Registration Card
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Features and Specs
|Tweeter Size (inches)||1|
|Midrange Size (inches)||5|
|Woofer Size (inches)||6.5|
|Frequency Response||50-28k Hz|
|Mounting Bracket Included||No|
|Recommended Stand Height (inches)||18-24|
|Parts Warranty||5 Years|
|Labor Warranty||5 Years|
3-Way Bookshelf Speaker: Featuring an all-new Uni-Q driver array and 6.5" low-frequency bass driver, the 3-way KEF R300 bookshelf loudspeaker delivers clarity and realism with flawless precision and superb dynamics. Its stylishly, uncluttered appearance beautifully complements its startling clear highs, fast and clean midrange response, and accurate low-end frequencies.
All New Uni-Q Driver Array: The R300 bookshelf loudspeaker features KEF's all new Uni-Q driver array with a 1" aluminum dome tweeter mounted in the acoustic center of a 5" magnesium/aluminum midrange driver. With both the tweeter and midrange driver operating as a single-point-source, you'll hear detailed, accurate three-dimensional sound, which is dispersed more evenly throughout your room.
- 1" Aluminum Dome Tweeter: At the center of the Uni-Q driver array is a 1" aluminum dome tweeter with KEF's tangerine waveguide to help disperse the higher frequencies evenly across a wider angle and flood the room with a natural soundfield. The tweeter's large neodymium magnet and a computer-optimized dome structure deliver articulate high frequencies with flawless precision. In addition venting the tweeter reduces pressure behind the dome, increasing midrange bandwidth and lowering distortion.
- 5" Magnesium/Aluminum Midrange Driver: Surrounding the 1" aluminum dome tweeter is a 5" magnesium/aluminum midrange driver. The R300's midrange response is amazingly fast and clean, thanks to the braced magnesium/aluminum alloy cone, KEF's Z-flex surround smoothing the transition to the front-panel, and a sturdy die-cast aluminum chassis that prevents resonance from being transferred to the cabinet. In addition, large voice coils increase the driver's power handling and dynamics, reducing distortion and delivering exceptional vocal clarity.
6.5" Bass Driver: In addition to the a Uni-Q driver array, the R300 bookshelf loudspeaker also features an all-new 6.5" bass driver for lower frequencies. The combination of a massive vented magnet assembly and a large, lightweight aluminum voice coil driving a light, stiff and strong hybrid aluminum cone assures clean, deep and uncompressed bass output with superb dynamics and power handling, plus fast and clean midrange response.
Computer Designed Crossover: The KEF R300 bookshelf loudspeaker utilizes computer-designed crossovers (500Hz, 2.8kHz) that allow the level of each driver to be fine-tuned for a smoother, flatter response.
Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) Port Design: Featuring a Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) port design, the geometry of the bass reflex port has been tuned to minimize turbulence at high levels, reducing noise and low frequency compression. The port is located on the rear of the speaker cabinet.
Note: Foam port plugs are included to insert into the rear-firing ports, if the bass is to "boomy" due to room placement.
Non-Resonant Cabinet: The R Series speaker cabinet employs constrained layer damping between the bracing and the enclosure walls and also the front-baffle, to prevent the cabinet from vibrating and radiating sound. The result is a non-resonant cabinet with no coloration. An acoustic transparent grille is also included which magnetically attaches to the front of the speaker cabinet.
Dual Binding Posts: On the rear of the speaker cabinet are dual sets of heavy-duty, nickel-plated binding post terminals that will accept bare wire (up to 10AWG), pin-connectors, spade-lugs, and banana plugs (single only). Plastic inserts must be removed from the binding posts to use banana plugs. Using the dual sets of binding posts, you can bi-wire or bi-amp the speaker.
- Bi-Wiring: Bi-wiring can provide noticeable improvements in the overall transparency of your loudspeakers. Run separate speaker wires to the low & high/mid frequency drivers from a single amplifier (the upper set of binding posts are for the high frequency drivers; the lower set of binding posts are for the low frequency drivers).
- Bi-Amping: Bi-amping allows you to use separate amplifiers for the high/mid & low frequency sections of your loudspeaker for greater dynamic range & lower distortion. We recommend that your separate amplifiers have identical gain to preserve the speaker's voicing balance.
Note: Unlike many other speakers with dual binding posts, the R Series loudspeaker does not use jumper straps or leads between the high frequency and low frequency terminals. Instead there are two dials (labeled "Link") for the positive and negative high and low frequency terminals which can be adjusted to either connect the high and low frequency terminals together to power the speaker off a single amplifier channel (default setting) or disconnect the high and low frequency terminals from one another in order to bi-amp the high and low frequency drivers separately.
Mounting & Placement Options: The bookshelf speaker can simply be placed on a stand, table-top, shelf, or other flat-surface. The included self-adhesive rubber feet protect your furniture and add approximately 0.1875" to the overall height of the speaker. A pair of speakers should be positioned 6' to 10' apart and placed between 18" to 24" off the floor. They should be positioned at least 9" from the back wall due to their rear-firing port and 39" from side walls. The speakers can be "toed-in" or angled inward toward the main listening area to improve stereo imaging and soundstage.
Note: There are no included brackets, keyhole slots, or threaded inserts to accommodate wall mounting.
R Series: The R Series features many of KEF's latest innovations in premium hi-fi and home theatre loudspeaker technology. Stunningly fluent Uni-Q driver arrays combine with potent new bass drivers and many ingenious refinements to create a rich, spacious, accurate sound. The R Series consists of a three floorstanding speakers (R500/R700/R900), two bookshelf speakers (R100/R300), two center speakers (R200c/R600c), and two surround speakers (R50 Dolby Atmos/R800ds Dipole) - all sold separately.
Optional Powered Subwoofer: A KEF Kube series powered subwoofer (sold separately) is the perfect addition to the Q Series loudspeakers.
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Why did you buy this?
I have Q series speakers and hope that R series ones are even better. Will see. [ EDUARD Sep 11, 2018 ]
Previous KEF owner. Love the brand, sound and build quality of KEF [ Daniel Aug 16, 2018 ]