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KEF R3 Bookshelf speakers (Gloss Black)

Item # 991R3BL

These stand-mount speakers deliver clear sound with lifelike dynamics and accurate imaging, and they're beautiful, too.

These stand-mount speakers deliver clear sound with lifelike dynamics and accurate imaging, and they're beautiful, too.

5 questions - 16 answers

Item # 991R3BL

Shop all KEF Bookshelf Speakers

About the KEF R3

James Ralston

Lovely, lively, and refined

KEF's R3 stand-mount speakers are part of the company's newly redesigned R Series. While the previous generation earned rave reviews from Crutchfield employees and customers alike, these new R Series models are jam-packed with upgrades that promise even sweeter, more refined sound. And pictures don't quite do justice to the beautiful gloss black, gloss white, and walnut finishes.

Lovely, lively, and refined

KEF's R3 stand-mount speakers are part of the company's newly redesigned R Series. While the previous generation earned rave reviews from Crutchfield employees and customers alike, these new R Series models are jam-packed with upgrades that promise even sweeter, more refined sound. And pictures don't quite do justice to the beautiful gloss black, gloss white, and walnut finishes.

A room-filling "sweet spot," thanks to Uni-Q® technology

KEF's patented Uni-Q technology places the 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.

The R3 and other R Series models use KEF's latest refinement of Uni-Q technology. KEF has managed to reduce coloration by cutting resonance in the tiny gaps between the Uni-Q array's elements, for purer and more precise sound and even better imaging. And the ring you see around the Uni-Q array is what KEF calls their "Shadow Flare": its shape is carefully profiled to reduce high-frequency diffraction (a kind of interference), for the purest possible sound.

High-tech woofers for punchy bass

The R3's hybrid aluminum woofer is made up of a shallow aluminum skin atop a paper cone. This hybrid design allows very precise movement, for dynamic, accurate bass. And the rear-firing port has innovative flexible walls to prevent air turbulence and unwanted resonance from coloring the sound.

Good stands are highly recommended

Just as with any bookshelf speakers, you'll do yourself a favor if you place the R3s 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.

Part of a complete KEF surround sound system

The KEF R Series features an array of speakers that are voice-matched for compatibility in an immersive surround sound system:

Got wire?

Most speakers don't include any. Read our article about choosing and installing speaker wire.
Shop our selection of speaker wire.


Product highlights:

  • 3-way design
  • 1" vented aluminum dome tweeter
  • 5" aluminum midrange driver
    • tweeter and midrange use KEF's Uni-Q technology, with tweeter in center of midrange driver
    • creates a large listening "sweet spot" in your room
  • 6-1/2" hybrid aluminum woofer
  • frequency response: 52-28,000 Hz (±3 dB)
  • sensitivity: 87 dB
  • impedance: 8 ohms
  • recommended amplifier power: 15-180 watts
  • bass-reflex cabinet with Constrained Layer Damping to reduce resonance
  • rear-firing port with flexible port technology for clear, articulate bass
  • two sets of input terminals allow bi-amping or bi-wiring
  • high-gloss piano black finish
  • detachable microfiber grille
  • 7-15/16"W x 16-11/16"H x 13-9/16"D (including terminals)
  • weight: 29.8 lbs. each
  • warranty: 5 years
  • MFR # R3BL

What's in the box:

  • 2 Bookshelf loudspeakers
  • 2 Grilles
  • 2 Foam port plugs
  • 8 Self-adhesive rubber feet
  • User Manual
  • Warranty Information

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4.5 out of 5 stars
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More details on the KEF R3

Stacey B.

Features & specs

Enclosure Ported
Finish MDF/Lacquer
Color Gloss Black
Tweeter Type Hard-Dome
Tweeter Size (inches) 1
Midrange Size (inches) 5
Woofer Size (inches) 6.5
Woofer Composition Hybrid aluminum
Woofer Surround Rubber
Power Range 15-180
Sensitivity 87 dB
Impedance (Ohms) 8
Frequency Response 52-28k Hz
Connector Type Binding post
Bi-amp Inputs Yes
Height (inches) 16-11/16
Width (inches) 7-15/16
Depth (inches) 13-9/16
Weight (pounds) 29.8
Wall-mountable ---
Bracket Included N/A
Recommended Stand Height (inches) 18-24
Parts Warranty 5 Years
Labor Warranty 5 Years

Product Research


3-Way Bookshelf Speaker: The KEF R Series R3 bookshelf loudspeaker utilizes a 3-way driver design that consists of a 12th Generation Uni-Q driver array with a 1" tweeter mounted in the center of a 5" midrange driver, plus a 6.5" low-frequency bass driver for exceptional clarity, flawless precision, and superb dynamics.

12th Generation Uni-Q Driver Array: At the heart of the R Series loudspeaker is KEF's Uni-Q driver array. This signature innovation by KEF places the tweeter in the acoustic center of the mid-bass cone, with both drivers acting as a single point source. The R Series benefits from a new 12th generation Uni-Q Driver Array which has been extensively designed using KEF's in-house simulations and analysis tools. KEF's engineers have been able to dramatically reduce coloration through reducing resonance in the small gaps between the Uni-Q's separate elements. The resulting sound is purer and more precise with better stereo imaging.

  • 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" Aluminum Alloy Midrange: Surrounding the 1" aluminum dome tweeter is a 5" aluminum midrange driver. The R3's midrange response is amazingly fast and clean, thanks to the 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.

Shadow Flare: Derived directly from KEF's Reference Series, the Shadow Flare is an innovative method of reducing harmful cabinet diffraction for delicate high-frequencies. Shadow Flare is a carefully profiled transition surface which extends the waveguide effect of the Uni-Q Driver Array. The tweeter no longer has line of sight of the cabinet edges, creating a "shadow region" at the points where the potential for diffraction is highest. The result is vastly improved fine detail, particularly when it comes to the subtle nuances of plucked strings and other percussive sounds.

6.5" Bass Woofer: The KEF R3 bookshelf speaker houses a single 6.5" hybrid aluminum cone bass driver. The R Series bass drivers have a two-part structure with a shallow concave aluminum skin atop a paper cone. Combine this stiffness with the cone's unique geometry and you get near pistonic movement for low-frequency punch and fast speed. KEF has also increased linearity in the magnet system which means more impressive and impactful bass.

Non-Resonant Cabinet w/ Flexible Port Technology: The KEF R Series speaker cabinet benefits from a constrained layer damping with internal bracing which is highly effective at dissipating unwanted vibrations that would otherwise artificially change the sound of the music. The speaker cabinet also utilizes a bass reflex design with a rear-firing port that features innovative flexible walls. Using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) the flare and profile of each port is calculated to delay the onset of turbulence and the flexible port walls prevent resonances from coloring the midrange.

Note: A foam port plug is included to insert into the rear-firing port, if the bass is too "boomy" due to room placement.

Microfiber Grille: The KEF R Series loudspeaker comes with a microfiber grille that is hand-crafted and compressed with heated pressure from 13 layers of composite material. The R Series speaker is designed to sound its best with or without the grille installed. The microfiber grille magnetically attaches to the 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 5' 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 20" 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 KEF R Series combines innovations from KEF's Reference Series with new custom-made technologies and a 12th generation Uni-Q Driver Array to deliver incredible detail and dynamic sound. The KEF R Series consists of three floorstanding loudspeakers (R11/R7/R5), one bookshelf loudspeaker (R3), a center-channel speaker (R2c), and a Dolby Atmos surround speaker (R8a).

Optional Powered Subwoofer: For even bigger and deep bass response, you can add one of KEF's powered subwoofers; such as the KF92 or one of their Kube Series powered subs (sold separately - see Accessories Tab).

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Customer Q&A

5 questions already asked

Speaker stands that the Kef R3 bolt too?
spooky  Nov 28, 2021
1 answer
There aren't any. I searched for 2 weeks. What I ultimately did is purchase two very stylish matching end tables that were the proper height to sit them on and put them on each side of my entertainment center. Speakers were too amazing to return, and the end tables they sit on look way more clean in my living room than the speaker stands did.
jason  Nov 28, 2021
Speaker stands that the Kef R3 bolt too?
spooky  Nov 28, 2021
5 answers
I did not find a stand which bolted to the speaker, so I purchased a large base speaker stand (Santus SF22) drilled the two front holes (I used the specs from KEF for exact measurement), and then secured the speakers with the appropriate metric sized screws. Even though secured by two of the four possible bolts, the speakers are quite secure.
allen  Nov 28, 2021
There are holes on the bottom of the speaker to attach to a speaker stand, but I'm not aware of any stands that match those. I have them on top of the KEF S2 stands. I have filled the stands about halfway full of sand and used 4 small dots of Blu-Tack on each stand. They are very solid - the speakers could be knocked off, but it's pretty unlikely.
brett  Nov 28, 2021
Caution!! KEF does not make a stand that the R3's bold to. Their website shows the R3's on the S2 stands and even lets you order the S2's as an option, but they do not go together. In fact the bolt pattern is totally different, width and length. There is a small note on their website that states this (I swear it was added after I ordered both). Luckily I ordered the speakers and stands from Crutchfield and they let me return the stands for full credit.
john j.  Nov 28, 2021
I believe the answer is "sadly, none." I searched the internet extensively and went to a high quality audio shop, where I had the full attention of four professional technicians. I never found a thing the R3s would mount to without some sort of foreign sticky substance. Good luck. I hope you discover something.
brian  Nov 28, 2021
There are no speaker standS that bolt I am aware. Shortsighted decision by KEF.
james  Nov 28, 2021
Are they available in set of 3 for LCR?
ry2000  Mar 11, 2022
4 answers
I believe these speakers can be bought as an individual item but as good as these speakers sound I think it's over kill for a center channel speaker, I would recommend buying a speaker dedicated and designed for such a purpose.
edward  Mar 12, 2022
Kef makes a center speaker to match.
eric  Mar 11, 2022
There is a separate center channel called KEF R2c; you can find it on
larry  Mar 11, 2022
The R3 is only sold in pairs. Check out the Kef R2c for a matching center channel speaker.
meyer  Mar 11, 2022
How good are these for surround sound movie watching? Over the Q950s for example so I can get the r2c.
arman  Oct 06, 2021
3 answers
Superior! great presence and stereo imaging - extremely wide and detailed.
solether  Oct 06, 2021
I use them mostly for music. I may be biased, because these are my second pair. Don't know about q950s, but really like these speakers
bradley  Oct 06, 2021
No idea, I use them in a 2 channel system and they are fantastic.
joseph  Oct 06, 2021
What are some recommendations for speaker stands for these?
nicolas  Jan 17, 2021
3 answers
I use Bowers & Wilkins STAV 24 stand (excellent stand). As far as heigh goes, you have to consider your seating position; the tweeter heigh needs to be around your ear level while seated. KEF R3 has its tweeters ~12 inches from the bottom so 24 inch stands will put them at ~36 inch heigh. This works well for typical seating like sofas or low chairs (like from IKEA). If you sit in office chair and listen while working, then 32 inch stand should work well.
larry  Mar 11, 2022
Monoprice Monolith Speaker Stands (Each), Black, 32 Inch Real good for the price
jason  Jan 17, 2021
mono stand is real good Monoprice Monolith Speaker Stands (Each), Black, 32 Inch
jason  Jan 17, 2021

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