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KEF R3 Meta Bookshelf speakers (Walnut)

Item # 991R3WAL

KEF's gorgeous R Series stand-mount speaker gets a high-tech driver upgrade for even better performance than before.

KEF's gorgeous R Series stand-mount speaker gets a high-tech driver upgrade for even better performance than before.

8 questions - 9 answers

Item # 991R3WAL

Ships free

On backorder
Expected: 4/25/2024
$2,199.99 pair

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About the KEF R3 Meta

James Ralston

A major upgrade for KEF's beautiful R Series stand-mount speakers

KEF's R Series speakers get rave reviews from Crutchfield customers and employees alike for their sleek looks and precise sound. The R3 Meta is the stand-mount (a.k.a. "bookshelf") model in the latest version of this popular line, and it features some important design upgrades for even better performance than before. This speaker pair offers a tantalizing combination of gorgeous looks plus KEF's hi-fi pedigree. (Just remember: you'll want high-quality stands to let these really shine. More on that below.)

A major upgrade for KEF's beautiful R Series stand-mount speakers

KEF's R Series speakers get rave reviews from Crutchfield customers and employees alike for their sleek looks and precise sound. The R3 Meta is the stand-mount (a.k.a. "bookshelf") model in the latest version of this popular line, and it features some important design upgrades for even better performance than before. This speaker pair offers a tantalizing combination of gorgeous looks plus KEF's hi-fi pedigree. (Just remember: you'll want high-quality stands to let these really shine. More on that below.)

Revolutionary MAT technology improves performance

This speaker gets the "Meta" part of its name from KEF's innovative Metamaterial Absorption Technology (MAT) — a highly complex, mazelike structure that absorbs unwanted sound waves coming from the rear of the tweeter. The resulting sound is clearer, purer, and more detailed.

KEF R3 Meta's advanced driver technology

Exploded view of the advanced Uni-Q driver, with the MAT absorber at far right

An upgraded Uni-Q® driver array for better clarity and accuracy

KEF's patented Uni-Q technology places the R3 Meta's 1" vented aluminum dome tweeter in the acoustic center of the 5" aluminum cone midrange driver. This arrangement allows the sound from the two drivers to reach our ears at the same time, resulting in more natural sound. Uni-Q technology is now in its 12th generation, and the engineers at KEF have designed this version to reduce distortion caused by several factors, as well as optimizing it to take full advantage of the aforementioned MAT absorber. Bottom line: these R Series models offer even more natural-sounding performance than earlier versions, thanks to cutting-edge Uni-Q drivers.

Diffraction disarmed

The ring you see around the Uni-Q array is what KEF calls their "Shadow Flare." Its shape is carefully profiled so that the tweeter doesn't have "line of sight" to the cabinet's edges. This design minimizes a potential source of audible distortion known as sound wave "diffraction," which can occur when the high frequencies coming from the tweeter couple with the speaker's front baffle and muddy the sound. It's just one of many design elements that helps give this speaker its clarity and precision.

A high-tech woofer for taut, well-tuned bass

The R3 Meta's 6-1/2" 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 cabinet port has innovative flexible walls to prevent air turbulence and unwanted resonance from coloring the sound.

Good stands are a must-have for hi-fi performance

Placing the R3 Metas on a solid set of speaker stands can minimize sound-muddying vibrations and allow them to perform as designed. (This is an important rule of thumb for any bookshelf speakers.) Specifically, we recommend using the matching KEF S3 stands so the speakers will fit on the top plates properly and the tweeters will be placed at approximately the same height as your ears, for the best possible sound. Placement tip: because the R3 Metas are rear-ported, they'll sound better if you can position them with a little extra space between them and the wall.

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 with MAT absorber
    • KEF's exclusive MAT (Metamaterial Absorption Technology ) absorbs 99% of the unwanted sound coming from the rear of the tweeter, for clearer, more natural performance
  • 5" aluminum cone 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 cone woofer
  • frequency response: 58-28,000 Hz (±3 dB)
  • sensitivity: 87 dB
  • impedance: 4 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 precise bass
  • two sets of input terminals allow bi-amping or bi-wiring
  • detachable microfiber grilles
  • threaded inserts for securing speakers to matching S3 speaker stands (sold separately)
  • 7-15/16"W x 16-11/16"H x 13-1/2"D (including terminals)
  • weight: 27.3 lbs. each
  • warranty: 5 years
  • MFR # R3WAG

High-performance amplifier recommended. See receivers & amps for this speaker

What's in the box:

  • 2 Stand-mount loudspeakers
  • 2 Grilles
  • 8 Rubber feet
  • 2 Port plugs
  • User Manual
  • Warranty Information
  • Online Registration Card

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More details on the KEF R3 Meta

Stacey B.

Features & specs

Enclosure Ported
Finish MDF/Wood veneer
Color Walnut
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) 4
Frequency Response 58-28k Hz
Connector Type Binding post
Bi-amp Inputs Yes
Height (inches) 16-11/16
Width (inches) 7-15/16
Depth (inches) 13-1/2
Weight (pounds) 27.3
Wall-mountable No
Bracket Included No
Recommended Stand Height (inches) 18-24
Parts Warranty 5 Years
Labor Warranty 5 Years
The KEF R3 Meta replaces these items:

Product Research


Metamaterial Absorption Technology (MAT): KEF teamed up with the Acoustic Metamaterials Group (AMG) to use Metamaterial Absorption Technology (MAT) in their R3 Meta stand-mount speaker. Metamaterials are specially developed structures that use existing materials in such a way that they exhibit new, desirable properties that are simply not found in naturally occurring substances. A truly revolutionary technology, MAT is a highly complex maze-like structure, where each of the intricate channels efficiently absorbs a specific frequency. When combined, the channels act as an acoustic black hole, absorbing 99% of the unwanted sound that comes from the rear of the tweeter, eliminating the resulting distortion and providing a purer, more natural acoustic performance.

12th Generation Uni-Q Driver Array: The R3 Meta stand-mount speaker utilizes KEF's patented 12th Generation Uni-Q driver configuration, in which the tweeter is mounted at the acoustic center of the midrange cone. With both acting as a single point source, the sound is dispersed widely and evenly throughout the listening area allowing you to experience superbly defined and perfectly balanced stereo imagery with a wide "sweet spot". Using simulation and analysis tools and decades of accumulated in-house knowledge, KEF engineers developed a 12th Generation Uni-Q driver array, with a new cone neck decoupler and motor system that is precisely shaped to reduce high-frequency distortion in the mid-frequency driver. The result is reduced coloration, less distortion and a sound that is more transparent and life-like than previously possible.

  • 1" Aluminum Vented-Dome Tweeter: The geometry of the tweeter dome matches that of the midrange cone to avoid disrupting the waveform. By smoothening high frequency response, this helps to account for the detailed and strikingly natural-sounding treble. The 1" aluminum vented-dome tweeter utilizes a Tangerine Waveguide to encourage the sound to radiate spherically for wider, more even dispersion so that everyone in the room enjoys the same superb sound quality. A large internal vent prevents potentially distorting high pressures from building up behind the dome in the critical vocal region, preserving all the nuance and fine detail of the original performance.
  • 5" Aluminum Midrange Driver: The 5" midrange driver uses an Aluminum cone that is light, stiff, and smooth for natural midrange and midbass sound. As well as allowing the midrange cone its full extension, KEF's ingenious Z-flex surround guides the sound from the tweeter across the surround without any disturbance or secondary radiation for treble response that is clearer and smoother.

6.5" Bass Driver: The KEF R3 Meta stand-mount speaker houses a 6.5" hybrid aluminum bass driver that has a two-part structure with a shallow, concave, aluminum skin atop a paper cone. This stiffness, combined with the cone's unique geometry, achieves a piston-like movement for punch and speed. The bass driver's magnet system creates a broad and uniform magnetic field which means more impressive and impactful bass. The KEF R3 Meta exceeds the expectations of a stand-mount speaker to deliver room-filling sound with deep, articulate bass.

Non-Resonant Cabinet: A solid platform is imperative for great sound. The R 3 Meta stand-mount speaker's cabinet benefits from constrained layer damping, a system that uses internal braces joined by a "lossy" interface. This material converts unwanted vibration into heat, ensuring that the cabinet remains silent. The R Meta Series cabinet comes in 3 beautiful finishes - Black Gloss, White Gloss and Classic Walnut. An acoustic transparent microfiber grille is also included which magnetically attaches to the front of the speaker cabinet.

  • Shadow Flare Front Baffle: KEF's Shadow Flare front baffle design is an innovative way to cut harmful high frequency cabinet diffraction. It's a carefully profiled transition that extends the waveguide effect of Uni-Q. The treble escapes naturally because the "shadow region" stops it from getting to the cabinet edges. The result is vastly improved high frequency detail.
  • Flexible Flared Port Design: The R3 Meta stand-mount speaker employs a rear-firing port with an innovative flexible wall for better bass performance.. Using computational fluid dynamics (CFD), the flare and profile of the port is calculated to delay the onset of turbulence, while the flexible port wall prevents resonances from coloring the midrange. Foam port plugs are included to insert into the rear-firing ports, if the bass is to "boomy" due to room placement.

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 Meta 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 R3 Meta stand-mount 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.

  • The speakers should be placed between 18" to 24" off the floor for optimum high frequency imaging.
  • A pair of speakers should be positioned 5' to 10' apart and form an equilateral triangle with the main seated listening position.
  • The speakers can be "toed-in" or angled inward (0 to 15 degrees) toward the main listening area to improve stereo imaging and soundstage.
  • They should be positioned at least 9" from the back wall due to their rear-firing port and 20" from side walls.
Note: There are no included brackets, keyhole slots, or threaded inserts to accommodate wall mounting.

R Meta Series: A suite of the latest KEF audio technologies and innovations have made its way into the new generation of the R Meta Series. Whether in stereo for music or in a home theatre set up for movies, the R Meta Series makes exceptional acoustic performance more accessible. Now with Metamaterial Absorption Technology (MAT), the R Meta Series reveals exquisite detail of your music and movie soundtracks. Every element of the design has been precisely tuned to deliver more detail and deeper insight, recreating the exhilaration of hearing an original music performance, with all the emotion and nuance that goes with it. The R Meta Series offers a choice of three floorstanding loudspeakers (R5 Meta/R7 Meta/R11 Meta), one stand-mount loudspeaker (R3 Meta), two center-channel speakers (R2 Meta/R6 Meta), and a Dolby Atmos surround speaker (R8 Meta).

Optional Powered Subwoofer: A KEF powered subwoofer (sold separately) is the perfect addition to the R Meta Series loudspeakers, giving you an even more impactful bass performance.

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Customer Q&A

8 questions already asked

I have a sprout 100 would that be a good match?
big will  Jan 04, 2024
1 answer
Based on the specifications provided by PS Audio, the Sprout100 should be sufficient for the KEF R3 Meta. At 4-ohms, the Sprout100 outputs 100w per channel, which is comfortably in the middle of the recommend power range for these speakers.
zachary  Jan 04, 2024 (Staff)
Would the Meta R3 be a good match for Yamaha R-N1000a?
michael  Dec 20, 2023
1 answer
The Yamaha R-N1000A is 4-ohm stable and would be a good match, Michael. Plus, with the high-quality DAC and YPAO room calibration you are sure to get the best possible performance with the KEFs in your specific listening area. When using 4-ohm speakers with the Yamaha you can only connect a one pair at a time.
bo  Dec 20, 2023 (Staff)
I'm upgrading my home theater room and was wondering if the KEF R3 meta speakers will work in a room that's 20x20x8? The TV & speakers are about 12' feet away from the main listening spot. The TV & speakers would be about 3 feet away from the wall. I'm really trying to stay away from floor standing speakers.
mark  Feb 24, 2023
1 answer
I think these or the wonderful KEF LS50 Metas are a stellar call, Mark. These would be a better call than the Meta's potentially as you can use the voice-matched KEF R2 Meta center channel in the link below. You would need to use a matching LS50 center if you chose the LS50's. Make sure to use a powerful subwoofer, and you will be able to get really great performance out of the Kef bookshelves if you prefer to not use larger floor-standing speakers.
bo  Feb 25, 2023 (Staff)
In order to fit my setup, I will likely need to lay these speakers on their side. The positioning and height will be good, but will I experience meaningfully compromised sound if they lay flat rather than upright?
david  Mar 30, 2024
1 answer
Greetings David. Thank you for your question. From a manufactures stand point, they want speakers at ear level, and toed in so the higher frequency crosses at the main seating position. Im sure there will be little effect on the sound reproduction if any if laid on their sides. Sometimes we have to do what we have to do.
hogan  Mar 30, 2024 (Staff)
will a Yamaha RX-A1070BL be ok for these?
john  Feb 24, 2024
1 answer
Hey John, great question. So looking at that the specs on that Yamaha, the front two channels are stable down to 4-ohm which matches the impedance on these KEF's. If you only plan on adding the KEF Metas to your front two channels, you will be fine and these will sound great. It looks like the center and other channels on that Yamaha are only stable down to 6-ohm so I would not recommend putting KEF Metas on any of the other channels of that receiver.
red  Feb 24, 2024 (Staff)
willAS-301 drive these?
thomas  Feb 19, 2024
1 answer
Greetings Tom. Thank you for your question. The AS 301 is a very under rated 60 watts at 8 ohms. Being 4 ohm speakers the AS-301 will deliver 70 watts to them. Also being 4 ohms, they can be the only pair running on the AS-301 at any time. The capacity this Yamaha has to store energy, and its large power supply are very dynamic. Something you normally do not see at their price point.
hogan  Feb 19, 2024 (Staff)
Any recommendation amp to pair with this speaker? I saw it only support 4 ohms rather than the previous generation 8 ohms. Hope to get enough power but not blow the speaker? Thx
ken  Mar 20, 2023
2 answers
Not sure if you got your answer yet. This will stress any typical receiver out. You will need a high current amp...budget I would say NAD if you really want these to shine, it will cost.. I am running these on a Simaudio Moon 250i V2. Sounds awesome. But these will dip down to 2.9 ohms. If you need an AVR I would look at Yamaha or Arcam.
jason  Jun 12, 2023
Greetings Ken, and thank you for your question. Most more top shelf receivers/amps will run 4 ohm speakers. Is it a receiver, integrated amp, or power amp that you might be looking for? You can always contact one of our fine advisors by calling 800-324-9695 for a solid recommendation as well.
hogan  Mar 20, 2023 (Staff)

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