KEF revamps its R series of loudspeakers with six brand-new models

kef revamped r series speakers 2018

KEF has gained a steady reputation in the world of audio, but it hasn’t done that by resting on its laurels. As an example, the company announced a brand-new revamp of its already well-known R Series line of loudspeakers — a ground-up transformation of the line with six new speaker models, possibly making it the best it has ever been.

Across the six new models in the reimagined R Series, KEF says that no less than 1,043 individual changes have been made, meaning the company might as well have started from scratch in some instances. The new models include three floor-standing speakers in the R11, R7, and R5, a stand-mount speaker in the R3, a center channel speaker in the R2c, and the Atmos-compatible R8a speaker. The various types of speaker mean the R Series is equally comfortable in home stereo or home theater setups, depending on what you’re looking for.

Many of the changes in the updated R Series come from acoustic technology originally developed for KEF’s Reference Series of speakers, meaning the updated series has some of the most high-end touches to date. At the core of the new range is KEF’s Uni-Q driver, now on its 12th generation. This, combined with a new structure and damping system, eliminates unwanted resonance for a smoother, more transparent high end.

The low end has received its share of attention as well, with redesigned low-frequency drivers. These new drivers boast a lower-distortion motor and a new, more rigid cone, which results in a more articulate low end that still delivers plenty of power and punch when you want it.

“No matter which model you select from the R Series, it will take you on a journey of rediscovery through your music and film collection,” KEF America director of marketing Stephanie Scola said in a statement. “This series can reproduce music with such refinement and realism that when you close your eyes, you feel as though you’re there live, in the very presence of the musician, listening from the front row. It’s a very transformative experience.”

The pricing reflects the quality here, though you’ll find much more expensive speakers out there. The R11, R7, and R5 floor-standing speakers retail for $2,500, $1,900, and $1,400 respectively, while the R3 stand-mount speaker and R2c center channel speaker are priced at $2,000 and $1,200. The R8a Atmos speaker will sell for $1,400. All of these models are available now, and come in your choice of black gloss, white gloss, or walnut finishes. For a look at how the competition stacks up, see our list of the best speakers you can buy.

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