We’re not sure anyone really has a spare $28,000, but if they happen to have a budget close to that for speakers, KEF’s revived “reference” speaker could just be the best thing you’ll hear. It was for us.
Something strange happened to this reviewer this week.
After braving the cold wet and rain of Sydney’s not-quite-tropical storm, emerging a little worse for wear with close to swimming pools in his shoes, this reviewer had none other than Miles Davis play for him in front of his very ears.
It was an unusual experience, almost cathartic, not least of all because Davis hasn’t been alive for a number of years, passing away in 1991 when this reviewer was but a wee child.
Nevertheless, Miles played the Hilton this week in Sydney, while this writer brought himself back from the cold and wet.
Or at least, that’s what it felt like to his ears, listening to a new speaker from English-sound pioneers KEF.
If you know the name, you know how high-end the equipment is, and if you don’t know the name, you’re about to.
This week, KEF launched new speakers that are nothing if not high end, with “The Reference” speakers, sound boxes designed to recreate the sound not the way the artist intended, but rather as perfect recreations of the original music file.
We’ve seen a pair of excellent headphones before from KEF, and while those were fantastic — with this reviewer reaching for his wallet — KEF’s speakers are a different game altogether, because this bit of technology was originally what got KEF in the audio game to begin with.
In fact, back in the 70s KEF was one of the first loud speaker companies to use computers to help it design speakers to be more accurate, a process that has continued to this day, even developing its own software to assist.
“We invested in a computer the size of the room that slowly did complicated calculations that allowed us for the first time to really design the loudspeaker,” said George Perkins, a Research and Development Engineer at KEF, shown in the above picture.
“Basically, at this point, we were able to make it very accurate and within very tight tolerances.”