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KEF Uni-Q Speaker Drivers Explained

May 10, 2024

KEF offers something different in loudspeaker design—an amazingly wide sweet spot. And a resistance to poorly treated rooms. Meaning the perfect place to listen is just about anywhere. Which, if you are like me, is a big deal because I don’t have an acoustically-treated listening room. My listening room is my living room—filled with normal living room things that are not ideal for sound quality. Most loudspeakers sound good in my space. KEF loudspeakers sound incredible.

It’s all because of KEF’s Uni-Q Driver, which places the tweeter and midrange driver on the same plane. So you are getting the high frequency, mid-range, and upper bass emanating from the same place as opposed to traditional loudspeaker designs that have the mid-range positioned several inches below the tweeter. The benefit of Uni-Q is a massive sweet spot for listening. You can literally be positioned on the side of the loudspeaker front, or even walking around the room and you will be hearing a complete sonic image. It’s a surreal experience that you have to hear for yourself. Especially, if you are someone who either doesn’t have the opportunity for an acoustically treated listening room. Or, you want that “listening-room level” experience throughout your home.

But it’s not just a wide sweet spot. Uni-Q drivers also produce less coloration in the sound and more detail because both high and midrange frequencies are coming from the same place—flowing out together if you will. While in conventional loudspeakers they are colliding because the highs and mids are on different plains, resulting in some coloration. When you are dispersing these frequencies from a single point, you avoid interference issues, and the sound is less distorted.

With this design, KEF is able to achieve reference-level clarity and detail without having to invest in exotic driver materials. Essentially, it’s a much more efficient, cost effective way to achieve premium sound. Efficiency that is passed down to the listener, allowing you to get an ultra high performance loudspeaker at a fraction of the cost–another great thing about Uni-Q and KEF.

Signature Uni-Q drivers are available in KEF’s complete lineup of passive and active speakers, including the flagship Blades, the Reference line, consisting of Reference 5 Meta, Reference 3 Meta, and Reference 1 Meta. Moving down the line you have the R-Series, consisting of the R11 Meta towers, R7 Meta towers, R5 Meta towers, R3 Meta stand mounts, and R6 and R2 Meta center channels. Below the R Series is the Q-Series, consisting of towers (Q950, Q750, Q550), bookshelves (Q350, Q150), and center channels and surrounds (Q650c, Q250c, Q50a). Lastly, the active or powered speakers, which are the LS60 towers, LS50 bookshelves, and LSX bookshelves.

Those are all the traditional cabinet speakers offering Uni-Q drivers. KEF also offers this technology in their complete line of architectural, ceiling and wall mount speakers. And it is in this application that Uni-Q really shines. With ceiling and wall speakers dispersion is absolutely the name of the game—music throughout the house. And as with the cabinet speakers, no other driver design can match KEF’s ability to a wide, immersive sonic image. It’s accurate to sayKEF Uni-Q drivers are above and beyond any other design when it comes to dispersed, whole home audio—they were seemingly made for this application.

In HiFi, or any other technology category, unique, patented designs are everywhere. And most do improve performance. But a lot of times it’s not that compelling—you really have to lean in to experience it, but not Uni-Q. From the moment you hit play the benefits of a massive sweet spot and incredible detail and clarity hit you right smack it the eardrum. It’s captivating, and refreshing to see something billed as breakthrough technology actually be breakthrough. We need more KEFs in the world.

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