Posted on 7th September, 2018


British speaker brand KEF has just announced their completely re-vamped R Series loudspeakers, stating that they are a “complete, top-to-bottom transformation of what was already one of the world's most acclaimed loudspeaker ranges”.

Boasting a raft of technological innovations and design improvements, the new R Series draws on acoustic developments first experienced in KEF's flagship Reference Series. Furthermore, the speakers have received no fewer than 1043 individual changes - can you spot them all?

The new R Series consists of the R11, R7 and R5 floorstanders, the R3 stand-mount, the R2c centre speaker and the R8a Dolby Atmos-compatible speakers. All the loudspeakers in the range come in three contemporary finishes: Black Gloss, White Gloss and Walnut.

KEF R Series loudspeaker updated

KEF R Series Speakers 2018

Fitted with the 12th generation of KEF's Uni-Q driver, the new loudspeakers also feature a redesigned motor system to improve the midrange. Additionally, further attention has been given to the area between the two drivers.

The design of Uni-Q necessitates a narrow gap between the drivers, which can be excited by sound waves at certain frequencies. The new structure and damping system eliminate these resonances. KEF tells us that this results in an even more smooth, transparent and detailed treble performance.

KEF's innovative ‘Shadow Flare' trim ring design further expands the Uni-Q Driver array's role as a waveguide. The Shadow Flare is precision-designed to drastically reduce the diffraction effects that inevitably come from having a speaker with edges.

Kef R Series white and walnut

For the new R Series, KEF has wholly re-worked the low-frequency drivers. As well as improving performance while using smaller drivers, the knock-on effect of which is slimmer cabinets, the new bass drivers have a greater excursion. We can expect the results of these changes to be better power, depth, speed and articulation.

The new R Series also utilises Constrained Layer Damping. Initially developed for the award-winning LS50, the system uses internal braces which connect to the cabinet panels via a lossy interface (as opposed to being fixed rigidly). What that brings is a hugely effective method of dissipating unwanted vibrations.

All the ports in the R Series speakers are precisely positioned and feature innovative, flexible walls. The upshot of this is to prevent longitudinal resonances from colouring the midrange. Also, KEF has carefully calculated the flare and profile of each port to ensure that no unwanted resonances colour the low or midrange frequencies.

KEF's R Series now wears an entirely redesigned, suede-like, microfibre grille. The grille features 1801 precision-cut holes for each driver, thus minimising the traditional compromise between great sound and driver protection.

Price and availability

Available from September, suggested retail prices are as follows:

  • R11: £4,000 per pair
  • R7: £2,600 per pair
  • R5: £2,000 per pair
  • R3: £1,300 per pair
  • R2c: £850
  • R8a: £800 per pair

For more information, go to KEF.

Jay Garrett's avatar

Jay Garrett

StereoNET UK’s Editor and Bass playing gadget junkie. He’s captained the good ship GadgetyNews for over a decade, making low jargon high tech a very handy thing. His passion for gadgets and Hi-Fi is second only to being a touring musician.

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Posted in: Hi-Fi Home Theatre
Tags: kef  cedia expo  gp acoustics  hifonix