KEF: R500 Loudspeakers – review by Doug Schneider

KEF’s R loudspeakers comprise an affordably priced line of nine models: three floorstanders (R500, R700, R900), two stand-mounts (R100, R300), two center-channels (R200c, R600c), one surround (R800ds), and one subwoofer (R400b). The R series followed the release of the Blade, launched in 2011 for $29,999 USD per pair. The Blade is a unique loudspeaker that not only showcases KEF’s newest technologies and latest thinking about how a speaker should be made; I believe it to be a groundbreaking design. Its cabinet’s shape, its Uni-Q driver, and the way its four woofers surround the Uni-Q to create what KEF calls a Single Apparent Source (a configuration that allows the speaker to act as a point source at all frequencies), are just a few examples of the original thinking that went into this technological triumph.

The subject of this review is the R500 ($2599.98/pair). I suspect that a speaker at this price from most manufacturers would likely have been rather ordinary, given the cost constraints. But coming from the company that created the Blade, and containing some ......

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