KEF Reference 1 speakers shown above in Rosewood finish
KEF Reference 1 Speakers – ‘The best stand-mounted speaker I’ve ever heard’ – Soundstage.com
““Whoa! Those speakers look cool!” How many hi-fi components earn that sort of remark from an audiophile’s spouse? But that’s what my wife said when she walked in, glanced at the newly arrived review samples of KEF’s Reference 1 loudspeaker — and did a double take…
“Surprisingly, the Reference 1s’ ability to play crazy loud while remaining completely in control was also valuable with simpler, sparer music, such as Adam Cohen’s We Go Home (16/44.1 FLAC, Rezolute Music)… I ended up playing the entire album through the Reference 1s, and at higher overall volumes in my room than Cohen himself used when I saw him in concert in a small theater last November. Who says you can’t get lifelike levels at home? Most important, even at these extreme levels — louder than any sane person would regularly play this music at home — the sound wasn’t brash or aggressive, as it is with most speakers; instead, it was very clean, and never short of entirely composed…
KEF’s Reference 1 is the best stand-mounted speaker I’ve ever heard.
– Doug Schneider, Soundstage (read the review)
For over 40 years KEF’s flagship range has been distinguished by the name ‘Reference’ – an exercise in high quality engineering brought bang up-to-date for 2014 with the launch of five new Reference class loudspeakers.
All the jaw-dropping performance and innovative engineering pioneered for the critically acclaimed LS50 studio monitor, and then some. KEF Reference 1 speakers pairs KEF’s latest 125mm (5 inch) MF/HF Uni-Q driver array with the sensational new 165mm (6.5 inch) alloy cone bass driver to create a compellingly realistic sound stage out of all proportion to its size. Mounted on shelves or stands, Uni-Q’s inherently wide, even dispersion also makes it the perfect rear channel speaker in a home theatre system that effortlessly reveals all the subtleties encoded in modern soundtracks.
Photo above courtesy of Digital Audio Review
The company was founded in 1961 by Raymond Cooke OBE (1925–1995) and was initially headquartered in a Nissen Hut on the premises of Kent Engineering & Foundry (from where the name KEF is derived) – a metal-working company on the banks of the River Medway, near Maidstone in Kent. KEF’s ethos has always been based on the continuing quest to find new and better ways of reproducing sound. Since the company’s establishment, KEF has maintained a flair for unusual and controversial speaker engineering, design and material use. KEF has always driven innovation in sound with examples including its iconic ‘egg’, Muon and Blade speakers. KEF is a member of Gold Peak Group and its products are available in more than 60 countries. In 2011, KEF celebrated its 50th anniversary and now the company continues its commitment to building on its strong heritage.
KEF REFERENCE 1 Speakers
- Design Three-way Bass Reflex
- Drive Units Uni-Q driver array:
- HF: 25mm (1in.) vented aluminium dome
- MF: 125mm (5in.) aluminium
- Bass units:
- LF: 1 x165mm (6.5in.) aluminium
- Frequency range free field (-6dB) Short port: 40Hz – 45kHz
- Long port: 37Hz – 45kHz
- Frequency range typical in room bass response (-6dB) 30Hz
- Frequency response (±3dB) 45Hz – 35kHz
- Crossover frequency 350Hz, 2.8kHz
- Amplifier requirements 50-200W
- Sensitivity (2.83V/ 1m) 85dB
- Harmonic distortion
- 2nd & 3rd harmonics (90dB, 1m) <0.5% 40Hz – 100kHz, <0.2% 200Hz – 10kHz
- Maximum output (peak sound pressure level at 1m with pink noise) 111 dB
- Impedance 8Ω (min. 3.2Ω)
- Weight 18.2kg (40.1lbs.)
- Dimensions (H x W x D) (with grille and terminal) 440 x 205 x 430 mm, (17.3 x 8.1 x 16.9 in.)
- Finishes – Deep Piano Black, Satin American Walnut, Luxury Gloss Rosewood