|KEF R700 Loudspeaker Review|
|Home Theater Loudspeakers Floorstanding Loudspeakers|
|Written by Andre Marc|
|Friday, 07 March 2014|
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KEF have been front and center lately with cutting edge products like the flagship Blade and the 50th anniversary stand-mounted LS50. At $1500, the LS50 is a remarkable bargain for those with limited space. It certainly deserved much of the accolades the audio press bestowed upon it.
KEF has an extensive, and impressive, array of product lines. The Uni-Q coaxial driver is at the heart of most of the designs, and rightly so. It is a remarkable driver that can be used in a variety of implementations. The LS50 is unique in that the Uni-Q was the only driver, which may have been the key to its magic.
Other speakers in the KEF product take a different path. The KEF R Series of speakers are maybe the sweet spot, flanked by the top of the line Flagship and Reference products, and the more modest Q and C lines. The R Series includes the two way, stand-mounted R100 and R300 models, and the floorstanding R500, R700, and R900. The R line also features some home theater specific products. The subject of this review is the R700, which retails for $3600 a pair. It is sold direct from KEF and through an extensive dealer network.
The R700, as noted, is designed around a Uni-Q driver coaxial array. It's a 1" vented aluminum dome tweeter inside a 5" aluminum midrange driver. There are two 6.5" aluminum bass drivers for low end support that allow the speakers to mine territory down to 42 Hz. The speakers are outfitted with two ports around back, but KEF supplies a set of foam plugs for each speaker for use depending on setup. What differentiates this from the smaller R500 and larger R900 is largely bass output, cabinet and woofer size, and efficiency. R700s are a cinch to drive, rated with published specifications of 89 dB and 8 Ohms impedance.
Around back, very high quality binding posts allow for bi-wiring or bi-amping. A simple turn of a knob allows you to connect or disconnect the LF and HF posts. I single-wired the speakers with a pair of Transparent MM2 Super speaker cables. The speakers are shipped with a user installable set of heavy metal plinth like feet that accommodate spikes. This allows for very stable placement either on carpet or flooring.
The R700 is a stunning speaker visually, especially the supplied gloss white review sample. Other finishes include piano black, rosewood, and walnut. At 57 Lbs each, the R700s are immaculately finished and built. I have rarely encountered floor standers at this price point with this kind of luxurious feel and attention to detail.