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KEF R Series Meta - The newest generation with Metamaterial Absorption Technology

KEF is convinced that it is redefining the world of sound with the presentation of the new KEF R Series Meta. This new model generation comes with a feature that stands out in particular, namely the KEF Metamaterial Absorption Technology, or simply MAT.

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  • The latest generation of the KEF R Series, the KEF R Series Meta, now comes with a special feature, KEF Metamaterial Absorption Technology.

The latest generation of the KEF R Series, the KEF R Series Meta, comes with seven models, so that this product line can once again be described as a particularly versatile, flexible loudspeaker series that is designed for both stereo and home cinema. The KEF R Series Meta is a new generation of loudspeakers designed for both stereo and home cinema applications. The KEF R Series Meta is a new generation of loudspeakers designed for both stereo and home cinema applications.

It is obvious that the KEF R Series is equipped with what is described as ground-breaking technology and which has already caused a sensation in other models. The latest KEF R Series models are equipped with KEF Metamaterial Absorption Technology, or MAT for short. The new KEF R Series Meta is presented as KEF R11 Meta, KEF R7 Meta, KEF R5 Meta, KEF R3 Meta, KEF R6 Meta, KEF R2 Meta and KEF R8 Meta.

KEF R Series Meta – a new definition of sound

KEF, founded in 1961, has always aimed to develop solutions that represent nothing less than sound perfection, and this ambition is also at the forefront of the development of the new KEF R Series Meta.

For this purpose, they have relied on the latest technologies to guarantee a superior performance with more details, deeper insights and greater excitement, as the English describe it themselves.

KEF The Reference Series technologies

The KEF R Series, for example, uses technologies originally developed for KEF’s The Reference Series, which are now used in the latest generation of KEF R Series. The aim is to achieve the goal outlined above and deliver a sound experience that is described as exceptional. Yes, KEF is also talking about bringing the exceptional technologies of KEF The Reference Series to an even wider range of customers with the new KEF R Series Meta, both in the stereo segment for outstanding music performance and in the home cinema segment for stunning movie soundtracks.

“Demand for high-fidelity sound in the home is constantly increasing, whether listening to music or watching movies as part of a home cinema system, and audiophiles expect the best sound quality. At KEF, we strive to give listeners the opportunity to experience content exactly as the producer intended. The introduction of the new R Series with MAT has enhanced the listening experience more than ever before.”

Grace Lo, KEF President & Head of Global Marketing

KEF Uni-Q 12th generation driver with KEF MAT

As already briefly mentioned, one technology in particular is now a special feature of the KEF R Series Meta models, and that is the so-called Metamaterial Absorption Technology, also known as KEF MAT for short.

As complex as the subject matter is, the theoretical principle is simple: it is an element that is mounted behind the driver. It works in a way that could be described as an acoustic black hole, because it absorbs unwanted sound particularly effectively and thus guarantees a performance that is always controlled and free of distortion.

In practice, the Metamaterial Absorption Technology is an element made of a special material that has a highly complex, labyrinthine structure in which each of the complex channels absorbs a specific frequency, resulting in the targeted, particularly effective absorption of unwanted sound of a remarkable 99 per cent.

This KEF MAT is used in the KEF UNi-Q 12th generation driver, specifically in the tweeter, which is located in the centre of the midrange driver – as is well known, this is a coaxial driver arrangement.

Once again, KEF has made significant improvements to this special driver design, which is a KEF speciality and is intended to come particularly close to the ideal of a point source, whereby we are talking about KEF Uni-Q drivers with KEF MAT that are tailor-made for the new KEF R Series Meta.

In addition to decades of experience, KEF has once again used the latest simulation and analysis tools in the development of these 12th generation KEF Uni-Q drivers.

Numerous detail improvements

In addition to KEF MAT, there are two other improvements and modifications that KEF cites as particularly significant: refined tweeter gap damping to tame resonances and thus increase detail, and a flexible decoupling chassis to prevent unwanted vibrations and contribute to even greater clarity in reproduction.

Aluminium hybrid woofers

The woofers are made of aluminium, which the manufacturer calls hybrid woofers. These are said to be characterised by a particularly tight, deep-reaching and yet always controlled reproduction, as the company from England states in this regard.

Improved crossover for more transparency

The crossover has also been improved for the latest generation of KEF R Series Meta speakers and their newly developed drivers.

The crossover, or rather the signal path as a whole, has been tuned in such a way that an unadulterated, clean sound can be achieved. The KEF R Series Meta models are said to be characterised by transparency and naturalness and thus once again fully live up to their reputation as an exceptional product line.

Seven models for hi-fi and home cinema

As we mentioned earlier, the KEF R Series Meta is once again extremely broadly positioned. No fewer than seven models are available to create a wide range of hi-fi and home cinema solutions.

For example, the user can choose from three floorstanding speaker systems, the KEF R11 Meta, KEF R7 Meta and KEF R5 Meta. Interestingly, only one bookshelf speaker system, the KEF R3 Meta, is available, but it is designed to deliver a particularly gripping, dynamic performance, regardless of the listening room, and to bring out the emotion of the music perfectly.

For home cinema applications, KEF offers two centre speakers, the KEF R6 Meta and the KEF R2 Meta, both of which can be used in an LRC configuration, i.e. not only in the centre but also in the left and right channels. KEF also points out that all floorstanding, bookshelf and centre speakers use identical KEF Uni-Q drivers, guaranteeing a consistent sound character.

Of course, it is also essential in home cinema that the user has the means to create immersive 3D surround installations, and with the KEF R Series Meta this is guaranteed by the Dolby Atmos-enabled KEF R8 Meta speaker. This can be placed on the stand-mounted speaker systems of the product line, but can also be wall-mounted.

And speaking of placement, it’s worth noting that the KEF R3 MAT bookshelf speaker also comes with a matching stand, the KEF S3 Floor Stand. The speaker has holes and threads on the underside to ensure stable, reliable mounting. The floor stand in turn has integrated cable management and can be weighted down or dampened with sand.

Elegance for flexible integration into the living space

KEF is a company that is committed to outstanding technology to achieve the best sound quality, but also to a particularly elegant and often unique design. This is to ensure that their loudspeaker systems blend seamlessly into any living environment.

The new KEF R Series Meta, for example, is said to have a restrained aesthetic, a design line that focuses on classic features in the loudspeaker sector and thus has a timelessly elegant look,

White Gloss, Black Gloss and Walnut

This is underlined by the fact that almost every model in the latest KEF R Series generation is offered in three finishes that the manufacturer claims will blend into both traditional and contemporary interiors, namely Black Gloss, White Gloss and Walnut.

KEF R7 Meta Titanium Gloss Special Edition and KEF R3 Meta Indigo Gloss Special Edition

Interestingly, KEF has announced two special design variants for the KEF R7 Meta and KEF R3 Meta solutions, which will be available from summer 2023 in the form of the KEF R7 Meta Titanium Gloss Special Edition and KEF R3 Meta Indigo Gloss Special Edition.

But apart from the purely design-related aspects, it should be mentioned that the developers naturally designed the cabinets in such a way that the desired optimum reproduction is guaranteed. It should also be mentioned that the cabinet is constructed with Constrained Layer Damping bracing, which effectively dampens unwanted vibrations.

In many cases, the speakers will be used without grilles, but these are of course included in the scope of delivery. Here, microfibre front covers are used, which, according to the manufacturer, are supposed to represent a perfect balance between protection of the drivers and sound performance as well as aesthetics.

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More Information

KEF R11 Meta – three-way floorstanding loudspeaker

The KEF R11 Meta is the top of the range KEF R Series Meta and is designed as a three-way floorstanding speaker system. A KEF 12th generation Uni-Q driver with MAT and four 16.5 cm hybrid aluminium woofers are here to provide a stunning listening experience, allowing the fine details of a recording to be brought out while delivering raw power and agility.

KEF R7 Meta – three-way floorstanding speaker

Designed as a mid-sized three-way floorstanding speaker, the KEF R7 Meta is intended to be as powerful as it is flexible. Its 12th generation KEF Uni-Q driver system with MAT provides crystal-clear reproduction of music and movies, while its twin 16.5cm aluminium hybrid woofers deliver accurate and dynamic bass.

KEF R5 Meta – three-way floorstanding speaker

A compact three-way floorstanding speaker, the slim and elegant KEF R5 Meta is said to offer a highly detailed sound and deep, clean bass. This speaker also features a KEF 12th generation Uni-Q driver system with MAT, as well as two 13 cm hybrid aluminium woofers. The KEF R5 Meta can be used as a stereo pair or as a surround speaker as part of an ultimate KEF R Series home theatre system.

KEF R3 Meta – three-way bookshelf speaker

The new KEF R3 Meta redefines the performance of bookshelf speakers, says KEF. Featuring the same drivers as the KEF R11 Meta, the KEF R3 Meta is a true three-way design with a KEF 12th generation Uni-Q driver system with MAT and a powerful 16.5 cm hybrid aluminium woofer.

KEF R6 Meta – three-way centre speaker

The new KEF R6 Meta is said to be a particularly powerful centre speaker, combining a KEF 12th generation Uni-Q driver with MAT and two 16.5 cm aluminium hybrid woofers. A special feature is that the KEF R6 Meta can be used in a versatile LCR (Left-Centre-Right) configuration.

KEF R2 Meta – three-way centre speaker

A compact yet powerful centre speaker is the KEF R2 Meta, also designed as a three-way system, with two 13 cm hybrid aluminium woofers in addition to the KEF 12th generation Uni-Q driver with MAT. This can also be used flexibly in an LCR (Left-Centre-Right) configuration.

KEF R8 Meta – Dolby Atmos-enabled speaker

The KEF R8 Meta is a Dolby Atmos-enabled two-way system that can be placed on top of another speaker to reflect sound from the ceiling and bring Dolby Atmos into the room without the need for special installation. However, it can also be used as a surround or rear speaker via the integrated wall mount. A KEF Uni-Q 12th generation driver with MAT is also included.

Prices and availability

The new KEF R Series Meta will be available immediately in Black Gloss, White Gloss and Walnut finishes. For prices of the latest generation KEF R Series, please see the table below. The special edition KEF R7 Meta Titanium Gloss Special Edition and KEF R3 Meta Indigo Gloss Special Edition will follow in summer 2023.

Getting to the point

Once again, KEF, the long-established English loudspeaker specialist, presents the latest KEF R Series Meta, a product line that boasts cutting-edge features, with a special focus on KEF Meta and the particularly outstanding KEF Metamaterial Absorption Technology. In conjunction with other striking improvements and optimisations, the new KEF R Series is designed to offer a particularly high level of performance, especially as the English company is even talking about making the meta qualities of KEF’s Reference Series available to a broader range of customers. The new KEF R Series Meta is ideally equipped for stereo as well as home cinema with a particularly appealing sound.

PriceKEF R11 Meta € 6.500,- per pair
KEF R7 Meta € 5.000,- per par
KEF R5 Meta € 3.500,- per pair
KEF R3 Meta € 2.200,- per pair
KEF R6 Meta € 1.800,- per pair
KEF R2 Meta € 1.400,- per unit
KEF R8 Meta € 1.600,- per pair
KEF S3 Floor Stand € 699,- per pair
DistributionGP Acoustics GmbH
More about this manufacturer at HiFi BLOG
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Michael Holzinger

Michael Holzinger, founder and editor-in-chief of HiFi BLOG and sempre-audio.at, has been working for years as a journalist in the fields of IT, photography, telecommunications and consumer electronics.

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