Stylistically, the KEF Q-Series speaker system is an attractive set. The maple finish is elegant. The speakers are crafted in a high-quality simulated wood finish over high-density MDF. From even a short distance you would believe that you were looking at real wood. With so many speaker finishes in today's market looking like the "faux ski lodge" walls inside a double-wide trailer, the KEF Q-Series is truly a beautiful sight.
Setting up the system was a breeze. I placed the center Q9c speaker above the TV for optimum sound staging and the front L/R Q7 towers on either side of the TV, about eight feet apart from each other. I lined up the rear Q5
speakers behind and beside the listening position and faced them diagonally across from the front speakers. The Q-Series speakers are direct-radiating meaning that they fire the sound right at you versus bipolar or dipolar which radiate sound in opposing directions. I quickly connected the speakers to my reference Sunfire Theater Grand preamp and Cinema Grand amplifier, and I was ready to go.
Watching Jurassic Park III was especially exciting with the KEF Q-Series speaker system. I could have sworn that the giant birdcage that the Pterodactyls were flying around in was right there in my living room. I noticed right away just how compatible the five speakers were. The tonality of this system is very well matched, which makes for a terrific movie-watching experience. The audio experience of the flying dinosaur birds (as I like to call them) was truly dynamic. On more sedate material, such as Sting's 5.1 concert DVD All This Time, bass response remained solid but gave way to a smoother side as well. On tough material, such as the upright bass played through much of this concert, the KEF speaker ensemble offered both a tight midrange and bass.
The great looks and excellent, solid performance of the KEF speaker ensemble makes viewing a movie or listening to music at home very enjoyable. And the aforementioned PSW3000 subwoofer will be available by the time this issue is in your hands. If you're in the market for a mid-priced 5.1 speaker system, find a dealer and audition these speakers...chances are you'll want to take them home.
Suggested Retail Price
KEF Q-Series Speaker System $2,450
Q7 $1,200 per pair
Q5 $900 per pair, Q9c $350 each
• Read a review of the flagship KEF MUON loudspeaker system.
• Read high end audio speaker reviews including floorstanding speakers from the likes of KEF, B&W, Monitor Audio, MartinLogan, Paradigm, PSB and many others.