KEF R3 Meta Review: Solid Bass, Premium Sound

Pulling the hefty audio system from their packaging, you’ll discover a pair of port bungs, microfiber speaker grilles, and rubber toes. Behind every speaker is a pair of rugged terminals permitting for discretely bi-amping the bass and higher drivers. I requested KEF in regards to the want for bi-amping, as I solely deliberate to connect with the decrease terminals, and was informed there’s no actual firm “voice” on the topic however the implication is that there’s minimal sonic profit in doing so.

The audio system’ 4-ohm nominal impedance means they’ll possible be more durable to drive than 6-ohm or 8-ohm audio system, however impedance is a fancy topic and it varies by frequency. KEF claims the audio system may be powered by as little as 15 watts per facet, however for finest outcomes, I nonetheless recommend a comparatively brawny amp with good readability, just like the Naim Uniti Atom I employed.

Let It Glow

As gleeful as these audio system are to play, it’s no simple job to inform a narrative as wealthy and expressive as what the R3 Meta inform your ears minute by minute, beat by beat. You’ve simply gotta hear these items. They’re extremely nuanced, dynamic, and clear, providing energy and lyrical musicality on a stage that few audio system their dimension can accomplish. Each track you play is a brand new chapter, as their chameleonic sound signature units the stage for every new combine.

That’s to not say the audio system don’t provide their very own distinctive sonic taste; they actually do. However what the R3 deliver to the desk is so clear, so candy, and so effortlessly expressive—particularly when powered by a clear amplifier just like the Uniti Atom—they lend themselves to each topic with sympathetic supply. This implies they’ll discover all the failings in your music, after all, however most of the time, it’s offered extra as a stylistic alternative. That lets your ears separate the manufacturing wheat from the chaff in all the things you play, whereas nonetheless having fun with lo-fi recordings.

Older Seashore Boys songs can sound a bit skinny and even tinny on many audio system, however songs like “In My Room” and “Wouldn’t It Be Good” soar with the R3 Meta, with well-struck percussion that pops out from the immersive soundstage, satiny harmonies, and easy guitar tones that appear to drag you to the nice and cozy Pacific seashores. Flipping to topflight trendy manufacturing like The Weeknd’s “Starboy” resets the stage utterly. The R3’s magnified readability supplied the perfect efficiency of the track I’ve heard but, with laser synths, columns of bass, and swelling results echoing out the perimeters and skimming previous my face for an nearly surreal expertise.

The phrase “luminous” saved developing repeatedly as I moved by way of dozens of compressed and hi-res tracks over a number of days. Each string and horn participant, each synth impact, vocal, or guitar tone appears to bloom with its personal intrinsic mild when handed by way of the R3, for chill-inducing performances. When cymbals sparkle, the audio system mild that sparkle with an additional shot of vivid shimmer. When reverb trails hold, the audio system lengthen and draw them out, letting them fade solely simply in time for the subsequent musical entrance. And when bass bumps, it hits with marble-hard authority and musical power.

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