KEF R11 Meta


Floorstanding loudspeakers

The KEF R11 Meta is a technicist object – a perfect sharp-edged MDF block, very narrow (0.2m), very tall (1.3m) and reasonably deep (0.4m). The compactness and seven braces inside make the cabinets stiff and non-resonant.

Funkce a forma


KEF continues to use aluminium dome tweeter, embedded in the centre of aluminium midrange driver, their Uni-Q concentric driver that has been perfectioned over years. The tweeter is said to improve its dispersion through tangerine like structure. For the same purpose the surround of the Uni-Q driver is slightly convex. KEF calls it Shadow Flare. In the last couple of years, KEF also continues upgrading all their models into the “Meta” versions. The Meta attribute indicates the way KEF uses to disperse the rear pressure from the tweeter dome. It is a labyrinth of channels folded into a disc that is placed behind the Uni-Q driver. The idea is that the sound enters the labyrinth and is absorbed, rather than reflected, thus the distortion of the Uni-Q is lowered. The four woofers that surround the Uni-Q driver looks like aluminium too, but the cones are paper and only have aluminium caps glued to them. KEF calls it a hybrid design. All the woofers are crossed over at 400Hz and convey the same information. Both upper and lower couple of woofers has its own reflex port, slightly oval and placed off-axis, with flexible walls to prevent turbulent airflow and noise.  If need be, the ports can be closed by foam plugs that come with the speakers.

Around the back there is a plastic panel with 2 pairs of speaker binding posts and two knobs, that (by turning) interconnect/disconnect the woofers and the concentric drivers for bi-wiring if needed. On one hand it is a smart and a convenient solution, on other hand you must rely on rather subpar connection on the back side of the terminal plate. I would prefer a hardwired solution with the usual jumpers instead.

Nízké frekvence


The KEF R11 Meta’s plinth has diagonally mounted outriggers with cone-like spikes. The stabilization function works quite well, although the rather tall cabinets remain vulnerable to being knocked over. The floor isolation is rather symbolic, and I recommend using another aftermarket solution to improve how the KEF sound. For the test I used Blue Horizon Extreme shoes, and they elevated the performance of the R11 significantly. Not only did they isolate better, but they also moved the Uni-Q driver around 2 centimetres higher vs my ears. On the spikes, the R11 Meta’s tweeter is around 10cm below ears of a seated listener and the speaker sounds a bit anaemic. By adjusting the heigh (or by tilting the speaker) the upper frequency spectrum opens up and the speaker sounds livelier and more engaging. The vocal of Ane Brun in These Days became so much more locked in soundstage and more articulated with the Blue Horizon shoes under the KEF.

Čistota rozlišení


As said, the R11 Meta is like an old-fashioned skyscraper; the right-angled prism is not disturbed by any round edges, facets, or bevels. However, the sleekness of the cabinets works extremely well and helped the KEF completely disappear in the soundfield, as much as miniature KEF LS50 meta did when I tested them. Imaging was definitely one of the strengths of this loudspeaker.  They were one of the few speakers that positioned both female and male voices at correct height. Usually, I spend minutes and hours by trying to force speakers have real-size dimensionality in a room. Who wants to listen to a vocalist who is a dwarf (or a giant)? I had no urge to tweak the system in this sense with the KEF R11 Meta, which was quite unique. The concentric Uni-Q driver also made sure, that the upper register arrived at listener’s ears always in phase, no matter how far or near field I was listening in. Thus, despite the tall design, I believe the KEF R11 Meta can be used in even the smallest rooms, provided that the bass output does not overload the room.

Tonální věrnost


The four symmetrical woofers were surprisingly not inducing the sense of too much bass power. Intuitively, I would expect booming bass, maybe too much of it, but it never happened. In fact, KEF declares the R11 Meta to extend to only 46Hz +/-3dB, which is a very honest value, although the room adds its own modes, and the real bass feels to dig a bit deeper. Still, the midrange was the dominating frequency band for the R11 Meta. The midrange is saturated and smooth, and quite detailed too. The “Meta” improvements also helped busy big bands sound more legible and open than before (compared to the non-Meta R11 version), so each saxophone and trombone were nicely delineated within the soundstage. The Uni-Q drivers did not try to ‘spit’ the sound at me, it did not push and exhibited neither forwardness, nor it was inviting, but it was not dry either. The result: I could listen to the KEFs for as long as I wanted without any fatigue and felt I did not want to skip tracks or albums. I would say the R11 Meta is not the best loudspeaker for audio exhibitions, as it may sound too understated to show off. Also, the R11 won’t let you feel the metal of cymbals the way that other speakers can – the presentation is forgiving and non-aggressive. Yet, that’s why they are excellent speakers to live with.


Šířka scény
Hloubka scény

The KEF R11 Meta represent no difficult load for amplifiers. The speaker is specified 4ohms/90dB. I used new Accuphase A-80 during the review, and it sent around 35 Watts of peak power to the speakers with dynamic orchestral material played loud. I remember my own A-70 into B&W 802 Diamond with the very same recording asking for 200 Watts of peak power in a room of similar size.

The life with the KEF R11 Meta is free from drama – the music flows out without any ripples and disturbances, the speakers do not exhibit, rather they entertain. For their asking price you can have speakers that are more open, more dynamic, and more precise. You can have speakers that dig deeper and are more visceral. The main question is: will you be able to listen to such speakers for hours and hours? That’s where KEF R11 Meta excels.

Cena v době recenze:133 000,- Kč

Doporučení prodejci

Perfect Sound Group, Praha, tel. +420 722 960 690

Připojené komponenty

  • Sources: Accuphase DP-450
  • Amplifers: Accuphase A-80
  • Interconnects and speaker cables: Nordost Heimdall, Nordost Tyr V2
  • Power conditioning: IsoTek GII Optimum, IsoTek V5 Sigmas, Nordost Qb8, Nordost Tyr V2



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