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KEF Q 2017 Loudspeaker Preview

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Summary

  • Product Name: Q150, Q350, Q550, Q750, Q950, Q650c
  • Manufacturer: KEF
  • Review Date: May 24, 2017 09:00
  • MSRP: $550/pr Q150, $650/pr Q350, $550/ea 550, $750/ea Q750, $900/ea Q950, $650/ea Q650c
  • First Impression: Pretty Cool
  • Buy Now

Q150 Bookshelf

Design:    Two-way bass reflex
Drive Units:   
     Uni-Q driver array
     HF: 1 inch vented aluminium dome
     LF/MF: 5.25 inch aluminium Uni-Q
Frequency Range Free Field (-6dB):    47Hz
Frequency Response (±3dB):    51Hz - 28kHz
Crossover Frequency:    2.5kHz
Sensitivity (2.83V/1m):    86dB
Maximum Output: 108dB
Nominal Impedance:    8Ω (min.3.7Ω)
Weight: 12.3 lbs
Dimension: (H with Rubber Feet X W X D )  12.08 inches  x 7.08 inches x 10.9 inches

 

Q350 Bookshelf

Design:    Two-way bass reflex
Drive Units:   
     Uni-Q driver array
     HF: 1inch vented aluminium dome
     LF/MF: 6.50 inch aluminium Uni-Q
Frequency Range Free Field (-6dB):    42Hz
Frequency Response (±3dB):    63Hz - 28kHz
Crossover Frequency:    2.5kHz
Sensitivity (2.83V/1m):    87dB
Maximum Output: 110dB
Nominal Impedance:    8Ω (min.3.7Ω)
Weight:    16.8 lbs
Dimension (H with Rubber Feet X W X D): 14.25 inches x 8.26 inches x 12.04 inches

 

Q550 Floorstanding

Design:    Two and a half-way bass reflex
Drive Units:  
     5.25 in. aluminum Uni-Q
     1in. vented aluminum dome HF
     5.25in. aluminum LF
     2x 5.25in. aluminum ABR
Frequency Range Free Field (-6dB):    45Hz
Frequency Response (±3dB):    58Hz - 28kHz
Crossover Frequency:    2.5kHz
Sensitivity (2.83V/1m):    87dB
Maximum Output: 110dB
Nominal Impedance:    8Ω (min.3.5Ω)
Weight:    32 lbs
Dimension (H X W X D) *with Rubber Feet    36.45 inches x 11.77 inches x 12.20 inches

 

Q750 Floorstanding

Design:    Two and a half-way bass reflex
Drive Units:   
      6.5in. aluminium Uni-Q
      1in. vented aluminium dome HF
      6.5in. aluminium LF
      2 x 6.5in.aluminium ABR
Frequency Range Free Field (-6dB):    42Hz
Frequency Response (±3dB):    48Hz-28kHz
Crossover Frequency:    2.5kHz
Sensitivity (2.83V/1m):    88dB
Maximum Output: 111dB
Nominal Impedance:    8Ω (min.3.8Ω)
Weight:    36.4 lbs
Dimension (H X W X D) *with Rubber Feet    38.46 inches x 12.71 inches x 12.20 inches

 

Q950 Floorstanding

Design:    Two and a half-way bass reflex
Drive Units:  
     8in. aluminium Uni-Q
     1.5in. vented aluminium dome HF
     8in. aluminium LF
     2 x 8in. aluminium ABR
Frequency Range Free Field (-6dB):   38Hz
Frequency Response (±3dB):    44Hz-28kHz
Crossover Frequency:    2.2kHz
Sensitivity (2.83V/1m):    91dB
Maximum Output: 113dB
Nominal Impedance:    8Ω (min.3.2Ω)
Weight:    45.4 lbs
Dimension (H X W X D) *with Rubber Feet    43.93 inches x 14.05 inches x 12.91 inches

 

Q650c Center Speaker

Design:    Two and a half-way bass reflex
Drive Units:   
     Uni-Q driver array:
     HF: 25mm (1in.) vented aluminium dome
     LF/MF: 165mm (6.50in.) aluminium Uni-Q
Frequency Range Free Field (-6dB)    55Hz
Frequency Response (±3dB)    64Hz - 28kHz
Crossover Frequency    2.5kHz
Amplifier Requirements    15-150W
Sensitivity (2.83V/1m)    87dB
Maximum Output
110dB
Nominal Impedance    8Ω (min.4.2Ω)
Weight    13.6kg (30 lbs)
Dimension (H X W X D)    210mm (8.26 inches) x 629mm (24.76 inches) x 304mm (11.96 inches)
Dimension (H X W X D) *with Rubber Feet    214mm (8.42 inches) x 629mm (24.76 inches) x 304mm (11.96 inches)

Executive Overview

KEF recently announced the release of their newest iteration of their Q series loudspeakers, the Q 2017. This is the 8th version of their Q series designed to compete with a more affordable market over some of their other products.  This series boasts what KEF signifies as “significant engineering milestones designed to enhance the Q series reputation even further”.  KEF’s new line-up of Q 2017 speakers consists of two bookshelf speakers – Q150 and Q350 – three floorstanding speakers – Q550, Q750 and Q950 – and a center speaker – Q650c.

KEF_Q_uni_q_explosion.jpg

All the Q 2017 speakers include a revamped Uni-Q driver array with a newly engineered damped tweeter loading tube which is designed to significantly enhance performance of the lower treble. The line-up also features a new low-distortion inductor in the crossovers to help provide a cleaner and more accurate bass.

Q150-Black-Pair_RGB.jpg    Q-Series-Black-RearPort_RGB.jpg Q350-Black-Pair_RGB.jpg

Q150 (left), rear port (center), and Q350 (right) Bookshelf Speakers

The Q150 and Q350 benefit from a CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamic) port design, which has been moved to the rear of the speaker to help improve clarity. Additionally, the Uni-Q driver array in the Q150 and Q350 has been relocated to the middle of the cabinet to reduce unwanted internal resonances. The Q150 and Q350 are currently shipping for $550/pr and $650/pr respectively. To give you an idea  of how affordable this is for a KEF speaker, KEF’s Reference I Ultimate bookshelf speakers cost $8,000/pair.

Q550-Black-Pair_RGB.jpg     Q750-Black-Pair_RGB.jpg     Q950-Black-Pair_RGB.jpg

Q550 (left), Q750 (middle), and Q950 (right) Floorstanding Speakers

In this year’s version, the Q550, Q750 and Q950 floorstanding speakers are equipped with larger roll surrounds and new spiders in their low-frequency drivers for increased bass performance. The 2017 Q floorstanding speakers also have a new paper cone to increase midrange clarity. In addition, the floorstanders’ ABR (Auxiliary Bass Radiator) is now supported by a new surround and rear suspension designed to aid in delivering more controlled bass at high volumes. The floorstanding speakers feature an altered mid-bass driver to improve midrange clarity and produces a more natural bass roll-off between drivers for a more natural sound.

One complaint of last year’s Q series was the lack of sufficient cabinet bracing for a speaker of this caliber. Hopefully the Q 2017 floorstanding speakers have rectified this with a new closed box midrange cabinet, which should help increase clarity and deliver a cleaner, punchier bass.

Q650c-Black-Toe_RGB.jpg 

We’re glad to see these renovations carryover to their center speaker as well. The Q650c center speaker also features the closed-box midrange cabinet, which reduces midrange excursion and eliminates bass distortion. In addition the Q650C features the KEF signature Uni-Q driver array and a new crossover.

Conclusion

KEF Q Series_lifestyle_image_bookshelf_white_hires.jpg

With all these modifications at prices more to the taste of discriminating shoppers these new Q 2017 speakers have quite a bit to offer. All models have a seamless baffle and magnetic grilles (as an optional accessory) and are available in black and white finishes. The cabinet design seems both elegant and modern with its contemporary matte satin finishes and matching hardware. So if you're looking for a new pair of speakers, or an entire set for an awesome home theater room, these new 2017 Q series from KEF may be for you.

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About the author:

Tony is our resident expert for lifestyle and wireless products including soundbars. He does most of the reviews for wireless and streaming loudspeakers and often compares soundbars in round ups and helps us cover the trade shows.

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Recent Forum Posts:

pase22 posts on June 21, 2017 09:37
KenM10759, post: 1192875, member: 76547
You should be happy, those are nice speakers. I'm not enamored with the flat black finish on the Q150's I heard or Q350's I held. While the European Walnut, Rosewood, Black Oak and Linear White finishes of the previous Q series were all vinyl laminates, it was without question the highest quality execution of it I've ever seen. Many people have to be told it's not true wood. My understanding is that the 3 wood-like finishes actually had some sort of wood fiber infused into the laminate.

That was expensive to do at that level of quality but in quantity, still cheaper than real wood veneers.

The R series has more panache in finish. I grabbed a pair of the R100 a month or two after I'd got the R500 pair, all in Walnut veneer. KEF had them on sale for $800 a pair for just a couple weeks before Christmas 2015. I imagine the R series will drop prices in 2018 or 2019 in preparation for the release of whatever they come up with to replace it. It seems the cycle of new model release is about 7 to 8 years with KEF, and the current R series was released in 2012. The previous Q series you have was 2010 or 2011.

What sub do you have now and what would you consider to be the next step?
Current equipment includes:
Kef Q100 FL/FR
Kef Q200c
JBL Loft 40 surrounds
Bic F-12 & JBL SP150
Denon AVR S710W
Next step would be to upgrade the sub(s), though excessive price and poor selection options in Canada are not favorable. I may just end up getting a pair of Q100's to round out the setup and re-visit the sub upgrade next year.
KenM10759 posts on June 16, 2017 12:30
And….BAM….the R100's are on sale for $799.99 as of today!

https://www.kefdirect.com/specials/specials/r100-bookshelf-speaker-pair.html

Apparently they found a few more pairs of the previous Q300's to sell too. $399.99 a pair in European Walnut, Black Oak or Linear White.

https://www.kefdirect.com/specials/specials/q300-bookshelf-loudspeaker-pair.html
KenM10759 posts on June 16, 2017 06:40
You should be happy, those are nice speakers. I'm not enamored with the flat black finish on the Q150's I heard or Q350's I held. While the European Walnut, Rosewood, Black Oak and Linear White finishes of the previous Q series were all vinyl laminates, it was without question the highest quality execution of it I've ever seen. Many people have to be told it's not true wood. My understanding is that the 3 wood-like finishes actually had some sort of wood fiber infused into the laminate.

That was expensive to do at that level of quality but in quantity, still cheaper than real wood veneers.

The R series has more panache in finish. I grabbed a pair of the R100 a month or two after I'd got the R500 pair, all in Walnut veneer. KEF had them on sale for $800 a pair for just a couple weeks before Christmas 2015. I imagine the R series will drop prices in 2018 or 2019 in preparation for the release of whatever they come up with to replace it. It seems the cycle of new model release is about 7 to 8 years with KEF, and the current R series was released in 2012. The previous Q series you have was 2010 or 2011.

What sub do you have now and what would you consider to be the next step?
pase22 posts on June 15, 2017 22:52
I'm actually quite happy with the Q100's. There is nothing wrong with them that's prompting me to want to upgrade unless Paradigm prestige or Kef R series goes on sale at a ridiculous price which seems unlikely.
I will have to upgrade my surrounds at some point to have an all Kef Q setup, though upgrading my sub first may be a wiser decision.
Thanks for the feedback!
KenM10759 posts on June 15, 2017 18:25
pase22, post: 1192773, member: 82821
Worth the upgrade from the Q100's ?

That would depend upon the application and one's ears. Understand that I heard them in a well treated room, on very sturdy stands placed at least 3 feet from back or side walls and about 10 feet apart with 10 feet from them. In other words, ideal placement. They were running off the same NAD receiver I have, a T758 with the BlueOS module playing Tidal HiFi's MQA files. It was really quite good.
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