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KEF Q900 Floorstanding Speaker Video Review

KEF Q900 Floorstanding Speaker

KEF Q900 Floorstanding Speaker


  • Product Name: Q900
  • Manufacturer: KEF
  • Review Date: March 24, 2014 12:00
  • MSRP: $899.99/each
  • First Impression: Gotta Have It!
  • Model: Q900

  • Design: Two and a half-way bass reflex

  • Drive Units: 200mm (8in.) aluminum Uni-Q 38mm (1.5in.) vented aluminum dome HF 200mm (8in.) aluminum LF 2 x 200mm (8in.) aluminum ABR

  • Frequency response ±3dB: 32Hz - 40kHz

  • Crossover frequency: 1.8kHz

  • Amplifier requirements: 15 - 200W

  • Sensitivity (2.83V/1m): 91dB

  • Maximum output (SPL): 114dB

  • Impedance: 8Ω

  • Weight: 22.1kg (48.7lbs)

  • Dimensions: (H x W x D): 1060 x 244 x 322 mm (41.7 x 9.6 x 12.7 in.)

  • Dimensions with plinth: (H x W x D):1107 x 359 x 322 mm (43.6 x 14.1 x 12.7 in.)

The KEF Q900 floorstanding speakers are the flagship of the Q line but they won't empty your wallet. At $900 each and deals to be found online, these speakers are in the perfect price point for those that want to step to speakers that, at the very least look high end, without having to mortgage their homes.

To start with, the Q900s look the part. They have a veneer that looks like real wood as long as you don't touch it. They come standard with outriggers, which makes adjustments a snap, dual binding posts with an interesting bi-amp control, and an impressive number of drivers. 

Let's take a closer look at the drivers. KEF has included their Uni-Q driver array, which, like everything KEF does these days, is based on their Blade speaker. The Uni-Q driver is a coaxial design with a 1.5" tweeter with what they are calling a tangerine waveguide embedded in the topmost 8" woofer. This allows KEF to cross over into the tweeter at just 1.8kHz.


KEF Uni-Q driver

All the drivers, including the tweeter, have aluminum domes with the top Uni-Q driver having an interesting ribbed surround. Of the three bottom 8" woofers, only one is powered with the other two being passive radiators (or what KEF calls Auxiliary Bass Radiators). This allows the Q900s to forgo the usual port while still maintaining a bass reflex design. 

The Q900s are an 8 ohm speaker with a 91dB sensitivity. This makes them very easy to power to ear-bleed levels with even a midrange receiver. We hooked the KEFs up to a number of amps, including the 150 watt Yamaha MX-A5000, and the KEFs just sang.

The Q900s sound great and have a tremendous amount of bass. We played around with some test tones and found that the KEFs could play well down into the 30 Hz range cleanly (they are rated to 32Hz). We'd recommend running a crossover with them, however, as lower than that the KEFs would introduce noise and even some of the 30-40Hz content sounded unnatural.  Can you go without a sub for musical content with the Q900s? Yes. Would we recommend it? No. 

The top end was clean, if a bit laid back - something many people will prefer. At high volumes, the tweeter did start to break up but that's to be expected. The midrange was best described as very warm with a full sound. The prodigious bass, however, gave the overall presentation a very lush character, which was very easy to relax into. If you like female vocalists with smoky voices, you're going to love these speakers. We found the KEFs to be more directional than other speakers, but this is more a function of their choice of drivers than any design flaw.


KEF Q900 binding posts 

We did pick a few nits with the Q900s, however. The grille is flimsy and had tiny posts that could easily be broken with repeated removals. The grille wasn't braced at all in the middle and we were afraid it would actually vibrate and hit the cabinet during bass-heavy passages. Basically, you'll want to get rid of the grille anyhow as the KEFs look fantastic without it. The bracing within the cabinet was minimal, the floor spikes were ridiculously large, and there was no rubber foot option for hardwood floors. 

These are all minor complaints, however, as the price for the KEF Q900s all but makes up for it. At $900 each, and a pair going for as little as $1300 open-box from a KEF authorized reseller, these are very easy on the wallet for the performance and looks. With the grilles off, these speakers look better than many speakers twice their price. And the sound? Well, we recommend you get yourself to a showroom where you can check them out for yourself. We're betting you're going to be very surprised at what you hear.

For more information, please visit www.kef.com.

Unless otherwise indicated, this is a preview article for the featured product. A formal review may or may not follow in the future.

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Clint Deboer was terminated from Audioholics for misconduct on April 4th, 2014. He no longer represents Audioholics in any fashion.

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