Review Price £799.00
KEF KHT2005.3 5.1 Speaker System - KEF KHT2005.3
To test their sonic prowess, we hooked the KHT2005.3 up to a Denon AVR-3802 receiver being fed audio signals from an OPPO DV-983H DVD player. They took a while to warm up, but once they did the speakers delivered a superb performance that belies their compact size, making both movies and music sound absolutely entrancing.
The first disc into the tray was Ice Age 2: The Meltdown, which may be a kid's movie but it boasts a number of big action sequences that provide a stern test for any sound system. The frenetic sound effects and jaunty score are reproduced with real bounce and vigour, but the most impressive aspect is the formidable bass output from the Kube-2 as big chunks of ice come crashing to the ground. Overall, the sound is crisp, fluid and most importantly powerful, and if you were blindfolded you'd swear blind it was coming from much bigger speakers.
Another key factor in this stellar performance is the way the sats, sub and centre blend into each other coherently thanks to an identical tonal match that makes for a pleasingly homogenous, unified sound. The crystal clear highs provide a very detailed sound, and they're backed up by smooth mids and bass reproduction that's deep enough to ensure a smooth and seamless handover to the sub. What's more, whichever sat you pick as the centre does an excellent job, offering realistically reproduced voices.
Switching over to Terminator 2: Judgment Day's sensational DTS soundtrack, the KEFs turn in yet more top-notch sound quality. Their handling of the opening battle between the humans and the machines is dazzling, sounding smooth and controlled but with enough kick to get the pulse racing. Our love affair with this killer system is cemented by the breathless chase through the canal, particularly when the T1000's truck cab makes its famous crash-dive off the edge - the depth and solidity of the crunch as it hits the ground is worth £700 alone.
And music playback gives us no cause for complaint either. The Stevie Wonder-like stylings of Frank McComb Live In Atlanta on CD allows the KHT2005.3 to show off its formidable frequency range as well as injecting a great deal of warmth and openness into the proceedings, while DVD-Audio and SACD material is handled with wonderful attention to detail.
The KHT2005.3's performance is among the best we've heard from a sub/sat system at this price, delivering the kind of confident and sophisticated sound quality that many people wouldn't expect from such compact satellites. The sub does a great job too, offering deep bass that works in perfect harmony with the other channels, and KEF yet again displays its knack for eye-catching design with a glorious egg shaped design and sumptuous finish. So if you want an approachable and affordable speaker package but don't want to compromise on performance, then the KHT2005.3 is an ideal choice.
Scores In Detail
- Sound Quality