Review Price £1,000.00
KEF KHT3005SE Features
There’s a wealth of clever tech at play inside the KEF KHT3005SE satellite speakers. Firstly the Uni-Q driver array places the tweeter in the centre of the mid/bass cone, allowing them to act as a ‘single, focused source of sound’. KEF says the sound is dispersed evenly throughout the room, thus doing away with the notion of a sweet spot.
It’s helped along by the ‘Tangerine’ waveguide, a series of ‘blades’ positioned in front of the tweeter. These help achieve wide dispersion and clearer high frequencies – not to mention stopping the kids poking at it. Inside the cabinets, the speakers use KEF’s Sealed Suspension Technology to minimise internal resonance.
The subwoofer is equipped with a 250mm bass driver and a matching passive bass radiator. Power comes from a 250W Class D amplifier.
KEF KHT3005SE Performance
This all adds up to a stunning performance. Play a rowdy movie like The Dark Knight and the KEF KHT3005SE is in its element, reproducing the opening bank heist scene with outstanding drive and clarity. It’s a fast, exciting sound, laden with crisp detail, and best of all it keeps its composure at loud volumes. Sounds like the rat-tat-tat of machine gun fire or a bus smashing through a wall are forceful but not harsh or overly bright.
As the Joker and Batman scrap it out on the Gotham streets, the KEF disperses the cacophony into the room evenly, creating an expansive, encompassing soundstage layered with tension-heightening ambience and snappy effects. The speakers interact with each other seamlessly and true to KEF’s claims it sounds great no matter where you’re sitting.
The KEF KHT3005SE also makes high frequencies sparkle, making for a open, detailed listen. It can’t quite match the clarity and insight of the Paradigm Cinema 100 CT, one of its immediate price rivals, but there’s not much in it.
Where the KEF really excels is in its midrange reproduction. Not only is speech clear and prominent – even during busy action scenes – but it’s also imbued with amazing depth (thanks to those dual bass drivers) and superb detail. It nails the Joker’s drawl and Batman’s razor-gargling gruffness, but also picks out the tiny inflections of normal human voices.
This wonderful performance is topped off by a solid bass reproduction from the subwoofer. It’s agile, responsive and never overbearing if set up properly. The bass it contributes is deep, tight and masterfully controlled, with no booming. It’s sensitive too – even the gentle rhythmic stabs of bass in the soundtrack have a depth and density to them. Again we’d say that Paradigm’s sub has a bit more slam and immediacy but it’s still a fine performance.
KEF KHT3005SE Verdict
The KEF KHT3005SE is that rarest of things, a style-led speaker system that sounds as good as it looks. The stunning design is distinctly modern yet elegant – made all the more swanky by its new gloss white finish – plus the compact dimensions and convenient mounting options makes it living room friendly. Build quality is every bit as robust as you’d expect for the money.
But there’s substance behind the style. With movies, the sound is powerful, detailed and articulate, with forceful dialogue reproduction and an expansive, seamless soundstage. It’s not the very best we’ve heard at this price point but the KEF is certainly up there with the compact system elite.
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