The only wires you need to connect to the KHT8003 are speaker cables for the left, right and centre speakers, which explains why the rear panel is so sparse. There are simply three sets of gold-plated binding posts, which helpfully contain little springs that hold the cables firmly in place instead of the usual screw-type connections.
The lack of sockets actually makes it easier to wall-mount than most soundbars – after all, three speaker cables are much easier to conceal than a rats nest of HDMIs and audio leads. All the relevant brackets are supplied for wall-mounting the soundbar and the rear speakers, but if you don’t fancy that then there’s a pair of tabletop cradles for the soundbar to sit in, while the beautifully-styled rears will stand up on their own or fit into KEF’s speaker stands.
Inside the soundbar’s ‘acoustically inert’ aluminium enclosure is a showcase of KEF’s tried and trusted technology. There are three complete speakers, each one comprising KEF’s Uni-Q array with a 75mm mid-bass driver, a 15in aluminium high-frequency driver, a 75mm woofer and a 75mm auxiliary bass radiator. The rear speakers, meanwhile, feature dual 50mm woofers and 19mm HF drivers and have the same sprung binding posts on the back as the soundbar.
The amount of time it takes to rig up the system depends on which components you want to wall mount, and on a general note it’s worth reiterating that if you don’t already own an AV receiver then you’ll need to get yourself one, a requirement that could turn the KEF into an even more expensive option than it is already – not to mention the fact that it strips away much of the hassle-free convenience that you get from soundbars with everything built-in.
Still, once you’ve rigged it up, configuring the system is a quick process – KEF recommends setting your receiver’s speaker settings to ‘small’ and although it takes some judicious tweaking of the sub volume to get it working in harmony with the other speakers, it’s easy to do.