For perfectionists who demand uncompromisingly accurate sound that captures the full emotional range, depth, and detail of the original performance.
When only the best is good enough
Perfect reproduction of sound is what KEF's legendary Reference Series has always stood for. After 40 years of continuous development, Reference has earned its name as the yardstick of high-end audio engineering.
If you want the very best sound from movies or music, it's the one name that towers above the rest.
It speaks for itself.
"A description was needed to convey the idea that every loudspeaker is subject to scrutiny at all stages of assembly, culminating in a final test comparison with a laboratory-maintained reference standard. So the method became the name: Reference." -- Laurie Fincham, Engineering Director 1968-1991
Original engineering through constant research
The list of KEF patents and innovations is unequalled. The Uni-Q point source driver is just one of many including the 'tangerine' segmented waveguide, stiffened and optimised aluminium domes, vented tweeters and the Z-flex surround.
No other range personifies KEF's passion for perfection more than The Reference.
A Class Apart
With seven models: two elegant floorstanders, a formidable bookshelf speaker, two centre channels, an awesome 1000-watt sub and a new in-wall based on the REFERENCE 5, The Reference range combines benchmark sound quality with multichannel versatility. And they are all hand built by KEF’s craftsmen in Maidstone, Kent.
Uni-Q driver array
At the heart of The Reference is a stunning new Uni-Q point source driver array. A state-of-the-art vented aluminium dome tweeter at the exact acoustic centre of a highly sophisticated midrange driver that fills the room with flawless natural sound. The artist's voice sounds as if it were right there in front of you.
Clean, rich and articulate bass is the foundation of great stereo or multichannel sound. KEF's new Reference Series bass driver has a massive vented magnet assembly, a large aluminium voice coil and an exceptionally light and stiff alloy cone. Whatever volume you choose the dynamics and power handling are superb.
Flexible port technology
The Reference has adjustable ports for fine-tuning the bass output to suit personal taste and room characteristics. Flexible port technology is used to reduce port resonance, with the flare and profile of each port calculated by computational fluid dynamics to avoid turbulent air noise that might colour the sound.
KEF engineers computer-model the ideal crossover network before auditioning every component, individually and together, to select those with the lowest distortion. Perfection takes time, but the results are plain to hear. Reference crossovers are even decoupled from the cabinet to minimise vibration and crosstalk.
Hand finished in pair-matched wood veneers to complement the composite front baffle our cabinets have computer-optimised bracing geometry to minimise secondary radiation from the sides and constrained layer damping to absorb vibration. KEF cabinets are engineered to eliminate anything that compromises purity of sound.
Composite front baffle
The Reference drivers are set in a smooth, strikingly distinctive front baffle engineered to eliminate response anomalies caused by diffraction. Made from an exceptionally strong laminated aluminium/resin composite and secured via high-loss pads and high tensile bolts, it adds tremendous rigidity to the inert cabinet.
Plinths and stands
The Reference 3 and 5 are solidly grounded on a plinth with a built in spirit level and have easily adjusted spikes. Reference stands have a cable channel and can be bolted to the speaker, there's also a compartment for mass filling to aid stability and acoustic damping. The stands are finished in Satin Black.
Kent Engineering and Foundry Editions
In 1961 Raymond Cooke founded KEF in a Nissen hut formerly owned by Kent Engineering and Foundry. To celebrate this heritage we've created bespoke editions of the latest Reference range.
The Kent Engineering & Foundry editions combine the latest Reference technology in a style that subtly evokes KEF's rich pedigree.
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