KEF Audio iQ7 Main / Stereo Speaker Floorstanding Speakers

Audio iQ7 Main / Stereo Speaker

The spec of the iQ7 says it all: a new generation Uni-Q point source array with our latest aluminium dome tweeter at the centre of the matching titanium coated 160mm (6 1/2") cone, partnered by a dedicated long-throw bass driver of the same size. Response is accurate and distortion-free at all volumes, with fluidly articulate midrange, generous bass extension and faultless 3-D imagining. The tonal match is perfect with the rest of the range, and the shrouded terminals are designed for bi-wiring or bi-amplification. Spine-tingling home theatre has never been more affordable.

User Reviews (0)

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Craig Vinson   AudioPhile [Feb 27, 2009]

I have finally found the pair of speakers I have been looking for. I’ve never been satisfied with the standard 3 speaker front setup of a typical home theater. No matter what speakers & positions I have tried, I have never been happy with the way the center channel speaker integrates with the front left & right. The center speaker always draws attention to itself, making it so the dialog & action from the center channel comes from the speaker, and not the center of the screen. I tried going the “phantom center” route, but no matter how I positioned the left & right speakers, moving off axis always produced drop outs in the frequencies being reproduced. This is common for speakers where the tweeter is physically positioned above or below the woofer.

I had heard the UniQ speakers from Kef address this problem by mounting the tweeter in the center of the woofer, so all the frequencies being reproduced all come from the same source. I also read some reviews that suggest the smaller bookshelf sized speakers had a problem with the sound being muddied, as the low frequency driver also acts as a wave guide for the high frequency driver. One reviewer suggested that Kef overcame this issue by designing a “2 ½” way speaker. Built into a larger cabinet for added bass extension, the woofer covers all bass frequencies up to 250hz and then crosses over to the UniQ array, alleviating the lowest frequencies & easing up the duty of the UniQ driver.

I had some trepidation about metal tweeters from other speakers I had listened to, let alone two metal drivers working so closely together. After reading some positive reviews on the IQ7, I found a local dealer who had them on display, and went to give them a listen. I liked what I heard, and found a pair on sale for a steal of a price, so I pulled the trigger and got a pair.

After giving them a one week break in period, I sat down to give them a serious listen. I used the spikes they came with, and mounted them on some wooden stands I had made, so the tweeter was ear level. After experimenting with toe-in, I was able to achieve a stable image all the way across the soundstage, even off center. Voices & sound effects panned seamlessly across, above & beyond the speakers with ease, just as I had hoped.

What I didn’t expect was what I heard as I listened longer – neutrality. I have had/tried out some mid to high end speakers, including Paradigm, Dahlquist, Apogee, and even experimented with some DIY designs of my own, but was never satisfied. One speaker might have good tonal range, but poor imaging. Another might have good imaging, but emphasize & color part of the tonal range. The IQ7 speakers add no resonance, coloration nor anything to the music & sounds reproduced. They image is solid, and the soundstage is wide, deep & tall, but again, not exaggerated. With these speakers, the quality of the source material, the recording, the mix…everything is as it should sound. The word I like to use is “organic” even when the sound is artificially produced, these speakers neither take away nor add anything to the mix – they let the sound come through un-altered.
I believe these speakers offer all the hallmarks of what a good speaker should be, and for the price paid they are an outstanding value.

Associated equipment: B&K Sonata Series Video 5 Amplifier, Rotel RSP-1066 Pre/Pro, Panasonic BD-55 Blu-Ray player, Audioquest cables.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Yvon   Casual Listener [Feb 13, 2009]

I have had these speakers for 6 months now. They are by-amped to a SONY 100 WPC receiver and a Sunfire Cinema Grand Amp.. I have owned many speakers, ie.B&W 602s1,Mirage 360, Wharfdale among others. Being just a casual listener who loves music, i will not attempt to describe the sound of the iQ7's,
( voicing, sound stage, clarity, depth,etc...) as other's do. But i do know what i like, and i like these.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
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