British manufacturer KEF has recently released their latest flagship model from the Q series; The KEF Q950. These are promised to be some of KEF’s most impressive speakers yet, but do they deliver the goods? Read on to find out…
When we got these speakers in for a demonstration, I was eager to tear into them as soon as possible. As an avid fan of the previous Q series, so I was over the moon when I heard about the new one hitting the market!
Featuring their signature Uni-Q driver array, a huge 200 mm bass driver paired with the ABR (auxiliary bass driver) whereby the tweeter is placed in the centre of the mid-range and bass driver, the aim is to create a more three-dimensional sound and spread the sound more evenly around the room. As with most products, KEF make sure they don’t cut any corners even when it comes to packaging. The Q950s were wrapped so tightly and with such intricacy it was almost a crime to tear them open. Everything you require is individually wrapped and the feet and spikes were a doddle to install.
Taking a step back and just looking these speakers over, it’s clear to see that design is very high on KEF’s priority list, with beautiful flawless lines and a seamless baffle, meaning that any of the Q series speakers will fit right in place in almost any home. I know I shouldn’t judge speakers on how they look, but while sound is the most important thing, at the end of the day they are a piece of furniture, and I would be proud to display these over most artwork! I hooked the Q950s up to our Cambridge Audio CXA80 amp and CXC CD transport and opted for some acoustically inclined tracks. One track that specifically stood out was Jeff Buckley “Lover, You Should’ve Come Over” to try and gauge how well the speakers could replicate the human voice and deal with overall mid-range tones, as it’s so easy to get those wrong. As expected, the Q950s were clear and concise with pin sharp details down to the last breath of the song. I find some speaker manufactures can often over exaggerate this and it creates an awful ear pinching bright sound, which is not ideal.
Happy with the mid-range, I was itching to see how these speakers would handle the lower tones. I opted for CeeLo Green’s “Bright Lights Bigger City”, with a high tempo bass and lower tone that can be quite a task for some cheaper models and can sound muddy and unclear. While I personally would have liked a little more oomph from the Q950s, I was generally very impressed with the low-end performance. They created fantastical spatial separation and a very taut sound. Again, cheaper speakers can offer compressed loose low-end tones, which can easily ruin any track.
Unfortunately, I only had a small amount of time with the Q950s but would really like to give them a more in-depth test over a few weeks in the future to really push them to limits and hear them once they have bedded in fully, but from what I heard during my test, I was very impressed. Of course, speakers come down to individual taste, so to get a better idea of what these sound like, please feel free to call any of our stores and book a demonstration of these fantastic speakers, or any of the other wide range of speakers we stock.
Author: Garrett, Plymouth store