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KEF T 305 5.1 Surround Sound Loudspeaker Package

KEF redefine what's possible with a 'lifestyle' speaker package

by AVF Staff Sep 25, 2011


Home AV review

29

SRP: £1700.00

Introduction

If there is one, time honoured conflict in hi-fi, it is the conflict between good sound and the imposition of having speakers visible in your room. When surround sound was invented, the problem multiplied and continues to do so. As manufacturers seem intent on pushing surround sound formats, or post processing algorithums, that will require as many as eleven speakers and two subwoofers to keep all bases covered, this problem isn’t going away.

Thus, the ‘lifestyle’ speaker was born to assuage domestic bliss and although some very small and cute designs have resulted, they tend to sound exactly just that – small. The problem is big sound requires big drivers and for the most part, the only way to shrink the depth of a driver, also shrinks its effective diameter. This restricts it’s loudness capability and bottom end performance, placing greater emphasis on the partnering subwoofer to cover frequencies it’s not ideally disposed to do. It’s a tricky compromise.

However, steps are now being taken, not so much to re-write the rule book as to redefine what is possible within it’s constraints. We have for review the KEF T305 5.1 surround sound speaker package, the latest in a long line of ‘lifestyle’ solutions from one of the writers of that original rule book. Should be good then!

There are three basic components to the new KEF T Series. The smaller of the two satellites is the T101/101c, the 'c' standing for centre. Both are sealed enclosures, containing a 25mm tweeter and 115mm mid/bass driver, the sole difference being the orientation of the KEF badge on the horizontal centre speaker. The T301/301c adds an additional 115mm bass driver to deliver a two-and-a-half way speaker and at a stroke, near double the height of the T101 (33cm) to 60cm. KEFs approach to system building allows using combinations of the satellites partnered with the new T-2 subwoofer (£599 RRP) to arrive at three 5.1 systems - The T 105 at £1200 (5x T101), the T 205 at £1500 (3x T301 plus 2x T101) and finally, the T 305 at £1700 (5x T301). Additional speakers can be purchased to augment, or replace the systems, although I've only seen them advertized as pairs. There are optional floor stands available at £225/pair.


The good news, is that this is the first public outing (well, in a review at least) of the full 'phat' T 305 system although, perhaps I should choose my words more carefully. The dimensions, when seen from the dead ahead, are nothing remarkable in the world of satellite speakers. In fact, they're actually quite large in terms of height, compared to even a sizable book shelf speaker. It's when you turn any of the T Series satellites sideways you realize that something out of the ordinary is going on.

They're a scant 35mm deep. That's less than 1.5" in old money. This is even more staggering when you consider that the drivers are actually traditional moving coil drivers with a magnet, voice coil and cone like most normal speakers. Okay, that's an injustice - The neodymium magnet, 25mm aluminium dome tweeter, with its 'tangerine' waveguide will be a familiar looking, if not identical, driver to those used elsewhere in KEFs range, but the mid/bass driver is quite unlike anything else - anywhere.



Finally, even the Z-Flex Surround of the driver has been designed to provide a smooth acoustic transition between the driver and the baffle it fits through, as well as being ribbed to prevent resonance in the surround itself. This, flat, flush mounted face, also means less physical discontinuity to diffract output from the tweeter, thereby smoothing the over all response of the speaker. It's an incredible piece of industrial design and it will be interesting to see, with all of the R&D poured into it, what products it spawns further down the line.

The final piece of the system is the new T-2 subwoofer. Following the lead of the satellites, the T2 is a less than micro 37cm on a side, but is only 18cm deep. Further more, all cable connections, which means a two pin reversible mains lead and a single RCA phono connection, are housed in a recess on the base of the cabinet. 18cm deep in this case, means 18cm - Not 18cm plus cables. In that recess are a power ON/OFF switch, an AUTO ON/ON selector, a 0/180deg phase selector and a three position 'Boost' switch. That offers a +3dB, or a +6dB boost centred on 40Hz, or a flat/defeat position. There is no gain control. That will be down to your AV processor which, because of the single input option, is all you can use the T-2 with.





Setup

Assembly is pretty logical and I was up and running with all five speakers (four on the stands) in about half an hour flat. It immediately struck me that mounted on the dedicated stands, the T301s are rather tall, standing in at a combined height of 140cm. This places the tweeter at a lofty 110cm above the floor whereas my, not exactly low, sofas place my ear at 90cm above the floor. Clearly the T101s would knock 17cm off that total height, but would still place the tweeter at the same level. To my mind, this is rather high - The stand could be a comfortable 15cm shorter to suit the average seated ear level, but there are upsides.

My screen is wall mounted at a height sufficient to get a centre speaker up to a realistic elevation and the dedicated stands did a spot on job of placing the T301s in a screen flanking position. With the T301c mounted just below the screen, this did an excellent job of pulling dialogue up into the centre of the screen. Secondly, it makes acoustic sense to go too tall, rather than too short. Listening below a speakers axis, tends to introduce less phase cancellation anomalies between the tweeter and mid/bass driver, than listening from above. Thus a slightly too tall speaker will deliver a more consistent delivery at a range of seating heights than slightly too short one.

Acoustically, it is a better compromise. As far positioning goes, the front and rear speakers sounded best toed in to point at the listening position, placed about 15cm out from the wall. Given that the T301s only add another 3.5cm of depth to that, the overall projection into the room is very little indeed. As the T 305 system followed some man sized (literally) floorstanders, the nett visual impression was of an empty room by comparison. If they were white, they would have been all but invisible. The centre stood on the top shelf of my rack with the prop stand set to tilt the T301c back. The centre was also about 15cm from the wall, but of course was getting it's boundary reinforcement from the rack, to balance that provided by the stands of the flanking left and right speakers. The subwoofer sat to the right of my stand, alongside the right speaker and pointing sideways. There was no acoustic reason for this, other than it simply looked even more discrete. Finally, distances were set in my processor and the crossovers set to the suggested 110Hz. The boost settings of the subwoofer were tried and then ignored, mainly because my room delivers it's own boost at about 32Hz and this worked well enough to deliver a punchy bottom end. Measurements also showed the in room bass response to be respectably flat, without intervention of an EQ device, so for once, I just set the channel levels and got down to some listening.

Listening

If I were to try and encapsulate the T-Series sound, the words seamless and neutral would be in there somewhere. Okay, it's pretty much a given that five identical loudspeakers, positioned optimally, should give you a sonic sphere of surround sound, that flows around the room with a smooth tonal match. But what marked the T Series out, was the excellent freedom aural location ie, the satellites pull off a real disappearing trick. Despite the centre sitting flat on the equipment rack, whilst the other speakers lord it up high on their stands, the coherence of the sonic signatures is such, that sounds don't sound obviously centre, left or right - they just hang in the space in between and so the additional electronics added by the stands are clearly working well.

Another contributing factor to this ability, is the lack of cabinet colouration. The composite enclosure is very inert, because of the materials used, but also because of the lack of cabinet panel area to actually resonate. Even playing at high volumes, I was surprised by how dead the enclosure was to the touch, especially given it's lack of mass and the tact that it is on top of a tall, skinny stand - there's not exactly much mass or rigidity in the structure to damp or 'sink' energy into the floor in the tradition of a normal hi-fi loudspeaker. Either way, the nett result is that you really only hear the drivers, which delivers precision, out-of-the-box imaging.


And having mentioned high volumes, it's worth noting the the T301s can play comfortably at high volumes. It's easy to forget, when presented with such a slender speaker, that the enclosure is still packing a pair of 115mm drive units. Further more, because they're not required to do bass of any real sort, all of that radiating area can get on with playing loud and delivering surprisingly savage mid range dynamics. And I mean 'surprising', not just with reference to the 'lifestyle' speaker genre, but the larger world of speakers in general. Having watched 'Terminator - Salvation' a few nights previous on a much, much larger speaker package it was extremely satisfying to hear the gun shots delivered with a real crack and metallic impacts with a crisp, dynamic edge. They passed the falling bullet casing test with flying colours too. The brassy ring projecting cleanly and clearly, but not in an excessively emphasized manner - the lack of over-engineered frequency response makes the T305s a comfortable movie listen over long periods as a result. But don't confuse that with sounding dull - if the effect calls for a edgy sound, you get it and if it calls for a dry rustle in the leaves of trees, you get that too. The T305s just won't have a hyper-realistic projection at the expense of neutrality with other sounds.

However, you can't listen to the T305s without a subwoofer - their response is designed to have a sub present and so the sound has to be considered as a package whole. The higher than average suggested crossover of 120Hz, does place demands on the quality of upper bass from the subwoofer, if it's not to start sounding obvious. Fortunately, it appears to be very clean in this area and even when I experimented with it 90cm to the outside of the right hand speaker, it's location wasn't obvious. Still, I would recommend trying to keep it near and preferably, in between the front speakers, but that would hold for most subs. I can see people being tempted, due to the T-2's slender dimensions, in sliding it behind a sofa. I feel that would tend to absorb some of the upper bass, that the package as whole requires if it's not to sound slightly hollow. So, it's best to take advantage of it's shape to make sure it's squeezed in up front and there's no reason why you can't position it sideways. That also saves you having to look at another bloody blue LED. It's red when in standby and blue when awake (or set to permanently on) but I guess I'm getting used to being a lone voice on the AV beelzebub that is blue LEDs. That said, it's quite discrete and at least it is right at the bottom of the cabinet.



Output in general from the T-2 subwoofer is actually pretty impressive, considering it's internal volume. The 10" driver and the claimed 200W of output (which by seat of the pants, I see no reason to doubt) deliver a nice tight bass with good impact, if obviously lacking in any real output below 30Hz - This isn't a subwoofer to trouble the foundations of your house, but what it does do, it does without waffle or any nasty noises when played loud. In the Terminator movie, there is a scene where an over-large 'Transfomeresque' Terminator starts ripping a house apart. Whilst the really large impacts were a bit light, a lot of the bass is quite high energy mid bass, with what I can only describe as an electric quality that really energizes the air in your room. The T-2 pulled this off rather well and with the T305s effotlessly steering sound around the room, the overall impression, even for this bass head, was beyond what I had expected.

I did experiment with the 40Hz boost settings. As my room naturally delivers a fair old modal boost down in the low 30Hz region, I found the effect made the bass a bit thick and ponderous, preferring the more neutral sound of the flat setting. As ever, suck it and see - it may work for you. On a final note, I did find that the 'Auto On' did seem to be a bit hard to wake up. Normal day-to-day TV viewing seemed to be insufficient to keep the T-2 awake. The opening and closing credits of Eastenders woke it up, but sleep was it's preferred state in between. Some may not blame it on that score, but it's a point worthy of note. There was no such trouble with the slightly higher average levels of movies and music, even when more sedate fayre, without guns, bombs, death, etc, was the order of the day.

Talking of music and as no review of mine is ever complete without it, I'm pleased to report that the T 305 system is a qualified success. The pin point placement of movie effects, transfers to the more more subtle landscape of stereo with aplomb. The height of the stand mounted fronts, underpinned by the smooth integration of the T 2 subwoofer, gives a remarkable sense of scale to the presentation. The soundscape is high and wide, giveing a convincing illusion of extending beyond the speakers, if not a huge distance behind them, but placement within those bounds is pin point.

Tonally, the T 305s are neutral, which delivers clear differentiation in instrumental timbre and rather than projecting vocalists into your lap, keeps them nicely proportioned between the speakers. Treble is very clear and clean, giving cymbals a nice sheen, but resisting the urge to make them sound splashy and indeed, sibilance is natural, without over emphasis. This all makes for a refined listen, which at first acquaintance, can make the T 305s sound a touch restrained, but is really just a lack of boom and tizz, engineered in to impress on a quick demo.

If there is a weakness, it's that natural levels of mid range detail are slightly restrained, which can suck a little of the passion out of vocal expression. However, I found that the T 305s, yet again, enjoy the chance to stretch their legs with a bit of added volume and they open up quite nicely if you have the chance to listen at reasonable, if not excessive levels. There are plenty of speakers this is true of of all sizes and shapes, so it's more a point of note, than criticism.


The T-2 subwoofer offers a taught and tuneful foundation and is less exposed in the very deep bass (by real music at least) than it is with action movie effects. Subwoofer demo disks will find it out, but up to and including the point where the T 305s reach their comfortable limits, it's well able to keep up. As mentioned, it seamlessly blends with the satellites, due to it's clean upper bass. That's far more important in the context of this system, than a few extra Hertz of extension.

Conclusion

7
AVForumsSCORE
OUT OF
10

The Good

  • Serious SPL capability from a compact package
  • Sound good, regardless of form factor
  • Mounting flexibility

The Bad

  • Black only
  • The full 'phat' T 305 system could benefit from a bigger subwoofer
  • The stands aren't cheap, even if they do work very well

I own this 0
I want this 1
I had this 0

KEF T 305 5.1 Surround Sound Loudspeaker Package

As a package, the KEF T 305 system is remarkable. All too often, clever engineering can deliver as many compromises, as solutions, to the problems it claims to counter. I've lost count of the times I've heard an 'invisible' speaker, where you ultimately excuse it's distinctly average reproduction with a qualifying "But it is very flat/small/pretty/etc".

I find no need to make such excuses here. Sure, the T301s, like any £250 speaker, have their own set of compromises, but as an even handed reproducer of all programme types, there's very little to complain about and much to like. They aren't a spotlight on mid range expression, but they are very consistent in their even handed presentation and have a remarkable dynamic capability. That makes them an easy listen, with movies or music, at all volume levels. I found them equally adept at low level, late night TV, or high level (the family is out) music listening and whilst doing either, I didn't feel short changed. When listening in 2.1 stereo mode, I had a genuine giggle whilst torturing them with Metallica's 'Black Album' at silly volumes. And I do mean silly volumes. They do quiet and clear, they do loud and refined and that's not an easy trick to pull off.

In ultimate terms, the only area that I felt was only adequate was the T 2 subwoofer. It's nimble, it's clean, a fine match for the system in general, but it could dig deeper with movies. It is fair to note, that it's performance limitations, are a result of it's compact form factor that is entirely consistent with the rest of the T 305 system. It is a discrete and visually appropriate accompaniment to the package as a whole. The issue is not so much that that T-2 is lacking, but that the T301s are capable of performing out of their skin. The T101s would present less of a challenge, perhaps a better match, but the T301s have a significant extra SPL/dynamic capability that means a single T 2 is a bare minimum.

This is nit picking, but that's my job. So, if I have one, really serious, complaint it's this and it's entirely unrelated to performance - Why isn't there a white option? Black sticks out like a scar against a wall and this is a lifestyle package. Beyond that, the T 305 is a fantastic package worthy of demo whether you're pressed for space, or indeed, not. Don't rule it out just because it's skinny!

Highly Recommended

The Rundown

Sound Quality

8

Build Quality

7

Value For Money

8

Verdict

7

Our Review Ethos

Read about our review ethos and the meaning of our review badges here.


    1. The News Bot

      The News Bot News Supplying Robot Staff Member

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      Reviewed by Russell Williams, 25th September 2011.
      All too often, clever engineering can deliver as many performance compromises, as solutions, to the problems it claims to counter...

      ...I find no need to make such excuses here.
      Read the full review...
    2. Crustyloafer

      Crustyloafer Active Member

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      The SRP of the T105 pack is not £995 but £1200.
    3. stevehal

      stevehal Member

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      The correct suggested selling prices for all T Series systems are:
      T105 - £1200 inc VAT
      T205 - £1500 inc, VAT
      T305 - £1700 inc VAT

      Thanks,

      Steve from KEF
    4. crabby09

      crabby09 Member

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      Thanks for the review. I have this system and must admit they really do seem to defy the laws of physics! The power you can get out of them is ridiculous!

      crabby
    5. Member 96948

      Member 96948 Active Member

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      Thanks chaps - I've corrected the prices.:)

      I can't even remember where I got those prices from.:confused:

      Russell
    6. DrH

      DrH Member

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      Have the T101's as surrounds with my Q series fronts.

      Got to agree on wanting the white option.

      Very interesting review:smashin:

      DrH
    7. Digger

      Digger Member

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      Steve. Is a white option on the cards? Thanks.
    8. kevinmaj

      kevinmaj Member

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      Hi All,

      Great review btw mate. But is there any reason why KEF have not supplied tiltable wall mounts for the T series speakers? So in essence these speakers can only sit flush on the wall with no toe-in unless a mount is bought additionally. So of course a reference speaker configuration with toe-in on speakers cannot be achieved without purchasing additional speaker mounts . Why have they done this, especially for a top-end home cinema set of speakers? Just like a non-white version this question should be posed to them. I have installed 2 sets of these speakers and rather irritated that they have forgotten this very important detail.
    9. TranceFan

      TranceFan Member

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      can anyone recommend tiltable mounts for the rears on these. mine are flush on the wall, and I think its not the best.

      Ps SACDs sound awesome on these speakers.
    10. stevehal

      stevehal Member

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      Hi everyone,
      The speakers were designed to sound good flat on a wall as we felt most people who valued the slimness would want them in this configuration. The horizontal coverage is pretty wide and if you use tiltable brackets you will mess up the response which has been designed work on wall, not half off/half on. Hope this helps and note the comments about white which I'll feed back to the powers that be.
      All the best,
      Steve
      • Thanks Thanks x 1
    11. kevinmaj

      kevinmaj Member

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      Hi Steve,
      I was eagerly awaiting a response and I got one. Before i start i would like to mention that I'm a big fan of the T Series and when i saw them earlier in the year I immediately starting specifying this product as part of our Smart Home design and install business. It is an amazing feat of engineering and KEF have done what no-one else has done to date and breathed fresh air into a rather tired satellite speaker market be looking at what the market wants and delivered. I'm a big fan of KEF and come to expect big things from them and used their many, many times over competitors.

      However something need to be said about installing the T series and I also will be getting in touch with KEF support as i'm not too happy. I've just not had the time as of yet as we're so busy with work. Just look at the time of this post but something needs to be said now as you will see.

      So as mentioned I have two clients for whom we have specified and installed these speakers for but we have not done a full audio calibration with demo tuning on them yet for either client. We have bought B Tech titltable speaker brackets and placed all fronts on these speaker mounts, two mounts per speaker.

      So as I mentioned in my first post i could not understand why there were no tiltable mounts supplied and you've given me a response which i had pieced together from various sources on the web now and none too happy about.

      So here are a list of my issues that i would like you/KEF to consider and respond too.

      1. Why are there no installation instructions that clearly detail how these "expensive" speakers should be installed? Why is this information not provided with the speakers? And why do all diagrams in the setup manual point to a tilted installation. From experience this is the same instructional diagrams shipped with the KEF KHT range. This really is very poor and as a result in order to deliver the best experience for our clients we went out of our way to find wall mounts that could do the job. If you deliver a new product to market like this you need to EDUCATE people if there is a SPECIFIC way of installing them to get the best from them. I was so upset to find no suitable mounts in the packs and now to hear this, what will my clients think of our work when they read this, or other forum. There has been some serious short shortsightedness.

      2. When we were designing the in-wall speaker cables runs for these speakers there was and still is no technical drawing on KEFs website re these speakers and where cable entry would go. I phoned KEF and no-one was available to take my call so i had to call a shop that had stock back in May/June. Once again not ideal is it?

      3. What is the horizontal coverage range? Say we have a 65 inch TV at 1.5m wide and 50 cm either side we have the front T series speakers toed in at 25 degrees as per standard home cinema design. The listening position is 3.5m away and the centre speaker sits above the TV to get a perfect viewing angle for the client. If the speakers were not tilted would this part of the horizontal coverage for the prime listening position? To me this seems very unlikley, so what should I do? The client can only have wall mounted speakers and no stands. Rear speakers are flush wall mounted due to space restrictions. This really is very upsetting and very poor technical delivery of a product on part of KEF.

      4. What do you if a centre speaker is above the TV? Often this is done to give our client a perfect eye line viewing angle of their TV but because there are wall mountable we tilt the speaker downwards towards the priming listening position? So what do we do here as well? Raise the TV so it's off axis with the perfect viewing angle (+/- 15)? Or just have the speaker very low? Neither seems ideal to me? What do you think?

      I look forward to hearing your views.
      Kevin
    12. nitram_tpr

      nitram_tpr Member

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      These speakers are exactly what I am looking for, well, actually, they would be if they were in white or even silver.
    13. kevinmaj

      kevinmaj Member

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      following my post of issues i have a response from KEF that fell well below par and i wanted to share it with all. I have since written a stern response back which i will post next.

      Here is the response from KEF Technical Support after having to chase them up via email.



      Good afternoon Kevin,

      Many thanks for your email.

      I have read and noted your comments on the forums but feel it is a more professional approach to contact you directly.

      The ' T ' series are and were designed to go flush on the wall to complement the new ultra flat panel screens whilst still giving the ultimate performance in surround sound. We do not offer a tiltable wall bracket nor will we be producing one as it will unbalance the sound of the speakers due to them being tuned to be mounted flat on the wall or in free standing space, not in-between. We have other speakers in our KHT range which come supplied with tiltable wall mounts such as the award winning KHT2005.3 and KHT3005SE systems, but a tiltable wall bracket will defeat the object of the ultra-thin ' T ' series.

      All of our authorised KEF ' T ' series retailers and custom installers do not feel the need for a tiltable wall bracket along with end users alike, and this is the first instance that someone has asked for such an item since the speakers were launched just over a year ago.

      Regarding your telephone call to us, I am sorry that no one was available to help you at that particular time, but if you had left your name and contact number with our receptionist, she would have passed your details to our Service department who would have contacted you swiftly. I will look into getting information put on our website regarding cable positions.

      If I can be of any further help, please do not hesitate to contact me.

      Best regards,
      (sender's name removed)

      My chase up email to KEF


      Hello there KEF Support,

      I am still waiting for a response to my urgent query as i use your products as part of our CI business and i'm not happy with the length of time you have taken to not consider my support query. I'm now seriously considering whether we use KEF products if this is the service we can expect

      Here is my issues from AVFourms if you have not got that far.

      I look forward to hearing from you soon.
      Kind Regards,
      Kevin Majmudar

      http://www.avforums.com/forums/hard...5-5-1-surround-sound-loudspeaker-package.html
      Last edited by a moderator: Oct 31, 2011
    14. kevinmaj

      kevinmaj Member

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      my response...


      Hello there (sender's name removed)

      Thank you for your email however you have failed to really address any of my concerns and in fact skirted around the issues.

      You're right it is more professional to respond directly but does it take a week to let me know what I already know and not really address any of my core issues. This really seems like a very poor effort at a response if you don't mind me saying and very arrogant in parts as well.

      First and foremost could you please answer my direct questions, if you can't, perhaps someone in management would be best placed? Firstly, why are there no comprehensive instructions regarding the installation of these speakers if they must be installed in a certain way and not in the conventional sense with toe-in etc for wall mounted speakers? Can you not see I have a commercial reason for this in that two installs have occurred and now you're telling me they're incorrect yet have provided no literature to the contrary. Do you think that's how a product should be sold? It really seems to me that you do and you have not addressed why there are NO CLEAR instructions as to how these speakers should be installed. So if you're unclear as to my question what is the recommend install method for these speakers by KEF and why are they not conveyed in any documentation. I have given an example scenario and would like feedback on it, I don't write these details so that they can be ignored. Really this is frustrating. You need to give specifics in terms of installation in terms of distances etc.

      I know about the KEF KHT range and have no idea why you are telling something I know. This has no relevance whatsoever to my pertinent issues and I mentioned them as an example.

      Also, just because you've heard nothing back from the CI community in just over a year does not mean you have a perfect product does it? Have you asked anyone for feedback from the CI community and how many CI companies are installing this? Once again an arrogant comment in my opinion. Did you not read we are CI installers and we are giving you feedback NOW, or have me passed some predetermined feedback date. Also, just to let you know these speakers have only really become mainstream in the last 6-8 months. Does this mean you are not open to feedback after a year? Does a year define the length of time to establish and release a product successfully and not refine. I thought that was a continuous process, so I guess Apple have it all wrong then. I just cannot believe what I'm reading and I'm sure people on AV Forums would be interested.

      My question is very simple you need to be very clear and specific how these speakers need to be installed if they do not conform to a standard home cinema 5.1/6.1/7.1 setup etc. so that people can get the very best out of the product. Is that really too much to ask? It's called proper technical documentation and not a rehash of your old instructions that come with the KHT series of speakers.

      I'm utterly disappointed by your response and hoping for a well thought out response now. Also, please do not get my intentions wrong, I just want to get the best out of a product we've recommended to our clients and purchased from KEF! It seems you went back to the drawing board to design a speaker from the ground up, it's a pity that this did not happen with the instructions as well.


      Kind regards,
      Kevin Majmudar
      Last edited by a moderator: Oct 31, 2011
    15. KEF Audio UK

      KEF Audio UK Member Premium Advertiser

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      Dear Kevin,

      I am sorry that you are unhappy with our previous replies and I shall try to reply to your questions as succinctly as possible.

      I feel that our T Series manual gives as much information as possible but without being too confusing to our less experienced users - there are very few 5.1 set up scenarios in which our product could not be used. We would rely on any professional installer to make educated judgements for larger, more complex installations.

      In the "Positioning" section of the manual we show examples of speakers that are toed in but these are all on speaker stands, which obviously will allow for infinite adjustment. The section entitled "Wall mounting" shows the speaker in the flat position at all times once the fitting process is completed. Either of these two positioning methods will be suitable for the vast majority of all installations. As it is clear that you may have found these instructions misleading, we will of course pass this feedback on.

      I also take on board the point about cable entry on the T Series and we will look into updating any relevant information that we may have missed out on our website.

      The T Series range of speakers are designed to work flat on a wall, the acoustics is optimised for this situation. We don't supply tilting brackets because this would compromise the performance in the on-wall situation. The dispersion is wide (due in part to the tangerine wave-guide) so compared to conventional loudspeakers the T301 satellites don't need to be toed in to get the best performance. Where a standard 5.1 loudspeaker placement is not possible (over 35 degrees to the front channels) it is advisable to use the floor-stands so that the loudspeakers can be toed in or use one of our other wall mounted loudspeaker systems.

      The centre channel is acoustically identical to the main loudspeakers on the T305 system. With a 3.5m listening distance and the loudspeaker 0.5m below the eye-line of the user the resulting angle between the loudspeaker and listener is 8 degrees. With the centre channel mounted 1m above the eye line at 3.5m listening distance the resulting angle between the loudspeaker and the listener is 15 degrees. Consequently the T301C is more than capable of delivering satisfactory performance with the centre channel either above or below the screen without down or upward tilt. For best performance the below the screen position is preferable as this location normally used during movie soundtrack mastering.

      Regarding your point on not being able to contact us, this type of complaint is a very rare one but nevertheless treated seriously and I will look into why and how this can happen. The KEF Service Dept is always contactable and even if all 3 Service lines are tied up, a message can always be left at reception for a call back, which should happen on the same day.

      I hope that this helps to satisfy your original enquiry and we are glad that you are as passionate about our product as we are.

      Kind Regards
      Andy Gough
      Service Manager
    16. Astaroth

      Astaroth Member

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      Not sure if this thread is monitored anymore or not but still.

      I am interested in moving from my traditional floor stander based system to a T301 but concerned about the move from a large 500w sub to such a small 200w one. Is there an alternate sub that would match the system sonically but help close some of the drawbacks identified in the review? Would the KEF R400b be reasonable enough at the upper end to match for example?
      Last edited: Dec 6, 2011
    17. Blu-rayx

      Blu-rayx Member

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      I really like the look of the KEF T 305 :)
      I wonder how they will compare to the Q Acoustics Q7000 5.1, soon to be reviewed on Avforums.
    18. BradleyLove

      BradleyLove Member

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      Apologies for the necro-post but are these speakers specifically designed for being wall mounted? I'm after a new speaker package but they won't be wall mounted so am I better looking at something else (the KEF "eggs" for example)?
    19. kevinmaj

      kevinmaj Member

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      Hi there BradleyLove,

      As you know i've had my two pence on this issue with KEF. As Smart Home designers and installers we have put in a few installations of the T301's using different subs as i don't think much of the KEF sub. As we wire rooms months before speakers are agreed and bought we install to reference 5.1/7.1 standards and then install.

      The KEF T's we have been told my KEF need to be wall mounted and are designed as such for best bass response. However, i just have not had the time or energy to point out to KEF is that they supply desk stands for the speakers. Why supply these mini stands if they are supposed to be wall mounted. BTW they sound good on the mini stands supplied

      Anyhow, we bought in specialist brackets that allow tilt on the speakers because KEF do not supply for the aforementioned reasons. They sound good but do require calibration. However, we did an install last December with front speakers wall mounted and close to a 64" Plasma, centre above screen and rears were customisable in-ceiling speakers - movable woofers and tweeters and used a b&w sub as we favour and it sounded awesome without much calibration. I need to go back to our original customers with wall mount brackets and further calibrate but we've not had a chance too and the clients are not complaining. I think they can sound better and they seem to do flat on a wall.

      I do think the T series look and sound better than the other KEFs such as the eggs. You do need to hear them with a good decent amp £700 - £1000 amp. I am really impressed with them but i think KEF need as i said before more detailed explanations for home cinema set-ups. They gave me some but it's not enough and i'm too busy these days to take it further. I have unfortunately not considered them again yet as a recommended product from our company.
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    20. crabby09

      crabby09 Member

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      All except my center are wall mounted... the center doesn't sound as full if playing by itself... after calibration they sound great and they look awesome.

      Crabby
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    21. KEF Audio UK

      KEF Audio UK Member Premium Advertiser

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      Hi Bradleylove,

      The T Series system does actually come with bespoke desk stands in the box, so they can easily stand on the furniture right next to your TV screen if wall mounting isn't an option for you. What's more, we also offer a bespoke floor stand if there is no space to stand the T Series next to your screen on their desk stands. Positioning the T Series shouldn't be a worry if you're not going to hang them on a wall.

      If you're not aware we are currently running a great T Series promotion, where you can part exchange any speakers against a new T Series system and get 20% off. Why don't you ask for a demonstration with the T Series on their desk stands so you can hear the performance for yourself?

      Please feel free to contact us at marketing@kef.com if you would like us to help you arrange a demonstration at your nearest KEF T Series retailer or if you would like to ask further questions?

      Thanks very much,

      KEF
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    22. BradleyLove

      BradleyLove Member

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      I've found a deal for the Yamaha RX-A2010 and KHT3005SE speaker package for £1,569.00. The cheapest combined price for A2010/T105 is £1,750 and for A2010/T205 it'd be £1,950.

      Will there be 100's of £'s of difference between the KHT3005SE and T105/T205?

      The £1,569.00 price is pretty much bang on my budget (~£750 for amp, ~£750 for speakers).
    23. KEF Audio UK

      KEF Audio UK Member Premium Advertiser

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      Hi Bradleylove,
      In performance comparison terms between the T series T105 system, T205 system and KHT3005SE….right, well the T105 and KHT3005 systems are a close match in terms of performance. The T301 (the longer speakers that make up a T205 system) make use of a further bass driver over the T101 (the shorter speaker that make up a T105 system) and therefore performance is greater, providing a bigger sound. I think you’d hear the biggest difference with this system against a KHT3005SE, but again it’s hard for me to say if I think it’s enough to satisfy your ££’s of performance difference you might expect, you’re really the only one who can decide that ultimately. A demo here would definitely clarify that point for you and put your mind at rest over the correct decision.

      That said, and ruling out the more expensive T205 system and going back to the T105 system against a KHT3005SE system. I think if you can accommodate the KHT3005SE system next to your TV plus the fact that they fall into your budget, which is obviously important, I think it would be hard for you not to go for them. They are after all extremely capable and now come in high gloss white as well as the high gloss black, whereas the T Series only comes in black.

      Thanks, KEF
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    24. Elguapo

      Elguapo Member

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      Hi all/KEF

      I am looking at buying the T305 as I have found a fantastic deal (even better than the official KEF one!) and going to go sample them hopefully tomorrow.

      The question I have is not about wall mounting as I will be floor mounting but I am not an audio expert nor am I am audiophile, I even love my tiny Onkyo kit satelites I have in the front room....

      I have a dedicated home studio which I have decided to now dedicate to a home cinema set up. The room, whilst not big to many standards, is I fell going to make a good location. It is 3.5m wide by 7m long, the seating position will be approx 4m from the screen wall. Will these fill the space comfortably?

      Also I know they come with stands but what are the difference between the table stands and the floor stands, will the stands that come in the kit suffice for floor mounting or are they designed to be raised to a certain level?

      I am not after absolute audio perfection, I like to enjoy the sound without worrying about getting it just right. I learnt that mistake many years ago by taking my photography hobby professional and lost the love, so for the sound I am not going to be chasing absolute perfection.

      Thanks
    25. crabby09

      crabby09 Member

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      I love my KEFs... they sounds great in our 3x7m room... but we only use half of it as a lounge.

      The sound stage is great, and keeps fooling me - I keep thinking it's raining outside when it's raining on the telly!

      Now... my concerns... satellite low ends are not great, so you need to work a good sub... the KEF sub is better than I expected, but others find it a little weak. Secondly, we got these speakers because we lack space... with a room that size (ie using the whole thing as a dedicated cinema), why not go for floor standers? ESPECIALLY when you are going to floor stand them anyway... so they'll basically take up the same room. The T305 are a great set of speakers but they still can't defy the laws of physics when it comes to sheer volume of air moved.

      Crabby
      Last edited: Aug 21, 2012
    26. Elguapo

      Elguapo Member

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      Hi Crabby thanks for the reply!

      The only reason I am now looking at these is I can get a set for just over £1k for the t305s. Unfortunately every (online) store seems to be moving away from floor standers or ones that fit the visual style I am after. For example I can find the KEF C series for a lot less but the style just doesn't work, what I really liked (but cannot find anywhere) was the look of the old Q7's/Q9's but cannot find them anywhere. I know there are other brands than KEF but this is the brand I am looking at. I also do not need to buy new, I personally would rather spend on older kit as it will still be good to my ears but the usual sources turn up no results.
    27. Elguapo

      Elguapo Member

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      ah now a problem, Crabby your comment had be go back and do some searching and I can grab a pair of Q700s, a Q600c and a sub for the same price, ok missing the rears but tempted to get the full floor standing system instead...
    28. crabby09

      crabby09 Member

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      I bought from Quantum Electronics... their service and prices are impeccable... give them a quick email or call and tell them you heard from a member of avforums... they will be able to give some great advice! Just tell them your budget and wants and see what they can do :)

      Crabby
    29. Member 96948

      Member 96948 Active Member

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      I don't see anything particularly contradictory about this state of affairs.

      In it's raw, wall mounted state, there is no baffle step compensation (BSC) built into the crossover to compensate for bass radiation moving from 2pi space into 4pi space as the frequency approaches the point where 1/8 wavelength equals the baffle width. The close proximity of the wall prevents bass radiating in an omnipolar fashion, thus the boost is not required. Mounted in free space on a stand, the BSC is required to increase the bass energy lost to rearward radiation. This extra network of components is built into the floor stand and actually turns frequencies above this point down, in order to make the bass level relatively higher, but that's crossover design semantics.

      It's therefore easy to see that when mounted on the floorstand, it is possible to mount the T Series too close to the wall as the additional boundary reinforcement could result in too much bass through lower midrange. However, as with any (well, most) free space speakers, the level of 'boost' is set to a level that is about right, with the manufacturer then making recommendations as to an ideal room size and a minimum mounting distance the wall, to maintain the balance. This of course has to be balanced with the rooms own construction/acoustics and thus more, or less, space may be required depending upon measurement and/or preference.

      In the case of the shelf mounting stand, it is sensible that it doesn't need any BSC as it is likely to be closer to wall. It's not an on/off effect as the bass reinforcement increases the closer the wall. A few inches away is, in all practical terms, near enough on the wall. But you also have to consider the increased boundary reinforcement provided by the shelf itself as it behaves the same as a wall, being a flat, generally solid plane, constraining bass radiation. If it forms a right angle with a wall, there is a potentially greater boost still, as the speaker has effectively been placed in a corner, with all the modal boosts that attend such placement.

      To my mind, the T Series is one of the few packages that can justifyably be called a shelf mount, whilst actually ticking the boxes for on-wall and stand mounting too, when used with it's dedicated stands. Off hand, the only other speakers I've used that offer such control of boundary reinforcement have all been actively amplified and they're considerably more money. Most passive sub/sat packages, of similar price, simply offer clever stands and no such control.

      Russell
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