Can't figure out what speakers to buy.. Kef r3s?

Thekidwonder93

Novice Member
Right now the R3s are listed at 1699.

I want to get the r3s, r2c, and a good subwoofer. And some surround.

I live in small apartment where the living is attached to the kitchen (800 sq feet 1 br 1 bath).

90% Movies & TV

5% Games

5% Music

I can increase my budget to get higher end speakers but not sure if it's worth it for my use case. Are there any bookshelves around 2-3k that are significantly better?

Should I be looking at a different center other than the r2c?

(tbh I'm not sure what to budget, I'd be upgrading from TV speakers of the TLC 8 series).

Any suggestions for surround+subwoofer+av to match this set (if I go with it) would be awesome too. Would like to future proof if possible because I have the money to spend now rather than trying to resell or upgrade later if I'm not happy with these.

I'm not an audiophile really - just want cool immersive sounds that makes the movie watching experience much more enjoyable. I don't say this to brag but maybe to help equip you to give me better advice. Watching movies & tvs is my main hobby outside of gaming on the PC. I had a very very lucky year financially and kind of want to splurge but would rather not buy 7k bookshelf speakers if its not going to change the movie watching experience much from what kef r3s would provide.
 
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Thekidwonder93

Novice Member
I'm happy to make my budget flexible for good electronics. The budget is kind of something I pulled out of my ass to try to limit myself tbh. My main concern is just really optimizing my movie watching experience from a non audiophile perspective. I appreciate good quality, great sound, and awesome immersion. It's more about the fun to me. I don't notice things like mids and high levels, that some of you guys bring up.

That being said. if the difference between 2k bookshelves and 5k bookshelves is dramatic for a movie and tv watching experience I'd be more than happy to make that move. As a novice I just don't know how heavy diminishing returns are for speakers when you go up the ladder. I know when music is considered it's a different conversation, that's why I make it clear that part doesn't matter so much to me - but is a nice bonus. I just know as a minimum - I'd like the kef r3s. I'd rather not have to deal with selling it later if I find out I'm getting 50% of enjoyment from the movie watching experience as I would be if I went with a 5k bookshelf speaker set instead.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
The KEF R3s are a very capable speaker and an excellent crossover speaker for both film and music. The UniQ design has a wide dispersion which can easily fill rooms. Without seeing a diagram of your room and possible speaker placement it's difficult to make an informed decision. However stating that you have the living and kitchen in basically one room then I would certainly limit the amount of money you spend on speakers.

Speakers are very important but the room is of equal, if not more, to how they will sound. Ideally you want to hear the speakers and not the room. The R3s may very well be right for your room but the KEF Reference 1 standmounts would not.

You also do not mention what will be driving those speakers. KEFs need a lot of current to perform at their best if you pair them with an entry level AV amp then they are going to disappoint.

The only centre produced by KEF in the R Series is the R2C and it is a very good centre, again perfectly suited to your size of room. To finish off your 5.1 layout I would use the KEF Q150s as surrounds.

If you could post a diagram, with dimensions of your room that will help others help you. Also what AV amp you will be using.
 

Thekidwonder93

Novice Member
The KEF R3s are a very capable speaker and an excellent crossover speaker for both film and music. The UniQ design has a wide dispersion which can easily fill rooms. Without seeing a diagram of your room and possible speaker placement it's difficult to make an informed decision. However stating that you have the living and kitchen in basically one room then I would certainly limit the amount of money you spend on speakers.

Speakers are very important but the room is of equal, if not more, to how they will sound. Ideally you want to hear the speakers and not the room. The R3s may very well be right for your room but the KEF Reference 1 standmounts would not.

You also do not mention what will be driving those speakers. KEFs need a lot of current to perform at their best if you pair them with an entry level AV amp then they are going to disappoint.

The only centre produced by KEF in the R Series is the R2C and it is a very good centre, again perfectly suited to your size of room. To finish off your 5.1 layout I would use the KEF Q150s as surrounds.

If you could post a diagram, with dimensions of your room that will help others help you. Also what AV amp you will be using.
By power them you mean AV receiver correct? Or something else as well? Happy for any suggestions you may have.. If not the stand what should I put the speakers on?
Here is my layout:
hnxq22da5j181.jpeg
 

ShanePJ

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
Just out of interest, what speakers have made you take notice when you have heard them or are you going blind into the speaker market?

I cannot deny that the Kef's are great speakers which I know @gibbsy and many owners can confirm, but there are also many other speakers which are extremely good that you might not have heard of like Amphion's, PMC or even M&K.

These three types of speakers also offer different experiences in sound giving you four different sound stages to experience. I will add the Amphion's are extremely good for music and because they are able to work extremely well with music, they have the credentials to also perform better than many think with cinema and will show the Kef's plus many other brands a thing or two about how to deliver big on cinema stage. PMC's are a very dynamic and fast paced bring a level of control (with the right electronics) how fast cinema can be experienced (although it isn't to everyone's taste) whereas M&K are seen as a very neutral speaker which have more pedigree in the cinema sector than all the brand as they helped spawn the market

One thing to also not that at the level that you are looking at, there really aren't any bad speakers only ones that suit different ears and if you like the look of the Kef's than I wouldn't dissuade you as they are great, but as @gibbsy has mentioned, the bit behind them is just as important if you really want to experience driving ability of all these speakers. I would also mention that a woofer shouldn't be ignored if you haven't thought of one as this brings a level of depth than no speaker can deliver
 

Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
Right now the R3s are listed at 1699.

I want to get the r3s, r2c, and a good subwoofer. And some surround.

I live in small apartment where the living is attached to the kitchen (800 sq feet 1 br 1 bath).

90% Movies & TV

5% Games

5% Music

I can increase my budget to get higher end speakers but not sure if it's worth it for my use case. Are there any bookshelves around 2-3k that are significantly better?

Should I be looking at a different center other than the r2c?

(tbh I'm not sure what to budget, I'd be upgrading from TV speakers of the TLC 8 series).

Any suggestions for surround+subwoofer+av to match this set (if I go with it) would be awesome too. Would like to future proof if possible because I have the money to spend now rather than trying to resell or upgrade later if I'm not happy with these.

I'm not an audiophile really - just want cool immersive sounds that makes the movie watching experience much more enjoyable. I don't say this to brag but maybe to help equip you to give me better advice. Watching movies & tvs is my main hobby outside of gaming on the PC. I had a very very lucky year financially and kind of want to splurge but would rather not buy 7k bookshelf speakers if its not going to change the movie watching experience much from what kef r3s would provide.

I wouldn´t spend 7k for bookshelf speakers or anything similar as this is living room and apartment. Purely movies in mind you don´t need to spend ton to get jaw dropping movie system, for example Kef Q350/Q650c/Q150 with 1-2 subwoofers would already be night and day upgrade from tv speakers. R-range gives you better build quality, finish/looks, more detailed sound but some feel they are bit laid back sounding for action movies so there could be more "exciting" speakers. This is where something like M&K could come in.

3 of these for front three:

Surround channels wall mounted these on rear wall, also white finish is available if you need them to blend in better (white walls).


Monoprice offers one of the best bang for buck with their THX Ultra range and they would be very ideal for your movie usage. The upfiring speakers don´t need to be used if you don´t want to, nice bonus though if you want to try Atmos and have flat ceiling. The finish isn`t as sexy as with Kef R, but the cabinets are made from HDF and there is some wise people behind this range. They need to pass big amount of tests to get THX Ultra rating. That means they can fill 3000cuft room with 12feet viewing distance at reference volume, so performance wise they are more than plenty. Naturally the mains (mini towers) require some speaker stands.



For av-receiver Denon X3700H - X4700H is typical partner which will run any of these 5.1/5.2 systems fine, but also Onkyo RZ-50 with Dirac Live. Many of these are sold out. There is problem with av-receiver availability now sadly so you need to check all dealers what is available. Marantz SR6015 seems to be in stock, it`s very similar to Denon X3700H however the 500$ extra price is too much.




Subwoofer decision depends do you have size/finish requirements, price, do you have neighbours living below you? It can be problematic in apartment, but choosing wisely and perhaps trying near field location each side of couch so you don´t need to run them so loud to give good impact. If you have couple listeners it would be ideal to have dual subwoofers, also it can locate bit easier, but you can always start one and go from there.. Make sure you don`t buy subwoofer from hifi shop. As you live in US you have tons of dedicated subwoofer manufacturers to choose from which gives you so much better bang for buck over something like Kef sub. There is no "matching" requirement with sub and speakers! Just give some information about the size, price, finish and where you have neighbours?
 

Thekidwonder93

Novice Member
I wouldn´t spend 7k for bookshelf speakers or anything similar as this is living room and apartment. Purely movies in mind you don´t need to spend ton to get jaw dropping movie system, for example Kef Q350/Q650c/Q150 with 1-2 subwoofers would already be night and day upgrade from tv speakers. R-range gives you better build quality, finish/looks, more detailed sound but some feel they are bit laid back sounding for action movies so there could be more "exciting" speakers. This is where something like M&K could come in.

3 of these for front three:

Surround channels wall mounted these on rear wall, also white finish is available if you need them to blend in better (white walls).


Monoprice offers one of the best bang for buck with their THX Ultra range and they would be very ideal for your movie usage. The upfiring speakers don´t need to be used if you don´t want to, nice bonus though if you want to try Atmos and have flat ceiling. The finish isn`t as sexy as with Kef R, but the cabinets are made from HDF and there is some wise people behind this range. They need to pass big amount of tests to get THX Ultra rating. That means they can fill 3000cuft room with 12feet viewing distance at reference volume, so performance wise they are more than plenty. Naturally the mains (mini towers) require some speaker stands.



For av-receiver Denon X3700H - X4700H is typical partner which will run any of these 5.1/5.2 systems fine, but also Onkyo RZ-50 with Dirac Live. Many of these are sold out. There is problem with av-receiver availability now sadly so you need to check all dealers what is available. Marantz SR6015 seems to be in stock, it`s very similar to Denon X3700H however the 500$ extra price is too much.




Subwoofer decision depends do you have size/finish requirements, price, do you have neighbours living below you? It can be problematic in apartment, but choosing wisely and perhaps trying near field location each side of couch so you don´t need to run them so loud to give good impact. If you have couple listeners it would be ideal to have dual subwoofers, also it can locate bit easier, but you can always start one and go from there.. Make sure you don`t buy subwoofer from hifi shop. As you live in US you have tons of dedicated subwoofer manufacturers to choose from which gives you so much better bang for buck over something like Kef sub. There is no "matching" requirement with sub and speakers! Just give some information about the size, price, finish and where you have neighbours?
Hmm, I see you said kef r3s arent best for action movies but I would say thats my least watched genre of movies. You still think Monoprice would be the best sounding speakers for all genres of movies over kef r3s?
 

Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
Hmm, I see you said kef r3s arent best for action movies but I would say thats my least watched genre of movies. You still think Monoprice would be the best sounding speakers for all genres of movies over kef r3s?

I don`t know. They are likely not as forward in your face as some M&Ks, @Jase has both although some older M&Ks. Maybe he can say few words. It`s not like the Kef R system wouldn´t sound amazing for you with any movies really as you are coming from tv speakers. Monoprice THX Ultra 3-way speakers bang for buck is hard to beat and you also get the upfiring speakers as a bonus if 5.1.2 intrests you.

Check out these reviews to get better idea of them. They are indeed very good speakers if the size/looks/finish suits you. If you fancy the Kefs more then by all means go that route. You should be able to listen them in many places.




 

Jase

Distinguished Member
@Gasp3621

The Monoprice are a bit more laid back than the older M&K's (which for music is no bad thing). For movies they're no slouches either so I still think they really are superb speakers at their price point. The only thing that lets them down is the finish as it's a wrap/veneer.

The Kefs should be far better in terms of build quality. Can't comment on the sound as I've not heard the later Reference series.

I only swapped back to M&K as I managed to get hold of a rare model I'd been after for years.
 

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