KEF Q350 Loudspeaker Review & Discussion

Discussion in 'Hi-Fi Stereo Speakers' started by Ed Selley, Oct 20, 2017.


    1. Ed Selley

      Ed Selley
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    2. Jules

      Jules
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      Very nicely written review. Thanks Ed.

      The move to a rear port shows a design consistency across their range that for me at least is a little disappointing.

      I absolutely love my R500's, but if KEF brought out a front ported version I'd consider swapping them out. I also (unusually) like passive bass radiators on the floor standing Q series models.

      Sadly, I think KEF has resigned to always chucking bass ports on the rear, and keeping passive bass radiators away from the more upmarket models on cosmetic grounds.

      But let's what they do with the R series next.

      I also have a pair of LS50's in my home recording studio, and they are utterly brilliant. If the Q350's really get 90% of their performance for 60% of the price, then they will fly off the shelves.
       
    3. the little audio company

      the little audio company
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      Will be using a pair of these at the Home HiFi Show over the weekend with a Convert Technologies Plato all-in-one system (as well as Q550)
       
    4. SSAV

      SSAV
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      Few snaps of the KEF Q350s from our stores... IMG_9282.JPG IMG_9284.JPG IMG_20171020_093448.jpg sev.jpg
       
    5. Paul7777x

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      I love the look of these.

      If Kef had not put that ugly lump of a signature on the top and had refrained from printing on the driver they’d be perfect modern speakers.

      Compared to the recently reviewed hideous Tannoy Legacy monstrosities these are a work of art.

      I want some.
       
    6. golden phoenix

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      im in the market for a new set of bookshelf speakers to make the most of my 205 DAC so im looking at £500 - £600 range and these were on my shortlist , so a timely review thanks @edselley i always enjoy when reviewing like mr withers offers the "what are my alternatives" in the summary of reviews but i dont see that here...also would you describe the sound as clinical, warm or something else in general?
       
    7. ryanvincent

      ryanvincent
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      They seem excellent value for money and great reviews btw!:)
       
    8. Roohster

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      Always liked Kefs, but their appearance has definitely become "love it or hate it" over the last few years.

      Am I the only one who immediately thought of this when they saw the white ones? .....

      dryer.jpeg
       
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    9. the little audio company

      the little audio company
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      Well, I suppose you could draw similarities - there’s a reason why the drum of the washing machine is in the centre, just like there’s a reason why the UniQ driver is in the centre of the baffle.
       
    10. Jason72

      Jason72
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      Hi,
      I use Q. Acoustic concept 20's in a 2.1 format with a sub.
      I guess these are similarly priced. Would there be a noticeable improvement ?
      I am really happy with the sound I'm getting from the Concept 20's but would consider buying a pair if they are that good. The only real problem you highlight (apart from Amp selection) is the bass and my sub would cover that.
      Gregory
       
    11. the little audio company

      the little audio company
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      Different. The Q Acoustics are built better, which will bring certain benefits, but with the KEFs you have the UniQ array, which brings numerous benefits to the sound that most conventional two-way speakers cannot match.
       
    12. Zakblue

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      I also think it was unfortunate to put the port at the back. I've owned a few pairs of the original Q300s and thought the bass was great - even plonked right next to a wall. I agree with Jules' comment about 'if the R500s had a front port'...
      I ended up selling my R500s but they were a great speaker for a time.
      I know it's a big selling point for KEF for their concentric drivers to say 'you only have one mouth' i.e. that all the sound comes out of one place, well it sort of does...then some comes out the back too.
       
      Last edited: Oct 25, 2017
    13. KenM10759

      KenM10759
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      I heard these at my dealer's place for about an hour, trying different types of music. I find them to be quite a bit more refined than the previous Q300. My son owns a pair of those and I had gifted a pair to my brother, so I know how those sound. The new Q350 is decidedly better at virtually the same price (if you didn't need the grills.) I didn't notice any issues with bass from them.

      One question I have about the review is with the supplied foam bungs. Aren't they similar to the ones supplied with my R500's with the removable center? I think it would be odd to have solid ones.
       
    14. the little audio company

      the little audio company
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      Whilst a port concentrated on bass frequencies, higher frequencies can escape from it too - have you ever out your ear to a port and listened? KEF moves them to he back to eliminate the possibility of smearing the image due to midrange escaping from the port.
       
    15. the little audio company

      the little audio company
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      Yes, they are Ken.
       
    16. nobby

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      had a listen to the new 150's at the weekend. not the best setup in the shop and only attached to one of the wee marantz cr611 systems ... the sound was indeed impressive. they sounded 'bright' which does not bother me but definitely a nice sound and pretty detailed ...
       
    17. the little audio company

      the little audio company
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      They’re certainly a bit more lively than the old Q Series, but plenty more detail and they project better into the room.
       
    18. Paul7777x

      Paul7777x
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      The Stealth Bomber Black is a great colour :D
       
    19. costeau

      costeau
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      Rear porting? Meh…
      I also noticed that there are no bi-wiring possibilities here.
      I now see the Q300 pair I bought earlier this year for 350 Quid as even more of a great bargain than I did back then.
       
    20. the little audio company

      the little audio company
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      Bi-wiring is all but pointless at this sort of price point - I applaud manufacturers for dropping it on sub £1,000 loudspeakers - it’s just not needed as it’s an uneffective costly addition, and could be argued that it could make them sound worse. Keep the crossover simple.
      As for rear ports, I’ve covered that already.
       
    21. Paul7777x

      Paul7777x
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      Biwiring exists to sell you twice as much cable. That’s all.
       
    22. KenM10759

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      Truth! When some maker actually puts two separate power supplies and truly discrete circuits in a receiver, then maps its DSP to do true electronic crossover, perhaps then it would be worth having dual binding posts. Linn does a great job doing that with their system, though at the price level of their Exakt system I for one wouldn't be using entry-level speakers.
       
    23. 7020

      7020
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      Any thoughts how the Q350 sonically compares to the R100?
       
    24. 7020

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      I wonder if the Q150 is 'brighter' than the Q100.
       
    25. the little audio company

      the little audio company
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      Whereas the Q350 can be used quite successfully with budget amplifiers, the R100 is a little more demanding on the amplifier, so you’re unlikely to be using them with sub £300/400 amplifiers.

      On the sound side of things (although I’ve not done a direct comparison), you may find they’re not that different overall. Unlike a comparison between the Q300 and R100, where you’ll find numerous quality benefits in favour of the R100 (better build quality, far less boxiness, sweeter sounding etc), the new Q Series is much closer to the R Series in sound in that they’re sweeter sounding and much more “out of the box”, both producing a soundfield that can be projected forward of the drive unit, whereas the old Q Series was a little flatter in that respect. I think detail retrieval between the Q350 and R100 will be fairly similar, but the larger mid/bass driver of the Q350 may have certain benefits (fuller mid, higher output). So initially, I’d say it depends on the amplifier you’re going to use - sub £400/500 roughly and I’d definitely go with Q350, as with budget AV receivers.

      Only in that the Q150 are more detailed and tend not to hold it back as much as the old Q Series, but they’re much sweeter with it too, so it’s not a negative brightness, if you know what I mean.
       
    26. 7020

      7020
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      Thank you, davidf, for your detailed response.
       
    27. golden phoenix

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      When is the new R range out?
       
    28. the little audio company

      the little audio company
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      There’s been no hint at a new R Series by KEF at this point.
       
    29. golden phoenix

      golden phoenix
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      When was it released last year? Please, I'm looking at the kef350, monitor audio silvers and a few others
       
    30. the little audio company

      the little audio company
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      R Series was 2012/2013
       

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