KEF XQ20, How good can these be?


Novice Member
Hello All,

A friend of mine has a nice pair of KEF XQ20 for sale and I wanted to know if anyone knows what they are worth please?

I have heard a lot of people sing their praises and these are in good condition with no box but I've also been told that they are quite hard to pair etc. Please let me know if they are worth getting and at what price?

Thank you so much.


Standard Member
Hi I know this question was 5 months ago now but it may be helpful to other people.
The first thing I would say is that a speaker's sound is so subjective so the next person may completely disagree with me as I can only speak from my my sonic perspective.
About 2 years ago I thought I would buy myself a nice pair of speakers, easy I thought if I paid a enough money, I couldn't go wrong 🤣.
So I started off demoing at Hi-Fi shops I must have listened to about 20 different brands/models and I came away with a short list consisting of speakers with at least a 15cm + woofer and several manufacturers that I liked the signature sound of, especially KEF and monitor audio. So I bought some new, took them home and then return them in a week!! They just did not match up to my 30-year old JPW's costing a tiny fraction of the price (which I was using as my reference).
Cutting a long story short I started to go down the used speaker market route in order to have a proper length of time with them at home (selling anything I wasn't happy with) buying relatively modern designed/component speakers. None of them worked for me!
Untill I came across the (not so modern, but not as old as my JPW's) KEF XQ20's. - That was it, this was the sound I was waiting for.
I would guess that I have tried about 20 sets of speakers at home, with something always a miss.

BBC LS3/5a - not enough energy.

KEF Q350 - Too much energy!

Spendor - to gentlemanly/lack of sparkle.

KEF LS50 - lack of bass.

KEF R300 - too dark.
Ect ect.....

For my ears the KEF XQ20's has it all. The biggest difference between the XQ20's and a lot of the other newer KEF's (including their replacements, the R series) is that the xq20's are very open and clear. Where as a lot of the other KEF's I tried were dark, closed and slightly nasal.

The problem I had with the very sweet sounding British sound speakers such as Spendor and the BBC licenced ones were a lack of punch and dynamics.
I really liked the KEF q350 it had a fabulous dispersion of sound especially in the higher frequencies but I found them a little dark with a base that was very hard to control even using bungs.

The Xq20's have a fabulous mid-range harmony that is just chilling sometimes. The speaker has great clarity and good base extension.
For movies I use a subwoofer and when listening to just music I sometimes have to double check I have turned the subwoofer off.

I find it very hard to find fault with these. But no speaker is perfect and if I had to point to one thing it would be that they are slightly bright. But that suits me fine as I have quite a dark amplifier.
So I would highly recommended these speakers, just choose an amp with plenty of power and a slightly dark aspect to it. Or alternatively just use an EQ!
Also they are fabulous looking speakers.
As to price it is a used market so it is flexible pricing. All I can say is that I have tried and dismissed speakers with a market price of several thousands of pounds in favour of these.

- Now I have a problem I am hoping someone can help me with.

After finally finding my speaker we have had a living room RE- design and now my beloved XQ20's no longer fit the physical space.

So I have been trying to find a replacement for them that I like the sound of just as much AND would fit on a 25cm shelf close to a wall and still sound good.
With the proximity to the wall I have been looking at closed box speakers and perhaps front ports. By looking at this post you would have gained an idea of the sound that I like- good mid-range, light and airy highs, 3D sound staging, help me! can't bear the thought of going through the whole process again 😬🤣.
Thanks in anticipation

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