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KEF R3 Meta video review

  • This video review started life in Portugal where, searching for a larger-sounding standmount with a heavy splash of colour, I landed on the R3 Meta from KEF (€2200/pair). The high-gloss Indigo Blue finish had my name all over it. The matching S3 stands (€700/pair), also available in Indigo Blue, sealed the deal.

    Predictably, there’d be a wrinkle. I wanted the R3 Meta for much longer than the usual loaner would allow so I ponied up for a pair without ever having set ears on ’em. After all, I’d thoroughly enjoyed the LS50 in its various incarnations since 2014; and a step up to the R3 Meta‘s three-way configuration seemed like a safe bet. “Meta”? That refers to the metamaterial disc fitted behind the tweeter (in both models) to absorb the tweeter’s backwave, which prevents it from firing forward again piling on the distortion.

    Like the LS50 Meta, the R3 Meta makes use of KEF’s Uni-Q driver array. That’s where the driver surrounding the 1″ aluminium dome tweeter – the same unit in both speakers – is coaxially and coincidentally aligned to act as the tweeter’s waveguide. This no doubt improves the speaker’s off-axis frequency response. However, unlike the LS50 Meta, the wave-guiding driver in the R3 Meta isn’t tasked with any bass. KEF’s engineers crossed it over to the dedicated 6″ bass driver sitting below at 420Hz.

    That was early June.

    Once back in Berlin in mid-July, I tapped the German KEF distributor for a 3-month loaner, again in Indigo Blue. Now a video could be made with Darko.Audio cameraman Olaf von Voss behind the b-roll lens (and not me).

    🎥 Camera: Olaf von Voss / John Darko
    🎬 Editor: John Darko
    🌈 Colour: Olaf von Voss
    🕺🏻 Motion GFX: John Darko
    💰 Ad segment: Jana Dagdagan

    🎵 Song IDs? Playlists of all music heard in this video – and other videos – can be found on PATREON:

    Further information: KEF

    👉 As mentioned in this video…

    KEF R3 Meta (blue)

    KEF R3 Meta (white)

    KEF S3 stands

    B&W 705 S3

    NAD M23

    Bluesound NODE X

    Thorens TD1500

    PS Audio Stellar Phono

    Zu DWX Supreme

    Prefab Sprout – Jordan: The Comeback

    The Sabres of Paradise – Haunted Dancehall

    Streaming platform by Roon

    Cables and power products by AudioQuest

    Hi-fi furniture and speaker stands by Solid Steel

    Room treatment by Vicoustic

    Darko.Audio may earn a small commission from items purchased via affiliate links, which are indicated with a ‘🛒’.

    Written by John

    John currently lives in Berlin where he creates videos and podcasts for Darko.Audio. He has previously contributed to 6moons, TONEAudio, AudioStream and Stereophile.

    Darko.Audio is a member of EISA.

    Follow John on YouTube or Instagram

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