KEF R300 Bookshelf speakers

Below the Uni-Q driver sits a 165mm bass driver with aluminium and aluminium cone - voice coil; both things ensuring low weight and good responsiveness.

Twin sets of terminals are given for bi-wiring or bi-amping the Uniq driver and the bass unit separately, as well as the links are designed to the speaker - twist a knob between each pair of positive and negative terminals anticlockwise plus they're disconnected, twist clockwise and they reconnect - intelligent, huh?

Sound quality

From the very beginning I'm impressed the magnificent sense of authority and by the absolute scale of the R300s they impart onto the music. They offer a larger than life take on things, especially given their cabinet size that is streamlined, and have impressive low-end heft.

Things are improved by inseting interface output to be limited by a pair of foam bungs and the R300s really come alive. Bass Guitar is still superbly tuneful and much better controlled, although quite fulsome. Frequently, tuning for striking bass guitar weight can leave tight and detail rhythmicality behind but I am very happy to know they don't suffer from this in almost any way.

The solo fretless bass guitar from Paul Simon's Diamonds on the Soles of her Shoes is depicted, with depth, actual pace and shape to the performance. There is no awareness of cabinet, wallow or overhang artefacts and each note is distinctly perceptible inside the tune as it was played. Even better are the vocals - Simon is definitely rock solid in the centre and his performance is superbly three dimensional, emotive and clear.

The effect is that the tiny R300s picture create a capacious soundstage on the other side of the width of my listening room and very well really; a soundstage that is sculpted and so secure and makes instrument positioning easy.

A great example is when I ease an old evaluation favourite, the Eagles' Hell Freezes Over onto the turntable - the manner by which the R300s spread Messrs Henley, Schmit, Frey, Walsh and Felder across the end of the area is very uncanny, plus they project them forward at me by just the correct number. The KEFs manage to judge everything magnificently, where the action right should be, putting it.

At all times there is a very gratifying awareness of coherence over the group and treble that enables singers and musicians to express themselves well with no hint of muddle or any doubt slipping through the web. Acoustic instruments like double basses, cellos and guitars have a lovely sense of depth and woody richness to themselves.

An additional facet I enjoy greatly is the trebles, which are as sweet and smooth, yet as detailed, as I've heard at the purchase price from anything. Although some designs can impress with their clarity but begin to become competitive when aroused, I never find the R300s lose their awareness of composure when faced using a less than couth recording. They face some worthy competition but are worth an audition.

KEF R300 Bookshelf speakers photo