Hi all. A little bit of context before I ask my questions. I’m looking for a speaker system (5.1) matching speakers. I’m coming from over 13 years of using Klipsch RF7s, rc7 center, and similar bookshelf for rears, along with sunfire true signature sub. I listen to 50/50 music and movies, 2 channel and 5.1 music, and live concerts. I had a good relationship with them and their sound. A very lively and very capable of some major decibels, and believe me I took advantage of that…probably too often.
I sold my complete system including the processor amp before moving to a new home. I figured it was time for a change, upgrade, or look for a different sound/experience.
Yesterday I decided to pop into Best Buy. I was surprised, the last time I was there was maybe 10 years ago, then they had very mediocre brands and models, I was very surprised to see KEF, B&W, M&L McIntosh, and high dollar demos including KEF Blades and B&W 804 models.
I went in looking to demo Polk R700 and maybe Klipsch RP8000. But I was also wanted to look at 3-5k speakers and really see if my ear could justify the cost. Well, they didn’t have the polks and the rp8000 wasn’t even in the demo room but on the main floor with a cheesy Klipsch vocal demo describing the RP line. Honestly, the rp8000 looked really cheap, did care for their ascetics and honestly don’t think they would compete sonically to my previous r7s, at least I think, I could most definitely be wrong.
I ended up demoing kef r11 (non meta) B&W 702 S3, older ML motion 50. And a couple of other models from both B&W and KEF. Long story short, I ended up loving the R11s. It’s hard to describe but they just sounded so balanced and natural, compared to the 702. The 702 sounded good, but to me, they didn’t sound balanced, almost like they were 2 different speakers, the tweeter didn’t seem like it blended with the rest of the speakers, maybe it was because of how it’s mounted? Anyway, the sound is very subjective, the salesman preferred the 702s and even seemed surprised I liked the r11s more. Goes to show you that While video reviews are a great resource but in the end, most reviewers are basing them on their preference, I do prefer graphs but also sometimes comparisons.
My questions …finally. They didn’t have the newer meta versions of the r11s, hopefully, in the future, I’ll be able to demo them. I’m wondering if some of you might be able to maybe describe the sonic differences between them. From what I’ve seen online is they are leaps and bounds better, even some saying they can hold their own to the references 5s! which seems crazy to me, based on price differences.
Another question. I know it’s not fair but how would the Polk r700s compare to the r11s or r7s. Yes, I know based on price alone these speakers are not apples to apples. but, are they comparable or something I shouldn’t even look into now that I’ve heard KEF r11s.
lastly, I wasn’t able to demo the kefs in a 5.1 movie atmosphere, but see they have matching centers, bookshelf, and atmos speakers. Curious how they perform in this capacity. Cheers! And thanks to you who made it through this long-winded post.