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KEF R11 Meta Tower Speaker Review

Rate this speaker:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 5 1.1%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 6 1.3%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 85 18.0%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 375 79.6%

  • Total voters
    471

ban25

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To be honest, I haven't been impressed with the R11 LF performance. I have tried a bunch of Kef speakers: the R11 was my first replacement of the 1990s Reference Fours. Well, that wasn't a fair comparison (talking LF only). Next, I tried the R900s which really blew the R11 away in my opinion. The R11 might be more controlled (so they say), but it's lacking the "oomph" factor (I know, I know, that's what subwoofer are for. But still. Anything above 80Hz matters). That's to me where the Reference 5 shines: it has the same number (4) and diameter (6.5") of LF drivers but that's where the comparisons stop. The Reference drivers are completely different, with totally different internal LF enclosures.

View attachment 367960
Same. I always felt like my R11s were seriously underwhelming in the lower frequencies. In fact, I got the smoothest response running them with a 90 Hz crossover. If you look at the plots of the Reference series and the Blades, they have substantially more bass extension than the R series.
 

Palmspar

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Same. I always felt like my R11s were seriously underwhelming in the lower frequencies. In fact, I got the smoothest response running them with a 90 Hz crossover. If you look at the plots of the Reference series and the Blades, they have substantially more bass extension than the R series.
Try to move the speakers away from the backwall or to the left or right?
Even with the use of dual subwoofers there are also spots in a room where there is no base onder 40hz or so.
I cant believe that high end speaker has no base, its maybe the room itself what messed it up.
The problem with big towers is they are almost never in the best place for good base output, with subwoofers you can better look for the best place.
 

ban25

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Try to move the speakers away from the backwall or to the left or right?
Even with the use of dual subwoofers there are also spots in a room where there is no base onder 40hz or so.
I cant believe that high end speaker has no base, its maybe the room itself what messed it up.
The problem with big towers is they are almost never in the best place for good base output, with subwoofers you can better look for the best place.
I wouldn't call it high-end. Mid-range. I don't have them anymore.
 

SlothRock

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Same. I always felt like my R11s were seriously underwhelming in the lower frequencies. In fact, I got the smoothest response running them with a 90 Hz crossover. If you look at the plots of the Reference series and the Blades, they have substantially more bass extension than the R series.

Glad I held off. I decided I'm gonna wait for measurements from the new SVS Ultra Evolution towers and go from there. Subjective reviews are initially very positive but need to see some legit measurements and, if they're as good as im hoping, they might be the better value purchase over all
 

Vacceo

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Same. I always felt like my R11s were seriously underwhelming in the lower frequencies. In fact, I got the smoothest response running them with a 90 Hz crossover. If you look at the plots of the Reference series and the Blades, they have substantially more bass extension than the R series.
In that scenario, it seems that getting the R3 and use the rest of the money for subwoofers sounds like a better deal.

Or go LS60 if you're running stereo.
 

ban25

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In that scenario, it seems that getting the R3 and use the rest of the money for subwoofers sounds like a better deal.

Or go LS60 if you're running stereo.
I'm temporarily using LS50 Metas on Solid Steel stands as my FR/FL speakers while I await delivery on the Blades. Crossed over at 90 Hz with a KF92 subwoofer, they aren't bad TBH. Haven't tried watching a film at reference level, but for day to day, they do the job.
 
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amirm

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I always felt like my R11s were seriously underwhelming in the lower frequencies.
That stepped down bass response to reduce impact of room modes is the reason. I compensated for it in the R11 Meta: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/kef-r11-meta-tower-speaker-review.53282/

index.php


That first filter significantly improved low bass response.
 
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amirm

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Hi Amirm, any reason to get a better or (more expensive) speaker than this like the Revel 228BE?
It is not a matter of expense but what kind of spatial effects you like. Revels will have wider directivity providing a more diffused but expansive soundstage. The R11 will provide a more focused one. These are subjective factors that are hard to predict for individuals.

Both of these speakers have limited bass and getting more of that, will require more expense. To wit, my Salon 2s are in the next class as far as bass peformance.
 

DearSX

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It is not a matter of expense but what kind of spatial effects you like. Revels will have wider directivity providing a more diffused but expansive soundstage. The R11 will provide a more focused one. These are subjective factors that are hard to predict for individuals.

Both of these speakers have limited bass and getting more of that, will require more expense. To wit, my Salon 2s are in the next class as far as bass peformance.
Thank you for you quick response and going into details!

I'm not really sure what spatial effects I prefer. still figuring that out.

My room has strong nodes, but eventually I will want awesome bass at Salon 2 levels :)
 

Vacceo

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I'm temporarily using LS50 Metas on Solid Steel stands as my FR/FL speakers while I await delivery on the Blades. Crossed over at 90 Hz with a KF92 subwoofer, they aren't bad TBH. Haven't tried watching a film at reference level, but for day to day, they do the job.
I have a similar setup but with the active version. In a small room, I'm not missing anything in music, but I'm sure I could get more out of the LS60's. Several thousands more, well, that is not that clear given the size of the room.
 
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amirm

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I'm not really sure what spatial effects I prefer. still figuring that out.
Then your default position should be that you like wider dispersion. That is what most people like in controlled testing.

A few years back there was a blind test performed by audiophiles of JBL M2 against Revel Salon 2. Salon 2 won because of that factor as both are excellently designed by the same company.
 

DearSX

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Then your default position should be that you like wider dispersion. That is what most people like in controlled testing.

A few years back there was a blind test performed by audiophiles of JBL M2 against Revel Salon 2. Salon 2 won because of that factor as both are excellently designed by the same company.
Thanks, will do! Let's see how the new Revel line does.
 

songOVERsound

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Thanks for this review! I have the non-meta R11 and I use it in a studio/recording application and I am absolutely floored with the performance.

I understand there were decent amounts of changes in the Meta version, including a lower crossover point to the woofers (good for the point source), but does anyone have any details about differences in woofers or low end performance in the meta version vs the non-meta?

Due to the lower crossover, I would imagine the woofers are different. Also, curious if it extends lower. I am getting flat down to 28 hz, but a few extra would always be nice
 

exm

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Thanks for this review! I have the non-meta R11 and I use it in a studio/recording application and I am absolutely floored with the performance.

I understand there were decent amounts of changes in the Meta version, including a lower crossover point to the woofers (good for the point source), but does anyone have any details about differences in woofers or low end performance in the meta version vs the non-meta?

Due to the lower crossover, I would imagine the woofers are different. Also, curious if it extends lower. I am getting flat down to 28 hz, but a few extra would always be nice

Woofers (LF) are the exact same between Meta and non-Meta. Uni-Q (MF/HF Unit) and crossovers are changed.

Crossover R11: 400Hz, 2.9kHz
Crossover R11 Meta: 330 Hz, 2.5 kHz

This shows the improvements in the Uni-Q driver.
 

songOVERsound

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Woofers (LF) are the exact same between Meta and non-Meta. Uni-Q (MF/HF Unit) and crossovers are changed.

Crossover R11: 400Hz, 2.9kHz
Crossover R11 Meta: 330 Hz, 2.5 kHz

This shows the improvements in the Uni-Q driver.
Thanks! I suppose by taking a big portion of output off of the (same) woofers is an upgrade to their performance and might give them more headroom since they are doing less work
 

Kal Rubinson

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Thanks! I suppose by taking a big portion of output off of the (same) woofers is an upgrade to their performance and might give them more headroom since they are doing less work
Considering the size of the midrange driver, I'd be more concerned about the headroom for the UniQ. One can always use a subwoofer to help out the woofers.
 

songOVERsound

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My biggest problem area (nulls) in my well treated room is between 125 and 200 hz. I don’t really want to cross over to a sub that high.

Hardly hitting 1% THD in problem area at 102 db, don’t you think that’s pretty decent headroom? Seems like a lot of headroom to me but I’m happy to see if there are any contenders (within twice the price range)
Considering the size of the midrange driver, I'd be more concerned about the headroom for the UniQ. One can always use a subwoofer to help out the woofers.
 

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Bghead8che

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Glad I held off. I decided I'm gonna wait for measurements from the new SVS Ultra Evolution towers and go from there. Subjective reviews are initially very positive but need to see some legit measurements and, if they're as good as im hoping, they might be the better value purchase over all

The reviews are good, no doubt, however after hearing BE tweeters and ribbons I could never go back to aluminum dome tweeters (even if they have fairy dust sprinkled on them :cool: ).
 

BrokenEnglishGuy

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The reviews are good, no doubt, however after hearing BE tweeters and ribbons I could never go back to aluminum dome tweeters (even if they have fairy dust sprinkled on them :cool: ).
Geometry of the membrane is very important in the drivers and u can't see that thing using the eyes, the material marketing can make some very weird assumptions
 
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