• WANTED: Happy members who like to discuss audio and other topics related to our interest. Desire to learn and share knowledge of science required as is 20 years of participation in forums (not all true). There are daily reviews of audio hardware and expert members to help answer your questions. Click here to have your audio equipment measured for free!

KEF R3 OR BOWER & WILKINS S706 s2 ???

TrevC

Active Member
Joined
Apr 11, 2021
Messages
152
Likes
103
Very unlikely, because of the lesser directivity behavior. The smoother the directivity of a speaker the better you can EQ it.
I haven't seen anything about the directivity of any of the 700 series. What's "lesser" about it?
 

HarmonicTHD

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Mar 18, 2022
Messages
1,206
Likes
1,460
I haven't seen anything about the directivity of any of the 700 series. What's "lesser" about it?

For example.


Figure 7. Not so pretty. To say the least.

Lesser: The KEF has a very smooth directivity curve, the BW not, therefore you can EQ the KEF better (Or any other speaker with smooth directivity). If you EQ ie changing the on axis anachoic FR of a speaker with less smooth directivity you end up making it worse, in simple words. See detail explanation in eg Floyd Toole, Sound Reproduction)
 
Last edited:

TrevC

Active Member
Joined
Apr 11, 2021
Messages
152
Likes
103
Weird how the KEFs performed well in tests yet Amir didn't like the way they sounded all that much but they ended up on his recommended list anyway. I can unconditionally recommend the 706 S2 because they sound awesome.
 

Steven Holt

Active Member
Forum Donor
Joined
May 8, 2022
Messages
131
Likes
97
I have not heard the B&W's, but I have heard the KEF's and if I had the money I would buy them in a heartbeat Truly wonderful speakers. If you decide on the Bowers/Wilkins, make sure you have a good return policy as you may need it. I very much doubt you would be returning the KEF's. Best wishes and happy listening!
 

Steve Dallas

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
May 28, 2020
Messages
771
Likes
1,609
Location
A Whole Other Country
Weird how the KEFs performed well in tests yet Amir didn't like the way they sounded all that much but they ended up on his recommended list anyway. I can unconditionally recommend the 706 S2 because they sound awesome.

Amir has a particular set of things he listens for. KEF R3s do not tick all his boxes, but they are objectively excellent, and many people love them for what they do in their various applications. In particular, he likes wide, even directivity, smooth frequency response, and deep impactful bass, as part of his criteria. R3s are narrower directivity speakers with average bass extension for their size. Two boxes not ticked, but those are personal preferences of his.

The narrower directivity of the R3 works very well in some rooms like my home office, so it is not necessarily a deficiency. Their even directivity allows them to work well with digital room correction, which I now use everywhere. All boxes ticked for me.
 

TrevC

Active Member
Joined
Apr 11, 2021
Messages
152
Likes
103
I have not heard the B&W's, but I have heard the KEF's and if I had the money I would buy them in a heartbeat Truly wonderful speakers. If you decide on the Bowers/Wilkins, make sure you have a good return policy as you may need it. I very much doubt you would be returning the KEF's. Best wishes and happy listening!
Amir didn't think them all that wonderful.
"Alas, once again subjective feeling was low. My standard routine is to cycle through my reference clips that I have selected during all my normal listening to sound superb on my Revel Salon 2 Speakers. Sadly hardly any of them sounded all that good here. Yes, the highs were there. The lows at times were there. But overall experience was unexciting and unengaging for lack of a better word".
 

Steven Holt

Active Member
Forum Donor
Joined
May 8, 2022
Messages
131
Likes
97
Amir didn't think them all that wonderful.
"Alas, once again subjective feeling was low. My standard routine is to cycle through my reference clips that I have selected during all my normal listening to sound superb on my Revel Salon 2 Speakers. Sadly hardly any of them sounded all that good here. Yes, the highs were there. The lows at times were there. But overall experience was unexciting and unengaging for lack of a better word".
I can't account for Amir's ears, I can only account for mine.
 
  • Like
Reactions: GDK

HarmonicTHD

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Mar 18, 2022
Messages
1,206
Likes
1,460
Amir didn't think them all that wonderful.
"Alas, once again subjective feeling was low. My standard routine is to cycle through my reference clips that I have selected during all my normal listening to sound superb on my Revel Salon 2 Speakers. Sadly hardly any of them sounded all that good here. Yes, the highs were there. The lows at times were there. But overall experience was unexciting and unengaging for lack of a better word".
Everyone including Amir is entitled to their own subjective preferences. That’s why he clearly distinguishes in his review between the hard facts and the listening portion. The hard facts are excellent, that’s why he recommends them.

KEFs R3 (as seen by Amir’s tests) have a more narrow dispersion by design. In some rooms that sounds good and in some it doesn’t. It certainly contributes to a precise stereo image but might take away the feeling of „envelopment“ in rooms with higher damping. Speakers with wider dispersion may suffer from less precise stereo image in rooms with less damping. So there is always a compromise to be made in one way or another. Best to bring both speakers home and pick the one you like in your room (just don’t come back here and claim that your personal preferences count for everyone else ;-))

(I am simplifying a bit here for simplicity - hope it helps regardless)
 
Last edited:

DMill

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Forum Donor
Joined
Jan 9, 2022
Messages
537
Likes
665
I’ve heard both. Same day but different rooms. I went in thinking the KEFs would sound better and they did to me. That said, it only reinforced my belief that the only way to know which you like better is in your own space. The KEFs certainly look better on paper though. No doubt about that.
 

NiagaraPete

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jun 23, 2021
Messages
1,681
Likes
1,303
Location
Canada
R3's is my pick.
 

MaxBuck

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
May 22, 2021
Messages
1,166
Likes
1,518
Location
SoCal, Baby!
Weird how the KEFs performed well in tests yet Amir didn't like the way they sounded all that much but they ended up on his recommended list anyway. I can unconditionally recommend the 706 S2 because they sound awesome.
Glad you enjoy the B&W house sound; nothing wrong with that. But be aware they're not particularly accurate. Not everyone is looking for accuracy, of course.
 

Beave

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
May 10, 2020
Messages
754
Likes
1,404
Amir's thoughts on the KEF R3 have come up in multiple places here, and everybody seems to ignore his edit:

EDIT: later testing showed that the room mode at about 105 Hz was impacting the tonality of the speaker. Once I filtered that, the sound was very good. I have since made this part of the protocol.
 

Steven Holt

Active Member
Forum Donor
Joined
May 8, 2022
Messages
131
Likes
97
Everyone including Amir is entitled to their own subjective preferences. That’s why he clearly distinguishes in his review between the hard facts and the listening portion. The hard facts are excellent, that’s why he recommends them.

KEFs R3 (as seen by Amir’s tests) have a more narrow dispersion by design. In some rooms that sounds good and in some it doesn’t. It certainly contributes to a precise stereo image but might take away the feeling of „envelopment“ in rooms with higher damping. Speakers with wider dispersion may suffer from less precise stereo image in rooms with are less damping. So there is always a compromise to be made in one way or another. Best to bring both speakers home and pick the one you like in your room (just don’t come back here and claim that your personal preferences count for anyone else ;-))

(I am simplifying a bit here for simplicity - hope it helps regardless)
Here's what I heard, over and over, in reviews and blogs, is that the NEWER B&W's sound great in the showroom, sound great for awhile in your listening room and then, something at the top end starts to get on your nerves, something like 'brightness'. Now, some people might like this, I don't know. I suggested to the member a good return policy b/c he may be one of the many who do not like this. The KEF, it seems to me, is just the safer choice. Myself, I can't stand to return gear.
 

DMill

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Forum Donor
Joined
Jan 9, 2022
Messages
537
Likes
665
Here's what I heard, over and over, in reviews and blogs, is that the NEWER B&W's sound great in the showroom, sound great for awhile in your listening room and then, something at the top end starts to get on your nerves, something like 'brightness'. Now, some people might like this, I don't know. I suggested to the member a good return policy b/c he may be one of the many who do not like this. The KEF, it seems to me, is just the safer choice. Myself, I can't stand to return gear.
Too many absolute statements. I had for 15 years B&W speakers before I moved on to KEF and ELAC currently. Are they they best? They sounded great to me. If the Harman curve is the standard for you, and it’s a pretty good one, maybe not B&W. I will say, flawed or not, Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking on a pair of 801s sounds just fine And was my first into this overly expensive journey. (They weren’t mine btw).
 

HarmonicTHD

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Mar 18, 2022
Messages
1,206
Likes
1,460
Here's what I heard, over and over, in reviews and blogs, is that the NEWER B&W's sound great in the showroom, sound great for awhile in your listening room and then, something at the top end starts to get on your nerves, something like 'brightness'. Now, some people might like this, I don't know. I suggested to the member a good return policy b/c he may be one of the many who do not like this. The KEF, it seems to me, is just the safer choice. Myself, I can't stand to return gear.
Yep fully agree. A bit of a KEF fan boy myself I have to admit. :) But I am trying hard to stay neutral when asked for advice. :)
 

muad

Active Member
Joined
Jun 8, 2019
Messages
299
Likes
326
Too many absolute statements. I had for 15 years B&W speakers before I moved on to KEF and ELAC currently. Are they they best? They sounded great to me. If the Harman curve is the standard for you, and it’s a pretty good one, maybe not B&W. I will say, flawed or not, Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking on a pair of 801s sounds just fine And was my first into this overly expensive journey. (They weren’t mine btw).
15 years ago, B&W measured quite well. So this maybe that's why you liked them?
 

DMill

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Forum Donor
Joined
Jan 9, 2022
Messages
537
Likes
665
I had 805s and CM4s. They don’t measure great BUT they are not bad. Your ear gets used hearing them and thats the sound you want to hear. I really loved the CM4s, they can just party. Very lively bright fun speakers.
 

diddley

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 4, 2020
Messages
442
Likes
719
Location
The Netherlands
Amir didn't think them all that wonderful.
"Alas, once again subjective feeling was low. My standard routine is to cycle through my reference clips that I have selected during all my normal listening to sound superb on my Revel Salon 2 Speakers. Sadly hardly any of them sounded all that good here. Yes, the highs were there. The lows at times were there. But overall experience was unexciting and unengaging for lack of a better word".
Did you read his edit?
 
Top Bottom