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KEF Reference 5 vs. KEF Reference 3 Meta

mrxad81

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Mar 18, 2024
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Hi,

i have the possibility to get a pair of KEF Reference 5 (the older model, not Meta) and a pair of Reference 3 Meta (the new model).
Both are demo units and the Reference 5 are just a "littlebit" more expensive.
Which of both would you choose?
Bass performance ist prio. 1 for me (and I do not like and want support through a subwoofer).

Does anybody of you had the chance to listen to both speakers?

Regards
 

mglobe

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Hi,

i have the possibility to get a pair of KEF Reference 5 (the older model, not Meta) and a pair of Reference 3 Meta (the new model).
Both are demo units and the Reference 5 are just a "littlebit" more expensive.
Which of both would you choose?
Bass performance ist prio. 1 for me (and I do not like and want support through a subwoofer).

Does anybody of you had the chance to listen to both speakers?

Regards
Here's a comparison of predicted listening position frequency response. Reference 3 Meta solid line, Reference 5 dashed. If bass is priority #1, it looks like you would prefer the 5. This is a pretty simplistic view, but it points out the considerable difference in bass response.

https://www.spinorama.org/compare.h...ference+5&origin1=Vendors-KEF&version1=vendor
 
OP
M

mrxad81

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Thank you mglobe. Simplistic view but in a neutral perspective that are the theoretical facts…
 

MEGB1262

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Hi there,
i would definitely go for the R3 Meta and improve step by step with 2+ subs

So far - so good, Stefano
 

terryforsythe

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Hi,

i have the possibility to get a pair of KEF Reference 5 (the older model, not Meta) and a pair of Reference 3 Meta (the new model).
Both are demo units and the Reference 5 are just a "littlebit" more expensive.
Which of both would you choose?
Bass performance ist prio. 1 for me (and I do not like and want support through a subwoofer).

Does anybody of you had the chance to listen to both speakers?

Regards
I have not listened to them. But, hands down, I would go with the Reference speakers.

The Reference speakers you are looking at may not have the Meta back plate for the tweeter, but they measure so well that it may not be an issue. And, you can always add EQ for fine adjustments. The drivers KEF uses in the Reference series speakers have better dynamic range, better (lower) compression, the cabinet vibrations are lower, lower distortion, etc.

This video will give you an idea of the difference between the R series and the Reference series:

 

Chillazar

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I don't think I'm a very trained listener and I'm relatively new to the speaker market but I got to compare the Reference 3 Meta and 5 Meta. I tested the Ref 5 Meta first and in the room that I tried them in, I couldn't hear a difference so I think the Reference 5 (Meta) might just be for very big rooms. You can probably use them in a smaller or medium-sized room too but that seems like wasted potential though they do look better than the Ref 3 with their 4 bass drivers.
Bild
 

Chillazar

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That picture is from "Hifi im Hinterhof" in Berlin and I had to listen to a lot of audiophile nonsense there. I ended up buying the Ref 3 Meta from a Lithuanian Ebay seller for 9000€ instead of 13,5k€. I'm still optimizing their sound with speaker placement and my UMIK-1 arrives tomorrow. My biggest problem with these speakers is the low tweeter position. I wish KEF put it higher because vocals sound unnaturally low or at least it feels that way to me.
Bild
 

BrokenEnglishGuy

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That picture is from "Hifi im Hinterhof" in Berlin and I had to listen to a lot of audiophile nonsense there. I ended up buying the Ref 3 Meta from a Lithuanian Ebay seller for 9000€ instead of 13,5k€. I'm still optimizing their sound with speaker placement and my UMIK-1 arrives tomorrow. My biggest problem with these speakers is the low tweeter position. I wish KEF put it higher because vocals sound unnaturally low or at least it feels that way to me.
Bild
with my R7 i had the same thinking, things sound from below... all u can do is find a lower chair at best xD
 
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