• 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 T101 Review (Thin Speaker)

Rate this speaker:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 156 92.3%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 10 5.9%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 3 1.8%

  • Total voters
    169

peniku8

Active Member
Joined
Dec 9, 2020
Messages
213
Likes
356
Here are the engineers in this brief marketing video:

He says how you can't get good "high definition" sound from a modern TV, because they're too thin. In the next sentence he immediately mentions how this line of loudspeakers is basically just as thin as your TV. That's some top tier marketing, telling you exactly what to expect right away :)
 

Thomas_A

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jun 20, 2019
Messages
1,625
Likes
1,075
Location
Sweden
Worth noting that, for a reasonably ”flat” speaker, the 89 dollar IKEA Eneby 30 should beat both the KEF and the IKEA/Sonos wall speaker.
 

sarumbear

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Aug 15, 2020
Messages
3,268
Likes
2,961
Location
Southampton, UK
As you see in the review picture, it comes with a fixture to use it free-standing without the fancy stand. So it is definitely part of the design to use it this way. As to the fancy stand, they need to document what it does. Without it, we don't know what it does.
All due respect, @amirm but that short pedestal is for placing the speaker on a shelf below the TV but still almost flush to the wall behind. Something like this.

best-bookshelf-speakers-for-tv-1.jpg
 

KMO

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 9, 2021
Messages
437
Likes
580
All due respect, @amirm but that short pedestal is for placing the speaker on a shelf below the TV but still almost flush to the wall behind.
That is certainly what they say in the white paper - "very close to the wall on the desk stand".

1641220558186.png


Although the actual manual doesn't really say anything on the subject. There's no specific direction to stay close to the wall I can see.
 

sarumbear

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Aug 15, 2020
Messages
3,268
Likes
2,961
Location
Southampton, UK
Although the actual manual doesn't really say anything on the subject. There's no specific direction to stay close to the wall I can see.
Here is the manual page. To me it clearly shows either place the speakers on a shelf or use the optional stand mount.

Screenshot 2022-01-03 144208.png
 

respice finem

Major Contributor
Joined
Feb 1, 2021
Messages
1,223
Likes
2,105
In which case they should be tested with the subwoofer that KEF has designed the speakers to work with. Otherwise we are testing and commenting on a part of a speaker.
Yes, indeed they are marketed as "satellite speakers" (though available separately from the intended sub)
Whether measuring them with the sub would "save" them? IDK...
Anyway, it might be hard using the Klippel setup I guess - where's the "acoustic center" in a sub/sat system?
 

HiFidFan

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Forum Donor
Joined
Feb 22, 2021
Messages
730
Likes
881
Location
U.S.A
Disappointed that KEF would put something like this out into the market. They are a serious company, but this speaker is seriously flawed, and I think they know it, despite their marketing drivel.

Thanks for the review @amirm. Headless panther indeed.
 

HiFidFan

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Forum Donor
Joined
Feb 22, 2021
Messages
730
Likes
881
Location
U.S.A
In which case they should be tested with the subwoofer that KEF has designed the speakers to work with. Otherwise we are testing and commenting on a part of a speaker.

But shouldn't that "part" be well designed? This satellite speaker seemingly fails in just about every aspect. I don't see how adding a sub is going to fix it. Help it maybe, but fix it no.
 

sarumbear

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Aug 15, 2020
Messages
3,268
Likes
2,961
Location
Southampton, UK
But shouldn't that "part" be well designed? This satellite speaker seemingly fails in just about every aspect. I don't see how adding a sub is going to fix it. Help it maybe, but fix it no.
Depends on how you define broken. We have seen many speakers, some orders of magnitude costlier than these that has similar FR anomalies.

I am not being their advocate. I am simply pointing to the fact that those speakers were never intended to be used in an anechoic way without their stands and matching subwoofers. They are not measured the way they are advertised or instructed in the user manual. That is not fair reflection of them.

Will you measure a Bose satellite speaker by itself, without their subwoofer?
 

sarumbear

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Aug 15, 2020
Messages
3,268
Likes
2,961
Location
Southampton, UK
Anyway, it might be hard using the Klippel setup I guess - where's the "acoustic center" in a sub/sat system?
We can say, sorry our test system is not suitable to measure such setups.
 

HiFidFan

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Forum Donor
Joined
Feb 22, 2021
Messages
730
Likes
881
Location
U.S.A
Depends on how you define broken. We have seen many speakers, some orders of magnitude costlier than these that has similar FR anomalies.

I am not being their advocate. I am simply pointing to the fact that those speakers were never intended to be used in an anechoic way without their stands and matching subwoofers. They are not measured the way they are advertised or instructed in the user manual. That is not fair reflection of them.

Will you measure a Bose satellite speaker by itself, without their subwoofer?

Fair enough. It would be interesting to test it with its intended setup, but that's not possible.

Which brings me to a thought that I've had with other reviews here that cannot test the equipment as manufacturer intended or vintage equipment with unknown tolerances. I have to ask, what's the point? Does it give the reader of the review any meaningful insight into that particular product?
 

Vladimir Filevski

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 22, 2020
Messages
330
Likes
376
Here is the manual page. To me it clearly shows either place the speakers on a shelf or use the optional stand mount.

View attachment 176394
User manuals are known to be notoriously badly written and confusingly illustrated, irrespective of the brand - and this one is no exception. Exceptions are few and far between.
Here we can see a side-view picture of wall-mounted loudspeaker (which is OK), but no side-view picture of loudspeaker on the shelf (or desk)! Good manual will show a side-view picture of loudspeaker on the shelf, with clear indication that the distance to the wall should be less than 20cm!
Also, floor mount is presented here in front-looking perspective (which is OK), but without side-view - so someone may conclude it is OK to push it to the wall as close as it can (where the low-pass filter in floor-stand Select-mount will damage the sound even more). And so on...
 

pierre

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Forum Donor
Joined
Jul 1, 2017
Messages
707
Likes
1,739
Location
Switzerland
Score -1.6 ... with EQ 0.3
w/sub: 3.0 w/both 4.6

I didn't try to compensate below 200Hz which is the only way to increase the score significantly but then you would have little output.
This EQ flatten the PIR above 200Hz

Code:
EQ for KEF T101 computed from ASR data
Preference Score -1.6 with EQ 0.3
Generated from http://github.com/pierreaubert/spinorama/generate_peqs.py v0.14
Dated: 2022-01-03-17:21:39
Preamp: -3.3 dB

Filter  1: ON PK Fc   874 Hz Gain -6.14 dB Q 2.86
Filter  2: ON PK Fc  5613 Hz Gain -6.12 dB Q 0.83
Filter  3: ON PK Fc  1596 Hz Gain +4.53 dB Q 4.31
Filter  4: ON PK Fc   283 Hz Gain -1.33 dB Q 1.17
Filter  5: ON PK Fc  3342 Hz Gain -1.42 dB Q 3.30
Filter  6: ON PK Fc 11049 Hz Gain -0.97 dB Q 4.94
Filter  7: ON PK Fc  5573 Hz Gain +0.96 dB Q 5.37
Filter  8: ON PK Fc   330 Hz Gain +0.95 dB Q 5.93
Filter  9: ON PK Fc   645 Hz Gain +0.74 dB Q 5.75

filters_eq.png



The other way around is to optimise the LW:

Code:
EQ for KEF T101 computed from ASR data
Preference Score -1.6 with EQ 0.1
Generated from http://github.com/pierreaubert/spinorama/generate_peqs.py v0.14
Dated: 2022-01-03-17:26:30

Preamp: -3.1 dB

Filter  1: ON PK Fc  6135 Hz Gain -4.94 dB Q 0.58
Filter  2: ON PK Fc   886 Hz Gain -7.19 dB Q 3.23
Filter  3: ON PK Fc  1603 Hz Gain +4.50 dB Q 5.76
Filter  4: ON PK Fc   278 Hz Gain -1.26 dB Q 1.07
Filter  5: ON PK Fc 11180 Hz Gain -0.75 dB Q 5.72
Filter  6: ON PK Fc  1072 Hz Gain -1.23 dB Q 5.99
Filter  7: ON PK Fc   745 Hz Gain -0.88 dB Q 5.96
Filter  8: ON PK Fc   619 Hz Gain +1.13 dB Q 5.75
Filter  9: ON PK Fc   329 Hz Gain +1.07 dB Q 5.86

filters_eq.png
 

sarumbear

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Aug 15, 2020
Messages
3,268
Likes
2,961
Location
Southampton, UK
User manuals are known to be notoriously badly written and confusingly illustrated, irrespective of the brand - and this one is no exception. Exceptions are few and far between.
Here we can see a side-view picture of wall-mounted loudspeaker (which is OK), but no side-view picture of loudspeaker on the shelf (or desk)! Good manual will show a side-view picture of loudspeaker on the shelf, with clear indication that the distance to the wall should be less than 20cm!
Also, floor mount is presented here in front-looking perspective (which is OK), but without side-view - so someone may conclude it is OK to push it to the wall as close as it can (where the low-pass filter in floor-stand Select-mount will damage the sound even more). And so on...
I agree that may be the case for Joe Public but we are talking about someone who is operating a complex acoustical measuring equipment. I expected such a person would have understood what is implied. Not to mention notice the word "satellite" right in the name.
 

Vladimir Filevski

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 22, 2020
Messages
330
Likes
376
Amir tried to simulate the on-wall position, but didn't like the sound:
Seeing how one of the main applications are wall mounting I put the T101 in front of my flat screen TV to simulate a back wall. What I heard was the least hi-fi sound I could describe! I had to immediately shut the system down and move it to the stand away from walls which provided some relief.
Looking at the measured frequency response, I can easily guess why.
 

Billy Budapest

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Oct 11, 2019
Messages
1,176
Likes
1,630
Score -1.6 ... with EQ 0.3
w/sub: 3.0 w/both 4.6

I didn't try to compensate below 200Hz which is the only way to increase the score significantly but then you would have little output.
This EQ flatten the PIR above 200Hz

Code:
EQ for KEF T101 computed from ASR data
Preference Score -1.6 with EQ 0.3
Generated from http://github.com/pierreaubert/spinorama/generate_peqs.py v0.14
Dated: 2022-01-03-17:21:39
Preamp: -3.3 dB

Filter  1: ON PK Fc   874 Hz Gain -6.14 dB Q 2.86
Filter  2: ON PK Fc  5613 Hz Gain -6.12 dB Q 0.83
Filter  3: ON PK Fc  1596 Hz Gain +4.53 dB Q 4.31
Filter  4: ON PK Fc   283 Hz Gain -1.33 dB Q 1.17
Filter  5: ON PK Fc  3342 Hz Gain -1.42 dB Q 3.30
Filter  6: ON PK Fc 11049 Hz Gain -0.97 dB Q 4.94
Filter  7: ON PK Fc  5573 Hz Gain +0.96 dB Q 5.37
Filter  8: ON PK Fc   330 Hz Gain +0.95 dB Q 5.93
Filter  9: ON PK Fc   645 Hz Gain +0.74 dB Q 5.75

View attachment 176406


The other way around is to optimise the LW:

Code:
EQ for KEF T101 computed from ASR data
Preference Score -1.6 with EQ 0.1
Generated from http://github.com/pierreaubert/spinorama/generate_peqs.py v0.14
Dated: 2022-01-03-17:26:30

Preamp: -3.1 dB

Filter  1: ON PK Fc  6135 Hz Gain -4.94 dB Q 0.58
Filter  2: ON PK Fc   886 Hz Gain -7.19 dB Q 3.23
Filter  3: ON PK Fc  1603 Hz Gain +4.50 dB Q 5.76
Filter  4: ON PK Fc   278 Hz Gain -1.26 dB Q 1.07
Filter  5: ON PK Fc 11180 Hz Gain -0.75 dB Q 5.72
Filter  6: ON PK Fc  1072 Hz Gain -1.23 dB Q 5.99
Filter  7: ON PK Fc   745 Hz Gain -0.88 dB Q 5.96
Filter  8: ON PK Fc   619 Hz Gain +1.13 dB Q 5.75
Filter  9: ON PK Fc   329 Hz Gain +1.07 dB Q 5.86

View attachment 176407
Spinorama looks good with that EQ, but in-room response yields the typical “smiley face” frequency response for “showroom sound.”
 

Spkrdctr

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Apr 22, 2021
Messages
1,186
Likes
1,465
Some of their other products have high marks. I wonder if someone was forced to make this (i.e., no heart) or they were nearing a deadline (i.e., rushed).
That's what I was thinking. Of course it was made to a price point. After 3 years of work, they probably could not afford to keep going and really get it right without charging 50% more for the speaker. So, after 3 years I'm sure rushing to get to market and building to a price point combined to get this fairly awful product. Now, they may still sell well. Bose was the pioneer in testing and figuring out that large amounts of the frequency spectrum can be butchered, missing or enhanced and the human ear/brain function covers it all up. Bose made a fortune for 3 decades omitting pesky frequencies that they figured didn't really matter anyway. As a company they honed in on how much you can leave out and still have a decent system. A pro tip is that you can leave out a lot!
 
Last edited:
Top Bottom