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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

beagleman

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Is there a good measuring wall mount speaker yet?

Good sounding also!
 

KMO

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Now, they may still sell well.
They're actually over 10 years old, and I don't get the impression that they did, particularly. I'm not sure the market is really there. If you care enough about sound to be in the market for a real subwoofer+satellite set to connect to an A/V receiver, you're probably not going to accept the inherent compromise in this ultra-thin design.

Not long after these came out, the sound bar came along - something that would appeal even more to those who want something "tidy" and aren't that bothered about sound. The "Bose" audience migrated to there, really. And there are also better DSP-based active 2-channel things, like the Sonos, that also gain from being "thin" rather than "ultra-thin".

They're still part of KEF's range, but I doubt we'll see a direct replacement. There aren't many competing passive products, so they may as well keep them in production. (Or are they just clearing a warehouse?) I know there's been a bit of extra market from people looking to use them ceiling mounted for Atmos.
 

Spkrdctr

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Oh, I thought they were fairly new. Oh well. I don't follow "thin" speakers or even in wall speakers. So, I posted when I should have kept quiet. Not the first time!
 

testp

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What were they thinking? Crossover with a hole in it?
that hole is there for the TV to pick up the slack and fill up that dip... :)

seriously someone with kind-kind soul should send Kef R7 for testing, or some Reference... that would be awesome
 

Dj7675

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Is there a good measuring wall mount speaker yet?
Revel C10 (in particular mounted vertically)/M10, Revel M55XC, M80XC. JBL Control X, Focal Chorus OD 706 V... I'm sure I missed some.
 

FBR

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I've used 8 of these speakers as surround in an ATMOS setup attached directly to the walls and ceilings and, paired with a CX-A5200 and proper front/center/subs, they sound phenomenal. I wouldn't use them as fronts, but they'd probably be OK paired with a sub. I have KEF Ref 1s for the fronts and proper subs, as required for these speakers. See attached images of tuning/room correction for a few speakers through the Yamaha.

You can see the Yamaha picks up on the 2k dip (the peaks in each picture) and corrects for the back left. The left and right surrounds don't need this as much but there's a small correction. There's a peak around 300Hz in the response that gets corrected for most of these speakers (the first dip in each picture). Due to varying placements near walls and corners they all have slightly different curves. I would recommend using room correction for any home theater setup and I doubt KEF expects users of these speakers (at these price points) to not use room correction.

I question the reviewers use of a TV as a nearby wall for testing, and refusal to properly mount them. I can't take any of these measurements seriously if he can't be bothered to mount them correctly.

The TV surface is highly reflective vs drywall material and also very resonant. Not having the speakers bolted to a solid surface probably impacts the response as well. Using a stand instead of the proper wall mount is also not ideal. These are wall mount speakers. You can use a KEF Stand, but obviously that's not the primary intended use case and a proper review and measurement should respect this.

I'd like the reviewer to mount these to a typical room position on drywall and re-measure. Anything less isn't a proper measurement. See Sound and Vision's response curves for the T301 speakers attached. They had a positive review of the T301 series (same speakers with 2 woofers each) and my experience with the T101s being crystal clear agrees. I've yet to have someone over who wasn't blown away at the sound of this system.
 

Attachments

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  • Surround Left.jpg
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  • KEF T301 Sound and Vision.jpg
    KEF T301 Sound and Vision.jpg
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Laserjock

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I've used 8 of these speakers as surround in an ATMOS setup attached directly to the walls and ceilings and, paired with a CX-A5200 and proper front/center/subs, they sound phenomenal. I wouldn't use them as fronts, but they'd probably be OK paired with a sub. I have KEF Ref 1s for the fronts and proper subs, as required for these speakers. See attached images of tuning/room correction for a few speakers through the Yamaha.

You can see the Yamaha picks up on the 2k dip (the peaks in each picture) and corrects for the back left. The left and right surrounds don't need this as much but there's a small correction. There's a peak around 300Hz in the response that gets corrected for most of these speakers (the first dip in each picture). Due to varying placements near walls and corners they all have slightly different curves. I would recommend using room correction for any home theater setup and I doubt KEF expects users of these speakers (at these price points) to not use room correction.

I question the reviewers use of a TV as a nearby wall for testing, and refusal to properly mount them. I can't take any of these measurements seriously if he can't be bothered to mount them correctly.

The TV surface is highly reflective vs drywall material and also very resonant. Not having the speakers bolted to a solid surface probably impacts the response as well. Using a stand instead of the proper wall mount is also not ideal. These are wall mount speakers. You can use a KEF Stand, but obviously that's not the primary intended use case and a proper review and measurement should respect this.

I'd like the reviewer to mount these to a typical room position on drywall and re-measure. Anything less isn't a proper measurement. See Sound and Vision's response curves for the T301 speakers attached. They had a positive review of the T301 series (same speakers with 2 woofers each) and my experience with the T101s being crystal clear agrees. I've yet to have someone over who wasn't blown away at the sound of this system.
Are they angled toward LP or just flat against the wall/ceiling?
Some pics might be helpful if you have some to share.

Thanks
 

radix

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I was hoping that they would be OK for their purpose -- HT surrounds or heights -- and have decent 120 Hz - 15 kHz or so. But it does not look like it, which is unfortunate. I was fully expecting a lack of bass.
 

Doctors11

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Oct 26, 2020
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Is there a good measuring wall mount speaker yet?
Not yet measured but I'm curious about these...


 

Dj7675

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I've used 8 of these speakers as surround in an ATMOS setup attached directly to the walls and ceilings and, paired with a CX-A5200 and proper front/center/subs, they sound phenomenal. I wouldn't use them as fronts, but they'd probably be OK paired with a sub. I have KEF Ref 1s for the fronts and proper subs, as required for these speakers. See attached images of tuning/room correction for a few speakers through the Yamaha.

You can see the Yamaha picks up on the 2k dip (the peaks in each picture) and corrects for the back left. The left and right surrounds don't need this as much but there's a small correction. There's a peak around 300Hz in the response that gets corrected for most of these speakers (the first dip in each picture). Due to varying placements near walls and corners they all have slightly different curves. I would recommend using room correction for any home theater setup and I doubt KEF expects users of these speakers (at these price points) to not use room correction.

I question the reviewers use of a TV as a nearby wall for testing, and refusal to properly mount them. I can't take any of these measurements seriously if he can't be bothered to mount them correctly.

The TV surface is highly reflective vs drywall material and also very resonant. Not having the speakers bolted to a solid surface probably impacts the response as well. Using a stand instead of the proper wall mount is also not ideal. These are wall mount speakers. You can use a KEF Stand, but obviously that's not the primary intended use case and a proper review and measurement should respect this.

I'd like the reviewer to mount these to a typical room position on drywall and re-measure. Anything less isn't a proper measurement. See Sound and Vision's response curves for the T301 speakers attached. They had a positive review of the T301 series (same speakers with 2 woofers each) and my experience with the T101s being crystal clear agrees. I've yet to have someone over who wasn't blown away at the sound of this system.
A few thoughts..
-Welcome. This is an interesting place to learn stuff.
-I would be extremely confident if you did an A/B test of both your Kef Ref 1 and the T101 and did some switching back and forth, the difference would be pretty large. Even if you put in a filter so they had the same bass extension. Measurements show a large hole in an important response area, and a lot of excess treble.
-Also, surround or atmos speakers, may not be as critical as the mains. Dispersion, distortion and output capablilty are pretty good, so with a bit of EQ I bet they look good and probably do sound fine.
-I am not familiar with Yamaha EQ but it appears it is EQing to a flat response. Generally you would want a downward tillt at the listening position.
-Amir has tested several speakers that are not full range and some he has recommended and others he hasn’t. Generally the recommended ones tend to have a flat or at least “evenish” anechoic response. The T101 has 3 issues, lack of bass, uneven response (large hole in an important region) and very elevated treble. I don’t think Amir dinged the speaker for lack of bass, it was the other 2 issues. He then also tried to fix it with EQ and didn’t really have much luck, so it didn’t get recommended.
-Amir moved the speaker near the wall which will help the bass but didn’t change the overall impression. He did this with the Revel M55XC for example and noticed an improvement. And even though it lacked bass was recommended due to even response, low distortion, excellent directiva try. But discounting the measurements and listening tests is a mistake in my opinion.
Amir is a trained listener, has done this process with 100+ speakers, and has specific tracks to test speakers with specific flaws. These flaws sounded like they became quite apparent during his listening tests.
All in all this speaker does have a few pretty big flaws, but doesn’t mean you can’t like them for your intended purpose with EQ. But it is hard to argue it is a good speaker with the flaws in on axis frequency response and predicted in room response.
 

Alice of Old Vincennes

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I love this new trend for thin/small/tiny speakers and other components...plus sonos, soundbars etc... I suspect it is often because folks are harassed into changing to gear that fits better with furniture, less obtrusive or whatever.

For me, it means that there are often very good deals available on full sized Good quality components, at great prices second hand. (Plus, if you don't need a phono preamp, those vintage integrated amps fetch big sums to this young generation of bearded hipsters who just discovered vinyl a few years back.)

Win win. Thanks KEF!
Minimalist design is not compatible with good sound. I will stick big center and floorstanders in my living room sans grills for the sound. I will choose monitor stand that allows 10 or 12 inch 3 way center placement. I will not install monitor in location that does not allow such placement.
 

Alice of Old Vincennes

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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?
Why would you measure a Bose under any circumstances?
 

MaxBuck

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Aren't planar speakers like Magnepans and pure electrostatics pretty thin?

I know Magnepans don't measure great, but has to be better than these things.
 

Alice of Old Vincennes

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I've used 8 of these speakers as surround in an ATMOS setup attached directly to the walls and ceilings and, paired with a CX-A5200 and proper front/center/subs, they sound phenomenal. I wouldn't use them as fronts, but they'd probably be OK paired with a sub. I have KEF Ref 1s for the fronts and proper subs, as required for these speakers. See attached images of tuning/room correction for a few speakers through the Yamaha.

You can see the Yamaha picks up on the 2k dip (the peaks in each picture) and corrects for the back left. The left and right surrounds don't need this as much but there's a small correction. There's a peak around 300Hz in the response that gets corrected for most of these speakers (the first dip in each picture). Due to varying placements near walls and corners they all have slightly different curves. I would recommend using room correction for any home theater setup and I doubt KEF expects users of these speakers (at these price points) to not use room correction.

I question the reviewers use of a TV as a nearby wall for testing, and refusal to properly mount them. I can't take any of these measurements seriously if he can't be bothered to mount them correctly.

The TV surface is highly reflective vs drywall material and also very resonant. Not having the speakers bolted to a solid surface probably impacts the response as well. Using a stand instead of the proper wall mount is also not ideal. These are wall mount speakers. You can use a KEF Stand, but obviously that's not the primary intended use case and a proper review and measurement should respect this.

I'd like the reviewer to mount these to a typical room position on drywall and re-measure. Anything less isn't a proper measurement. See Sound and Vision's response curves for the T301 speakers attached. They had a positive review of the T301 series (same speakers with 2 woofers each) and my experience with the T101s being crystal clear agrees. I've yet to have someone over who wasn't blown away at the sound of this system.
Might as well use magnepan mmg w to "blow away" your guests.
 

Rottmannash

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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.
What was Amir supposed to do? Not perform the measurements? After the member sent it in?
 
OP
amirm

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Will you measure a Bose satellite speaker by itself, without their subwoofer?
If it is sold by itself, yes. If it always comes with a sub, then no. Indeed I have refused to accept many speakers that come with mandatory subs as getting them strung together for testing is hard.
 
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amirm

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Score -1.6 ... with EQ 0.3
Given the negative scores we are getting with some speakers, we should convert the range by adding 2 to every response. That would then bring us to a 0 to 10 rating again. So a speaker getting a score of 6 is really 8.
 
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