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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

radix

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Here's what I got for the T101 wall mounted. My wall is a 50* angle, so it's mounted on the metal bracket flush. It makes about a 27* angle up from the MLP. These tests used the UMIK-2 pointed vertical and the 90* calibration file. The mic is in the middle of the room 109cm from the speaker, roughly in-line from the height to the couch.

The Denon 6700 was set to 40 Hz crossover. The input was via the DVD HDMI from my Macbook Pro. Everything is at 48 kHz, 24-bit. I could not find an easy way to determine if Audyssey is enabled -- it was greyed out in the menu, but maybe that's because I set it via the app? In any case, the T101 is hooked up to the SBL amp output, which I've never EQ'd. The height outputs are not available from REW, so I used SBL as a stand-in.

Let me know if you'd like to see the data another way. Or I could post the mdat.

EDIT: here is a link to the mdat file.

I will make some additional measurements from the MPL later.

KEF T101, SPL_distortion.jpg



KEF T101, spectrogram.jpg




KEF T101, Impulse.jpg
 
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beagleman

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As horrifying as some aspects might appear... I think it probably wins something in the "lifestyle category" for which it was obviously designed. I'm guessing that nearly 100% of those purchasing it are putting room aesthetics a dozen or so places above sound quality.

In that case, where something that looks as unobtrusive as a wall mounted TV is a prerequisite - this probably sounds much better than the built-in speakers in the TV itself. As long as you never listen to any good speakers... you'd just be comparing bad to worse.

Or to put it another way... 50,000,000 Elvis Bose Lifestyle fans can't be wrong. ;)
Troels Gravesen actually measured some of those Small Bose cubes.

Scroll down to bottom of page.....

Surprisingly he found them to measure fairly flat from the midrange through the treble. Decently flat for "What they are"....
 
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dasdoing

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Here's what I got for the T101 wall mounted. My wall is a 50* angle, so it's mounted on the metal bracket flush. It makes about a 27* angle up from the MLP. These tests used the UMIK-2 pointed vertical and the 90* calibration file. The mic is in the middle of the room 109cm from the speaker, roughly in-line from the height to the couch.

The Denon 6700 was set to 40 Hz crossover. The input was via the DVD HDMI from my Macbook Pro. Everything is at 48 kHz, 24-bit. I could not find an easy way to determine if Audyssey is enabled -- it was greyed out in the menu, but maybe that's because I set it via the app? In any case, the T101 is hooked up to the SBL amp output, which I've never EQ'd. The height outputs are not available from REW, so I used SBL as a stand-in.

Let me know if you'd like to see the data another way. Or I could post the mdat.

I will make some additional measurements from the MPL later.

View attachment 177301


View attachment 177303



View attachment 177306

mdat would be cool so users can play with windowing
 

digicidal

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Surprisingly he found them to measure fairly flat from the midrange through the treble. Decently flat for "What they are"....
Yes, as long as you've got some reinforcement, a 3" FR can do surprisingly well... as long as +/-4dB 300Hz-20kHz is your definition of "fairly flat". Which I assume almost everyone that is willing to pay way more than they're worth would agree with. If you picked them up used at less than 15% of retail... they wouldn't even be a horrible deal I suppose.

How someone could justify paying almost $2K for that level of performance is beyond me however - but they do "disappear in the room" (at least visually). I'll take a room full of ugly monkey coffins any day however... but I guess that's because I find that 80Hz-300Hz area to hold some of the most interesting sounds (unless I have a subwoofer trying to make them - which is the Bose solution). ;)
 

beagleman

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Yes, as long as you've got some reinforcement, a 3" FR can do surprisingly well... as long as +/-4dB 300Hz-20kHz is your definition of "fairly flat". Which I assume almost everyone that is willing to pay way more than they're worth would agree with. If you picked them up used at less than 15% of retail... they wouldn't even be a horrible deal I suppose.

How someone could justify paying almost $2K for that level of performance is beyond me however - but they do "disappear in the room" (at least visually). I'll take a room full of ugly monkey coffins any day however... but I guess that's because I find that 80Hz-300Hz area to hold some of the most interesting sounds (unless I have a subwoofer trying to make them - which is the Bose solution). ;)
I agree the price is crazy high. But there are many people who will literally pay for something that looks stylish, small or unobtrusive.

They do not sound utterly horrible, and years back I used to sell several Bose models, (along with other better stuff) and there simply was a sizable clientele that specifically wanted this stuff.

I knew they were very overpriced. I knew they sounded sorta just "okay", but I made such a huge commission on their stuff, it came down to a decision of "Make a good bit of money easily" VS "Make a just okay/good amount working my butt off on other brands"

People really into audio would ((Men almost exclusively)) spend perhaps a good hour or more listening to speakers, and could never make their minds up. I spent countless hours, playing demos, adjusting things, and moving speakers back and forth and so on....


Bose people, ((Almost always a couple or JUST a woman)) would stand there and be "Wowed" for about 12-15 minutes, and pull out a credit card, or ask will it fit in their lexus trunk...
 

tecnogadget

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radix thanks for sharing the mdat file measurements. Your Denon X6700H has Audyssey MultEQ XT32 (which is the good one).

Here is a plot of the frequency response with the proper 50db scale so it doesn't look flatter than it really is. And also because the Distortion panel in REW does not plot the response like the All SPL panel.

5.png

Although the response is not very good, it is not so disastrous from a DSP correction point of view. As stock, even with wall mounting this speaker has no bass, and there is a high rise treble.

Is it a compromise? Yes, it is. But for those who want to save space and are interested in aesthetics, I don't see why they can't work well as surrounds by adding a subwoofer and lowering the treble intensity with DSP.

Could you try to upload a measurement with Audyssey XT32 on and also the subwoofer if you have one?
I imagine that with the correction applied the response should be much better.
 

Dj7675

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radix thanks for sharing the mdat file measurements. Your Denon X6700H has Audyssey MultEQ XT32 (which is the good one).

Here is a plot of the frequency response with the proper 50db scale so it doesn't look flatter than it really is. And also because the Distortion panel in REW does not plot the response like the All SPL panel.

View attachment 177562
Although the response is not very good, it is not so disastrous from a DSP correction point of view. As stock, even with wall mounting this speaker has no bass, and there is a high rise treble.

Is it a compromise? Yes, it is. But for those who want to save space and are interested in aesthetics, I don't see why they can't work well as surrounds by adding a subwoofer and lowering the treble intensity with DSP.

Could you try to upload a measurement with Audyssey XT32 on and also the subwoofer if you have one? I imagine that with the correction applied the response should be much better.
-It follows Amir’s measurements really well (Thanks for rescaling it).
-It order to be useable will need full range EQ. Something like the default or a variation of the Audyssey Reference would get it to something much better than out of the box
-For surround/atmos, with full range EQ it seems like they could be OK if that is all there is room for, but if you have room for an on wall solution, a revel S16 or JBL A130 would be much much better
-For LCR I can’t see how this could ever be an option... it is one thing to have limited bass, but that uncorrected frequency response is just nuts. Even with the design constraints of depth, it seems so bad...
 

radix

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radix thanks for sharing the mdat file measurements. Your Denon X6700H has Audyssey MultEQ XT32 (which is the good one).

Here is a plot of the frequency response with the proper 50db scale so it doesn't look flatter than it really is. And also because the Distortion panel in REW does not plot the response like the All SPL panel.

View attachment 177562
Although the response is not very good, it is not so disastrous from a DSP correction point of view. As stock, even with wall mounting this speaker has no bass, and there is a high rise treble.

Is it a compromise? Yes, it is. But for those who want to save space and are interested in aesthetics, I don't see why they can't work well as surrounds by adding a subwoofer and lowering the treble intensity with DSP.

Could you try to upload a measurement with Audyssey XT32 on and also the subwoofer if you have one? I imagine that with the correction applied the response should be much better.
Ops, I did forget the re-scaling, and I'll use straight SPL next time.

I will re-measure with Audyssey and subs. I need to switch the speaker back to SBL (not height 1) and Audyssey it in that configuration, unless someone knows how to have REW play to height 1 on a macbook? I could not figure out how to setup midi/rew to make that speaker addressable.
 

radix

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Here are the results with Audyssey. The first graph has the mic in about the same spot as the original measurement, which is aligned with the speaker (still at 90* vertical), about 1m distant. The second graph is in the main listening position, which is 261 cm from the speaker and off to the right. I didn't get the volume matched well for the MLP, so it's a few dB low.

The two MDAT files are here (at aligned position) and here (for MLP position).

I have 2 subs, one in the front and one off to the side. I need to work on sub positioning more to get rid of that 55 Hz hump.

index.php



KEF T101 no-eq vs MLP.jpg
 

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  • KEF T101, no-eq vs eq.jpg
    KEF T101, no-eq vs eq.jpg
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bigjacko

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Not trying to throw a Molotov cocktail here, but observing a frequent phenomenon on ASR: when Amir's review produces a lackluster result the question will invariably be raised about whether he tested a broken unit, a lemon, an anomaly. This especially seems to occur with more "high end"/expensive items. It leaves the distinct impression that audio manufacturers are somehow consistently prone to quality control failures, or at least perceived to be.
I agree, but what I think is that the crossover is broken to a point that anyone can do it better. I will not say good words for any company, my words are more like bad words haha.:D
 

tvrgeek

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Seems they did not use much of their engineering expertise. Gasp.

Xmech, I would have to disagree. Here are some very good in-wall speakers. If I had a complaint it is the price. No box and they charge twice what the same drivers in a box cost. It is likely, most in-wall or in-ceiling assume you will be using some DSP eq. They have no idea what boundary reflections will be. I had some Boston's I am sorry I left in an old house. Some Polks for rears now, quite listenable. Of course, this is a thin on-wall speaker which brings other problems to it. I am seeing more of them on the market but have not heard any.

Atmos takes almost nothing for speakers, so I suspect it is the engineers and directors learning how to use it, or far from optimal installs. You really need a dedicated room designed for it. Small market. If I were to build something like that, I would lean to a Mark Audio driver or something. Phase being critical to the effect, so no crossover.
 

Dj7675

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Atmos takes almost nothing for speakers,
This has not been my experience. Unlike LCR use is not constant of course. But during most Atmos/DTSx content they are used quite heavily. During these times speaker deficiencies tend to show up... being able to play loud enough without issue, having a dispersion pattern/off axis response that covers the area, either a good frequency response or can take EQ well (good off axis response etc).
Basically a good speaker, even in an Atmos location is important. While often times they are used for special affects like helicpoters/planes/rain etc, other times they can be playing music. The last thing I want when listening to an atmos/dtsx or multichannel music recording is music playing on a bad speaker. My 2 cents is get an atmos speaker that sounds good when listening to it in stereo (even if you have to use a a 100hz or 120hz crossover). Overall it will provide a better experience.
 

Plan9

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And that is the exact target group for this product. Minimal room intrusion and high WAF. It fits in this pretty large segment of the industry. Going out on a limb here, but most here have a no compromise attitude to the best reproduction of sound they can afford. The exact opposite of what this product is intended for. We knew the moment we saw how thin the enclosure was it would not measure well. Minimal performance with maximum room decoration blending. Different strokes. While we fill our rooms with large boxes and bundles of wires and think that just looks majestic :oops:
Something like the Magnepan MMGW...$325 or so/pr...been around for awhile (10+ years?).
 

exm

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I am using these as front heights next to my television, but I wouldn't use them for anything else. I've compared them 1:1 to the Q50A which I am using for rear and side heights and it's a night and day difference.
 

carewser

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Here are the engineers in this brief marketing video:

Well that explains why it's so terrible, they had a woman design it ;)

Seriously though, i've met as many female audiophiles as I have unicorns, let alone a female speaker designer
 

Smitty2k1

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Does anyone have any comments on the Elac Muro or Dali Oberon on-wall speakers? Seem like reasonable purpose designed wall mount speakers.

Or any more traditional bookshelves that have a front port that can easily be wall mounted?
 

radix

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Does anyone have any comments on the Elac Muro or Dali Oberon on-wall speakers? Seem like reasonable purpose designed wall mount speakers.

Or any more traditional bookshelves that have a front port that can easily be wall mounted?

When I asked about this, the main recommendation I got was the Revel S16 for an on-wall speaker. The elac and dali look interesting, but I've not found technical reviews of them. Focal also has a new line of on-wall speakers.
 

Doctors11

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As does Aperion Audio, but no technical reviews on them either.


 
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