KEF Q350 Speaker Review

If there’s one thing the new KEF Q350s have in common, it’s refinement. Almost every part of the speakers has been changed, both acoustically and physically, to provide a cleaner, more sophisticated presentation. However, newer, better speakers arrived, demoting the £450 speakers to four stars. The Q series was due for a new generation. As a result, we now have the new KEF Q350s. These £530 stand mounters deliver great sound and attractive design at a price that puts them in the top tier of their class. Here is KEF Q350 Speaker review.

KEF Q350 Speaker Review

Build

KEF Q350 Speaker Review: Build

When compared to the old Q300s, the first thing you’ll notice is how clean and modern the design is. The chrome band over the front baffle has vanished, as have any openings for mounting the grilles (which now snap on magnetically).

They have a sleek and minimalist appearance. The fascia is absolutely devoid of anything to distract you from the main event: the latest generation of KEF’s legendary Uni-Q driver, except from the logo at the top.

A 25mm vented aluminium dome tweeter sits in the throat of a 16.5cm aluminium mid/bass driver, giving the impression of a single driver.

This single point-source setup is intended to increase sound dispersion and integration amongst the drivers. The tweeter’s characteristic orange waveguide aids in sound distribution.

The current version of the Uni-Q driver has a damped tweeter loading tube adapted from KEF’s high-end Reference series to absorb undesirable back-of-the-dome activity.

Its purpose is to improve the high-frequency quality. Other changes to the motor system and the form of the mid/bass cone have been made to help reduce distortion.

The Uni-Q driver is now positioned in the cabinet’s center. This isn’t only to match the rest of KEF’s speaker lineup, such as the LS50s; its placement also helps eliminate internal standing waves and increase clarity.

Sound

Sound |  KEF Q350 Speaker Review
KEF Q350 Speaker Review

The £530 KEFs are positioned between the Dynaudio Emit M10s (£500) and Emit M20s (£600) as former Award winners. We’ll use the larger M20s as the major comparison because they’re close in size to the KEFs, with the Q350s being a few centimetres deeper than the M20s.

The Q350s provide a level of clarity and nuance that is unheard of at this price, thanks to KEF’s redesigns.

We’re blown away by the depths of intricacy shown in Hans Zimmer’s Coward from the Interstellar soundtrack. The KEFs probe deep and uncover details with calm and accuracy.

The ambient noises are well-detailed, and because to the KEFs’ well-timed presentation, the way diverse noises interact with one another makes musical sense. The metronome’s ticking sounds perfect throughout the composition, with precise edges slicing off sections of time.

These speakers can also go quite deep. The thundering beat that runs underlying the song has a rumbling, frightening aspect to it.

The KEF Q350s avoid sounding overly clinical; instead, they’re simply articulate in their delivery of each note. The integration of the midrange and treble is flawless, and voices seem clear and distinct.

It’s difficult to tell where one starts and the other stops, which is a credit to how effectively the Uni-Q driver is tuned. It makes the Dynaudio Emit M20s’ rivals sound a little harsh around the edges.

Sound has a massive magnitude as well. The KEFs can fill a space even more easily than the Dynaudios because to their larger cabinet volume. On the Q350s’ airy and expansive soundstage, you can precisely discern instruments.

The speakers are also revealing, reflecting the difference in ambiance and space throughout the transition from studio to live recording in Nine Inch Nails’ Right Where It Belongs.

They also sound fantastic over the frequency spectrum. The original Q300s were criticized for having a narrow treble, but the Q350s don’t have that problem. The treble performance is detailed and pleasant, with clear sound that never gets too bright to make you wince.

Compatibility

When it comes to system compatibility, we’d make sure you enjoy your equipment. These KEFs are clear enough to show off all of your electronics’ capabilities, flaws and all.

The excellent Rega Brio stereo amplifier (£600) is a wonderful place to start. It enhances the sound of the KEF and adds a natural warmth and drive.

To get the most out of these KEF speakers, we’d also spend some time making sure they’re correctly set up. Allow them to run in, then set them up on firm stands and toe them in toward the listening position.

While the back port requires some space, it’s worth placing them next to (but not directly against) a wall to give the sound additional solidity.

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