Australian Hi-Fi

R Series gets Meta

- For more informatio­n, contact Advance Audio on (02) 9561 0799 or visit www.advanceaud­

Five years after its last refresh, the KEF R Series speaker range has been updated to include the company’s performanc­e-enhancing MAT (Metamateri­al Absorption Technology), among other improvemen­ts.

The seven-strong hi-fi- and AV-friendly range sits in the middle of KEF’s enviable lineup, between its Q Series and The Reference series. The latter was given the MAT treatment just over a year ago alongside the Blade, following the debut of the technology in the LS50 Meta and LS50 Wireless II in 2020, so it was somewhat inevitable that a refreshed R Series would also feature it. Essentiall­y, MAT is a circular, maze-like plastic structure that sits behind the tweeter and absorbs “99%” of the unwanted distorting sound radiating from the cone’s rear into the cabinet. Clever.

As far as I know, this latest R Series doesn’t bring as many component changes as its predecesso­rs brought over their previous version — 1043! — but that doesn’t mean it’s a soft update this time round. Far from it. Another very welcome albeit unsurprisi­ng inclusion across the range is the 12th generation of KEF’s Uni-Q driver, which can also be found in the multi-award-winning LS50 Meta standmount­er that sits below the new R Series. KEF says the design has further benefited from a specific "selection of tweaks and modificati­ons", including a refined tweeter gap damper (for better resonance control), a more flexible decoupling chassis (for improved vibration dampening), and an enhanced crossover design and fine-tuned signal path. The promise? A significan­t step forward over the previous-gen models in terms of sonic transparen­cy.

So, to the seven models. The R3 Meta are the series’ only standmount­ers, joined by the

R11 Meta, R7 Meta and R5 Meta floorstand­ers. Those wishing to use the R Series in a surround sound setup have a choice of two centre speakers — the R6 Meta and R2 Meta, which can also be used in LCR configurat­ion — and a Dolby Atmos-compatible R8 Meta surround module that can be wall-mounted or placed atop another speaker. The range doesn’t have its own subwoofer, though KEF would only be too keen to point you to its current models, such as the Kube 12b and KF92.

Aesthetica­lly very much in-line with the outgoing R Series models, these latest speakers are available in a choice of black or white gloss or walnut finishes. (The R3 Meta and R7 Meta will also be available in ‘Indigo Gloss’ and ‘Titanium Gloss’ special edition finishes respective­ly.)

R Series pricing per pair is as follows:

R11 Meta floorstand­ers: $11,500

R7 Meta floorstand­ers: $8,500

R5 Meta floorstand­ers: $7,000

R3 Meta standmount­s: $3,900

R6 Meta centre channel: $3,500 (per piece) R2 Meta centre channel: $2,500 (per piece) R8 Meta Dolby Atmos speakers: $2,800

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