I’ll be honest — when I first got the invite for their intimate launch event at Coby’s Gear and Gadgets at the 2nd floor of Shangri La Mall’s main wing, I had never heard of KEF before. A bit of quick research revealed what appeared to be a high end speaker brand based in the UK. What I didn’t expect however was just how high end their speakers could get.
In the short time I was there, I was able to experience a range of KEF audio gear, from more consumer-friendly headsets like the M100 to the M500 to a top of the line R series setup worth as much as a Toyota Wigo. Investing in KEF audio equipment isn’t easy on the pocket. Regardless of the product, choosing KEF is a significant investment. For those who truly want the best sound however, it’s an investment that’s well worth it.
With individual R series reference speakers costing up to Php150k and beyond, it isn’t likely the average consumer will be able to afford a full setup at home. An awesome compromise is the LS50 shown above, which is a pair of mini monitors designed to bring the professional studio monitor concept inside your home. Despite its relatively compact size, the LS50 delivers spacious sound at a more reasonable price point.
Now, many of you may still find the LS50 to be a bit pricey. If you’re looking for a more compact setup, the Hi-Fi X300A still offers surprisingly spacious sound in a small body, without sacrificing clarity. As a bonus, it also features wireless connectivity via Airplay or DLNA.
Now, for a more casual setup, the EGG wireless digital music system offers Bluetooth connectivity to play music from your computer or mobile device. It’s perfectly capable as is, but if you want to enhance your enjoyment even further, you can just add an optional KEF subwoofer.
The last speaker I was able to preview was the Muo, a portable Bluetooth speaker designed to go wherever you go. Compared to even a high end Braven, the Muo is a bit pricey, but just listening to it for a few minutes across different tracks was enough to justify the price difference. Whereas most other Bluetooth speakers in its price range tend to try to hard, especially when it comes to bass, the Muo doesn’t overdo it. The result is balanced sound that still offers a surprising bit of oomph without any muddiness or distortion.
While KEF’s bread and butter is their speakers, they also offer a range of headphones and headsets as well. Their headphone lineup starts with the MV500, a premium pair of Bluetooth cans. Despite the supra-aural design, the sound isolation is surprisingly good thanks to the acoustic sealing ring just underneath the memory foam ear pad, allowing it to maximize the 40mm neodymium drivers.
Another favorite of mine is the MV400, another pair of Bluetooth cans with a slightly more lightweight design. Similar to the MV500, the MV400 also features 40mm drivers, but doesn’t benefit from an acoustic sealing ring. Instead, it has a copper-clad aluminum wire voice coil for well-balanced audio with crisp details and bass that doesn’t overwhelm.
If you’re looking for the ultimate in compact high resolution playback, the MV200 combines a 10mm LF driver and 5.5 MF/HF driver for immaculate sound across the frequency range. The Secure Arm built into each earpiece holds them in place for freedom of movement as well.
Finally, the MV100 is a lightweight pair of in-ear buds with damped 10mm neodymium drivers that deliver awesome clarity.
While it’s only now that KEF has held a launch event for bloggers, they’ve actually been in the country since at least December. Their market is still high end, but it’s nice to see that they’ve come out with more accessible consumer audio products.