Pulling the hefty audio system from their packaging, you’ll discover a pair of port bungs, microfiber speaker grilles, and rubber toes. In the back of every speaker is a pair of rugged terminals permitting for discretely bi-amping the bass and higher drivers. I requested KEF concerning the want for bi-amping, as I solely deliberate to connect with the decrease terminals, and was advised there’s no actual firm “voice” on the topic however the implication is that there’s minimal sonic profit in doing so.
The audio system’ 4-ohm nominal impedance means they’ll seemingly be tougher to drive than 6-ohm or 8-ohm audio system, however impedance is a fancy topic and it varies by frequency. KEF claims the audio system will be powered by as little as 15 watts per facet, however for greatest outcomes, I nonetheless counsel a comparatively brawny amp with good readability, just like the Naim Uniti Atom I employed.
Let It Glow
As gleeful as these audio system are to play, it’s no simple activity to inform a narrative as wealthy and expressive as what the R3 Meta inform your ears minute by minute, beat by beat. You’ve simply gotta hear this stuff. They’re extremely nuanced, dynamic, and clear, providing energy and lyrical musicality on a degree that few audio system their dimension can accomplish. Each tune you play is a brand new chapter, as their chameleonic sound signature units the stage for every new combine.
That’s to not say the audio system don’t provide their very own distinctive sonic taste; they actually do. However what the R3 convey to the desk is so clear, so candy, and so effortlessly expressive—particularly when powered by a clear amplifier just like the Uniti Atom—they lend themselves to each topic with sympathetic supply. This implies they’ll discover all the failings in your music, after all, however most of the time, it’s introduced extra as a stylistic alternative. That lets your ears separate the manufacturing wheat from the chaff in all the things you play, whereas nonetheless having fun with lo-fi recordings.
Older Seashore Boys songs can sound a little bit skinny and even tinny on many audio system, however songs like “In My Room” and “Wouldn’t It Be Good” soar with the R3 Meta, with well-struck percussion that pops out from the immersive soundstage, satiny harmonies, and easy guitar tones that appear to tug you to the nice and cozy Pacific seashores. Flipping to topflight trendy manufacturing like The Weeknd’s “Starboy” resets the stage utterly. The R3’s magnified readability offered the perfect efficiency of the tune I’ve heard but, with laser synths, columns of bass, and swelling results echoing out the perimeters and skimming previous my face for an nearly surreal expertise.
The phrase “luminous” saved developing time and again as I moved by dozens of compressed and hi-res tracks over a number of days. Each string and horn participant, each synth impact, vocal, or guitar tone appears to bloom with its personal intrinsic mild when handed by the R3, for chill-inducing performances. When cymbals sparkle, the audio system mild that sparkle with an additional shot of vivid shimmer. When reverb trails grasp, the audio system lengthen and draw them out, letting them fade solely simply in time for the subsequent musical entrance. And when bass bumps, it hits with marble-hard authority and musical power.