What We Like
- Performance that punches way above their price range.
- Stylish design.
- Well executed coax layout.
What We Don’t Like
- Only black vinyl version currently available.
KEF Q100 is a set of speakers that is almost too good to be true. If you are looking for a great set of speakers under $300, you will find these to be among the best currently available.
When you first take a glance at KEF Q100, you will probably get a feeling that you are looking at much more expensive speakers. That feeling is perfectly justified as these used to be much more expensive not so long ago. The variant we are looking at today features all black vinyl exterior over quality MDF. The front baffle is made of durable materials and is bolted onto the cabinet.
In terms of aesthetics, KEF took a minimalist approach that panned out great. The only detail that breaks up the flat black baffle is a brushed aluminum bar with KEF’s logo on it. This bar separates the drivers from the front firing port, achieving a very attractive appearance. As you would expect, these come with a grille, which dulls down the design to a certain point.
In all fairness, these look much better naked. What is even more important is how well KEF Q100 are put together. Nothing rattles, nor will you have to deal with unusual vibrations.
We have mentioned in the title of this review that Q100 use a coaxial design. You don’t often see too many brands attempt to use this approach, especially not in lower segments of the market. However, KEF took a gamble that paid off. The driver belongs to their Uni-Q series and measures 5.25″ in diameter. The entire thing sits in a nice, rigid surround. At the center of the driver, you will find a 1″ vented aluminum dome tweeter.
The two crossover at 2.5kHz, which makes them pretty smooth overall. To run these speakers, you will need a 10-100 Watt amplifier. Even so, KEF Q100 are anything but underpowered. The max SPL is rated for 107dB. Considering that these are still near field speakers, you are bound to get enough saturation even in slightly larger rooms. All things considered, KEQ Q100 doesn’t bring complexity as much as they are packed with high-end hardware. That is something we have to appreciate.
The main benefit of having coaxed drivers in a speaker is how they react to each other. Instead of dealing with two axes of sound, you get all the sounds from one. Even so, Uni-Q drivers are definitely different from your standard coax. The trebles are not too bright, but rather comfortable to a point where you get a good balance. Mids are wide, open and very precise.
With that said, the main surprise comes when you start digging lower in the frequency range. The bass section on this speaker is impressive. That aluminum cone driver moves quite a lot of air. On top of that, the lows are clear and well defined. Combine this promising performance of the drivers with a simple but effective crossover, and you have a set of rather incredible speakers.
Q100 works much better for most people than the larger Q300. The main reason for this can be found in its vivid image that makes them sound bigger than they really are.
One of the rare opportunities to get a mid range set of speakers at a price that is within the realms of affordable. KEF”s Q100 are an absolute blast no matter how you look at them.