KEF is proud to launch the latest in their pioneering range of speakers with both Blade and The Reference. The two ranges demonstrate how innovation and design can create the most accurate and realistic sound with acoustics in mind. KEF is defined by its excellent sound quality and is committed to delivering a superior listening experience.
Blade is about perfecting a ground-breaking concept to delight people with the ultimate listening experience. Every pair of The Reference series can be matched within half a decibel to the laboratory-maintained reference standard. Hence their name. The developments in both the latest Blade floorstanding speakers and the newest The Reference speakers are many, including the addition of Metamaterial Absorption Technology (MAT™).
For those who have exquisite taste, a deep attachment to their audio experience and are the bold boundary breakers, Blade is the obvious choice. First and foremost, the sound is striking. The calibre is exceptional. The design demonstrates an adventurous sensibility for those who want to make a statement. The speakers stand proudly as audiophile-artwork within their homes.
The sound connoisseurs that want to experience the luxury of superior sound in their homes and believe these memories should be treasured and revisited for years to come will be invested in The Reference. The nostalgic value of your favourite song is accentuated with The Reference’s delivery. The Reference series encompasses two three-way floorstanding speakers, a three-way standmount speaker, and two three-way centre speakers that can be used as Left-Centre-Right (LCR) speakers. They are elegant speakers for memory-makers with excellent taste; a speaker that will deliver a lifetime of memories and will perform for just as long.
KEF prides itself on technology leadership and powers of innovation. Every speaker in Blade and The Reference ranges exudes the same sense of sheer quality that comes from being hand-built by KEF’s master craftsmen in Maidstone, Kent, UK. They are designed to be acoustically exceptional, attractive to look at, and each speaker is meticulously built to KEF’s exceptional standards.
Acoustics dictate Blade’s sculptural design. The gentle front radius tapers gracefully from top to bottom and from front to rear and presents no discontinuity to mar sound clarity. The complex parabolic curves of acoustically inert cabinets are cleverly engineered to eliminate standing waves that might blur the sound.
Asserting the sophistication of the technology they contain, these stunning speakers are available in a palette of eight finishes, created by blending five cabinet finishes with six driver cone colours. If that isn’t enough, customers can also create their customised speaker cabinet colour scheme by supplying a Pantone of their choice for a truly unique Blade.
The composition of The Reference sees all cabinets designed by using finite element analysis to determine the ideal shape and bracing geometry to minimise secondary radiation from the sides. Constrained Layer Damping is applied to turn what little vibration is left into heat.
Blade is an attitude. The Reference is iconic. It’s about exploring the art of the possible, which is why the latest version of Blade and The Reference benefits from KEF’s latest acoustic innovations: Metamaterial Absorption Technology (MAT), a bespoke 12th generation Uni-Q® driver array and a host of other improvements.
MAT is a truly revolutionary tool in the KEF acoustic armoury because each of the intricate channels efficiently absorbs 99% of unwanted sound. This eliminates the resulting distortion and provides a purer, more natural acoustic performance.
A result of joint development with the Acoustic Metamaterials Group, using MAT breaks completely new ground in loudspeaker design, and once again demonstrates KEF’s unrelenting passion for developing new technologies to improve your listening experience. Metamaterials are specially developed structures that use existing materials in such a way that they exhibit new, desirable properties that are simply not found in naturally occurring substances. Thanks to decades of accumulated in-house knowledge and the application of cutting-edge simulation and analysis tools informed KEF’s Uni-Q that is paired with MAT for Blade and The Reference. The bespoke driver delivers a pristine performance from KEF’s flagship loudspeaker. The state-of-the-art Uni-Q driver array can deliver consistently sweet, lucid and lyrical treble, irrespective of the volume. A new ultra-low distortion midrange motor design lowers the total harmonic distortion (THD) in the midrange and reduces thermal compression, improving efficiency.
At the heart of Blade lies the Single Apparent Source technology. Single Apparent Source extends the iconic Uni-Q driver array, the building block of the KEF signature sound. The technology aims to achieve the acoustic ideal of a point source, where low, mid and high frequencies radiate from one point. This makes Blade incredibly coherent across all audible frequencies; what you hear is real and immersive.
The contours of the dome within The Reference’s midrange horn and surround are all computer-optimised to ensure a perfectly smooth transition to the cabinet. KEF’s patented tangerine waveguide technology manages the airflow to recreate the wide, even spread of a natural sound field, dispersing the astonishingly pure high-frequency imaging throughout the room. The result of these innovations and developments for both Blade and The Reference is that the Uni-Q with MAT reproduces more transparent and life-like sound than previously possible
Blade’s four robust, low-frequency drivers are perfectly integrated with the Uni-Q and MAT to deliver clean, massively extended, immaculately controlled bass. In line with the purity of the original Blade concept, decoupling the voice coil from the diaphragm allows low order crossovers to be used, for purer, silkier bass response. These drivers are mounted back-to-back to avoid exciting the cabinet when playing loud to cancel out kinetic forces that might otherwise colour the output. Each pair occupies a separate chamber to reduce the need for damping.
The crossover design has been enhanced in the latest Blade to fine-tune the signal path for maximum clarity. Plus, two pairs of audiophile-quality WBT connectors allow bi-wiring or bi-amping for lossless transmission. Blade is about perfecting a ground-breaking concept to delight people with the ultimate listening experience with the philosophy of innovating in pursuit of the most accurate and realistic sound.
For The Reference high and mid-range frequencies are only part of the story, though, and The Reference also boasts clean, rich, highly articulate bass. Intelligent engineering and meticulous attention to design detail enable the bass to blend seamlessly with the pure midrange and treble response.
The Reference’s bass driver also benefits from a massive, vented magnet assembly, a large aluminium voice coil and an exceptionally light and stiff alloy cone. As a result of all these technologies volume, dynamics and power handling are superb.
Blade One Meta: £30,000
Blade Two Meta: £22,500
Reference 5 Meta: £17,500
Reference 3 Meta: £11,500
Reference 1 Meta: £7,500
Reference 4 Meta: £6,500
Reference 2 Meta: £4,750
S-RF1 Floor Stand: £1,000
REF 8b Subwoofer: £6,000