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Showing 1-6 of 6 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 10 reviews
on November 8, 2012
I purchased a pair of the black iQ90s through Amazon and am EXTREMELY pleased with this purchase. I have been heavily into high quality audio for over 40 years. Besides the KEFs I also currently own speakers by Magnepan, Klipsch, Paradigm, Polk Audio(LSi 9s) and Lowther for my SET rig. My electronics include a custom Bill Baker modified Jolida JD302B EL34 based 50W/ch integrated amplifier, NAD C162/C272 preamp/power amp pair(150W/ch), Emotiva USP-1 preamp, a pair of Emotiva XPA-1 500W/ch monoblocks with Oppo BDP-95 Universal disc player. All Kimber Kable cabling and a Belkin PF6 PureAV power conditioner/surge suppressor/power console. Sources include digital by NAD, Emotiva, Upscale Audio(tube output CD player), 24/96 as well as 24/192 audio files from, and analogue via Rega RP-3 turntable w/Ortofon 2m Red cartridge.
In short, I was initially somewhat disappointed with the sound of the KEFs out of the box. They sounded somewhat flat and dull, though there was a noticeably high level of detail being revealed. I know from experience that some audio components(especially speakers) need a "break-in" period before they will sound their best. Sometimes the transformation can be dramatic. This was the case with the KEFs. At about 20 hours of use, they really started to open up noticeably. At about 40 hours, they started to sound magical. These speakers are terrific at portraying a 3 dimensional soundstage when the recording has captured it. On many recordings they sound positively holographic. Bass is very tight and well controlled for a reflex enclosure - I am very impressed with the lack of low frequency coloration. I can hear NO coloration coming from the ports at normal listening distances(for me, about 10-12 feet from each speaker). It is very easy to follow intricate bass lines even in a dense mix. Vocals can be spooky real - as in the room with you real - depending on the quality of the recording.
I have heard some people call these speakers "bright" or "harsh". My response to this is that these people were most likely using inferior electronics to drive these speakers. There is absolutely no way that I would characterize these speakers as "harsh" or "bright". I find them to sound silky smooth with NAD preamp and amp driving them. They are very detailed. I am constantly noticing background lines and voices of individual backup singers on recordings that I have listened to hundreds of times and not noticed before. The highs are very real without being "in your face". The brushed cymbals on Norah Jones "Come Away With Me" sound like real bronze cymbals - not air brakes being released on an 18 wheeler!!
These speakers(iQ90s) are the first KEFs I have owned, but they surely won't be the last!!! Call me impressed. I love the sound of these speakers and have a hard time pulling myself out of my listening chair when they are playing!!
The only caveat I would add is this - they will faithfully reproduce what is fed to them. They won't hide an inferior recording or mask inferior components upstream in the reproduction chain. These speakers truly deserve very high quality associated components driving them. If you have good quality gear, I would highly recommend these speakers - at Amazons price they are simply a steal. When this was a current model(it has been replaced by the Q900 @ $1800/pair)it sold for $1600-$1800/pair. Even at that price, they would be worth it(indeed, many folks that bought them at full price still love them). Just as an aside - I visited my local KEF dealer and auditioned a pair of the Q900s to find out what was improved over the iQ90s. I can honestly say that I did not prefer the Q900s. Don't misunderstand me - the Q900s are fabulous sounding speakers and I wouldn't hesitate in the least to buy a pair - but they do sound somewhat DIFFERENT than the iQ90s - maybe a bit more reserved - I don't know exactly. Maybe a bit warmer... But the bottom line is I did not come away from the experience thinking "I wish I had spent the extra money for the new model." I am perfectly happy with the iQ90s. I think you will be too.
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on February 19, 2011
While researching speakers for a stereo music system I was putting together, I visited a store selling KEF speakers and really liked their sound. I was considering buying a pair of their smallest floor-standing speakers when I started looking online and found these at about half the price. They are the older model that has been discontinued but when I returned to the store and told the owner, he told me I should buy them at that price. He can't get them any more and they are less than half the price he used to sell them for. I'm thinking he gave me some good advice. They sound great. I have them paired with a Yamaha R-S700 amp strictly for listening to music in stereo. A turntable and CD player are my only source inputs. Surround sound is great for movies and even music DVDs and mp3 is fine when you're driving in your car, but if you really want to listen to music check out the ancient technology of LP records, they were made for the human ear. These speakers offer full crisp clear sound at both high and low volumes. I am thinking of adding a small sub however since with some music I would like a little more bass. Don't get me wrong, these would also be great in a surround system if you have the room as they are the largest model.
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on July 22, 2012
I purchased them about 5 month ago. The sound quality is not less than very expensive speakers. Especially, the sound resolution is outstanding. Very good for music as well as movies. I have massive JBL speakers weighs more than 150lbs each. The slim KEFs make pretty good competition other than in deepness low end of bass and pureness of highend. But the price is less than one tenth!! If you want the versatile speakers take up very small space, this KEF is one of best choice. Really recommended.
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on November 29, 2013
This is a great speaker. Mines have been replaced by a pair of Focals, but I sold them and in the store they sounded better than more expensive speakers that were on display.
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on November 3, 2014
Sound amazing
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on March 2, 2011
The sound quality is excellent. It comes with carpet of floor mount base plate which is plastic. Mounting bolts are good quality but a metal or glass base plate will add value. The speaker constrcution is good. The finish is not very high quality. Specifically it is designed for a casual room environment.

These speakers were on sale. For this price the benefit to drawback ratio is very high.
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