Top positive review
10 people found this helpful
Powerful, Clear and Spacious
on March 30, 2015
I purchased two KEF Q700s based on a wide variety of online reviews and forum discussions. Every reviewer has raved about their clarity and definition, particularly in the mid-range, and their overall flat response. Most agree these speakers are among the best in their class or better. I listen to a lot of symphonic music, so I needed a speaker with the power to bring the orchestra into my room, a flat response to cover the full sonic range from such music and the definition to separate the sonic textures and keep them from merging into a muddled mess. Man, do the Q700s deliver! I’ve been pushing them LOUD. The soundstage is wide and deep. Strings are lush, brass is sharp, but not harsh, woodwinds whistle smoothly, and solo voices stand out strong and clear.
I’ve bi-amped the stereo pair with my Denon AVR-1712, rated at 90-watts per channel. My listening room is about 380 square feet. And the speaker distance forms a 7-foot equilateral triangle with the listening position. I’m also using a 12-inch, 400-watt Klipsch sub. Depending on room acoustics and speaker placement, the Q700s are capable of delivering amazingly strong clean bass. I was listening to Smaug’s thundering voice in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug with the subwoofer off and couldn’t believe the deep bass power these speakers can put out.
I wish I could have compared the Q900s to the Q700s in my listening space, which is a medium-large sized room. My only nagging thought is whether that powerful orchestral presence I’m looking for would have benefited more from the larger speaker. Research suggests the smaller cone of the Q700 delivers better definition and detail. I also like the fact that the matching center and bookshelf speakers, which I’ll be adding soon, all have the same sized drivers as the Q700.
The KEF Q700s may not be garnering any oohs and awes for their visual appeal, depending on taste. Boxy, angular designs are coming back in vogue all over the place, but might not appeal to everyone. I purchased the rosewood finish, which nicely complements my furniture. The veneer is nothing more than a flat wood print. There is no tactile wood grain texture. The cabinets are not ugly, they’re just not as stylish as others. My wife did comment favorably on their appearance though, so there is that! I like the spiked feet. They are very easy to adjust if your floor is slightly unlevel as mine is. I’m actually glad KEF seems to have placed performance over style. In fact, the squared-off edges actually give a 30% increase in volume according to KEF. These speakers could have easily cost $1-$200 extra just for more stylish features that would have made no difference in sound quality.
The KEF Q700s are very revealing speakers. Aside from the fuller, more powerful sound, I’m also hearing lots of subtle new things in my music collection like chair creaks, musician breathing, even the rare sloppy edit. These speakers reveal a clear contrast between regular CDs and high-resolution formats like SACD, 96/24 DVD-Audio and 192kHz Blu-Ray. Most CDs sound fine, but poorly mastered CDs and highly compressed mp3s are clearly bad if you’ve developed an ear for hi-rez formats. Listening to a sampler 192kHz Blu-Ray from the label 2L I felt like the speakers and front of my room dissolved straight into the actual recording space of the original music, so great is the three-dimensionality of the sound! I normally listen to a lot of multi-channel hi-rez discs, but I’ve been very impressed over the last 2 weeks at the spacious imaging these speakers reproduce in stereo. Within the next week I should be receiving the matching Q600 center and Q300 bookshelf surrounds to complete my 5.1 home-theater. The Q700 stereo pair creates such an open and wide soundstage that I can’t wait to experience the immersion the whole Q-series is sure to create.