New KEF R11 META : The Real Giant Killers !


More like $6,955. Which is more like $7,000. If it goes on sale I'll consider. 

One of my friends is a little over six foot eight inches ... do I need to warn him not to buy the R11s?

The original R11s rightfully received a lukewarm reception, easily outclassed by similarly priced competitors. Based on that, I can’t imagine the new series are “giant killers.” Very few mass-market speakers are true performance bargains. 

Why is that? I would think mass production would lead to economies of scale. Someone making thousands of speakers should have better R&D and be able to give you more product for the price. 

I think a lot of it has to do with:

1. Too many cooks in the kitchen and voices of the final outcome. Nitpicking every cost saving measure and profit maximizing they can. 

2. Dealer markup is number one by far. Which is totally justified but is what it is. 

3. Just an overall abundance of money people involved that don’t give 2 shots about the final product as long as it hits a demographic and a sales target. I think it’s less on the mid to super high end stuff. But basically trying to give you the least amount possible for the least amount of outlay. 


I know a lot of peeps aren’t but I’m personally a big Tekton fan. The Double Impacts for example you would be hard pressed to diy for what they are charging for them. Salk, Ascend and some others same thing to a lessor degree. As I’m listening to my mid grade Focals…. Lol

Most people would think spending a grand on speakers is ridiculous. 

I am also kind of luke-warm on Kef. They don’t do anything wrong they just don’t do anything exceptional either. I need to give them another try sometime. My local Best Buy has both the blades on the floor but the setup is questionable, though they claim a Kef rep set them up… 

Nothing from this salesy "reviewer" makes sense. Everything is amazing. 


Meta 11 are ok for large rooms where gigantic speakers are OK. Even there, I'd recommend Reference 1 Meta at that price range. Or just go Dynaudio Focus 50. 

Concept-wise, I like Kef for some good design decisions; concentric tweet/mid (Uni-Q), force-cancelling woofer arrangement (Uni-Core), and non-flat cabinets (Muon, Blade, Meta). While these attributes set the stage for good performance, downsides are; metal tweeters (don't sound good to me), low perfomance/$ (questionable value), and my impression is that being a mass-market producer - cabinets/crossovers/drivers/materials are the product of them spending more on finding ways to improve profit margin as they do finding ways to improve performance. I put Kef in the category of Bose - excellent engineering capability mis-focused on profit and an even better marketing department. Can't fault Kef for this, they exist to make & sell speakers for profit - just like any other speaker company. I'd say they're doing a fantastic job bringing these products to market. Specifically, their active speakers are a very attractive 'lifestyle' option for most people.

I listened to these side by side to B&W 702 s3 as well as the ML x100 mentioned in this review. Between these 3 the KEFs had the most neutral cleanest sound. The bass was not as strong as the B&W or the ML which had the strongest bass but it was the cleanest, just as described in the review . The ML bass sounded like resonance and standing wave pressure in some particular songs. They seemed to also amplify HF like vocals a bit. KEFs were just neutral as the instruments were playing right there in the room. I like them better than the 702 s3 which had more bass and also clean bass but the HF was too bright for me. I’d say these speakers are priced fairly. Their finish also tops the other two. I certainly have the same impression as the reviewer that the KEFs had the cleanest most neutral sound to my ear with no coloring whatsoever so if that’s what you like these are your speakers  



Seriously, why post a freakin video by Andrew Robinson as proof of anything?  There are tons of folks who love the KEF sound and nearly as many who don't.  There are a s$%^ ton of speakers at $6K, the R11s are hardly a giant killer.

Kef were pioneers back in the day experimenting with new materials to achieve better control over speaker sound. Their speakers are pretty neutral, but there are brands that sacrifice absolute neutrality for their specific 'house sound' that can be more appealing to some listeners.

Kef makes good speakers if you know how to match them.I heard the LS 50 monitor with good gears like mark Levinson amp, audio research tube preamp, theta dac and transport.

these have been out a while now

very little online by way of user reviews/pro reviews

might these be in the same league as the reference 1 metas?

in my area, the r11's are sold at discount, full pop on the references,

reference 1's are exactly twice the price here with stands, handmade in UK

looking at both




@audiocanada - Have to honestly report that the Reference Meta models are at a completely different level of performance when compared to the R Metas. When you compare them side by side the difference in coherence, refinement and realism is quite startling.

What @bill_k says. The Reference line is expensive, but if you like the KEF sound they are tops.