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Subwoofers - KEF Speakers

A good subwoofer will transform your enjoyment of movies and multi-channel music, by offering rich, deep and tuneful bass response. From the impact of an action scene in a movie or the bass solo on live music, a high quality subwoofer brings all these things to life. A subwoofer is the "0.1" bit in a "5.1" channel system and is therefore ideally used with 5 other speakers, consisting of front and rear speaker pairs (which can either be small satellite speakersbookshelf speakers or floorstanding speakers), along with a centre speaker. We also sell pre-selected 5.1 speaker packages.


KEF is a British speaker manufacturer developing industry-leading products for over 50 years. KEF has received a host of awards and stellar reviews and currently offers a wide range of hi-fi speakers and AV speakers. 

The flagship KEF Blade and smaller KEF Blade 2 speakers are renowned for their excellence and superb reproduction, and their advanced pioneering technologies and Uni-Q Driver Array designs have filtered down into lots of KEF’s consumer-end products, such as the KEF LS50 wireless speakers.

In 1961, KEF was founded by Raymond Cooke OBE an ex-BBC Electrical Engineer and headquartered the company near Maidstone, Kent. The company was set on the banks of the River Medway in the premises of a former metal working company, Kent Engineering & Foundry. Overtime by experimenting with new technologies and materials, Cooke aimed to produce superior acoustic quality with recordings reproduced to the exact nature of the original performance. 

KEF became the first company to utilise the stability of Bextrene as a cone material, which has since been incorporated in many drivers for many leading audiophile speakers. Another major breakthrough a few years later, KEF became the first to design and test loudspeakers with computer modelling leading the industry in the digital analysis of speakers. Their revolutionary work resulted in KEF being able to match speaker pairs to within half a dB for flawless audio reproduction. 

KEF eventually went on to produce their signature technology, the Uni-Q point source driver array in the next decade using NASA-developed magnets that were ten times more powerful than conventional ones. KEF stayed ahead of the game in the nineties with the advent of 5.1 home cinema recording by creating the first dedicated centre speaker in the UK, the Model 100 benefiting from Uni-Q. 

Through the years, they have been developing impressive expertise in the use of advanced acoustical, magnetic and mechanical modelling techniques such as Finite Element Analysis resulting in an accuracy that was not previously achievable. Kept under wraps since the 1980s, KEF revealed their ACE technology in 2005 demonstrating the advantages of activated carbon inside a compact speaker enclosure and its effect on internal volume and bass extension.

Now five decades from the company’s inception, KEF's scientific innovation and hands-on experimentation cements their ultimate audiophile reputation and allows them to continue to lead in developing products ahead of the market. We stock the complete KEF range, from the multimedia range (that includes active speakers, headphones and earphones) to the Q series range, LS50 range, both the wired and wireless LS50, R series range, KEF Reference range and KEF Blade, along with custom install speakers and 5.1 speaker packages for a home theatre experience.

What is a "good" Subwoofer though? In contrast to cheaper, mass-produced home cinema systems with subs that can easily distort, a good subwoofer should reproduce a wide frequency range accurately, down to the lowest possible octaves and reproduce bass notes clearly rather than just "rumble".

Our carefully selected range of subwoofers are a world apart from lesser alternatives included with cheaper home cinema systems. Our range features the best models we could find at various price levels that provide the best possible low octave performance to give your music, movies and gaming experience that added oomph!

Subwoofers come in a range of sizes and shapes – some models are designed to be no-compromise and deliver the best, most dynamic bass possible while others seek to offer improved bass performance in a compact product that is easy to accommodate in the living room. The size of the driver, or woofer, is directly related to the bass performance of the subwoofer and the amount of bass it can produce. Standard woofer sizes range between 8 inches and 12 inches, though larger and smaller models are available to suit your purposes. Some models feature a pair of smaller woofers, rather than a single driver, which operate in unison to deliver vibrant bass, in a much more compact cabinet.

Bass frequencies are largely non-directional, meaning that subwoofer placement is substantially easier than placement of a typical hi-fi stereo speaker. Having a subwoofer at the back of the room should not sound any different to having it at the front of the room. This means that, while they are often large and bulky, positioning somewhere discrete should be quite easy without affecting the overall sound quality and your cinematic or musical experience.

Subwoofers tend to be “active”, which means that they have an internal amplifier, and allowing sound to be directly outputted at line level from an amplifier or AV receiver. Subwoofer amplifiers are usually “Class D”, which allows them to be built to more compact specifications and offer maximum efficiency. A subwoofer’s power rating is determined directly via the power of its amplifier – so a 400W model features a 400W amplifier internally. There are some passive subwoofers available

To ensure the maximum possible sound quality, a well-designed subwoofer cabinet is integral. Rigidity and bracing, as well as a solid cabinet, prevent unwanted resonance ruining the coherency of the outputted bass. Subwoofers are isolated from the floor via spikes or isolating feet, which minimise the amount of contact between the subwoofer and the floor, decoupling and isolating it from the surface, and preventing unwanted resonance.

Frequency response is an important measurement of  bass performance, and how low it can go. Frequency response is measured as a range, such as 40Hz-120Hz, which in this case would mean the subwoofer is able to produce bass as low as 40Hz. While depth is not the only measurement of performance, it can be a useful measurement of the subwoofer’s capabilities, which when considered with driver size, allows you to understand what you are purchasing a little better.

If you need further help choosing a subwoofer, please call or e-mail us - we can also offer AV demonstrations in our Birmingham showroom.

Subwoofers - KEF Speakers

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