We do a fair bulk of high-end apostle and headphone reviews at TNW, but it’s attenuate we allocution about added audio adjustment components. Every already in a while though, such a artefact ends up earning our attention. Case in point: KEF, a hi-fi audio company, aloof launched a tiny subwoofer with some agrarian achievement claims.
First things first: this subwoofer is expensive, at $1,500. The bulk ability be justified, though, already you see the KC62 has a claimed abundance acknowledgment of 11 – 200 Hz ( /- 3dB). That’s ridiculously low addendum that you’d commonly alone apprehend from a massive, minifridge-sized subwoofer.
But the KC62 is alone about 10 inches advanced in every ambit — aloof a little beyond than a basketball, and baby abundant to calmly fit an IKEA Kallax, cables and all. It additionally isn’t the behemothic atrocity so abounding subwoofers with that affectionate of addendum are. The arced edges and matte accomplishment accurately accompaniment the aesthetics of KEF’s fantastic LS50 Meta speakers.
There are about absolutely caveats to extensive 11Hz, which we’ll altercate in a bit, but KEF isn’t accepted to amplify its blueprint abundant in my experience. The aggregation is instead application some contemporary technology to being added achievement into a baby package.
Though the KC62 has two woofers, they are alone 6.5-inches wide, which still isn’t all that abundant apparent breadth to assignment with. Instead, KEF assets some bass addendum by abacus added circuit — the ambit a woofer moves at abounding rumble. This is enabled by article KEF is calling Uni-Core, which uses a distinct motor to drive both woofers, acknowledgment to overlapping articulation coils in a concentric arrangement.
In added words, the ‘guts’ of the two woofers are combined, which KEF claims “allows the chiffonier admeasurement to be bargain by over a third while equaling or beyond the disciplinarian circuit of a abundant beyond subwoofer.” The circuit adequacy is additionally bigger by a adorned origami-like architecture to the woofer’s surround, and built-in distortion-monitoring technology the complete from acceptable too colored.
Still, the aggregation can’t bypass physics, and there’s alone so abundant you can do in a chiffonier this size. While I don’t agnosticism the subwoofer will be able to ability 11Hz beneath the appropriate conditions, affairs are that blueprint alone applies back alert at lower volumes with assertive subwoofer placements, as abounding subwoofers will absolute bass addendum as the volumes increase. I’d be acutely afraid if it managed to hit those everyman frequencies at, say, home theater, room-shaking levels.
But annihilation beneath 20hz is absolutely only ‘felt’ rather than ‘heard’ though, so it’s mostly icing on the cake. If the aggregation can bear bass addendum to, say, 20-25Hz at reasonable alert levels, and with well-controlled distortion, that would still be absolute absorbing and beat about any subwoofer this size.
When I asked KEF for added specifics, they told me the KC62 can ability 20 Hz at almost 80 dB beneath anechoic conditions, which is already adequately loud. But that agency it can get absolutely a bit louder than that back in an absolute allowance area your walls can calmly reinforce low bass by almost 6-12 dB. The exact bulk will depend on your allowance ambit and placement, but if KEF’s claims authority true, I doubtable this almost tiny subwoofer will added than answer for best admirers (KEF’s got the KF92 if you charge article added able that still isn’t ginormous).
It’s not a absolutely absurd accomplishment either — the Devialet Phantom Reactor is alike abate than this subwoofer and had no agitation hitting 25Hz at archetypal alert levels in my apartment.
Getting this abundant bass from a baby chiffonier requires a lot of power, so abaft those apparatus are 1000W of addition and agenda arresting processing that dynamically adjusts the subwoofers achievement based on the agreeable to get the best bass after clipping. The KC62 additionally supports KEF’s KW1 adapter for wireless connectivity (say, if you charge to abode the subwoofer far from your receiver or speakers), and comes with bristles presets to abuse the complete depending on area you abode the sub.
At $1,500, it’s acutely aimed at austere audio enthusiasts only. But accepting the low bass right, abnormally in such a baby footprint, is one of the hardest things to get appropriate in audio. A acceptable subwoofer (or two, three, four…) is one of the best abstruse upgrades you can accomplish to your audio system, alike if you’re not a basshead, and alike if you accept belfry speakers.
Not alone does a sub access your system’s abeyant for low bass extension, it additionally frees up the college abundance drivers to comedy louder and/or with beneath distortion. A sub is additionally a basic you can accumulate connected as you advancement or about-face speakers, acceptance you to focus on added characteristics of complete affection added than aloof bass extension.
As addition who spent months aggravating to acquisition a appropriate subwoofer baby abundant to fit in my TV animate — to no account — I brainstorm the KC62 could able-bodied be account it to the appropriate audiophile. Assuming KEF absolutely delivers, of course.
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Published January 21, 2021 — 08:00 UTC
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