KEF's research group has being steadily developing considerable expertise in the in the use of advanced acoustical, magnetic and mechanical modelling techniques. These techniques, such as Finite Element Analysis, allow acoustic systems to be modelled to an accuracy not previously achievable using other methods. Drive units for example, with their complex vibrating parts, are now prototyped and optimised in the virtual domain, allowing many options to be investigated before a real physical sample needs to be made. The fruits of this capability can be seen in the latest generation of Uni-Q driver arrays from the 4.5 inch KHT3005 version with its ribbed cone and sealed suspension technology to the latest 6.5 inch Reference Range Uni-Q with its optimised geometry, wide dispersion tweeter section.
In 2005, KEF revealed to the world what had been a closely guarded secret since the late 1980s – ACE technology. After a comprehensive research and development program, the KHT9000 system showed how putting activated carbon inside a loudspeaker enclosure vastly increases its effective internal volume - allowing enhanced bass extension from compact cabinets. Finally, the loudspeaker industry had a means of circumventing the age-old constraint that extended bass requires a large enclosure. What’s more – the bass quality of an ACE loaded closed box enclosure is as good as it gets – with a unique combination of extension and superior transient response.
ACE also plays an important role with one of the latest and possible the most remarkable KEF loudspeaker to date – Muon. A collaboration with leading British designer Ross Lovegrove, Muon was revealed to the world at the Milan Furniture Fair in April 2007 as a triumph of form marrying function and contains the latest technological acoustic breakthroughs from the KEF engineering team.
Now under in its 5th decade, KEF is still developing world-beating products. Scientific innovation and hands-on experimentation continue to underwrite its reputation as the audiophile’s ultimate loudspeaker manufacturer.
- 1960s (and the LS3/5a)
- 1970s (the birth of Reference)
- 1980s (the birth of Uni-Q)
- 2000s and Today