The Reference is the physical embodiment of KEF's Total System Design philosophy. Every component is optimised both within itself and as part of the whole, while every drive unit is given the chance to perform to the best of its considerable ability. The result is a loudspeaker that performs far beyond the sum of its parts.
Two drivers, a single point
At the heart of The Reference is the Uni-Q™ point source driver array. A state-of-the-art vented aluminium dome tweeter at the exact acoustic centre of a highly sophisticated midrange driver that delivers flawless natural sound across a wider listening area.
A strong foundation
Clean, rich and articulate bass is the foundation of great stereo or multichannel sound. KEF's Reference Series bass driver has a massive vented magnet assembly, a large aluminium voice coil and an exceptionally light and stiff alloy cone. Whatever the volume, dynamics and power handling are superb.
The smallest details, revealed
Shadow Flare drastically reduces harmful cabinet diffraction, allowing the Uni-Q to work at its highest level. A precision-designed surface extends the waveguide effect of Uni-Q for improved clarity, particularly when it comes to the subtle nuances of plucked strings and other percussive sounds.
Hand finished in pair-matched wood veneers, The Reference cabinets have computer-optimised bracing geometry to minimise secondary radiation from the sides and Constrained Layer Damping to turn what little vibration is left into heat.
Flexible port technology is used to reduce port resonance. Each port is adjustable to allow users to modify the sound to suit their room. The flare and profile of each port is calculated by computational fluid dynamics to avoid turbulent air noise that might colour the sound.
KEF’s engineers use advanced software to model the ideal crossover. But every component is auditioned by the ultimate measure: the human ear. Perfection takes time, but the results are plain to hear. Reference crossovers are even decoupled from the cabinet to minimise vibration and crosstalk.
MADE IN MAIDSTONE
Since 1973, Reference has been designed, engineered, and crafted in Maidstone, Kent. When you experience The Reference, you don't just experience the best: you experience all of the history that has gone into the creation of the benchmark.
Maximum output (peak sound pressure level at 1m with pink noise)
8Ω (min. 3.2Ω)
Dimensions (H x W x D) (with grille and terminal)
440 x 205 x 430 mm (17.3 x 8.1 x 16.9 in.)
Deep Piano Black, Satin American Walnut, Luxury Gloss Rosewood
** KEF reserves the right, in line with continuing research and development, to amend or change specifications. E&OE. **
Press and Awards
Maximum fidelity: The KEF Reference 1 speaker
"The KEF Reference 1 is a music lover's speaker. So even if you don't give a hoot about the technical wizardry that went into its design, that's fine -- the sound of music will be more than enough to win you over."
"...the Reference 1’s and 2C are unquestionably the best speakers I’ve had the pleasure of having in my home. These are really exceptional speakers from every aspect. Sound wise, I find the Reference line to be among the most confident speakers I’ve ever heard. I am continually impressed at their ability to perform consistently on a variety of material, while at the same time never becoming harsh or challenging."
“You really could replace the Reference 1 with practically any loudspeaker made and you’ll hear no better.”
Magazine / Issuing Body:
The REFERENCE 1
‘Reference Quality’ – Hi-Fi World Magazine
“The KEF Reference 1s are some of the best-engineered loudspeakers I have ever had the pleasure to use.”
Magazine / Issuing Body:
The REFERENCE 1
SoundStage! Network - Reviewers' Choice
"With the Reference 1, KEF has raised the bar for stand-mounted loudspeakers in several ways. In a flash, my wife picked up on the speaker’s high-tech appearance and attractive styling. The high level of technology applied -- most notably, the current generation of KEF’s Uni-Q coincident driver -- seems nothing short of an engineering marvel. But most important is the Reference 1’s quality of sound -- within its bandwidth, it’s as accurate as it is musically engaging...KEF’s Reference 1 is the best stand-mounted speaker I’ve ever heard."