The KEF Q950 Floorstanding Speakers Review – 2020 Deep Dive
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A home theater system never feels complete without a pair of those towering speakers, due to the sound quality they offer. Most of you probably would agree that a dark room and a huge screen are of little use if the ambiance isn’t backed by exceptional sound for an immersive viewing experience.
In the recent months, quite a few users have been showering praises on the KEF Q950 pair of speakers for their audio brilliance, and the product is said to be tailored for home theaters installations. So we will closely examine these speakers to understand what makes them better than a lot of products around us.
A Deep Dive Into The KEF Q950
The previous inventions of KEF, belonging to the Q series range of speakers had bagged quite a few awards. The manufacturer has now consistently backed that quality reputation again by introducing the 950. If we dig deep into the technical details of the KEF Q950, there are several features that steer this product ahead of its contemporaries.
In this section, we give you a glimpse of the brilliance of the KEF Q950 before an elaborate discussion in the ‘Overview of Features’ section below. In a nutshell, these speakers have managed to eliminate a fair bit of internal resonance, unlike several predecessors. The triumph of these speakers lies in its ability to deliver a sound output that helps clearly distinguish different sorts of sounds.
Many floor-standing speakers of the past have received flak for delivering distorted output when the volume is increased beyond a certain level. This is a very important flaw that the KEF Q950 has managed to overcome. In fact, if you listen to 8D mastered songs, you would actually realize the capabilities of the KEF Q950.
Who’s It For?
The product is apt for each of you looking to set up a compact auditorium of sorts at home to binge-watch the best of flicks and experience the ambiance of the nearest cinema within the confines of your home.
Some of you moving into a new dwelling shortly may even be particular that your electronic gadgets have to compliment the interiors of the new living space. Besides, the aesthetic appeal has undoubtedly been a factor considered by the makers while engineering this product.
Apart from an immersive movie-watching experience, those of you who like revisiting the concerts of your favorite musicians can in fact realize the genius of the KEF Q950. While listening to an orchestra, a symphony, or a performance by one of your favorite bands that involve a dozen instruments, these speakers would offer an experience no different from being at a concert hall.
One of the factors that make a concert come alive in the confines of your living room is the loudness of these speakers. The most important reason, however, is the distinction between the sounds of each instrument with a clarity that you can seldom find in other devices of its kind.
If you are a musician yourself or probably are a part of a not-so-popular band looking forward to performing a gig soon, you can definitely rely on the Q950 for forthcoming events. You could probably pair these speakers with a dedicated 2 channel amp with at least 150 watts per channel when on stage.
One such good amplifier that could be coupled with these speakers is the Yamaha R-N803. The output you would get to listen to will make you realize that the sound quality of the Q950 has been elevated to a whole new level.
Since you can’t possibly notice any distortion with these speakers, especially while moving to higher volumes, the KEF Q950 is quite a gig-friendly device. It offers no inconveniences or noises that sort of disturbs the listener when the music is being played at full blast.
What We Like About KEF Q950
Well, there are several aspects of the KEF Q950 that are mention-worthy. The most important quality that the device possesses is to help the listener identify every detail of the track or even a minute piece of foley in a movie. The precision that these speakers offer is largely unparalleled. The impedance offered by the KEF Q950 pair is also around 8 Ohms, which is quite nominal and much aligned with the expectations of most users seeking such devices.
The output of the Q950 is such that it offers a surround sound sort of experience and you could experience this brilliance of these speakers while attending a gig in which it is being used. For instance, this product helps determine the position of a guitarist on stage tuning his instrument or tapping his feet by merely the sound.
Even if someone is breathing heavily on stage or gulping down some water in the middle of a performance, the speakers would capture all such ambient sounds and deliver it with you with unparalleled clarity. Not many instruments, at least in the recent past, have captured such subtle sounds with this amount of precision during live gigs.
If you really want to test the abilities of the Q950, the best exercise would probably be playing an orchestra of one of your favorite musicians where probably a hundred instruments are being played. You can maybe play the video of one such act uploaded on YouTube and listen to the output on these speakers to realize their brilliance.
What We Don’t Like About KEF Q950
Like most floor-standing speakers, the disadvantage of the KEF Q950 pair is that they aren’t quite portable and quite heavy. Considering their size and the many components included in the design, they are relatively expensive as compared to many small speakers.
This is a small trade-off to consider if you are looking to install such towers to make your home theater system feel more complete. However, this is a shortcoming that’s common to most floor-standing speakers.
- Zero distortion
- Unparalleled sound clarity
- Aesthetically high
- 2-year manufacturer’s warranty
- Quite heavy
- Not really portable
- A bit expensive
As mentioned earlier, the components included in these bookshelf speakers are an 8” Uni-Q Driver Array, one 8” bass driver, crossovers, a centrally-placed tweeter, and two 8” auxiliary bass radiators.
A comparison of the components included in this KEF Q950 package against the price being quoted by the manufacturers will help you realize these speakers are worth the price. A lot of online stores are selling the Q950, so you can probably get in touch with the sellers to know if you would also be offered any accessories too for the price.
Ideally, if the many sellers of these speakers help customers with a starter guide and a few accessories that help manage them over time, that would help them use the product effectively. It’s time the manufacturers and resellers include such extras in the Q950 package.
Overview Of Features
Seems like we’ve talked enough of the uniqueness of the KEF Q950, yet we haven’t inspected its technical specifications at all. The exclusive sections mentioned below should help understand every aspect of the product and help assess if it is worth an investment.
The features of the KEF Q950 have been spoken at length by many music enthusiasts in the recent past. The Uni-Q Driver Array, in particular, and its ability to smooth out treble frequencies have garnered several accolades from professional musicians in the recent past.
The instrument also encompasses one 8” bass driver, and two 8” auxiliary bass radiators, which also contribute to their performance. These components have quite a role to play in differentiating these speakers from a string of other similar variants available across stores today. The makers have also included reimagined crossovers in the speakers to help achieve a cleaner and more accurate bass.
The components included by the makers of course make these speakers stand out as compared to its contemporaries, but there’s another fact about the Q950 that would take you by surprise. The product offers new internal upgrades for its low-frequency drivers, which include new surrounds and rear suspension, for immaculate bass irrespective of the volume.
The most noteworthy aspect of the KEF Q950 is its design, which is highly responsible for its sound quality and acceptance among a large number of users today. Some of the components used in its manufacture too are quite unique and weren’t included by many music instrument manufacturers in the past.
Apart from the mere inclusion of the Uni-Q drivers in the speakers, there’s another vital reason why the component has worked wonders – its placement. The Uni-Q has been placed in the center of the speakers’ cabinet in the KEF Q950, which has significantly helped in eliminating internal resonance as well as achieving an enhancement in sonic clarity.
In fact, the repositioning of the Uni-Q drivers to the center is probably a change implemented by the manufacturer after observing the sound quality shortcomings of its previous products. Surprisingly, many speaker developers haven’t adopted this kind of design in the past.
The KEF Q950 isn’t just a technically brilliant product but also scores on the aesthetic aspect. If you are planning to move into a new home and are considering a music system that suits your interiors, these floor-standing speakers could be included in your list of priorities.
You can choose from black and white vinyl options, depending on the color of their walls, or other objects included in the room. Although quite long and relatively heavier than many other speakers available today, the Q950 twins don’t really occupy much floor space, which speaks volumes about the efficiency of its design.
As far as sound is concerned, what is it about the KEF Q950 that other speakers lack is probably the question plaguing your minds right now? The Uni-Q Driver Array present in these speakers helps create a bass that’s much clearer and accurate as compared to what you have experienced over the past few years. Lovers of bass would probably adore these speakers because the quality rendered by the KEF Q950 is unparalleled.
The most important factor that determines a user’s sound experience is acoustics – be it that of the ambient or the speakers themselves. Probably realizing the importance of this aspect early on, KEF has ensured the Q950 offers exclusivity in its sound quality. Listeners can differentiate between crystal clear highs, detailed mids, and very tight bass response, which was probably difficult with several yesteryear devices of its kind.
Unlike several other speakers that may require subwoofers to enhance the quality of the output, the KEF Q950 doesn’t really need catalysts of any sort. However, bridging these speakers with an amplifier, especially during gigs can enhance the output to a level that’s probably unparalleled.
Each tower of this speaker pair roughly weighs around 30 pounds, which implies it’s not too heavy, but the product isn’t exactly portable either. Most tower speakers are definitely a bit heavier and less-portable as compared to the compact pairs you can usually accommodate on your desks.
So, if you want to move them around slightly especially if you want to mop the floor, brace yourself for some exercise. You must be ready to put up with the weight aspect of such floor-standing speakers if you can’t absolutely compromise on sound quality.
As compared to several floor-standing speakers of the past, the Q950 pair significantly succeeds in creating a three-dimensional sound for its listeners. So, irrespective of the acoustics of the room in which it is placed, the mere quality of this product helps create an unconventionally immersive experience for its listeners.
The placement of components such as tweeters right in the center is a noteworthy design aspect that helps achieve a 7.1 surround sound sort of an experience that is ideal for a home theater system. The lack of any sort of distortion at high volumes, sound clarity, and aesthetic appeal of these speakers makes them suitable for any ambient they are being used in.
In a nutshell, the Q950 towers meet almost every possible quality yardstick of potential buyers, professional musicians as well as gadget enthusiasts today. However, the lack of portability and transportation challenge it comes along with is a harsh shortcoming of these speakers; so you must brace yourself for it if you buy one.
We hope this review of the KEF Q950 pair of speakers proved to be really useful. We suggest reading this piece once again and arriving at a decision after a careful assessment of the product’s advantages and shortcomings.