KEF 2017 Q350 2-Way Bookshelf Speakers with Uni-Q Drivers Review - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 18 Old 05-30-2017, 01:03 PM - Thread Starter
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KEF 2017 Q350 2-Way Bookshelf Speakers with Uni-Q Drivers Review

The eighth iteration of the Q Series includes the KEF Q350, a 2-way 6.5" bookshelf that's at home in a 2.0 system as well as paired with a subwoofer or two.

Check out my review of a pair of KEF Q350s here: KEF Q350 2-Way Uni-Q Bookshelf Speakers Review

Here's an unboxing video for these cool new bookshelf speakers.
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post #2 of 18 Old 05-30-2017, 10:52 PM
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Interesting review! I'd have a few questions though.

1- When you say you paired the Q350 with "Subs", I know you've used the R400 which is actualy worth much more than the pair of speaker on it's own ^^ but did you use 2 subs or just 1? I often see people even with loudspeaker use a sub for each of the front channels, which I've always wondered what was the point as isn't the main reason to get a loudspeaker is to avoid having to pair it with a sub to reach low frequencies??

2- I would have liked a comparison with the Q300. For me it was the main reason I was seeking for a Q350 review to know by how much did they "upgrade" the sound or if it is mostly just esthetic changes as you can now get the previous generation for muuuuch cheaper. For example I've bought 2 pairs of Q700 as they were just 300$CAD per speaker which means a pair of those was less than a pair of Q350!
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post #3 of 18 Old 05-31-2017, 03:47 AM
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How does the Q350 compare with the LS50?

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post #4 of 18 Old 05-31-2017, 05:41 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by PanzerIV View Post
Interesting review! I'd have a few questions though.

1- When you say you paired the Q350 with "Subs", I know you've used the R400 which is actualy worth much more than the pair of speaker on it's own ^^ but did you use 2 subs or just 1? I often see people even with loudspeaker use a sub for each of the front channels, which I've always wondered what was the point as isn't the main reason to get a loudspeaker is to avoid having to pair it with a sub to reach low frequencies??

2- I would have liked a comparison with the Q300. For me it was the main reason I was seeking for a Q350 review to know by how much did they "upgrade" the sound or if it is mostly just esthetic changes as you can now get the previous generation for muuuuch cheaper. For example I've bought 2 pairs of Q700 as they were just 300$CAD per speaker which means a pair of those was less than a pair of Q350!
1. I used two subs, stacked and placed against a wall. There are numerous reasons to use a subwoofer, or multiple subwoofers. For one, speakers that play as low as a decent subwoofer (down to 20 Hz or so) cost more than the subs do. Plus, most subwoofers have built-in amplification that would otherwise have to be provided to the speakers. In other words, you don't need as much amplifier power for your speakers if you use subs. Also, it can be sonically advantageous to position a subwoofer or subwoofers somewhere different than the speakers.

Don't let the price of the R400b sway your thinking in this matter. Part of the cost of that design simply has to do with how compact and stylish it is. Power Sound Audio's $950 15V sub is capable of offering the same performance as a pair of the KEFs for much less, but it's big and kinda ugly in comparison. I've got tons of subwoofers in my home (there is no question I am a bass addict) and I could have paired the speakers with any of them. I wanted to stay within the brand for this review. The important point is that the Q350 is excursion limited when used as a full range bookshelf speaker, but not when it's used as a satellite with a subwoofer (or subwoofers) and a highpass filter.

2. I dont have the Q300 or else I'd compare. Often, the sales on the models being replaced are some of the best deals going. That's been true forever.

There is no one right way to use a subwoofer, or subwoofers. I do know this, with the right knowledge and some effort, you can just about always improve the performance of a system by adding decent-performing subwoofers to the mix. Generally speaking, they are useful for smoothing out and extending bass response.
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post #5 of 18 Old 05-31-2017, 06:45 AM
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Looking good so far! I'll be checking back to see measurements and compare to the previous version, the Q300.

BTW, I think the most notable difference between them is the rear versus front port. Clearly manufacturing cost taken out going to single binding posts instead of the pricier "link", no inclusion of grilles, and less choices of finish. Money added back in with improved tweeter, driver and crossover, plus putting magnets in the cabinet for the optional grilles.

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post #6 of 18 Old 05-31-2017, 05:13 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by KenM10759 View Post
Looking good so far! I'll be checking back to see measurements and compare to the previous version, the Q300.

BTW, I think the most notable difference between them is the rear versus front port. Clearly manufacturing cost taken out going to single binding posts instead of the pricier "link", no inclusion of grilles, and less choices of finish. Money added back in with improved tweeter, driver and crossover, plus putting magnets in the cabinet for the optional grilles.
OK at this point it will have to be tomorrow, day flew by sorry... I've got Dirac Live data for the sub/sat system plus REW on and off-axis gated measurements to post.
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post #7 of 18 Old 06-01-2017, 03:30 PM
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Originally Posted by imagic View Post
The eighth iteration of the Q Series includes the KEF Q350, a 2-way 6.5" bookshelf that's at home in a 2.0 system as well as paired with a subwoofer or two.

Check out my review of a pair of KEF Q350s here: KEF Q350 2-Way Uni-Q Bookshelf Speakers Review

https://youtu.be/yUA2azALRHM
Here's an unboxing video for these cool new bookshelf speakers.
iMagic...I am returning my ELAC B5s. I am debating between a few speakers though now. I only have a 2.0 set up powered by a Yamaha A660. My room is about 12x15, nothing too big. Left the Soundbar avenue and feel like I entered a high traffic high way with this real audio gear. Thinking about these in not particular order:

Dali ZENSOR 3 (if I can get for a good price through a trusted seller on Amazon)
KEF Q100
KEF Q300 (most say the Q100 is still the way too go)
Wharfedale 220
ELAC B6

If I push my budget x2 I was also thinking Bower Wilkins 685s.

Is the Yamaha A660 enough to power any of these speakers?
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post #8 of 18 Old 06-30-2017, 03:41 PM
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OK at this point it will have to be tomorrow, day flew by sorry... I've got Dirac Live data for the sub/sat system plus REW on and off-axis gated measurements to post.
I saw in the other thread about these that you mentioned you have Pioneer Elites to compare. I have a whole Pioneer Elite Atmos enabled system (I rent, so I couldn't do in ceiling speakers), except I ditched the sub for an SVS PB2000 (which I love). I bought the system in 2015 when it was the only thing I could find on the market for Atmos enabled setups.

I'm currently investigating upgrading the whole system piece by piece. So I'd love to know how everything compares to SVS (due to my love for the sub), or if upgrading from the Pioneer Elite is even worth it.

Thanks in advance if you get around to answering that.

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post #9 of 18 Old 06-30-2017, 05:24 PM - Thread Starter
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I saw in the other thread about these that you mentioned you have Pioneer Elites to compare. I have a whole Pioneer Elite Atmos enabled system (I rent, so I couldn't do in ceiling speakers), except I ditched the sub for an SVS PB2000 (which I love). I bought the system in 2015 when it was the only thing I could find on the market for Atmos enabled setups.

I'm currently investigating upgrading the whole system piece by piece. So I'd love to know how everything compares to SVS (due to my love for the sub), or if upgrading from the Pioneer Elite is even worth it.

Thanks in advance if you get around to answering that.
I think you already made the right move. When I reviewed that system, I dinged the Elite sub for being underwhelming. The PB2000 is a much better choice. but as far as speakers go, I think the pioneers are the more sophisticated speaker, as compared to SPS prime at least. I do not think you'd gain anything from a speaker upgrade, Andrew Jones did a fantastic job with those. I still have the Pioneer speakers, and I still enjoy listening to them. I'm definitely speaking from personal experience here.

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post #10 of 18 Old 06-30-2017, 06:24 PM
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I think you already made the right move. When I reviewed that system, I dinged the Elite sub for being underwhelming. The PB2000 is a much better choice. but as far as speakers go, I think the pioneers are the more sophisticated speaker, as compared to SPS prime at least. I do not think you'd gain anything from a speaker upgrade, Andrew Jones did a fantastic job with those. I still have the Pioneer speakers, and I still enjoy listening to them. I'm definitely speaking from personal experience here.
Thank you so much. I (and my wallet) appreciate the response. I just keep thinking they're "low" quality since they weren't super expensive. Plus nobody ever mentions them, so I thought they were considered entry level.

I guess instead of redoing all the speakers, I can just buy another sub and run a 7.2.4 system haha.

Thanks again!

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Originally Posted by imagic View Post
I think you already made the right move. When I reviewed that system, I dinged the Elite sub for being underwhelming. The PB2000 is a much better choice. but as far as speakers go, I think the pioneers are the more sophisticated speaker, as compared to SPS prime at least. I do not think you'd gain anything from a speaker upgrade, Andrew Jones did a fantastic job with those. I still have the Pioneer speakers, and I still enjoy listening to them. I'm definitely speaking from personal experience here.


Aside from obvious differences in sensitivity, how would you compare the sound from the pioneer elites and the PSA MT-110's you recently reviewed?


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post #12 of 18 Old 07-13-2017, 09:24 AM
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OK at this point it will have to be tomorrow, day flew by sorry... I've got Dirac Live data for the sub/sat system plus REW on and off-axis gated measurements to post.
Hi Mark,

Do you know when you can share these measurements with us? That 'tomorrow' is already a couple of weeks ago :P

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post #13 of 18 Old 08-12-2017, 12:39 AM
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Hi Mark,

Do you know when you can share these measurements with us? That 'tomorrow' is already a couple of weeks ago :P
Well I suppose you can remove the sentence "Please note, this article is a work in progress. Check back as I update it with measurements and more observations." because that's not going to happen? The review is dated May 31, and it is now August 12.
And my question was one month ago without a reply

I do understand that this is done with a lot of passion and in free-time I suppose, so I don't 'demand' anything, but it's maybe better to avoid disappointment by not promising then

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post #14 of 18 Old 08-12-2017, 05:05 AM
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I'll just share that I sat and listened to the Q350's for about an hour at my dealer while some of my LP's were being cleaned. It was hooked up to a Marantz PM5005 integrated and streaming Tidal Hi-Fi from a Bluesound Node. On stands about 9 feet apart, out from back walls about 3 feet and away from sides about 2 feet, I was seated 10 feet away.

They really so sound incredible for the money. As my son owns a pair of Q300's and I've heard those plenty, the improvement in the Q350 is immediately clear. A much smoother speaker overall, with a little more bass and seemingly flatter response I think they'd give the R series a good run for the money. Placement is more important now, being a rear ported speaker where the previous version is front ported. The tweeter seems the most improved as it seems to reach higher without ever being harsh. I dare say reminiscent of a very good silk dome. The soundstage is the most impactful part of them with great depth, definition and the ability to be to left, right or center and it doesn't change dramatically.

In that room anyhow, I think they clearly stomp the Paradigm Monitor, B&W 685S2, SVS Prime and PSB Imagine XB that sell in that same room. That's my ears though, no one else's.
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post #15 of 18 Old 08-12-2017, 07:35 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi Mark,

Do you know when you can share these measurements with us? That 'tomorrow' is already a couple of weeks ago :P
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prietz0r View Post
Well I suppose you can remove the sentence "Please note, this article is a work in progress. Check back as I update it with measurements and more observations." because that's not going to happen? The review is dated May 31, and it is now August 12.
And my question was one month ago without a reply

I do understand that this is done with a lot of passion and in free-time I suppose, so I don't 'demand' anything, but it's maybe better to avoid disappointment by not promising then
Wow time does fly. Yes, I've learned my lesson, I now promise nothing in terms of timing, you won't see that disclaimer show up again, and I deleted it like you suggested. Sometimes things happen, and free time disappears, and then you forget... that's definitely what happened here given that the measurements already existed when I posted that.

But reality is I enjoy the discussions more than I enjoy "formal" review writing. so much so, I'm changing my entire way of approaching reviews. In the future, it will be blogging in the forum and having a discussion of the hands-on experience first, then (maybe) a formal review.

Anyhow, here are the Dirac measurements...




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post #16 of 18 Old 08-12-2017, 07:51 AM
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Thanks for posting the graphs. I'm not good at translating so perhaps you can explain what it all means.

Do you have similar measurements for the previous Q300 for comparison?

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post #17 of 18 Old 08-12-2017, 08:02 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for posting the graphs. I'm not good at translating so perhaps you can explain what it all means.

Do you have similar measurements for the previous Q300 for comparison?
I have not reviewed or measured the Q300, so I can't compare.

As for Dirac, what the software does average multiple measurements taken within the listening area. you see that represented as "All Before." The light blue line is the average of those measurements, it's a reasonable representation of what the native response of the speaker is that the main listening position. what's important to remember is that in measuring the speakers inside of my room.

Importantly, this is not an anechoic or a nearfield measurement. The room is a significant part of the equation, and Dirac is for room correction. What you can see is that the Q350 has a response that stretches from at least 35 Hz to 20,000 Hz. Once you apply room correction to it, the speakers behave very well. Notably, it seems I understated the in-room bass extension in my review. I have edited 40 Hz down to 35 Hz, based on looking at these graphs. So thank you!
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post #18 of 18 Old 08-12-2017, 10:28 AM
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That's really quite amazing bass performance out of a reasonably small cabinet with a single nominal 6-1/2" driver. And if I recall correctly with the previous Q300, at 10khz it was pretty-much "party over."

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