British speaker manufacturer KEF has updated its R-series loudspeakers with a new Meta line featuring seven models, including three floor-standing speaker options, bookshelf speakers, two center speaker options, and up-firing surround speakers.
Meta is short for Metamaterial Absorption Technology (aka MAT), which KEF first introduced in its LS50 speakers in 2020. MAT is a highly complex maze-like structure where each of the intricate channels efficiently absorbs a specific frequency. KEF describes the overall effect as an “acoustic black hole” that absorbs 99 percent of the unwanted sound from the rear of the tweeter, which in turn eliminates distortion to produce a purer, more natural acoustic performance.
The new R-series also features KEF’s 12th-generation Uni-Q coincident driver technology, which features a tweeter and woofer sharing the same acoustic center. This design was first introduced in 1988. KEF says the R-series also features a flexible Decoupling Chassis to prevent stray vibrations and yield better clarity.
The new speakers are available in a choice of three finishes: Black Gloss, White Gloss, and Walnut. Two of the speakers are available in other finishes as well: There’s a Titanium Gloss Special Edition for the R7 Meta floor-standing speakers, and an Indigo Gloss Special Edition for the R3 Meta bookshelf speakers.
The R Meta line has trio of floor-standing speakers: the R11 Meta ($3,250 each), R7 Meta ($2,500 each), and R5 Meta ($2,000 each). The R3 Meta bookshelf speakers are $2,200 a pair. There are two center-channel speakers in the line: the R6 Meta ($2,000 each) and the R2 Meta R2 ($1,400 each). The R8 up-firing speakers are $1,600 a pair.
KEF suggests that the users who don’t want to commit to floor-standing speakers can use three center channel speakers in a left-center-right configuration. The R8 Meta surround speaker can be mounted on the wall or sit on top of the floor-standing speakers. Obviously, you can ease your way into the KEF R Meta line with just a pair of bookshelf or floor-standing speakers. A full seven-speaker home-theater array starts at $8,000 if you go with three center channel speakers instead of floor-standing models and ranges up to $12,300 for a system that uses the top-of-the line R11 Meta and R6 Meta speakers.