Mid-sized three-way floorstander
KEF REFERENCE 3’s three-dimensional soundstage transports you to the emotional core of the original performance.
With an uncanny ability to generate an intricate, totally natural-sounding 3D soundstage the REFERENCE 3 is equipped to you get to the heart and soul of both music and movies.
Two 165mm (6.5 inch) bass drivers positioned above and below KEF’s latest 125mm (5 inch) MF/HF Uni-Q driver array means that fidelity across the midrange and treble is outstanding. Everyone in the room can enjoy the same rich, spatially precise imagery and it puts them right at the heart of the original performance.
Uni-Q Driver Array
At the heart of The Reference is a stunning new iteration of KEF’s landmark innovation: the Uni-Q point source MF/HF driver array. With a state-of-the-art 25mm (1in.) vented aluminium dome tweeter at the exact acoustic center of a highly sophisticated 125mm (5in.) mid range driver, both act as a single source that floods the listening space evenly with a flawless natural sound field, no matter where you sit. Capturing all the nuances of the human voice, whether whispered, spoken or sung, it sounds as if the person were right there with you in the room. All the jaw-dropping performance and innovative engineering pioneered for the critically acclaimed LS50 studio monitor, and then some. Reference 3 pairs KEF’s latest 125mm (5 inch) MF/HF Uni-Q driver array with two sensational new 165mm (6.5 inch) alloy cone bass driver to create a compellingly realistic and completely immersive sound stage. The Reference 3’s Uni-Q cast an inherently wide, even dispersion that also also makes it a tremendous rear channel speaker in a home theater system that effortlessly reveals all the subtleties encoded in modern soundtracks.
Clean, rich and articulate bass grounds your enjoyment of stereo or multi-channel sound, and like everything else about The Reference, KEF’s new 165mm (6.5 inch) LF driver is in a class apart. With a massive vented magnet assembly and a large aluminium wire voice coil driving an exceptionally light, stiff and strong alloy cone, the dynamics and power handling are superb. Played loud or soft, in delicate passages or for full-on bass effects, the combination of advanced materials and clever engineering delivers deeply rewarding lows that blend seamlessly with Uni-Q’s immaculate mid range and treble response. The Reference 3 features two of these immensely powerful bass drivers.
The Reference drivers are set in a smooth, strikingly distinctive front baffle engineered to eliminate response anomalies caused by diffraction. Made from an exceptionally strong laminated aluminium/resin composite and secured via high-loss pads and high tensile bolts, it adds tremendous rigidity to the inert cabinet. Finished by hand in pair-matched wood veneers to complement the composite front baffle, the shape and bracing geometry of the cabinets are computer-optimized to minimize secondary radiation from the cabinet walls and distortion from standing waves. With constrained layer damping to absorb residual vibrations, they’re engineered to eliminate any panel resonance, stray reflections or box coloration effects that would compromise the purity of the sound.
Flexible Port Technology
The flexible port technology pioneered for the multi-award winning LS50 is used to reduce mid range port resonance, with the flare and profile of each port calculated by computational fluid dynamics to avoid turbulent air noise that might color the sound.
The Reference has innovative adjustable ports for fine-tuning the bass output to your personal taste and the room characteristics providing the ultimate flexibility for any room.
KEF engineers computer-modeled the ideal crossover networks before exhaustively auditioning every high grade component, individually and together, to select those with the lowest distortion and the smoothest response. Perfectionism takes time, but the difference is plain to hear. Nothing is overlooked – Reference crossovers are even mounted on separate boards and decoupled from the cabinet walls to minimize vibration and crosstalk.