KEF's new XQ speaker range, previewed here in our reports from the 2007 CEDIA Expo, is now going into the shops. Prices start at £700/pr for the cute little XQ10s (left), and go all the way up to the £2000/pr XQ40 three-way floorstander, with a £750 centre speaker also available.

The speakers retain the styling of the old XQ models, but now have cleaner lines thanks to the removal of the top-mounted 'hypertweeter', and come in a choice of real wood veneers finished with high-gloss lacquer.

The new design has been made possible by the the introduction of a new coaxial Uni-Q drive unit, using a 'tangerine waveguide' for the high-frequency unit at the centre of the mid/bass driver. This greatly increases treble extension, so the extra tweeter is no longer needed.

This enhancement is coupled with a reworked crossover, drawing on the high-end components used in the company's Reference series speakers, and having separate high-frequency and mid/low-frequency sections.

In addition to the compact XQ10, the floorstanding XQ40 and the closed-box three-way XQ50c centre speaker, the range includes a larger standmount model, the £1000 XQ20, and the floorstanding XQ30, at £1500.

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