KEF KHT 2005.3-K1 review

KEF has introduced a more affordable version of its KHT 2005.3 speaker system using the Kube-1 subwoofer instead of the Kube-2 Tested at £700.00

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

Super stylish and with bags of sonic appeal, the KEF ‘eggs’ still have plenty to offer


  • +

    True style speaker system

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    solid, organised sound

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    nicely balanced

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    authority in dialogue


  • -

    Lacks outright dynamics and weight

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The looks are similar to the KEF KHT 3005SE-K2 package that picked up five stars back in July 2009, but this system is its little brother – light.

The KEF 2005.3 we've previously reviewed, featuring the larger Kube-2 subwoofer, has gone up from £700 to £800; this package comes with the smaller Kube-1 sub. Four HTS2001.3 satellites and an HTC2001.3 centre channel complete both packages.

Unlike almost anything else around, if you're keen to make a statement and equally eager not to bung five chunks of wooden speaker in your living room, then something like this has instant appeal.

Beautifully built, simple to connect
Available in matt silver or high-gloss black, the 2005.3-K1 system is beautifully put together, simple to connect and leaves five small footprints alongside a sensibly sized subwoofer.

Using KEF's ‘Uni-Q' speaker design, the satellites feature the treble unit mounted at the centre of the main bass driver.

Not only does this look smart, it aims to deliver the twin key benfits of greater treble and bass integration alongside improved imaging and tonal balance for off-axis listening – so you don't need to sit in a ‘sweet-spot'.

Clear, authoratitive dialogue
It's a solid, rounded sound, too. Listening to the excellent DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray release of Predator, sounds are immediate and full, with an even tonal balance that's easy on the ear.

Dialogue is clear and authoritative – even for Arnie – and sure enough, this system does a fine job of filling a room and sending sound in equal measures wherever you're sat.

It might be organised and well defined, but it's also a little short of scale, lacking the dynamics of more capable and, granted, more substantial systems around at this price.

Subwoofer struggles when pushed
The Kube-1 does its best, and certainly integrates well, but it can't deliver lashings of bottom-end weight when really pushed – we're happy to adjust our expectations for this money, but we still expect a little more.

The KEF Home Theatre range has been in the world of style systems since its inception. You might give away a little sonically but there are plenty of positives to accompany its unique take on design.

See all our style speaker package Best Buys

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What Hi-Fi?

What Hi-Fi?, founded in 1976, is the world's leading independent guide to buying and owning hi-fi and home entertainment products. Our comprehensive tests help you buy the very best for your money, with our advice sections giving you step-by-step information on how to get even more from your music and movies. Everything is tested by our dedicated team of in-house reviewers in our custom-built test rooms in London, Reading and Bath. Our coveted five-star rating and Awards are recognised all over the world as the ultimate seal of approval, so you can buy with absolute confidence.

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