KEF KHT2005 HD1 review

Looks great and sounds good, but no longer top dog Tested at £700

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

Still looks great and sounds good, but fierce competition means it’s no longer top dog


  • +

    Stylish and solidly built

  • +

    power and precision to bass

  • +

    adept with music and movies


  • -

    A little restrained

  • -

    lacks a touch of all-out excitement

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KEF was one of the first manufacturers properly to answer the growing clamour for fine-sounding speakers that will also grace a living room. Its KHT series have become iconic – and they remain ever popular.

This is the latest incarnation, with familiar HTS2001.3 satellites alongside a new subwoofer. This is a competitive price class, not least with the Q Acoustics Q7000 recently rocking-up to the party and making a rather fine spectacle of itself. Still, competition hasn’t been a problem for KEF packages in the past.

Certainly the new Kube-1.5 subwoofer is a good edition. Similar in style to its predecessor the Kube-1, it produces a solid sound that relays deep notes with agility and speed.

There’s power to stonking movie soundtracks and detail to music. The sub integrates nicely with the satellites too.

Detailed and musical sound
That seamless integration continues throughout the system. The satellites, all immaculately styled and finished, and with adjustable stands, hand sound from front to back and side to side smoothly to produce a cohesive surround sound whole.

The sound they produce remains detailed and musical, proving as capable with movies as with music.

However, we found them slightly lacking in excitement last time we heard them and have to say this is arguably more the case now compared with the competition.

When asked to really shake the sofa and force a grin on to our faces, the KEFs sound a little restrained, voices lacking openness and treble notes lacking bite.

This package looks great – and still sounds good – but for all-out excitement and expression, it can be bettered.

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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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