KEF expands its Reference series and showcases good-looking new finishes

KEF debuts new finishes and custom-install options
(Image credit: KEF)

Clearly keen to look sharp ahead of British Hi-Fi Week 2020 (note for your diaries: it kicks off on 14th February) and the Bristol Hi-Fi Show 2020, KEF has introduced a new 'silver satin walnut' finish option. The Maidstone-based firm is also announcing the expansion of its AV configurations with the introduction of bespoke Foundry Edition finishes ('blue ice white' and 'copper black aluminium') to the Reference 4c and 2c centre speakers, and finally, the company has added a smaller Reference THX-Certified Ultra in-wall custom installation model.
The new silver satin walnut finish utilises a silver satin tone-on-tone design encompassing the drive units within a solid, brushed aluminium front baffle. Pair-matched real walnut veneered cabinets promise to complement the speakers’ overall design. The Foundry Edition finishes, which adorn the 2c and 4c centre speakers, pay subtle homage to KEF’s Maidstone beginnings. 'Blue ice white' is a nod to the blue of the original KEF logo, while 'copper black aluminium' combines the latest Reference technology with an aesthetic that evokes the company's history.

Into the realms of high-end integrated AV speaker system solutions, KEF has added a further Reference in-wall, THX Certified Ultra custom installation product to accompany the Ci5160REF-THX model. The new, smaller Ci3160REF-THX makes use of the same Reference driver topology, utilising two 6.5” bass drivers and 6.5” Uni-Q driver array. The larger Ci5160REF-THX has four 6.5” bass drivers and 6.5” Uni-Q driver array. Both feature the same Reference solid aluminium front baffle and can be used in left, right, centre, side and rear applications.
Originally debuted in 1973, each Reference speaker is engineered and crafted from beginning to end by a single KEF technician in Maidstone, Kent, on the original site where KEF was founded in 1961. 

While we haven't tested the entire range, the KEF Reference 1 standmounts received a glowing five star review from this publication, as did the similarly-sized, slightly more budget-friendly R3 standmounts.

The new Ci3160REF-THX in-wall Ci Speaker will be available imminently, with an asking price of £7,000 per piece. 


See all our KEF reviews

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Becky has been a full-time staff writer at What Hi-Fi? since March 2019. Prior to gaining her MA in Journalism in 2018, she freelanced as an arts critic alongside a 20-year career as a professional dancer and aerialist – any love of dance is of course tethered to a love of music. Becky has previously contributed to Stuff, FourFourTwo, This is Cabaret and The Stage. When not writing, she dances, spins in the air, drinks coffee, watches football or surfs in Cornwall with her other half – a football writer whose talent knows no bounds.