KEF teases 60th-anniversary products – will more MAT technology emerge?

(Image credit: KEF)

KEF has teased the upcoming launch of "several new boundary-pushing products" to celebrate its 60th year.

KEF was founded in 1961 by Raymond Cooke, who was a BBC trained engineer that went on to work for Gilbert Briggs at Wharfedale for five years, before branching out on his own to experiment in plastic driver cones. The rest, as they say, is history. And it looks as though KEF will be making more history very soon.

The company's latest press reads: "In this anniversary year, KEF will launch the most advanced products it has ever created – to be announced in the coming months – which will again push the boundaries of the listening experience, both at home and on the move."

No, we don't know what they will be exactly (honest!), but the statement certainly alludes to something... high-end. Will we see a new Muon or Blade – 14 and 10 years old respectively – or a new creation entirely? We'd be more confident putting bets on what technologies might feature in these upcoming products. KEF debuted its Metamaterial Absorption Technology (MAT) – a clever way of absorbing unwanted sound waves backfiring from the tweeter – in its LS50 Meta speakers and LS50 Wireless II system last year, and it greatly contributed to their success. It won 'Innovation of the Year' at the What Hi-Fi? Awards 2020 for that, so needless to say we hope (and are expecting) to see it trickle into future speakers across price points.

Then there's KEF's new Uni-Core technology, of course, which allows cabinet size to be reduced by over a third while equalling or exceeding the driver excursion of a much larger subwoofer. To put it crudely, Uni-Core uses an enormous magnet and uniquely rearranges two voice coils within a single motor system to achieve force cancelling. It logically debuted in a miniature (football-sized) subwoofer, the KC62, earlier this year so our fingers are crossed for big sound from small packages in other form factors too.

And now, we all wait...


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Becky Roberts

Becky is the managing editor of What Hi-Fi? and, since her recent move to Melbourne, also the editor of Australian Hi-Fi magazine. During her 10+ years in the hi-fi industry, she has reviewed all manner of audio gear, from budget amplifiers to high-end speakers, and particularly specialises in headphones and head-fi devices. In her spare time, Becky can often be found running, watching Liverpool FC and horror movies, and hunting for gluten-free cake.