KEF’s Uni-Core technology wins Innovation of the Year at the What Hi-Fi? Awards 2022

KEF Uni-Core driver
(Image credit: Future)

How do you create a good amount of bass from a small box? That’s the question that KEF answered when it created its Uni-Core driver arrangement.

In general, if you want to produce lots of bass you need a big drive unit and a similarly generous box to put it in. Make the enclosure smaller and that large drive unit no longer fits, so the only way around the problem is to use multiple drivers.

Uni-Core made its debut in KEF’s tiny KC62 subwoofer which uses two drivers, which sit on opposite sides of the box. However, the sub’s enclosure is so small that the company couldn’t fit two conventional drivers back-to-back inside the box; there simply isn’t the space to accommodate both the driver chassis and their motor systems.

With Uni-Core the two drive units share a common motor system and are built as a single structure. Using a single magnet means that the voice coils from each driver have to be of a different diameter to fit and there is plenty of work to do as regards coping with unwanted interactions between the two units. But KEF carefully developed the concept until distortion levels and general accuracy were up to standard.

KEF LS60 Wireless

(Image credit: Future)

This worked for the KC62 sub, and it also makes the new LS60 Wireless system one of the most surprising and capable performers we’ve heard this year.

While these floorstanders are very different beasts from the subwoofer, their shockingly slim proportions would not be possible without the implementation of Uni-Core technology. How slim are the LS60 Wireless? The front baffle is only 13cm wide. And they use not one but two pairs of bass drivers on opposing side panels at an equal vertical distance above or below KEF's front-facing Uni-Q driver.

Uni-Core might seem a wonderfully simple idea, but the engineering challenge involved in getting an uncompromised performance is immense. Add it all up, together with the high performance of the LS60 Wireless, and it is enough for us to award KEF’s Uni-Core our Innovation of the Year Award for 2022.

Andy Madden

Andy is Deputy Editor of What Hi-Fi? and a consumer electronics journalist with nearly 20 years of experience writing news, reviews and features. Over the years he's also contributed to a number of other outlets, including The Sunday Times, the BBC, Stuff, and BA High Life Magazine. Premium wireless earbuds are his passion but he's also keen on car tech and in-car audio systems and can often be found cruising the countryside testing the latest set-ups. In his spare time Andy is a keen golfer and gamer.