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KEF KHT3005SE-W review

A hugely impressive wireless system - it's just a shame about the price-tag Tested at £1100.00

Our Verdict

Wireless or wired, the '3005SE is still a great system, but price rises hand victory to its rivals

For

  • All the benefits of a wireless subwoofer without sonic sacrifice
  • remains open, integrated and detailed
  • smart looks

Against

  • Higher prices and new rivals mean it's no longer top-dog

UPDATE 7/11/09: Price now reduced to £1100

Despite what the picture might suggest, we're not re-running our review of the Award-winning KEF KHT3005SE speaker package. It is, in fact, the new KHT3005SE-W package. And what does the 'W' stand for? Wireless.

Don't be thinking the whole system is wireless, though, or even the surround left and right speakers. No, KEF has given the subwoofer the wireless treatment.

The only obvious indication of this is the glowing logo on the top of the HTB2SE-W sub, and of course the accompanying wireless sender. Plug this sender into the sub output on your receiver (a cable is provided) and you can place the sub anywhere in the room, so long as you can plug it into the mains.

Any sonic sacrifice?
The good news is that opting for wireless involves no sacrifice. The HTB2SE-W integrates with the satellites just as well as its wired sibling, so you get an open, detailed and punchy performance.

We reckon most people position their sub near their receiver, in which case the wireless package isn't really worth the extra £100, but if you seek true flexibility, go for the wireless version.

But should you buy a KEF3005SE at all? Now the price has risen from £1000 to £1200 (or £1300 for wireless) the answer is less obvious than it once was.

You can get the better Radius R90 HD10 from Monitor Audio for similar cash, and then there's B&W's exemplary MT-25, which comes in at just under £1000. In short, KEF has priced itself too high this time around.

See all our micro and style speaker system Best Buys

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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, New York 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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