Published on November 12th, 2017 | by Greg0
KEF Q150 Bookshelf Speakers: Let The Season Ring!
Winter has come- to the Northeast, at least, where temperatures are finally falling and the holidays are rapidly approaching. A couple of weeks ago, carols would have seemed completely out of place in New York City, where folks had taken their shorts back out of the closet and outdoor patios were full again. But now, it’s time to start considering Black Friday deals, seasonal sales, and plan those shopping lists. Perpetually at the top of our most wanted list is a good set of speakers- no matter how many you’ve tried, you still can use more, since they can suit just about every room and situation.
The KEF Q150 Bookshelf Speakers are closer to home theater size and heft than to your average computer monitors- in fact, put them on stands, and they make a sweet 2.0 system in the living room. But they are just small enough (under a foot tall) that they could sit in a library or office, and do even the largest justice. With a rating of 108 decibels and offering 100W of power, this pair sits in the middle of their line-up, which includes a wide range of audiophile options that can stretch upwards of thousands of dollars. Last year, we were treated to two KEF designs that sat atop their respective categories, boasting distinctive designs- the still-hot EGG speakers and the shiny, portable KEF MUO Bluetooth Wireless model.
The KEF Q150, though, goes for subtle and classic styling, but still manages a unique aesthetic choice- they’re designed to look great without the traditional speaker grill. In fact, they don’t even ship with them (they’re an optional extra), but they do slip on magnetically for easy attachment. The body lacks front porting as well, as they’ve moved it to the rear for a cleaner look. And if you’re familiar with previous or other Q-series models, this one updates the proprietary Uni-Q Driver Array, now featuring a ‘damped tweeter loading tube, new, low-distortion inductor on the crossover, and an improved computational fluid dynamic port design. If none of that means much to you, consider that while most speaker designs have a separate tweeter, this one places it in the center of the mid/bass cone, so you’re treated to a more compact and single-point source- better directionality and superior imaging (a more three-dimensional sound). And the results speak for themselves, with incredible bass even without a separate sub-woofer, and clean, vibrant mids and highs.
Positioning does matter with the Q150s- they work better if elevated to the same general height as your ears. And they are an analog junkie’s friend, warm and detailed enough to really bring out the acoustics in LPs, capable of showing off all of the depth of vinyl (or displaying the relative flatness of low bitrate files, should you try to play poor quality digital tracks through them). They’re just a little fussy, needing some attention to placement- and, despite their name, not really built to be placed directly on a bookshelf in most cases. Compared with the previous two KEF products mentioned above, these are more restrained, and most of the value is in their internal components rather than flashy exterior. The KEF Q150s are well worth their price for serious audio lovers, and would make a great gift for any musician or vinyl fan- available now in white or black, expect to spend around $550 online and in stores.