TVs have been getting thinner and thinner, but home cinema speakers haven't been able to slim down enough – until now.
Designed to complement skinny flatscreen fashions, the KEF T series is vanishingly svelte, and yet, unlike previous flirtations with ultra-slim speakers, there’s no flawed NXT flat-panel technology involved in their design.
Instead, each cabinet uses a super-compact version of a standard mid/bass driver that's just 27mm deep.
In fact, when mounted on the wall, the new T Series is so discreet, it makes most other compact speakers seem like chubby Private Eyes hiding behind lampposts.
The T105 system comprises five identical T101 satellite speakers with table stands, plus a single active subwoofer, the T-2.
Once installed and run-in, the T101s generate a broad, layered and utterly involving soundfield, filling a room like no other compact style system we've heard.
The KEFs can place the first furious seconds of Inception’s battering-ram train scene well beyond the wall ahead of you, while speaker-to-speaker shifts are equally assured.
And voices? For a speaker so small, the T101c centre speaker is natural yet forceful. No wincing treble or ear-singeing sibilance here.
Even the T-2 subwoofer – also fairly compact – can produce plenty of oomph, thanks to its 250W amp, 25cm drive unit and three built-in EQ settings to allow you to compensate for its relative position within the room.
Review continues after the break…
Some of the very loudest and most sustained rumbles in a film like Inception will test its limits, but given the KEF’s speed, cohesion and living-room-friendly proportions, that's not much of a worry.
True, the T101 is no-one’s idea of proper hi-fi – it’s not offensive, and timing is reasonable, but a conventional system will sound better.
But no other system we’ve recently tested can integrate into your life and living room so easily, or deliver such excellent results at such a good price.