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KEF Blade

CA $ 39,999.99

Exploring the Art of the Possible

BLADE is the top model in the range with four 225mm/9in. bass drivers and a Uni-Q MF/HF array in a 1590mm/62.5in. high cabinet.

BLADE is the world's first Single Apparent Source loudspeaker and the production version of the cost no object Concept Blade project KEF revealed at the Munich High End Show in 2009.

Priced as a matched pair

Product Features
BLADE Series
BLADE is an attitude. It's about exploring the art of the possible, without preconceptions. Pushing boundaries.
Cutting edge sound

BLADE is the result of KEF's best and brightest engineers being given free rein to create the ultimate loudspeaker without design or cost limitations. The BLADE concept took years to come to fruition but resulted in a loudspeaker that looks and sounds like no other, the next challenge was to turn it into a product that music lovers could own and enjoy.

BLADE was so successful and received so many prestigious awards that we developed a second version: BLADE TWO. This has the same iconic design and technology in a scaled down cabinet that can be accommodated in smaller rooms. It has the same DNA, same unique single apparent source configuraiton and most importanlty, the same phenomenally realistic sound.

Uncompromised Innovation

BLADE and BLADE TWO share a new architecture that achieves the ideal point source. The four bass drivers (225mm/9-in. for BLADE, 165mm/6.5-in. for BLADE TWO) are arranged so that their combined acoustic centre occupies exactly the same point in space as that of the Uni-Q HF/MF array. This means that the sound escapes the cabinet as if it weren't there and creates truly holographic imaging.

Just as KEF's philosophy has always been to innovate in pursuit of the most accurate and realistic sound, BLADE loudspeakers create a spectacularly warm and expansive sound that draws you in to the music. Totally natural and effortlessly accurate, they are as emotionally inspiring as a live performance.

Kent Engineering and Foundry Editions

The stunning BLADE and BLADE TWO cabinets are available in a palette of seductive finishes: Piano Black, Snow White, Warm Metallic Grey, Light Metallic Silver and Racing Red. There are also two special ‘Kent Engineering and Foundry’ finishes, which celebrate KEF's unrivalled heritage of continuous innovation for over 50 years.

Frosted Blue, which hints at the blue of the original KEF logo, and Frosted Copper Black - the Kent Engineering and Foundry editions combine BLADE technology with an aesthetic that subtly evokes this rich pedigree. We can also match a colour of your choice. Like everything else about BLADE and BLADE TWO, it's about getting every last detail absolutely right.

Design challenge
The challenge was to design an acoustically efficient enclosure for a speaker whose unique driver configuration requires large capacity at the upper portion, without looking bulky.
Designer
Initially, we worked alongside Eric Chan of New York-based ECCO Design to create a distinctive visual identity to match BLADE's towering performance. The resulting cabinet form was inspired by Brancusi’s seminal Modernist masterpiece Bird in Space. Tapering gracefully from top to bottom and from front to rear, the slim proportions made possible by the orientation of the bass drivers give the BLADE and BLADE TWO a sculptural presence in their own right.
Single apparent source

Sound from a single source is inherently clear. BLADE's treble and midrange drivers share the same axis and the four bass drivers are mounted such that their acoustic centres are in exactly the same spot.

This single apparent source configuration is what makes BLADE and BLADE TWO so incredibly coherent.

Discrete bass chambers

BLADE's bass drivers are mounted in discrete chambers. This increases the frequency of internal standing waves to way beyond the crossover point and reduces the need for damping materials (which can impair bass quality). Nothing has been overlooked in the quest for ultimate clarity.

Force cancelling

To avoid dissipating the energy of such potent bass drivers by exciting the cabinet, the large kinetic forces involved are cancelled out by mounting the drivers rigidly back-to-back.

This highly effective configuration partly accounts for the BLADE and BLADE TWO's astonishing low level resolution.

Terminals & terminal links

Two pairs of the finest audiophile WBT terminals for bi-wiring or bi-amping optimise the retrieval of low level detail from the signal in the speaker cable. Patented screw-in linking plugs offer a high spec and simplified alternative to wiring links.

Low order crossovers

The simple low order crossovers specified for both BLADE and BLADE TWO employ the best components available. These are carefully selected by a rigorous auditioning process so that every part of the signal path is fine-tuned for maximum clarity.

Hard wiring

All the crossover components are individually wired by hand rather than mounted on a conventional printed circuit board. As well as being more environmentally friendly, this optimises both reliability and sound quality by assuring the cleanest possible signal transmission.

Reviews 1

Customer Reviews

  1. A top candidate for the best loudspeaker ever made
    Price
    100%
    Quality
    100%
    Value
    100%
    Ultimate loudspeakers are like supercars. Surrounded by hype, often times with massively inflated price tags, and a cult-like but always small following, given their punitive prices. In the rarefied air of candidates for best loudspeaker – and there are no doubt dozens of those, including some rather exotic off-brands where their principal basis for a claim to greatness is a mid five-figure to mid six-figure price tag, the KEF Blades are a veritable bargain at $32k.

    Ever since I was a kid I've loved music, and since my late teen years, have craved loudspeakers that may at least make some legitimate claim towards being the best available transducer. And make no mistake about it, it's the signal chain transducers that make the biggest contribution the sound quality, including of course the quality of the microphones used by the studio, and the skill of the sound technicians in setting them up – a key variable over which even the most obsessive audiophile has no control. It's been long appreciated that phono cartridges and loudspeakers – as signal transducers changing a signal from electrical to acoustic/physical or from physical to electrical – make the most significant contribution to your sound system and the perceived qualities of its acoustics. In my teens I lusted after the Walsh A – a unique speaker that required 250W to play at a reasonable level and 260W to blow its voice coil. Fast forward to 50 years later and now semi-retired, I decided that after the briefest of auditions, the KEF Blades were on my bucket list, while the Ferrari, and a number of other pieces of wishful thinking were simply not happening.

    A pair of these became available on Audiogon for a very reasonable money from a very responsible seller. They were local pickup only, and in some God-given bit of good luck, the seller was within an hour. They were not an easy speaker to move, as the boxes are almost 6 feet tall, and weigh about 150 pounds each loaded. But with my wife's considerable help I was able to move these massive columns into the house and set them up without a scratch . . . Except to the wood floors. Oh well.

    They are simply the best speaker I've ever heard – creating a seamless and broad sound field, smoothly integrated, and with no emphasis to any part of the spectral balance or recorded acoustic. Highs are extended but not hyped, lows are all there, but again not any version of boomy, not hyped or exaggerated and the mid range is also spot on. You will invariably notice new musical nuances in your favorite musical conpositions that you've never heard before. The Blades are simply clean and neutral in a way you have to hear to appreciate, with superb transient response. Take a close look at the Stereophile review of their little brother, the Blade IIs – and JA’s measurements section (the best technical reviewer in the industry) shows about as flat a frequency response curve as you’ll find anywhere. Coming from a set of Reference 107s, the bass may not hit you in the face (or abdomen!) as much, but it extends just as deeply, down to 20-25 Hz without any trouble. And because of placement of the force-canceling pairs of 9 inch woofers well off the floor, there is not as much boundary reinforcement as many large speakers, although of course in anything except an absolutely huge listening hall, you're going to get some of that. The bass is just . . . well for lack of a better term . . . fully believable, authentic, and such that listening to other large speakers that you once thought had great bass leaves you subtlety dissatisfied once you’ve experienced the Blades.

    If you can afford them, they are easily finalists for the best loudspeaker ever made, with KEF engineering frankly being more advanced than just about anyone’s, and resulting in a single apparent point source for sound, centered on the integrated tweeter-midrange driver. And if something costing this much can be considered a great value, they are shockingly less than some other ‘ultimate louspeakers’ while putting most of them to shame. Compared to the well reviewed other elite speakers over five figures, such as the big B&W 802s, the Revel Salon IIs, the Magico S5, the Vandersteen Model Seven Mk.II, or any of the Wilson Audio speakers, a few of these are less than the Blades, but many are more, and none have quite the seamless quality of the Blades. Audition one with some of your favorite material, but be prepared to be dissatisfied with what you are listening to currently.

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You're reviewing: KEF Blade

Spec
Model BLADE
Design Three-way bass reflex,
Single apparent source driver configuration
Drive Units Uni-Q driver array:
MF: 125mm (5in.) Li-Mg-Al /LCP hybrid cone
HF: 25mm (1in.) Al dome
Bass units:
LF: 4 x 225mm (9in.) with force cancelling
Frequency range free field (-6dB) 28Hz - 45kHz
Frequency range typical in room bass response (-6dB) 20Hz
Frequency Response (±3dB) 40Hz - 35kHz ±3dB
(-6dB at 28Hz)
Crossover frequency 350Hz, 2.3kHz
Amplifier requirements 50 - 400W
Sensitivity (2.83V/1m) 91dB
Harmonic distortion 2nd & 3rd harmonics (90dB, 1m) <0.5% 40Hz – 100kHz
<0.2% 200Hz – 10kHz
Maximum output (peak sound pressure level at 1m with pink noise) 117dB
Impedance 4Ω (min. 3.2Ω)
Weight 57.2 kg (126 lbs)
Dimensions - with plinth (H x W x D) 1590 x 363 x 540 mm
62.5 x 14.3 x 21.2 in.

** KEF reserves the right, in line with continuing research and development, to amend or change specifications. E&OE. **

Videos

KEF Blade Introduction:

KEF Blade Bass Driver:

KEF Blade Uni-Q Driver:

KEF Blade Single apparent Source:

KEF Blade Design & Designers:

Press and Awards
KEF BLADE TWO Review
KEF Blade Review
“Although not inexpensive, the price of a pair of KEF Blades just doesn’t seem that extravagant in the current high-end market. What you get for your money is without doubt one of the most beautiful loudspeakers available. But make no mistake. Looks aside, the Blades are all about engineering. Beware of being beguiled by their good looks lest you forget that what you are getting for all that cash: the most advanced state-of-the-art engineering you will find in a modern loudspeaker."
Year: 2017
Magazine / Issuing Body: Dagogo.com
Country of Publication: United States
Product: BLADE
 

 

KEF BLADE TWO Hi-Fi News & Record Review ‘Outstanding Product’ Accolade
Hi-Fi News and Record Review ‘Outstanding Product’ Accolade
“The huge soundstage populated by multiple guitars was as impressive as I’ve ever heard it."
Year: 2015
Magazine / Issuing Body: Hi-Fi News and Record Review
Country of Publication: United Kingdom
Product: BLADE TWO
 

 

KEF BLADE TWO Cutting-Edge Speaker Design: Blade Two
Cutting-Edge Speaker Design: Blade Two
"KEF’s Blade Two offers superb measured performance that is close to the state of the art"
Year: 2015
Magazine / Issuing Body: Stereophile Magazine
Country of Publication: United States
Product: BLADE

 

KEF BLADE Best Money-No-Object Speakers
Best Money-No-Object Speakers
 
Year: 2013
Magazine / Issuing Body: BT.com
Country of Publication: United Kingdom
Product: BLADE TWO

 

KEF BLADE Goldenes Ohr 2012
Goldenes Ohr 2012" 2. "Best floor standing Loudspeakers over 10.000 Euro
 
Year: 2012
Magazine / Issuing Body: Audio
Country of Publication: Germany
Product: BLADE
 

 

KEF BLADE Best of the Best 2012: Audio
Best of the Best 2012: Audio
 
Year: 2012
Magazine / Issuing Body: Robb Report
Country of Publication: United States
Product: BLADE
KEF BLADE Best of the Best Award 2012 Robb Report

 

KEF BLADE Stereo Sound Grand Prix Award 2011
Stereo Sound Grand Prix Award 2011
 
Year: 2012
Magazine / Issuing Body: Stereo Sound
Country of Publication: Japan
Product: BLADE
 
Stereo Sound Grand Prix Award 2011

 

KEF BLADE Products of the Year 2011 Award
Products of the Year 2011
 
Year: 2012
Magazine / Issuing Body: HiFi Review
Country of Publication: Hong Kong
Product: BLADE
 
KEF BLADE Product of the year award 2011 HiFi Review

 

KEF BLADE Winner of Innovative Operating Practices Award
Innovative Operating Practices Award
 
Year: 2012
Magazine / Issuing Body: EEF Future Manufacturing Awards
Country of Publication: United Kingdom
Product: BLADE
 
KEF BLADE Winner of Winners Award EEF

 

KEF BLADE Winner of Winners Award
Winner of Winners Award
 
Year: 2012
Magazine / Issuing Body: EEF Future Manufacturing Awards
Country of Publication: United Kingdom
Product: BLADE
 
KEF BLADE Winner of Winners Award EEF

 

KEF BLADE Products of the Year 2012 (Loudspeakers and Subwoofers)
Products of the Year 2012 (Loudspeakers and Subwoofers)
 
Year: 2012
Magazine / Issuing Body: Electronic House
Country of Publication: United States
Product: BLADE
 
Electronics House Products of the Year 2012 (Loudspeakers and Subwoofers)

 

KEF BLADE Grand Prix and Silver Award among all categories
Grand Prix and Silver Award among all categories
 
Year: 2011
Magazine / Issuing Body: Audio Accessory Winter 2011
Country of Publication: Japan
Product: BLADE
 
 

 

KEF BLADE AV Review
AV Review
 
Year: 2011
Magazine / Issuing Body: Special Planning Award
Country of Publication: Japan
Product: BLADE
 
 

 

KEF BLADE 1st Place - Over 2.5 Million Yen/PR
1st Place - Over 2.5 Million Yen/PR
 
Year: 2011
Magazine / Issuing Body: Stereo
Country of Publication: Japan
Product: BLADE
 
 

 

KEF BLADE HiFi Choice Awards.
Best of the High End Award
"A great high-end product should combine breath-taking performance with technical innovation and ground breaking design. Out of all the loudspeakers we have tested over the last year, the KEF Blade best embodies these attributes."
Year: 2011
Magazine / Issuing Body: Hi-Fi Choice Awards 2011
Country of Publication: United Kingdom
Product: BLADE
 
KEF Blade HiFi Choice Award

 

KEF BLADE Resi Awards
Resi Awards: Floorstanding Speaker
 
Year: 2011
Magazine / Issuing Body: Residential Systems
Country of Publication: United States
Product: BLADE
 
KEF Blade Residential Systems award

 

KEF BLADE Hi-Fi Choice 5 Star Editor's Choice Award
5 Star Editor's Choice Award
 
Year: 2011
Magazine / Issuing Body: Hi-Fi Choice
Country of Publication: United Kingdom
Product: BLADE
 
5 Star Editor's Choice Award Hi-Fi Choice KEF BLADE

KEF BLADE Review Haute Fidelite
EXC!TE Award
 
Year: 2011
Magazine / Issuing Body: Custom Retailer
Country of Publication: United States
Product: BLADE
 
KEF BLADE Review Haute Fidelite

 

KEF BLADE Review Haute Fidelite
BLADE Review
 
Year: 2011
Magazine / Issuing Body: Haute Fidelite
Country of Publication: France
Product: BLADE
 
KEF BLADE Review Haute Fidelite
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