An icon redefined for tomorrow.
The essential for any audiophile. Hand built by the masters who set the standard for audio quality, The Reference has been the benchmark for loudspeakers and sound reproduction. The Reference is an embodiment of KEF’s philosophy and the relentless pursuit of perfection. Now with Metamaterial Absorption Technology (MAT™).
Reference 5 Meta
The flagship model that all other high-performance loudspeakers compare themselves against.
A description was needed to convey the idea that every loudspeaker is subject to scrutiny at all stages of assembly, culminating in a final test comparison with a laboratory maintained reference standard. Hence the method became the name: Reference.
- Raymond Cooke OBE, KEF Founder
The benchmark of benchmarks
Since 1973, The Reference has continually set the benchmark for loudspeakers and sound reproduction. Pioneering the use of digital technologies to achieve the highest audio accuracy, every pair can be matched within 0.5dB to the laboratory-maintained reference standard.
Since the first Reference speaker, KEF engineers have continuously pushed the boundaries to discover what is possible with The Reference. Ground-breaking in its first incarnation, each subsequent iteration of The Reference has added to the world’s knowledge of the science of acoustics.
So pure. So KEF.
The latest version of The Reference benefits from our latest acoustic innovation: Metamaterial Absorption Technology (MAT™). MAT™ is a highly complex maze-like structure that absorbs 99% of the unwanted sound from the rear of the driver, eliminating the resulting distortion and providing purer, more natural sound.
Refined through iterations, Uni-Q® driver array for The Reference is the 12th generation Uni-Q® with MAT™. Uni-Q® acts as a single point source to disperse sound more evenly throughout the room. The result is the elimination of the limited ‘sweet spot’, therefore allowing everybody sitting at different spots in the room to experience and enjoy the same natural, detailed sound.
Every speaker in The Reference range exudes the sense of sheer quality that comes from being hand-built by KEF’s master craftsmen in Maidstone, Kent, UK. They are designed to be acoustically exceptional, attractive to look at, and each speaker is meticulously built to KEF’s exceptional standards.
Reference quality bass
The Reference’s 165mm (6.5 inch) low frequency driver perfectly complements the new 12th generation Uni-Q® driver array. Smart engineering and meticulous attention to detail enables the bass to blend seamlessly with the immaculate midrange and treble.
Engineered to be flexible
The Reference speakers are welcomingly undemanding in terms of positioning and are easy to fine-tune for your listening area by using KEF’s innovative Flexible Port Technology.
The smallest details, revealed
Shadow Flare drastically reduces harmful cabinet diffraction, allowing Uni-Q® to work at its highest level. A precision-designed surface extends the waveguide effect of Uni-Q® for improved clarity, particularly when it comes to the subtle nuances of plucked strings and other percussive sounds.
The Reference’s cabinets are designed using finite element analysis to determine the ideal shape and bracing geometry to minimise secondary radiation. Constrained Layer Damping is then applied to turn what little vibration is left into heat.
Designed, engineered, handcrafted in Maidstone, UK
Since 1961, we have been creating remarkable award-winning loudspeakers at our UK home in Maidstone, Kent. As our high-end speakers, The Reference is still designed, engineered, and hand-built in Maidstone today.
Finished to Perfection
The expertly engineered cabinets are finished in a sumptuous high-gloss or richly detailed, pair-matched wood veneer to complement the strikingly distinctive front baffle. Five finishes are available, a combination of three cabinet finishes and five drive unit colours: Satin Walnut/Silver, High-Gloss Black/Copper, High-Gloss Black/Grey, High-Gloss White/Blue, and High-Gloss White/Champagne.
Experience The Reference
The proof is in the listening. Hearing The Reference in all its glory is the only way to appreciate exactly what these loudspeakers are capable of.