The flagship center speaker of the R Series, the R6 Meta is a three-way design featuring the same 12th generation Uni-Q driver array with MAT as the R Series stereo models. This is a model that recreates every nuance, while matching the rest of the range tonally.
Designed to be used in an LCR configuration, the R6 Meta is effortlessly versatile. Thanks to twin, powerful 165mm (6.5 in) hybrid aluminum bass drivers, every sound is perfectly reproduced to ensure the audience doesn't miss a beat.
Born From KEF Reference
KEF has taken a whole lot of the great technology in their much more expensive Reference Meta speakers and included it in the new R Series Meta with amazing results.
12th Generation Uni-Q
The Uni-Q driver, which has the tweeter and midrange effectively in the same assembly gives you a far wider sweet spot and more accurate sound than you could imagine.
Wonderful Dialog Presentation
The R6 Meta with its much larger woofers just nails the dialog track and its larger size means it can also handle deep bass special effects in the center channel track. If you have the room and budget, this is the one to get!
For 2023, KEF finally adds a bigger center channel model to the R Meta Series, which we see as a very nice addition. The two LCR models are the R2 Meta and R6 Meta. And yes, you heard right, these are LCR capable which means you can use these vertically as left and right channels as well, or even put three in the vertical plan behind an acoustically transparent screen that would be mounted out from the wall.
You might see lots of speakers that call themselves LCR’s that have a tweeter centered between two mid/bass drivers. The problem with that design is you get a lot of what is called lobing due to the fact the bigger drivers need to be crossed over higher since the tweeter can only go so low. You can fix this with what is called a D'Appolito Array where you have woofer, midrange, tweeter, midrange, woofer, but when you do that you have limited horizontal dispersion. The Uni-Q solves all of this due to its very unique design and in our opinion is the best application of this type of LCR speaker out there. This concept also applies to all of the towers in the KEF R Meta Series as well.
They are both also a sealed box which gives even more placement options. We could see these going into a built-in cabinet system with a flat panel TV and a pair of these on either side vertically with another one serving as the center channel above or below the TV. With no rear firing port like a lot of bookshelf speakers, you do not have to worry about having the port too close to the back wall. Now, like any speaker, they will sound better outside of a built-in unit, but with the way KEF makes these cabinets so anti-resonant, they make a great choice if your environment dictates this kind of placement, which is actually very common in traditional family rooms.
As you might have guessed the R2 Meta has the same Uni-Q driver paired with two 5 ¼” hybrid aluminum woofers and the R6 Meta gets two 6 ½” hybrid aluminum woofers. If you have the space and budget we would definitely recommend going with the larger model for its higher output and deeper bottom end reach, especially if you are more of an action type film fan.
Performance Redefined: R Series – Now With MAT
Since 1961, KEF has strived to reproduce pure sound precisely as it was meant to be heard. Decades of experience in acoustic innovation and the quest for music perfection come together in the R Series to deliver sound with more detail and deeper insight, sound that ignites excitement every time you experience it.
The R Series is a direct beneficiary of the technological innovations developed for The Reference, the class-leading series that continually set the benchmark for loudspeakers and sound reproduction. Combining with bespoke technologies, the R Series delivers an exceptional acoustic performance. The revolutionary Metamaterial Absorption Technology (MAT) has been incorporated into the latest iteration of the R Series, and the 12th generation Uni-Q driver array has been refined to maximize the impact of this technological advance and ensure the best possible performance.
When we immerse ourselves in music, we don’t just listen to it but feel it. Then it has the power to alter our moods, to move our souls, and can be one of the greatest pleasures in life. This feeling is the driving force behind KEF’s quest to develop the ultimate loudspeaker – a goal that they have spent more than six decades in pursuit of.
You may have listened to your favorite music a thousand times or more, but through the R Series you will discover a depth and level of detail in any recording that will likely make you love it more – from the scrape of plectrum on guitar string, the changes of vibrato in a voice, to the sense of emotion and atmosphere in a live performance. KEF developed the R Series for those who share their obsession with music perfection - pure and natural sound as it is meant to be heard.
The result of this pursuit is an exceptional seven-model range of loudspeakers capable of fulfilling both stereo and home theater duties with exquisite detail and incredible insight.
- 3 Floorstanding speakers
- 1 Standmount speaker
- 2 LCR speakers
- 1 Up-firing Dolby Atmos/wall-mountable speaker
Revolutionary Sound Absorption With MAT
At the heart of the latest R Series is Metamaterial Absorption Technology (MAT), a revolutionary innovation that takes the performance of the 12th generation Uni-Q driver array to another level in terms of accuracy and clarity.
MAT is a highly complex maze-like structure, where each of the intricate channels efficiently absorbs a specific frequency. When combined, the channels act as an acoustic black hole, absorbing 99% of the unwanted sound that comes from the rear of the tweeter, eliminating the resulting distortion and providing a purer, more natural acoustic performance.
Metamaterials are specially developed structures that use existing materials in such a way that they exhibit new, desirable properties that are simply not found in naturally occurring substances.
A result of joint development with the Acoustic Metamaterials Group, using MAT breaks completely new ground in loudspeaker design, and demonstrates KEF’s unrelenting passion for innovation and dedication to improving the listening experience for everyone.
Superior KEF Sound
The building block of KEF signature sound, Uni-Q technology disperses sound more evenly throughout the room. By placing the tweeter precisely at the acoustic center of the bass/midrange cone, both act together as a single point source, eliminating the limited ‘sweet spot’ and instead allowing everybody, no matter where in the room they are sitting, to experience and enjoy the same natural, detailed sound.
A bespoke 12th generation Uni-Q driver array with MAT is found in all seven models of the R Series and delivers an incredibly detailed performance. It’s the result of decades of accumulated in-house knowledge and the application of cutting-edge simulation and analysis tools. The developments are many and all play a part in R Series’ exceptional performance.
The Uni-Q driver array has been redesigned to maximize the performance improvements that MAT delivers. The conical waveguide that couples the tweeter dome to the new metamaterial absorber has been specially designed for the bespoke driver based on its depth. The re-engineered tweeter gap damper strategically places two rings of porous material to tame the resonances and imperfections effectively, thus greatly improving detail and clarity.
The ultra-low distortion midrange motor design uses a copper ring embedded into the motor gap to minimize inductance and variation of inductance with coil position. This lowers the midrange THD and reduces thermal compression, leading to improved efficiency.
The Flexible Decoupling Chassis first used on the latest Blade and The Reference loudspeakers is employed on the Uni-Q driver array to dramatically reduce coloration of the sound caused by midrange vibration transmission to the cabinet, while also solving the problem of additional sound created by the driver basket that occurs with traditional decoupling methods. It works by decoupling the massive midrange motor from the Uni-Q chassis, dissipating its vibration before it can travel to the cabinet and be radiated as unwanted sound.
The surround on the 12th generation Uni-Q driver array allows for longer excursion without causing diffraction and extending the frequency range of the midrange. The contours of tweeter dome, midrange cone, and surround are all computer-optimized to ensure a perfectly smooth transition to the cabinet.
These innovations combine to ensure the R Series sound even more transparent and life-like than previously heard on this already exceptional range.
Shadow Flare For Improved Clarity
Shadow Flare is another feature originally designed for The Reference. It reduces harmful cabinet diffraction, allowing the 12th generation Uni-Q with MAT to work to its highest potential. Shadow Flare is a precision designed surface that extends the waveguide effect of the Uni-Q driver array. This means the tweeter no longer has line of sight of the cabinet edges, creating a ‘shadow region’ at the points where the potential for diffraction is highest, minimizing the acoustic impact to negligible levels. The result is improved clarity and the reproduction of the fine details that make listening such a thrilling experience. The subtle nuances of plucked strings, the changes of vibrato in a voice, all of these are clearer on the R Series.
Deep, Agile Bass
When listening to music, the quality of the bass can define the whole experience. The low-frequency drivers of R Series have been engineered with acute care and precision. They are built using a two-part structure, where a shallow concave aluminum skin sits atop a paper cone. This stiffness combined with the cone’s unique geometry reduces unwanted resonances and delivers the pistonic movement that makes these drivers time so well. The drivers’ magnet system creates a broad, uniform magnetic field, while the suspension reduces harmonic distortion for a clean, precise sound. The result is exceptionally deep and agile bass that reveals every last bit of detail and punch available in the deep.
Performance Critical Damping
Powerful drivers can easily cause the cabinet walls to make noise of their own - noise that was never in the recording in the first place. Working alongside the bespoke internal bracing layout, KEF’s Constrained Layer Damping is a sophisticated bracing system that ensures the cabinet stays inert by connecting the bracing to the drivers and cabinet by a lossy interface. This material converts vibration into heat, ensuring that the cabinet makes the only sound it needs to - the sound of silence.
As with all KEF speakers, the R Series Meta has been given a neutral voicing. This allows R Series Meta to be paired with other KEF speaker ranges (traditional box or Architectural) within a home theater system, or to create a consistent sound throughout multiple zones in a whole home audio system.
Dedicated Microfiber Grilles
The R Series is engineered to perform its best with or without grilles. The dedicated microfiber grilles are crafted from multiple layers of material and the edges are burnished for a suede-like feel.
With 1801 precision-cut holes for each driver you experience fantastic performance even when the drivers are covered, which is great news if you feel the need to protect them. The magnetic fixings provide a secure and precise fit, in keeping with the clean styling of the R Series.
- Metamaterial Absorption Technology (MAT) eliminates 99% of high-frequency distortion for pure, natural sound
- Bespoke 12th generation Uni-Q with MAT driver array for exceptional acoustic accuracy
- Refined tweeter gap damper tames resonances for improved detail
- Flexible Decoupling Chassis prevents unwanted vibrations for better clarity
- Enhanced crossover design and fine-tuned the signal path for pristine, clean sound
- Microfiber grilles offer the perfect balance between driver protection, sonic performance and aesthetics
|Design||Three-way closed box|
|Drive units||Uni-Q Driver Array
HF: 25 mm (1 in) vented aluminum dome with MAT
MF: 125 mm (5 in) aluminum cone
LF: 2 x 165 mm (6.5 in) hybrid aluminum cone
|Frequency range (-6dB)||55Hz – 50kHz|
|Typical in-room bass response (-6dB)||40Hz|
|Frequency response (±3dB)||65Hz – 28kHz|
|Harmonic distortion (90dB, 1m)||less than 1% (65Hz and above)
less than 0.5% (93Hz - 20kHz)
|Maximum output||111 dB|
|Nominal impedance||4Ω (min 3.2Ω)|
|Sensitivity (2.83V/1m)||88 dB|
|Weight (per unit)||39.2 lbs (17.8 kg)|
|Dimensions with terminal (HxWxD per speaker)||7.9 × 24.6 × 13.3 in (200 × 625 × 339 mm)|