- The MUON Story
A KEF Concept designed by Ross Lovegrove
There can be few projects in this World where the central aim is to create an 'ultimate'. But this was precisely the goal when KEF combined their state-of the-art acoustic technology with the sensual, organic forms of visionary designer Ross Lovegrove.
The MUON loudspeaker is fabricated from super-formed aluminium, which uses a similar moulding process to vacuum forming. The concept uses malleable sheets of heated aluminium to achieve otherwise impossible shapes. The eventual form of the loudspeaker was the result of a careful convergence between Ross Lovegrove's design aesthetics and the physics of sound. The process by which they were conceived meant that, in effect, Ross Lovegrove was sculpting the sound by 'skinning' the technology with purposeful form - the final shape was created through an evolutionary process that ensured it could only be the form that it is.
The Technology Behind MUONSince its production, KEF engineers have explored new ways of extracting even more detail and refinement from key KEF technologies in their continuing quest to discover innovative and superior ways of reproducing music with realism and vitality. With the emergence of another iconic KEF model, BLADE, KEF engineers were presented with an excellent opportunity of enhancing the technological prowess of MUON even further, namely through the use of the latest iteration of KEF's landmark innovation, the unique Uni-Q 'point source' driver array, and a completely redesigned crossover incorporating all of KEF's latest thinking to seamlessly integrate all of the drive units.
The effects of this careful re-engineering are impressive, and result in outstanding dynamics, precision and delivery of clearly defined, sonic imagery over a listening area no conventional speaker can rival. Now, even more so than when launched, MUON remains arguably the world's most extraordinary audio speaker ever conceived and produced, not to mention a truly contemporary art form appropriate for 21st century living. Limited to an edition of just 100 pairs, MUON is unequivocally at the apex of speaker design and technology.
- MF: 1 x 125mm (5in.) Li-Mg-Al /LCP, hybrid cone
- HF: 1 x 25mm (1in.) vented aluminium dome, featuring KEF’s unique ‘Tangerine Waveguide’
- 4 x 250mm bass drive units with ultra-low distortion neodymium magnet systems
- 1 x 250mm lower midrange drive unit with ultra-low distortion neodymium magnet system and response tailoring, chromed phase plug
- 2 x 250mm rear mounted bass drivers for low frequency directivity control
- Enclosure constructed from 6mm, super-formed aluminium. Internally braced and critically treated with damping elements.
Technology and DesignMUON's four-way speaker system with its powerful bass drivers is one of the elements that makes it so superior. But it is also the upper mid-range and treble where some of the MUON's key technology lies in the form of the Uni-Q® drive unit array, remarkable in its construction and delivering a seamless sonic picture throughout the listening environment. KEF has also used its Acoustic Compliance Enhancement (ACE) technology, which enables them to effectively double the available volume through adsorption of air molecules by activated carbon. Find out more about ACE.
The two additional bass drivers mounted in the back of MUON help to produce a remarkably clean and open sound by dealing with room effects. Finally the 6mm thick, heavily damped aluminium shell provides a totally rigid structure that minimises any sound-distorting vibrations.
As KEF's Head of Acoustics, Andrew Watson states 'We wanted to take our technology to the limit and develop some more along the way'. The upshot is an unparalleled loudspeaker that brings an unbelievable sound quality to music lovers and serious audiophiles.
Uni-Q® drive arrayKEF's patented 'sit anywhere' Uni-Q driver places the tweeter in the acoustic centre of the midrange cone. This allows both midrange cone and tweeter to act as a single, focused source of sound that is dispersed widely and evenly throughout the room. The practical benefit is that great sound can be experienced from anywhere in the listening environment removing the "sweet spot" effect. Find out more about Uni-Q.
|Design||Four-way closed box floorstanding loudspeaker ACE enclosure|
|Drive Units||6 x 250mm (10in.) LF,
1 x 250mm (10in.) LMF,
Uni-Q driver array:
MF: 1 x 125mm (5in.) Li-Mg-Al /LCP, hybrid cone
HF: 1 x 25mm (1in.) vented aluminium dome, featuring KEF's unique 'Tangerine Waveguide'
|Frequency Response||25Hz to 60kHz * (±3dB)|
|Crossover Frequencies||120Hz, 300Hz, 2.3kHz|
|Amplifier requirements||100 to 400W (typical)|
|Input Impedance||4 Ohms|
|Low Frequency Extension||20Hz (-6dB) *|
|High Frequency Extension||100kHz (-10dB) *|
|Dimensions||H x W x D: 2000 x 600 x 380 mm (78.8 x 23.6 x 15 in.)|
|Document Download||MUON Brochure|
|Remarks||* Typical, in-room response|
MUON is the most remarkable achievement of sound-engineering and cutting-edge design. Rarely in the world of commercial products does one find such a sublime marriage of form, function and manufacturing integrity. Carefully tested in KEF's highly accurate anechoic chambers, each loudspeaker is individually crafted and comes with a certificate showing its unique frequency response curve, signed by the skilled craftsman who made it in KEF's workshop. One of the reasons for the superlative sound quality of MUON is that it functions beyond the normal range of the sound frequency spectrum. What this means is that it reproduces sound so low or so high that the human ear cannot register it. Nonetheless, these sounds are still present, and when included in the audio mix have an enriching effect. To this extent MUON radically enhances the listener's audio experience. The beautiful form of MUON also sets a new aesthetic standard for the audio industry, which for too long has relied on either the 'dumb box' approach or over-the-top styling. Instead, Ross Lovegrove has intuitively wrapped form around sound to create a poly-sensorial convergence that gives the MUON a powerful yet elegant presence.
This product can be seen as iconic of the 21st century not only because outwardly it is state-of-the-art in every respect, but because its design and manufacture would not have been possible without the latest, highly sophisticated CAD/CAM software and technology. Guided by logic and aesthetics, the MUON is as much an extraordinary piece of sculpture as it is the ultimate sound provider - an exquisite example of British engineering and design at its very best.