Configure Q150 Bookshelf Speaker
Q150 Bookshelf Speaker
The Q150 proves that the best things come in small packages. A Uni-Q driver and CFD port mean it punches way above its weight.
Q Series bookshelf speakers excel in small spaces. KEF's Uni-Q driver array plus Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) port tech equals high resolution and big sound.
Priced as a PAIR.
Magnetic grilles sold separately.
A new cone structure improves midrange clarity and an enhanced Auxiliary Bass Radiator (ABR) with a new surround and rear suspension enhances bass quality.
Get a pair!Absolutely amazing. Got them during a sale and was not disappointed. The mids and highs are very crisp and they provide a very balanced amount of bass which I was worried they would lack. I find myself lowering the gains on my def tech subwoofer. Being a mainly Jazz, Folk, and Indie Rock listener I am beyond pleased. Do yourself a favor and get a pair, especially when they are on sale.
The Q150's - a Stunning compact speaker system that surprises!Prior to obtaining the KEF Q150's, I was perfectly happy listening to a pair of Warfedale D320 bookshelf speakers. My audiophile efforts of late are confined to a desktop, near-field environment, and I use compact gear (due to space). I also maintain a Mackie 8" powered subwoofer under the desk.
As a matter of quick background information, a good 30+ years ago, I used to delve into a variety of room-sized audio components, including the (then) wonderful KEF 104 II and their flagship model, the 105. In addition to those, I also experimented with various transmission line speakers, such as the IMF transmission line monitors and the remarkable (talk about subterranean bass) Irving M. Fried's Model H system. As you see, I was addicted to the "British" sound.
Over the past month or two, I found myself visiting the KEF website to keep up with what was happening with their product line, and the Q150's intrigued me due to their smaller size (and what would actually fit within my system). I also noticed - with much curiosity - as to how KEF constantly juggled the price back and forth from $299 and $599. I can tell you that I would not have had the urge to purchase these at their normal $599 price (and that's not disparaging the Q150's at all). So recently, when the sales price dropped again to $299, I pounced on them - the black versions. As an aside, KEF should just stick with a particular price (like $299) and keep them there. I also purchased - separately - the magnetic snap-on grills, which are superbly designed and functional (those are $19.95 per grill).
When the Q150's arrived, I found then to be actually a tad smaller in height and width (and I mean just a tad) than my Wharfedale D320's. However, the KEF's have a longer (depth) to them (by a few inches) over the Warfedale's, so I had to adjust my speaker stands to bring them further out on the desk. The speakers have a solid heft to them - definitely not cheap feeling.
When it comes to amplifiers, I try to choose compact models (due to my limited space on my desktop). After doing much research, I purchased some absolutely compact, yet outstanding amps - some of which are so ridiculously inexpensive, yet punch far above their weight when it comes to audio reproduction. Some of those being the diminutive Aiyima A07 and A08, and the Micca A250's Origain amps. All 3 of these are class D amps, yet have sound characteristics (once broken in and warmed up) like class AB models - now go figure. I wouldn't have believed this if I hadn't tried these amps myself. Thanks to the other audiophiles who made me aware of them. My other amplifiers are much larger.
I began the listening sessions with the Q150's by using the Cambridge AXA25 integrated amp (which is actually a full-sized, solidly constructed amp), and then later connected the custom (you have to go to Asia to find this one) Fosi HD-A1 Class AB 50 WPC amp - a built-like-a-tank difficult to find amp. Cables used to connect various components (mainly DAC units) were from World's Best Cables (WBC) and Blue Jeans Cables. All the amps mentioned above were already broken-in/warmed up, so I could jump right into the listening sessions.
The very first thing I noticed - and it was quite uncanny - was the ability of the Q150 to be able to delineate the fine (even very minute) differences among different power amps. The Wharfedale D320's are very nice also, but they did not have the ability to resolve the differences among some amps that the KEF Q150 could easily render. The positives about this is that you realize what a wonderful transducer system that the Q150 is - however, the negative that may result is that you may also discover that some of your previously favorite amps, may not be up to task with better speakers (such as the Q150's).
Sound-staging and front-to-rear depth are also exemplary, with instruments - in particular, with classical music scenarios such as large symphony orchestras - being rendered with that often difficult to reproduce "air" around each instrument that contributes to the feeling of being at a live performance. Instrumental timbres are right on - with each instrument sounding superb and realistic (of course, with excellent source material). The speakers are also very capable of rendering very dynamic musical passages. As I type this, I am listening to Copland's Fanfare for the Common Man, and that was followed by Saint Saen's Organ Symphony for orchestra #3. All I can say is that I'm experiencing goose bumps.
The Q150's can demonstrate strong bass characteristics (which is a good thing), however, how you place them is important since a poor location may result in music that has an underlying bass personality, and even shading out (like a veil) the mids and treble regions. So experiment with the placement of these as I did. Of course, if you are using them in a desktop, near-field setup as I have, then you are limited with placement. In that case, make sure they pulled far enough back from a wall (at least one foot or more).
I read a few reviews (not many) where the reviewers felt the treble was too peaky or pronounced. I didn't find that at all. Of course, if you are using poorly recorded source material, then anything is possible (such as what you may find with “some“ rock or hip-hop recordings) - or worse yet, using an amplifier that tends to have a peaked high frequency response. What I found with the Q150 was that it is a delightfully balanced speaker system that renders a smooth sound signature that is quite appealing to be sure.
As you break the speakers in - let's say after a week or so, they become even better. I've never had issues with volume levels, and as long as the source material is of excellent quality, even huge orchestral crescendos are handled with aplomb. As an aside, I tend to listen (and test) various components using classical music (mostly large orchestral scenarios) and big band jazz. I've long since discovered that by listening to a large variety of instruments, being able to judge the true nature of various audio gear becomes more accurate. Trying to evaluate components with the limited instrumentation of rock or hip-hop, may not allow you to fully discover (and appreciate) the true capabilities of a given component or speaker.
Well, my new experiences with the Q150's have now left me with a dilemma (but it's a good one) - that is, I made the decision to put the Wharfedale D320's back in their boxes and have them stored for a future occasion. The Q150's are now my go-to speakers, and I'm very, very impressed. I missed that "British" sound when I had all those huge speakers mentioned previously back in the 80's and 90's, but thanks to KEF, I'm able to experience those pleasures again.
In closing this rather lengthy review/missive, I realize that everyone listens differently. What folks experience with regard to audio qualities are due to differences among the components and the accessories they use in their systems, along with the environments they place their gear in. But more so, are the differences with our ears (and those differences become more pronounced as we age). I'm in my 70s and consider myself to be a critical listener, but I'd be less than candid if I didn't mention that somebody far younger may hear things differently. So my comments about the Q150's are based on how I situated them within my desktop, near-field setup and my age. Your mileage may vary depending on your age, where you place them, and what you use to drive them with. There are no absolutes here.
I easily give the Q150's 5 stars and look to continue my rediscovered relationship with KEF.
Worth itNow had these for 2 months. The sound is terrific. Larger room, coupled with a powered sub and an older denon integrated, these are clear, crisp and detailed. Also use as a 2.1 theatre setup and the sound is detailed. I love them.
Smooth soundI am a music fanatic and very impressed with these speakers. I’m using a Yamaha receiver as a digital pre amp in pure direct mode with a separate 325 watt crown amp. Digital sources only with a powered sub. Very good imaging with a great sense of depth. Classical reproduction is magical on well recorded tracks. John Mayer is beautiful on the vocals. I had a larger pair of b&w bookshelves I moved to another room that were larger and more expensive. I prefer the kefs 80% of the time. More layed back presentation. The b&w’s were better on loud concerts at high volumes as they are a little more lively in the high frequencies. Audiophiles may term that fatiguing. The Keffs are smooth and detailed and sound fantastic to my ears. Highly recommended.
KEF Q150 is Great Desktop Speaker!!I have had the KEF Q150 for about four months. I use it at my computer desk with 50 watt integrated amp. My main source are my computer music files. The sound is very natural and well balanced. It plays what is on the recording. Grand piano and violin sound wonderful. I use also for my old rock music like the Stones and the Beatles. Bass is tight and tuneful. Like that the speakers are not too big. Well recommended.
Q150's are Very Good SpeakersI use my Q150's for desktop computer set up. I have small 50 watt amp driving them with flac files. Excellent sound. They really shine with jazz and classical piano. Voices are well done. The KEF Q150's are balanced from top to bottom. I like the grills to protect them from my soda fizz spray. The speaker covers are magnetic and look good in black oak. Recommended.
Great speaker all-around for the moneyLet me say especially at the current price at $300/pair, these Q150s offer a very solid product in terms of build quality, aesthetics, sound quality, and respond to a fuss free approach to placement and setup.
I would have liked to see the grilles included like with most speakers but these speakers look great without grilles with no visible screws or pin cups thanks to the magnetic grille design. My ratings for price and value are based on the regular MSRP. At the price I paid, I would give 5 stars all-around.
The only potential downside sound wise I can think of is that dialogue/vocals need some volume to sound their best. Not an issue for HT use or music at a moderate volume, just low level night or background music listening. On the flip side, these speakers aren't fatiguing or bright in any way and so listening at somewhat loud levels is very pleasant. Treble is very smooth and extended.
My previous speakers include SVS Prime bookshelves and center and Sony Core bookshelves and center before that. These Q150s are a lot better in most ways than both and I have 5 of them paired with a sealed Rythmik L12 sub and Yamaha Aventage RX-A2070 AVR in a bedroom 5.1 HT setup. Given the very small and sealed nature of my room (~1200 cu ft), this setup is very powerful and I don’t need to go past -30dB MV on the Yamaha to fill the room with very clear, precise, and powerful sound. I found using the supplied port plugs to turn these into sealed speakers with a global 100Hz crossover in the AVR produced the best bass response in my room.
Worth Every PennyIncredible amount of detail while sounding fantastic across all frequencies. Directly compared to a pair of JBL LSR305s and the Q150 are a noticeable upgrade. In a desktop setup you may even be fine without a sub woofer as these are able to deliver an amazing amount of bass for their size.
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|Model||Q150 Bookshelf Speaker|
|Design||Two-way bass reflex|
|Drive Units||Uni-Q driver array:
HF: 25mm (1in.) vented aluminium dome
LF/MF: 130mm (5.25in.) aluminium Uni-Q
|Frequency Range Free Field (-6dB)||47Hz|
|Frequency Response (±3dB)||51Hz - 28kHz|
|Nominal Impedance||8Ω (min.3.7Ω)|
|Weight||5,6kg (12.3 lbs)|
|Dimension (H X W X D)||303mm (11.92 inches) x 180mm (7.08 inches) x 278mm (10.944 inches)|
|Dimension (H X W X D) *with Rubber Feet||307mm (12.08 inches) x 180mm (7.08 inches) x 278mm (10.944 inches)|
** KEF reserves the right, in line with continuing research and development, to amend or change specifications. E&OE. **
|Q150 Award - Wirecutter 2021 Pick|
|Magazine / Issuing Body: Wirecutter|
|Country of Publication: United States|
|Product: Q150 Bookshelf Speaker|
|Q150 Loudspeaker Review - Hi-Def Digest|
|"Perfect for a 2.0 or 2.1 desktop setup OR as rear or side surrounds, the Q150 bookshelf speakers are the most affordable Q Series bookshelves, and they do a respectable job with mid-to-high range vocals, music, and sound effects. However, you definitely need a subwoofer to fill in the missing sonics.”|
|Magazine / Issuing Body: Hi-Def Digest|
|Country of Publication: United States|
|Product: Q150 Bookshelf Speaker|
|Q150 Speaker Editor's Choice Award|
|"Every speaker’s sound signature is unique, and the Q150 are especially distinctive, offering deep and powerful bass, a warm, and supple midrange, and a spritely top side that delivers fluid clarity and textural detail. The different shades combine for a sultry sonic flavor that’s instantly enticing. There’s audiophile-grade sound to be had here, with detail that unfolds before you subtly, turning even bland moments into engaging musical experiences.”|
|Magazine / Issuing Body: DigitalTrends.com|
|Country of Publication: United States|
|Product: KEF Q150 Bookshelf Speaker Pair|