Take the following quiz: You’ve had your ultra-sharp flat-screen TV hanging on the wall like a piece of modern art for years now, but your speakers are still sitting on (choose one): a) the far end of the bookshelf, b) a mantle about 4 inches too shallow, c) mismatched speaker stands, d) the floor.
If you chose any of the answers above (or even two of them), don’t worry, there is no longer a “wrong answer,” thanks to tireless speaker innovators like KEF and in this case, their new uber-thin, wall-friendly T series Surround Sound Systems ($1,099-$1,999). The T series, intended to keep your flat-screen in good-looking and good sounding company, are all about depth.
To be fair, surround sound speakers only 1.4 inches deep that still deliver full-bodied sonics simply don’t sound possible, but when KEF starts a speaker design nearly from scratch, you know things are getting serious in their engineering labs. As with almost any speaker design, the bass drivers are often what determine the depth and size of the final unit, and here is where the magic starts with the T Series. Replacing the traditional cone with a flat, ribbed diaphragm and separating the driver’s suspension from the magnet system, KEF has produced a remarkably slim unit that manages to deliver with the power of a driver several times larger and deeper. Add to that a nicely sized 1-inch vented tweeter, engineered to excel at clarity and balance (see their ‘tangerine’ waveguide), and you have the makings of a speaker that will sound every bit as good as it looks.
So, flank your flat-screen with one of the three T Series 5 speakers, find a discreet home for the subwoofer and bring your friends over to marvel at your new wall of sound.