The KEF room was packed this year at AXPONA. Packed with people, packed with KEF goodies. The rather large room had a speaker setup along nearly every available wall. It all started with the mid-fi fan favorite LS50s ($1,500/pair). Gone is the anniversary edition branding, but the bookshelf-style loudspeaker has done so well that KEF has decided to keep the rose-colored Uni-Q driver around a little while longer. It sounded as good as it aways does at shows, with decent low-end extension for the relatively small size.
Over the course of the weekend, KEF switched between its different setups. The big Blade flagship (in mid-life-crisis red) was host to a particularly daring demo. In order to show how the cabinet is resistant to internal (and external) resonances, a nickel was carefully balanced on edge at the top of the loudspeaker.
As you can see from the video, no nickels were harmed in the making of this demo. Weather you are a fan of the unique design or not, the Blade is almost always one of the best sounds at the show.
Along the right hand side wall the KEF X300A ($600) was on display. The desktop powered speakers may look like the passive LS50s, but are comprised of a different driver altogether. The 300 sets itself apart from some of its close competition in that it harnesses an individual DAC, amp and even power supply for each of the speakers in the system, rather than the use of a single amp and relaying the power to the other satellite speaker. More recently a new X300AW ($1k) update has been introduced that also includes wireless streaming via airplay or DNLA.