New KEF speakers please both audio extroverts and classically minded music lovers

Two new series of KEF speakers – Blade and The Reference – take to the floor

KEF Reference 3 Meta in Satin Walnut Silver
(Image credit: press)

KEF has launched two new sets of floorstanding speakers – Blade and The Reference. The latter comprises of a set of six speakers, including a central three-way stand-mounted speaker and two smaller three-way centre speakers. The cabinet design of The Reference KEF speakers set is much more conservative, with a traditional rectangular form and a choice of three finishes, Satin Walnut, High Gloss Black and High Gloss White. 

Best suited for a dedicated AV room, there are many variations on how you pair the sets, with the flagship, five-way Reference 5 Meta forming the visual centrepiece of a set-up that’s destined to sound incredible. 

Reference 1 Meta KEF speakers

Reference 1 Meta speakers

(Image credit: press)

At the opposite end of the spectrum are KEF’s new Blade speakers; these are an undeniable statement piece.

The British HiFi brand, which collaborated with the late Sir Terence Conran in 2020 builds all its speakers at its headquarters in Kent, and for Blade it has created a dramatic curved enclosure that contains four drivers, with an intricate internal structure that separates each acoustic chamber. 

Blade One Meta KEF speakers in Charcoal Grey and Bronze

Blade One Meta speakers

(Image credit: press)

Designed to operate as a pair, without an additional subwoofer or centre pair, the Blade One and Blade Two are speakers as sculpture, following a long tradition of unorthodox and avant-garde forms being pressed into service for their combination of acoustic quality and visual boldness. Blade incorporates KEF’s research into ‘metamaterials’, structural components that have been reshaped to absorb unwanted sound and distortion.

Excellent acoustics go hand in hand with aesthetics – in addition to the eight standard finishes, you can supply a Pantone number to make it your own. 

Blade One Meta and Blade Two Meta KEF speakers

Blade One Meta and Blade Two Meta

(Image credit: press)


KEF Blade One Meta, £30,000, Blade Two Meta, £22,500

KEF The Reference series starts at £4,750 for the Reference 2 Meta

Jonathan Bell has written for Wallpaper* magazine since 1999, covering everything from architecture and transport design to books, tech and graphic design. He is now the magazine’s Transport and Technology Editor. Jonathan has written and edited 15 books, including Concept Car Design, 21st Century House, and The New Modern House. He is also the host of Wallpaper’s first podcast.