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Reference 1 Ultimate Bookshelf Speaker Pair

Only the finest dealers are approved to offer this product. Your purchasing experience should be worthy of a loudspeaker such as this, and should come with matching levels of service and support.

Reference 1 pairs KEF’s latest 5in. MF/HF Uni-Q driver array with the sensational 6.5in. alloy cone bass driver to create a compellingly realistic sound stage out of all proportion to its size.

Priced as MATCHED PAIRS. Note: All Reference products are hand made to order. Expected build time is 4-12 weeks on all standard finishes.

Product Features
Uni-Q Driver Array

At the heart of The Reference is a stunning new iteration of KEF’s landmark innovation: the Uni-Q point source MF/HF driver array. With a state-of-the-art 25mm (1in.) vented aluminium dome tweeter at the exact acoustic center of a highly sophisticated 125mm (5in.) mid range driver, both act as a single source that floods the listening space evenly with a flawless natural sound field, no matter where you sit. Capturing all the nuances of the human voice, whether whispered, spoken or sung, it sounds as if the person were right there with you in the room. All the jaw-dropping performance and innovative engineering pioneered for the critically acclaimed LS50 studio monitor, and then some. Reference 1 pairs KEF’s latest 125mm (5 inch) MF/HF Uni-Q driver array with the sensational new 165mm (6.5 inch) alloy cone bass driver to create a compellingly realistic sound stage out of all proportion to its size. Mounted on shelves or stands, Uni-Q’s inherently wide, even dispersion also makes it the perfect rear channel speaker in a home theater system that effortlessly reveals all the subtleties encoded in modern soundtracks.
KEF Reference 1 Uni-Q Driver Technology
KEF Reference 1 Bass Technology Bass Driver

Clean, rich and articulate bass grounds your enjoyment of stereo or multi-channel sound, and like everything else about The Reference, KEF’s new 165mm (6.5 inch) LF driver is in a class apart. With a massive vented magnet assembly and a large aluminium wire voice coil driving an exceptionally light, stiff and strong alloy cone, the dynamics and power handling are superb. Played loud or soft, in delicate passages or for full-on bass effects, the combination of advanced materials and clever engineering delivers deeply rewarding lows that blend seamlessly with Uni-Q’s immaculate mid range and treble response.
Cabinet Design

The Reference drivers are set in a smooth, strikingly distinctive front baffle engineered to eliminate response anomalies caused by diffraction. Made from an exceptionally strong laminated aluminium/resin composite and secured via high-loss pads and high tensile bolts, it adds tremendous rigidity to the inert cabinet. Finished by hand in pair-matched wood veneers to complement the composite front baffle, the shape and bracing geometry of the cabinets are computer-optimized to minimize secondary radiation from the cabinet walls and distortion from standing waves. With constrained layer damping to absorb residual vibrations, they’re engineered to eliminate any panel resonance, stray reflections or box coloration effects that would compromise the purity of the sound.
KEF Reference 1 Cabinet Technology
KEF Reference 1 Flexible Port Technology Flexible Port Technology

The flexible port technology pioneered for the multi-award winning LS50 is used to reduce mid range port resonance, with the flare and profile of each port calculated by computational fluid dynamics to avoid turbulent air noise that might color the sound.
The Reference has innovative adjustable ports for fine-tuning the bass output to your personal taste and the room characteristics providing the ultimate flexibility for any room.
Crossover Design

KEF engineers computer-modeled the ideal crossover networks before exhaustively auditioning every high grade component, individually and together, to select those with the lowest distortion and the smoothest response. Perfectionism takes time, but the difference is plain to hear. Nothing is overlooked - Reference crossovers are even mounted on separate boards and decoupled from the cabinet walls to minimize vibration and crosstalk.
KEF Reference 1 Crossover Technology
KEF Reference 1 Deep Piano Black Finish KEF Reference 1 Luxury Gloss Rosewood Finish KEF Reference 1 Satin Walnut Finish
KEF Reference 1 Copper Black Aluminium Foundry Edition KEF Reference 1 Blue Ice White Foundry Edition

Write Your Own Review

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Design Three-way Bass Reflex
Drive Units Uni-Q driver array:
HF: 25mm (1in.) vented aluminium dome
MF: 125mm (5in.) aluminium
Bass units:
LF: 1 x165mm (6.5in.) aluminium
Frequency range free field (-6dB) Short port: 40Hz - 45kHz
Long port: 37Hz - 45kHz
Frequency range typical in room bass response (-6dB) 30Hz
Frequency response (±3dB) 45Hz – 35kHz
Crossover frequency 350Hz, 2.8kHz
Amplifier requirements 50-200W
Sensitivity (2.83V/ 1m) 85dB
Harmonic distortion
2nd & 3rd harmonics (90dB, 1m)
<0.5% 40Hz – 100kHz
<0.2% 200Hz – 10kHz
Maximum output
(peak sound pressure level at 1m with pink noise)
111 dB
Impedance 8Ω (min. 3.2Ω)
Weight 18.2kg (40.1lbs.)
Dimensions (H x W x D)
(with grille and terminal)
440 x 205 x 430 mm
(17.3 x 8.1 x 16.9 in.)
Finishes Deep Piano Black, Satin American Walnut, Luxury Gloss Rosewood

** KEF reserves the right, in line with continuing research and development, to amend or change specifications. E&OE. **

Press and Awards
Maximum fidelity: The KEF Reference 1 speaker
 "The KEF Reference 1 is a music lover's speaker. So even if you don't give a hoot about the technical wizardry that went into its design, that's fine -- the sound of music will be more than enough to win you over."
Year: 2017
Magazine / Issuing Body: C|NET
Country: United States
Product: The REFERENCE 1
Click here to read the full review.
KEF Reference Review
 "...the Reference 1’s and 2C are unquestionably the best speakers I’ve had the pleasure of having in my home. These are really exceptional speakers from every aspect. Sound wise, I find the Reference line to be among the most confident speakers I’ve ever heard. I am continually impressed at their ability to perform consistently on a variety of material, while at the same time never becoming harsh or challenging."
Year: 2016
Magazine / Issuing Body: Reference Home Theater
Country: United States
Product: The REFERENCE 1
Click here to read the full review.
‘Reference Quality’ – Hi-Fi Plus Magazine
 “You really could replace the Reference 1 with practically any loudspeaker made and you’ll hear no better.”
Year: 2015
Magazine / Issuing Body: Hi-Fi Plus
Country: United Kingdom
Product: The REFERENCE 1
Hi-Fi Plus Review of KEF Reference 1 Bookshelf Speakers
‘Reference Quality’ – Hi-Fi World Magazine
 “The KEF Reference 1s are some of the best-engineered loudspeakers I have ever had the pleasure to use.”
Year: 2015
Magazine / Issuing Body: Hi-Fi World
Country: United Kingdom
Product: The REFERENCE 1
Hi-Fi World Review of KEF Reference 1 Bookshelf Speakers
SoundStage! Network - Reviewers' Choice
 "With the Reference 1, KEF has raised the bar for stand-mounted loudspeakers in several ways. In a flash, my wife picked up on the speaker’s high-tech appearance and attractive styling. The high level of technology applied -- most notably, the current generation of KEF’s Uni-Q coincident driver -- seems nothing short of an engineering marvel. But most important is the Reference 1’s quality of sound -- within its bandwidth, it’s as accurate as it is musically engaging...KEF’s Reference 1 is the best stand-mounted speaker I’ve ever heard."
Year: 2014
Magazine / Issuing Body: Soundstage! Hi-Fi
Country: Canada
Product: The REFERENCE 1
 • Visit the Soundstage! site for full review
Sound Stage HiFi KEF Reference 1 Reviewers Choice Award
THE REFERENCE Brochure • Open In New Window
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THE REFERENCE Manual • Open In New Window
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THE REFERENCE Information Sheet • Open In New Window
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THE REFERENCE White Paper • Open In New Window
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