The KEF Q series are some of the best entry-level speakers ever made, they are sanely priced and have high sonic performances. The KEF Q300 is one such speaker and was one of the best bookshelf speakers to go for at their price range. Every talented speaker will require a good amplifier to drive them, not to mention, wrongly matched amps may detriment their sound quality.
Are you planning to get an amplifier to partner with your KEF Q300 standmounters? If yes, please sit tight as we will be sharing with you a list of the best amplifiers to match with the Q300 speakers. Before we start listing them out, it is probably wise to find out more about these bookshelf speakers. Such as their sonic characteristics and strengths, as this is how we can find matching amplifiers by using this important data, and it can be useful for you too.
Sound Characteristics and Merits of KEF Q300
The KEF Q300 has a prominent front, firstly you will spot an iconic Uni-Q driver that sits above a front-firing bass port, separated with a shiny metal plate with the KEF logo on it. Comparing to the R series, the Q300 is definitely not as elegant nor stylish looking but their speaker design serves its function. The front-firing bass port is a cool feature as it allows the KEF Q300 speakers to be used on desktops and/or as wall-mounted surround speakers. In a stereo setup, you will definitely need some breathing space for them but not as much when compared to a rear-firing bass-reflex cabinet. With the speaker grill on, the KEF Q300 will fit nicely in most homes and blends in well with most modern amplifiers, so there is no need to worry about mismatched aesthetics.
The Uni-Q driver array is a combination of a 1 inch (25mm) aluminum dome tweeter at the center of a 6.5 inch (165mm) aluminum mid/bass driver. The frequency response of KEF Q300 is really impressive for a bookshelf speaker, it is 42Hz-40kHz (±3dB). The speaker sensitivity is 87dB which is low and the nominal impedance is 8 Ohms which does go down to 4 Ohms. They seem to be power-hungry and not as efficient. The recommended amplifier power is 15-120 Watts and we should go for amplifiers that can deliver around 75 Watts per channel or more. The KEF Q300 speakers probably would need a subwoofer to pair with them.
Even after all these years, they still sound good. The stereo imaging is certainly impressive, providing us with a sharp definition of each musician on an expansive soundstage. As the musicians start to play, the delivery is detailed and with clarity. The KEF Q300 speakers are enthusiastic speakers, almost feels like they are all out trying to impress us with their forward-sounding music delivery. Fortunately, the drivers work together seamlessly as one and never trying to overwhelm each other. The treble can be a bit lean sounding and may sound a bit too bright at loud volumes.
The bass output is equally impressive, it is tight and well-controlled, it has the weight and punches above its weight. The subterranean bass reproduction may not be enough, and a subwoofer integration is recommended but entirely optional for most music genres or at least for non-bass-heavy music. Their midrange reproduction is quite expressive as well. Overall the sound reproduction gave us an impression that the KEF Q300 bookshelf speakers are designed to be more of an all-rounder, and would work well with both music and movie listens. To nitpick, we would prefer that it sound a bit more natural at high volumes but at this price point, we shouldn’t be nitpicking that much.
All in all, it is a talented and bold all-rounded standmounter, which can easily engage the audience with its enthusiastic sound reproduction. We can see that they will do very well in a surround sound system setup with the support of a subwoofer. The KEF Q300 may be a little bit big to be used as desktop speakers but this is entirely up to you. For nearfield listening, we suggest playing at moderate volume though. As we have now the necessary information that we need and we can start sharing with you the best amplifiers with which you can partner with your KEF Q300 speakers.
KEF Q300 Specifications
- Speaker Type: 2-way bass-reflex
- Drive Units:
- Uni-Q Driver Array: 1 inch (25mm) aluminum dome tweeter at the center of a 6.5 inch (165mm) aluminum mid/bass driver
- Frequency Response (±3dB): 42Hz-40kHz
- Amplifier Requirements: 15-120 Watts
- Nominal Impedance: 8 Ohms (does go down to 4 Ohms)
- Sensitivity (2.83V/1m): 87dB
- Dimensions (H x W x D): 355mm x 210mm x 302mm | 14″ x 8.3″ x 11.9″
- Weight: 7.7kg (17lbs)
Best Amplifiers to match with KEF Q300
The Peachtree Audio Nova150 is one of the best amplifiers to partner with your KEF Q300 speakers, it has more than enough power output to drive your Q300 and comes with a plethora of features. Some of the more notable features will be the built-in ES9018K2M SABRE32 Reference DAC, the Home Theater Bypass option, the moving magnet phono stage, and more. You can also use the preamp output to connect to a subwoofer. The Peachtree Audio Nova150 warm sound quality also complements well with KEF Q300 speakers, which makes it a tad easier on the ears when playing music at loud volumes.
If you are using KEF Q300 as desktop speakers, the NAD D 3045 amplifier will be an amazing choice for you. Firstly, the amplifier itself is compact and can be positioned vertically on the table which saves up a lot of space. The power output and reserves are good as well, but we will recommend integrating an active sub into the mix via the subwoofer output. There is also an asynchronous USB 24-bit/192kHz input that supports MQA and DSD audio files. The sonic characteristics are well suited for KEF Q300 and you essentially have a complete desktop stereo system at a very reasonable price.
The Parasound NewClassic 200 is another amazing amplifier that you can match with the KEF Q300 speakers, it comes with loads of features and is powerful enough to drive the Q300 bookshelf speakers with ease. The 80Hz low pass subwoofer output comes in very handy when connecting a powered sub, and the dedicated headphone amplifier is useful too. High sound quality also comes with the package, sweet-sounding, and transparent music delivery, very well suited as an amplifier partner for your KEF Q300 speakers. Take some time off and have an audition with them.
A talented all-rounder amp, the Denon PMA-600NE matches well with the sonic characteristics of the KEF Q300 with its warmish and smooth sound quality. The highs are slightly more bearable when playing music at loud volumes. Denon PMA-600NE is also capable of reproducing a spacious soundstage and has plenty of details to boot. You can also connect an active sub via a subwoofer output. For vinyl enthusiasts, you will be pleased to know that this Denon integrated amp has an Analog Mode which enables you to listen to analog sources with a bit more clarity and detailed sound reproduction. At this price point, it is a bang for the buck.
For AV receivers, either Marantz or Denon will be very suitable for KEF Q300 bookshelf speakers. The Marantz/Denon uses Audyssey as the Room Correction technology, it helps you calibrate your speakers including the subwoofers to work seamlessly together and sound their best in your listening room. Marantz AVR tends to be a bit better when comes to music playbacks and you might want to check out their Marantz SR7013 which is one of their top AV receivers. For Denon, you might want to have a look at the Denon AVR-S960H which has the latest video processing 8K/60Hz pass through. If visual is important, we will suggest going with Denon.
We would not suggest going the HiFi separates route as the integrated amps and AV receivers will be more than enough to drive the KEF Q300 speakers. For subwoofers, there are two distinct options to go for, if you mainly use your sound system for music sources then a sealed subwoofer will be a better choice. Sealed subwoofers have a better rendering of instrumentals and are more accurate than ported cabinet subs. One of the best entry-level sealed subwoofers you can go for will be the SVS SB-1000.
If the home cinema experience is more important for you, we will suggest going for ported subwoofer due to its high efficiency and higher SPL. One of the best entry-level ported subwoofers will be the SVS PB-1000 and it is very highly rated.
Typically how big of a subwoofer you should get will depend on how big is your listening room is. Sometimes getting 2 or more subwoofers will provide you with much better bass performances in terms of accuracy and cleaner sounding bass. The listed amplifiers are well suited for your KEF Q300 speakers in terms of their sonic qualities, power output, features, and price range. They are definitely worth your time and effort to hear them out. These amplifiers can also be used as a side-by-side comparison when auditioning other amps.