When it comes to the flagship speaker of the Q series, it is always huge in size and the Q900 is no different. The KEF Q900 looks like a floor-standing speaker that is more than capable of delivering powerful sound and likely demands a lot of power from its partnering amplifier. Are you currently in the market looking for that matching amp? If you say yes, then please continue to read on.
We are gathering a list of potential amplifiers which you can match with your Q900 speakers. In order to do so, we will need to find out more about its sound characteristics and also whether do they have any limitations. Once we have all these details, we will then be able to pick the right matching amplifiers and pair them with KEF Q900. So without further ado, let’s start with finding out more about the speakers.
Sound Characteristics and Limitations of KEF Q900
In terms of speaker visual design, the KEF Q900 doesn’t have that elegance in them, it is more of a power statement and will certainly stand out in most homes. Still, aesthetically they don’t look bad and as long they are placed in a large listening room, they will fit in nicely (sonically as well). Due to their cabinet design, they will blend in well with most amplifiers so it wouldn’t be an issue. The ‘intimidating’ aspect of KEF Q900 will be the multiple large-size drivers located at the front of the cabinet but for bass fanatics, the Q900 looks promising. KEF’s iconic Uni-Q driver array is big, it is an 8 inch (200mm) aluminum cone with a 1.5 inch (38mm) vented aluminum dome tweeter right at the center of it. Below the Uni-Q driver, will be an 8 inch (200mm) aluminum bass driver followed by two 8 inch (200mm) aluminum ABR. There are no bass ports but still the KEF Q900 requires plenty of breathing space around them.
This pair of floorstanders have a really impressive frequency response for their price range, it is 32Hz-40kHz (±3dB) which is a really wide range. The speaker sensitivity is at 91dB, which is good but we expected a little higher. The recommended amplifier power is quite intriguing as it is only between 15-200 Watts. The nominal impedance is 8 Ohms and with these data, it seems like the KEF Q900 speakers are quite easy to drive. Nevertheless, we have what we needed to further filter down the potential amplifiers.
The KEF Q900 packs plenty of bass output and they are the quality ones, it is taut, accurate, and as agile you can expect from a floor-standing speaker. Q900 digs deep and delivers the low-end frequency prominently, it adds weight to the overall sound reproduction, making it sound powerful. These speakers do not need any help from subwoofers unless is about reproducing very deep bass from 30Hz down to 15Hz. The midrange is lush, probably because of the prominent low ends capability of Q900, it still sounded natural and can be a tad too warm for some. The highs are clean sounding and with clarity, but at high volumes, it may start to get too harsh-sounding.
Also, at high volume, the bass may become too prominent which does affect the clarity for the rest of the higher frequencies. The overall treble will likely need to be tamed down a little via EQ at high volumes though. The most fun part about the KEF Q900 music presentation is how they deliver such a large and spacious soundstage. The stereo imaging is spot on as well, which makes a very entertaining performance overall. I bet the Q900 will provide the same fun factor for home theater use as well. To nitpick, these speakers do lack the details and insight, but still, at this price point, we can’t really complain.
The KEF Q900 is a talented speaker for both music and movie listening, it would probably do better in a home theater setting as the low-frequency reproduction is its greatest strength. They are also quite warm sounding which is smooth and relaxing until the treble starts to break up at loud volumes. Now we have all the necessary details and also have concluded that the KEF Q900 doesn’t require bass support from a subwoofer, with these we have filtered out the best matching amplifiers for Q900 floor-standing speakers.
KEF Q900 Specifications
- Speaker Type: 2.5-way bass-reflex
- Drive Units:
- Uni-Q Driver Array: 1.5 inch (38 mm) vented aluminum dome tweeter, 8 inch (200 mm) aluminum cone
- Bass Driver: 8 inch (200 mm) aluminum bass driver, 2x 8 inch (200 mm) aluminum ABR
- Frequency Response (±3dB): 32Hz-40kHz
- Amplifier Requirements: 15-200 Watts
- Nominal Impedance: 8 Ohms
- Sensitivity (2.83V/1m): 91dB
- Dimensions (H x W x D): 1107mm x 359mm x 322mm (with Plinth) | 43.6″ x 14.1″ x 12.7″
- Weight: 22.1kg (48.7lbs)
Best Amplifiers to match with KEF Q900
The Yamaha A-S801 will be an ideal amplifier to pair with your KEF Q900 speakers, the musicality of the A-S801 can complement the speakers. The Yamaha integrated amplifier is neutral sounding with a tad of warmth, which can help to smoothen the hard edges a little when played at high volume. It is also a transparent amplifier and delivers a very detailed music presentation. It also comes with a high-quality built-in DAC for high-resolution audio files playback and other features. It is recommended to have an audition with them first and see if you like what you hear.
The Marantz PM8006 will be one of the best amplifiers to match with the KEF Q900 speakers due to their warm and smooth-sounding nature. Compared to other Marantz amps, the PM8006 has slightly better clarity and transparency. Pairing the KEF Q900 with this amplifier helps provide a mellow and relaxing music listening experience at all volumes so that it won’t cause listener fatigue. If you already fell in love with the Marantz house sound then the PM8006 will be the ideal amplifier choice to partner with your KEF Q900 floor-standing speakers.
If power output is crucial to your decision then getting Peachtree Audio Nova150 will probably be the best choice as this amplifier is capable of producing 150 Watts (8 Ohms) and 250 Watts (4 Ohms) per channel. Which is powerful enough to drive your KEF Q900 speakers at loud volumes. The Nova150 is packed with a plethora of features such as a built-in DAC, a discrete headphone amplifier, a Home Theater Bypass, and more. The warm sound characteristic makes it an ideal match with your KEF Q900 speakers as well.
For home theater systems, the Marantz SR7013 will be the best matching AV receiver to partner with your KEF Q900 speakers. Marantz AVRs are typically more musical sounding than most other brands, which does ease up the bright-sounding nature of the Q900 speakers a little when played at high volumes. More importantly, the Audyssey MultEQ XT32 helps to calibrate your Q900 floorstanders to sound their best in your listening room. It might be the best room correction technology currently on the market. Marantz SR7013 is powerful enough to drive the KEF Q900 speakers at 2 channel driven. It is still recommended to get a subwoofer if you want the full home cinema experience especially you are playing back the movie source at loud volumes and in surround sound formats via multiple speakers.
For HiFi separates, one of the best preamp and power amplifier combinations to match with the KEF Q900 will be from Parasound. For preamps, you should look at the Parasound NewClassic 200 Pre, it has a built-in DAC, an 80Hz low pass subwoofer output which is great if you ever decide to get a subwoofer, a headphone amp, and others. The price vs performance ratio is amazing, not to mention the warm-sounding nature of Parasound amps. The matching power amplifier will be the Parasound NewClassic 2125 v.2 which is THX Ultra2 certified and you can even bridged mono to get a whopping 400 Watts at 8 Ohms, This is only viable if you are planning to get another NewClassic 2125 v.2 and set it as monoblock amp.
There are other integrated amplifiers that can match well with KEF Q900, such as the Cambridge Audio Azur 851A. The Cambridge Audio power amplifiers are great too, you can check out their Azur 851W. The Emotiva power amplifiers are also popular with audiophiles and some of them are KEF speaker owners. Their amps are high-performance and sanely priced, worthy of your time to check them out. If you are still looking for another AVR brand, probably should check out Denon AVRs, as they also use Audyssey calibration software, and typically their amps are not bright sounding.
To Sum It Up
The KEF Q900 can be bright-sounding at times, this is why you need to be cautious when pairing them with amplifiers. Since sound quality is subjective and I do know some people who love bright-sounding audio systems, it is always wise to hear them out first before really deciding which amplifier you want to go for. Feel free to use this list of amplifiers as references when hunting for amps on your own. Probably should audition a few of them first as it would give you a better reference.