KEF R series are probably the nicest looking speakers in their price range, just look at their KEF R300 bookshelf speaker, what a stunner. Their aesthetic is easy on the eyes and so are their sonic performance which is easy on the ears. Are you currently sourcing for a new amplifier to partner with your KEF R300 speaker? That’s great as we will be sharing with you a list of the best amplifiers that you can match with the R300.
As mentioned earlier the KEF R300 is easy to listen to and is just one of their sound characteristics, there are a lot more to find out about them such as their strengths, limitations, and requirements. How they sound is very important too. With all this information within your grasp, you can easily find your own amplifier in the future. And so before we start listing the best amplifiers to match with KEF R300, let’s find out more about their sound characteristics.
Sound Characteristics and Strengths of KEF R300
KEF R300 has that stylish and elegant design that will fit right in most homes and also blend in well with most house decorations or themes. Their minimalistic look also makes it easy to match with most modern amplifiers’ design and we do not need to worry about mismatched aesthetics. The KEF logo plate at the top of the cabinet is a nice touch, then right below will be the KEF’s signature Uni-Q driver, that consists of a 1 inch (25mm) vented aluminum dome tweeter at the center of 5 inch (125mm) magnesium/aluminum midrange driver. Below the iconic Uni-Q driver will be the 6.5 inch aluminum woofer and a bass port located behind the speaker cabinet. There’s a potential that the KEF R300 is capable of pumping out ample high-quality bass.
The speaker sensitivity of 88dB is slightly lower than expected but is still not bad. The nominal impedance is 8 Ohms which is great. With the recommended amplifier power requirement at 25-120 Watts, it is wise to get high power output amps at around 90 Watts per channel if you are not planning to integrate a subwoofer. The KEF R300 has quite an impressive frequency response of 50Hz-28kHz (±3 dB) and is able to dig deep into the bass extension which requires a lot of power to reproduce such low-end frequencies. This is why getting high power amp is recommended. Using these details, we can start filtering down potential amplifiers that can be a great match for KEF R300 standmounters.
We are pleasantly surprised by how calm and relaxing the KEF R300 speakers sound, they are slightly more laid back sounding than their successor the KEF R3. You can certainly listen to them for hours and you won’t feel listener fatigue. It may not be as lively but the R3 still has that exceptional agility and rhythmic timing which make your toes tap from time to time. It just lacks a bit of punch and weight that really gratifies the music peaks. The smooth music delivery comes with excellent clarity and packs a lot of details.
KEF R3 is accurate and precise never missing a beat, projecting a soundstage that is fitting of their speaker size. The low frequency is ample and accurate as well but does lack a bit in the response time and is not as deep which we hope for. Probably this pair of bookshelf speakers need to be pair with an active subwoofer, to improve the bass performance and enhancing the overall sound quality as well. High-quality sealed subwoofers such as the Rythmik Audio F12SE Direct Servo sub will be an ideal choice. If you really like the composure of the music delivery that the KEF R3 speakers are presenting to you then you should leave out the subwoofer.
The neutral soothing sound quality and the laid-back nature require careful amplifier partnering, as too dark sounding amps may deliver a very dull or flat music presentation. All in all, the KEF R3 is a great all-rounder, we can see that they will do well in a surround sound system setup. Suitable for most music genres, as the speakers are always composed and don’t lose their footings. Now we have finally gathered all the necessary information regarding the KEF R3 bookshelf speakers and we will be able to start sharing with you the best matching amplifiers that you can go for.
KEF R300 Specifications
- Speaker Type: 3-way bass-reflex (rear-firing)
- Drive Units:
- Uni-Q Driver Array: 1 inch (25mm) vented aluminum dome tweeter at the center of 5 inch (125mm) magnesium/aluminum midrange driver
- Bass Driver: 6.5 inch (165mm) aluminum woofer
- Frequency Response (±3dB): 50Hz-28kHz
- Amplifier Requirements: 25-120 Watts
- Nominal Impedance: 8 Ohms (min. 3.2 Ohms)
- Sensitivity (2.83V/1m): 88dB
- Dimensions (H x W x D): 385mm x 210mm x 345mm | 15.2″ x 8.3″ x 13.6″
- Weight: 12kg (26.4lbs)
Best Amplifiers to match with KEF R300
The Rega Elicit-R is probably the best amplifier to pair with your KEF R300 speakers. It is an amplifier that is full of energy and with impeccable timing, able to breathe more life into your music. The liveliness is coupled with dynamic sound and clarity which is capable of revealing the subtlest of musical details. The Rega Elicit-R confidently unravels your favorite tunes with class-leading control and agility, delivering an entertaining music presentation with incredible precision. If you are interested in a livelier sonic performance, you will need to hear both Elicit-R and R300 out.
For a preamp and power amp combo, you might want to check out the Naim NAC-N 172 XS which is an energetic preamp that delivers rich sound quality with engaging dynamics. The Naim NAC-N 172 XS complements your KEF R300 speakers really well and adds liveliness into the overall music delivery. If your budget allows, we will recommend the Naim NAP 250 DR power amp which is matching with NAC-N 172 XS and powerful enough to drive your KEF R300 speakers, adding more drive and weight to the sound. The only downside of the power amp is that it could be too pricey, but we still have alternatives.
Sticking with the Naim NAC-N 172 XS as the preamp, you can still go with Parasound power amps such as the Halo A 23+. The A 23+ is extremely powerful, it has a high power output of 160 Watts (8 Ohms) per channel and goes even higher when needed. The high current capacity is incredible as well at 45 amperes peak per channel. Furthermore, this power amplifier uses a high bias Class A/AB operation for greater sonic purity and sound quality. The Parasound A 23+ is a power amplifier that is more than worthy to pair with your KEF R300, delivering clean and stable high-quality power to your bookshelf speakers.
Another fantastic amplifier choice for your KEF R300 speakers will be the Cyrus One. It is an integrated amplifier that aims to engage the audience with its snappy and energetic music delivery. The Cyrus One provides a fuller sound and with textured bass, as well as dynamic rhythm. The vocals are full of life, and the midrange is full-bodied, but never compromising the clarity of the overall sound reproduction. It is bold and aggressive at times, an ideal amp that complements the KEF R300 speakers really well. The stylish and minimalistic look of the One suits the aesthetic design of the R300 speakers too. Definitely deserve your time to audition them.
For home theater setup, and if you are mainly using the KEF R300 as L/R main channels and/or surround speakers. Going with Onkyo AV receivers will be an ideal choice as they are bright sounding and matches well with the KEF R300 bookshelf speakers. The Onkyo TX-RZ840 AV receiver will be a good start, but if you are interested in their flagship AVR then you should check out TX-RZ3400. It is highly recommended to integrate a subwoofer into the mix as it will significantly improve the bass performance which the KEF R300 speakers do lack. It is best to have a listen before making a decision.
There are other power amplifiers that you might be interested in, the Cambridge Audio Azur 851W which uses its own Class XD technology which takes the best of both worlds, the sonic prowess of Class A, and the efficiency of Class AB. The Wyred ST mkII Series is a multi-award-winning stereo power amp that uses the latest ICEpower audio technology and has more than enough power to drive your KEF R300 speakers with ease. We did mention earlier to go for high-quality sealed subwoofers if you are planning to get one. But if you are using your sound system mainly for movies, we will suggest going for ported cabinets as they are more suitable for movie listen due to their higher bass output efficiency and SPL. The SVS PB-3000 Subwoofer will be an amazing powered sub to get your hands on.
These are some of the best amplifiers to pair with your KEF R300 speakers so to provide more liveliness and energy to the overall music delivery. If you prefer the laid-back and relaxing sound reproduction, then you could go for amplifier brands like Marantz, Yamaha, Cambridge Audio, etc., as these are usually more neutral and warm-sounding amps. The listed amplifiers can be used as references when searching for amplifiers on your own. Just remember to have an audition with the potential amplifiers first and see if you like what you hear before giving your final decision.