Another handsome-looking speaker from the KEF R series, the R7 is a mid-sized floor-standing speaker that will look great in any listening room. The KEF R7 may not be as popular as some of the models in its line but it sure doesn’t lose out in the sonic performance department. Like any amazing loudspeaker, it will require an equally impressive amplifier to power them and push them to sound their best.
We can’t just get an amplifier based on their power outputs alone, this is only but one requirement to meet. We must first find out more about the KEF R7 floorstander, learn more about its strength and weaknesses (if any). We also need to know their sound characteristics, and once we have all the information we need, then we will be able to find the right amplifiers. We will be sharing with you the best amplifiers to match with KEF R7 after we have shared with you their sonic details.
Sound Characteristics and Merits of KEF R7
You can probably use KEF R7 speakers as a house decoration item, they look so gorgeous and stylish. The sleek design easily fits right in with most modern homes, and the various cabinet finishes do make it easier. In terms of aesthetics, the R7 speakers can easily match with most modern amplifiers. When you take off their matching speaker grills, you will notice their signature Uni-Q driver is in between two 6.5 inch (165mm) hybrid aluminum bass drivers. The Uni-Q driver combines a 1 inch (25mm) aluminum dome tweeter and 5 inch (125mm) midrange driver. There are two rear-firing bass ports located at the back of the cabinet so you will need distance (about 40cm) between the speaker and the rear walls.
The typical in-room bass response of KEF R7 is simply astounding, it is 27Hz (-6dB), it may not beat a subwoofer but still very impressive for a floor-standing speaker at this price point. The frequency response is 48Hz-28kHz (±3dB) and the frequency range will be 33Hz-50kHz (-6dB). With a speaker sensitivity of only 88dB and the recommended amplifier power between 15-250 Watts, the KEF R7 is a rather power-hungry speaker. The nominal impedance is 8 Ohms which does drop down to 3.2 Ohms (minimum). All these data do help us to further filter down the potential amplifiers, now the question will be if the R7 requires support from a subwoofer.
The KEF R7 is capable of reproducing high-resolution sound quality, it is clean and with clarity. There are plenty of details, even the subtlest of sounds can be heard clearly but at high volumes, the treble could be a tad too bright for some listeners. The overall sound reproduction of the KEF R7 is neutral sounding with a tad of brightness, it is transparent which provides you with a more faithful music presentation. It is not as clinical sounding like studio monitors which is fortunate for our hearing and does show a little mercy on bad recordings. The accuracy and timing are impeccable as well, which helps make it a bit more engaging to listen to our favorite tunes.
The low-end grunt is spectacular, it is taut and digs deep into the bass extension, bringing it out with grace. The bass is rich but not as agile as the KEF R3 and the low-end authority is lesser than the KEF R11 flagship. The overall bass performance is still terrific, as they are clean, punchy, and accurate. The midrange is clean sounding as well, not to mention, sounded natural with nice layers of definition. This helps to build up a large convincing soundstage and sharp stereo imaging, where the musicians play and sing with cohesion. The imaging helps to accurately separate each individual instrument and performer.
For them to sound their best, it is recommended to place the R7 speakers in a large-sized room. They scale well with power, feeding them with high-quality amplifiers will let us reap the sonic benefits. They may be neutral and transparent but it never really gets to a point of cringe. Still, we need to be cautious when pairing with bright-sounding amplifiers as not to overexcite the treble. The overall sound reproduction is not really flat and lean sounding which is great. For a more prominent deep bass reproduction like 40Hz-20Hz, you will definitely need a subwoofer to pair with KEF R7 but for more music genres, these floor-standing speakers can hold their own. It is now time to share with you the list of the best amplifiers which you can go for and match them with your KEF R7 loudspeakers.
KEF R7 Specifications
- Speaker Type: 3-way bass-reflex (two rear-firing ports)
- Drive Units:
- Uni-Q Driver Array: 1 inch (25mm) vented aluminum dome tweeter at the center of a 5 inch (125mm) aluminum cone midrange driver
- Bass Driver: two 6.5 inch (165mm) hybrid aluminum bass drivers
- Frequency Response (±3dB): 48Hz-28kHz
- Frequency Range (-6dB): 33Hz-50kHz
- Typical In-Room Bass response (-6dB): 27Hz
- Amplifier Requirements: 15-250 Watts
- Nominal Impedance: 8 Ohms (min. 3.2 Ohms)
- Sensitivity (2.83V/1m): 88dB
- Dimensions (H x W x D): 1108.9mm x 310.6mm x 383.5mm (with plinth) | 43.7″ x 12.2″ x 15.1″
- Weight: 31.4kg (69.2lbs)
Best Amplifiers to match with KEF R7
The NAD C 388 is the best amplifier to match with your KEF R7 floor-standing speakers, as it is powerful enough to drive your speakers with ease. It is packed with features that are essential for modern usages such as a built-in DAC, Bluetooth aptX for high-quality music streaming, headphone amplifier, subwoofer outputs, and more. Another notable feature will be the MDC Slots that allows you to add upgradeable modules like 4K video capable HDMI switching and more. The NAD C 388 is capable of delivering rich and warm sound quality but never over-emphasis which gives you a natural and faithful music presentation.
For a modern HiFi preamp and power amp combo, you might want to check out Cambridge Audio Azur 851N. It is an award-winning digital and streaming preamplifier that is amazing to have if you are all about digital sources and high-resolution audio files. The sonic performances are exceptional as well, open and spacious, well suited for your KEF R7 speakers. Coupled with the Cambridge Audio Azur 851W, at 200 Watts per channel into 8 Ohms (350 Watts into 4 Ohms), it has more than enough muscle to drive the R7 floor-standing speakers with ease. These HiFi separates are sanely priced as well, well worth your consideration, and also an audition.
The Parasound has always been suitably matched with KEF speakers, their Halo preamp and power amp combination are exceptional choices as well. The Halo P6 preamplifier comes with a high-quality DAC up to 384kHz / 32-bit PCM using USB as well as playing high res audio files, there is also a subwoofer output with crossover settings which is great if you are planning to add a subwoofer. Using Parasound A 23+ as your power amplifier, you will now have a versatile sound system that can easily drive your KEF R7 speakers. Not to mention, the clean and musical sound quality, plus a well-balanced detailed presentation.
If you prefer to stick with integrated amplifiers, you might want to check out Parasound Hint 6. It uses a dual-mono power supply and power amplifier for lower distortion and cleaner sound quality. The high bias class A/AB operation provides improved sonic purity and performance. The Parasound Hint 6 is more than capable of driving your KEF R7 speakers, providing you with an exhilarating musical presentation and clarity. The smooth sound quality simply engages you and allowing you to listen to your favorite tunes for hours on end. You should definitely hear them out, there’s a high chance you will love this speaker and amp matching.
The Peachtree Audio Nova300 is one of the best amplifiers that you can pair with your KEF R7 speakers. It is very high-powered, with 300 Watts per channel into 8 Ohms (450 Watts into 4 Ohms), you never need to worry about insufficient power. It uses one of the best Class D amplifiers in the world which is the ICEPower. They are more musical sounding than the normal Class D power amps which makes them great for music and has better efficiency. The warm-sounding nature of the Peachtree Audio Nova300 matches well with the KEF R7 neutral sound quality which smooths out the hard edges when playing at high volumes.
Other brands of integrated amplifiers that you might want to go for will be from Hegel, which has exceptional music sound quality and immaculate timing. The Rega integrated amps are also excellent choices, they are very lively and energetic, which provides lots of excitement when listening to your favorite tunes. A little caution when pairing Rega amps to your KEF R7 floor-standing speakers, as it may sound a tad too bright. For more warm-sounding amps, the Marantz amplifiers are one of the go-to when thinking about matching with the KEF R7 floorstanders. If you decided to get a subwoofer just to have a slight improvement in bass performance, then check out KEF KF92. Since both are from KEF, their sound signatures will be similar and allow the KF92 sub to integrate seamlessly with your KEF R7 speakers.
These are some of the best matching amplifiers for your KEF R7 speakers and will be worthy of your time to audition them. You can also use this list of amps as references but do try to audition at least one or two. Better yet, when auditioning another amplifier brand/model, you should do a side-by-side comparison with some of the amplifiers listed here. Hope you enjoy your process of hunting matching amplifiers to pair with your KEF R7 floorstanders.