The Good The relatively affordable KEF Q350 speaker sounds good with almost everything, and offers an excellent sense of depth and space in decent recordings. Fit and finish are superb.
The Bad The Q350 doesn't come with grill covers, but KEF will sell you a pair for extra cost. Competitors such as Klipsch and Elac sound more exciting.
The Bottom Line The KEF Q350 bookshelf speaker looks exquisite, and sounds bigger and more expensive than it really is.
A not-so-quiet achiever
If the amazing Elac Uni-Fi UB5 is the flashy lead actor in "Affordable Audiophile Speakers: The Movie," think of the KEF Q350 as the reliable character actor who can turn its hand to anything.
The Q350's performance may not be as arresting as the UB5, but if you buy this speaker you won't have to be as careful about picking a powerful receiver or the "right" music. A forward-sounding system like the Elacs sound best with a beefy amp and steady diet of well-produced recordings. But with a pair of the KEF Q350s in your system you can also enjoy Sebadoh, Katy Perry or Metallica without being reminded of their less-than-stellar production quality. There's no pomp, no artifice, just the music the speakers are given.
With simultaneously understated-yet-striking looks, rock-solid sound quality and an affordable price, the KEF's are an attractive package. If you want to just enjoy your time with your favorite movie or song and not have to think too hard about it, the KEF Q350 is your ideal partner.
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