KEF Picoforte 1 review: KEF Picoforte 1

The Good Stylish, compact design; universal compatibility; video connectivity; classy sound.

The Bad Cable clutter; few extra features.

The Bottom Line KEF's Picoforte 1 speakers are beautifully designed and offer audiophile sound quality, although be prepared to pay a little more for the privilege

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7.5 Overall

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KEF's uniquely styled 'egg' speakers are usually associated with home cinema systems but their diminutive size and surprising sound quality also make them an ideal accompaniment for an iPod stereo system.

These systems basically allow you to shed your MP3 player's headphones and listen to your digital music files with freedom. Priced around £250, KEF's Picoforte 1 system uses a pair of KHT1000 series speakers with a two-part amplifier and dock that will accept and charge a full range of iPod designs. There's also a more expensive, £400 Picoforte 3 system -- what happened to 2? -- that features more substantial KHT3000 series speakers.

It's certainly one of the more attractive systems around -- but does have it the substance to support its style?

As mentioned, the design is a real eye catcher, featuring two perfectly moulded egg speakers with a compact, dual part main unit and stylish, credit card remote, all finished in a heavily lacquered black or white coating.

There are nine different dock cradles, which means it will accommodate practically every iPod in existence. A separate 3.5mm line-in connection means you can also connect an alternative portable media player, although it won't be charged as you play your music.

Another useful connection is an S-Video output (and alternative composite video out) that can be connected to your display to view film or photo files if you have one of the latest iPod designs. And, should you wish to add more oomph to the sound, there's a dedicated subwoofer preout -- although it's unlikely to be used in a system of this size.

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