When it comes to speakers, thin is in

KEF, a British manufacturer of high-end speakers, introduces downright skinny models.

Steve Guttenberg
Ex-movie theater projectionist Steve Guttenberg has also worked as a high-end audio salesman, and as a record producer. Steve currently reviews audio products for CNET and works as a freelance writer for Stereophile.
Steve Guttenberg
Radically thin KEF drivers. KEF

British speaker manufacturer KEF is now offering a range of superthin (less than 1.5 inches deep) flat-panel speakers designed to look great mounted next to flat-screen TVs. The T Series speakers all feature a radically new ultralow profile bass/midrange driver and a new tweeter. Designing audiophile-grade skinny speakers isn't easy, but KEF might be able to pull it off.

The T Series models all feature KEF's Selecta-Mount system, which automatically adjusts the speaker's frequency response to compensate for how and where the loudspeaker is mounted. The idea is to produce a consistent tonal balance, for on-wall and in-room speaker placement. The T-Series speakers' thin driver technology was developed using finite element analysis (FEA) computer modeling.

The superthin KEF driver (left), compared with a conventional driver. KEF

The T Series flat panel speaker lineup includes three 5.1 channel home theater systems. The T305 System ($2,000) comes with four T301 satellite speakers, one T301c center channel, and a T-2 subwoofer. The T205 System ($1,800) has two T301 satellite speakers, two T101 satellite speakers, one T301c center channel, and a T-2 subwoofer. And the T105 System ($1,500) sports four T101 satellite speakers, one T101c center channel, and a T-2 subwoofer.

The T-2 sub used in all three systems isn't flat, it's a smallish 15x14.6x7-inch box. It features a conventional 10-inch woofer and a 250 watt amplifier. It weighs 26.8 pounds.

The KEF T Series is available at KEF retailers or through KEF Direct.

A KEF T Series speaker system installation. KEF