KEF KHT 5005.2 Wireless Surround Speaker System with Wireless 5000 Series Option Manufacturer Comment
Many thanks to UltimateAV and Tom Norton for the thorough and complimentary review of our KHT 5005.2 Wireless Home Theater Speaker System. When you spend as much time on research and design as we do, it is greatly appreciated when a reviewer puts as much thought and effort into a review as Tom obviously did.
We would like to make a few points, however, that may not have come across clearly in Tom's review.
It's hard to know precisely how to address Tom's concerns about the performance of the HTB2 subwoofer, as they are so at odds with the consensus. In KEF's long proud history we have seldom introduced a product that has met with such universal acclaim, having been the recipient of numerous rave reviews, product of the year awards, and "Best Of" salutations. We won't impose on UltimateAV's generosity in allowing us this space for comment by listing them all or quoting from them here, but the reader is invited to visit our web site, www.kef.com, and go to the review section if they are interested in seeing what others have had to say.
Perhaps the core of the answer lies in Tom's own caveat and disclaimer: ". . . in my room, at least. . .Bass in real rooms being what it is, however, it may well work better in your environment."
We'd like to expand upon that a bit, if we may. Not only will different subwoofers perform differently in different rooms, but different subwoofers will perform differently in different places within different rooms. The fact that Tom felt another subwoofer outperformed the HTB2 with both being placed in the same location does not imply that each was optimally placed; what was an ideal location for one need not mean it was ideal for the other.
Additionally, Tom himself points out, ". . .the main difference being that the KEF drivers were positioned vertically (I used the vertical orientation rather than the horizontal) and the HDU driver faces down, with its port firing out the back."
Perhaps a downward firing driver coupled better to Tom's room than a forward firing one? As the HTB2 is quickly and easily adaptable to either forward firing or downward firing configurations, we respectfully suggest that it would have been appropriate and desirable had Tom tried it in the down-firing position, as well as experimenting with different placements within the room.
In short, we submit that – even allowing for reviewer subjectivity – the other subwoofer used was not shown to outperform the HTB2; merely – to one set of ears – outperform it in a particular room in a particular location within that room, and with one firing downward and the HTB2 firing forward. Would Tom have liked the HTB2 better had he experimented with placement, or at very least tried it in the same down-firing configuration as the other? Perhaps; alas we'll never know.
That issue aside, we are pleased that Tom recognized the substantial achievements of the system. . .
"Tiny, "lifestyle" speakers are not on our usual diet here, and most of them appear designed more for esthetics than sound. . .elegant to look at, but for most audiophiles. . . can't be considered for serious listening. But this one can. . . I was nevertheless far more impressed by the KHT 5005.2 than I expected to be."
"KEF's wireless system worked like a charm. . . its convenience will allow surrounds to be used properly in applications where wired surrounds may require the sort of esthetic compromises (or extensive work for in-wall speaker runs) that some users can't or won't tolerate."
"The HTS5001.2/HTC5001.2 speaker system can provide impressive, rewarding home theater and music performance in a small or medium-sized room. . .it may surprise you, as it did me, and can compete with many small, moderately-priced mini-monitors that claim a more obvious audiophile pedigree."
We set out to create a visually exciting, simple to set-up and operate, wireless(!) home theater system that would do justice to KEF's substantial legacy as a designer of superb sounding loudspeakers, and based on Tom's judicious review and many others, it appears we've succeeded.