KEF KF 92 subwoofer: impact, energy and nuance

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Mis à jour le 9 June 2022.

The KEF KF 92 subwoofer is a high-end model with an amplifier power of 1000 watts RMS. It is equipped with two 9” drivers mounted back to back in a sealed enclosure. This ensures responsive, distortion-free bass for both hi-fi and home theater via its high and low level inputs. Thanks to the KEF Music Integrity Engine technology, the manufacturer guarantees dynamic, deep and detailed lows.

Available for €2,299, will the KEF KF 92 keep its promises?

KEF KF 92 subwoofer
The KEF KF 92 subwoofer is instantly captivating with its soft silhouette, elegant black lacquer finish and reasonable size.

KEF KF 92: packaging & accessories

The KEF KF 92 comes with a power cable (1.8m) and a screw connector for the high level input. There is also a user manual and two leaflets (security instructions and warranty).

KF 92: adapter-connector
The manufacturer includes a specific adapter-connector to connect the KEF KF 92 subwoofer to the speaker terminals of a stereo amp.

KEF KF 92: presentation

The KEF KF 92’s size makes it easy to install in a living room or a private home theater. Because the drivers are on the sides of the subwoofer, it is important to leave at least 10cm of space on either side. The cabinet with its rounded edges is particularly pleasant and blends in well with its surroundings. The lacquered finish is flawless but easily attracts dust and fingerprints.

Black lacquer finish
With the KEF KF 92, the British manufacturer offers a very appealing subwoofer with an impeccable finish. It is a shame that the black lacquer finish attracts dust and fingerprints…

Two drivers

two drivers
The KEF KF 92’s two drivers are mounted back to back. This configuration eliminates reactive forces and reduces both vibrations and distortion. In addition, it provides high sound pressure levels of up to 110 dB, despite the sub’s compact size.

The KEF KF 92 features two 9” drivers positioned back to back. This effectively reduces cabinet vibration to eliminate all distortion. The sealed enclosure also provides an excellent impulse response, which is a guarantee of great responsiveness. Despite its compact size, this KEF subwoofer can reach 11Hz with a sound pressure level of 110dB.

KEF KF 92: aluminum cones
The KEF KF 92’s two lateral drivers measure 9” in diameter. Light and ultra rigid to maximize the piston effect, their cone is made of cellulose and aluminum.

Amplifier power of 1000 watts RMS

The KEF KF 92’s two drivers are powered by an amplification of 1000 watts RMS. The proprietary KEF Music Integrity Engine DSP allows the amplifier and drivers to be used to their full potential. The result is accurate, punchy, physical bass without distortion or saturation.

High and low level inputs

KEF KF 92 connectors
The KEF KF 92 subwoofer has high and low level inputs to easily connect it to a stereo hi-fi amplifier or an AV receiver.

This KEF subwoofer’s connectors include a Line/LFE input and a stereo RCA Line output. The high level output is in a proprietary format. The cable stays in place, but we would have appreciated standard screw terminals.

KEF KF 92: adapter-connector with NorStone W250 speaker cables
The connector dedicated to the high-level connection keeps the cables securely in place. However, it does not accept wide gauge cables (2.5mm² max.).

You can choose to apply the settings on the subwoofer or to let the AV receiver manage them (Manual/LFE switch). The crossover frequency can be adjusted from 40Hz to 140Hz and the phase can be inverted (0 or 180°). An equalizer with five positions is also present on the back of the subwoofer. It allows you to adjust the response curve of the subwoofer according to its position in the listening room.

KEF KF 92: settings panel
The rear panel features all of the KEF KF 92’s settings: crossover frequency, volume and phase. The LFE mode is suitable for connecting the sub to the SUB/LFE output of an AV receiver. The Manual mode is suitable for high level (speaker terminals) or stereo line (Pre Amp OUT) connections. Five preset equalization modes are also available (EQ).

KEF KF 92: key specifications

  • Sealed enclosure
  • 1000-watt digital amplification
  • 2 x 9” aluminum cone drivers
  • Frequency response: 11Hz to 200Hz
  • RCA stereo line input
  • RCA stereo line output
  • High level stereo input
  • Dimensions (WxHxD): 330 x 352 x 363mm
  • Weight: 20kg

KEF KF 92: listening conditions

We tested this KEF subwoofer with a Denon AV receiver and a pair of B&W 705 S2 Signature speakers. A NorStone Arran RCA SUB cable connected the KF92 to the receiver via LFE. We used a NorStone W250 speaker cable to connect the subwoofer to the amplifier’s terminals (high level). The Taga Harmony PF-2000 filtered power strip was used to power the subwoofer via one of its two Direct connectors. The settings were the following: Room mode, crossover placed between 50 and 55Hz, volume at about 35%.

The Qobuz and Tidal streaming services allowed us to listen to our playlists in high definition via the Roon software player. We also watched some movies on the TCL 65C825 mini LED TV with the subwoofer in LFE mode. It was also the opportunity to test it with some video games.

KEF KF 92
The KEF KF 92 subwoofer was a great match for the beautiful B&W 705 S2 Signature speakers. Concerts became more grandiose and had more energy. The artists’ performances were even more realistic and lively.

KEF KF 92: listening impressions

Barley” by Lizz Wright (Grace – 2017). The amplitude and depth of the bass were striking, enhancing the performance of the percussionist.

D’une façon comme de l’autre” by Mathieu Desy (Contrebasse & marées – 2014). The KEF was incisive, deep, precise. The double bass took shape before us, in all its inflections. From 2’ onwards, we were enthralled by the percussion. Power, impact, subtlety and nuance were combined with the excellent responsiveness of the subwoofer, with extremely precise timing.

Ça jazz ! – Avishai Cohen Trio (Arte Concert). The enthusiasm and talent of the artists were enhanced by the KEF subwoofer, which gave the performance depth. The instruments gained substance and texture, for greater realism.

KEF KF 92: Arte Concert
The KEF KF 92 subwoofer revealed all the nuance and depth of the double bass. With this sub, the percussion instruments were also denser and more impactful, making them more realistic.

Edge of Tomorrow (Netflix – DD+ 5.1). The KEF KF 92 gave the sound effects an impressive foundation. During the battle scenes on the beach, the crash of the aircraft and the explosions were reproduced with a great impact. The bass was deep and physiological.

KEF KF 92: Edge of Tomorrow
With the KEF KF 92 subwoofer, the soundtracks of action movies became much more impactful and immersive.

KEF KF 92: compared to…

REL Acoustics HT/1508 Predator

REL Acoustics HT/1508 Predator
The REL Acoustics sub is a bit more impactful in home theater, but the KEF comes close and is superior for music.

A little more physiological with its 15” driver, the REL sub is ideal for home theater. But it takes up more space and doesn’t go as deep. For music playback, the KEF has the upper hand: it is more responsive, nuanced and subtle.

SVS SB-4000

SVS SB-4000
The SVS subwoofer isn’t as elegant as the KEF model, but is very impressive in home theater. However, the KEF goes deeper and is more subtle, especially with music.

With its amplifier power of 1,200W and its 13.4” driver, the SVS SB-4000 is a home theater machine. Its bass dynamizes soundtracks and propels you into the heart of the action. Also very effective in home theater, the KEF KF 92 is more at ease than the SVS model with music. Its precision, depth and finesse are its main assets.

KEF KF 92: who is it for?

The KEF KF 92 subwoofer is ideal to support a pair of bookshelf or floorstanding hi-fi speakers. Its attractive and discreet design will appeal to those who love beautifully designed equipment that does not clutter up the living room. It is also perfect for home theater and gaming for those looking for deep, impactful and reactive bass in action scenes.

KEF KF 92
Appealing in many ways, the KEF KF 92 subwoofer is a reference in its price range. Ideal for a pair of bookshelf speakers, it can also accompany a pair of floorstanders.

KEF KF 92: conclusion

The KEF KF 92 subwoofer is the perfect model for music playback. With jazz, electronic music, classical music and pop, it brings texture and magnitude to the soundstage. Controlled power, impact and depth are combined with extreme precision and subtlety. In a home theater system, it offers a festival of physiological sound effects, distilled with perfect timing to highlight the action on the screen.

We liked

  • The deep and intense lows
  • Its sense of detail and nuance
  • Its vitality and unfailing responsiveness
  • Its inexhaustible energy
  • The relatively compact format

We would have liked

  • Classic screw terminals

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