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Kef Egg review: Cracking sound quality that's worth shelling out for

Cliff Joseph
13 Jan 2017
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Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
349
inc VAT

Earth-shaking bass isn't on the menu, but Kef's Egg speakers serve up crystal clarity from both wired and wireless connections

Pros 
Crisp, expansive sound quality
Great looks
Lots of connection options
Cons 
Maximum volume is limited
Bass doesn't go that deep
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Kef is synonymous with eggs. Not because the company has a particular penchant for high-protein foodstuffs, but rather because Kef’s up-market surround sound systems were famed for their egg-shaped satellite speakers. Now, Kef has adapted the design for this equally upmarket set of desktop speakers.

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Design and features

Measuring just 27cm off the desk, the Eggs are not a big pair of speakers. Place them either side of a laptop, and they won’t look ridiculously out of place. They’ll even look good in the lounge. Granted, the glossy, plastic casing doesn’t exactly scream ‘quality’ at first glance, but you’ll change your mind once you start to set them up. The weight alone – each speaker weighs more than 2kg – makes you realize that these are a serious, and well-built pair of speakers.

Sound quality

The egg design isn’t just for show, though, as Kef says that this helps the speakers to disperse sound spherically into the room around them. It certainly seems to work, as the Eggs create an expansive, atmospheric sound that really fills the room with the wide-screen production of albums like Enya’s Watermark.

The woofer-tweeter combo inside the Eggs delivers the goods, too, providing excellent clarity on vocals, and manages to maintain that detail even at higher volumes. The bass is surprisingly good for desktop speakers that don’t include a sub-woofer, but there’s also a connector at the rear that will allow to upgrade with a sub-woofer if you crave greater bass extension.

Our only minor complaint is that the Eggs’ 50W output isn’t going to raise the roof for your next house party – although the sheer quality of the sound will certainly impress your friends if they come over for dinner before you all head out and hit the town.

Connectivity

The Eggs are well connected, with all the main controls mounted within easy reach on the front base of the right-hand speaker, while the various ports are tucked around the back. There’s a combination 3.5mm/optical audio connector for wired devices, but it’s a touch odd that while Kef does include an optical cable, there’s no standard 3.5mm audio cable to be found. That seems a bit Scrooge-like at this price, especially if you want a longer cable that will allow you to put the speakers up on a shelf.

There are other connection options, though, as the Eggs also include a USB audio connector (and cable), and Bluetooth with AptX as well, so that you can stream music from mobile devices if you want to. Interestingly, Kef also says that the USB connector can handle high-res audio files in formats up to 24-bit/96KHz. The high-res audio scene is still in its infancy – with a mess of competing formats and online services – but it’s good to know that these expensive speakers will be able to earn their keep as digital audio technology continues to develop in the future.

Verdict

If you're more interested in shuddering bass and raucous volume levels than crystal clear sound, then the Kef Eggs might not be for you – if that's your priority then a cheaper set of 2.1 speakers, or a set of beefier active monitor speakers, will be more likely to float your boat. If, however, you're looking for a compact, good-looking pair of speakers which provide superb sound quality whether you're playing your music from a laptop via an optical cable or a smartphone over a Bluetooth connection, the Kef Eggs are a cracking (sorry) choice. 

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