Hi-Fi Corner: KEF puts big sound in small packages with the Egg

KEF-Egg-kit manual

Can you really get just one speaker system that fulfills multiple needs? British speaker maker KEF thinks so. It might be hard to imagine how the KEF Egg digital wireless speaker system would make a better choice than a portable Bluetooth speaker or multiroom wireless system, but you’d be surprised to learn how well it fits just about everywhere. Connect them to your TV, your computer, or just place them in a room where you want music.

As a fully self-contained speaker system, the Egg comes with both a high-quality 24-bit/96kHz DAC capable of playing back many high-resolution digital audio files, and a 50-watt digital amplifier, all built right in. The USB connection will be useful when connecting to a desktop or laptop computer, while the digital optical/3.5 mm hybrid jack allows digital connections to televisions and analog connections to nearly anything else you can think of.

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For streaming, the Egg offers a Bluetooth 4.1 wireless connection with aptX decoding for devices that support the codec.

With the Egg system, the right speaker plays master and commander while the left speaker acts as a sort of slave. All of the Egg’s guts and inputs/outputs are built into the clearly marked right channel. The left speaker has a stout speaker cable terminated with a four-pin plug that connects to the rear of the right speaker. For management, the left speaker cable can be wound and tucked into its base … to a point, anyway. There will always be about 1.5 feet of cable left dangling. The cable does extend to nearly five feet, but considering how large the Egg speakers can sound, we almost wish it went a bit longer for even more stereo separation.

When it comes to performance, the Egg is refined, crystal clear, punctual, and straight-up luxurious. Also, the Egg sounds far larger than it has any right to. Of course, if you want to add a subwoofer, the Egg accommodates with a built-in subwoofer output jack. KEF makes a very nice line of subwoofers (we’d recommend the Kube 1), but any subwoofer of respectable quality would work as well.

Part of the excitement the Egg imparts is the unexpected scale of its soundstage and the brilliant effect of its stereo separation. It excels in almost every aspect at which even the most advanced one-box speakers fail. And underscoring it all is KEF’s unmistakable, impeccable sound signature.

Those are all great things, but they are things that will likely only appeal to those who are very serious about sound quality. Fortunately, those are the same sort of folks who won’t balk at the notion of $500 for such a versatile speaker system. You can pick up KEF’s new Egg speakers in stores or online now.

A version of this post first appeared on our “brother site” Digital Trends.