Off the Deep End to the KEF Blade Two?

To Doug Schneider,

Your review of the KEF Blade Two was great! I really feel like I connected with the way you perceive audio, so I would like to ask your advice. I have owned the Harbeth C7ES-3 for over three years now and I am looking to upgrade. I was planning on going to the Harbeth Super HL5 Plus, however, I am considering going off the deep end and purchasing the KEF Blade Two. What differences should I be aware of when I audition these speakers? Additionally, knowing that this is not a trivial investment for me, if it were your money at stake which would you choose?

Erik S.
United States

There are many reasons why I’d go with Blade Twos, but it doesn’t necessarily mean you should. It really depends on what you want your speakers to sound and look like, and also what you’re willing to pay for them -- as I think you know, a pair of Twos costs much more than Super HL5 Pluses.

What I liked most about the Blade Twos when I had them here was how accurately they played from low to high volume levels, how powerfully they portrayed the entire bass range, and how precisely they laid out images within a soundstage. I suggest listening for those qualities when you audition them. I also really liked the Two’s ultramodern look. I wouldn’t necessarily go with the Frosted Blue finish they sent me for review, mind you -- my favorite is Frosted Copper Black, followed by Racing Red.

I haven’t heard Harbeth’s Super HL5 Plus, but I have heard numerous Harbeth speakers and they have not been my cup of tea. Sonically, they have been quite pleasing sounding, but were not accurate enough for my tastes. I also found them warm and woolly in the bass, as well as slow sounding overall. Perhaps the HL5 Plus is different, but that has been my experience so far. Aesthetically, they’re a bit of a throwback to the 1970s. All in all, not really my thing. That said, I know some people who absolutely love the way they sound and look and would pick them over all others.

That’s where I stand. Which speakers would you prefer? Obviously, only you can decide. . . . Doug Schneider