Kii THREE compact active audiophile loudspeakers
Most audiophiles face the same problem now as they have done since the moniker was coined. If you want the most realistic sound, you’ll need a huge speaker system. The Kii THREE is here to change that assumption.
I can see a number of cues taken from the pro audio scene. The THREE uses modern digital signal processing (DSP) as well as featuring drivers on its front, rear, and both side panels. Furthermore, you are offered controls to adjust Boundary compensation and Contour (tone control). Not unlike the BeoLab 90 and 50 speakers.
More fundamentally, the Kii THREE’s crossover functions are performed entirely in DSP. Also, so are its time alignment and phase equalisation that shapes the radiation in space of its six drivers’ outputs. Kii calls this its Active Wave Focusing crossover filter.
Kii THREE loudspeakers
The dimunitive Kii THREE speaker is an innovative and coherent union of discreet DSP, D/A conversion and power amplification channels. Additionally, they are individually calibrated for a total of six drivers firing to the front, side and rear, but working together to throw the sound in the forward direction only. Anyone familiar with microphones will recognise this as a cardioid pattern.
The Kii THREE system measures just 20 x 40 x 40cm (WxHxD) but is largely able to eliminate the negative impact of the room on low to mid frequencies. It also boasts the ability to reproduce the acoustical scale, timing and dynamics of a large audiophile floor-standing speaker system.
Furthermore, they look pretty good too.
Active Wave Focusing DSP
The Kii THREE are equipped with a front-firing 1-inch wave-guided tweeter and 5-inch midrange, 2 x side-firing and 2 x rear-firing 6.5-inch woofers.
Thanks to Kii’s proprietary Active Wave Focusing filters those specially positioned drive units are able to create a completely coherent time-aligned wave front that is only emitted forward. Your ears will hear this as though it came from the midrange driver.
It is also responsible for keeping the drive units within their safe operating range by gently adjusting the AWF filters. This allows the Three to play significantly louder and cleaner than much bigger traditional designs
Driver-Dedicated Ncore power amplification
The on-board amplification comprises no fewer than 6 x 250W Ncore power amplifiers. So, one for each driver.
These are arranged on twin three-channel boards installed in the side panels of the Kii THREE.
For this implementation Bruno Putzeys’ acclaimed Ncore class D technology has been especially enhanced with a combined voltage/current control loop. This actively improves the distortion performance of the individual drive units, contributing significantly to the extreme resolution of the system.
Kii THREE inputs and settings
There is an XLR input (selectable analogue L/R or AES/EBU digital audio signals). All digital inputs are up-sampled and re-clocked using Kii’s own jitter rejection algorithm that guarantees actual “bits are bits” audio performance for any digital source.
The connector panel also features twin Kiilink RJ45 input/outputs. They even bundle in the CAT cable for connecting other Kii products or the ‘Slave’ Kii THREE when the stereo digital AES/EBU is used.
A sixteen position (free / wall / corner) boundary switch allows the Kii Three’s DSP to compensate for room positioning. Whereas the contour control selects from fourteen preset EQ curves (+ flat-position). This enables you to fine-tune the system’s linear frequency response according to personal taste.
This combines touch-control of input selection, lossless volume control, power, finer EQ calibration and preset memories with the facility for a further three digital inputs: Coax SPDIF, Optical TOSLINK and USB (up to PCM 24/384kHz and DSD64/DSD128 on USB).
The Kii Control connects (and is powered) through a single CAT cable (included) and menu navigation is aided by an integrated OLED display.
Alternatively, the main Kii THREE system functions such as volume, source and mute can be remote controlled via IR Remote (RC5 type or Apple Remote).
The Kii THREE Stands
For the perfect aesthetic outcome the stand’s supporting top plate matches the contour of the Kii THREE.
The Kii THREE colours
Additionally, any custom colour in a choice of high gloss, matt or metallic finishes can be ordered at a relatively small surcharge.
The brushed aluminium driver panels are anodized in RAL-9005 black to match the stands.
Price and availability
Typical retail prices inc. VAT:
- Kii THREE stereo system (2 x Kii Three active speakers with Kii CONTROL): Standard colours: £12,480.00
- Kii THREE stereo system (2 x Kii Three active speakers with Kii CONTROL): Custom colours: £13,480.00
- THREE speaker system (single speaker), standard colours: £5,495.00
- THREE speaker system (single speaker), custom colours: £5,995.00
- Kii CONTROL (preamplifier, USB, SPDIF, TOSLINK inputs): £1495.00
- Kii THREE stands (pair): £995
From February 2018.