Compact Kii Three speaker promises life-size fidelity

posted on Friday, 26th January 2018 by Geny Caloisi

Hi-fi  High-end  High Res Audio 

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It’s an age-old trade-off. Audiophiles seeking the most intimate contact with music must accept the inconvenience of living with huge speaker systems. The orthodox view is that only big speakers with large baffles can directly deliver more precise timing and detail in the bass and low mid frequencies while mitigating the destructive effect of room reflections on sound quality. 

Setting out to change this is the bijou Kii Three active speaker: an innovative union of DSP, DA conversion and power amplification.The design features six drivers firing to the front, side and rear (but working together to throw the sound in the forward direction only) and sets out to reproduce the scale, timing and dynamics of a large floor-standing speaker. 

Screen Shot 2018-01-26 At 16.58.57

 

The Kii Three system deploys proprietary Active Wave Focusing filters, which allow specially positioned drive units (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) to create a completely coherent time-aligned wave front that behaves as though it came from the midrange driver. DSP operates like a directional cardioid microphone in reverse, eliminating all backward radiation from the driver system.  

Amplification comprises six 250W Ncore power amplifiers (one for each driver). A sixteen position (free / wall / corner) Boundary switch allows the Kii Three’s DSP to compensate for room positioning and a Contour control selects from fourteen preset EQ curves (+ flat-position) to fine-tune the system’s linear frequency response according to personal taste.

The connector panel also features twin Kiilink RJ45 input/outputs (CAT cable included) for connecting other Kii products or the ‘Slave’ Kii Three when the stereo digital AES/EBU is used.

Connectivity includes an XLR input (selectable analogue L/R or AES/EBU digital audio signals) and t win Kiilink RJ45 input/outputs (CAT cable included) for connecting other Kii products. All digital inputs are up-sampled and re-clocked using Kii’s own jitter rejection algorithm.

Screen Shot 2018-01-26 At 16.58.34

The Kii Control preamp/USB Interface allows a Kii Three pair to perform as a complete playback system combining 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 and optical digital audio, and USB (up to PCM 24/384kHz and DSD64/DSD128 on USB).

The Kii Control connects (and is powered) through a single CAT cable 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 is available in two standard colour schemes: High Gloss White and Graphite Satin Metallic. Custom colours in a choice of high gloss, matt or metallic finishes are available to order. 

Availability is via Sound Design Distribution.

Geny Caloisi

Geny Caloisi is an accomplished technology journalist who has worked in a variety of AV industry publications. 

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