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INNOVATIONS IN AUDIO • AUDIO ELECTRONICS • THE BEST IN DIY AUDIO
www.audioxpress.com
AUDIOXPRE SS | JANUARY
Fresh From the Bench
Kii Audio Three
The Next Step in Loudspeaker Evolution
2017
By Jan Didden
& Paul Wilke
Standards Review
USB 3.1, USB Type-C
and Thunderbolt 3 (Part 2)
By João Martins
R&D Stories
Near Field Magnetic Induction (NFMI)
Dreams of Wireless Hearables
By Dr. Michael Abrams
You Can DIY!
Show Report
By George Ntanavaras
By Oliver A. Masciarotte
Build a Low-Power, Class-A
Power Amplifier (Part 1)
It’s About the Sound
Sound Control
By Ron Tipton
By Richard Honeycutt
Streaming Direct Stream
Digital Audio
JANUARY 2017
Rocky Mountain
Audio Fest 2016
The Ubiquitous
Helmholtz Resonator
ax
Fresh From the Bench
Kii Three
The Next Step in Loudspeaker Evolution
In this review we are going to find out if Kii Audio’s Kii Three
Photo 1: Compact, modern, and
classic, the Kii Three will find a
place in any interior.
is really the most advanced loudspeaker on the market today,
as is claimed by the designer. So, our focus will be on the
technical aspects of the loudspeaker first and foremost.
By
Jan Didden and Paul Wilke
(The Netherlands)
Editor’s Note: No loudspeaker review can be complete without listening impressions
and, therefore, there will be those as well. Jan Didden has lived with the Kii Three for
a week, and will give his listening impressions at the end of this review. Paul Wilke
has done the technical write up. The measurement session in the anechoic chamber
of the Technical University in Delft was a joint mission.
Manufacturer Specifications
• Compact DSP controlled monitor speaker 4 × 6.5” woofer, 1× 5”
midrange, 1” waveguided tweeter, all individually driven
• Amplification: 6× 250 W full-custom Ncore (power consumption in
standby < 0.5 W)
• Active Wave Focusing crossover filter frequency response: 20 Hz to 25
kHz ±0.5 dB
• Phase response: Minimum (best possible time coherence)
• Long term SPL: 105 dB
• Short-term SPL: 110 dB
• Peak SPL: 115 dB;
• Controlled Directivity: 4.8 dB (80 Hz to 1 kHz, slowly rising thereafter)
• Size: 20 cm × 40cm × 40 cm (8”W × 16”H × 16”D) Weight: 15 kg (33
lbs);
• Inputs: Analogue, AES/EBU
• Selectable correction for free-standing, near wall, or in corner
• Latency: normal mode = approx. 90 ms; low latency mode = 1030 µs
(1.03 ms)
• Suggested retail price: €10,000/pair (approximately $10,765). Matching
stands €1,500/pair (approximately $1,615).
38 | January 2017 | audioxpress.com
The Kii Three (see Photo 1) is the latest design by
Bruno Putzeys, CTO, Kii Audio GmbH and perhaps the
leading audio designer of this age. To make the Kii
Three design even more unique, he teamed up with
a group of experts that included DSP specialist Bart
van der Laan (see Photo 2).
By means of introduction to those who are not
yet familiar with this name: Putzeys is known as the
designer of the nCore series of Class-D amplifiers,
which are leading in their field and rival the sound
quality of even the best Class-A amplifiers, at a fraction
of their power consumption and weight. Another of his
revolutionary designs is a digital-to-analog converter
(DAC), the distortion of which is unmeasurable with
present day technology. So, what happens if this audio
genius wraps his brain around loudspeaker design in
an all-out way?
Putzeys has designed other loudspeakers
(e.g., the Grimm LS1, which is excellent, but still
follows a topology known from other loudspeaker
manufacturers). Speakers such as the LS1 with DSP
corrected frequency curves are well accepted, certainly
Photo 2: The Kii Audio team:
Bruno Putzeys, CTO, Bart
van der Laan, COO, Wim
Weijers, Production & QC