Kii THREE Pro DSP Studio Monitor - (Pair)
Kii breaks the sonic mold for compact studio monitors by combining drive units on the front, rear, and sides with a 4 way DSP crossover and filter.
The Kii THREE contains six
channels of DSP, D/A conversion and power amplification. Few companies
could pull off such a densely packed design with truly world class
performance electronics. But then again, few active speakers are
designed by people who have previously turned high end power
amplification and digital conversion around.
Each side panel of
the THREE holds a 3x250W power amplifier board, designed by Bruno
Putzeys using the latest iteration of the Ncore class D technology which
he invented for Hypex. Unique to the implementation used in the Kii
THREE is a combined voltage/current control loop that goes beyond merely
a better amp – it actively improves the distortion performance of the
drive units which contributes significantly to the extreme resolution of
Naturally, this means that the performance of the
AD/DA conversion has to match that of the amps. This task fell to Bart
van der Laan who has a long track record designing DSP and converter
boards for high-end professional audio equipment. Kii Audio’s
implementation is a runaway success: a complete pass through the AD/DA
circuitry of the THREE’s signal processing board is entirely inaudible, a
feat not duplicated by the most expensive audiophile standalone units.
the Active Wave Focusing filters the DSP is responsible for keeping the
drive units within their safe operating range by gently adapting the
filters instead of brutally limiting the signal, allowing the THREE to
play significantly louder and cleaner than much bigger traditional
On the input side there is a choice of analogue, digital
inputs. All digital inputs are up-sampled and reclocked using Kii’s own
jitter rejection algorithm that guarantees actual “bits is bits” audio
performance for any digital source.
The electronics package alone
sets a milestone. What it does in concert with the unique acoustic
design defies imagination. You have to hear it to realize the magnitude
of the revolution the Kii THREE represents.
Kii’s mission for the THREE was to break the sonic mould of compact
speakers. Powerful small speakers with deep bass have been around for a
while now but none so far sounded like a big speaker. The THREE is built
to fix that.
Basic acoustics tells us that a classic box speaker only directs
sound towards the listeners from the midrange up while bass frequencies
are radiated all around. The frequency where this change happens depends
on the size of the box front (the “baffle”). The smaller the baffle,
the higher the frequency at which bass is still radiated all around
instead of directed towards the listener.
That in short is why big speakers have so far delivered much more
precise timing and detail in the bass and low mids than small speakers:
the room gets less chance to interfere. And that is what Kii has now
managed to make a compact speaker do.
Kii THREE unique features:
- XLR Input - this can provide either analog or digital Input depending how the select switch is set
- Select switch (3 positions) - chooses between AES left channel / Analog / AES right channel Input
- KiiLink Digital Thru on CAT5 - used to connect the two speakers when using a single AES Input
- KiiLink Digital Input on CAT5 - used to connect the two speakers & future Kii products
- Boundary switch - can be set to 16 positions between free / wall / corner to optimize setup
- Contour switch - provides flat setting + 14 different preset EQ curves to match the listeners taste
- Mains Power Connector - plug in your power cable and go, the Kii Three has no power switch
The Active Wave Focusing Solution
A loop hole in acoustics says that small directive speakers are
possible - if you have enough drivers and you feed them the exact right
signal. The THREE has a total of 6 (six) ways, front, side and rear,
working together to throw the sound in one direction only without
relying on a baffle. The THREE’s ability to direct bass is comparable
to, but much better controlled than that of a traditional speaker
several meters wide.
What do Active Wave Focusing filters do?
Active Wave Focusing filters mark a complete departure from the
classical crossover filter. Instead of just splitting the spectrum into
bands, it forces the specially positioned drive units to create a
completely coherent wave front that is only emitted forward and behaves
as though all of it came from the midrange driver.
With classical crossover filters, loudspeakers can only have a time
aligned impulse response on the main axis. The animations on the right
show the wave front as it’s built up by a typical modern three-way
speaker with side-firing woofers. This example is crossed over at 250Hz,
time aligned and phase equalized. Indeed the wave traveling towards
the listener is coherent. Towards the sides and the rear the picture
breaks down and the impulse is completely smeared. Also, low frequencies
get emitted in all directions. In a real room (bottom animation) the
sound that escapes toward the back will strike the wall behind the
speaker and reflect towards the listener, who actually hears the speaker
twice: once from the front and a bit later from the rear. Moving the
speaker out into the room doesn't help. The overall bass balance looks
better but the impulse response gets worse as the reflection now comes
The animations on the right show how the Active Wave Focusing method
retains full time alignment all around the speaker and how the presence
of the rear wall has no impact. Sonically, the effect is a very even,
unusually detailed bass. Even in problematic rooms, a drum kick has that
visceral thud that previously only very big or in-wall speakers could
The Kii THREE was designed with the acoustical challenges of todays
studio setups in mind. For more information, call or chat with an RSPE