The Kii Audio Kii Three, is a briliant construction and innovation setting new standards for a small speaker this size.
Brain child of not least Bruno Putzeys, the inventor of the UcD class D amplifier topology and co-owner of Hypex, it builds on the heritage of small active studio monitors but with some distinct refinements. Another speaker of the time is the rivaling Dutch & Dutch c8 which shows much the same performance with regards to constant directivity but implemented in a different way.
The speaker is of course fully active, and the filtering is done i the digital domain by a DSP. The amp modules are of course Hypex.
What is new is the way Kii have taken the path to a more constant directive speaker design. It uses a Constant Directivity (CD) tweeter, a front firing upper bass midrange driver and 4 woofers, 2 on the sides and two on the back.
The trick they have come up with is to use the 2 woofers on the side to form a cardioid directivity both for the midrange on the front. The 4 woofers all work together in the low bass region to create a lot of deep bass output compared to the very small size of the speaker. What a neat construction.
Ok, but the question was what is inside of drivers? As should be clear from the above it would not be easy to make anything near a clone, as you will have to know so much about amplifiers, acoustics and digital signal processing, that you should form you own company in stead 🙂 But I think it can be inspiring to see what different companies are using … but remember that what I write her is my best guess derived from pictures and descriptions already available on the internet 😉
Tweeter is the easy one to guess. The Constant Directivity Waveguide is a sure give away: SEAS 27TBCD/GB-DXT
It’s a brilliant tweeter with CD above ca 2 kHz
The midrange is a pure guess on my part.
From the specs we learn that it is a 5″ driver. As Kii are using Peerless (Tymphany) woofers, a good guess would be that they are also sourcing the mid from the same manufactor. On the transparent 3D view of the speaker and insides, you’ll notice that the rendering of the drivers are all quite detailed. Also a lot of other details are visible e.g. the output coils of the amplifier modules using the familiar types used on almost all Hypex amps. Therefore I would say that the chance is that the rendering of the midrange is also detailed. Looking at it it looks like it is a stamped steel chassis with a say 3.5″ ferrite magnet. On DIY Audio in this thread in post #20 the drivers are also discussed and here the guess is as mine that the mid is a Thympany / Peerless FSL-0512R01-08M.
Maybe not the most obvious choice for a high end speaker, but as it is only used as a midrange and not as a woofer, the choice is not bad; it uses a light weight paper cone, can handle a lot of power and is relatively sensitive. To be honest it actually more of a PA unit than intended for HiFi, but again I think it is actually a clever choice …. and it will for sure save a lot of money as the unit is only €12 if you buy +500.
The 4 woofers are again pretty easy …. Only one driver I know of looks like this one, the alu cone and the basket with the distinctive holes are clear give away; Peerless SBS-160F35AL01-04. With an Xmax of 8.5 mm you are ensured a lot of output in the low end, and it simply looks good with the shiny black cone without any dust cap. Clean look. Again I think the driver can be had for ca €12 if you buy more than 500.
So what is there to learn?
I think for one thing that the drivers do not have to cost a fortune to make up one of the best sounding speakers available right now.
Peerless, even now that it is owned by Tymphany has a great history of producing some of the worlds best speakers, and even the cheaper ones are still really really good.
Spend the money on the electronics to get the best possible working conditions for the drivers, and develop smart technology like the directivity of this Kii 3 speaker.