KB Sound strives to bring the best home audio systems to users across the UK for the ultimate in home entertainment.
They currently have four products, each with differing functions and purposes and at BuyCleverStuff we're here to decipher and help you decide what might be the right product for you.
They all have their place, but it's still tough to decide which system is best for you, especially if you're not quite sure.
We've broken down the pros and cons of all four KB Sound products - available to buy now at BuyCleverStuff.
The KB Sound Mando is the most basic product currently available to purchase from us here at BuyCleverStuff.
It is an in-wall Bluetooth amplifier which is perfect for small rooms, such as guest bedrooms, office spaces and other similarly sized rooms.
Fitting into a single gang back box, it is small and discreet and comes in two colours; black and white.
Connecting power is very simple, as are the terminals for speaker cable.
The amplifier on its own comes with a power supply, but you can purchase the KB Sound Mando with ceiling speakers in our bundles.
It is designed to only handle one pair of 2.5" ceiling speakers or 5" ceiling speakers. These speakers are 8 ohms, so if you are looking to use the KB Sound Mando amplifier with your existing speakers ensure their impedance is 8 ohms,
There is also a front facing 3.5mm aux-in for devices without Bluetooth connection, and whilst it is limited to these two sources, as simple, first-fix products go, it really works a treat.
In 2019, the Mando will soon be available in a double-gang set-up to include DAB radio, so be on the lookout for this when it arrives!
First, a brief history of the KB Sound iSelect.
It actually follows from its predecessor the KB Sound Select, which was the first type of FM radio amplifier combining an LCD remote for KB Sound.
In its current guise though, the KB Sound iSelect is still a ceiling speaker amplifier with built in radio tuner, but can be either FM Radio only, or dual FM and DAB Radio.
Earlier additions had the KB Sound iSelect allowing for either a Wireless 30 Pin Apple iPhone / iPod Dock or a Bluetooth Receiver.
The iPhone / iPod Dock is now discontinued, mainly because the latter Bluetooth option is most popular nowadays and also due to the development of Apple's Lightning connector which makes the dock an obsolete element.
For those reading who have the Dock - why not contact us to see about upgrading for a newer Bluetooth system?
The KB Sound iSelect is available as an amplifier on its own, or with 2.5” ceiling speakers or 5” ceiling speakers in pre-packed bundles.
As standard it comes with one pair of speakers, but with the more powerful amplifier, it can actually power two pairs of ceiling speakers.
This hidden in-ceiling radio amplifier leaves all your cables in the ceiling void, taking away the need to run cables down walls.
With the optional Bluetooth Receiver, the product then allows you to play music from your own devices to the Ceiling Speakers.
The included remote control you can control your radio functions on top of pausing, playing and skipping music from the connected device.
Unfortunately this product has now been discontinued for the KB Sound Select Star.
Whilst similar in name with the discontinued KB Sound Select, the KB Sound Select BT a completely new product in its own right.
Utilising for the first time the KB Sound App, you have full App Control meaning no need for a remote control - just your smartphone or tablet (iOS and Android download).
This means that compared to the like-for-like iSelect product with FM Radio and Bluetooth Receiver, the Select BT is a fantastic lower cost and integrates your current mobile technology even further.
The KB Sound Select BT is currently only available with FM Radio Tuner and Bluetooth Receiver built in, it currently does not have a DAB Radio option.
However, put your Bluetooth to good use (alongside your mobile data or Wi-Fi connection) it can work alongside internet radio and music streaming apps meaning almost as much audio as you like!
As per the KB Sound iSelect, the KB Sound Select BT is available in standard kit form with 2.5” ceiling speakers or 5” ceiling speakers.
However, there is another little trick up its sleeve - its dual zone audio amplifier configuration.
Controlled via the KB Sound App, to work in conjunction with the Select BT amplifier, an additional slave amplifier can run a second room with audio with an extra pair of speakers, should you wish. These can be switched on or off independently from the app.
It will only play the same audio, so it is not true multiroom but a great way of exploring these options if you are not looking for a complete refit in your home.
The other benefit with the KB Sound Select BT is that it also has a higher power output than the iSelect model.
Therefore, the unit is able to provide higher volume levels and maintain greater clarity when playing richer sounding music.
Unfortunately this product has now been discontinued for the KB Sound Select Star.
The latest development in 2019 is the introduction of the KB Sound Select Star.
This is effectively the bringing together of the KB Sound iSelect and the Select BT to give one complete product.
2019 will see the phasing out of both the iSelect and Select BT, and the Select Star will ultimately replace both of these units (product support will still be continued).
The best bits of both products are combined to bring this fantastic new set-up to life.
Bluetooth is built in, as standard, and not only that, but there are two versions; one slightly cheaper, that you can use more as a simple Bluetooth system (with the added extra of FM radio only) or a version that also has digital DAB radio as well!
The app that has been developed has more functionality and options than the previous Select BT, giving you more control over what you can do with the system.
One of the biggest elements with the iSelect was its remote control - which wasn't present on the Select BT.
As standard, there is no remote control included in the pack, HOWEVER, a brand new remote control is available to work solely with the Select Star, and works in sync with the app too!
Finally, KB Sound's fantastic multiroom alternative to Sonos - the KB Sound SOUNDAROUND.
This is designed really an in-wall amplifier, but can be positioned in a communications cupboard if you really want to.
The reason for its purpose to be on show is due to the front facing auxiliary input, and also the ability to set connection for any Bluetooth devices, or connecting the system to your WiFi using the WPS button for quick connecting.
It is not remote control operated - instead you use a downloadable Qualcomm-based app that works with iOS and Android devices on both mobile and tablet.
That means you can connect and play music stored on your device and also through free radio apps so you can still access all your favourite stations.
If using an iOS device, you won't be able to stream Apple Music, but any stored music on your iPhone will still play.
You are supplied for the amplifier with the panel itself and a power supply - you can use this system with your own existing speakers, but we have some fantastic Q Acoustics speaker bundles that are similar to our Sonos offering.
General Comparison Table
|KB Sound Mando||KB Sound Mando (With Radio)||KB Sound iSelect|
|KB Sound Select BT (Discontinued)||KB Sound Select Star||KB Sound SOUNDAROUND|
|Aux-In||3.5mm Front Input||3.5mm Front Input|
|App Control||No app - Bluetooth device||No app - Bluetooth device||No app - Bluetooth device|
|Dual Zone Mode||Multiroom capability|
|Speaker Capacity||One Pair (Running only at 8 Ohms)||One Pair (Running only at 8 Ohms)||One or Two Pairs||One or Two Pairs - Expandable for dual zone||One or Two Pairs - Expandable for dual zone||One or Two Pairs - Extra zones possible|
- KB Sound Mando: Perfect for small rooms looking for a quick and easy first-fix solution playing Bluetooth or if necessary a device using a trusty 3.5mm aux cable.
- KB Sound Select Star: For those who are tech-savvy with their Bluetooth devices with working apps, and want to try out a work around of multiroom across two rooms, inclusive of radio and with an optional remote control if required.
- KB Sound SOUNDAROUND: Ideal for those looking at Sonos but are hoping to stick to a budget - especially for multiple rooms to be catered for.
Hopefully now you have more understanding about the development, similarities, and differences of all the KB Sound audio range and can make an informed choice for your home.