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Old 13th February 2012, 16:54   #1
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Default Difference between Infinity Reference and Infinity Kappa series

Hello friends,

I am considering getting Infinity speakers for my car, 6.5'' Comps for the front and 5.25'' Coaxs for the rear.

Now, I have been looking at the various Infinity products, and can't really figure out the difference between the Reference and Kappa series.

I have gone through various pages including the company sites, but all the specifications / features listed seem to be quite similar. User reviews on various sites also seem to rate both as about 4-4.5 / 5. Users of both the series seem quite satisfied.

Can anyone please help me understand the difference in terms of specs, sound quality, VFM, etc.?

Many thanks..
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Old 14th February 2012, 17:08   #2
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Default Re: Difference between Infinity Reference and Infinity Kappa series

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Originally Posted by kanhaiyo View Post
Hello friends,

I am considering getting Infinity speakers for my car, 6.5'' Comps for the front and 5.25'' Coaxs for the rear.

Now, I have been looking at the various Infinity products, and can't really figure out the difference between the Reference and Kappa series.

I have gone through various pages including the company sites, but all the specifications / features listed seem to be quite similar. User reviews on various sites also seem to rate both as about 4-4.5 / 5. Users of both the series seem quite satisfied.

Can anyone please help me understand the difference in terms of specs, sound quality, VFM, etc.?

Many thanks..
1. Ref has polyproplene cones, Kappa has glass fiber cones. Glass fiber cones are stiffer and lighter than polyproplene.
2. Kappa uses much better quality components in the crossover (polyester caps and air inductors etc..).
3. lastly I believe, the Kappa woofers have longer voice coils and larger magnets than the Ref series. Hence they will play louder without distortion.

VFM is subjective. The Kappa series is about twice the cost of Reference. Whether you percieve that they Kappa is twice is good depends on many factors including your philosophy.

When a speaker is rated 4/5 or 4.5/5; it is based on user feedback which is based on user expectations. A person who has paid more may expect moreso a more expensive and better speaker may achieve a lower rating as the user's expectations were not met to the same degree.

For example listed below are 2 woofers from a popular site
Usher 8945A 7" Carbon Fiber/Paper Woofer 296-600
Dayton Audio RS180-8 7" Reference Woofer 295-355

The Dayton has got a 5 star rating the Usher has got a 4.5 star rating.
  1. Is the Dayton a better woofer for less than half the price of the Usher? Not really.
  2. Does the Dayton offer more bang for the buck than the Usher. Most definitely.
  3. Are you willing to pay the difference? That is subjective. Right?
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Old 14th February 2012, 17:43   #3
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Default Re: Difference between Infinity Reference and Infinity Kappa series

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Originally Posted by navin View Post
1. Ref has polyproplene cones, Kappa has glass fiber cones. Glass fiber cones are stiffer and lighter than polyproplene.
2. Kappa uses much better quality components in the crossover (polyester caps and air inductors etc..).
3. lastly I believe, the Kappa woofers have longer voice coils and larger magnets than the Ref series. Hence they will play louder without distortion.

VFM is subjective. The Kappa series is about twice the cost of Reference. Whether you percieve that they Kappa is twice is good depends on many factors including your philosophy.

When a speaker is rated 4/5 or 4.5/5; it is based on user feedback which is based on user expectations. A person who has paid more may expect moreso a more expensive and better speaker may achieve a lower rating as the user's expectations were not met to the same degree.

For example listed below are 2 woofers from a popular site
Usher 8945A 7" Carbon Fiber/Paper Woofer 296-600
Dayton Audio RS180-8 7" Reference Woofer 295-355

The Dayton has got a 5 star rating the Usher has got a 4.5 star rating.
  1. Is the Dayton a better woofer for less than half the price of the Usher? Not really.
  2. Does the Dayton offer more bang for the buck than the Usher. Most definitely.
  3. Are you willing to pay the difference? That is subjective. Right?
thanks for your response navin..

I do understand that VFM and Quality are very subjective, but the reviews for both were VERY similarly worded and giving out the same impression re quality.. that's why straight away sought the gurus here

While having a look at the specs again, I noticed that the Kappas have a greater frequency response range too, in addition to what you mentioned above.. I missed out on that earlier..

As for my case specifically, the difference between the two works out to Rs.1250 ($25), so I suppose the Kappas are definitely worth it for that extra dough?

Also, would you recommend Kappa components for the rear too? the diff between the coaxs and comps again is Rs.1250..

Many thanks sirji
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Old 14th February 2012, 19:17   #4
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Default Re: Difference between Infinity Reference and Infinity Kappa series

Also Sir,
What sort of an amplifier should I be looking for?
Confused between 5/6 channel or 4ch+mono setup? (am looking to add a 350w Kappa Sub later as well)

The Kappa components are rated as 90w RMS.. so do I need 100w RMS per channel at 4ohms or 2ohms??

Thanks!
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Old 15th February 2012, 11:16   #5
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Default Re: Difference between Infinity Reference and Infinity Kappa series

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Originally Posted by kanhaiyo View Post
Also, would you recommend Kappa components for the rear too? the diff between the coaxs and comps again is Rs.1250..
The Kapps almost demand an amplifier. The Reference can be happily used without one, using the Kappa with an good amplifier is wasting the speaker's capabilities.
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Old 15th February 2012, 13:37   #6
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Default Re: Difference between Infinity Reference and Infinity Kappa series

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Originally Posted by navin View Post
The Kapps almost demand an amplifier. The Reference can be happily used without one, using the Kappa with an good amplifier is wasting the speaker's capabilities.
You meant without right?

This is what i am looking at right now:

HU: Clarion CX501 - Installed
6.5' front comps: Kappa 60.9cs Infinity Kappa 60.9cs 6-3/4" component speaker system For 6-1/2" and 6-3/4" openings at Crutchfield.com
5.25' rear coaxs: Kappa 529i Infinity Kappa 52.9i 5-1/4" 2-way car speakers at Crutchfield.com
Subwoofer: Kappa 120.9w Infinity 120.9w Kappa Series 12" subwoofer with selectable 2- or 4-ohm impedance at Crutchfield.com
Amplifier Options:
Kappa Five Infinity Kappa Five 5-channel amplifier — 50 watts RMS x 4 at 4 ohms + 300 watts x 1 at 2 ohms at Crutchfield.com
Sound Ordinance Sound Ordnance™ M-4100 4-channel car amplifier — 100 watts RMS x 4 at Crutchfield.com

Your opinions on the above are highly appreciated (your 2 cents is 2000 bucks for me!).. pls guide me if i am going in the wrong direction..
thanks..
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Old 15th February 2012, 14:09   #7
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Default Re: Difference between Infinity Reference and Infinity Kappa series

Thanks for this thread. This is the same question that has been bothering me since I will very soon be installing the ICE on my Swift and the Infinity Kappas are the components that I am looking for. I would be driving this off 2 channels of the JBL 1004 amp. Where are you getting such a small price difference? In Bangalore, the difference is almost Rs.4k between the Reference and the Kappas.

@ Navin: Would the above amplifier be able to exploit the Kappas potential? I would not be installing a sub in the first stage, the that would probably come later. Right now it would be a Pio head unit+ Kappa components+ JBL Amp. Decent combination in your opinion?

Last edited by arindambasu13 : 15th February 2012 at 14:12.
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Old 15th February 2012, 14:21   #8
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Default Re: Difference between Infinity Reference and Infinity Kappa series

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Originally Posted by arindambasu13 View Post
Where are you getting such a small price difference? In Bangalore, the difference is almost Rs.4k between the Reference and the Kappas.
Amazon. I am getting them from the US..

Quote:
@ Navin: Would the above amplifier be able to exploit the Kappas potential? I would not be installing a sub in the first stage, the that would probably come later.
That's the big question i have too..
I might add the sub later as well, not finalized yet.
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Old 28th February 2012, 19:52   #9
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Default Re: Difference between Infinity Reference and Infinity Kappa series

Some feedback from my experience with Infinity. I installed the Infinity Kappa Perfect series in my Innova, my install is here

The Kappa series as @Navin has indicated is really a step above the Reference. And the Kappa Perfects are even better IMHO. They can handle up to 100W RMS with no issues or audible distortion. And their mid bass performance is really great. I have these components on all four doors and they fill the Innova with sound. These speakers do need a good quality amp, so recommend that you don't skimp on the amps.

If you are ordering from the US, please Google for Car Audio Discounters, you might get a better price than even Amazon. The prices are fairly modest IMHO, here is the page from Amazon. Here is the official Infinity page for the product details and specs.

If you are in Bangalore and somewhere in the Kalyan Nagar or CV Raman Nagar area and want to audition these speakers, please feel free to PM me.

hope this is helpful.
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Old 27th June 2012, 01:48   #10
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Default Re: Difference between Infinity Reference and Infinity Kappa series

Quote:
Originally Posted by navin View Post
1. Ref has polyproplene cones, Kappa has glass fiber cones. Glass fiber cones are stiffer and lighter than polyproplene.
2. Kappa uses much better quality components in the crossover (polyester caps and air inductors etc..).
3. lastly I believe, the Kappa woofers have longer voice coils and larger magnets than the Ref series. Hence they will play louder without distortion.

VFM is subjective. The Kappa series is about twice the cost of Reference. Whether you percieve that they Kappa is twice is good depends on many factors including your philosophy.

When a speaker is rated 4/5 or 4.5/5; it is based on user feedback which is based on user expectations. A person who has paid more may expect moreso a more expensive and better speaker may achieve a lower rating as the user's expectations were not met to the same degree.

For example listed below are 2 woofers from a popular site
Usher 8945A 7" Carbon Fiber/Paper Woofer 296-600
Dayton Audio RS180-8 7" Reference Woofer 295-355

The Dayton has got a 5 star rating the Usher has got a 4.5 star rating.
  1. Is the Dayton a better woofer for less than half the price of the Usher? Not really.
  2. Does the Dayton offer more bang for the buck than the Usher. Most definitely.
  3. Are you willing to pay the difference? That is subjective. Right?
How does the Reference-c series measure upto JBL GTO-c series?
(the GTO is slightly lesser priced)

*-c = components
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Old 27th June 2012, 12:27   #11
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Default Re: Difference between Infinity Reference and Infinity Kappa series

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Originally Posted by alpha1 View Post
How does the Reference-c series measure upto JBL GTO-c series?
(the GTO is slightly lesser priced)

*-c = components
Reference would normally be a bit more laid back compared to GTO. Traditionally Harman used the Infinity line of loudspeakers to cover a different market (google Infinity IRS Beta V) while JBL covered a more rock oriented market (google JBL 250Ti). Both JBL and Infinity are not organic divisions of Harman. They were purchased in 1969 (Harman Intl was called Harman-Kardon then) and 1983 (as part of a greater plan by Harman to re-establish itself as a giant in the audio industry).

During the period from 1968-1977 JBL made it's name with products like the Century (L100) which were derived from it's Pro Audio line of loudspeakers. Infinity's history and audience was quite different (google Infinity Kappa) and today Harman has effectively shelved/killed this brand as far as Home Audio is concerned.
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Old 27th June 2012, 12:55   #12
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Default Re: Difference between Infinity Reference and Infinity Kappa series

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Originally Posted by navin View Post
Reference would normally be a bit more laid back compared to GTO. Traditionally Harman used the Infinity line of loudspeakers to cover a different market (google Infinity IRS Beta V) while JBL covered a more rock oriented market (google JBL 250Ti). Both JBL and Infinity are not organic divisions of Harman. They were purchased in 1969 (Harman Intl was called Harman-Kardon then) and 1983 (as part of a greater plan by Harman to re-establish itself as a giant in the audio industry).

During the period from 1968-1977 JBL made it's name with products like the Century (L100) which were derived from it's Pro Audio line of loudspeakers. Infinity's history and audience was quite different (google Infinity Kappa) and today Harman has effectively shelved/killed this brand as far as Home Audio is concerned.
Hey thanks for responding.
Reading on "google" about the products you've mentioned.

I was actually surprised to see that the Infity ref is lesser priced than Kappa - considering that in audio industry - reference usually denotes the product utilizing the pinnacle of hi-fi technology!

Can you also tell me about JBL GT5/6 compared to GTO?
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Old 27th June 2012, 14:17   #13
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Default Re: Difference between Infinity Reference and Infinity Kappa series

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Originally Posted by alpha1 View Post
Can you also tell me about JBL GT5/6 compared to GTO?
The differences have reduced over time. Used to be a time when GT5 came out that it was more laid back than the GTO xx7 series. Then JBL came out with the xx7SE version to mimic the balance of the GT5.

I understand now that the xx8 is about what the xx7SE is in timbre. Sam Kapasi lives and breathes JBL (the company he works for also represents JBL in India) would know more.
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Old 27th June 2012, 14:21   #14
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Default Re: Difference between Infinity Reference and Infinity Kappa series

Navin,

Nice and precise information you have given for the difference in speakers. I was in similar confusion. Altough I now understand the difference between the reference, the kappa and the kappa prefects. I still have the doubt.

I want to install them on my Swift, I am a first timer for an Audio set up. I have decided to go in for a good SQ head unit and then these Infinity Speakers.

I want more of a sound quality at low and mid volumes, I will probably never run on full volume. Also I am not much interested in Bass as such so am not installing subwoofer and intead going for 3 way 6"X9" on the tray. I was thinking not to go for Amp if it is not necessary.

Now in liew of this what would be you suggestion. I need to know the model no also as there are two many on their website.
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Old 1st July 2012, 10:37   #15
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by manishalive
Navin,
Nice and precise information you have given for the difference in speakers. I was in similar confusion. Altough I now understand the difference between the reference, the kappa and the kappa prefects. I still have the doubt. I was thinking not to go for Amp if it is not necessary.

Now in liew of this what would be you suggestion. I need to know the model no also as there are two many on their website.
Personally if you are not using an amplifier I would consider the most sensitive speakers of the ones you have short listed. It is difficult if not downright impossible for me to know what exactly is your preference in sound. infinity voices their premium line and base line very close and most differences are more a matter of better components used.
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