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Home Sound System Upgrade – Kuwait Guide

Since I started working out at home I had been using my portable B&O Beolit 15 speaker for music. It was ok, but I felt I needed a bit more oomph to get me going during workouts plus I needed a CD player anyway. I still have all my CDs and there are some really great albums (like The K&D Sessions) that aren’t even available to stream. So I went out and bought myself a sound system and wanted to write about my experience in case anyone was interested in getting one, or just wanted to know what brands are available where.

There are three main places in Kuwait to get good audio system from:

Adawliah (Shuwaikh, Life Center location)
Brands: Bose, Jamo, Klipsch, Yamaha

Best Electronics (4th Ring Road, Shuwaikh location)
Brands: Denon, Definitive Technology, Earthquake Sound, Paradigm, Technics

Xcite (Avenues and Al-Rai locations)
Brands: AudioQuest, Bowers & Wilkins, KEF, Klipsch, Marantz, Onkyo, Polk Audio, SVS

In addition to the above, I also checked out and for AudioLab and Cambridge Audio brands since both sites would deliver to Kuwait. Samma3a had free shipping and Amazon UK although has expensive shipping, they remove the 20% VAT from the cost of the item when exporting so with the shipping cost the price balances out.

Like with everything I tend to buy, I do a ton of research first. I didn’t have a budget at first, I just found a nice setup at Best Electronics in Shuwaikh that had a Denon amp and CD player paired with Definitive Tech speakers and a small Earthquake sub for around KD500 which I liked. I initially decided I wanted to pay a lot less than that for my system, but, if I was to pay that much then I needed to make sure it was worth it. So I started the research process by looking at different brands locally and online.

I read and watched a ton of reviews and the more I did the more confused I was getting. The problem was that everyone had a different idea of what good sound is supposed to sound like. Most audiophiles for example would find what I like very “musical” which is their polite way of saying not authentic and over-exaggerated, but I also couldn’t agree with their idea of what bass is meant to sound like. In the end, the best thing I did was listen to the speakers myself before buying them. I had basically narrowed my options locally to three speaker brands, B&W, Definitive Technology, and KEF. I went to the showrooms expecting the salespeople to be unhelpful and I didn’t think they would actually let me test out the speakers, but, surprisingly, they were all super helpful. I had such a great experience in the audio sections of Adawliah, Best, and Xcite, they were all just fantastic. The salespeople I interacted with had no issues picking up and moving heavy speakers from one end of the showroom to the other just so they could connect them to a working amplifier and I could listen to them. I usually don’t like dealing with salespeople but something about the guys working in the audio sections, they all seem to have a passion for what they do.

In the end, I mostly stuck around at the Xcite branch in Al-Rai (shoutout to Cezar) since I decided I wanted KEF speakers and they had most of them on display there. I already had a pair of KEF LSX speakers which I had been using in my main living area and I really liked them so I decided to stick with KEF. Xcite had the KEF LS50W which is the LSX big brother selling for KD400 which was half the actual retail price and I was very close to getting it until I heard the KEF R7’s. While browsing I noticed the KEF R7’s were discounted and priced at KD379. So I had the salesman hook them up and I started listening to some of my music and that was it, I fell in love instantly. They were everything I was looking for in a speaker and I couldn’t believe I finally found the speakers I REALLY wanted. So I decided to buy them. The salesman checked his system and told me they were the last piece. It was odd cuz I could see his screen said he had 2 pieces left so I asked him about it and that’s when he hit me with the bad news. Turns out the R7’s were sold individually, not as a pair. Meaning the KD379 price was per speaker, so around KD750 for the pair after discount (close to 1,500 before). I ended up leaving empty-handed and sad since they sounded incredible but also cost wayyyyy more than I wanted to pay.

I spent the next few days thinking about a lot of things. Music was always something I was really into while growing up and something I always spent all my money on. The last time I bought a decent pair of speakers was 20 years ago, I was fresh out of college and right after moving back to Kuwait I bought a pair of Jamo X870 speakers from Adawliah. They were also discounted around 50% off and I spent maybe KD200 on them. And that was back when I was broke with maxed-out credit cards. I still have those speakers today and use them in my living room. So if I could spend that much money 20 years ago when I was broke, surely I can spend more now, so I did. I went back to Xcite and ended up picking the KEF R7’s. I then passed by Adawliah and picked up the Yamaha R-N803 integrated amp which was also discounted down to KD200. A few days later I headed back to Xcite and picked up a Marantz CD5005 CD player which was discounted down to KD60. And finally, this past weekend I dropped by Xcite one last time and picked up the SVS SB-2000 Pro subwoofer which was discounted down to KD259 to connect to my KEF LSX in my other room. My total bill is absurd, but, it’s been a a hell of a year so whatever.

So just a quick review, it’s been over a week now since I got the KEF R7’s and I really really love them. The sound comes out so clear and the bass really deep. I used to think my Jamo’s were great but they just sound so muddy now compared to the KEF’s. I’ve started listening to music more now while at home. Definitely no regrets with my purchase. The Yamaha amplifier has also been great, it pumps a lot of power to the speakers and also has the convenience of built-in WiFi. Because of the WiFi, I’ve now set up the KEF R7’s as AirPlay speakers making it super easy to stream to them whenever I want to. I also have the SVS subwoofer connected to my KEF LSX speakers downstairs and those sound even better than they did before, definitely worth the money.

If you’re looking to buy a proper sound system then Adawliah, Best and Xcite are your best options. Make sure you visit the locations I’ve specifically mentioned since that’s where you’ll find the brands I listed, their other showrooms won’t have them. Also, not everything is listed on their websites. Actually, nothing I bought was listed on any of the websites. At Adawliah the employee had to search through his system to tell me what 2-channel integrated amps they had in stock, at Xcite everything was showing as sold out, and Best doesn’t even have any of the brands I mentioned listed on their website.

Got questions? Let me know in the comments and I’ll try and answer them for you.

32 replies on “Home Sound System Upgrade – Kuwait Guide”

Hi, I have an old Kenwood 5 disk CD player, amplifier, receiver stack (like 3 black units that sit on top of each othet) I’m looking to sell for cheap if you’re interested.

The Definitive Technology I was looking at were the small bookshelf Demand 9 which cost 160KD after discount so not a fair comparison. I previously owned the Definitive Technology Mythos STS SuperTower speakers and the KEF sounded warmer than those from my memory which I prefer.

How the medium the music is being played through effect sound quality on high end speakers? I.E. Bluetooth vs CD vs airplay, etc?

Honestly I can’t hear a difference. Been streaming from Spotify and Tidal (Master tracks) and I really can’t hear a difference between the two. Maybe very subtle difference which could be a placebo, but nothing really worth mentioning.

Hey Mark, great write up, thanks! Enjoy your setup!
How did you settle for the speaker/amp combination and which amp did you audition the KEF R7’s with?
Do you consider getting a DAC? And lastly, what’s your take on an active vs passive setup?

For those interested in this space, check out the following channels on YouTube listed in no particular order. Hope it helps!
A British audiophile:
Steve Guttenberg Audiophiliac:
John Darko:
Zero Fidelity:

All those audiophiles are great but they really don’t help in picking the right speaker. The best way is to try them out yourself which is what I did. The B&W 607 are like highly recommended but when I heard them they were like ok not bad. Then the LS50W when I heard them they were ok but nothing out of this world like audiophiles make them sound like. DAC, no DAC, active or passive it all really doesn’t matter for 99% of us. It’s only when I heard the speakers or should I say the sound I wanted, on them did I know what speaker I wanted.

Absolutely agree! Speaker and equipment reviews are very subjective. However I do think a better DAC makes a difference. Yes the law of diminishing returns is applicable but on an entry level range like if you were comparing output from a business laptop vs a smartphone, it’s pretty significant.
Thanks for the post again Mark! Never knew of

Yeah it’s very subjective and everyone has a different idea of what music should sound like. Regarding DAC’s your example actually makes sense but I was thinking higher up the scale so instead of say having my amp handle the conversion I’d get a separate DAC and I don’t think that would really make much of a difference. I have a DAC for my record player and couldn’t tell the difference if I used the internal DAC that’s built into my record player.

sorry just realized i didn’t answer some of your questions.

They had a Marantz amp connected to it in the audition room, I think the PM8006.

Active is more practical, my LSX are active and they remove a lot of clutter. My iMac has the Bose Accoustimass 5 Series III speakers with Onkyo amp combo connected to it for sound and thinking of replacing them with the LSX and SVS set up and getting maybe the Klipsch Fives for my record player instead.

What a great post.
Maybe it’s time for me to step up my game and buy real sound system because i listen to music all the time with my “shock-proof” bluetooth speaker! I know i’m missing a lot.

Thank you

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