Kudos Audio originally began life as a maker of award-winning speaker stands until renowned designer Derek Gilligan took over the helm and Kudos was relaunched as a specialist in high performance loudspeakers.


Derek comes from a family of skilled cabinet makers, hi-fi enthusiasts and professional musicians. He worked for many years as a sound and music engineer in professional audio and also as a designer for several hi-fi companies before taking over at Kudos to develop his own range of exceptional speakers.


Since then, Kudos has evolved into one of the UK’s fastest-growing loudspeaker companies in recent years and has won numerous awards along with a worldwide following of audiophiles and music lovers. Kudos speakers have established themselves as some of the best-sounding available, with each model setting a standard at its respective price point.


Why? At Kudos we deliberately take a different approach to loudspeaker design.

What makes the Kudos difference?


A music-led approach to loudspeaker design


According to the laws of physics, the bumblebee can’t fly. Ask two technical experts to measure a loudspeaker and the results will be different. Conclusion? Scientific measurements aren’t absolute and don’t always tell the full story.


At Kudos we use music as our primary tool in designing and assessing loudspeakers. Measuring loudspeakers in the traditional technical way is useful for fault analysis but often gives a misleading view of a product’s musical abilities.


During his many years as a live sound engineer, Kudos’ Derek Gilligan discovered that technical measurements don’t reflect everything that we hear.  There’s no substitute for extensive critical listening in a variety of scenarios. With live music, adjustments are made according to the sound that the musicians want, but also are based on the audience’s reaction and the fact that every single venue is different.  Even in the same auditorium, a half-full room requires a different set-up than a capacity crowd.


This invaluable experience inspired Derek to take a different view of loudspeaker design. Of course Kudos still use traditional measurements, but only to investigate technical issues within a design. If a prototype loudspeaker sounds superb in a variety of rooms and to many different listeners, then the product has a good chance of making it into the Kudos range. Sometimes this may result in less-than-perfect technical measurements but we don’t consider that a problem. Particularly since those measurements often involve just one speaker, measured at a distance of one metre, in a laboratory. Hardly a reflection of a pair of speakers’ true performance!


The human ear is a fine technical instrument. At Kudos, we use it to tune and test every single product which leaves our premises. And not one product will leave until we’re 100% happy with it.



Components, connections and craftsmanship


Exceptional quality components


Kudos does not use mass-produced components, period. Instead we work closely with some of Europe’s finest designers and engineers to source, and also to custom design, the optimum parts for our loudspeakers.


For our drive units we work closely with Norwegian experts Scandinavian Electro Acoustic Systems (SEAS). SEAS has remained at the forefront of European driver design and manufacturing for more than 60 years and brings a vast knowledge of drive unit behaviour along with unparalleled build quality. SEAS provide Kudos with a bespoke service, co-designing and producing customised drive units for any application, so we always have exactly the right driver for the job.


Minimal connections


When it comes to hi-fi circuitry and connections, less is most definitely more. At Kudos we strongly believe that one of the keys to a truly musical performance from a loudspeaker is a minimalist, low order crossover. Low order crossovers have the benefit of lower phase distortion and energy storage so they’re better at preserving the harmonic structure with less time smear and ‘ringing’ (the storage and release of energy within the components).


So rather than designing complex interventions to compensate for signal distortions, we focus on keeping the signal path simple, clean and clear in the first place. To achieve this, we work hard to ensure superb integration between our drive units. Our mid/bass drivers are designed to have a very smooth and predictable roll-off characteristic and to match the treble units so well that minimal electrical compensation is needed.


Our crossover components are of true audiophile quality, selected from expert suppliers such as Mundorf and Clarity Caps, and made specifically for Kudos to stringent tolerances.  All internal wiring uses high quality cables from The Chord Company.


Traditional craftsmanship


The best quality components demand respectful treatment. At Kudos we favour a craftsmanship approach, taking traditional well-proven design and engineering techniques and drawing on the wisdom of ages to bring out the best in the latest technologies.


Every single one of our products is made by Kudos, in Kudos’ premises in the north-east of England.