CEDIA Expo 2014: KEF
By Chris Heinonen on
For most of the high-end speaker manufacturers, they are content to let people use in-ceiling speakers for Dolby Atmos. If you assume most people doing Dolby Atmos will have a dedicated theater, then this does make some sense. However, there are people with dedicated theaters that do not want to install in-ceiling speakers. Even more, many people think that the reflective speakers offer better dispersion and a more immersive experience than the in-ceiling ones. The only high-end speaker company that has reflective Atmos speakers available at CEDIA is KEF.
The KEF R50 is a module designed to go on top of their R-series bookshelves or floor-standing speakers. For people that already have these speakers, it means they can easily upgrade to Dolby Atmos with the addition of 2-4 R50 modules that go right on top of their existing speakers and running some more wires. The driver in the R50 is straight from their R100 bookshelf speaker so it will voice-match the other speakers in the line. The Uni-Q driver is also well known for having a very wide dispersion, making it a very good choice for Dolby Atmos. The R50 is going to be out at the end of the year, though only in black for now.
KEF is also showing their new Reference Series, which will make their listening debut at the NY Audio Show in two weeks. Starting at $7,500 for the Reference 1 Bookshelf and going up to $18,000 for the Reference 5 towers, they look very elegant and very different than the previous Reference series line. There is also a matching center channel and subwoofer but not on display at CEDIA.