The Ci5160REFM-THX in-wall is the first KEF speaker to be certified under THX’s top performance class, Dominus, which was developed for large spaces up to 6,500 cubic feet with two or three rows of seating and a primary viewing distance of up to 20 feet from the screen. (Read more about the spec here.)
Priced at $11,000 a piece, the Ci5160 positions two 6.5-inch woofers above and below the 12th generation version of KEF’s signature Uni-Q coincident driver array in a vibration-resistant machined-aluminum baffle almost half an inch thick. In this Uni-Q implementation, a 1-inch aluminum-dome tweeter sits in the throat of a 5.25-inch midrange driver in a structure that incorporates KEF’s proprietary Metamaterial Absorption Technology (MAT), a maze-like structure said to absorb 99% of the unwanted sound from the rear of the tweeter to improve treble performance.
Originally introduced in KEF’s freestanding speakers, MAT first appeared in the round in-wall/ceiling Ci250RRM-THX speaker introduced last fall. Open-backed low-frequency limit (±6 dB) is spec’d at 28 Hz (though an 80-Hz high-pass filter is recommended), maximum SPL at 110 dB, and sensitivity at 92 dB (1 watt/1 meter). Cutout dimensions are 41.4 inches high x 8.2 inches wide.
The Ci3160REFM-THX ($8,000 each) is a scaled-down version of the Ci5160 that carries the THX Certified Ultra designation for spaces up to 3,000 cubic feet with a primary viewing distance of about 12 feet. Instead of four woofers, it places a single 6.5 driver above and below the same Uni-Q driver assembly. Open-backed low-frequency limit (±6 dB) is rated at 28 Hz (though an 80-Hz high-pass filter is recommended), maximum SPL at 116 dB, and sensitivity at 89 dB (1 watt/1 meter). Cutout dimensions are 26 inches high x 8.2 inches wide.
To qualify for THX certification in their respective classes, the Ci5160 and Ci3160 were subjected to hundreds of performance and quality-assurance tests for output level, frequency response, listening window, distortion, bass management, and more. Both speakers have a nominal impedance rating of 4 ohms.
KEF says the woofers used in the new Ci-Reference models were “painstakingly optimized” for in-wall use. To make the speakers effectively disappear, both models include a paintable magnetic grille with black cloth available as an option at extra cost.
For more information, visit us.kef.com.