Sitting at the top of our R Series is the KEF R900 floorstanding speaker, and it's the top of the line for good reason. The driver array, a two-way concentric design, is taken directly from KEF’s pint-sized R100 bookshelf speakers, although the R50’s feature a sealed enclosure versus the vented box of the R100. Dolby says that there are two main requirements for optimizing results with this approach. Listening. If you haven’t been paying much attention to the A/V world lately, it’s fair to say the official unveiling of Dolby Atmos at CEDIA this year has attracted quite a bit of attention. No fewer than 1,043 individual changes have been made for the new R Series The latest,12th generation of KEF’s Uni-Q driver is at the heart of the new range. In short, it is Dolby’s new object-oriented surround format which makes the jump from 2-dimensional 5.1 and 7.1 formats to 3-dimensional sound. • The KEF R50 speakers provide a very viable alternative to installing in-ceiling speakers for Dolby Atmos. Read honest and unbiased product reviews … Those of you with an understanding of surround sound, and even those of you who are just starting to learn about it will likely have seen the name ‘Dolby Atmos’ being thrown around, and for good reason too! The R Series consists of as many as ten models. Aesthetically, the KEFs looked as though they were made specifically to be paired with the Gold 300s. Compact three-way floorstander. Uni-Q array with a 25mm (1 in.) We test every product as a team in our bespoke listening rooms – find out more about how we test on our About Us page. In fact, Steve’s day job is network administration and accounting. Not having seen the series before, I quickly got immersed in the story due in no small part to the 3D soundscape I was now enjoying through the Monitor/KEF combo. For consumers looking to upgrade their systems in order to support this format, you have 2 options in terms of loudspeakers: you can either add in-ceiling speakers or Atmos-enabled speakers. KEF's new R50 sitting atop their R700 tower speakers. “Let our rigorous testing and reviews be your guidelines to A/V equipment – not marketing slogans”. The driver array, a two-way concentric design, is taken directly from KEF’s pint-sized R100 bookshelf speakers, although the R50’s feature a sealed enclosure versus the vented box of the R100. But do the KEF R50 Atmos-enabled modules serve as a suitable substitute for the in-ceiling approach? The R8a works as a surround or rear speaker and can bounce sound of the ceiling to create truly cinematic scale with Dolby Atmos. Dolby Atmos or surround Dolby Atmos offers the potential for full immersion cinema, the Q50a uses Uni-Q technology to deliver it in full effect. KEF reviews & products With more than 40 years’ independent reviewing experience you can trust our recommendations and buy with confidence. SOURCE:http://hometheaterreview.com/kef-r50-dolby-atmos-speaker-modules-reviewed/, Thinking of buying some Bluetooth earphones or headphones but can not determine which ones are most suitable for you? Unfortunately neither KEF nor Atlantic Technology were demoing their Atmos-enabled speakers at CEDIA 2014, so we’ll have to wait a little longer to get a full picture of how these ostensibly similar designs compare. While KEF did experiment with a lip, they found that it introduced diffraction without offering any meaningful improvement. Action movies really take advantage of this new object-based format. The KEF Q350 is available now for $650 or £529 for a pair. However, this limitation allowed me to evaluate whether or not the minimum recommended 5.1.2 speaker configuration for Dolby Atmos is sufficient to deliver an immersive 3D experience. This Swiss Army knife of a receiver supports new immersive sound formats like Dolby Atmos, DTS: X, and Auro-3D. Therefore, the lower frequencies are instead directed to your system’s subwoofer by your Dolby Atmos-capable AV receiver or processor. The MartinLogan Motion AFX ($599.95/pair), the Klipsch Reference RP-140SA ($499/pair), the PSB Imagine XA ($499/pair), and the Atlantic Technology 44-DA ($499/pair) are all recently introduced Dolby Atmos-enabled speaker modules, although none have quite the mass or high-end fit and finish of the KEF R50. Overhead sound effects in the movies I watched just pulled me closer to the center of the action, creating a greater sense of realism. List of kef floorstanding speakers, user reviews, editorial reviews, kef floorstanding speakers deals, used kef floorstanding speakers - audioreview.com With a 7” x 10” footprint it will have to fit the top of your speaker to deliver the immersive sound you’re looking for. The R50 has an impedance rating of eight ohms, a sensitivity rating of 85 dB, and a frequency response of 105 Hz to 18.5 kHz (+/-3dB). But for those who are looking for a more discrete approach without sacrificing quality, KEF also makes the R50 Dolby Atmos elevation module ($1,200/pair). I watched the first season of the HBO series Game of Thrones, recently released encoded in the Dolby Atmos format. The Q750s impressed me from the moment I first fed them music. We believe that the two-way concentric driver array as seen in the R50 is an excellent choice for an Atmos Elevation speaker. The array is angled at 20 degrees, and features a 1” aluminum dome tweeter nested within a 5.25” aluminum mid/woofer. In order to evaluate the receiver’s performance with Dolby Atmos specifically, KEF graciously agreed to send me a pair of its R50 Dolby Atmos speaker modules ($1,199.99/pair), the subject of this review. They use an excellent version of KEF's popular Uni-Q driver, which is more commonly referred to as a dual concentric driver, responsible for both high and mid frequencies. Before going to the hassle and expense of an in-ceiling installation, I would want to know if it’s going to be worth it to me (and my wife) to add Atmos capability to my system. You can count me in that group. Just connect the KEF R50 speakers with your favorite speaker cables to your Dolby Atmos receiver and get ready to enjoy true 3D sound. I recently reviewed Denon’s flagship AVR-X7200WA network receiver. Design and features February 9, 2018; New products; KEF’s new Atmos speakers add new dimensions to movies. tweeter to steer the sound for genuine 3D results. EXPLORE more. The Gold 300s are also finished in piano black and have a similar cabinet width as the KEF R50. But as I read it, the review seems a bit qualified. The KEF R700 speakers are very powerful performers, with astonishing beauty in both sound and finish, limited only by the absence of the very deepest bass. Sounds moved overhead from front to back or side to side with a greater smoothness than I’d experienced before. In contrast to some Atmos-enabled speakers which rely on a “lip” to control directivity at the cost of potentially introducing diffraction effects, the R50’s mid/woofer acts as a waveguide for the tweeter, constraining its dispersion pattern. Priced as a PAIR of speakes. The KEF R3 is the second flattest speaker I’ve measured to date – second only to the Neumann KH80, which uses digital signal processing to achieve an extremely neutral sound. Best Speakers & Subwoofers Reviews and Rating. KEF has announced the launch of its new R Series. KEF was founded on innovation and new technology. This arrangement has several benefits, chief for this application being controlled directivity. While I suspect that’s true, I can say having just a single pair is enough to raise your enjoyment of movies encoded in Dolby Atmos significantly. The R50 utilises the brand’s trademark Uni-Q point source driver array. Confused about what AV Gear to buy or how to set it up? At the same time, we’d be curious to compare the R50 against the Atlantic Technology 44-DA, which also features a concentric driver array, but costs $500/pair. The R50s always added to my enjoyment by reproducing overhead effects effortlessly and with such realism. I would have added a second pair of R50 speakers for rear-height service except the setup in my family room doesn’t allow for their proper placement. So Kef Q100 tends to get more favorable ⭐ reviews than Kef LS50, as seen on the chart below. The R7 is the midsized floorstander in KEF's new R Series, very powerful yet not too large it brings music and movies to life. The flexible R8a can be wall mounted or placed on another speaker for Dolby Atmos height. They look stunning and, when properly placed, will conveniently provide that missing height dimension of sound in your high-end home theater, truly immersing you in today’s Dolby Atmos-encoded movie and television soundtracks. The last member of this family is the R50 model which is used in Dolby Atmos systems. While the previous R Series was starting to get a bit long in the tooth, I found the performance of those speakers to be superb, having reviewed the last generation R700 for Sound & Vision's sister publication Stereophile in 2014. For a more extensive list of available Dolby Atmos-enabled add-on speaker modules, click here. Locate, MartinLogan Crescendo Premium Wireless Speaker System Reviewed, Paradigm Millenia CT 2 Speaker System Reviewed, MK Sound S300 Series Bookshelf Speakers Reviewed, Guide:What you need to know before buying Bluetooth headphones, Shinola Bookshelf Speakers sale: Grandly waving the flag for U.S. audio technology, Velodyne SPL-1200 Series II Subwoofer Review. If you are able to meet these requirements, you can put away that drywall saw. A great deal of work has gone into those twin 13cm bass drivers too. Comparison & Competition Although the KEF R50 may have been among the first Dolby Atmos-enabled add-on speakers to be introduced, more manufacturers are joining this market with speaker modules that cost less than the R50. I had only intended to watch one episode but ended up binge watching the whole first season in one weekend, just waiting to see (and hear) what would happen next. Associated electronics for this review were the aforementioned Denon AVR-X7200WA receiver, an Oppo BDP-93 Blu-ray player, and a Pioneer Elite Kuro Pro 110FD display. KEF engineers do not believe in compromise, the R5 floorstander is compact and elegant yet it delivers music and movies with ease. This is Kef's second Atmos-enabled speaker release with their first being their R50 for $1200/pair meant to mate with their more upscale Reference speaker line up. Dimension (H x W x D): with grille and terminal: 6.9 x 7.1 x 10.2 in. We are recognised in the history of loudspeaker development as one of the most important contributors and a great deal of our research has been published at well respected professional institutions, including the Audio Engineering Society and the Institute of Acoustics. Conclusion If you’re eager to experience the more immersive sound of Dolby Atmos but either can’t or don’t want to go through the hassle of cutting holes in the ceiling of your living space, the KEF R50 Atmos-enabled speakers provide a wonderful alternative. That KEF … Not a bad idea. Atlantic Technology 44-DA Atmos Elevation Speaker Module Preview, Impressions Of Dolby Atmos and Auro-3D Demos at CEDIA 2014, KEF R50 Dolby Atmos-enabled Speaker Preview, Frequency response (±3dB): 105Hz – 18.5kHz, Harmonic distortion 2nd & 3rd harmonics (90dB, 1m): <0.4% 200Hz-20kHz. Atmos-enabled modules intentionally limit low-frequency response to avoid sub-bass and lower-bass sounds leaking into the room, since those frequencies tend to be less directional. The source was a Marantz UD7006 universal player, with a coaxial digital link between the player and the Integra. Well, that’s where KEF comes to the rescue. On top of that, it's fairly safe to say that Kef Q100 are more popular speakers, based on their 100+ reviews. I was looking forward to the new KEF R series. For the KEF Q150 review, we started the speakers off on Onkyo’s new TX-8270 stereo receiver, which did a respectable job of revealing the Q150’s deep and … The amp used throughout the review was the Parasound Halo A 51, again using only two of its five channels. Low Points • The KEF R50 does not come with a bracket for optional wall hanging, as a couple of other manufacturers now offer. With twin 8 inch low-frequency drivers positioned perfectly above and below our remarkably sweet and accurate latest generation Uni-Q driver array, the R900 floorstanding speaker ensures a massive sound sure to enliven any room. KEF offers a number of different wall-mounted, in-wall, and in-ceiling speakers which can be used for the height channels of an immersive sound system. Product review: KEF Q50A Atmos speakers. The inclusion of a bracket would provide even more speaker-placement options. Join our Exclusive Audioholics E-Book Membership Program! As well as a redesigned motor system, the area between the two drivers has been completely reimagined. The company has designed its up-firing R50 speaker to be placed on top of floorstanding or bookshelf speakers, or even on top of wall-mounted satellite speakers. Optimised for Q Series home theatre systems the Q50a Dolby Atmos-Enabled Surround Speaker features the latest Uni-Q driver array and advanced technology for serious dynamics and accurate, clean sound. The R50 is a closed-box design with KEF’s highly regarded Uni-Q driver array consisting of a one-inch vented aluminum dome high-frequency driver and a 5.25-inch aluminum midbass driver. Would another pair of Dolby Atmos-enabled speakers in back have added to my movie enjoyment even further? Priced at $1,200/pair, the KEF R50’s are an example of the latter option, which fires a driver array towards your ceiling, which combined with Dolby’s proprietary DSP magic, creates a virtual height channel. Copyright © 1998–2020 Audioholics, LLC. Its R Series speakers were joined by the R50, an upward-firing Dolby-certified speaker for placing on top of an existing stereo pair (either at the front or back of an array). It has a 130mm (5.25in.) Additional Resources• Check out our Bookshelf and Small Speakers category page to read similar reviews.• What Your System Needs to Enjoy Dolby Atmos Today at HomeTheaterReview.com.• Visit KEF’s website for more product information. High Points • The KEF R50 speakers capably provided that missing dimension of height to the soundstage, providing a more immersive, emotional experience of rich, full sound that moves more naturally around the listener. First, you need to be able to place the Dolby Atmos-enabled speakers on top of or near your existing main speakers if using two Atmos-enabled modules (if you want to add a second pair, they need to be similarly placed on top of or near your surround speakers). KEF'S R Series speakers have long occupied the middle range of the British manufacturer's offerings. While the KEF R50 is offered as part of the company’s R Series of loudspeakers, its more ubiquitous design will match well with many other brands of loudspeakers, both aesthetically and sonically. The speakers are also internally braced, which accounts for some of their substantial weight. All Rights Reserved. Find helpful customer reviews and review ratings for KEF R50 Dolby Atmos-Enabled Speakers - High Gloss Piano Black (Pair) at Amazon.com. Well, that’s the idea anyway. Australian pricing and availability are TBA, but we expect them to cost upwards of AU$1,200. Get the Audioholics AV Gear Guide Ebook FREE! Their cone is a two-part structure where a shallow concave aluminium skin is grafted onto a paper cone. Power handling and ultimately dynamic capability are generally improved over “full range driver” options, and with proper crossover design, cone breakup isn’t a concern. So, I set up the speaker configuration on the Denon, ran the Audyssey calibration, and sat down to listen. Per Jack Oclee-Brown, KEF’s senior research engineer, the directivity control provided by the concentric arrangement was sufficient on its own to fit within Dolby’s spec for Elevation speakers. In many respects, the KEF R50 isn’t what we’d qualify as a groundbreaking loudspeaker. In addition to the KEF R700s, in for review were Elac’s Uni-Fi FS-U5 Slim, Monitor Audio’s Silver 300, and Bowers & Wilkins’ 704 S2 floorstanding loudspeakers. Read More . The other half of the story is that being a Q Series product, the Q50a has an approachable price at $499.99/pair, as compared to the R50 at $1199.99/pair. KEF calls it the Shadow Flare and it’s shaped to reduce the diffraction effect of the cabinet edges on the array’s output. KEF aims to correct that with its R50 module, the latest addition to its high-end (and extremely glossy) R Series line. That’s important because the success behind this alternative approach depends on being able to accurately beam the sound toward the ceiling so that it reflects off and reaches the listening position from above–just as it would from traditional in-ceiling speakers. For my evaluation, I placed a pair of R50 speakers on top of the Monitor Audio Gold 300 floorstanders I still had on hand following their review. Over the course of watching and listening to several movie selections encoded in Dolby Atmos, I quickly came to appreciate the extra height dimension delivered by the KEF R50 speakers. February 13, 2017 October 10, 2018 AudioHead 4 Comments Bookshelf, KEF, Loudspeaker, R300, Review UK-Based KEF has a product line that runs deep. Second, the room’s ceiling needs to be flat and between eight and 14 feet in height. • The fit and finish of the R50 is impeccable, and the design aesthetic will complement KEF loudspeakers and many other brands. Finishes: Available in Piano black high gloss only. I was never able to pinpoint the source of overhead sounds as coming from the KEF speakers, and the timbre of the KEF R50 matched seamlessly with the Monitor Audio speakers. Today we do KEF R300 review. People (like Steve ) could easily add-on to their existing shiny R500/R700/R900 speakers. However, my surrounds are bipole/dipole speakers mounted on the ceiling, so there was no suitable rear placement option for a second pair of R50 speakers. The KEF R50 has an attractive high-gloss piano black finish and measures just 6.9 inches high by 7.1 wide by 10.2 deep, so I was surprised by the speaker’s heft (9.9 pounds) when unboxing each one. 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