KEF is the latest manufacturer to sign up to Dolby Atmos technology, following the release of its own pair of speaker modules that can be incorporated into any speaker system.

The R50 benefits from the company's full-range Uni-Q driver array, which comprises a 25mm aluminium vented-tweeter and a 13cm bass/mid driver. 

KEF claims that these drivers work together to produce "deep lows, a fast and clean midrange response, and pure high frequencies with exceptional clarity". Z-flex surround technology is also used in an effort to reduce distortion and enhance vocal clarity.

MORE: Kef R100 5.1 review

The R50 uses a wedged shaped cabinet design that is intended to project the sound upwards, before it is then reflected by your ceiling to deliver the Dolby Atmos sound experience. 

KEF said the modules can be placed on either floorstanding or bookshelf speakers, which don't necessarily have to be made by them - the R50 is compatible with any Dolby Atmos system where an Atmos-enabled speaker is required. 

More after the break

MORE: Read all our KEF reviews and news

KEF is also offering in-ceiling speakers that are designed to further enhance the Dolby Atmos sound effect in your living room, which include the Ci160QR; Ci200R and THX Ultra-2 certified Ci200RR-THX models. 

The KEF R50 Dolby Atmos speaker modules will be available from early November, with a price tag of £600 per pair. 

MORE: Dolby Atmos - What is it? How can you get it?

Comments

ellisdj's picture

Surely the benefit of the

Surely the benefit of the UniQ is completely wasted in the idea of bouncing the sound off the ceiling?

The_Lhc's picture

It might well be but there's

It might well be but there's no cost benefit in developing a completely new driver just for this application, just design the box and stick the drivers you've already paid the development costs on in them, much easier. 600 quid though? That's the same price as the R300s isn't it?

bigboss's picture

No, R300 costs £1000 a pair.

No, R300 costs £1000 a pair. R100 costs £600 a pair.

TobesEtc's picture

...or

...or just point a pair of LS50's at the ceiling?

domdawes's picture

An answer

Hi there, I am a PR represenative for KEF. I thought it mght be useful to provide an answer to the initial question. The point of the Uni-Q driver is to avoid the irregularities in response that occur with conventional drivers. Since these irregularities are generally heard off-axis i.e.  when not sitting in the 'sweet spot', Uni-Q is in fact of great benefit in a speaker in an off-axis position, including an extreme 'off-axis' case such as the Dolby Atmos module, where the driver is actually pointing at the ceiling.

The unique dispersion charateristics and low distortion of the Uni-Q driver deliver a sound that's more widely-dispersed initially (from the driver), and with fewer distortions and irregularities. So the acoustically reflected sound (in the Dolby Atmos case) should be both clearer and more immersive as a result.

Hope that helps!

nabster888's picture

KEF R50 vs inwall/ceiling speakers

KEF R50 vs. Inwall/ceiling speakers

Comapare the 2........ which would sound better?? R50 which would bounce sound off the ceiling or an inwall/ceiling speaker, where the sound comes directly from the ceiling??

one would think speakers fixed in the ceiling would sound better?!?

any comments/clarification from KEF??

Andy Clough's picture

In-wall/ceiling speakers

I've heard both the KEF R50s and in-ceiling speakers, and while the R50s work surprisingly well, if you want the best Dolby Atmos performance you'll need in-ceiling speakers.

nabster888's picture

In-ceiling

yes