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KEF Ci160ES – New square built-in speaker

The English speaker manufacturer KEF can already point to a versatile range of built-in speaker systems and now adds a particularly flexible model to this. The new KEF Ci160ES is a wall- and ceiling-mounted speaker system.

KEF is expanding its range of KEF E-Series in-ceiling loudspeaker systems with a model that is said to be particularly flexible, the new KEF Ci160ES. This is a solution designed for both wall and ceiling installation, and features a square design and very shallow mounting depth.

It is expressly stated that this new KEF Ci160ES is also designed according to the same high standards as all speaker systems from KEF, so it can be combined with any other models of the Englishman without any problems.

KEF Ci160ES with KEF Uni-Q chassis

A typical feature of the English loudspeaker specialist is of course its consistent use of so-called coaxial drivers, an arrangement in which the tweeter sits in the center of the woofer. KEF calls this special design the KEF Uni-Q chassis, which has been continuously improved and refined for years and is also used in the new KEF Ci160ES.

This proves that the built-in speaker systems and thus also the new KEF Ci160ES are also developed, manufactured and tuned according to the same demanding standards as all products of the company.

KEF Ci160ES 05

This is the basis for the fact that you can use built-in speaker systems in any combination with other speaker systems of the English, without having to worry about the sound compatibility, as the English themselves put it.

The built-in speaker systems can therefore not only be used for simple sound reinforcement of business premises, the hotel industry or gastronomy, but also in the private environment for high-quality multi-room systems and as an extension of classic stereo and home cinema solutions.

Specifically, the KEF Ci160ES is a solution with a 160 mm KEF Uni-Q chassis, a 16 mm aluminum dome tweeter is used here as tweeter.

Due to the special arrangement of the drivers, a single-point-source design is pursued here, which prevents a small “sweet spot effect” that occurs with conventional speakers. The sweet spot is the area where the best possible performance of a loudspeaker system is achieved.

The widest possible sweet spot allows people sitting at different points in the room to experience the same natural, detailed and impressive sound reproduction. KEF says this is an important consideration for in-wall speakers. Even when the speakers are placed in less optimal positions, KEF Uni-Q technology uniquely ensures that the entire room is treated to consistent sound.

Ultra-thin frame, shallow mounting depth and IP64 certification

To allow for the most flexible use possible, the new KEF Ci160ES not only has a comparatively shallow installation depth, it also features a downright ultra-thin frame – the manufacturer calls this UTB. According to KEF, this is one of the narrowest profiles on the market, so that the KEF Ci160ES can be installed particularly discreetly and discreetly.

This may also happen in an environment that does not have perfect conditions, such as in the bathroom, a spa area, and even in protected outdoor areas such as under an eaves. The KEF Ci160ES is namely certified according to IP64 and thus protected against the penetration of dust as well as splash water.

It should also be noted that the cover, which is held in place by magnets, can be painted, guaranteeing a truly discreet installation in any environment.

  • KEF Ci160ES 01
  • KEF Ci160ES 04
  • KEF Ci160ES 03
  • KEF Ci160ES 02

The new offspring of the KEF E-Series

With the KEF Ci160ES, the E stands for the product line, the KEF E-Series in this specific case. This already features a series of round in-ceiling speaker systems with diameters of 130, 160 and 200 mm. The S in the name stands for Square, thus designates the square version of the new model, this is mentioned here for the sake of completeness.

The new KEF Ci160ES is expected to be in stores from October 2021. The recommended retail price for this model is given as € 159 per piece.

Getting to the point

The new KEF Ci160ES is intended to provide a particularly flexible solution for a wide variety of projects in which high-quality built-in speaker systems are integrated as discreetly as possible into commercial spaces or even living rooms. The KEF Ci160ES expands the KEF E-Series of in-wall and in-ceiling loudspeakers with a square solution that naturally features KEF Uni-Q drivers.

Manufacturer: KEF
Distribution: GP Acoustics GmbH
Price:€ 159,- per piece
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Michael Holzinger

Michael Holzinger, founder and editor-in-chief of HiFi BLOG and sempre-audio.at, has been working for years as a journalist in the fields of IT, photography, telecommunications and consumer electronics.

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