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KEF Ci5160REFM-THX and KEF Ci3160REFM-THX - THX-certified KEF The Reference Series in-wall speakers with KEF MAT

KEF describes its new KEF Ci5160REFM-THX and KEF Ci3160REFM-THX in-wall speaker systems as outstanding solutions for home cinema. This is said to be due to groundbreaking innovation, as well as the fact that they are THX-certified solutions.

Story Highlights
  • KEF presents two new built-in speaker systems from The Reference Series: the KEF Ci5160REFM-THX and KEF Ci3160REFM-THX.

Two outstanding new built-in loudspeaker systems are now being presented by the English specialist KEF in the form of the KEF Ci5160REFM-THX and KEF Ci3160REFM-THX models. As part of KEF’s The Reference Series, they are designed to deliver nothing less than the ultimate home cinema experience. Once again, this will be achieved through ground-breaking innovations, such as built-in speaker systems featuring KEF Uni-Q drivers with KEF MAT, KEF’s Metamaterial Absorption Technology, to deliver the purest, most natural sound.

This is also the basis for the two new built-in speaker systems receiving the all-important THX Ltd. certification for home cinema, with the KEF Ci3160REFM-THX being THX Certifed Ultra and the KEF Ci5160REFM-THX even being THX Certified Dominus.

KEF The Reference Series – For a unique home cinema experience

The new in-wall speaker systems, as mentioned earlier, are designed by KEF as solutions to achieve a unique home theatre experience. Of course, this doesn’t mean that these systems can’t also be used for a stereo configuration without any problems, this should be mentioned in passing.

The two new systems are now labelled by KEF as The Reference Series in the Custom Installation range, to underline the high level of quality that KEF is aiming to achieve.

KEF’s promise is that the KEF The Reference Series solutions will create a whole new level of entertainment in the custom installation segment, where movie lovers and music enthusiasts will be surrounded by lifelike sound and enjoy a deeper, more exciting audio experience.

To complement the KEF Extreme Home Theatre Series

The two new Custom Installation Speakers are designed to complement the KEF Extreme Home Theatre Series, with the stated aim of providing a new emotional level of entertainment when watching films, playing games or listening to music.

The two new models in KEF’s The Reference Series are clearly in the tradition of the product line, which was launched back in 1973, and which, true to its name, is committed to absolute excellence at its heart. KEF is convinced that the KEF Reference Series has always set new standards through the use of ground-breaking technologies and continuous development, and this will now also apply to the KEF Ci Reference Speakers.

Collaboration with THX Ltd.

KEF has worked closely with THX Ltd. in the development of the new KEF Ci5160REFM-THX and KEF Ci3160REFM-THX models and is proud to announce that both models have been certified by THX Ltd. for their outstanding quality in accordance with the company’s strict guidelines.

Latest technology at work – 12th generation KEF Uni-Q drivers with KEF MAT

At the heart of the new KEF Ci5160REFM-THX and KEF Ci3160REFM-THX in-wall speaker systems are, of course, KEF Uni-Q drivers, now in their 12th generation. The most striking feature is that KEF MAT, the so-called Metamaterial Absorption Technology, is used for the first time in the custom installation sector.

According to the manufacturer, the woofers used have also been specially optimised for wall mounting and the aluminium baffle has been designed to eliminate any vibrations. All other key components of the KEF Ci5160REFM-THX and KEF Ci3160REFM-THX solutions have also been designed to deliver on the promise of a particularly realistic, immersive sound with breathtaking dynamics.

KEF Ci3160REFM-THX – THX Certified Ultra for superior sound

The KEF Ci3160REFM-THX is a THX Ltd. THX Certified Ultra in-wall speaker system that, as described above, relies on a KEF Uni-Q 12th generation chassis with KEF MAT. The KEF Metamaterial Absorption Technology is said to eliminate 99 percent of high-frequency distortion, as the manufacturer explicitly emphasises, and promises a particularly pure, natural sound.

The KEF Uni-Q driver is flanked by two 160 mm woofers that have been optimised for wall mounting.

With its elegant, but above all unobtrusive design, the built-in speaker is designed to blend discreetly into any living environment, and is available in black and grey. The metal trim can of course be painted and the manufacturer also offers a black fabric grill as an option.

KEF Ci5160REFM-THX – THX Certified Dominus

The new KEF Ci5160REFM-THX is special not only because it is a KEF The Reference Series in-wall speaker, but also because it is THX Certified Dominus by THX Ltd.

THX Dominus Certified is the highest level of certification that THX Ltd. can award, and the KEF Ci5160REFM-THX can easily meet the expectations of home cinema enthusiasts.

From a purely technical point of view, custom-made KEF Uni-Q drivers of the 12th generation are used here, which of course also rely on KEF MAT to eliminate virtually all distortion in the high frequency range and thus produce an absolutely pure, natural sound.

The KEF Ci5160REFM-THX uses no fewer than four woofer drivers to deliver the right amount of bass, all of which have been specially optimised for wall mounting. Each of them has a diameter of 160 mm.

Since a lot of energy is released here, the drivers are precisely embedded in an 11 mm thick aluminium baffle, which is the basis for optimal performance. Vibrations that can damage the sound are thus prevented from the outset.

The new KEF Ci5160REFM-THX is of course also available in black or grey, whereby the metal cover, held in place by magnets, can be painted. An optional black fabric front cover is also available.

Prices and availability

According to the manufacturer, the new KEF The Reference Series built-in speaker systems will be available in the near future, probably in April 2023, although the approach is somewhat different from that of conventional solutions. These will be delivered solely to order, with a delivery time of around eight weeks from the time of order, as KEF explains. Such systems are aimed primarily at specialist dealers who specialise in custom installations and use them in correspondingly complex projects.

The KEF Ci3160REFM-THX is priced at € 8.000,- the KEF Ci5160REFM-THX at € 11.000,-.

Getting to the point

“Hide your speakers, not your sound” is the premise under which KEF’s new KEF Ci5160REFM-THX and KEF Ci3160REFM-THX built-in speaker systems are said to have been developed, as UK specialist KEF puts on record. They are designed to integrate discreetly into any living environment, and their first-class acoustic performance will delight even the most discerning home cinema enthusiasts. This is ensured by state-of-the-art features such as KEF Uni-Q 12th generation drivers equipped with KEF MAT. As proof that these are worthy representatives of KEF’s The Reference Series that are in no way inferior to classic speaker systems, the KEF Ci3160REFM-THX is THX Certified Ultra and the KEF Ci5160REFM-THX even carries the THX Certified Dominus seal of approval.

PriceKEF Ci5160REFM-THX € 8.000,-
KEF Ci3160REFM-THX € 11.000,-
DistributionGP Acoustics GmbH
More about this manufacturer at HiFi BLOG
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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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