Motorised In-Ceiling Loudspeakers offer decorative subtlety
By Mike Hanlon
June 30, 2005
July 1, 2005 – Some interesting new speakers from KEF seem to offer an ideal solution for someone who wants their audio system to stand out through its sound rather than its looks. For a home theatre to transform movies into an immersive viewer experience, all of its highly variable elements must converge to seamlessly engage the senses. In-ceiling speaks are less visually intrusive, but as most of them point straight down, they are challenged at delivering sound directly at the audience. KEF’s new Ci 3-80QT motorized loudspeaker overcomes this by tilting the entire driver array down from the ceiling and toward seats, and it does this automatically when the system is activated. Accordingly, the speakers envelope the audience with realistic movie sound while the design maintains the utmost decorative subtlety.
The Ci 3-80QT is the only in-ceiling speaker that automatically extends down from its flush-mounted position to directly project sound toward listeners. In addition to motorized positioning, the speaker uses KEF’s own Uni-Q driver to create a widely dispersed and lifelike soundstage.
With the introduction of the Ci 3-80QT, KEF gives home entertainment system installers the power to design a virtually invisible home theater that truly rivals the performance of free-standing speakers.
In addition to the advantages of a motorized tilting mount, KEF’s Ci 3-80QT produces exceptionally wide dispersion through its patented Uni-Q driver. Uni-Q places its aluminium dome tweeter in the acoustic centre of a mid-bass cone, resulting in a near-perfect, single-point-source driver.
This configuration ensures both drivers’ frequency ranges are delivered in-phase and in precise focus, providing the wider dispersion that ensures all listeners throughout the room enjoy optimal sound quality, including those outside of the typical “sweet spot.” The Uni-Q array also offers distinct “vocal intelligibility,” bringing crisp transparency to all dialogue—whether whispered or shouted—even when it is competing with ambient noise.
The Ci 3-80QT comes in a soft white finish, which can be painted to match virtually any setting. It will be available to KEF dealers in mid September. MSRP is US$499.99 each.