Motorised in-wall speakers change position to diffuse sound
By Mike Hanlon
July 7, 2005
July 8, 2005 Last week KEF released the motorised in-ceiling speaker and today the company released a new in-wall speaker. The in-wall loudspeaker lies flush within the wall when not in use, and features a motorized, flat-panel, high frequency driver that automatically extends outward to evenly deliver surround effects throughout the entire room. The Ci FDT’s combination of genuinely unobtrusive installation and advanced audio engineering creates a highly immersive film experience with performance "well beyond that of stationary in-wall speakers" according to KEF.
“In-wall surround speakers are the perfect solution for many décor-conscious homeowners because they virtually disappear within any interior style, but often there’s a sacrifice in accuracy due to their static position,” said Alec Chanin, president of KEF America. “While the Ci FDT resembles other in-wall speakers at first glance, when activated, it becomes clear that this speaker’s look and sound is unlike any other on the market. Because our proprietary flat-panel driver fully extends from the wall, it is able to envelope the entire audience with uniform surround sound effects. This results in a deep and stable soundstage that heightens the movie’s realism for each listener, and makes the home theater’s performance truly breathtaking.” The Ci FDT represents KEF’s success in advancing the application of surround sound, combining true, audiophile precision with the aesthetic versatility of an in-wall speaker. The Ci FDT’s high-frequency driver uses KEF’s proprietary, flat-panel array, which produces clear and robust sound using a design slim enough to maintain full mobility between its active and inactive positions. When the audio system is turned on, the high-frequency driver automatically moves to stand perpendicular to the wall. Its natural-dipole design further broadens the exceptional sound dispersion achieved by this position, filling the entire room with lifelike surround effects, including seats outside of the typical “sweet spot.” Balancing the high-frequency driver’s performance is a 5” bass/midrange cone that brings warmth and richness to the entire ambient soundfield. When the system is turned off, the flat-panel driver automatically returns to its flush-to-the-wall position. As the newest addition to KEF’s acclaimed Custom Installation series, the Ci FDT is built for seamless integration, not only within any home but also within an installer’s palette of audio/video tools. In addition to its unobtrusive, flush-to-wall mounting, the speaker’s neutral-colored bezel and grille can be painted to perfectly match its surroundings. The speaker has also undergone rigorous testing at every stage of manufacture to ensure reliable performance with the variety of high-end sources, components, and systems favored by custom installers. The Ci FDT will be available to KEF dealers in mid September. MSRP is US$499.99 each.