Atmos ceiling speaker selection (and speaker cable)

jsl20

Active Member
I'm looking at replacing my down-firing speakers to in-ceiling speakers go from 5.1.2 to 5.1.4 in a room that is roughly 4 x 4m. My LCRs are all Kef LS50s so I'd like to stick with Kef for the ceiling speakers, though as my surrounds are B&W M1s I may not be too fussy here. I've been recommended the Ci160.2QR speakers for the install, they're currently around £200 each or slightly more at RRP. A bit of maths shows this to work out at a fair amount so I have a few questions:

1) Is it worth keeping the Kef theme or does the brand matching not really matter from base layer to overheads?
2) Kef do the Q series in-ceiling speakers in 100mm, 130mm and 160mm variants - given my room isn't massive would the 160s be too big?
3) Which fire hoods do people recommend?

As the speaker cable for all four will be running through a conduit in the corner of my room (I don't want to chase cables at this point) I'm unlikely to be able to use my usual 2.5mm Van Damme blue as it's too big. Other than QED micro is there another small ish speaker cable for custom installs that anyone can recommend? From experience QED micro isn't the best to work with so if I can use something nicer I will.

Thanks!
 

Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
Kef site or any dealer doesn`t list the Ci160.2QR model so you got it wrong. I googled and it was talked in 2007 some old model.

This is the 160QR. All the .2 models cost under 200£ and use the 16mm tweeter, not as good as this one.

160mm drivers won´t be too large, would be minium for dedicated cinema room even for 4x4 meaning the volume used is likely much higher and no compromise approach. If this is more living room type system you could also consider the smaller 130ER model. 200£/pair. If you get the QR model then i would choose 160mm straight.

 

jsl20

Active Member
You’re right on the name, I must have copied it incorrectly sorry. Any ideas on the differences between the ER and QR ranges?
 

Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
You’re right on the name, I must have copied it incorrectly sorry. Any ideas on the differences between the ER and QR ranges?

ER is special lower range i think only Richer Sounds sells it. Smaller mid-bass driver and different tweeter. QR is the top range so it should sound better with higher power handling and the frequency response as you can see is better in both ends, but 480£/pair vs. 200£ is big jump. If you get them 400£/pair then much better.

@ShanePJ could check which affordable fire hoods their company sells and also the speaker wires (not those snake oil brands/prices) if you are open to order from forum advertiser. They sell those Kefs, but you would have to talk can they match the deal (800£ for 4speakers) if you buy the wires and firehoods too...
 

ShanePJ

Well-known Member
AVForums Sponsor
With Atmos speakers, don't get eaten up by brands because the way the audio is delivered, you really cannot tell the difference between one good quality speaker to another. however you can tell the difference between smaller and larger speakers as the larger ones are usually easier to drive.

I would say that I'd recommend something like these if you can accommodate the size

Fisual IC80, Monitor Audio Pro 80 or Klipsch CS-18C as a starting point. These will be much better for sound distribution. If you wish to stay with Kef, then you are looking at the cheapest option. I doubt they will be able to bring anything extra to atmos than the ones I've mentioned though.

As for hoods, we have a selection of them here and depending upon which speaker size you go for will, one of these will be ideal for your needs.

Regarding cable, as you are looking at hoods, I'm guessing you'll also require the same type of cable due to regulations and, So we also have many options available from QED's basic flame retardant QX16/2, to AudioQuest SLiP-DB 16/2. Simply visit our speaker cables page and select "Install Rated" which will then filter all the other cables out. If you don't require installation rated cabling, our Fisual S-Flex cable is very highly regarded by anyone who uses them or has had the benefit of auditioning
 

jsl20

Active Member
Ok thanks. Should I be worried about the power handling of the Monitor Audio speakers? It's only 40W which seems a bit low for any AVR. The Klipsch may be an interesting option, especially given the >90dB sensitivity to lighten the load on my AVR. It is best for me to give you a call to discuss?

Re the cable, as far as I know I'm not subject to regs as my house is quite old (it is almost 100!). The hoods seem like a good safety first option though. As I'm going into the ceiling and around joists it'll be tough for me to estimate the total length required with a decent level of confidence but I can have a go.
 

ShanePJ

Well-known Member
AVForums Sponsor
Monitor Audio speakers
Yeah, I was just looking at the size and price point and hadn't notice the 10-40w although ours are recommended at 45w RMS although they can handle power up to 120 watts, so I suspect they're being super careful and the chances of you maxing them out would be hard. But if you have any reservations, then do steer clear of them for piece of mind as that's also very important

You shouldn't need to use fireproof cabling then
 

xavster

Active Member
Hello. Apologies for jumping in. Just a few questions as I’m also hoping to get a 5.1.4 setup going. My room has a small attic space above with no habitable rooms. Do I need firehoods or back boxes to improve the sound? Or do they not make much difference in an atmos set up? Thanks v much.
 

jsl20

Active Member
From all of the Googling I’ve been doing on speaker hoods recently it seems they do very little for the sound. I guess it’d be like trying to cover open backed headphones with a pillowcase and expecting them to turn into closed backed. The hood isn’t going to do what a wooden cabinet would.

My ceiling speaker install is booked in for next month and I’m going for hoods without any acoustic claims, they’re half the price of the other ones!
 

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