Dolby Atmos Q50 speaker

johnny1234

Standard Member
Hi, thinking of purchasing 2 Kef Q50 speakers to add to my 5.1 system. Please could you tell me if Atmos speakers emit sound 100% of the time or only when playing Atmos soundtrack? Also what distance from the the ceiling should they be placed? Ceiling height is 8ft.
Thanks
 

Dolus

Active Member
Important question - Do you have a Dolby Atmos capable AVR?

To answer your questions:
Normally they will be placed on the front L/R speakers and the AVR should has a distance setting between the speaker and ceiling. Mine is 3 feet to 11 feet.

With non Atmos material whether it is surround or plain stereo you can engage one of the upmixers (Dolby Surround, DTS Neural X or Auro 3D depending on AVR) and the sound will be upmixed to all speakers.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
You can use the KEFs in two ways. The first is on top of the front left and right speaker. The second is to mount them high on the wall in line with those front speakers, there are keyhole fittings on the bottom of the speakers to allow for this.

For them to work in the upfiring position the ceiling should be perfectly flat and made of a reflective material. Be between 7.5 and 14 feet high with the speakers placed no higher than 50% of that height. They should be placed on or as near as possible to the front left and right speaker.

With them in the upfiring position then they do create a very tall front soundstage and the use of Dolby Surround and DTS Neural will make them very active giving a good bubble of sound with object based effects showing up well. I suggest with upfiring that you set the crossovers to 120hz and increase the levels by at least +2dB over the calibrated level. I've been running upfiring KEF R50s for six years now and they are effective.
 

johnny1234

Standard Member
Thanks for that. I have a Denon AVR 4500. So if I position the speakers 3 feet from the floor, should be OK?
 

gibbsy

Moderator
Thanks for that. I have a Denon AVR 4500. So if I position the speakers 3 feet from the floor, should be OK?
You really want to have the speaker higher than your seated head height, that's why the recommendation for having them on top of the front left and right. It's so that Audyssey picks up the reflected audio from the ceiling and not the direct audio from the speaker. It will also help to localise the object based sounds from the ceiling.

My R50s are sitting at 3'5'' and the dimensions are roughly the same as the Q50s. Check when you are seated that the middle of the speaker is above your ears. On the Denon assign the speakers as Dolby Sp.
 

johnny1234

Standard Member
One more question. All the answers state the speakers have to be in front, this is not possible for me. Am I wasting my time putting 2 speakers at the back?
 

Dobbyisfree

Well-known Member
The recommendation, if you are using two, is for them to be at the front, assigned as Gibbsy said as Dolby Sp.

However, if you are limited and can only put them at the back, your x4500 is also able to only assigned two Dolby Sp. at the back.

I'm not sure how much sound will come from them though. I.e. you would hope if you only have two then it treats the two as the only height and sends all height info. to them. But I don't think this is the case, I think it may only send the discrete Atmos/DTS:X/Auro signal to the rears only. If that's the case, it may be pretty rubbish to be honest.

Someone else on here should know.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
You should get the full audio by configuring just as rear Dolby Sp. There are others on here that do just run upfiring speakers at the rear. How good it will sound is subjective. Others use them at the side of the MLP and configured for rear Dolby. Almost everything is a compromise in a standard living room. You have to work with the hand that has been dealt to you.
 

johnny1234

Standard Member
Just a thought, what if I was to connect the 2 speakers to the front terminals, bearing in mind with the angle it hits the ceiling it would be reflecting a third into the room.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
Experiment young man, you have nothing to lose except an aching back when trying to get to the rear of the amp. If you're going to have a play around I suggest you get some banana plugs.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
Me again. If the Q50 atmos speakers don’t work as atmos, could I use them as standard speakers in 7.1?
They will work for Atmos but in answer to your question they can be used as rear surrounds in a 7.1.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
Hi me again. Would I have to upgrade my HDMI Cable to receive Atmos?
No. A cable would need upgrading for 4K video, audio plays no part as it is decoded at the AV amp's end and is sent as metadata alongside the TrueHD bitstreamed track.
 

johnny1234

Standard Member
Hi, just to let everyone know that I connected the Q50 speakers as Dolby front and OMG what a sound experience!!
Thanks again for all your inputs
 

Dobbyisfree

Well-known Member
You should get the full audio by configuring just as rear Dolby Sp. There are others on here that do just run upfiring speakers at the rear. How good it will sound is subjective. Others use them at the side of the MLP and configured for rear Dolby. Almost everything is a compromise in a standard living room. You have to work with the hand that has been dealt to you.

Hiya, as you say, considering how to work with the hand that I've been dealt!

So, to my Denon if I connected any pair of the three below:

1626168719828.png


All of the (no matter how many channels) Atmos sound is combined together sent to that pair? Is it the same for DTS:X or Auro sources too?

Sorry, I believe that is what you're saying but would really like to confirm. In our new lounge setup, I am currently "unauthorised" to have any height but there maybe an option for one pair but not at the front.

Thanks.
 

johnny1234

Standard Member
Hi, I have connected the FDL and FDR to the front Height connections on my Denon AVR but placed the speakers at the back. They sound great but don’t know if it is the best because I don’t have anything to compare it to.
 

Dobbyisfree

Well-known Member
Well, given the info above, I can't see that the signal should be any different but if it was me I would still assign them as the closest to where they are. Are they above the surrounds or above the surround backs? Are they upfiring?
 

gibbsy

Moderator
Hiya, as you say, considering how to work with the hand that I've been dealt!

So, to my Denon if I connected any pair of the three below:

View attachment 1541186

All of the (no matter how many channels) Atmos sound is combined together sent to that pair? Is it the same for DTS:X or Auro sources too?

Sorry, I believe that is what you're saying but would really like to confirm. In our new lounge setup, I am currently "unauthorised" to have any height but there maybe an option for one pair but not at the front.

Thanks.
The audio will be mixed into whatever the speaker configuration is and respond to the speaker positioning. If running just two speakers then all the information is sent to that speaker that would normally be played on the four. Atmos works with the speakers that are there same as DTS:X. It is not a channel based format per se.

I've never looked at Auro to be honest.
 

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