Home Cinema Advise - B&W or KEF In-Wall

oakbrick

Standard Member
Dear Experts and Gurus of Home Cinema System

I have a relatively small room 2.6meters wide and 3.5meters long with 2.3meters floor to ceiling height.

I am looking to build Dolby Atmos System with in-wall and in ceiling speakers and I need relatively slim speakers to due to limited space.

I am wondering which of the following option would you recommend, it it ok to mix Kef and B&W and also which AV you recommend Denon 3700 or 2700?

Option 1
3 x KEF Ci4100QL (LCR)
4 x KEF Ci160TS (In-Ceiling rear and atmos)
1 x KEF Ci200QSB (Sub in wall - under the front speakers)
1 x KEF KASA500 Amplifier for the Subwoofers

Option 2
3 x B&W CWM7.4 S2 (LCR)
4 x KEF Ci160TS (In-Ceiling rear and atmos)
1 x KEF Ci200QSB (Sub in wall - under the front speakers)
1 x KEF KASA500 Amplifier for the Subwoofers

Also, do I need to have boxes for these speakers or stud wall is good enough?

I would be grateful for your advise and also if you have opinion on the speakers based on your experience?

Thank you very very much in advance!
 

AmericanAudio

Active Member
AVForums Sponsor
Couldn't comment on the KEF or B&W brands as such, but could add another into the mix if you wanted.

That said, it is recommended that you dont mix brands or even ranges in some cases, in the main channels (LCR and Rears), because of the mix of timbre that you would be introducing (warmth and brightness of sound). It is less of an issue for the in-ceiling Atmos units as they typically have less of an impact.

With regards to building enclosures or protecting them in the walls and ceilings, it will be a combination of what the adjoining walls/ceiling are, what they are made of and building regs.

Basically, Regs say that for every opening you create in a wall or ceiling you must maintain the fire and accoustic protection of the room, so every wall and ceiling opening should be fitted with a fire-hood or enclosed within a suitable box. If you are looking to build a box for each speaker, then if you make it out of the same plasterboard as the room, job done. Or you could use something like a Hoody type speaker fire / accoustic hood to achieve the same thing.

HOWEVER, This is only for new houses, building regs only 'technically' apply to when the house is built and signed off as meeting the regs of the day. If you are building an extention, building regs should also apply. And any installer / designer doing thier job properly would automatically spec hoods or boxes and we would aways recommend (force you to buy) them when ordering in-wall/ceiling speakers.

HTH

Chris.
 
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oakbrick

Standard Member
Thank you Chris for a detailed reply, appreciate it very much. Which other brand you were going to add in the mix?

to other members, anyone has any views on KEF system?

3 x KEF Ci4100QL (LCR)
4 x KEF Ci160TS (In-Ceiling rear and atmos)
1 x KEF Ci200QSB (Sub in wall - under the front speakers)
1 x KEF KASA500 Amplifier for the Subwoofers

Thanks!
 

AmericanAudio

Active Member
AVForums Sponsor
We are just bringing a whole range of the OSD Black in-wall and in-ceiling speakers on-board along with the Hoody fire and accoustic hoods, both wall and ceilings.

At the moment the Angled BK-R83A Angled In-Ceilings are on the site, just waiting for pricing on the rest. These make fantastic Atmos In-Ceilings as they are angled to be able to position them infront of the listening position and drive at you rather than down to you. As per Atmos specs.

 

Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
Thank you Chris for a detailed reply, appreciate it very much. Which other brand you were going to add in the mix?

to other members, anyone has any views on KEF system?

3 x KEF Ci4100QL (LCR)
4 x KEF Ci160TS (In-Ceiling rear and atmos)
1 x KEF Ci200QSB (Sub in wall - under the front speakers)
1 x KEF KASA500 Amplifier for the Subwoofers

Thanks!

Any chance for normal subwoofer(s)? There is the usual black/white matte and gloss finishes and BK Electronics has wood veneer finishes to suit room decor if it comes to that. Also downfiring models so the cabinet looks more like wooden furniture rather than box with visible driver.

You are paying over 1600£ for a pair of CI200QSB and the amp. And you need 4 to match THX Select2 requirements. You can get better performing dual subwoofers for under 1k£!!! Remember there is no matching requirement for speakers and woofers!

The receiver choice should be simple, X3700H offers best value/performance/features and also the better room correction which come very handy when dialing those dual subwoofers if you can have two compact boxes in room!
 

oakbrick

Standard Member
Any chance for normal subwoofer(s)? There is the usual black/white matte and gloss finishes and BK Electronics has wood veneer finishes to suit room decor if it comes to that. Also downfiring models so the cabinet looks more like wooden furniture rather than box with visible driver.

You are paying over 1600£ for a pair of CI200QSB and the amp. And you need 4 to match THX Select2 requirements. You can get better performing dual subwoofers for under 1k£!!! Remember there is no matching requirement for speakers and woofers!

The receiver choice should be simple, X3700H offers best value/performance/features and also the better room correction which come very handy when dialing those dual subwoofers if you can have two compact boxes in room!
Thanks. are you suggesting stand alone sub due to cost or performance?

also any experience on Kef or B&W in wall speakers?
 

Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
Thanks. are you suggesting stand alone sub due to cost or performance?

also any experience on Kef or B&W in wall speakers?

Yes stand alone sub or two if possible! Reason is due to cost and performance both! The dual in-wall Kef woofers cost 800£ + the amp another 800£, horrible price to hide two not so good woofers.. New atmos system you want some good quality woofers that can support the in-wall speakers. It really comes down your budget, size requirements, finish etc.

American Audio sells SVS which is one of the most known brand with great build quality/performance/long amp warranty/ great support. For a small room like yours sealed models from 1000 and 2000 serie should be considered.

Then you have the local company BKE if you want some wood veneer finishes. XXLS400 has been forum favourite since 2009 or so under 500£ mark.

Arendal 1961 1S is somewhere in the middle with the price of ~750£ (799€ and little expenses due to Brexit). This one is not going to disappoint in the small room of yours either! One of the most intresting woofers at the moment if size matters. Same warranty and support as with SVS. Side firing driver, but also narrow cabinet.


I would also think about how you place the woofers, is it both at front/rear wall or better yet one at front left and second at rear right (or opposite). Which ever is going to give you smoother response is the way to go.
 

Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
I don´t think you can go wrong with either of those speaker brands and OSD Audio sounds intresting too. For in-wall speakers M&K IW950 is very popular which i would add in to list if not too expensive (900£/each). M&K is well known from speakers to cinemas, recording studios, some movie companies use them etc. For surround channels there is IW95, IW85, IW5 (500-800£/each). For ceiling you can think of using other brand (KEF) if it comes too expensive other wise.

Lot what has been said to next model IW150 applies to iw950 model due to sharing same tweeter so i think it would be good read if intrested.

Speaker choice is toughest. Especially without listening having no idea of how each brand sounds. There is option to get demos for M&K in-walls in few places at UK, after lockdown. For KEF and B&W no idea.
 

Seriously Ltd

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
We have a lot of experience installing/supplying both the KEF and M&K’s.

If it were our money we would lean towards the M&K’s for optimal performance and in wall options.

[email protected]
 

oakbrick

Standard Member
I don´t think you can go wrong with either of those speaker brands and OSD Audio sounds intresting too. For in-wall speakers M&K IW950 is very popular which i would add in to list if not too expensive (900£/each). M&K is well known from speakers to cinemas, recording studios, some movie companies use them etc. For surround channels there is IW95, IW85, IW5 (500-800£/each). For ceiling you can think of using other brand (KEF) if it comes too expensive other wise.

Lot what has been said to next model IW150 applies to iw950 model due to sharing same tweeter so i think it would be good read if intrested.

Speaker choice is toughest. Especially without listening having no idea of how each brand sounds. There is option to get demos for M&K in-walls in few places at UK, after lockdown. For KEF and B&W no idea.
Thank you - MK IW950 do look very nice but they are out of my budget, even B&W are almost out of my budget, that is why I was checking is it worth finding extra money for B&W for front three or KEF are good enough as on brand for all the speakers.

also, please remember it is a small room 2.6m x 3.5m so super speakers may not be an option for us.

Based on the above, would you rate KEF at 8 if MK is 10? or what would be your rating?
 

Tom @ Cinehome

Well-known Member
AVForums Sponsor
We used the KEF Ci4100QL's in our demo room for some time before replacing with MK recently. They are extremely good, very smooth frequency response and small and unobtrusive. We have supplied quite a number of them to very satisfied clients. They also match the CI160TS extremely well. I would definitely say the KEF's are "good enough" compared to the B&W's and the timbre match with the other loudspeakers is ideal.

If there is scope to do so, I would use 4100's all the way round (for surrounds too) on the base layer and only use one pair of 160TS's for Atmos in the ceiling. You'll get a far better result if the room allows?

As has been suggested already, MK would offer a step up in sound quality over the KEF's if budget allowed, but if it is not viable the KEF's are very good.

Re subwoofer choices, a pair of SB2000 Pro's or MK V10's or 12's would be superb with a big performance uptick over the in wall KEF subwoofers and amplifier.

Re the amplifier, the Denon 3700 would be the one to go for.

Hope this helps? Please get in touch if we can assist further? We'd be delighted to help.

Thanks Tom
 

oakbrick

Standard Member
We have a lot of experience installing/supplying both the KEF and M&K’s.

If it were our money we would lean towards the M&K’s for optimal performance and in wall options.

[email protected]
Thanks - MK price seems to be very high compare to Kef speakers. Is it worth spending twice the money for it? please note its a relatively small room
 

oakbrick

Standard Member
We used the KEF Ci4100QL's in our demo room for some time before replacing with MK recently. They are extremely good, very smooth frequency response and small and unobtrusive. We have supplied quite a number of them to very satisfied clients. They also match the CI160TS extremely well. I would definitely say the KEF's are "good enough" compared to the B&W's and the timbre match with the other loudspeakers is ideal.

If there is scope to do so, I would use 4100's all the way round (for surrounds too) on the base layer and only use one pair of 160TS's for Atmos in the ceiling. You'll get a far better result if the room allows?

As has been suggested already, MK would offer a step up in sound quality over the KEF's if budget allowed, but if it is not viable the KEF's are very good.

Re subwoofer choices, a pair of SB2000 Pro's or MK V10's or 12's would be superb with a big performance uptick over the in wall KEF subwoofers and amplifier.

Re the amplifier, the Denon 3700 would be the one to go for.

Hope this helps? Please get in touch if we can assist further? We'd be delighted to help.

Thanks Tom
Thanks Tom, this really help as our room is small i dont have much space to put large boxes in the room and also only using CI160 becuase I am trying to squeeze it in ceiling (again to save space).

Do drop me a note with your details and maybe you can quote us?
 

Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
Thank you - MK IW950 do look very nice but they are out of my budget, even B&W are almost out of my budget, that is why I was checking is it worth finding extra money for B&W for front three or KEF are good enough as on brand for all the speakers.

also, please remember it is a small room 2.6m x 3.5m so super speakers may not be an option for us.

Based on the above, would you rate KEF at 8 if MK is 10? or what would be your rating?

Stick with Kef then, i would be very suprised if you wouldn´t like them. More often people don´t like the new B&Ws as they can be bit of hit or miss.

Is the Ci160TS largest you fit in the rear part of room? For surround sides on the wall you could also consider the cheaper and better CI160QL. The difference is that this isn´t low depth model. Are you mounting surround sides on the side wall or rear wall? Keep in mind the speakers need to be around seated ear height with Atmos system. So you need the height separation between these channels.

And for ceiling speakers you can consider this model again it has better tweeter than the Ci160TS.

Both of these share 19mm tweeter similar to that THX Extreme LCR 4100 you mentioned. But as always you choose what works best in your room!
 

oakbrick

Standard Member
Stick with Kef then, i would be very suprised if you wouldn´t like them. More often people don´t like the new B&Ws as they can be bit of hit or miss.

Is the Ci160TS largest you fit in the rear part of room? For surround sides on the wall you could also consider the cheaper and better CI160QL. The difference is that this isn´t low depth model. Are you mounting surround sides on the side wall or rear wall? Keep in mind the speakers need to be around seated ear height with Atmos system. So you need the height separation between these channels.

And for ceiling speakers you can consider this model again it has better tweeter than the Ci160TS.

Both of these share 19mm tweeter similar to that THX Extreme LCR 4100 you mentioned. But as always you choose what works best in your room!
Thank you very much, this is very helpful!
space is limited this is why i was going with TS model is there is a huge difference by having a better tweeter?
 

Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
Thank you very much, this is very helpful!
space is limited this is why i was going with TS model is there is a huge difference by having a better tweeter?

If it can´t be done then don´t stress about it, if you need low depth model then the model you picked will do the trick. I assume you have looked bit of the optimal speaker locations or if you use some installer he knows where to place em.

 

oakbrick

Standard Member
If it can´t be done then don´t stress about it, if you need low depth model then the model you picked will do the trick. I assume you have looked bit of the optimal speaker locations or if you use some installer he knows where to place em.

you are an absolute star!!! thank you - i will check the guide

any projector you can recommend - remember distance from wall to screen would be less than 3.5 meters
 

Tom @ Cinehome

Well-known Member
AVForums Sponsor
you are an absolute star!!! thank you - i will check the guide

any projector you can recommend - remember distance from wall to screen would be less than 3.5 meters
The Epson EH-TW9400 is an excellent unit. Depending on desired screen size, it should work at that distance.

Here is a link to the Epson throw distance calculator:

lens-distance-calculator

Best, Tom
 

Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
you are an absolute star!!! thank you - i will check the guide

any projector you can recommend - remember distance from wall to screen would be less than 3.5 meters

I haven`t kept up with the new projectors as i have older one. So Tom and other dealers will know best.

Although if you still want opinion from members who has more knowledge in this area, make a new thread below section and put your budget, screen size, throw distance etc.


Naturally you need AT (acoustically transparent) screen.
 

AmericanAudio

Active Member
AVForums Sponsor
you are an absolute star!!! thank you - i will check the guide

any projector you can recommend - remember distance from wall to screen would be less than 3.5 meters
Initially it will be driven by your budget.

My installer choices would be:
Optoma,
Epsom,
Sony,

All depending on your budget and use case.

And dont forget a good quality projector mount, the ONLY one I use is a Peerless one with one of the best adjustment systems.

 
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Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
While people are intrested about the picture quality mostly etc. i would pay attention also which model is quiet/noisy. I will never buy another Benq projector cause even in ECO mode the noise is disturbing. My dealer had Sony in demo room and oh man it was almost silent. The noise might not be issue day time when volume is higher, but evening (if neighbours) it really can annoy...
 

oakbrick

Standard Member
While people are intrested about the picture quality mostly etc. i would pay attention also which model is quiet/noisy. I will never buy another Benq projector cause even in ECO mode the noise is disturbing. My dealer had Sony in demo room and oh man it was almost silent. The noise might not be issue day time when volume is higher, but evening (if neighbours) it really can annoy...
Thanks and agreed, noisy projector is definitely not an option.
 

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