Behind The Scenes: KEF Music Lounge Theater Tour

We recently had the privilege of traveling to Marlboro, NJ to experience KEF’s Music Lounge and tour their incredible THX Certified Home Theater. KEF is famous for their Uni-Q technology, which is able to deliver a sound that is incredibly phase accurate, while at the same time, covering a very wide listening area. The sound coverage these types of speakers provide in a home theater opens up new ways to think about speaker placement and we had a lot of fun discussing theater layout options with the KEF team as we toured their facility. At Audio Advice, we are super passionate about home theater and have conquered all kinds of challenges with the thousands of home theaters we have installed. The best part of this trip was spending time with the KEF team and finding out that they are equally passionate about home theater and love to figure out the best solution for immersive sound with any type of room. Their many choices give them a lot of tools in the bag and it was great to hear their perspectives on the right speakers for various situations as they demonstrated to us in the KEF Music Lounge.

The theater features THX Certified Ultra loudspeakers and subwoofers, ensuring crisp clean audio to drive the emotional depth, texture, and immediacy that the artist intended. Individual loudspeaker performance, as well as the listening and viewing environment of the entire room, have both been expertly verified by THX audio engineers to provide a stunning and accurate entertainment experience for all listeners.

As you walk through the entrance hall of the theater, you are greeted by the blue glow of three huge AV racks that house all of the electronics that help bring music and movies to life throughout the music lounge & theater. Housed in the rack are source components including cable boxes, an Apple TV 4K, Kaleidescape Strato S, and two Sony UBPX1100ES Blu-ray player along with four KEF KASA500 DSP Subwoofer Amplifiers to power ten subwoofers in the theater. In the next rack, there sits an Acurus Act 4 20 channel preamp processor, a Parasound JC5, Parasound A21, Parasound A51, and a Parasound A52. The rack on the right is reserved for the listening lounge, which we will share details on in a future video.

Located right within the warehouse where forklifts, trucks, speaker testing stations, and other loud distractions fill the air with the hustle and bustle of a thriving business, the KEF Theater was built to acoustically isolate the sound both inside and outside of the room. At almost 650 square feet, the room is 35’ deep, 25’ wide, and has 12’ tall ceilings. KEF uses a strategic selection of both absorption & diffusion panels to sonically isolate the space under the disguise of linen-textured fabrics and mahogany paneling. Multiple wood surfaces help bounce the sound around, providing a more lifelike experience. Along the side walls are combinations of scattering, absorption, and diffusion panels to further help create the best sound possible while providing isolation.

This massive theater has a total of 25 speakers, including 10 subwoofers - all tucked away in the walls for an incredibly clean look. The 9.10.6 speaker layout features KEF Ci5160REF-THX in-wall speakers in the left, center, and right positions, with the left and right, displayed just outside of the screen and the center hidden behind a 160” Seymour Screen Excellence acoustically transparent woven screen. 

Four KEF Ci3160RL-THX in-wall speakers are used as side surrounds, with a pair of KEF Ci5160RL-THX in-walls as rears on the back wall. The Ci3160RL-THX speakers are a smaller version of the Ci5160RL-THX with two woofers instead of four and are an outstanding option for sides, and in a smaller theater, also work great as LCR’s.

To make up the ten independent subwoofers, KEF uses four Kube12b’s at the front of the room within the angled walls hidden behind a linen cloth covering. We then move to four pairs of the Ci200QSb-THX acting as side fill subs. In the rear, there are two Ci3160RLb-THX subwoofers that match the side Ci3160REF speakers.

Six Ci200RR-THX in-ceiling speakers deliver Dolby Atmos effects that provide an unbelievable height experience with great depth.

In a traditional loudspeaker, low, mid, and high frequencies radiate from different locations which interfere with each other and can cause the sound to be muddy. KEF’s Uni-Q technology places the tweeter at the center of the bass/midrange cone which disperses the frequencies from a single point source so there is no interference, resulting in a much cleaner sound. Ultimately, this eliminates the “sweet spot,” spreading the sound throughout the entire room evenly so everyone can enjoy the same natural sound no matter where they are located in the room.

The 160” Seymour Screen Excellence acoustically transparent woven screen is paired up with an Epson 6050UB Projector for crisp, 4K images. The 6050UB boasts 2,600 lumens with incredible brightness, color accuracy, and image detail to display your content the way it was intended to look. With full 10-bit HDR color processing and a powerful imaging processor, this projector gives you a superb 4K home theater experience.

If you are thinking about building or upgrading your home theater, be sure to check out our free 3D home theater designer where you can design your system, see lots of videos of complete installations like this one, and browse our inspiration gallery and how-to videos. 

At Audio Advice, we've been designing and installing high-performance home theaters & smart home systems for customers across the country for decades. In fact, we've delivered more custom theaters than anyone in the Southeast! We are now offering Home Theater Design no matter where you live in the United States. If you are interested in a custom home theater or upgrading your current system, give us a call at 888.899.8776, chat with us, or stop by one of our award-winning showrooms. We can't wait to help you build your ultimate home theater!

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