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KEF R8 Meta Dolby Atmos Speaker Review

Rate this Dolby Atmos Speaker

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 3 1.6%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 20 10.9%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 75 41.0%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 85 46.4%

  • Total voters
    183

Budgetjack

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FYI. If you are in the USA Bestbuy.com has the Non-meta for $620 new. I suspect very little ultimate difference. EAC did the non-meta Klipple review awhile ago.
I’m thinking about grabbing some for front wides and rear Channels. I currently have 5160 front stage, 3160 surrounds and 200rr heights. Budget is getting tight and they fit the bill.

I believe I can run directional bass in the future to help with the fall off at 125hertz.
 

Budgetjack

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I own two pairs of the prior generation R8s. I have one pair serving as Atmos speakers up front, bouncing off my relatively low (2.3m) drywall ceiling, the effect of which is absolutely convincing in my room. The other pair firing directly serving as rear surrounds.

Here's a comparison of the unequalised response of both sets from my MLP (crossed over at 150Hz):

View attachment 285233

Fronts are positioned out of site behind the TV and the rears high on the back wall:

View attachment 285235View attachment 285234
How do the perform as surround?. I’m thinking about using them as rears but the high crossover concerns me some.
 

KenMasters

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How do the perform as surround?. I’m thinking about using them as rears but the high crossover concerns me some.

I think they work really well - they're neat, out of the way and their output is clean and clear. They pair well with the LS50s I'm using for LCRs in my small living room.

As for the high crossover I'm using, it's what I found works best with my LS50s in my room. I use dual subs, one alongside either front, so the higher than conventional crossover is not an issue for me. Though to point out, the rears R8As get a significant boost at the low end mounted directly on the wall, they don't require such a high crossover (in fact it could do with a bit of EQ taming).
 
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exm

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I think they work really well - they're neat, out of the way and their output is clean and clear. They pair well with the LS50s I'm using for LCRs in my small living room.

As for the high crossover I'm using, it's what I found works best with my LS50s in my room. I use dual subs, one alongside either front, so the higher than conventional crossover is not an issue for me. Though to point out, the rears R8As get a significant boost at the low end mounted directly on the wall, they don't require such a high crossover (in fact it could do with a bit of EQ taming).

Yes, I used the own the Q50A and now I have the R8 Meta. Never heard the OG R8a, but I assume they're closer to the Metas over the Q50s. I noticed a subtle but real difference in openness between the 2 speakers. Like you, I have them crossed at 150Hz (mostly based on the data provided here) and I couldn't be happier.
 

quattro98

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Does anyone know the angle of the front baffle of the R8 meta? I'm looking at options for side surrounds on the wall and these might solve a problem.
 
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juliangst

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I‘m also looking for a good flat surround speaker (in size and frequency response).

Too bad Kef doesn’t offer an on wall speaker with the newer generation of UniQ for that purpose
 

quattro98

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I‘m also looking for a good flat surround speaker (in size and frequency response).

Too bad Kef doesn’t offer an on wall speaker with the newer generation of UniQ for that purpose
More choices would be nice, but given the inherent limitations of FR in a small, wall mounted speaker, I'm hoping the R8 Meta with an appropriately high crossover should work.
 

juliangst

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More choices would be nice, but given the inherent limitations of FR in a small, wall mounted speaker, I'm hoping the R8 Meta with an appropriately high crossover should work.
If an in wall speaker could do 80Hz and up it should be fine.
Ascendo speakers are also really flat and can deliver really high SPL so I don’t think on walls are always compromised by the flat design.

The only thing that can’t be solved is SBIR.
I would just deal with that by mounting the speaker inside a diy absorber.
 

quattro98

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I suspect that in-walls would work better. With an infinite baffle design, they’re not limited to a small enclosure like the R8.

We have limited options in our room and plumbing precludes the use of an in-wall in the best compromise position.
 

cyclo

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I am in the process of reconstituting my home theater setup. I have it currently setup in a 5.2.4 configuration. One subwoofer and buttkickers on my chair. I have recently replaced the Class A, Class AB amps with Class D amps from Fosi Audio and Aiyima and added cheap Sony upward firing Atmos speakers which I got at a discount during Prime day. I have experimented with various placements including:
  • The Atmos height speakers on top of the main speakers.
  • The Atmos height speakers on top of the TV with the speakers pointed at me.
  • The Atmos height speakers on top of the TV with the speakers pointed up towards the ceiling... This produced the best Atmos effects.
My ceiling on the home theater room is cathedral shaped which is probably why the first option (on top of the speakers) did not produce good results. I could barely hear the 360 effect using the Atmos test tracks that are generated by the Atmos Setup/Test App for the Apple TV which I was using. For the rear Atmos speakers I also tried them pointed directly at the listening room but I found the best placement with them pointed up towards the ceiling and reflecting sound from it.

With the Atmos speakers close to the ceiling boundaries and bouncing the sound off them, I got the best results. You could hear the sound in some of the test tracks (i.e. Leaf Atmos test track) on top of the room going around your head 360 degrees. Bottom line with Atmos speakers IMHO is you need to experiment with positioning in the room... Each room is different. Personally I think you can achieve the desired Atmos effects with cheap hardware like the Sony Atmos speakers. I did set them up with 90 db cutoff from the processor with a +5db level (all four Atmos speakers) relative to the main and surround speakers. This is probably because they are less sensitive than my other speakers.

01.jpg
02.jpg


04.jpg
 

quattro98

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Very nice. I have a soft spot for the Infinity Modulus. We used to have them as a sub/sat system many years ago.

If anyone knows the dimensions & angle of the R8 meta, I could still use that info.
 

talex

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Very nice. I have a soft spot for the Infinity Modulus. We used to have them as a sub/sat system many years ago.

If anyone knows the dimensions & angle of the R8 meta, I could still use that info.
Also had trouble finding those, as I wanted to build a cardboard mock to check installation options.
Fortunately someone on the Kef facebook group was kind to give me the measurements. Also Kef support gave me a set.
A few mms difference here and there, hopefully good enough until you get the real thing.

R8 Meta measurements, from Kef Support:
A = 178mm
B = 274mm
C = 83mm
D = 175mm
E = 257mm

From Facebook user attached as photo.

From the cardboard mock I've built, the slant works out to 20degrees.
But you can also double check this from the measurements with some trigonometry :)
 

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Descartes

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Has any one real life experience with using the R8 as surround and back speakers mounted at ear level?
 

talex

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Has any one real life experience with using the R8 as surround and back speakers mounted at ear level?
I'm trying to do just that, however I'm not there yet. Happy to share some thoughts a tad later.

My seating position is near the back wall. I also have a small room, and would be difficult to mount larger bookshelves as rears due to the existing furniture.

I also don't think that putting them on the walls pointing down is a great idea for rears, as they should be at the same level as the mains, to have a coherent bed layer.
Dolby specs say that the height of the rears should be a maximum of 1.25x of the height of the mains.

So i'll try to mount them as rears, rotated in the corners, like in the photo, thanks to the coaxial driver having almost equal horizontal and vertical dispersion.
This way they will point into the listening position and be at ear level. I'm also hoping this will minimize acoustic reflections from the back wall due to the angle of the driver.

Crossing fingers :)
 

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Descartes

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OK, finally got a chance to do my listening tests. I took the speaker to my theater which has a flat, 7 foot or so ceiling. I placed the speaker horizontally at different heights and played music to it. No matter what I did, the direct sound was super strong and there was no impression of sound source being anywhere but the speaker itself. Worse yet, at that acute angle, it just didn't sound good. On-axis though, speaker sounded very nice.

Net, net, for surround duty, crossed over high enough, they are good. For Atmos height, it would be a strong pass.
Thank you, I will look elsewhere!
 

quattro98

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Thank you, I will look elsewhere!
Based on Amir's experience, I think these would work fine as surrounds (probably best above ear level).

Given several posts about the Atmos effects, I think the ceiling bounce is going to be highly room dependent (while ceiling mounted or in-ceiling speakers will always sound like the sound is coming from above).
 

Descartes

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Based on Amir's experience, I think these would work fine as surrounds (probably best above ear level).

Given several posts about the Atmos effects, I think the ceiling bounce is going to be highly room dependent (while ceiling mounted or in-ceiling speakers will always sound like the sound is coming from above).
Can they be mounted on the ceiling?
 

juliangst

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juliangst

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Has anyone tried?
It's generally not recommended to mount speakers on the ceiling if they only have keyhole mounts.
There is no way 4.5kg of speaker will be hold by those two keyholes.
img-pdt-r8meta-pks-03_720x_15d8e5bc-d746-456d-aa3a-db052bc87f78_1024x.webp


If you want to ceiling mount them, you could screw holes for a VESA mount into the cabinet. I've seen a lot of people doing that with the old LS50.
 
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