KEF Q50a Dolby Atmos-Enabled Speakers Review - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 62 Old 06-18-2018, 06:59 AM - Thread Starter
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KEF Q50a Dolby Atmos-Enabled Speakers Review

KEF Q50a Atmos-enabled speakers are able to do double-duty as a wall-mounted solution thanks to included keyhole-mount slots. And thanks to the aluminum Uni-Q driver, hey perform with the fidelity of a "real" speaker, so if you use them as height speakers instead of bouncing the sound, you'll appreciate that fidelity. Same goes if you push your system hard and need robust reflected-sound Atmos modules, regardless of what speaker brand your system consists of (albeit an obvious perfect match for other KEF Q Series speakers).

plus they are a sealed design so no port to fuss with. The crossover point may be a bit high but these are robust Atmos modules with good design and technology and a price that's a lot lower than the R-series, which up until now was the only Atmoss-enabled option from KEF.

Read more here - Review: KEF Q50a Dolby Atmos-Enabled Speakers
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post #2 of 62 Old 06-18-2018, 07:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imagic View Post
KEF Q50a Atmos-enabled speakers are able to do double-duty as a wall-mounted solution thanks to included keyhole-mount slots. And thanks to the aluminum Uni-Q driver, hey perform with the fidelity of a "real" speaker, so if you use them as height speakers instead of bouncing the sound, you'll appreciate that fidelity. Same goes if you push your system hard and need robust reflected-sound Atmos modules, regardless of what speaker brand your system consists of (albeit an obvious perfect match for other KEF Q Series speakers).

plus they are a sealed design so no port to fuss with. The crossover point may be a bit high but these are robust Atmos modules with good design and technology and a price that's a lot lower than the R-series, which up until now was the only Atmoss-enabled option from KEF.

Read more here - Review: KEF Q50a Dolby Atmos-Enabled Speakers
Thanks Mark. I can't remember if you have reviewed the Klipsch RP-140SA or not. If so do you have any thoughts comparing the two? They are priced the same and both have the ability to be wall mounted as well. Right now, due to room restrictions, I'm using a pair of the RP-140SA up front as upfiring and a pair in the rear mounted as heights. As expected the rear pair perform better. I have no complaints with my setup but always keeping an eye out for a bouncer that may do a better job than what I have. Thanks.

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post #3 of 62 Old 06-18-2018, 07:41 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks Mark. I can't remember if you have reviewed the Klipsch RP-140SA or not. If so do you have any thoughts comparing the two? They are priced the same and both have the ability to be wall mounted as well. Right now, due to room restrictions, I'm using a pair of the RP-140SA up front as upfiring and a pair in the rear mounted as heights. As expected the rear pair perform better. I have no complaints with my setup but always keeping an eye out for a bouncer that may do a better job than what I have. Thanks.
I did review that speaker and found it to be roughly similarly capable, I use 'em in my upstairs theater, wall mounted. The KEF units strike me as a slight upgrade overall, namely for having a better grill design, a bit larger bass/mid driver, the concentric design, and dual keyhole slots instead of one. Pragmatically speaking, not sure if any of that matters in most applications. Klipsch does not publish specs for RP-140SA, unfortunately.

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post #4 of 62 Old 06-18-2018, 10:15 AM
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How about a comparison to the SVS Prime Elevation speakers?


Similar price point.

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I wish there was some comparison to the SVS Elevation speakers for Atmos that were also recently reviewed. Any chance of that?

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post #6 of 62 Old 06-18-2018, 10:38 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Nick V View Post
How about a comparison to the SVS Prime Elevation speakers?


Similar price point.
Again, similar performance. The main difference, IMO, is SVS did not get Dolby Atmos certification, so it's not allowed to promote using them as speaker-toppers and therefore marketed using them as elevation speakers, which turns out to be a good way to use the Atmos-enabled speakers anyhow.

SVS ported the Prime elevation, which presumably helps with bass response but some folks did not love that design in a wall-mount context. On the other hand SVS has bracket options so you can mount the Prime Elevation in more ways (sideways, ceiling) than would be easy with the KEF.

Anyhow, aside from driver design and porting, the Dolby Atmos certification is technically a significant difference here although there's no way to know what the real-world impact is. Sensitivity and power handling are close enough to not really matter.

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post #7 of 62 Old 06-18-2018, 10:38 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Steve544 View Post
I wish there was some comparison to the SVS Elevation speakers for Atmos that were also recently reviewed. Any chance of that?
See reply above this one...

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post #8 of 62 Old 06-18-2018, 05:27 PM
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Great news. This is just what I need for Q series based system. Do you have a picture of your theater with the speakers mounted on the wall/ceiling area? I have not been able to find anything on recommended placement besides upfiring for this speaker model.
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post #9 of 62 Old 06-18-2018, 05:31 PM - Thread Starter
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Great news. This is just what I need for Q series based system. Do you have a picture of your theater with the speakers mounted on the wall/ceiling area? I have not been able to find anything on recommended placement besides upfiring for this speaker model.
No I do not. My theater is not at all photogenic. In fact it's a mess because nothing is permanent, plus I rent so no in-wall cables. Therefore no pics, sorry!

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post #10 of 62 Old 06-18-2018, 09:06 PM
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Could you use these as surround speakers and rear surrounds as well. I bought 4 q100s but they stick too far out of the wall. Wanted to kef speakers all around.
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post #11 of 62 Old 06-19-2018, 02:44 AM
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No I do not. My theater is not at all photogenic. In fact it's a mess because nothing is permanent, plus I rent so no in-wall cables. Therefore no pics, sorry!
You have what we call a working theater, sounds good but not photogenic, some of us can relate to that. Especially renters.

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post #12 of 62 Old 06-19-2018, 04:47 AM
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Could you use these as surround speakers and rear surrounds as well. I bought 4 q100s but they stick too far out of the wall. Wanted to kef speakers all around.
Absolutely yes, the Q50a would be ideal for that and look a LOT more compact.

The Q50a wouldn't have the same frequency response at the low end, but with the improved tweeter it could sound better in the higher ranges.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by imagic View Post
KEF Q50a Atmos-enabled speakers are able to do double-duty as a wall-mounted solution thanks to included keyhole-mount slots. And thanks to the aluminum Uni-Q driver, hey perform with the fidelity of a "real" speaker, so if you use them as height speakers instead of bouncing the sound, you'll appreciate that fidelity. Same goes if you push your system hard and need robust reflected-sound Atmos modules, regardless of what speaker brand your system consists of (albeit an obvious perfect match for other KEF Q Series speakers).

plus they are a sealed design so no port to fuss with. The crossover point may be a bit high but these are robust Atmos modules with good design and technology and a price that's a lot lower than the R-series, which up until now was the only Atmoss-enabled option from KEF.

Read more here - Review: KEF Q50a Dolby Atmos-Enabled Speakers
Mark, could you please post a near field measurement (mic closer than 11% of driver radius) of the speaker so we can see the LF rolloff? Are they angled by 20° – see drawing?
Installing a BR port might be an option so they can be used as satellites all around in a normal low SPL requirement application.
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post #14 of 62 Old 06-19-2018, 04:53 AM - Thread Starter
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Mark, could you please post a near field measurement (mic closer than 11% of driver radius) of the speaker so we can see the LF rolloff? Are they angled by 20° – see drawing?
Installing a BR port might be an option so they can be used as satellites all around in a normal low SPL requirement application.
I shipped 'em back already (yesterday), oh well... just wanted to clear up some clutter, wish I could have provided that. Is 20 degrees the "proprietary" Atmos speaker angle? I can see it's the same tilt you see on other "Dolby certified" speaker-toppers.

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post #15 of 62 Old 06-19-2018, 05:00 AM
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I shipped 'em back already (yesterday), oh well... just wanted to clear up some clutter, wish I could have provided that. Is 20 degrees the "proprietary" Atmos speaker angle? I can see it's the same tilt you see on other "Dolby certified" speaker-toppers.
Bummer. If I would know the "proprietary" Atmos speaker angle, I wouldn't be allowed to talk about it here In any case, the angle is virtually always wrong. These speakers need to be angled according to the specific location and main listening position.

Might get a pair to experiment with but they are roughly 50% more expensive here in the EU.

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Bummer. If I would know the "proprietary" Atmos speaker angle, I wouldn't be allowed to talk about it here In any case, the angle is virtually always wrong. These speakers need to be angled according to the specific location and main listening position.

Might get a pair to experiment with but they are roughly 50% more expensive here in the EU.
For real, a bit of tilt adjustment for reflected-sound modules would surely provide better optimization and encompass a wider range of installations.
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post #17 of 62 Old 06-19-2018, 05:30 AM
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For real, a bit of tilt adjustment for reflected-sound modules would surely provide better optimization and encompass a wider range of installations.
Totally agree. Lots of us are sticking stuff under these types of speakers to increase the angle. It would be nice to include a built in feature like that on these modules.

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Now if I could just find them in stock some where.
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Now if I could just find them in stock some where.
LOL...there's an open box "factory recertified" pair on Accesories4Less.com right now.

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Not anymore 🙂
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Not anymore 🙂
Nice. I have a pair of R50's sitting in a box, waiting only for the upgrade to my NAD T758 AVR to get Atmos. If funds were a little more plentiful right now I would have grabbed those myself to get 5.1(or.2).4 instead of the 5.1.2 that I've presently got enough speakers for. Ideal room for the bouncers too, only a 7'4" ceiling height and just the right triangulation for my seating distance from on top of my R500's.

How will the Q50a be used for you? I would guess there will be another pair there in a couple weeks, once the pair @imagic tested gets back to KEF, repackaged and forwarded to A4L.

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Absolutely yes, the Q50a would be ideal for that and look a LOT more compact.



The Q50a wouldn't have the same frequency response at the low end, but with the improved tweeter it could sound better in the higher ranges.


You could also use the Kef e301 “eggs” as surrounds. They go a tad lower and they are more flexible with angle.



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My plan is to get 6 total, put two on the back wall, one on each side, the other two will go on my q900s up front. And if I don't like the bounce I will move them up as heights in the front.
I replaced my subs a few weeks ago.with 2 hsu VTF-2 MK5. I currently have Klipsch ksb 1.1 as sides that are 20 years old. I'm gonna move those to my PC.
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You could also use the Kef e301 “eggs” as surrounds. They go a tad lower and they are more flexible with angle.



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And they’re cheaper.



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You could also use the Kef e301 “eggs” as surrounds. They go a tad lower and they are more flexible with angle.



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And they’re cheaper.



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...and they have only a 4.25in driver which does not go lower at the same SPL than a larger driver. That's just physics.

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post #26 of 62 Old 06-19-2018, 12:09 PM
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...and they have only a 4.25in driver which does not go lower at the same SPL than a larger driver. That's just physics.


KEF’s own specs list the E301 as going lower than the Q50a.

Perhaps they just got the physics wrong.


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...and they have only a 4.25in driver which does not go lower at the same SPL than a larger driver. That's just physics.
The Q50a is -6db at 96hz. It's maximum output is 106db.

The E301 is -6db at 80hz. It's maximum output is 109db.

Driver size isn't everything. The E301 is ported.
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post #28 of 62 Old 06-19-2018, 12:25 PM
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KEF’s own specs list the E301 as going lower than the Q50a.

Perhaps they just got the physics wrong.


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They didn't get physics wrong but you've been deceived by marketing material.
One can make any speaker go low. The question is how loud that speaker can go without distortion. For high SPL at low frequencies you have to move a lot of air. You can do this either by increasing Xmax or/and Sd. There must be a reason why there's no sub powered by a tweeter

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post #29 of 62 Old 06-19-2018, 12:58 PM
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They didn't get physics wrong but you've been deceived by marketing material.

One can make any speaker go low. The question is how loud that speaker can go without distortion. For high SPL at low frequencies you have to move a lot of air. You can do this either by increasing Xmax or/and Sd. There must be a reason why there's no sub powered by a tweeter


I have a sub powered by a tweeter. But it’s -3db at 2.7 kHz so you don’t really feel the bass.

And I totally get the marketing approach many companies take. I view specs with a grain of salt. I just assumed if the specs are both from KEF then they’re probably both exaggerated to the same degree—so apples to apples.

Regardless, it would make sense that the larger driver would have the edge.


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post #30 of 62 Old 06-19-2018, 01:05 PM
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I have a sub powered by a tweeter. But it’s -3db at 2.7 kHz so you don’t really feel the bass.
Make it ported to get better specs for the marketing brochure
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dolby atmos-enabled speakers , kef q50a , uni-q

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