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In-Wall Speakers

KEF’s THX Dominus In-Wall Speakers Deliver High-End Performance At A Lofty Price

KEF implements latest Uni-Q drivers in new flagship architectural speaker line. There are two new models that are THX Domimus and THX Ultra Certified for home theater.

KEF Ci5160REFM-THX and Ci3160REFM-THX in-wall home theater speaker system lifestyle

KEF first introduced its 12th generation Uni-Q driver array with Metamaterial Absorption Technology (MAT) in the LS50 Meta Bookshelf Loudspeakers in 2020. Since then KEF’s innovative coaxial driver has been making its way through their speaker line-up, which includes Blade and ReferenceLS60, Ci250RRM-THX, and R Meta Series.

KEF’s flagship architectural speakers from its Ci-Reference Extreme Series have been updated with 12th generation technology. The new Ci5160REFM-THX and Ci3160REFM-THX in-wall speakers have arrived at a rather steep price; $11K and $8K each, respectively. They replace the Ci5160REF-THX and Ci3160REF-THX, which have almost the same model name, but without the “M”.

Tip: Metamaterial Absorption Technology (MAT) claims to deliver more natural sounding treble.

THX Certification

Just as with its previously announced in-wall Ci250RRM speaker and Ci250RRb in-wall Subwoofer, the new architectural speakers are also THX Certified with the Ci5160REFM carrying the THX Dominus and the Ci3160REFM carrying the THX Ultra designations. 

THX Certified Performance Classes
THX Certification Process
  • THX Dominus Certification means that the speaker is optimized for rooms as large as 6,500 cubic feet, and up to a 20-foot viewing distance from the screen. 
  • THX Ultra Certification means that the speaker is optimized for rooms up to 3,000 cubic feet and a 12-foot viewing distance from the screen. 

Common Features

KEF Ci5160REFM-THX 12th Generation Uni-Q Driver with MAT
Both new models use KEF’s 12th Generation Uni-Q Driver with MAT.

To provide optimal sound quality, these two speakers also incorporate the following KEF Technologies and Features. 

  • Paintable Magnetic Grill: More than just being decorative, the provided grills provide a balance between driver protection, sonic performance, and aesthetics. Optional cloth grill available. 
  • Impedance: The speakers have a 4-ohm impedance.
  • Finish: Aluminum Black/Grey.

Tip: Both speakers can be used vertically as left, right, or surround speakers, or horizontally as a center channel speaker. 


KEF Ci5160REFM-THX In-Wall Speaker

In addition to the features listed above, The Ci5160REFM-THX is KEF’s first THX Dominus Certified in-wall speaker. This speaker incorporates four 6.5-inch bass drivers for optimized bass performance for in-wall setups. The speaker also features an 11mm thick machined aluminum baffle to limit unwanted vibration.


KEF Ci3160REFM-THX In-Wall Speaker

As mentioned previously, the  Ci3160REFM-THX in-wall speaker is THX Ultra Certified. It is more compact than the Ci5160REFM-THX as it incorporates two 6.5-inch bass drivers rather than four for bass performance. KEF does not mention if this speaker also includes an 11mm thick baffle.


Speaker ModelCi5160REFM-THXCi3160REFM-THX
MSRP$10,999 each$7,999 each
SeriesCi-Reference Ci-Reference
THX CertificationTHX DominusTHX Ultra
Speaker Configuration3-way3-way
Nominal Impedance4 ohms4 ohms
Sensitivity (2.83V/1m)92dB89dB
Frequency Response (+/- 6dB) Open-back40Hz to 28kHz40Hz to 28kHz
Frequency Range (-10 dB)32Hz to 45Hz32Hz to 45Hz
Nominal Coverage 150 degrees150 degrees
MAX SPL (dB)116 dB110 dB
Crossover Frequency600Hz, 3kHz600Hz, 3kHz
LF Driver4 x 160mm (6.5 inches)2 x 160mm (6.5 inches)
MF Driver (Uni-Q)1 x 125 mm (5.25-inches)1 x 125 mm (5.25-inches)
HF Driver (Vented Aluminum Dome Tweeter with MAT)1 x 25mm (1-inch)1 x 25mm (1-inch)
Recommended Amp Power50 to 500 watts50 to 350 watts
Recommend Hi-Pass Filter35 to 80Hz35 to 80Hz
External Dimensions (HWD)1070 x 230 x 105.7 mm (42.13 x 9.06 x 4.16-inches)680 x 230 x 105.7 mm(26.77 x 9.06 x 4.16 inches)
Cutout Dimensions  (HW)1052 x 209 mm (41.42 x 8.23-inches)660 x 209 mm (25.98 x 8.23 inches)
Net Weight 21.7 kg (47.8 lbs)13.6 kg (29.92 lbs)
Mounting Depth From Surface99 mm (3.9 inches)99 mm (3.9 inches)
Optional Rough in FrameRIF5160LRIF3160L
Ideal Rear Volume90 Liters60 Liters
Maximum Rear Volume40 Liters30 Liters
Wall Thickness Maximum40 mm (1.58-inches)40 mm (1.58-inches)
Wall Thickness Minimum6mm (0.24 inches)6mm (0.24 inches)
KEF Ci5160REFM-THX and Ci3160REFM-THX in-wall LCR speaker system lifestyle
KEF Ci5160REFM-THX In-Wall Speakers (Left/Right) with KEF Ci3160REFM-THX (Center)


KEF isn’t the only company with a THX Dominus Certified In-Wall Speaker. Perlisten has 8 architectural speakers that are THX Dominus Certified. Although, Focal doesn’t offer THX certification, their flagship 1000 Series In-Wall Speakers with Beryllium tweeters are sure to please a lot of audiophiles.

Related Reading: Theory Audio Design 5.2.2 Surround Sound System Review

Prices & Availability

  • The KEF Ci5160REFM-THX is priced $10,999.99 each
  • The KEF Ci3160REFM-THX is priced $7,999.99 each.

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