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Speakers

Klipsch rolls out first Atmos speakers

Klipsch has announced new Dolby Atmos speakers in its Reference Premiere line, which includes add-on units for existing speaker systems.

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The RP- 280F (left) and the RP-140SA (right, on top). Klipsch

Klipsch has pulled the wrappers off its first set of Dolby Atmos (and DTS:X) speakers based on its excellent Reference Premiere series : the RP- 280F and the RP-140SA.

Dolby Atmos is a new standard for home cinema which incorporates new height channels and requires both a compatible new amplifier and ceiling-mounted or "height" speakers.

Of most interest to existing users of Klipsch products is the $500 RP-140SA add-on module, which sits on top of your existing speaker and can also act as a rear surround. The RP-140SA features the company's 4-inch Cerametallic Woofers and Tractrix Horn-loaded LTS tweeters for sonic consistency with the rest of the Reference Premiere line. Our only gripe is that the speaker is smaller than the towers it's designed to sit on and its look is a bit irregular.

Meanwhile, if you're after a more integrated look, you can opt for the "grown up" RP-280FA ($2,400 a pair) which incorporate an upfiring 4-inch woofer and tweeter into the top of the cabinet. Klipsch is also making an accompanying center speaker called the RP-450CA ($850). As this is a center channel, it doesn't feature any separate height component; in Dolby's consumer system, this is reserved for front and rear stereo height channels only.

While the RP-140SA is only available in the -- quite attractive -- brushed polymer veneer of the RP160Ms, the other two speakers are available in walnut or black ash veneer.

When we reviewed the Reference Premiere surround system earlier this year, we found it to be one of the best options at its price point, with the $600 RP160M monitors a particular standout. We are therefore looking at these new additions with interest.

While it's still early days for Dolby Atmos and even earlier for competitor DTS:X, if you're looking to jump into "object-based surround" then these speakers look worthy of investigation. UK and Australia pricing and availability are yet to be announced.

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