KEF LS50 Wireless Speaker Review

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Not too long ago we tried the KEF LSX speakers and at the time, we were really impressed with their looks and performance. Although they remain a quality pair of speakers, it wasn’t until we were sent the LS50 Wireless speakers that we remembered KEF have so much more to offer. Spoilers, the LS50 blew our socks off.

Audiophiles, this ones for you.

Look & Feel

The LS50 range come in three different colours, titanium grey/red, gloss blac/blue and gloss white/copper. We got sent the titanium grey and red finish which I have to say is probably my least favourite finish, the gloss white and copper just looks exquisite. That being said, the grey still looks fantastic and the red & black driver complement each other perfectly. One thing I did notice was the difference in paint finish to the speaker. The front is a matte grey, while the rest of the case has a gloss finish. It’s sutble but it’s one of the first things I noticed.

Each speaker has the single driver set up, with a large bass port and a heat sink at the rear. Now I assume it’s a heat sink and it’s required due to the wattage and the heat they may produce, it’s a nice design feature either way. The right speaker is the master and includes a number of inputs, including Aux, Optical, USB type B, plus the ones you cant see being Bluetooth & network wireless. There are two ethernet ports, one to link the right & left speakers together and one for a hard wired network connection. There is also a USB port for serving, speaker EQ/reset buttons and power in (kettle lead). The left speaker includes a left/right fade knob, right speaker in and power in. Both speakers require power, so bear that in mind when positioning. The speakers can be controlled via touch buttons located on the top of the right speaker or via a very simply remote control provided.

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The overall build quality is fantastic, these speakers are incredibly heavy for their size which is a good sign and if you peek into the bass port, you can see insulation and foam, which really adds to the quality and performance.

Specification:
– Dims: 300Hx200Wx308D + 10kg per speaker
Dual band WiFi (2.4 & 5GHz) – wireless connectivity with Tidal & Spotify
– Connections: Bluetooth 4.0 w/ aptX, USB type B, TOSLINK Optical, RCA.
– Uni-Q driver 5.25″ LF/MF + 1″ HF
– Amplifier: 200w
– Sampling rate upto 192kHz depending on source
– Maxium output 106dB!

Performance

They are phenomenal. The LSX speakers were fantastic but the LS50’s are several levels above them and they continue to impress me, each and every time I turn them on. The quality of sound is just fantastic, it’s incredibly rich and colourful. There is a very high level of clarity and detail, different instruments are easily defined and there is real depth to the music. At low volume, it’s very pleasant but when you begin to turn the volume up, the speaker truly starts to shine and I got a bit of a warm fuzzy feeling inside. At top volume, it’s incredibly loud, too loud for the office but there was not the slightest drop in quality, so I didn’t want to turn them down. There is a good amount of low end with the LS50’s, it’s well balanced but some may want more depending on how you use these. Each channel has its own DAC (Digital-to-Analog Converter) which are capable of up to 192 kHz and 24-bit for some high definition audio.

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There are two KEF apps that can be used with these speakers, Control & Stream, which as you may guess, allow you to control and stream content to the speakers. There is a lot of tweaking & adjustments that can be done within the control app to better fine-tune the speakers to suit your room, how the speakers are mounted and the type of music you’re listening to. There are basic and advanced options for control and it may be somewhat overwhelming for some.

With dual-band WiFi, you can connect the speakers to your home network and stream content directly to them. You need the official KEF app to do this and it’s quite straight forward to get set up. I managed to get them on my network without a problem and then stream content from my Synology NAS drive, through the speakers. I didn’t have much music on there, nor was the quality the best but the functionality was on point. The LS50’s have network support for Spotify and Tidal, so the speaker can be controlled directly through either of those apps. There isnt currently any support for Apple Air Play or Google Cast.

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The second wireless connection is via Bluetooth 4.0, which works fine and although it includes aptX (non HD version), it’s not the best way to listen to your music through but handy nonetheless. There is also that optical port at the back, allowing you to connect these to your TV or media player if you wanted. I would not recommend buying these with the view of using them mainly for TV audio, there are better suited speakers around for that.

Verdict

These are bigger, more powerful, twice as expensive but multiple times better than the LSX range. Don’t buy them and connect your phone to them via Bluetooth, add them or start a HiFi system, hard-wired connections with high-quality audio and you will never turn them off.

The LS50 Wireless are available to purchase now for £1999 a pair. For more information and to purchase, head over to the official KEF website.

Summary
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KEF LS50 Wireless Speakers
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