KEF LS50 Wireless II review: supersonic streaming speakers

The KEF LS50 Wireless II ranks high in the rarefied world of ultra-high-performance compact wireless speakers. With its meticulously detailed, taut and true sound and KEF’s long history of building mini monitors, this little web-connected stereo pair should find favor in the control rooms of streaming subscription services, broadcast stations, and radio stations. online radio and podcasters to measure the quality of your network signals.

But I feel like the most receptive audience for speakers will be wealthy audiophiles, reducers, and clutter advocates whose appetite for sonic excellence now far exceeds their available space for stacks of hifi equipment and physical albums.

And while KEF speakers have a reputation for being demanding in terms of their power requirements, the onboard amperage driving this show far exceeds the challenge. It should, too, given the main price of the set: $ 2,799.99 for the pair.

kef ls50 wireless ii angled front view Jonathan Takiff / IDG

Available in four color combinations, the KEF LS50 Wireless II looks cute from every angle.

Setup and operation are straightforward, with gorgeous (and surprisingly simple) fine-tuning involved. In Easy mode first introduced to the user (there is also an Expert option revealed in KEF Online User Manual), the KEF Connect app simply asks you to indicate the size and reverberant nature of the room where the speakers are placed, as well as where will be placed in the room. The application then applies digital signal processing to adjust the bass and treble appropriately. Add a KEF subwoofer, such as the powerful, 10-inch, 300-watt Kube 10b ($ 750) I also auditioned, and the KEF Connect app will optimize the trio’s crossover frequency as well.

kef ls50 wireless ii 1 Jonathan Takiff / IDG

A KEF LS50 Wireless II and a KEF Kube 10b subwoofer stopped and performed quite well on top and under my old farmhouse table. A subwoofer can be connected to the left or right channel speaker using a cable or the optional KW-1 wireless kit.

The good news is that wherever you drop them, these stylish things are sure to dress up the neighborhood. Note the shapely two-tone face, the slim but deep dimensions of 12 x 7.9 x 12.2 inches (HxWxD), and the equally attractive rear panel with its matching color port and stylish integrated heat sink. . Small but heavy at 22 pounds each, these beauties even come in a variety of color combinations to match your interior d├ęcor in your home.

Specifications, Features, and Design Notes

KEF calls their two-in-one speaker setup Uni-Q, and it’s the secret sauce that brings their sound together like no other. Unlike old school, the space-saving two-in-one coaxial speakers where the tweeter “floats” in a separate speaker-like enclosure in front of the woofer, the low-frequency (LF) and high-frequency (HF) drivers in a Uni-Q arrays are fully integrated to function as a single point source. The woofer cone even does double duty as a waveguide, helping smooth dispersion and integration of the neutral-centered tweeter output.

Now in his 12th generation, Uni-Q has gained a maze-like frequency filtering system called Metamaterial Absorption Technology (MAT) that connects to the back of the tweeter and absorbs 99 percent of the return wave energy from 600Hz upwards, which can cause loss of time. distortion.

kef ls50 wireless ii controller exploded diagram 6 KEF

Each part plays an important role in the accuracy of the sound in the complex Uni-Q speaker array.

KEF installed Class D amplifiers in each speaker driving the 5.25-inch aluminum composite woofer / midrange driver with 280 watts of power and Class AB amplifiers to drive the perfectly seated 1-inch vented aluminum dome tweeters. in the center of the woofers.

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