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KEF introduces LS50 Wireless Speakers

KWB1

Well-known Member
do they include airplay?
 

KWB1

Well-known Member
Bluetooth, as virtually everything has Bluetooth. If you go with AirPlay, you're excluding Android users.
Why not both? - Bluetooth is fine if you have a single device as you can only stream to one device at a time - unless someone knows different.. - using apple music that is
 

hifix

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
@davidf will you be getting a pair in for demo mate?
I'm not at work at the moment, but I presume we would be. Not many people ask for active speakers, and no one seemed to want the Dynaudios when we tried them a few years ago. As these are from a more well known and trusted manufacturer than those of many actives, things may be different this time round.
 

Replicant

Active Member
Well my LS50Ws arrived today (thanks to David at thelittleaudiocompany) I've had a set of passive LS50s which I love driven by a Pioneer A50, Ive been mulling over an amp upgrade for a couple of years as I knew they deserved more and was looking at Primare,Devialet,Hegel to mention a few however based on initial comments I decided to try a set of these as they were cheaper than the amps I was looking at and would free up my old set for another room. Well out of the box the difference isn't subtle if Id spent £2.5K on an amp upgrade and got similar results Id have been more than happy! Thanks to David for his excellent service and advice as always, its such a pleasure to deal with someone that has an obvious passion, provides superb advice and doesn't go for the hard sell.
 

KWB1

Well-known Member
Well my LS50Ws arrived today (thanks to David at thelittleaudiocompany) I've had a set of passive LS50s which I love driven by a Pioneer A50, Ive been mulling over an amp upgrade for a couple of years as I knew they deserved more and was looking at Primare,Devialet,Hegel to mention a few however based on initial comments I decided to try a set of these as they were cheaper than the amps I was looking at and would free up my old set for another room. Well out of the box the difference isn't subtle if Id spent £2.5K on an amp upgrade and got similar results Id have been more than happy! Thanks to David for his excellent service and advice as always, its such a pleasure to deal with someone that has an obvious passion, provides superb advice and doesn't go for the hard sell.
Music to my ears...

I sold the lot (check my sig) and wanted to simplify my desktop system and get rid of a million boxes and cables, and purchase a pair of Kef LS50a’s

Im off to have a listen to them tomorrow and by all accounts they are causing quite a stir in regards to their superiority over the Passive versions with amplification

They will sell like hotcakes

Ken
 

Replicant

Active Member
Music to my ears...

I sold the lot (check my sig) and wanted to simplify my desktop system and get rid of a million boxes and cables, and purchase a pair of Kef LS50a’s

Im off to have a listen to them tomorrow and by all accounts they are causing quite a stir in regards to their superiority over the Passive versions with amplification

They will sell like hotcakes

Ken
I think you'll be pleasantly surprised, if you haven't already check out the DAR/6Moons comments, wider soundstage, better separation and dynamics and if I didn't know better Id swear there was a sub attached I cant believe the bass these push out, I'll have to tweak settings as they're currently slightly too much where I have them
 

KWB1

Well-known Member
I think you'll be pleasantly surprised, if you haven't already check out the DAR/6Moons comments, wider soundstage, better separation and dynamics and if I didn't know better Id swear there was a sub attached I cant believe the bass these push out, I'll have to tweak settings as they're currently slightly too much where I have them
Yes read all the Reviews - Here

I had a glorious 2 channel set up with Parasound Amplification - I aint sure the LS50a’s will compare with that but more convenience with decent sound is what I’m after

Good news about the Bass!

Ken
 

KWB1

Well-known Member
My main AV setup has R900s driven by a Primare power amp, Marantz 8002 pre but for music I prefer the LS50Ws
Yes I had the R900’s - if it can get anywhere near the sound quality of my previous setup then I will be ecstatic!

I have just realised that you purchased them from Birmingham - Im popping to Audio Affair Birmingham tomorrow - was not aware of littleaudiocompany..
 

Replicant

Active Member
Yes I had the R900’s - if it can get anywhere near the sound quality of my previous setup then I will be ecstatic!

I have just realised that you purchased them from Birmingham - Im popping to Audio Affair Birmingham tomorrow - was not aware of littleaudiocompany..
Its David originally from Frank Harvey (see above) he's just started his own business, top bloke to deal with and no Im not on commission :)
 

KWB1

Well-known Member
Well...

Had a super demo today with the Kef Ls50a’s - luckily enough for me was the fact they was sitting next to a pair of Devialet Phantom Golds, so i could switch over to each speaker at the flick of a button

First I tried a few favourite tunes via bluetooth to the Kefs - Stevie Wonder’s ‘Visions’
sounded ok but could not help noticing his voice sounded a little sharp for my liking - whether this was down to bluetooth I’m not entirely sure - switching over to the Phantoms gave me a much smoother quality - it must be said that the Phantoms were wired up to the Dialogue Hub

Switching to more up to date dance tracks and have to stay the Kefs were destroyed

I just could not believe what was coming out of the Phantoms - the bass was gobsmackingly good - Im considering purchasing a pair of them which will replace my entire system

Incredible
 

smiffy333

Active Member
Well...

Had a super demo today with the Kef Ls50a’s - luckily enough for me was the fact they was sitting next to a pair of Devialet Phantom Golds, so i could switch over to each speaker at the flick of a button

First I tried a few favourite tunes via bluetooth to the Kefs - Stevie Wonder’s ‘Visions’
sounded ok but could not help noticing his voice sounded a little sharp for my liking - whether this was down to bluetooth I’m not entirely sure - switching over to the Phantoms gave me a much smoother quality - it must be said that the Phantoms were wired up to the Dialogue Hub

Switching to more up to date dance tracks and have to stay the Kefs were destroyed

I just could not believe what was coming out of the Phantoms - the bass was gobsmackingly good - Im considering purchasing a pair of them which will replace my entire system

Incredible
Didn't get chance to listen to these at the show unfortunately and not a fan of the looks. But aren't these twice the price of the Kefs?
 

KWB1

Well-known Member
Didn't get chance to listen to these at the show unfortunately and not a fan of the looks. But aren't these twice the price of the Kefs?
Yes
 

Member 769353

Previously davidf
Heard them previously - didn't like what they were doing with Boards Of Canada. Impressive in some ways, but all the immediately impressive things tend to draw your attention away from the negatives. There are others who feel similarly too.

I'm guessing the Phantoms probably sound "smoother" because of the amount of bass they produce - this effect can be demonstrated with almost any system you care to mention. Add a decent sub to the LS50Ws and you'll probably find it'll have the same effect. Or spend £2k on an even better sub and get better, unrestricted bass than the Phantoms wouldnt be able to match.
 
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KWB1

Well-known Member
Heard them previously - didn't like what they were doing with Boards Of Canada. Impressive in some ways, but all the immediately impressive things tend to draw your attention away from the negatives. there are others who feel similarly too.

I'm guessing the Phantoms probably sound "smoother" because of the amount of bass they produce - this effect can be demonstrated with almost any system you care to mention. Add a decent sub to the LS50Ws and you'll probably find it'll have the same effect. Or spend £2k on an even better sub and get better, unrestricted bass than the Phantoms wouldnt be able to match.
I went through the card on genres of music and was satisfied the Kef was no match - however, as suggested above, the Kefs were via blutooth and the Phantoms were via its dialog.

You could add a subwoofer to the Kefs - but whether they would still match the Phantoms clean outright power advantage is subjective - I feel you get what you pay for syndrome is in effect here - a couple of Phantom Golds with accessories is going to nudge over 4.5k -I would pay for that difference compared to the 2k Kefs - others wouldn’t/couldn’t

Then there is the issue of adding to the box count and wires - them days are long gone for me and a pretty decent one box solution that raises the eyebrows is all I’m after now and the Phantoms deliver it in bucket loads

Ken
 

Member 769353

Previously davidf
I went through the card on genres of music and was satisfied the Kef was no match - however, as suggested above, the Kefs were via blutooth and the Phantoms were via its dialog.
Obviously I can't comment on how each speaker was set up or how they were demonstrated as I wasn't present, and I don't know what other sources were used.

Bluetooth isn't an inferior carrier of music. Bluetooth is (up to) CD quality, and will be entirely dependent on the quality of the files being streamed (or the implementation of Bluetooth on whichever device you use). I too used to dismiss Bluetooth as inferior until I had a listen to it from my iPhone fairly recently (using Amazon Music app as I don't store music on my phone) via the Moon Neo Ace amplifier - it sounded so good that I defy anyone to not think they were listening to hi-res files. Very clean, very clear (Roger Waters' Amused To Death 2015 remaster). That massively changed my view of Bluetooth.

Identical sources should always be used when comparing any products - if you use Bluetooth on the LS50W, you really should try the same files out on the Phantoms via Bluetooth. Changing that parameter makes any comparison null and void.

You could add a subwoofer to the Kefs - but whether they would still match the Phantoms clean outright power advantage is subjective - I feel you get what you pay for syndrome is in effect here - a couple of Phantom Golds with accessories is going to nudge over 4.5k -I would pay for that difference compared to the 2k Kefs - others wouldn’t/couldn’t
Well you'd have £2k to play with in order to add a sub or dual subs to reproduce lower frequencies, I'm sure you're aware of what can be purchased for that sort of money, so I won't go into that side of things. You could've tried the LS50Ws with your pair of JL subs, using the KEF's useful bass management (you can set a crossover point anywhere between 40-250Hz in the advanced set up). That, I reckon, would've been a better quality option. On one hand you have (what I presume from others comments) some excellent subs producing effortlessly accurate, clean bass, and bass/mid/high frequencies producing a seamless, homogenous sound field of music being reproduced in a way that we know only LS50s can (and better than R Series, in my opinion), only even better now they're active.

Then there is the issue of adding to the box count and wires - them days are long gone for me and a pretty decent one box solution that raises the eyebrows is all I’m after now and the Phantoms deliver it in bucket loads
But that's what's needed to compare like for like. Ignoring the 'less than half the price' aspect, the LS50Ws use much smaller mid/bass drivers, and only one per speaker - I'm guessing at least two of those LS50W drivers is a rough match for one of the Dev drivers - so I would guess you're talking roughly around 5/6 times the driver area for the Devialets. Of course that's going to be a great advantage with regards to bass output for any speaker, particularly with music with bass heavy content.

You spent a lot of time putting together your old system, so it must've been doing something you wanted it to. Personally, I feel a Phantom purchase would be a temporary move for you, as once you're no longer blinded by the impressiveness of their bass quantity, you'll end up yearning for better quality.

As I say, I didn't like what they were doing with Boards Of Canada. For me to even consider a speaker for my own personal use, it has to deal with electronic music. I usually come across this issue with smaller, British loudspeaker brands where there's a certain amount of character to the sound. Clean sounding speakers usually sound great with electronic music. Whilst Dev might try and blind you with the numbers, why is it that they didn't reproduce electronic particularly well? It strikes me as a Dyson technical approach to design with the end product sounding more like Beats.
 
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KWB1

Well-known Member
Obviously I can't comment on how each speaker was set up or how they were demonstrated as I wasn't present, and I don't know what other sources were used.
Iphone 7 via Bluetooth using apple music to both Phantom Golds and Kef Ls50 actives at first - result - big difference to my ears comparing both

sources should always be used when comparing any products - if you use Bluetooth on the LS50W, you really should try the same files out on the Phantoms via Bluetooth. Changing that parameter makes any comparison null and void.
I did compare them both first via Bluetooth and the Phantoms were superior

I say, I didn't like what they were doing with Boards Of Canada. For me to even consider a speaker for my own personal use, it has to deal with electronic music. I usually come across this issue with smaller, British loudspeaker brands where there's a certain amount of character to the sound. Clean sounding speakers usually sound great with electronic music. Whilst Dev might try and blind you with the numbers, why is it that they didn't reproduce electronic particularly well? It strikes me as a Dyson technical approach to design with the end product sounding more like Beats.
Most of my music listening is electronic - Dance - House etc - to my ears this type of Genre fitted the Phantoms so well

Over the last few months I read all the rave reviews about the LS50 Actives - They didn’t sound bad it must be said - I probably would of purchased a pair if the Phantoms were not smiling in that corner

Im not at all interested in getting into a dogfight with you in regards to Deviate V’s Kef - I’m just letting folks know my experience between the two

I would also probably guess that you are a Kef dealer but not Devialet and fully understand your allegiance

You just can’t beat sitting there and judging yourself whats really best with your own ears and a cup of coffee..

Ken
 

Member 769353

Previously davidf
Iphone 7 via Bluetooth using apple music to both Phantom Golds and Kef Ls50 actives at first - result - big difference to my ears comparing both

I did compare them both first via Bluetooth and the Phantoms were superior

Most of my music listening is electronic - Dance - House etc - to my ears this type of Genre fitted the Phantoms so well

Over the last few months I read all the rave reviews about the LS50 Actives - They didn’t sound bad it must be said - I probably would of purchased a pair if the Phantoms were not smiling in that corner

Im not at all interested in getting into a dogfight with you in regards to Deviate V’s Kef - I’m just letting folks know my experience between the two

I would also probably guess that you are a Kef dealer but not Devialet and fully understand your allegiance
I used to be a Devialet dealer at my last place, and whilst their amps pass my requirements for flexibility, and the speakers for their size, they fall short of what I'm aiming to offer my customers. As I say, they have their impressive aspects, but I prefer to look at the bigger picture. My experience is that quick A/B demos don't work. In these instances, people tend to compare tonal balance rather than quality/soundstage/imaging etc. It becomes about which one sounds more immediately impressive. I find speakers that are less immediately impressive tend to please longer term, but they need more time to adjust to. I've only had the LS50W running for a couple of days here, but I can tell that they're very well balanced, doing everything right, and aren't working against he room.

I'm guessing the problem for me with the Devs was that with Boards Of Canada, they were producing excessive bass - which will probably impress most people (the rep thought it was impressing me) - but because I know what the album/track should sound like, I could tell the balance was off, and that excessive bass was causing the Phantoms to draw attention to themselves - for me, no speaker can produce a holographic sound field that extends beyond the room if you can hear them. At least with a clean sounding sub producing the low stuff, that illusion is maintained. I like to hear texture in my bass, as many speakers (of all price points) gloss over this when trying to go all out to impress

Although, if you're only after a club sound, maybe you've made the right choice.

You just can’t beat sitting there and judging yourself whats really best with your own ears and a cup of coffee..
I couldn't agree more.
 

KWB1

Well-known Member
Although, if you're only after a club sound, maybe you've made the right choice.
I haven’t made a decision yet, Im hearing that the Phantom is non serviceable after the warranty period should issues arise....
 

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