KEF LS50 Wireless II Streaming System Review & Comments

flotsam

Standard Member
Nice review! I'll add that I spend most evenings with my Rega P3 plugged into the Aux port of the Kef LS50 Wireless II, listening to records. So you need not give up that vice, if you don't want to. :)
 

Dobbyisfree

Active Member
Interesting product and great review. Me being a cynical old man though, just to clarify, both speakers have a power connection. So, one cable connection to each.
Advice to connect them to each other. One additional connection to each.
Two things plugged into the back of both speakers.
Conventional (non wireless) speakers, one connection to each. :)
 

LexDiamond

Active Member
I’m very interested but my concern at this price point is long term viability. Presumably at some point these will not be able to keep up with technology (eg when Airplay moves on to newer versions)?
 

psikey

Distinguished Member
Have LSX in gaming room and recently replaced my sound bar in Lounge with a pair of LS50WII connected to TV with a Kube 8b sub. Got 5 year warranty with mine too.

Stunning audio.


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flotsam

Standard Member
I’m very interested but my concern at this price point is long term viability. Presumably at some point these will not be able to keep up with technology (eg when Airplay moves on to newer versions)?
Entirely valid concern. Indeed, I do worry about being able to get proper service down the line.
 

iFi audio

Active Member
AVForums Sponsor
Very interesting and well-written review! I particularly appreciate the way you tested the connectivity. No surprise that this dimension in AV is gaining more and more attention.
 

Jules

Distinguished Member
As a long term owner of the original LS50’s, I can only imagine how good these must sound.

However, having also been the unfortunate owner of 3 x Active KEF subwoofers….all of which fried themselves after a couple of years (including the R series subwoofer), I wouldn’t want to spend this kind of money on them.

Kef make wonderful speakers, but their powered electronics have a questionable history in terms of longevity.
 
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Hoku

Active Member
This situation/concern applies to all technology.
True. But with the LS50 wireless II there’s a higher chance you’ll have to ditch the entire more than £2k system.

My passive speakers won’t be outdated - only some of the separate electronics attached to them - but that’s only part of the system, and therefore a smaller outlay when it does need replacing.

Despite this, as a soundbar alternative (albeit a pricey one), I’d take the LS50 wireless II’s over a soundbar set up anyday - such as the similarly priced Sennheiser Ambeo.
 

HeartSleeve

Active Member
Great review! Love the look of them. Mine would definitely be in red and I'm sure their capabilities would astound me....with a sub though because no matter how good the bass is, they just won't shift enough air on their own.
 

davejones2

Well-known Member
True. But with the LS50 wireless II there’s a higher chance you’ll have to ditch the entire more than £2k system.

My passive speakers won’t be outdated - only some of the separate electronics attached to them - but that’s only part of the system, and therefore a smaller outlay when it does need replacing.

Despite this, as a soundbar alternative (albeit a pricey one), I’d take the LS50 wireless II’s over a soundbar set up anyday - such as the similarly priced Sennheiser Ambeo.


Very confused with these comments. Are you suggesting that the analogue, hdmi, coaxial or optical connections are going render the device useless in the years to come?!

If the wireless functionality becomes old-hat (and that is not going to be for a long, long time given the options these come with) then you can just add any streamer of your choice via the above "legacy" connections.

Just as you would with any other active speakers or amp/passive combo?
 

condyk

Active Member
Good review but the weakness in it for me is no mention of the truly awful KEF Apps and the as bad Tidal App, making the speakers close to unusable much/most/some of the time. Spotify is decent but not HD yet! Plus Roon, which you tested the KEFs with instead of the KEF Apps, costs quite a bit extra each month. KEF are a great speaker maker but lousy at Apps. Beware folks ... read user experiences online. Great if they work tho.
 

flotsam

Standard Member
No experience with earlier versions, but the Kef Connect app seems fine. I can switch easily from Qobuz, to internet radio, and over to selections from my UPnP server.
 

Hoku

Active Member
Fair point, but stuff can be faulty too.

I’ve owned a variety of sources, amps and speakers over the last 30+ years, and generally speaking the speakers have been the most reliable of these.

But by including the source and amps in the same box, it just means if one of those components goes wrong, the whole thing is faulty or at least frustrating to use or find a workaround.

Although it has a wide range of inputs, if the main control app is flaky or unsupported over your phone’s next couple of updates, it affects your enjoyment of the whole system.

I’m not doubting this is a good product now, and in some ways I can see its appeal, but any kind of all in one can be bricked.

On the plus side, if it’s made in the UK, you might have some chance of it being repaired if you experience a fault post-warranty.
 

deantown

Distinguished Member
Good review but the weakness in it for me is no mention of the truly awful KEF Apps and the as bad Tidal App, making the speakers close to unusable much/most/some of the time. Spotify is decent but not HD yet! Plus Roon, which you tested the KEFs with instead of the KEF Apps, costs quite a bit extra each month. KEF are a great speaker maker but lousy at Apps. Beware folks ... read user experiences online. Great if they work tho.

The reviews I’ve read say that the new App is much better than the original.
 

psikey

Distinguished Member
Good review but the weakness in it for me is no mention of the truly awful KEF Apps and the as bad Tidal App, making the speakers close to unusable much/most/some of the time. Spotify is decent but not HD yet! Plus Roon, which you tested the KEFs with instead of the KEF Apps, costs quite a bit extra each month. KEF are a great speaker maker but lousy at Apps. Beware folks ... read user experiences online. Great if they work tho.
The apps for the LSX are weak yes, but the new single app with he LS50WII is near perfect.

Only slight annoyance is the HDMI eARC response is slow so the TV can be on a good 30s before sound comes out of speakers (with LG B9 OLED).

I use mine purely HDMI or Tidal/Spotify Connect streaming.

I always buy from site that offers 5 year warranty. Good as on most electronic devices you will buy then.

Note: rarely even need to use the apps with my LSX or LS50WII to be honest and never even used remote with the LS50WII.
 

TrondB

Active Member
KEF LSX is useless if you want to stream your lossless music stored on a NAS. Seems like KEF will never be able to fix it. Looks like LS50 WII have the same problem. I had to buy a Bluesound Node 2i to to be able to play my music.
 

iFi audio

Active Member
AVForums Sponsor
2010, 2012, 215.
The most recent being the R series sub which cost £1000 and still only lasted 2 years.
I've since owned the same REL sub (T7i) for about 5 years without any issue.
Well, from what I can see, You're one of those guys who can call themselves "patient". Thanks for answering anyway 😄
 
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psikey

Distinguished Member
KEF LSX is useless if you want to stream your lossless music stored on a NAS. Seems like KEF will never be able to fix it. Looks like LS50 WII have the same problem. I had to buy a Bluesound Node 2i to to be able to play my music.

What do you mean?

I can play mine fine via QNAP or PLEX DLNA (FLAC format), but I do have my LSX to TV via optical so limited to 24/96 but already knew that. Not tried direct with KEF app for a while so could test again.

As I mentioned above, have my LS50WII connected and mostly and used over eARC HDMI (or streaming via Tidal or Spotify connect).
 

Cebolla

Well-known Member
What do you mean?

I can play mine fine via QNAP or PLEX DLNA (FLAC format), but I do have my LSX to TV via optical so limited to 24/96 but already knew that. Not tried direct with KEF app for a while so could test again.
Odd that you're questioning that post when you appear to be doing exactly the same thing - using another device for streaming, decoding and playing the lossless music files instead of the LS50WII itself, albeit a TV instead of the Bluesound Node 2i mentioned.
 

psikey

Distinguished Member
Odd that you're questioning that post when you appear to be doing exactly the same thing - using another device for streaming, decoding and playing the lossless music files instead of the LS50WII itself, albeit a TV instead of the Bluesound Node 2i mentioned.
You've lost me. With the LSX I can have files on my QNAP NAS folder which the app see's than plays the tracks on the LSX?
 

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