KEF LS50 Wireless II Streaming System Review & Comments

Cebolla

Well-known Member
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?
Sorry, I meant LSX instead of LS50WII, if that's where you lost me.

So you're not getting the TV play the FLAC files from the QNAP with the resulting LPCM output going to the LSX via optical, then?
 
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flotsam

Standard 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.
Sorry to hear about your experience with the LSX.

On the LS50 Wireless II, I have no problem streaming from Qobuz, connecting to my local music server via UPnP, or using airplay.
 

Toon Army

Well-known Member
Would not be surprised if the LSXs are released in a meta version due to the universal discount now being offered on the current model.
 

psikey

Distinguished Member
Sorry, I meant LSX instead of LS50WII, if that's where you lost me.

So you're not getting the TV play the FLAC files from the QNAP with the resulting LPCM output going to the LSX via optical, then?

If I purely use the LSX app, it shows the music files on my NAS then plays them over wifi (white) mode. TV not even on. LS50WII similar with its app.

Purely playing from KEF app

Screenshot_20210725-115536_KEF Stream.jpg


You select Media servers

Screenshot_20210725-115555_KEF Stream.jpg


Speaker shows White (Purple if over Optical from TV).

20210725_115641.jpg



KEF Connect app for my LS50WII does it in single app

Screenshot_20210725-133547_KEF Connect.jpg



PS. These are just my gaming speakers/TV etc. so not OTT on ideal placement.
 
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Cebolla

Well-known Member
Yes, the very same 'if' situation with the LSX as the streamer that @TrondB mentioned as being useless and you queried that by saying that your playback of the NAS's music was fine using a TV with the LSX connected to it via optical - not the same thing, ie, the TV (or @TrondB's Bluesound Node 2i) is the streamer in that case not the LSX.

However, we appear to be going around in circles! :)
 
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psikey

Distinguished Member
Yes, the very same 'if' situation with the LSX as the streamer that @TrondB mentioned as being useless and you queried that by saying that your playback of the NAS's music was fine using a TV with the LSX connected to it via optical - not the same thing, ie, the TV (or @TrondB's Bluesound Node 2i) is the streamer in that case not the LSX.

However, we appear to be going around in circles! :)

Your saying LSX speakers in stand-alone wireless (not using a TV) can't be used to play music just off a NAS, media server with the LSX app?

If so, I'm saying no problem at all.


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!

This is what I'm referring to.

LSX doesn't support Tidal App direct but the LSX KEF Stream plays Tidal fine (for me)
The LS50WII supports Tidal App, Tidal with KEF Connect App, and Tidal Connect direct with full MQA unfold.

Both LSX and LS50WII can play your own music off your NAS or other Media Server (as files) with the KEF apps.

I really must be completely missing what your complaining about?
 
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KWB1

Well-known Member
Had the original LS50 active hooked up to a pair of BK XLS 400’s - beautiful 👍
 

flotsam

Standard Member
I've owned the LS50WII for a month and a half now. Overall these are a great choice for peope looking for this kind of thing. You might be interested in my experience.

Starting out, I had some difficulty getting them to connect to my existing wifi network, even though my setup seemed to meet requirements: 802.11ac, dual-band 2.4 GHz / 5 GHz. That problem seems to arise because I have two routers (upstairs and downstairs) which generate my wifi network. Consulting the shop and Kef support, I decided to buy a separate wifi router just for the Kefs. You probably won't have this issue, but if you have a mesh network, you might keep this in mind.

There is definitely some time needed for break-in, to my ears. I got a more effortless sound after a month's time. After some initial fussing, the Kef Connect app has been a pleasure to use. I listen primary to Qobuz, but I spend daily time with my record collection (Rega P3 to phono preamp to aux in), internet radio, and listing to my digital music collection from my music server (an old mac mini) running UPnP. Also airplay is really quite nice. I've known about it for years but had never investigated. So I sometimes send the audio from my computer directly to the speakers this way.

Having had some time to dial in how the speakers are located in my room, music sounds like music. Precise attacks from the brass, golden light from massed strings, and moving crescendos. Opera is a delight with the excellent stereo imaging. The solo voices carry a vibrant human warmth, but also clarity. Also if you are listening in a small room (mine is 3.3 m x 3.9 m) these really fit in, as you'd expect. Small room, big sound, precise image.

This system has less apparent distortion compared to what I'm used to. While it's clearly a "solid state" presentation, I don't experience any glare or graininess. You know, I was prepared to enjoy them as though they were like a radio or smart speaker if that's how it turned out. But these can easily be your main system; they are rapidly becoming mine. I do have another system, but most days I just turn on the Kefs. I don't spend any time thinking about upgrades, except for possibly a subwoofer in the future.

You know, I'd love Kef to harness their DSP engine to provide a highly accurate phono correction. I think they could make this sound wonderful and then no need for a dedicated phono preamp. Probably not in the cards, but I'd like to request both MM and MC settings. :)
 

iFi audio

Active Member
AVForums Sponsor
I listen primary to Qobuz, but I spend daily time with my record collection (Rega P3 to phono preamp to aux in), internet radio, and listing to my digital music collection from my music server (an old mac mini) running UPnP. Also airplay is really quite nice. I've known about it for years but had never investigated. So I sometimes send the audio from my computer directly to the speakers this way.
That is actually a quite an impressive number of sources. There is no doubt that you checked multiple variants what resulted in such a high quality feedback. I am curious to know what preference have you got when it comes to your sources?
 
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flotsam

Standard Member
I would like to know whether you have observed any significant differences when it comes to these sources of music?
To get to the bottom line, I'd say the effect of the Kef LS50 WII is to make all its sources sound more similar than different. And I bet many listeners will like it this way.

Streaming from Qobuz and playing files via UPnP are entirely comparable. Both reveal nuance, and have good dynamics, and some sense of space in both methods. Not much if any difference.

Listening to records, I still get the nice "continuity of phrase" that you expect. That's a key quality for me and it's not lost in the conversion from analog to digital and back. Compared to my other (analog) system, records give forth less body and not as much tonal fullness. However, listening to records through the KEFs I do wonder if that body and tone that I'm used to... are completely real. Maybe?

Between the Qobuz stream and aux-in from my turntable, I'd say records still present a connectedness, from one note to another, that you don't quite get from the digital stream. But the Qobuz source is always clear and the notes are laid down so very very precisely. Thus, there are detectable differences but these aren't too great. When you listen to both an LP and a Qobuz stream through the Kefs, then the Kef system serves to lessen their intrinsic differences.
 

TrondB

Active Member
Yes, the very same 'if' situation with the LSX as the streamer that @TrondB mentioned as being useless and you queried that by saying that your playback of the NAS's music was fine using a TV with the LSX connected to it via optical - not the same thing, ie, the TV (or @TrondB's Bluesound Node 2i) is the streamer in that case not the LSX.

However, we appear to be going around in circles! :)
I can play lossless music from my Qnap NAS but LSX is so unstable that the built in Wi-Fi streamer is useless. I've tried KEF Stream and BubbleUPnP (Android) and KEF Stream and mconnect (iOS). BlueSound node 2i and Linn Akurate DS are working perfect.
 

flotsam

Standard Member
I can play lossless music from my Qnap NAS but LSX is so unstable that the built in Wi-Fi streamer is useless. I've tried KEF Stream and BubbleUPnP (Android) and KEF Stream and mconnect (iOS). BlueSound node 2i and Linn Akurate DS are working perfect.
@TrondB may I ask if you have a mesh network or do you otherwise have multiple routers? I did have problems running two zones (upstairs and downstairs) on the same wifi network with my Kef Wireless II system.
 

MalLee

Novice Member
Hi guys. New here.

Am seriously considering getting the LS50 Wireless 2.

Need advice on this : if I were to connect them to my TV via optical instead of HDMI (due to insufficient HDMI ports), would I lose anything in terms of sound quality or types when I watch movies? My thinking is probably not since it is 2.0 (stereo) system.

Thanks in advance!
 

psikey

Distinguished Member
@TrondB may I ask if you have a mesh network or do you otherwise have multiple routers? I did have problems running two zones (upstairs and downstairs) on the same wifi network with my Kef Wireless II system.
To add, I just have a single router not mesh, but its a great one, Asus AX88U. Never had any issues wireless with my LSX or LS50WII but I do now have the LS50WII wired now as its in same location as my router.
 

psikey

Distinguished Member
Hi guys. New here.

Am seriously considering getting the LS50 Wireless 2.

Need advice on this : if I were to connect them to my TV via optical instead of HDMI (due to insufficient HDMI ports), would I lose anything in terms of sound quality or types when I watch movies? My thinking is probably not since it is 2.0 (stereo) system.

Thanks in advance!

Optical is limited to 24/96 (rather than 24/192) and you would have to use two remotes. Over HDMI ARC the TV remote operates the speakers too. Sound wise should not really be noticeable. I can't tell a 24/96 from a 24/192 track.
 

iFi audio

Active Member
AVForums Sponsor
I can't tell a 24/96 from a 24/192 track.
You are probably right, nonetheless, I would recommend @MalLee to test both solutions (if possible) and choose the best one after making sure there's no noticeable difference. I remember few cases when I've encountered different views depending on who was listening.
 

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