NEWS: KEF announces LS50 Wireless II speakers

meduk1

Active Member
Like everything about these apart from the price!

The smaller / cheaper LSX have been on my radar for a while. The bigger soundstage and the additional HDMI eArc make these a much more attractive offer, however can't justify the price.

Do they offer any form of magnetic grills for these to make them child proof?
 

hunt808

Member
Like everything about these apart from the price!

The smaller / cheaper LSX have been on my radar for a while. The bigger soundstage and the additional HDMI eArc make these a much more attractive offer, however can't justify the price.

Do they offer any form of magnetic grills for these to make them child proof?
There's now going to be a lot of great deals on the outgoing LS50 wireless, so I'd look at those over the LSX.
 

dollag

Well-known Member
I don’t think they’ve got airplay? That’s a deal breaker for me

With the KEF Connect app, the front end streaming service allows connection to Tidal, Amazon Music, Qobuz, Deezer, Internet Radio stations and podcasts. And you can stream directly from the native app with Spotify Connect. Streaming music files up to 24bit/384kHz is supported as well as support for MQA Decoding and Hi-Res DSD256 audio playback. The range of compatible wireless platforms includes AirPlay 2 and Google Chromecast which seamlessly connects to compatible Apple or Android devices, and Bluetooth is included too.
 

meduk1

Active Member
With the KEF Connect app, the front end streaming service allows connection to Tidal, Amazon Music, Qobuz, Deezer, Internet Radio stations and podcasts. And you can stream directly from the native app with Spotify Connect. Streaming music files up to 24bit/384kHz is supported as well as support for MQA Decoding and Hi-Res DSD256 audio playback. The range of compatible wireless platforms includes AirPlay 2 and Google Chromecast which seamlessly connects to compatible Apple or Android devices, and Bluetooth is included too.
Was referring to the comment on the original LS50's likely having some good deals out. I don't think they have AirPlay so not something I'd consider.
 

Hoku

Active Member
I can’t help feeling for those who stumped up £2k for the original KEF LS50 wireless, with many users reporting a very glitchy app, only to find that the LS50II has a new sorted app...that’s not backward compatible. Really KEF? So you’re saying that even though the mark 1’s have a rear input clearly marked ‘service’, that you’re not going to permit buyers to use this facility to upgrade the firmware to use the new app on the older speakers? I would imagine that’s what buyers thought that input would be for, wouldn’t you?

As much as I like the idea of a simple ‘sleeper’ active speaker system with everything, including the streamer built in, this lack of support over time totally makes me more convinced that separates are the way to go.

Compare the (I would imagine let down and possibly disgruntled) experience of a LS50 wireless mark 1 purchaser, with someone who bought the passives with a separate amp and streamer. OK, for the meta materials improvement, they might feel they want to upgrade the speakers, but at least they’re not ditching a £2k system to do so.

Active systems like this do seem attractive...in the short term. But it’s precisely this lack of app support from manufacturers that’s a real turn-off for me, and would make me very wary indeed before stumping up the £2.2k for the Wireless mark 2’s.

By the accounts of reviewers (check out John Darko’s YouTube review), the new all-in-one app is a much slicker experience. But how long will it be supported for, considering the experience of those who purchased the mark 1’s?


KEF’s approach seems the opposite of NAD’s commendable view of backward compatibility in the form of their MDC slots - so users can add new inputs, firmware or even new streamers, into the back of their older systems.
 

hunt808

Member
I can’t help feeling for those who stumped up £2k for the original KEF LS50 wireless, with many users reporting a very glitchy app, only to find that the LS50II has a new sorted app...that’s not backward compatible. Really KEF? So you’re saying that even though the mark 1’s have a rear input clearly marked ‘service’, that you’re not going to permit buyers to use this facility to upgrade the firmware to use the new app on the older speakers? I would imagine that’s what buyers thought that input would be for, wouldn’t you?

As much as I like the idea of a simple ‘sleeper’ active speaker system with everything, including the streamer built in, this lack of support over time totally makes me more convinced that separates are the way to go.

Compare the (I would imagine let down and possibly disgruntled) experience of a LS50 wireless mark 1 purchaser, with someone who bought the passives with a separate amp and streamer. OK, for the meta materials improvement, they might feel they want to upgrade the speakers, but at least they’re not ditching a £2k system to do so.

Active systems like this do seem attractive...in the short term. But it’s precisely this lack of app support from manufacturers that’s a real turn-off for me, and would make me very wary indeed before stumping up the £2.2k for the Wireless mark 2’s.

By the accounts of reviewers (check out John Darko’s YouTube review), the new all-in-one app is a much slicker experience. But how long will it be supported for, considering the experience of those who purchased the mark 1’s?


KEF’s approach seems the opposite of NAD’s commendable view of backward compatibility in the form of their MDC slots - so users can add new inputs, firmware or even new streamers, into the back of their older systems.
Keep in mind that although the new app is not compatible with the LS50W today, it may be tomorrow, or the original app could benefit from the programming in the new app and receive an update.
 

larkone

Member
Keep in mind that although the new app is not compatible with the LS50W today, it may be tomorrow, or the original app could benefit from the programming in the new app and receive an update.
or not if the legacy hardware cannot support the new software as has happened to other manufacturers products - do you have inside information or are you just guessing?
 

hunt808

Member
or not if the legacy hardware cannot support the new software as has happened to other manufacturers products - do you have inside information or are you just guessing?
I don't have inside information about Kef, but I've been involved with software development for 20+ years and know how these things work. You may well find that once this product cycle is complete, the programming team switch their resources over to making updates. It's not guaranteed, just something I've seen happen many times before in different contexts.

My point is: the new software has only just been released, so it's too early to write-off any updates happening to the earlier model. Having said that, if I'm wrong, then I agree with the original comment that it's a worrying sign for buyers of all-in-one systems.
 

larkone

Member
....and I have been involved with IT and software development for 47 years and also know well how it works and all to often early versions of hardware quickly become outdated as the software overtakes the hardware's ability to support it. Sonos's recent software upgrade was a good example, then there is MS Windows..................................

If Kef do not publish their upgrade development roadmap stating that early hardware will continue to be supported then it is unlikely.
 

Paul7777x

Distinguished Member
I can’t help feeling for those who stumped up £2k for the original KEF LS50 wireless, with many users reporting a very glitchy app, only to find that the LS50II has a new sorted app...that’s not backward compatible. Really KEF? So you’re saying that even though the mark 1’s have a rear input clearly marked ‘service’, that you’re not going to permit buyers to use this facility to upgrade the firmware to use the new app on the older speakers? I would imagine that’s what buyers thought that input would be for, wouldn’t you?

As much as I like the idea of a simple ‘sleeper’ active speaker system with everything, including the streamer built in, this lack of support over time totally makes me more convinced that separates are the way to go.

Compare the (I would imagine let down and possibly disgruntled) experience of a LS50 wireless mark 1 purchaser, with someone who bought the passives with a separate amp and streamer. OK, for the meta materials improvement, they might feel they want to upgrade the speakers, but at least they’re not ditching a £2k system to do so.

Active systems like this do seem attractive...in the short term. But it’s precisely this lack of app support from manufacturers that’s a real turn-off for me, and would make me very wary indeed before stumping up the £2.2k for the Wireless mark 2’s.

By the accounts of reviewers (check out John Darko’s YouTube review), the new all-in-one app is a much slicker experience. But how long will it be supported for, considering the experience of those who purchased the mark 1’s?


KEF’s approach seems the opposite of NAD’s commendable view of backward compatibility in the form of their MDC slots - so users can add new inputs, firmware or even new streamers, into the back of their older systems.
I have to agree. I’d be bloody peeved if I’d bought the originals.

I would expect the new app to be compatible. If that was absolutely impossible, I’d want to know why, and I’d still expect them to fix the original app up to realistic spec.

However, much as I like the idea of all in one actives, this is the reason I’ll forever stick with actives that are just that, simply speakers.

An external pre/dac/streamer is still the way to go.
 

Hoku

Active Member
I have to agree. I’d be bloody peeved if I’d bought the originals.

I would expect the new app to be compatible. If that was absolutely impossible, I’d want to know why, and I’d still expect them to fix the original app up to realistic spec.

However, much as I like the idea of all in one actives, this is the reason I’ll forever stick with actives that are just that, simply speakers.

An external pre/dac/streamer is still the way to go.
Fair point. Something like a Bluesound/NAD / Cambridge or Yamaha streamer / pre-amp with Acoustic Energy's AE1 actives seems a much longer-term proposition. (Or insert your favoured actives there). Really the speakers and amp should last until it physically breaks, which should provide many years of service.

But if the streamer/pre-amp becomes outdated (which is less likely to if from Bluesound/NAD or Yamaha), then at least that's all you need to upgrade. Not quite so painful than a £2k system that's out of date in a few years.

Good speakers and good amps should last decades (whether active or not), but I can't see streamers having that kind of longevity.

Having said all the gripes about the KEF LS50 Wireless (mainly the lack of support of the mark 1's than the 2's as such), I do like the inclusion of HDMI on the new model: that makes a lot of sense.

So it would be nice if the above mentioned streamer/pre-amp manufacturers thought of including an HDMI input. Maybe they already have and I just haven't picked up on it.
 

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