I also use ROON software to control everything. This gives you access via all mobile and desktop devices.
As a KEF dealer, here is our scoop on this question.
1: The app isn't great but it isn't bad it just lacks the kind of user gui that better devices such as the NAD Blue Sound have.
So I would just use the LS 50W as it is for now.
2: What is exciting is that in a software up-grade which is comming which will make the LS 50W a Roon endpoint and you don't need to add any additional hardware.
Once you have experienced Roon there is nothing like it.
So I would just purchase a set and just wait until the update goes live.
The LS 50W are terrific and for a Bedroom they are perfect we have our demo set with an excellent Athom based subwoofer and the package for roughly $3,200.00 just rocks.
We do recommend getting a good set of stands and bringing them out further into the room then just putting them on a shelf.
If you are using them on a shelf then get a set of Isoacoustics footers or an Isoacoustic monitor craddle for dramatically better sound.
If we can be of any futher assistance just reach out via PM.
Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ
I use these in my bedroom paired with an SVS SB13 Ultra subwoofer. Frankly, it is one of the simplest, best sounding 2.1 systems I have ever heard. They amaze me every single time. The software just went through a major update and it is much better now. Streaming Spotify and Tidal are a breeze. I have hooked them up to my computer as well, amazing sound again.
Gripes if you will. No way of knowing (outside of the App) how loud you are playing these speakers. There will come a time when they will scare the hell out of you by being too loud. You can't see what input you are in from eye level, especially when laying in bed.
All that being said, I would 100% recommend these speakers to anyone. They are that good.
Just got the ls50 passive...wonderful little speaker indeed. I also have experience with active, dynaudio bm5a, and what i didn't like about it in the long run is that i felt they were under-powered, and i wished i could have driven them differently. You no longer have the possibility to try tubes or ss...If you have an amp problem, the all speaker has got to go, the little amps om the back do not feature large toroidal transformers, etc...things to consider.
I would just make sure you purchase them from a place that allows for easy returns. While the LS50s do a great job tonally, they are somewhat sensitive to placement (to get the best sound) and without the right placement, you are more likely to end up with a 2 dimensional soundstage that will be disappointing over time.
Congrats on your choice Matt!
I heard the LS50w in Munich High-end society, right after I auditioned the KEF Muons. I could swear, the LS50w were every bit as transparent as the Muons, if not tonally better. The bass of the Muons in that room overwhelmed the midrange.
I own the passives and their midrange is a work of class even with my DIY amp from the 80s. I tried a couple of amps on them and this is a speaker that will make the amp differences easily audible.
The only thing that I miss on the passives is a little more bass thump. In my room (5m x 7m) the midbass is a little lean and the subwoofers don't help there. The extension is very good even without subs.
That's why I want to change them with the LS50w hoping that the DSP and the bass adjustments can produce more midbass. Another very important reason for me is convenience. 90% of the time I stream music.
Can anyone owning both have a word how do they compare in the bass department (not just extension, but weight and subjective feeling on the amount of bass)?
I picked up a pair a week ago, and am really enjoying them. I stream Spotify Premium directly over WiFi using the Extreme quality setting in Spotify. For $2200, I am getting more enjoyable sound than from my previous setup which was in excess of $10K. I have a REL T9 sub on hand, and have been using it with the LS50W’s over the past couple of days. It’s not dialed in as yet, but it sounds good. These speakers are game-changing. I can’t believe how good they are. My two complaints are 1) They are made in China. I would spend more to have them made in England. 2) the ability to finely control the volume is not great, but I’ve learned to deal with it.
By the way, if you live in the US, buy from Crutchfield. You have until Jan. 25th to return them if they are not to your liking.
Guys do the industry a favor and DO NOT PURCHASE FROM CRUTCHFIELD OR MAGNOLIA, these giant corporations do not need your pattronage in order to survive.
FIND a good local dealer and purchase from them here is why:
1: Your local retailor will be appreciative
2: Your local retailor will be much more helpful
3: You local retailor needs your support to survive especially today in the face of all of this compettition.
4: Your local retailor will and can help you in a much more personal way then any on line store.
5: Your local retailor will also take back LS 50W as they are impossible not to like, therefore it is not going to happen.
6: Your local retailor may just have the product on display so you can hear them for yourself.
7: Your local retailor will most likely form a good relationship with you and can assist you in other audio/video matters.
Look at all the posts crying out there are no good retailors left look at the mirror and ask yourself why?
I don’t know about you but I much prefer to get in my car drive 10-20 mins and be able to see, touch and listen to a product in person then over the net.
Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ
Scottsaz, the point of my post is to remind the commuity that helping the little guy to survive everyone wins.
I don't know about you I visited a local Magnolia and was appalled by the lack of knowledge that their young and inexperienced sales staff exhibited.
Do they know if there are ways of making the LS 50's sound better ie accessories or stands?
Do they know how to use and setup a set correctly?
Do they or can they recommend any possible KEF speakers with streaming amplifiers that may be a better longterm investment over the LS 50W?
For example we can offer a setup up system with a Naim Uniti at $3k plus a set of R 500 for $2,600.00 we sell the package including cables as a system, and it is indeed better with future upgrades to even better KEF or other brands of speakers with all the sophisticaion and amazing connectivity that Naim brings to the table.
The point is in the days of impersonal shopping and internet sales isn't it nice visiting a place that actually knows your name and situation and can offer you something more than just a quick purchase?
So perhaps in your case you made the best and only choice, in other areas there are dealers that would love to receive such a call, just saying.
Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ
My local dealer moved about 40 yards away from Best Buy a few years ago and his business went through the roof. Customers walked out of BB and into his store.He has a staff w/10-40 years of experience that can intelligently answer any audio questions.. They have 6 rooms ranging from entry level to High End. This past year Paradigm gave them Dealer of the year. One plus that most dealers don’t do he’s open on Sunday.
Update......ok so I recently downloaded Roon and streaming all my Flac files to the LS50, this system is so much fun to not only listen to, but to play with. I still can’t believe the about of bass it puts out. My question is what would be the least expensive way to improve the sound even more? All files are 44.1/16bit. What pieace of gear or DAC are others using with the kef’s?
I bought mine a few weeks ago. I haven't put 50+ hours on them and the dedicated stands are still on backorder. They are amazing as is, I can't imagine how much better they will be once I put them on stands (filled) and put a few more hours on them. Really satisfied with the purchase. They sound way better than my previous system which was a little over $8k.
I haven't felt a need for a separate sub yet, but maybe I don't know what I'm missing. If someone has tried a fast, musical sub with them, I'll be interested in your review.
I don't know what the world is coming to. Audiophile types are starting to recognize the merit of active designs? I bought the Infinity Intermezzo 2.6's back in 2001. They were half active, Stereophile and TAS both loved them but they didn't sell. Audio Advisor blew them out for about half price not long after they came out. I regret selling them as they were truly excellent.
Now we're hearing people who not only accept active speakers but speakers with digital conversion built in, digital crossovers, etc. I hope it lasts. It will bring the cost of high quality audio way down if it gets popular.
@jon_5912 -- I would submit that in case of the KEF LS50 wireless, what helped them was the fact that the passive version was already a critical success. KEF just made it better.
To be honest, if I hadn't heard so much about the passive version, I would have never tried the active version. So at least for me, it was not some newfound appreciation for active monitors that made me buy them. It was the fact that I was already planning to buy the passive version, but the perceived lack of bass was making that decision difficult. The active version solved that problem.
As an example, I had thought about purchasing the Dynaudio Xeo 2 but there was no similarly shared pedigree with another base Dynaudio model as critically acclaimed as the passive LS50s. So I stayed on the sidelines at that time.
This is precisely why Phil Jones came out with the Airpulse Model one active monitor. He feels high end audio is shooting itself in the foot and wanted to put forth a quality product at down to earth prices to make it more inclusive for the masses. everyone who has heard them has nothing but great things to say and quite frankly I'm gobsmacked with how good they sound. They are also quite competitive with the LS50's from what I understand for half the price