Buchardt A500, KEF LS50 Wireless, etc. What are your top 3 downsides?


I'm seeing reviews popping up recently for the new version of the KEF LS50 wireless and the Buchardt A500. PS Audio is working on a wireless speaker, too, I gather. Specific models don't really matter. I'm interested in the general approach these products represent.

What you would you list as the top three most important minuses for investing in these speakers as the system? Sonic quality? Likelihood to become outdated by newer technologies? Lack of choice regarding DAC, etc?

Or, if it's really hard to come up with major downsides for these types of speakers, are they harbingers of a larger shift for audiophiles?

I don't have a bias, here. More interested in drawing out your views and experience.
8700e65e 845e 4b1b 91cc df27687f9454hilde45
Powered speakers with DSP ARE the future. Better amp/speaker matching. Less risk of obsolesence than separates.
Probably more expensive to "climb the ladder." Probably lessened urge to do so.
And so if someone likes tubes, they won't go this way?
I don't see a major shift to active speakers not enough stuff to tinker with. No tubes in any of these though they might eventually have filters you can load in to give them a tube sound. 
So, either of you guys -- no major downsides except nothing to tinker with?
Better amp/speaker matching
what matching are you referring to? 
When the cell phone apps stop being supported you have an obsolete product. Buchardt is a new company and very small so that is extra risk. Original LS50 wireless is not obsolete but is dated after 3 years and has a frustrating app. 

LS50 has no grills and kids love to poke them out. 

You have to like the Class D, active crossover, DSP sound. Basically the studio monitor sound. 

If they need service you're out for awhile no swapping a different component is a downside. I use active speakers and like them. They're not wireless but are wired to ethernet. Best sounding speaker to me I've ever had. If I upgrade it would be another active. 
1. It's still a KEF.
2. It's still a KEF LS50.
3. Can you still get the funky glow-in-the-dark pattern printed on the driver?
@twoleftears That's true for the KEF but the question is about the kind of speaker, not the specific instances.
I have purchased number of active speaker systems over the years and each time swear I'll never do that again. While they can sound excellent and give you better value at a specific price point the main problem that often goes unmentioned is usability.

Large speaker companies like Kef are generally horrible at software, which these systems tend to rely heavily on for functionality. The Kef LS50 Wireless has among the worse rated app in audio. Their new improved app partnered with version 2 isn't compatible with the original system so prior customers are pretty much screwed.

Why does it matter? Because without the apps working one can't adjust user settings for things such as dsp, subwoofer, bluetooth and changing wifi networks, which often requires a hard reset of the entire system. Even simple things like switching inputs is a chore requiring cycling through all options on the cheap plastic remote or getting up to go look at the front panel. 

So knowing all this then why did I purchase Buchardt's A500s at twice the price of the Kef's  back in February before any reviews were out? Combination of insanity, hope of better execution / customer service from Buchardt and last but not least the allure of incredible sound with unmatched feature set via unlocking the power of DSPs and active crossovers.  

The promise of endless tinkering with the sound signature via master tunings, lower level enhancement adjusting for Fletcher Munson curves, built-in room correction and true sub bass performance from a small book shelf speaker overwhelmed my self control and prior vows to avoid active systems.
@mfgillia Good luck with the speakers. The software issues and lifespan of support is a real concern to me. On the other hand, I look at my home theater system and see AR 48 3 way speakers which I bought in 1982 and have worked with every receiver, AVR, and amp I've purchased ever since. There is nothing fancy about the, but they sound great and remain usable. Something to be said for that.
Kef LS50W’s are finnicky.  I think the electronics have a 50/50 shot of being dead in 10 years.  The app for the ls50’s is awful as is the remote.

Dynaudio felt much better as far as remote control functions, and thr electronics never gave me any issues on the xeo 6’s.

The Buchardts look great!  Room correction on the hub, master sound setting on the speaker, xlr inputs (no room correction), 24/96khz, good remote control.

I think self powered, dsp speakers might be the future audiophiles speaker of choice.  The kids today aren’t into the gear like we were or are.

The ability to amplify each driver with no crossover and add in dsp and you’ve got a hard combo to beat.  You’d think that the engineer of the speaker knows well, how to match amps to the drivers to achieve their desired outcome of sound.
Something else that I really liked about the Dynaudio Xeo’s are that the hub will connect to multiple pairs so you could have 3 or 4 different pairs of xeo’s throughout the house all streaming the same music with no latency issues.  

I’d like to see a shootout between the Dynaudio XD’s and the Buchardts.  They’re similar money and I think it would be a good comparison.



@hilde45 Thanks - overall the Buchardt’s have been wonderful and tend to agree with Darko’s over the top and very flattering description of their sound quality including his comparison to the Kefs. The sound is just so much more fuller, dynamic and just simply more exciting & fun than my prior systems.

That bass... It’s the first thing that’s immediately noticeable after plugging in and the first time able to so clearly differentiate between different instruments that low.

The performance of those two active woofers mounted in the rear is more akin to having a set of very nimble balanced subs at least in my relatively small living room. But whereas in the past I was never completely satisfied with my ability to integrate subwoofers coherently with the rest of my system, it’s a different story with the A500s thanks most likely to the built-in room correction. It did a great job of taming two monster modes that were ripping through my room pre-correction.

It hasn’t been all positives though. I did have some drama during the first few weeks of operations that required fixing. However, Mads has been great and very responsive seemingly answering his email 24/7. He won’t hesitate to send out completely new electronics asap if something isn’t quite right.

Speaking of which, I did discover servicing the speakers is a breeze. It’s been designed so that all of the electronics are in one self-contained, small module that’s easy to remove/re-install.