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 Likelihood to become outdated by newer technologies?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
@mfgillia I'm not really considered a high-end audiophile but I did buy the Buchardt A500 speakers. I'm still questioning whether to keep them or not. I did a head-to-head comparison Sonos play 5 generation 2. These are $1,000 for two. The A500 are $3,300 plus $700 for the Hub which gives you a lot of flexibility that Sonos doesn't give you.

Can I say that the A500 speakers are 3 times better sounding than the Sonos Play 5? I cannot. Twice? Probably.

@mfgillia why are you referring to the room correction when the Buchardt app with the room correction isn't out yet until end of December 2020?

Also have you compared the A500 with Dynaudio Focus 20 XD or XEO 20 ? 

@rbindc1 Nope, I haven't heard version 2 of the KEF LS50 Wireless. From reading reviews though my guess is that to me it will be more of a marginal / incremental improvement in terms of sound quality but more significant improvement in terms of usability & app quality. 

I'm skeptical that adding a subwoofer to the KEFs will improve the sound quality to be on par with the A500s based on my experience pairing version 1 with KEF's Kube 10b subwoofer. Not to imply there was anything really wrong with the sound from that pair. I just could never really seem to integrate the subwoofer well enough for my tastes. It always felt like I was listening to music with a subwoofer banging away from another location versus disappearing seamlessly into the sound stage.  

The bass of the A500s is also much more differentiated producing distinct bass notes from different instruments versus blending together. This is likely at least partially due to the room correction removing two large room modes from my listening room. 

With that said there's also really nothing wrong with the KEFs LS50 Wireless in terms of sound quality compared to conventional book shelf speakers especially in the treble where to me it really shines. There's just a lot more to listen to when playing music from the A500s. Regarding speaker stands, mine are from the local stereo shop where I purchased the KEFs and are relatively generic. I just checked now and didn't see a separate brand name or any other identifier.
 
@danielscottnyc1 At the end of the day the only thing that matters is whether you're happy with your system. So if to your ears the Sonos system provides similar enjoyment as the Buchardts then to me that sounds like an easy decision to make saving fair amount of cash.

Plus, Sonas software and app is considered by many to be among the best available and consistently works well for many people unlike what's available from most active speaker systems.

The Buchardt app for room correction has been available since launch. Darko uses it in his video review. There isn't an android version yet so borrowed the girlfriend's iPhone. Took awhile to figure out how to pair it to the A500s via bluetooth but once that's done it works very well.

I have not heard Dynaudio's nor System Audio's (SA) active speakers, which appears to use the same hub and remote control as the A500s. Regarding the former, the feature set is different than the Buchardts and SA but both Danish companies have very good reputations and their products generally receive very favorable reviews.
Might be blasphemous to mention in these parts, but Edifier S2000 MKIII comes darn close to LS50W at a fraction of the price, in fact sounds a bit more open if EQed properly and connected wired via a proper interface (which I'd do with LS50W anyway too).

But in actives, the real fight is now between Focus XD 20 and A500. Those are the top ones in high-ish end without going totally crazy with the likes of Kii III etc. 
So, that's another option. This thread has become a  mere "shootout" between active speakers. ok.