KEF for Near-field?


I currently have KEF x300A for my desk.

I'm looking for a great near-field solution, and am open to thoughts. I'd rather something easy I can buy easily.

Options: I do already own a Peachtree Sky & Audioquest Bi-Wire Cables. I suppose I could move it into the LR (or attempt to sell, but the 300/R3 I can literally pop into place). 

KEF R300: $1,200 (Current prices on sale). 
R3: $2,000 (Worth the $800 premium over R300's?)
LS50 Wireless: $2,000 (Seems ideal; but scared of failure)
matrixrabbit
@ matrixrabbit I owned the X300A and it was, but rather good for a desktop computer speaker. I got tired of it and gave it away to my nephew. 

I also have had the LS50 on my desk. I used isoACCOUSTICS stands (not expensive) and the sound was rather good though the soundstage was compressed on my desk. However, the LS50 is better than the X300A. My desk is around 5 feet long. A bigger desk would have been much better. 

I am currently listening to the passive LS50 on my speaker stands away from the desk and the sound is of course much better and I am hearing the best that the LS50's can do. I will pass the LS50 to my son's room soon. Never selling this speaker.

The powered LS50 has built in DSP so it will sound better on a desk than my passive LS50. The new KEF LSX is the replacement for the X300A and it is supposed to be a big improvement. Both the powered LS50 and LSX have desktop specific DSP settings.

I just sold a Audience 1+1 V3 speaker which I was using on my desk. It was a dipole design so you need to give it space on the rear. It has an incredibly clear sound (better than the LS50), but I found the imaging better on the LS50 and off-axis listening better on the LS50 so I sold the Audience. It also fits in the palm of your hand and weighs 8lbs. Something to look into for a small space if off-axis is not a big deal for you. The imaging issue was likely due to my off-axis placement. Use isoACCOUSTIC stands if you are using the 1+1 on a desktop.

@yyzsantabarbara 

Thank you! The x300a is surprisingly great for the price and ease of use. The LSX is a bit small, and doesn't have a USB connection for my desktop.

You didn't mention the R3/300. My top choice ATM is the R300 since it's 1200 NIB, looks gorgeous, bi-wire, and won't have to sell my Nova. I've heard it's "softer" sounding with more bass.

I'm still memorized at the LS50W option, but again for someone that has an amp, cables, not sure it'll solve that bass/softer solution. By far if I didn't own those, it would be the obvious choice. 


@matrixrabbit I do not know anything about the R3/300. I am not sure about your electronics since I have not heard them. There was a Christmas sale on the passive LS50 from the online KEF Store for $999 . The passive LS50’s can be found on A’gon used for less than that.

https://www.kefdirect.com/ls50-black-edition.html

https://www.kefdirect.com/speakers/stereo-speakers/bookshelf-speakers/ls50-mini-monitor-speaker.html


I’ve heard all of the ones mentioned except the X300A. I have passive LS50’s on my desktop now, but would have the LSX if they were available when I sprung $900 for the LS50’s that really are a little too large for this application. The LSX is a killer speaker for the size and the money! There are myriad other ways than USB to get music from a computer (digital optical or Ethernet) and of course wireless & Bluetooth.

The R300 at the current price are a great value, but for near-field use I feel there’s too much separation of the Uni-Q driver and bass driver. Same goes for the R3, and profoundly YES they are worth the money...as stand mounted speakers in a larger space.
Post removed 
Has anybody compared the x300a to the LS50 Wireless? Obviously free beats buying the $2300, but I do like the Nocturne's. Obviously taste varies for everyone, but it has a unique artistic look. 
The X300a could not compere in sound quality to my passive LS50's on my desktop (both on isoacoustic stands). I agree with a poster that the LS50's are a little large for a desk. My desk is 57" long but it was still better to me than the smaller desk oriented X300a. So what that should mean is that the wireless will be even better than my passive LS50 because the wireless has DSP created for desktop usage. I think the X300a did too, but that would have been older tech and I liked the passive LS50 way better.
Matrix we are a long time Kef dealer with all the models you are considering on display.

You have a few options if money is the driving considering run to get the R300 for $1,200.00 they are more musical then the LS 50 and have more bass. They are not quite as detailed but overall they are the better speaker

The new R is way better than any of the other monitors you are looking at and are more refined with a more precise soundstage, they have a similar level of detail as the LS 50 but the top end is a bit sweater overall.

Factor in deeper bass and a bigger sounstage makes them clearly the winner  although they are the most expensive of all the speakers you are looking at and should sound fantastic with the Peachtree.

Good luck

Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ
@audiotroy 

Well over the holidays I had purchased the LS50 Wireless Nocturne, no complaints. The app has an 'increased bass' function, and naturally any more I'd just get a KEF Kube.

If you're a KEF dealer, how about pricing on models such as used Reference 3/5's? Or what's a great competitor? Perhaps the R11's deliver 90% of the quality.

Given your goal is to make sells, naturally you may favor more expensive items. 

Post removed 
Mr. Feil,

The OP is asking about KEF loudspeakers we are replying about KEF loudspeakers and consideing we have all the models on discussion means we are experts at addressing this question.

Wether the poster wants to purchase anything from us is his business.

We have many years of experience with KEF and are one of the few dealers that actually sell almost every KEF Model including the Blades.

Good day to you sir.

Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ KEF Dealers
Matrix 

We have the new R series and the Reference and although they are similar the R series is still far superior in every way.

The take away from the design is how much smoother and better integrated the new R series is over the older R series.

We have in one sound room the R11 and the Reference 5, there is a strong familarity the R 11's sound fantastic for a $5k set of speakers but their is no mistaking the magic of the Reference 5 which go lower with greater authority, have a cleaner midrange, increased dynamics and btter overall clarity. 

The tale of the tape is the R 11 weighs about 70 lbs the Ref 5 130 the difference in bafle construction, damping, driver construcion and crossover are clearly evident in the Ref 5.

Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ


Hi Dave/Troy,

I'm a bit confused by your statement. Are you saying the R11's are significantly better than the R900's in every way, yet not contest against such speakers as the Reference 5?

That would make sense, I wouldn't expect a $20K speaker to be easily replaced by a $5K revision, even if it is redesigned.

The questions remain, how superior are the R11's vs R900's. And how about the R11's vs REF 3? I can get REF 3 for $7,000 within the used community.
The only thing that really works in nearfield   is single driver .
@schubert 

That idea is what led me to the Uni-Q driver idea. I have to say the LS50 Wireless sounds great, and again, am just really loving the Nocturne look. I know so many people hate it for its Sci-Fi vibe, but it really is unique.

I went a bit off-track in my above question since I'm also looking for a living room setup. I certainly wouldn't put floor-standers at my desk. 
Uni-Q is a 2 way for coherence not nearfield.I got a great deal on the 2K$ Omega Super Alnico single driver which enables me to listen 6 feet away in a bad condo room far better than I could with anything else .
Schubert you can absolutely listen to Kef's nearfield the fact that the tweeter is directly in the center of the midrange means that all frequencies arrive from the same point in space, also the quasi horn load of the shallow midrange's flair creates a very wide soundstage that helps create a very credible impression of muscians playing in space even if you listen to them close up.

Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ KEF Dealers
What distance is considered the dividing line between nearfield and non-nearfield? Nearfield about 6' and less, non-nearfield greater than 6'? 
It's not a specific distance.  The non-technical answer -- nearfield is that listening area where the direct sound is greater than the room reflected sound.
When I say "near-field", I mean the average person sitting nearby, such as at an executive desk. At my desk there's a good 5' separation with the 32" monitor and probably 4' to my chair. That's at least how I placed them, angled in with the app set to "extra" bass. 

Now the question is what's a good choice for the living room, at a reasonable cost? @audiotroy  
Audiotroy,  not in my room .
onhwy61
... nearfield is that listening area where the direct sound is greater than the room reflected sound
I can’t imagine a domestic scenario where reflected sound could be greater than the direct sound. For that to happen, I think you’d have to repeal the Law of Conservation of Energy.

Unless, maybe, you’re using Bose 901s.
Nearly everything on this post, and many others. rely on the laws of psychics. Logical .
However el brain did not take psychics so it just goes on doing things that psychics say is impossible .Brain can discern elements in the speed of light so the speed of sound is no sweat .
Cleeds, I said it was a non-technical answer.  Here's a link to the technical answer.  There's a reason why so many audiophiles think the room is the most critical component.