KEF ls50 meta’s are on the way


Got a demo today and ordered a pair. Should arrive next week.  Will shootout with my current ls50s when they arrive.  Stay tuned.  
4b9c724a 509c 4bb1 a384 a61b6782a9d0Ag insider logo xs@2xmapman
When they arrive and you set them up, just remember that the pesky backwaves are still there just as they were in the original LS50 and that it wont be long before you hear those nasty backwaves!

You will be looking for another upgrade in a year. I guarantee you mapman. These nasty LS50 never had much bass anyway. And that nasty cone material they use can sound a bit harsh!


The bass did actually seem more extended with the metas and this was in a very large room several feet away from rear wall. . Kef says -6db into the 20s. We will see about that. 

No harshness in that demo. Demo amp was one of the new “high end” Yamaha integrated amps.

The demo got really interesting when I turned my back to the speakers.......just music no speakers seemingly.

Technology is always improving and I am always on the lookout for innovations that can make a difference. So who knows what might be in a few years. We will see. Meanwhile the chase for perfection continues in a still imperfect world. I’m pretty sure most will only be able to afford it in smaller packages. Oh well.
Maybe you've seen this but here's KEF white paper on both the meta and wireless.

https://us.kef.com/pub/media/wysiwyg/ls50/20-KEF-LS50-Collection-WhitePapers.pdf
The white paper says the new technology absorbs down to 620hz which is very impressive. I think that is what I heard in S. Guttenburg’s review so apparently he was correct. Would seem to be effective beyond just the range of the tweeter then.

Good stuff. The Detailed information presented in the  white paper on the original ls50s very much helped to convince me to try them.   
 This should really drop the used pricing on the original LS50. It will be interesting to see how low they will go in the next year. 
Looks very good in the listening window but probably will get distortion in the bass when pushing them a bit but it is a bookshelf so that's to be expected. Nice improvement on the old model especially the wireless. 
I found the old ls50s best suited for smaller rooms. They are small after all so ability to go very loud and dynamic especially in larger rooms is a widely acknowledged limitation though they do fine in the 12x12 room I use them in. Within their constraints and in that room though I particularly love what they do.
w3e are breaking ours in ver impressive for 1500
The problem with the KEFs is that they dont sound good to me. Ive heard the ls50, ref1 and blade. The blade was the only one that was tolerable.The engineers at KEF have a lot more work to do before they can impress a master audiophile such as myself.
Kenjit you should write and tell them to get with it maybe. Or who knows Just audition the new ls50. Maybe it can float your boat finally  with all that latest whiz bang technology. Let us know your impressions if you do.
Congrats to you Mapman I’ve heard nothing but good things about those speakers. I understand they change the drivers and they did some work to the crossovers not To mention the absorption material that cuts down the backwaves Resulting in a much cleaner sound make sure to get back to us in a couple of months and let us Know how they are working out. All the best 
All you need to absorb the tweeter backwaves is a bit of foam. It is not rocket science. 
Thanks @needfreestuff

The audition I had today was certainly in line with what I have seen written about the ls50 Meta. It was certainly enough to convince me to purchase the upgrade. 
@mapman  Very interested in your review. I have Harbeth P3esr's which someone will have to pry out of my cold dead fingers, but I'm tempted to sell my current LS50 wireless and get the new ones (non-wireless). 
At the audition today,  first listen was from about 6-7 feet in front of the speakers which were on stands a few feet out from the rear wall.   That was a very good first impression but what struck me special was when I backed up further the soundstage and imaging really kicked in.   It sounded very right top to bottom and when I turned around to look at some gear along the opposite wall the impression of the music just being there and totally disassociating from the speakers kicked in.  Also this was in a very sizable open area yet the bass extension seemed to be there.  I would agree with Guttenburg’s assessment that the sound was very much like no box involved like open baffle speakers.  I am not a fan of box speakers in general so that was a big plus. The older ls50s are pretty good in that regard but these did seem to take it to another level. 
@arafiq

i have auditioned Harbeth 40.2, but never the P3ESR. Based on my first audition today, I think the new KEFs share some attributes of those Harbeth, which I liked very much, but on a smaller scale of course. The setup was more modest though and associated soundstage and imaging was much different so really not an apples/apples comparison.
The back to the speaker listener position is how I listen to my LS50s in my 12x11x9 room. I kind of like it, not looking at a speaker makes me just listen. I have no choice in this positioning. Speaker does not completely disappear like some others ($$$) but it is pretty good.

The KEF Ref 1 is what to hear in my small room with this Meta stuff.
Kenjit if you read the white paper, which is very well written, you will see the attenuation is down to 620hz not just the range of the tweeter and there are measurement charts that show it. Also that there is a lot of science and expertise that went into the technology to enable its high performance.
the attenuation is down to 620hz not just the range of the tweeter
How do you attach the absorber to the drive unit so that it stops absorbing below 620hz? I dont see how that works.
The white paper covers the implementation pretty well. If you have questions best to ask the experts ie the engineers at KEF. I suspect you would get a response if you inquire.
   Interested in hearing the Metas. A close friend had a pair of LS 50s in his office, Exposure components upstream. I really enjoyed them. If the Metas are appreciably better, they will probably set a new standard in their price class. 
You cant absorb down to just 600hz and call it a day. What abut the range from 600hz to 50hz? Why is it okay for that to be ignored?
Exciting stuff!  A weak point for the Passive LS50’s are the lack of low bass and dynamics.  
The new metas look to be like some incredible speakers.  I can’t wait to see some reviews on the Wireless version Hopefully they got the app figured out.

These look to be very interesting...
You’re right Kenjit, they’re horrible speakers, we get it.  You may be excused now.
Post removed 
I've read multiple negative comments about the apps for the KEF LS50W (version 1). Do we know yet whether the improved version 2 app will be able to be used with V1?
No idea about if the app will be able to work with the old version but they added airplay and the new ones will only have one app, I guess the old version there were two you could use? 
New KEF connect app for the new wireless version 2 only. 

Note: KEF Connect is only compatible with KEF wireless speaker products using the W2 platform. For earlier platform products (LS50 Wireless/LSX), please use KEF Control and KEF Stream.

Curious to read your thoughts on the Meta's. A friend has the current LS-50 in his set up, and they are quite wonderful sounding in his set up. SG is mightily impressed w the Meta's and goes on and on about the improvements. So please do share what you find when you have spent some time with them!
@kenjit 

There are some on AGon, I believe, who might prefer you to keep your self aggrandizing trite ramblings to yourself.
Actually it is rocket science
Who needs science right?  Hifi was awesome back in the Middle Ages. 
I am wondering how long it will take for this new sound absorption technology to show up in headphones?  That could be interesting also.
@mapman

Congratulations on your new LS50 metas!

Those look like the original LS50s in the photos.
Also, it looks like a near equilateral triangle set up with no toe in.

Do you have your new LS50 metas set up the same way?

I have the original LS50s and am considering the new metas.
As such, I am very interested hearing more about your A/B comparisons.
@hleeid Those are still the originals. Have not received the metas yet. Should be here later this week or so.
Actually My wife moved the speakers slightly the other night while cleaning and I had to reposition. It happens.
I use just slight toe in typically. They are sensitive to placement for best imaging and soundstage when listening from the couch near rear wall. I work at home mostly at present from the desk and use them for background music there. There is also a Klipsch sw308 sub located just behind the far side of the couch out of view in these pics.


Mapman, congrats, and yes, it will be interesting to hear your opinions on the differences / improvements with the Metas ( after some break in time ). Do you happen to have on your rear wall behind your couch, a sound absorbing panel, blanket or the like ? IME, being close to the rear wall is not good for SQ, in almost every situation I have encountered. Enjoy, be well and stay safe. Always, MrD.
@mrdecibel only the couch and wood blinds over the window back there but lots of things on the walls in general as you can see. The sound is very good top to bottom with large soundstage with some depth  and excellent detail and imaging to my ears.
@mapman ,

"I am wondering how long it will take for this new sound absorption technology to show up in headphones? That could be interesting also."


I'm sure it will be as open backed phones are barely practical outdoors anywhere near a main road.

I've switched to using closed backs as I found myself needing too much volume to overcome the sound of constant heavy traffic near where I live. 

I know headphone manufacturers already use different methods to deal with the dreaded headphone backwave for their closed back models but maybe this KEF Metamaterial technology is simply far more effective than using foam etc. 

If so, then we can surely expect the likes of Sennheiser, Sony, Audio Technica, and Beyerdynamic etc to all respond shortly with their own responses.

In fact I can imagine a few departmental heads soon asking awkward questions of their R&D departments as to why KEF got there first.
I was notified today metas I ordered in Titanium Grey are backordered via KEF at present so I may have to wait a bit longer than thought. That’s ok, no rush.

Looks like all the colors save black are on backorder currently.

@cd318 I am hopeful technology like this could be applied to closed back headphones. Has game changer potential there as well I would think.
@kenjit is a “master audiophile” (whatever that means) so he knows more than all of us.  Time to throw away my KEF LS50s and LS50Ws and only listen to the wisdom of the master!


The Ls50 metas suffer from too many backwaves from the woofer so they are not good speakers. If you think I am wrong, prove it.
Hey Kenjit thanks for helping to keep the thread alive while I wait for my Titanium Grey ls50 metas.

I work from home these days and the ls50s are in my office so I spend a lot of time with them lately. 
Keep us posted. I have a pair of LS50's and still enjoy them. I am curious about the new Meta's.
&longbowbbs

Yes I enjoy mine a lot also. Very involving dynamically for such little guys especially with the sub (Klipsch sw308 in my case) added.

I’m curious how the sub integration will change with the new metas. Maybe no longer needed? Seems possible from what I read. Room is only 12x12 and the sub is already not being asked to do too much. No sub needed would be a nice bonus. I used to have Dynaudio Contour 1.3 mkII in there and those needed no sub. Nor do my Ohm 100s. Triangle Titus could have used one.

Have had various small monitors over the years in addition to larger full range speakers.
"....I’m curious how the sub integration will change with the new metas. Maybe no longer needed? Seems possible from what I read...."

It’s interesting that the original LS50 and LS50 Meta have the same specifications of Freq Range (-6dB) = 47Hz - 45KHz and Freq. Response (+/-3dB) = 79Hz - 28kHz. However, the LS50 Meta adds Typical In-Room Bass Response (-6dB) = 26Hz.

Both speakers use a 5.25" woofer with rear port. and I doubt that bass performance has changed all that much. Kef did change the crossover and revised the port in addition to adding the Meta element for the tweeter backwave. If the LS50 Meta does indeed have enhanced bass capability that should have resulted in improved (Freq Range (-6dB) and Freq Response (+/-3dB) numbers.

Keep us posted on your findings.
Yeah reviews suggest it but we will see about the bass extension if better. 

I will say that at my in store demo in a very sizable showroom open area I think I heard more bass extension than I expected but we will see when I can compare apples/apples at home.
@mapman - Looking forward to your comparo.
I have the S50's paired with an SVS SB16 Ultra. It sounds very nice and gives the 50's that extra low end help all stand mounts need. I am powering them with my modded Cary SLI-80. 40 watts in Triode are plenty and I love the sound.