KEF LS50 Wireless -- wow!!!

Today I bought a new pair of the KEF LS50 Wireless speakers for my study (10 x 13 x 12). Just so you know my main system in the media room (15 x 20) consists of a pair of Bowers and Wilkins CM10s2 ($4000), Parasound A21 ($2500), Cambridge Audio  851D ($1000), Double Shotgun silver wires ($350), power cable from Cerious Technologies (Graphene something -- $350), with a total cost of something around $8k. 
I thought it would be fun to put the KEFs in the same room as my main system and play them side by side using Tidal streaming for both. Now keep in mind that the CM10s have several hundred hours on them, whereas the KEFs have probably less than 2 hours so far. The speaker stands for the KEFs are still on backorder, so right now they're just sitting directly on the media console (glass top) -- in other words, this is a totally unfair comparison. Also, the CM10s are placed about 9 feet apart and 4 feet from the wall, whereas the KEFs are about 6 feet apart and less than two feet from the back wall. 
What I heard was totally unbelievable!!! The KEFs, which mind you, are not broken in at all, not sitting on a proper stand, and not as wide apart from each other as the CM10s, totally blew the CM10s out of the water. The sound coming out of the KEFs is more full-bodied and balanced, beautiful midrange, and a very satisfying base. The imaging is just so much better than the B&Ws. I just can't believe how a speaker which is literally 4 to 5 times smaller than the CM10s can produce such a rich, satisfying base. I think the only aspect where the CM10s have a slight edge is the soundstage. But, I suspect that might improve with proper stands and more play time.
A few weeks ago, I auditioned a pair of Harbeth M30.1 in the same media room (driven by Parasound A21). While I really liked the midrange on them, they sounded a little thin to me. The KEFs, on the other hand, have a pretty good midrange (probably not as good as the Harbeths), but to my ears, they sound better in every other aspect.

Now, I'm not saying that these $2199 speakers are the ultimate bookshelves. But they sure beat my comparatively more expensive setup by a mile.

All hats off to the KEF engineers! 

P.S. The CM10s will be on the market pretty soon :)


Showing 3 responses by b_limo

@arafiq , good to know!  
A friend of mine had mentioned that if a product is working well, do not do any firmware updates to it.  He was not referring to a bluesound, he was just putting that out there “in general”.

What were the suggested improvements for the firmware update?

I guess if it’s not broke, don’t fix it?

Too bad about their customer service 👎

Kef on the other hand is indeed great with their customer service, magnolia centers not so much
@kinharold, I would argree with your statement regarding the passive versions.  

Kef lists the frequency response Of the LS50 at:
+\-6db 47hz-45khz
+\-3db 79hz-28khz

Kef also lists that the LS50W plays flat to 40hz...

The wireless version has really great bass, the passives have none.  Go figure.  DSP is helpful!
I don’t see where he said awesome...??

So-al was saying the app stinks, which it does.  It’s absolutely horrible.

The speakers are really pretty awesome though.  Just get yourself a bluesound node and bypass the KEF app.

The reliability on them is questionable as well.  Be very nice to them.  I’m not sure what the answer is in order to treat the as gingerly as possible; leave them on all the time perhaps...

I’ve owned the LS50’s, and the LS50W’s.  My Brother has LS50w’s (which crapped out on him after 6 months but were replaced under warranty, he know has  an extra 3 year warranty covering the electronics. 3 of my friends have a pair and out of them, 1 pair crapped out Nd was replaced under warranty as well.

They are fantastic sounding speakers however with loads more bass than the passives had in my set-up, which wasn’t enough to do them justice probably.

The LS50W’s with a sub or two are something quite special.  I have a pair of R100’s coming tuesday; I hope I like them!