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 :)