Review: Kef LS 50 Monitor

Category: Speakers

Got to hear the ls 50s in my house with my gear this past weekend thanks to another audiogoner stopping by with his, so thought I'd share the results.

We listened in a couple of rooms and I was able to compare to my other speakers currently in each.

First in my larger family room/kitchen open area, running of the 180 w/ch TAD Hibachi amps in my second system compared to somewhat larger and more costly Dynaudio Contour 1.3 mkII monitors there currently.

I think we both clearly preferred the Dynaudios there. The dyns sounded "bigger" which they are, and more open and dynamic overall to me.

The sound was not unlike what I have heard in years past running way undersized older smaller KEF monitors in larger rooms off an amp that may not be 100% up to the task of driving a less efficient speaker that is capable of very good extended low bass performance for its size.

Then to the 12X12 sunroom off my main system (500 w/ch Class D BEl Canto amps). Now we were talking! The KEFs were a very nice fit and performed quite well in there I would say! Definitely a sound I could live with and perhaps the best fit to that room of anything I have tried there. THE KEFs seemed to wake up significantly with the 500 w/ch Bel Canto ref1000m ams driving them in that room. Compared with Triangle Titus XS speakers I had in there otherwise, bass levels were better and fairly spot on and sound was full dynamic and open top to bottom. Triangles a re just a touch thin sounding in there normally, but work well at lower volumes I typically listen with there in general. My larger Dynaudios and OHMs tend to have too much bass in that room due to room acoustics.

THe little KEFs impressed with right amp in a smaller sized bass-friendly room. Not as much so in larger room off a 180 w/ch SS amp designed to sound more like a tube amp.

Right speakers in the right room with the right am to drive them usually wins. KEFs were winners in one of two scenarios tried. I would have liked to have tried them in my main 12X12 listening room as well, off same amp. I think they could have given Dynaudios and OHMs a run for their money in there, but time did not permit.

KEFs are a lot of good sound out of a very compact yet quite nicely built box. Way cool looking as well! THey may not quite have lived up to the hype being asked to perform in a larger room off a less than optimal amp most likely, but did it quite well under more favorable conditions.

Match them with an amp capable of pushing them to their limits, and I would expect very good sound in most any room. Bass levels in larger rooms would likely be the shortcoming. No speaker I know of that is this small alone is likely up to the task of optimal bass performance in a large room, but the KEFs with the right amp will likely tackle the task with a lot of guts. Add a sub, or two and you are likely pretty golden.

Thanks to Seikosha for stopping by and allowing the listen.

Associated gear
- BEl Canto ref1000m monoblocks
- TAD Hibachi monoblocks
- Dynaudio Contour 1.3 mkII monitors
- Triangle Titus XS monitors

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