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New Toys: KEF LS50 Wireless

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As you’ve probably noticed, we don’t really do new product announcements terribly often, and to be frank, I think rewriting press releases to be rather silly. That said, I thought this was particularly news-worthy, so here you go:

KEF is launching a wireless*, fully active, loudspeaker system based on the extraordinarily popular LS50.

Cue the applause.

… thank you, thank you ….

This new system is probably not that much of a surprise to those of you keeping tabs on the industry as a whole — that is, there are a growing number of audio companies rejecting the notion that “lifestyle product” has to mean “it sucks”. Instead, by integrating a full audio system into an award-winning loudspeaker, KEF pretty is much defying you to do better.

No, this is not new ground — quite a few speaker manufacturers that have charted these particular waters. In fact, Devialet has been doing its absolute damnedest to make hay in this particular part of the high-end audio field. But what’s different here is that this offering is not some brazenly throbbing Star Wars ‘droid taking on the Mos Eisley Cantina as if it’s the OK Corral — this is the freakin’ LS50. That loudspeaker is known and beloved.

Note that the new offering is, obviously, not “fully wireless”. You will still have to plug them in to the wall (amps and all that). And there’s an Ethernet cable that needs to run between them. But for inputs … yes, that can be (but doesn’t have to be) fully wireless. So there. So, aside from a magically-infinite “no-wire” run-time, the spec list for the LS50 Wireless is gratifyingly complete — if it sounds as good as its “baseline” model, this thing is going to kick so much ass that it’ll star in Kung Fu Panda 4 replacing Jack Black as the new Dragon Warrior.

This is gonna be yuuuuge.

Anyway, stay tuned on this front. I’m hoping to see a pair before Christmas. Please, Santa? I’ve been such a good boy!

(I heard that snickering).

Details after the fold.

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KEF Announces Release of LS50 Wireless

A Complete and Fully Active System

In celebration of its 55th anniversary, KEF proudly presents LS50 Wireless, a complete and fully active music system. Sharing the same winning acoustic features of KEF’s renowned LS50, LS50 Wireless enables the user to easily enjoy excellent music reproduction, previously only achieved with a system comprised of separate high quality components.

Five years ago, with the belief that everyone deserves to experience quality sound, the LS50 passive speaker was introduced at KEF’s 50th anniversary. Now, at its 55th anniversary, KEF has developed a complete, fully active system that retains all the acoustic features and benefits of the passive LS50 within an active system that has been designed to allow a multitude of connectivity options.

The FEA-designed cabinet, Uni-Q driver, constrained layer damping bracing, precision-made curved baffle and elliptical flexible sound port, all part of the LS50 pedigree, are retained. These features prevent cabinet vibrations, enhance radiating sound, and reduce resonances and colouration. New additions include an end-to-end 192kHz/24-bit high-resolution digital signal path, two dedicated DACs per channel (4 DACs in total), a streaming pre-amplifier and factory-optimised amplification in a bi-amp dual-mono configuration (200 + 30 watts per speaker). Combined with a time-correcting DSP crossover, the incredible award-winning sound of Uni-Q is taken to the next level.

To make the LS50 Wireless a total high-performance music system, a comprehensive range of connection options are available, including 2.4GHz/5Ghz Dual-band Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0 with aptX codec, Asynchronous USB Type B input, TOSLINK Optical and RCA line-level analogue inputs. A dedicated app for LS50 Wireless, available on both iOS and Android, enhances the user experience during network setup, music streaming, playback, and control. The app also includes 3 user levels of customisable EQ settings for personal music preference.

Purchased separately, replicating the performance of the LS50 Wireless system using a traditional Hi-Fi setup would cost far more, and with all of that time, effort and money, you would still not be guaranteed to own a system that is matched so perfectly. The LS50 Wireless allows the customer to enter the awe-inspiring world of high-fidelity audio without the need for separate components.

Audiophile grade amplification and sound processing are combined to bring a true high-fidelity listening experience to active streaming audio. KEF’s unique advanced time correcting DSP crossover ensures perfect time alignment between low and high frequencies so that every note and frequency arrives to the listener at the same time. Pairing this with our Uni-Q driver technology, the result is sound dispersion unlike any you have ever experienced.

Because of the finely engineered sound dispersion properties of KEF’s Uni-Q driver, this theoretical ideal is now a reality in almost every room and listening environment.

KEF’s LS50 Wireless is truly bringing state-of-the art technology and the audiophile listening experience to every music lover.

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Design Notes

  • LS50 Acoustic design 5.25″ Uni-Q driver; FEA designed cabinet; Constrained Layer Damping Bracing; Elliptical flexible port
  • KEF’s dedicated time correcting Digital Signal Processing (DSP) design
  • Customized EQ settings
  • 192kHz/24bit High Resolution DAC decoding on each speaker
  • Dual-band Wi-Fi connectivity
  • Bluetooth 4.0 with aptX codec
  • Asynchronous USB connection
  • Digital (TOSLink) input
  • L&R RCA line-level analogue inputs
  • Subwoofer output – controllable from the IOS or Android app
  • Dedicated app for both iOS and Android
  • Touch-sensitive panel control with clear backlit display of inputs
  • 3 exciting color options: Titanium Grey/Red; Gloss Black/Blue; Gloss White/Copper

Price and availability

  • $2,199.99 / system
  • ETA USA December 2016

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Specifications

MODEL

LS50 Wireless

DRIVE UNITS

Uni-Q driver array:

HF: 25mm (1in.) vented aluminium dome

LF/MF: 130mm (5.25in.) magnesium/aluminium alloy

FREQUENCY RANGE 

(-6dB) Measured at 85dB/1m

40Hz – 47kHz (More bass extension)

43Hz – 47kHz (Standard)

46Hz – 47kHz (Less bass extension)

Depending on speaker settings

FREQUENCY RESPONSE

(±3dB) Measured at 85dB/1m

45Hz – 28kHz (More bass extension)

50Hz – 28kHz (Standard)

61Hz – 28kHz (Less bass extension)

Depending on speaker settings

MAX PEAK SPL

106dB

INPUTS

2.4GHz/5GHz Dual-band Wi-Fi network

Bluetooth 4.0 with aptX® codec

USB Type B

TOSLINK Optical

RCA Analog Line Level Input

10/100 Mbps RJ45 Ethernet (For network and service)

OUTPUT

Subwoofer output

AMPLIFIER OUTPUT POWER

LF: 200W HF: 30W

BLUETOOTH RANGE

10m

BLUETOOTH MEMORY

8 devices

BLUETOOTH FREQUENCY

2.402GHz – 2.48GHz

BLUETOOTH POWER

2.5mW (Bluetooth Class 2 Device)

RESOLUTION

Up to 24bit

Depending on source resolution

SAMPLING RATE

Up to 192kHz (USB Type B)

Up to 96kHz (TOSLINK Optical)

Depending on source resolution

WIRELESS FREQUENCY BAND

Dual-band 2.4GHz/ 5 GHz

WIRELESS NETWORK STREAMING

IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n

POWER INPUT

100 – 240VAC 50/60Hz

DIMENSIONS

(H x W x D) 300 x 200 x 308mm(11.8 x 7.9 x 12.1in.)













About Scot Hull (981 Articles)
Founder, Editor and Publisher at Part-Time Audiophile and The Occasional Magazine.

4 Comments on New Toys: KEF LS50 Wireless

  1. I cannot wait to get my hands on these in December!

  2. Where’s the remote?

Comments are closed.

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