Watch Dipinjeet Sehdev of KEF explain some of the key features of the new KEF LS50 Wireless in this short video above.
The Venetian Hotel, Las Vegas, NV
Bathed in the soft glow of morning light coming through the shrouded windows of a 29th-floor suite at The Venetian Hotel, the KEF LS50 Wireless loudspeakers instantly caused a pang of aesthetic lust inside me. I was already a huge fan of the original LS50‘s looks, and sonic prowess, but when I saw the initial press releases of the new Wireless model I thought they looked even better because of the deeper cabinet profile introduced from the custom internal amplification, multiple DACS, wireless streamer, and DSP circuitry.
Dipinjeet Sehdev, KEF’s Online Marketing, eCommerce, and Brand Relations Manager for North America took me through the software interface options (of which there are a dizzying array of fully customizable DSP options to tailor sound for any room environment or speaker placement), and hardware/software connectivity with the Wireless version. There’s been a lot written about this new design already, but I want to say that having spent a serious amount of time with the original passive LS50 listening to them with a number of amplifiers ranging from low-power, pure Class-A tube, 30-watt+ solid state, to 150-watt+ Class A/B solid state, and Class-AB/D hybrids – and being thoroughly impressed with most of those combinations – this new Wireless with KEF’s completely bespoke, dedicated, built-in amplification system is far more musically impressive to my ears than any of those previous amps I’d heard the passive model with.
The fact they now also come in three truly drool-worth color combinations, with CES-launched custom, dedicated stands, makes them a serious contender for that most lucrative domestic, non-audiophile demographic of young, working professionals looking to break into great sound, and true hi-fi appreciation. I’m looking forward to hopefully wresting a pair from Sehdev once KEF has been been able to meet the overwhelming demand put on them for the new Wireless from dealers, and distributors worldwide.
Please find specs below.
- 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
Will it be able to handle the output from a turntable with a MM Cartridge or will one still need a line level pre-amp between the turntable and the speakers?
The output of a phono pre should be fine. You’re still gonna want to have an RIAA curve in there, too.
Drool worthy colors? You mean awful colors, right? The orange drivers are awful (I have LS-50’s and I’m sick of them). The blue drivers are worse, if that’s possible.
Why on earth doesn’t KEF make these with a black or gray or silver DRIVER with a black cabinet?
WTF, KEF, just WTF.
Fine, maybe it’s just me, but I think the color schemes are interesting and visually appealing. I like ’em.
They need to make a subwoofer designed to match them.