Active KEF LS50s

This would probably belong in a noob category if there was one.
I’m planning the system I want to buy when I relocate into a new house later this year. My opinions on this stuff are based entirely on aggregating web reviews, a process complicated by the fact that you rarely, if ever, see a bad review of anything… Would appreciate any comments with the understanding that these are pretty subjective and I’m still about eight months away from pulling the trigger on anything so a lot can still change. I’ve kind of been leaning towards a schiit gunny/rag combo with a pair of elac b6’s but I’m also a little intrigued by the active KEF LS50s that are supposed to be released next month (I think). Is it really THAT bad an idea to consider an integrated dac/amp/speaker in a single box? The cost and form factor advantages are obvious, what about the sound trade-off?

I’d be tempted to ask the question again in about seven months! A lot can change in that time. :slight_smile:

Meanwhile, Id suggest trying to listen to them for yourself… Thats not to try and be unhelpful, but thats all that really matters.

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No, that’s a fair response, thanks. I realized after I posted that there’s already a thread on those KEF’s, I’ll keep my eye on that. It would be nice to get a demo listen but I think that’ll be pretty hard to manage.

convenience and sound…some are ending up with a sonos playbar.
LS50’s don’t sound better than PSB’s imagine B or Polk’s lsi7 or Dali Zensor 5. It’s a hyped speaker.

I’ve never heard the LS50’s (and obviously not the active version), but no, it’s really not a bad idea to have DAC/Amps/speakers all packaged together like that. Depending on the application / setup, it could be a huge advantage, and it can sound fantastic.

That said, auditioning the speaker would be a must for me at $2200 unless I was extremely confident and experienced with the brand.

I have the original Ls50 (reallly like then), and I’m looking forward to test the active ones.


The active (or, as KEF says, “wireless”) version of the LS50 has been getting solid reviews, with most indicating that they sound better than the original version. They have certainly piqued my interest, and I’ll be listening to them when I next visit North America. I’d love to know if there are any concrete plans for Roon. I’ve seen various mentions of the fact that KEF is saying that Roon integration is planned. Any input from the Roon side?

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Is that even an issue if you feed them from a sonicorbiter or microrendu?

No. But it’s an issue if you want to avoid the cost of that extra gear, lol.

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Check… I asked because I’m really not sure; still trying to figure out the architectural aspects although in the meantime, I’m thrilled at what I’m getting from USB to a cheap DAC to decent phones.

I’m not speaking from experience, but from what I’ve read elsewhere in the past few days. I assume thee posts saying the microRendu and other Roon endpoints work are correct. I want to avoid the microRendu not because it’s not a great product, but because I will be buying in Canada, where the lower dollar is making things more expensive, and taking the gear to another country, where I run the risk of customs hassles and pentalties if I get caught bringing it in.

Apparantly, some of this RhubarbPi stuff, does the same job for far less. I’ve just never had a good experience playing with Linux. I’m old and grumpy enough to just want to buy something that works as opposed to becoming a tinkerer.

I intend to tinker with Raspberry Pis as an endpoint for my existing DACs. I’ll buy a couple when I’m in Canada. I have Pi experience, but my older models don’t work with Roon. I’m currently using some old notebooks as endpoints, but I’m told this isn’t necessarily a great idea. It’s also far more complicated than a small Pi.

That’s probably your best bet. Even with the cost of a bridge, these KEF’s look like money savers when compared to buying decent separates. I’m just waiting to hear from satsified buyers :slight_smile: .

I spent quite a bit of time yesterday perusing reviews, both professional and from recent purchasers. There aren’t too many, given that the active KEFs are a new product, but the majority are quite positive. I need something small, but with excellent audio quality. These seem to fit the bill, and the descriptions I’ve read so far of their audio signature indicate they should agree with what I like in a speaker. I’m not a basshead, and I enjoy detail. I also want to avoid stringing wires all over the place (although “wireless” is a misnomer) and need something with good WAF. Looking good to me.

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I don’t know if you have ‘listen before you buy’ opportunities but if you are interested in actives another alternative might be the audioengine hd6; maybe one step down in sq (just based on reading reviews) but about three steps down in price.

I bought the LS50w and enjoyed the sound quality. I’m using them with microRendu. However I wish they will soon add native Roon support. The product themselves are screaming to be RoonReady! The bundled app is miles behind Roon interface.
As I understand RAAT guanrantees bit perfect transfer therefor omitting a dedicated endpoint like microRendu(no matter how good it is) must be a plus.

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I have the KeF LS50 Wireless, and i must say that the sound is fantastic. Out of the box they sound very flat and un-involving, after break-in for at-least a month the sound opens us, especially tight bass.
The app is absolutely useless and can practically, only be used for its EQ settings.
These speakers are extremely fussy about the source quality being fed in. I have a Mac mini running Roon connected to its USB, the sound Q, is no where close to the ELAC discovery connected through the RCA.

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By RCA connector, are you referring to coaxial digital or unbalanced analog? If unbalanced analog, then that is an ill advised way to connect a digital component to the KEF LS50 Wireless, which also is a digital component. Any analog input into the LS50 Wireless straight away undergoes A/D conversion. So, a digital component connected via analog to the LS50 Wireless is going through D/A/D/A redundant conversions.


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