I have a set of LS50W in my kitchen. I have had this hooked to an Apple TV with optical out into the LS50W. I could access the speakers from a number of apps as well as iTunes etc… I am now using Roon, just getting into it with the Nucleus + as my core. I never had updated the firmware on the LS50W since new. Are these able to run as a roon endpoint? Would I for example be able to play to an Apple TV zone and the LS50W at the same time? I am wondering really do I need the Apple TV with optical out or is what I want available built in to the LS50W? It’s a bit clunky having to have the Apple TV hooked up to the LS50W but it does work and sounds to me much better than the bluetooth.
Also wanted to mention I have other zones, a bedroom, patio and shop all with Apple TVs. I was able to play all at once or one at a time via itunes or airfoil for other apps if needed.
I would suggest updating the firmware, they added functionality and fixed some bugs with wifi and ethernet that would be good to get. Also the roon endpoint functionality was added if you want to try that.
The LS50W can be endpoints, however they are not fully Roon ready so cannot be grouped with other zones. Grouping can be accomplished by feeding the Kef with a roon ready end point like a RPi running RoPieee for example. Or like you are doing with your Apple TV.
I run a RPi with Digi+ Pro with RoPieee installed and hook the LS50W into the optical. The RPi just runs all the time. I added a touch screen and an OSMC remote to control it and see what is playing.
So basically I need to just keep the Apple TV with the LS50W if I want to be able to play many zones at once? I want this functionality. It seems very elementary. I am a little dismayed to find I can’t group my main stereo zone with my airplay zones. This is almost a deal breaker for me
I read some horror stories about LS50Ws having major issues when updating the firmware so I have avoided doing it. There were many guys on the FB group saying their speakers were ruined from updating the firmware. I got kicked out of the group just for asking about it. Kef didn’t want anyone to be talking about it on there. Hope I don’t get kicked out of here for talking about it.
The issue with the grouping is on the KEF implementation/hardware side as far I have been told.
limitation due to the way KEF implemented their system… the work around is to get an endpoint like an RPi or Allo Digione Player.
Just found this in another thread talking about “cost effective Roon endpoints”:
Don’t know how true/accurate this is as I have very little experience with ATV.
You shouldn’t get kicked or banned. KEF is trying to keep a positive note to their FB page, which is their prerogative, it just comes across as trying to hide the peanut, IMO. They should fess up and admit they released too soon…
I have never had an issue updating the firmware. I use a PC, however and I did here of some issues early on with the MAC version of the updater, but those should be fixed by now.
The current LS50W is advertised as Tidal, Spotify, and Roon compatible. It has TosLink, WiFi, and line level interconnects. A firmware update my provide what you seek.
With a HiFiBerry Digi+ and DietPi, you can send both AirPlay and Roon to the LS50W via TosLink. This may be a good solution for you as you don’t have to worry about Apple loosing interest in TosLink audio as they appear to have done with ATV 5. Or loosing interest in supporting the thin ATV.
I have a HiFiBerry Digi+ running DietPi and an Allo DigiOne Signature running RoiPeee with a display. Unfortunately, DigiOne Signature is wire only. No optical out. So I currently have 2 interfaces, one for Roon and one for everything else. Roon normally plays via a Schiit Gumby. Everything else plays through the preamp’s Delta-Sigma DAC.
It should be possible to add GoogleCast and AirPlay endpoints to RoiPeee’s Roon package but I have not tried this. I have not tried adding GoogleCast to DietPi. Again, this should be possible.
You can confirm the imaging observation once you have Roon working. Play a lossless track with iTunes/AirPlay and then with Roon. You’ll be pleasantly surprised. You will need to make all imports with ALAC to benefit optimally from Roon. Any Tidal or Qobuz playback will be CD quality at minimum if you opt for the $20/mo tier.
Roon only groups like with like. It will group AirPlay for sure as I have used this. I have grouped Roon endpoints (HiFiBerry and Allo) to compare Gumby and the P5 internal converter. The two paths were at different levels nixing that hack. But the endpoints grouped.
Yeah I like Kef product (I have the Blade 2 speakers as well) I was just concerned that if I fried my LS50W updating then I would be out to lunch since they are out of warranty at this point. They sound good and work fine through the optical input for me. They are in my kitchen so it’s not like I am doing critical listening. I guess I’ll just stick with the Apple TV for now. Funny I had less trouble with iTunes from 15 years ago getting sound all over my house than I do now. If there was a roon endpoint that worked great no BS and I could add them to all my systems I would probably do that. I need whatever it is to have optical out though since that is what I’m using to access all my secondary systems. No extra boxes sounds awesome and that is what I though roon endpoint was all about but now I find you can’t mix airplay and roon endpoints at the same time.