Do the LS50W just totally suck in wireless mode?

I had my LS50w fed via optical from an apple TV for a few years now. Pretty much worked perfect all the time. I recently crossed my fingers and updated the firmware. Now I have direct access from Roon and also spotify connect. The speakers lose their wifi connection often and have to be powered on and off and also I was experiencing many dropouts the last few times I used them. I am pretty sure it’s the LS50w that is the problem here not my internet signal strength as I had no issue running to another wireless speaker (dynaudio music 3) in the same place. Also I was getting dropouts from both Roon and spotify connect. I am wondering if I should just cut my losses and get a blue sound node 2i so that I can have a RAAT endpoint here and forget about using the LS50w via wifi.

Might depend on how you connect the Node 2i (to the network) as the Node 2i wireless seems to suck much like the LS50w.

I have a node 2i in my shop and it’s been good in wireless mode. I used in the kitchen for a while (where my LS50ws are) and it was pretty much good with no issues. I wonder if you get an ethernet cable into the node 2i or LS50w if these issues totally go away. I have an ethernet cable feeding an older gen apple TV in my bedroom and I’ve never had a dropout in years on that zone.

I’m pretty sure that all three companies (Roon Labs, KEF and Bluesound) write in their manuals something along the line that wired connections are preferred over wireless (especially for high resolution content). But that aside, as you already posses the hardware just try if it works for you.

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In your WiFi router, change the SSID of 2.4GHz and 5GHz such that they are different. In your KEF, first try the 5GHz SSID. If that does not work well, use the 2.4GHz SSID instead.

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From a real world perspective I’ve have been able to keep them connected via wireless the past two years but I do see the occasional hiccup or stutter with 24 bit/192 kHz content so the performance isn’t great. My wireless setup is decent and I don’t go over 24 bit/192 kHz content so I’ve been fortunate to be able to live with the experience.

Compared to a modern mobile device (phone/tablet/etc.) the technical stats for the wireless are terrible on 2.4 GHz and a similar experience on 5.0 GHz. Near nonexistent transmit connection rate and an erratic receive rate, the former hovers around 1 Mbps and the later a slightly more respectable 50 Mbps (both a far cry from the theoretical 144 Mbps). Connection rate is obviously not a guarantee of anything but the technical stats are dismal and it shows in the real world usability.

Seeing as the speakers are older and part of the first waves of these connected/dsp enabled/active devices the performance is not completely surprising. My new b&w formation and naim mu-so gen 2 speakers are much improved in technical/real world performance so at least it appears like there is some progress in the category. I do like the speakers very much so I hope that KEF has also honed their technical craft in the preceding years, if I ever get the LSX I can do a comparison.

No, they do not “suck”. Likely your wireless setup does though.

My wireless setup seems to work fine with everything else including an Apple TV, Dynaudio music 3 wireless speaker and Node 2i, not to mention laptop iPad,phones friends phones etc… I think it’s probably fine.

I was interested in the new B&W speakers. I have the LSX also and they haven’t had any issues so you are probably right about the LS50w being a first gen growing pain thing. There are a lot of reports of these things having issues so not surprising I guess. I’ve had Dynaudio xeo 3s for even longer, 5 or more years and they have never had a single dropout, or any kind of issue at all. I think they are actually a better sounding speaker as well.