Help! KEF LS50W & LSX noobie

Hi All.
Please assume I’m completely new to this. I haven’t owned hifi for 20 years!
50th birthday present received. KEF LS50W’s , Clearaudio concept turntable, Pro-ject tube box S2
The intention was to use LS50w’s in 1 room with turntable source.
Use LSX’s in room 2 as part of multiform steaming system (with LS50W’s). It seems the only thing both speakers have in common is bluetooth. I can only use one pair of speakers at a time. I can stream to either pair of speakers using (bad) KEF app - Tidal., again only one pair at a time not simultaneously. Then have to enable new speakers connect etc.
I had intended to use Roon as the core of the system but it seems that I can’t use 2 KEF products in the same system.

Now considering returning the LSX’s…
Any solutions? or suggestions for alternative to LSX’s that with work with Roon / LS50W’s as part of multiroom set up.

You can use the two speakers in the same system you just can’t group them.

I’ve not yet signed up to Roon so not tried it. Am I correct to assume you mean both pairs of speakers
will show up open the system, but won’t play music simultaneously?
So if I walk from one room to the other (They are on the same floor), I would need to switch from one pair to the other - so not have continuous playback?

I suppose the thing to do is sign up for a trial and just try it.

Yes both pairs of speakers. Correct on all counts. The Roon implementation on the KEF speakers precludes them from being grouped.

Thank you John.
Looks like I need to find a different pair of active wireless speakers to do the Job .Roon Ready or RAAT compliant.

Does not change the fact that they are excellent speakers that punch above their weight class. Good luck with your search.

Yes. I’m very pleased with the LS50W’s so far and the LSX’s sound great for their size. Just a shame I can’t group them.

You can group them if you wanted to add a streamer to the system. You could go cheap and add a Pi device or go for something else but if you have a streamer in front of the speakers that was Roon ready you could group them.

To John_Aiello’s point, I have a LS50w that I love and I just added a HiFiBerry Digi+ Pro box with an optical out to make it group with my other Roon endpoints. Or you could just add a the Pi with a usb out and use the usb in on the LS50W. I use Ropieee.

It is a little bit of a project to set up the Pi with Ropiee, but there are some great resource on this site that walk you through it.

For me, I just use the LS50W natively on its own unless I want to group them with something else. Then I use the Pi for grouping.

You may end up liking it so much that you end up getting other Pi’s for your other existing systems, like the receiver for your TV/media center, if you have one.

Good luck!

Concurring with the previous point. Owned both LSX and LS50W (still own these).
I assume you might be able to group them, if you use LS50W as an endpoint (they’re Roon Tested) and probably use streamer for LSX and then try to group them in Roon. Should be able to override the kef limitations. Good luck!

You cannot group the LS50W or the LSX with anything else in its native implementation. Zero. Zip. Nada. Zilch.

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Ok then, OP still can group them, by using external streamer, as you’ve mentioned above.Truth be told, wasn’t impressed by their internal streaming capabilities as well as the app :unamused:

Hi All, thanks for the responses. I’m now looking into the possibility of adding a streamer to the system. I’ll read up on the HiFiBerry / Pi option but I’m a dyed in the wool Mac guy… gave up on PC’s as a bad job many years ago so, slightly intimidated by what I perceive to be the DIY element. maybe I’m wrong.
Would a streamer like the Bluesound Node 2i do the job?
Expensive solution I know but… I’m not actually that impressed with the KEF dual apps either. Would rather use something else. I’ve been seriously considering returning the LSX’s but in truth I don’t see many active speaker & streamer options out their ant the same price point that would be as good.

I would say, that 2i is a solid choice. Some may sam I’m wrong. Be as it may.
Darko’s cameraman posted a thorough article about this combo.
My problem in this combo is that I’m not super happy with internal dac, so it may be worth researching external dac (which makes whole set extremely pricey). You do can use optical output but many are not happy about that choise. Word on the street, that 2i internal dac (MQA capable) sounds better with decent wires than KEF one. Once again, one man’s opinion.

Greetings. I’m a certified Noobie as well. I recently upgraded to lifetime roon membership after the trial along with my first hifi purchase of the Kef LS50W (dedicated listening area) and LSX speakers (open family area, casual listening and TV sound upgrade) using old HP laptop for Roon Core via Wi-Fi (was connecting the pc USB cable to LS50W but got tired of feeling tethered). So far I’m truly enjoying the Roon experience with subscriptions to both Tidal Hires and Qobuz Hires sublime, also have spotify prime on its way to being canceled. I’ve been researching all in one roon cores/servers with small footprints like Zen MK3 mini that can also import my old CDs about 400 vs a Nuc Rock/Nucleus and a separate CD ripper (powernode vault 2i- became less interesting when learned it can’t be a core). I mention the small footprints because the entertainment center has 2 10.5 cubby hole spaces I can neatly place equipment in. On top of the entertainment center is TV and Xbox. There’s only 2.75 inches to fit anything under the TV, I was going to buy a mytec Brooklyn Bridge as a streamer (would still need a core and music storage) to fit there because of its quality and striking appearance (don’t laugh but the light up M logo matches the color scheme of my special edition xbox one x) but its probably overkill unless I consider buying hifi headphones for mytecBB headphone Amp. Another part of the equation is figuring out how to integrate my omni mesh satellite sitting behind the TV in ethernet cable reach of the ls50w main speaker (the main omni router unit is in a doored office off the family room where the Kef LSX are 40-50 feet from Kef LS50W setup). I hope to get some feedback from the Roon community to help navigate a direction I can go in. I’ve exhausted the youtube reviews and just want to continue enjoying the Roon experience without having to have my laptop running nonstop while also getting the best reasonable SQ with the Kef active setup. Side note I’m not trying to group both sets of speakers (might of been nice but learned the Kefs can’t due to tech limitation) but I may plan on adding other zones in the future. Thank you in advance.

Hi Jonathan,

I’m using a Zen Mini Mk2 myself, but considering moving to a Nucleus. The Zen Mini is great in that you have storage and ripper already sorted, and it works well for limited numbers of zones/DSP. Both have to be hard wired into your network, so that might govern where you end up placing it (I don’t know your particular network setup, after all).

If your mesh network boxes have LAN ports and you go for a Zen Mini, I would connect Ethernet to the Zen, and then daisy chain out of the other LAN port on the Zen to LS50W. If you can cable, cable.

EDIT: Would also like to point out that this is my personal system/opinion, not a KEF recommendation.

Thanks for replying Ben. Yes the orbi mesh satellite has four ethernet connections, I imagine they all would suffice as access to a LAN. I have one of the satellite orbi ethernet/LAN ports connected to the Kef LS50W network port but still don’t know if that does anything so I just pick the ls50w wireless endpoint on the roon app on my laptop which seems to work. Is there an appreciable SQ difference bw network and wireless? I used to connect laptob USB to PC port on the ls50w but preferred wireless because of the ability to change the volume on my phone as a controller and couldn’t figure out how to with the pc connection. As far as the MK3 mini and the MK2 mini you have do you recommend the matching power supply unit or is it a mute point with active speakers because I assume you’re not enhancing the DAC in the Zen Mini. Again this is all new to me and I don’t have any past hifi equipment to compare to or had to listen to elsewhere b/c of the current pandemic. Are you keeping the mk2 in your chain as just a streamer and adding the nucleus as a core. Lastly is there a added advantage of the nucleus over the DIY NucRock. I’m curious to why upgrading your MK2 mini (assuming there is one) to the Zen MK3 mini or the next level Zen is not being considered. Sorry if I got some of the Hifi lingo wrong. Thank you in advance.

Wired into the network is more about stability for me - if I can cable it, I will, regardless of product. UI/UX wise with Roon, our app, JRiver, whatever else… whether LS50W is wirelessly or wire(…dly? :stuck_out_tongue: ) connected to your network, it would all look the same in regards to interface etc. Think of the source on LS50W as ‘network’ and then you have two ways of connecting it - WiFi and wired.

To shoot through your other questions/comments:

  1. The Zen Mini Mk2 doesn’t actually have a DAC - this is a new addition to the Mk3. This is a moot point for LS50W/LSX in my opinion, as both have DACs on board that cannot be bypassed - only added to (so if the additional DAC adds a ‘flavour,’ you might get that in the end, but this would be down to a combination of the two sets of DACs, if that makes sense).

  2. I haven’t tried the optional power supply as of yet. I never recommend/pass judgement on what I haven’t heard.

  3. Not decided what I would do with the Mk2 if I were to upgrade, however as all of my systems are Roon endpoints (LS50W/LSX) or are slated to become a Roon endpoint (Hegel H190), it doesn’t make much sense to keep it in the wider system. But once the H190 becomes an endpoint, whatever I use will be strictly a Core (unless future equipment purchases changes that).

  4. I’m not considering the Zen/Zenith simply because of size - I travel a lot for work (albeit not at the moment!) and do take the Zen Mini with me. So this would maybe be the reason to keep my existing Zen Mini - one for travels, one that stays at home.

  5. I’m not considering DIY because I like what Roon has done already in regards to Nucleus. I like the industrial design, I like the reasoning behind the methods utilised and the decisions made (the white paper is a pretty good read).