KEF LS50 wireless - roon ready? [not roon ready, but supported natively]

RoonReadiness primarily depends on the equipment manufacturer – I suggest you make sure KEF knows about your interest. I have no idea whether this at all feasible with the LS50.

In the meantime though, you can use an SMB of choice (Cubox w/integrated optical, Raspberry Pi + Digi+ HAT, Odroid C2 + Hifi board, etc.), tuck it away behind the speaker and connect digitally. You’ll have a very nice Roon Bridge for <$100.


Regarding the ethernet interconnect: Is it critical to use a high quality ethernet cable between both speakers?
Or to put it another way: what is being transferred there, data or audio? Is the quality of the cable still critical when “only” data is being transferred?


Per Darko, it’s the digital signal being transferred. Analog inputs are digitized.

From a purely practical point of view, it wouldn’t make much sense to have to split the incoming stereo signal (digital or analog) between two speakers that could be quite some distance apart.

I’m not sure if I understand your answer… or maybe my question was confusing in the first place. I’ll try again:

  1. does it make a difference transporting data or audio signals over a given ethernet cable? Is there a difference between audio and data or is it just data, anyways)?

and as a follow up:
2) are high quality cables required for data? I understand that they can certainly improve sound quality when audio is being transported.
3) is there an audible difference between a high quality ethernet cable and a standard one interconnetcting a pair of LS50 wireless?

I hope that makes any sense.

Given that cables can be a touchy subject. IMHO:

  1. Unless KEF is doing something proprietary, only computer data is moved over Ethernet, not audio signals. Same as if you were copying or moving any other computer data.

  2. As long as an ethernet cable is not defective and all data is passing through, the same data is being moved whether it is a standard cable or a “high quality” cable. Any good Cat 5e cable will suffice. You might want to avoid shielded cables as they could introduce a ground loop depending on the equipment.

  3. No idea

thanks @Rugby! Yes indeed, the “cables” topic seems to be a very delicate one… just found this topic on the forum: Sound Quality - Ethernet Cable Length

regarding your point 2): @joel seems to have a slightly different opinion - see his post.
That just undelines the touchiness of the whole topic, I guess :slight_smile:

It might seem we have differing opinions, but it is close. RM interference can happen. It all depends on the situation and environment. But in my experience it is rare. Rare enough that it is not a consideration,imho. Check out Monoprice, good cables at a good price.

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thanks, good advice!

According to this post KEF are saying Roon will be available on the LS50. No idea how valid the information is but thought it was worth sharing.

I got the LS50 wireless. The SQ is quite good! SadLY it does not support ROON yet although there’s rumor KEF will make it happen. But I personally doubt that. The speaker is DLNA native and I am mainly using it that way now.
I have now received my microRendu and expecting to try it with the active LS50. I don’t have much 192/24 stuff so maybe ill use it in AirPlay mode and compare to Roon Ready mode. I’m still interested in AirPlay mode is because it’s widely supported by all my equipment. If my source file does not go higher than red book standard the protocol should be fine and versatile enough.

I spoke with Kef at a recent show and they confirmed Roon is in the works, along with MQA and Spotify. They were just moaning about the time all these developments take. He was very positive about the relationship with Roon though.

I’d love to hear something from Roon. I’m seriously considering these, but many people claim the controller app leaves much to be desired and that it doesn’t work with Tidal. I don’t see Spotify’s appeal unless the rumours of Spotify hifi-def turn out to be true.

I got greedy and asked the following by email KEF:)

  1. Please please add auto wake up through wifi and USB! I believe it’s a function easy enough to implement and we have seen this feature on most of the similar products out there!

  2. Please make the speakers always online so I can adjust the settings whenever I want. Now I have to switch it to wifi mode to tweak the settings is kind of annoying as I don’t have anything that’s playing through wifi. I can’t even tell what volume I’m at if I’m not playing through the mobile App.

  3. Please allow the app to disable some input ports so I can quickly switch the input mode. Using one button to cycle through the modes may be physical limit but its UI can surely be improved. Of course adding auto switch mode function will be even more sophisticated!

  4. Please make the speakers airplay ready and RoonReady. It maybe a long shot but I it is possible!

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I have the same speakers and have the same list of things I’d like to see. Number 1 for me would be make them Roon-Ready. #2 on your list took me a while to figure out. I kept trying to access them via the app while they were in PC mode and the app would not see them. Took me a few tries for my Ah Ha moment. #3 would be great too. I am never going to use AUX or Bluetooth. Let’s kill those off for now.

I saw your post from a few above your last where you say you don’t have much 24/192 stuff. I also am using a microRendu for Roon and using Roon to upsample all my 16/44 stuff to 24/192. I think it sounds great this way. Just an FYI.

I have the same setup now(microRendu+LS50w). The result is very pleasing.
Still want those listed functions though. There’re now five cables connected to the right speaker how can they call it wireless?:grin:

I’m planning to buy LS50 Wireless shortly. But they have to work with my Roon setup. I have a Windows Roon server with a Chord Hugo connected to USB for headphones. Will Roon see and use KEF LS50W as endpoint if I connect them to USB in the same way as the Hugo? Sorry if this is self-evident. I am new to Roon. Perhaps all DACs work with Roon? I have only tested Hugo, Mojo, Dragonfly Red and IFI DSD and they all work very good.

No the LS50 will not be an “endpoint” for Roon. In your example the Hugo would be the endpoint and you would connect the analog outputs of the Hugo to the analog inputs of the LS50 and use it as a powered speaker. You would then be bypassing the internal DAC. The LS50 is not yet Roon Ready. KEF says they are working on it but who knows what that actually means. In order to make my LS50’s Roon ready I use a microRendu. The speakers are so good that them not being Roon Ready is no reason to disqualify them.

Thank you John. If I connect the Hugo to the analogue input on the Kefs, will the room correction things still work? Since I will be upgrading to a Hugo 2 in the end of this month, I guess that DAC will be “better” than the one in the KEFs, so perhaps the solution might even be on the positive side, at least regarding the sound. Or perhaps I will buy a microRendu - though I rather not.

Surely the KEFs would work if you connected them via USB to a computer. They don’t need to be Roon Ready for that to work. Roon Ready refers to them being network devices and working via Ethernet or wifi. Roon should work with any USB DAC connected to a computer provided the necessary drivers are available for the computer.

I think you can have multiple USB devices connected to the same computer but I don’t think you can play from them both at once.

I understand that analogue signals into the kef 50 wireless are converted to digital anyway. So yes the other processing will work but there is not much point in feeding things through the Chord DAC first.

The best solution for now is to use one of the available RoonReady network devices such as Raspberry Pi or sonicorbiter or microrendu or Sotm SMS 200.

You lost me. What room correction? Are you talking about the switches on the back (or in the software) then yes those will still work. As for the DAC in the Hugo being better than the DAC in the KEF I would have to guess yes since the Hugo costs as much at the LS50 do alone.