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

So this is interesting.

Talks about using it with the Kef’s. This will also allow the first MQA unfold.
I’ve wondered why Roon doesn’t have UPNP built in…perhaps thats how they plan to make it work with the Kef’s?

The article you linked to contains many of the reasons why Roon does not support UPnP.

:grinning: Like what?

I am about to order the KEFs … and will wait patiently for Roon integration. In the meantime, a bridge will do just fine :slight_smile:

On a related issue about connectivity options. Do you find that the available inputs are enough? Basically we have one usb and one optical port (discounting the analogue input). Most high end streamers etc use coaxial… should I worry?

Well… There’s this:

the issue with UPnP/DLNA is the loose definition of the standard, and thus of the implementations, that leads to compatibility issues

And this:

UPnP devices don’t return maximum sample-rate compatibility information

And even this:

This decentralised free-for-all means quality varies from one UPnP-based audio streaming implementation to the next

There’s more to the UPNP story than is in the article, but the above goes a good part of the way explaining why it is a not a great idea to try to support a standard-that-is-not while aiming for good user experience.

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The looks definition of the standard. The lack of support for gapless playback which requires bespoke solutions. The fact that UpNP devices don’t return maximum sample rate compatibility. These issues and others make it a pain to develop a solution that works seamlessly across many devices.

See these posts from the Roon team for more details.

He is pretty clearly referring to poor implementations of UPNP. There are good implementations. Such as Sonore’s which people seem to like.
I did read what Roon said about this and it doesn’t sound like they closed the door on this idea yet.

So how would that pan out for Roon? ‘We support UPNP, but only the good ones?’. ‘Too bad it does not work right, but your renderer’s implementation sucks?’

Anyway – Roon has already commented in far more detail in the links @philr dug up above. Let’s keep this thread about the little KEFs.

The article talked about UPNP with the Kefs and I have seen articles here about Sonores UPNP with the Kefs.
How do we know Roon is not going to do UPNP with the Kef’s since they said they are working on something that sounds like it would work via the ethernet connection?

We’ll know in due time, I guess. :slight_smile:

But supporting these KEFs (in whatever fashion) is very different from supporting UPNP in general.

I’m trying out UPNP and USB to the Kef’s with a Sonore device arriving on Friday but expect it will be a stopgap to whatever Roon comes out with even if it’s not full RAAT. Options are good :slight_smile:

You can put lipstick on that pig, but it doesn’t make her pretty.


I’m sure the article is of interest to a lot of people with Kef’s and also Sonore devices who are using UPNP with Roon.

I am using this set up for some time with MicroRendu+Roon+Tidal, but I have noticed a bug in use:
If I don’t stop playback in Roon before I turn off the speakers or switch the input mode, Sonore UPnP will keep playing in the background and when I turn the speaker back on, the system will only play the first few seconds of each track and then jump to the next.

I just got a Sonicorbiter which I’m using in the Kef USB port. It sure sounds a lot better than my Apple TV coming from my Samsung JS9000 TV even with the iFi optical port conditioner.
But of course I have to switch sources to use it and I find I have to keep restarting it after switching sources again.
Does UPNP just work via ethernet so I don’t have to switch sources? I haven’t set it up yet with the SonicOrbiter.

It’s apparent a lot of people, like me, have asked why they don’t support Airplay. They could at least support AAC over bluetooth. I will never use the standard bluetooth connection on these speakers. I think lack of Airplay and AAC is actually a cost consideration by Kef.

Here is what they say about DLNA/UPNP on the Kef blog.

“There are two prominent wireless conventions for entertainment devices on the market: Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) and Apple AirPlay. Despite what a lot of tech bloggers may tell you, DLNA is the most widely used format in the world today – more devices are available for direct plug and play (uPnP) via DLNA than any other format. Since you can’t drop every single available technology into a product and expect to sell the product at a price people are willing to pay, the choice that makes obvious sense is to have your product aligned with as many devices already in the market as possible. So therefore, the LS50W supports DLNA and doesn’t support Apple AirPlay (directly). This doesn’t mean you can’t stream to the LS50W from your Apple devices, it just means – like with a slew of other audio products on the market today – you have to put a device (such as an AirPort Express) in the wireless signal chain.”

If you aren’t aware of the LS50W articles on their blog here are the other ones.


I use the HiFIBerry Pi2 (~$100US) to my KEF LS50W. Works great. Bonus is I can also hook up my YGGY with the RCA SPDIF.

There is Airplay related code on the LS50W’s web admin page. Maybe they didn’t finish Apple certification for some reason or as you say cost meant they didn’t finish implementing it. It would be great if they could add it as a firmware update.

What code are you referring to? I don’t think they can do it in a firmware update.

Saw that. I see a lot of people also talking about USBridge to the Kefs for Roon and it’s $179. Plus it has USB which is how I would attach it to the Kefs since my optical is going to the TV.
USBridge also has a wifi option which is tempting for my bedroom Vanatoo Ones.

Once Roon gets some form of access going to the Kefs I assume it would be via Ethernet. Not sure how that would sound compared to network to USB. I would think at least as good but don’t really know. Plus it sounds like not the full level of functionality some if the others offer. All conjecture on my part of course.
The used SonicOrbiter I bought for $150 sounds really good I can tell you that.