KEF LS50W hardwired setup


Just brought my KEF LS50W from my vacation home to try as a “desktop” speaker in my home office. I did the initial set-up of the KEF via the KEF control app. I subsequently hardwired the KEF to my router with a ethernet cable.

So far everything is working but when I look at the the settings/audio tab in Roon it shows the following.

On face value it would appear that the KEF are receiving the Roon content via KEF streaming. DO I have them set-up correctly? In essence, I want to have the KEF recieve their signal (music content) from Roon via my ethernet cable. (Hardwired) .

That looks correct to me.

At the top level, streaming is simply the act of sending music from one place to another, and this can be done wirelessly or wired. LS50W will automatically default to wired streaming if it is plugged into a network via ethernet cable, but whether you’re doing it wired or wireless, it will always say ‘KEF Streaming’ in Roon.


Thanks Ben. You hit upon the crux of the matter. I mistakenly interpreted “KEF Streaming” to mean solely wireless streaming. As you point out streaming encompasses both wired/wireless transmission. A further thanks for clarifying that the LS50W defaults to “wired” mode if an ethernet cable is connected. I now feel confident that I have set-up the LS50W in the manner I wanted (hardwired).

I had the same question when I set up my new LSX pair earlier today, so I unplugged my Ethernet cable from the primary speaker and the music stopped immediately. So yes, KEF Streaming certainly means streaming via Ethernet, at least when you’re using Ethernet.


regarding the definition of streaming … i totally agree … but my feedback from kef support is that KEFs understanding from streaming is more or less restrictive.

The kef control app is targetted to „only“ wireless connections even if the loudspeakers can handle streams wired and wireless.

Configuration is only possible wireless… makes sense :slight_smile: …?

All I can tell you is that Roon tells me I’m sending full 24/192 files to the LSX pair by KEF Streaming, even though it’s getting there by Ethernet. Weird.

There’s nothing weird about it. The only difference between connecting LS50W/LS50WII/LSX to the network via wireless or wired is that one is physically connected to the network and the other is not (notwithstanding the generic benefits of either method). Everything else is the same in regards to controlling the system. So what you’re seeing is exactly what I’d expect.

@ArndH I’m really struggling to understand what you’re trying to say there. Do you mean Connect doesn’t control the wired source inputs? If so, then that’s also expected - things like optical are not two way connections, so there would be zero way of controlling a wired source component like that.

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No i mean for:

Android: Connect only find loudspeakers if the device (smartphone, …) is connected wireless

IOS: Connect find the loudspeakers if ocnnected (IPad, …) wired but full functionality of the app is only given if connected wireless

On my ipad i can control the volume but changing eq or using the streaming feature is only possible if connected wireless.

Something isn’t right somewhere in your setup. The system makes no distinction between wired and wireless connection to the network with regards to app functionality.

First things first - make sure both the app and speaker firmware are updated to the latest versions. Try uninstalling/reinstalling the apps too.

Hardwire your set to the router, try a few of the things that haven’t worked, and then go into the settings tab and send a log to customer service. That’ll automatically attach the session data for the speaker to an email. Just describe what’s happening and CS will have a look into it.

Hello Ben Hagens,

thank you for your feedback… but this approach i already followed … statement from kef support is that the app is not intended to work wired. The loudspeakers sure they work wired only the tool not. Not really consequent thought through …

And due to this i wrote my comment to your statement streaming dont care about wired and wireless…

I just really want to understand what’s going on, because categorically there is no functionality difference between having your system connected via ethernet to your router, or via WiFi to your router.

If you’re talking about wiring your iPad/controller directly into something - that’s not what we’re talking about here.

Wondering if your wired Ethernet relates to a different WiFi network than your wireless. Meaning, do you have a mesh wireless network over, say, a Verizon router? I had a similar issue where eero was my WiFi network but when wired my speakers were looking for me to be on a Verizon channel to control them.

i agree that my topic will change the context of the thread … therefore we can leave it out. It was only related to the word streaming …

To clarify it. yes i want to use stream functionality completely wired. And this is only partly possible as the kef control app works only wireless.

Playing music with different tools (roon, audirvana, windows, mac, …) is working for me. Only the comfort point using the control app is restricted to wireless.

@Stuart: i have wireless completely switched off in my entire network. I work only wired.

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Just to clarify for you, the app is purely control rather than doing any streaming, zero music passes through it. The ‘operating system’ for lack of a better term is in the speaker itself.

Agree and understood.

It would have been nice to use the internal clients like qobuz and … and changing options always have the need to enable wireless … but thats only on event. I‘m waiting and „hoping“ for an improvement of the control app. It is not what i expected … but a fact which i can for the moment live with it.

Hey All…

I’ve dealt with these issues as well. The very best sound I’ve achieved is by using Roon with a Dell laptop as the core. Router serves the Dell using wifi, and the Dell is hardwired to the LS50W by both USB and ethernet cables. However, even with the ethernet cable plugged in, the LS50W switches itself to wifi mode. The sound is amazing. But, why does the speaker indicate wifi mode if an ethernet cable overrides it?

Because it isn’t a WiFi indicator, it’s ‘Network’ which can be either wireless or wired.

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This puzzled me for a few days too when I first connected my LS50W2s using the supplied ethernet cable and also ran an ethernet cable from the primary speaker to my router. I had a fully wired connection but still saw what I thought was a wireless network indicator. The icon used to signify network on the top pad of the primary speaker is conventionally used by manufacturers to signify a wireless network, not a wired one. I’ve never seen it used to cover both and a simple web search confirms this. It really doesn’t matter of course - any symbol can be used to represent anything - but it is a bit unconventional and liable to confuse people (as seems to have been the case)!