KEF LSX , Elac Discovery Z3


Been driving myself mad here googling and reading reviews of these two pieces of equipment

I am looking for something to replace the Bose speaker I have in the kitchen. I’m new to all this and recently bought a Marantz streamer/amp , Elac speakers and also a Raspberry pi for my headphones, now it’s the kitchens turn

I love the look of the KEF but the reviews are not great in terms of app etc but I figured I would solely be using Roon so no real issue there. Then I got into a rabbit hole and the Elac came up in a discussion on here

None of my local stores have either of these in stock so I’m struggling to go and listen to these.

Does anyone have any views on where I would be best spending my money. I love the fact Elac is Roon Ready against the KEF which is I think Roon tested.

Thoughts much appreciated

I have the LSX and enjoy them, part of my desktop setup. I have an all-Apple house, so AirPlay works fine, but I also have used them with Roon using the KEF streaming protocol. If you have other AirPlay devices, you can group them, but if not they cannot be grouped. I don’t know your situation and whether grouping zones matters to you.

I have read good things about the Z3 but have not heard them myself. Compared to the KEFs they will not provide as wide a stereo soundstage due to the all-in-one design, but again don’t know if that is important to you in the kitchen. Both systems support Ethernet direct, but the Z3 only supports the 2.4 GHz WiFi band which may result in interference, especially if a microwave oven is used close to it. Price favors the Z3, but the KEF also have a subwoofer out.

I also have the LSX.

Have you experienced the issue of KEF Streaming option disappearing in Roon leaving only the AirPlay option?

As of last week, no issues. Both AirPlay and KEF Streaming have been available to me.

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I haven’t tried the KEF so can’t offer a comparison.

I currently have 4 of the Z3’s, Kitchen, office, master bedroom, and one I use as a rover when I’m working in the garage, shop, greenhouse, garden or relaxing on the patio. I buy them from Elac America when they put them on sale. The first one I paid full price for which was 499.00 at the time but the last 3 I got for 229.00 if I remember correctly. Sales I caught were in Nov/Dec. Very good sound from such a small easily portable package and hi-res 192/24 playback. I have Ethernet throughout the house and 100-200 foot cat6 cables for anywhere outside on our property. They work perfectly with Roon over Ethernet and group for whole house music.

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I can see why you like the Discovery Z3 since you use cables everywhere. I bought one of these and returned it because the wi-fi was awful. If you moved it more than 25 feet away from the router it could not hold the signal. None of my other devices had this problem. Not even my phone. I might have had a bad one but really will never know.

Is Bluesound worth a look?

I’ve never been a big fan of wireless technology and don’t have the networking knowledge, skills or patience for trouble shooting issues. I did use wireless with the first Z3 and it worked most of the time but I had an issue one day that prompted me to reset the Z3 back to factory specs and go through several firmware updates. Nothing worked. But then I realized it was only the 2.4 band on the router that wasn’t working, 5 band was fine. Power cycled the router and the Z3 started working again. That was enough for me and decided to have my 1960’s vintage house wired. Costly but to me it was worth it.

I purchased the KEF LSX for a small 3.5m x 4m room and I must say that I am really satisfied. I use the Kef protocol to stream from Roon (I am not interested in multi-room) and the quality is excellent, with wired network. Watch out because there are rumors of a revamped model soon.

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Overall, wireless works fine for me. I don’t have any wired connections for my Roon setup and I have several Roon Ready devices throughout the house. I have an Oppo UDP-205 in one room that works great, two NAD C368 in other rooms, and a Chromecast audio puck supplying a cheap Onkyo receiver in my bedroom. The NAD units don’t have the best wi-fi either so I put wi-fi extenders there that get great signals and connect the extenders directly to the NAD with a wire. It solved that problem. The Chromecast audio pucks work great. I bought six of them from Google for $40 a piece when Goolge announce they were discontinuing them. Strong signal, sounds great. Really the best cheap way to get Roon to work with an older receiver. They’re not Roon ready but in my bedroom that was not necessary.