Poll of Kef LS50 Wireless owners

Huge and mighty indeed! I exchanged my VAIC Standard with these little beauties - the sub was needed anyway. I am very happy and I think it is little money for a LOT of sound.

Hi guys.

A potential buyer of a used set of KEF LS50Ws here. My local hifi vendor offered me a pair, which has been used for 20 months, so 4 months of warranty left. The price of the set is 1250 euros (or 1050 pounds) and the units are in a mint condition, from the outside at least.

Reading this thread, there seem to be quite a bit of technical problems, but I would wager, that the set is quite popular as well, so that has to be taken into account.

I have two questions to make myself more comfortable with purchasing something used:

  • does the set have any safety feature if a sudden spike of volume/bass is introduced, to preserve the integrity of drivers - or the other way around, can the set be worn down to exhaustion by just using them
  • are there any “sound scenarios” I could test, to confirm the drivers (or other critical components) are indeed ok?

Best regards.

Here’s my experience of almost a month with these:
I’ll break this down into 4 parts as this is a 4-in-1 product:

  1. Streamer: I think this is the weakest part. On wifi it’s a disaster, I got tired of troubleshooting and have completely given up on using wifi. I exclusively use them on USB which is more stable but still have problems. Right now I am struggling with getting them to take remote control transport commands, which they stopped doing since yesterday and no amount of restarts seems to solve this.
    Also even though they are advertised as DLNA capable, there’s no way to send a wifi stream from a DLNA media library on a computer; the only way to stream wifi to them, other than Roon is via the mobile app. Which does not work - i don’t need this since I use Roon, but every time I try to stream via WiFi from the KEF stream app it does not work. It simply doesn’t start playback. So basically the WiFi capability is useless, you can ignore it for now. Maybe they come up with a firmware update that fixes these things…
  2. DAC can’t really comment since there’s no way to compare with other DAC’s, but maybe worth mentioning that if you use Tidal there’s no MQA decoding, you’ll get just the first unfold by Roon Core.
  3. Amp - I think this is really good, at least theoretically since you have the “perfect match” between speaker and amp, DSP crossovers, etc
  4. Speakers (sound) I was in love with them for 3 weeks as they were better than my old system (BW701+HK650amp) until I bought a pair of Adam Audio T5V for the kitchen. The Adams are 250EUR and in my very humble opinion they sound better than the KEF. Compared them extensively during the weekend and the Adam come out on top in my preference (driven by a Raspberry Pi + Audioquest Black)

As a general useability score they get a 1 out of 5 from me. Source selection is ridiculous since you don’t know what source you selected unless you stand up to watch the panel (or use the app), the remote doesn’t work (at the moment, for me) at even when it does it is poorly designed as you have to look at it to know where the buttons are. Connectivity has problems. Sound is nice, but you can get good or better at lower price points again this is my very uneducated opinion.

Bottom line - to pay nearly 2000EUR for these you need to really be crazy about how they sound and have them in a setup that works around all these useability and connectivity issues. We live in an age when unbelievably good HiFi products exist at all price ranges so nobody should have to put up with the kind of issues this has at this price point.

I am currently trying to work out a return with the dealer (I am out of the return period) or consider selling them at a loss.

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I do agree with the wifi-part as Roon does loose connection all the time, however soundwise I cannot share you opinion. My son does have the same Adam speakers in his little studio and we have tried the Kefs in the same studio… the Kefs blew the Adams away on all parts, mids, highs, bass, definition, imaging, details, power… in every part they are way better than the Adams. The Adams aren’t bad but the Kefs are simply the better speakers.

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I have had my LS50 Wireless speakers for a month. They communicate with my Nucleus over my wireless network. They occasionally lose their connection so I am going to run an ethernet cable between the two. So far I have been really impressed. I took time and effort setting up my room just right. They are precise, powerful and really tell you all there is to know about the recordings. I am amazed how good some older recordings sound and by the same token how poor some modern ones are.

Having sold my old Rotel amp and Kef passive speakers I now have nothing to plug my headphones into. Any thoughts? Is it possible to plug a Chord Mojo into the USB socket of the Nucleus? I presume I could plug the Mojo into my Mac when I am using it as an endpoint.

The Kef LS50 Wireless speakers are really tremendous. They have their frailties but the sound they are capable of producing is wonderful.

Apparently transport control in Roon is not supported for the LS50 wireless. Have you guys been aware of this? Is anyone able to use transport controls by remote in Roon?

Hi, I own the KS50w for 2 years now, and during this time, they came back from an international moving with a small dent, and they did not work. So I took them to the dealer and they repaired them with cost for the obvious damage (the insurance company paid for the repair); it took some time to repair because they changed the whole motherboard and it was ordered from the UK. This was around 6 months ago, now, I am having a different issue; the right speaker seems to have a DAC or dither issue and some times has noise, high frequency distortion or mutes completely for less than a second. Maybe it is related to the previous repair, anyway I am taking them back to repair.

I now have the exact same issue, and am beyond warranty, so I hope they can repair them.

They work wirelessly for me with roon with no issues.

Transport control included?

Mine, I had the board replaced 7 months ago because of the three blinking lights issue, and now I have the high frequency distortion, intermittent muting and hiss noise from the master (right) speaker. So back to the dealer. To be fair the board they replaced I assumed was the left one, but now I will have to ask them if it was only that one or if they changed both boards.

I had, it costed around 500USD in Mexico.

I don’t use the KEF remote for nothing at all. I do all transport controls from Roon apps in iOS, and it works great.

I understand.

I find the routine of ‘pick-up phone/unlock/navigate to Roon remote/maybe restart the remote which has lost Roon connection/or best case just wait a couple seconds until remote comes back to life/then tap tiny speaker button on lower left/tap tiny + or - or grab tiny slider/ volume adjusted not so convenient.

Almost same routine required if you need to stop music… yesterday I missed a couple of calls because by the time I was able to stop the music the caller had quit…

So I am trying to work out a way to improve on that…

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New firmware came out in November 2019 for those who missed it… https://uk.kef.com/pages/product-support

Offers remote power on via app or Spotify for the latest revision of the speaker - that makes for at least three speaker revisions so far :roll_eyes: :

  1. Original
  2. Supports selectable inputs by KEF Control app
  3. Supports power on by KEF Control app and Spotify

Notes:

Me too. Seems to work fine. Occasional loss of connection soon to be rectified with direct connection to my network via ethernet cable!!

I haven’t read this thread in a long time. I bought the Kef’s right when they came out and had many issues that required sending them back to Kef through their abysmal support. I finally sold them because of all the issues and I was scared to have them out of warranty which is a miserly 1 year in the U.S. it sounds like things have not gotten better. They badly need a new version and this time include Airplay 2. My experience makes me never want to buy anything from Kef ever especially because their support is so bad.

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yes i do have a pair.

@Chikolad if you are still around in this thread by any chance - do you recall the steps (which screws &c) you used to disassemble your speakers?

I wanted to take a look at the boards of my almost-3-yr-old pair (it’s been working awesome thus far and still sound amazingly good), as they developed a tendency to stop working (all icons start blinking) after a few hours on some days (intermittent). I thought in the beginning that it was static buildup as it would only happen in very dry conditions (heating with no humidifier) but now it’s happening more often.

Hi @Ari_R,
I didn’t dare to disassemble my speakers on my own. I took them to a repair guy who opened them up. I have no idea which gear he used, sorry :grimacing: