Problem with KEF LS50 Wireless Integration

Core Machine (Operating system/System info/Roon build number)

Windows 10 Pro/i7 Intel NUC, 32GB RAM, all drives SSD/Roon 1.6 build 416

Network Details (Including networking gear model/manufacturer and if on WiFi/Ethernet)

Virgin Media (UK Router) connected to audio device and Roon Remote device via WiFi.

Audio Devices (Specify what device you’re using and its connection type - USB/HDMI/etc.)

KEF LS50 Wireless active speakers connected as a Roon Endpoint directly to Roon Core over WiFi. WiFi connection is 100% perfect, not one single millisecond of dropout during entire time of owning speakers and using Roon (which admittedly is only 2 weeks). I’m not sure about KEF firmware version but I was forced to update it when I purchased the speakers 2 weeks ago so it is the latest unless they pushed an update in the last 2 weeks.

Description Of Issue

I fully realise this might be an issue with the KEF firmware but would like to seek advice first so that, if necessary, I can file a better bug report with KEF. Also, I’d like to see if Roon and KEF have nominated engineering contacts such that it might be better for Roon to report the bug to KEF if it is an issue with the LS50W firmware.

The issue is pretty simple. Open the Roon remote, start some music playing, press the pause icon on the footer and the music pauses and the pause/play icon changes to the triangle to indicate that the music is paused. Now press the triangle icon and the music starts playing again. This is normal behaviour obviously.

Now, with the music playing and the Roon remote app open (I’m using the iOS app on an 11" iPad Pro), press the pause button on the KEF LS50W remote. The pause/play icon on the footer in the Roon Remote does actually change to the play icon and the music stops so something in Roon does see and act on a pause command coming from the speaker but at that point a message comes up just above the audio zone indicator in the footer that says “Roon has lost control of the audio device”. After that it is possible to un-pause the music by pressing the play icon on the footer but the Roon Core will not respond to an attempt to resume playback by pressing the play/pause key on the LS50W remote again. This can now be repeated indefinitely, pause the music using the play/pause key on the LS50W remote, then need to un-pause it from the footer on the Roon Remote, pause it again with the LS50W remote, un-pause from the footer, and so on.

If this is something that between Roon and KEF can be fixed such that the LS50W remote could be used to pause and (crucially) resume Roon playback that would be great. The volume up/down functions work perfectly by the way, even to the extent of Roon being able to read the volume level set on the LS50W.

P.S. You owe thanks to KEF for this particular lifetime Roon member. I would never have even heard of Roon if it wasn’t for the endpoint functionality implemented in the LS50W that I saw when researching what to buy.

Hi @Julian,

Thank you for the report here, I have a few follow-up questions:

  • Can you let me know the exact local time + date in your country when this behavior next occurs? E.g. 4:21 on 7/22/19? I would like to take a look at diagnostics from your Core to see if there are perhaps any additional clues.

  • Is the behavior the same if the LS50s are connected via Ethernet instead of WiFi, even as a temporary test?

  • Just to confirm - you are not using the KEF Stream app when this issue occurs? You are only controlling the LS50s via the physical remote control?

Hi @noris. My LS50W exhibit the same behaviour, and always have. I have them connected via ethernet currently. They’re the same when connected wirelessly.

Pause on Kef remote causes loss of control of the audio device. Also Skip Forward / Skip Back on the Kef remote don’t work and never have.

Timestamp 00:28, 23rd July 2019.



Hi @noris ,

I just triggered a failure. In fact to try and make it easier for you to see I laid down a little pattern in my log file. First I hit pause and got the “Roon has lost control of the audio device message” at 15:20 on 23rd July 2019. The timezone is UK British Summer Time so we are currently 1 hour ahead of GMT. Then to try and make it easier for you to identify the event in my log file I un-paused the music and triggered another lost-control-of-audio-device event as near as I could get to 60 seconds after the first one and then triggered another one 60 seconds after that so what you should be able to see now in my log files are three consecutive losses of control of the audio device all spaced pretty much exactly 60 seconds apart with the first one at the time stamp I gave above. All three were triggered by my pressing the pause key on the KEF remote control.

In answer to your other questions…

1 - I’ll try replicating it via hard-wired ethernet but will need to dig out cables and check the instructions so that might be a bit later, probably tomorrow or even the day after. I see that Dan replied though (many thanks Dan) so please let me know if you no longer need me to do a wired test since it looks as if Dan has confirmed that it is still an issue on hard-wired Ethernet.

2 - I can confirm that I am not using the KEF Stream App, in fact I’ve never even installed it, I’ve been using Roon from day 1 of ownership, so no third-party software is involved here. I’ve been controlling play/pause via the Roon app on my iPad. I do almost always control volume up/down and mute via the KEF remote which works so well that I thought I might as well try using the KEF remote for play/pause as well which is when I saw the problem.

Thanks for your attention on this. Also, as Dan mentioned, if resolving this bug was also able to get the skip forward/back buttons working on the KEF remote that would be a nice added bonus.

Hi @Dan_Brown/@Julian,

Thank you for sharing those timestamps. I have gone ahead and enabled diagnostics mode for your account last night and what this action should do is next time your Core is active, a set of logs will automatically be generated and uploaded to our servers for analysis.

I have been keeping an eye out for the diagnostics report, but I have not seen anything reach out servers yet from either of your Cores. Can I please ask you to manually send me a copy of your logs by using these instructions and upload the set to Dropbox / Google Drive / ?

Hi @noris. I’m currently away from home. I’ll do a diagnostic when I return. Hopefully tomorrow, but it might be Friday.



1 Like

Hi @noris

I just sent you a private message with the link to my log files. I hope I did it right since I’m new to this forum software so have never sent a PM before and I also tend to not use GDrive for any sharing so I hope I also did the sharing OK on that too.

Please let me know when you have been able to download my logs so that I can delete the share from my GDrive. Thanks.

  • Julian
1 Like

Hi @Julian/@Dan_Brown,

Thanks again for your report here. I have discussed this issue with the dev team and they have noted that this is expected behavior for KEF devices.

Unfortunately, due to how the transport controls are implemented on this device, using the play/pause controls will result in Roon to lose control of the device. We’ve tried to improve this behavior but there are technical limitations related to how these devices communicate which unfortunately make changing the functionality infeasible.

I wish I had better news for you here, but this is the current status at this time. Thanks again for reaching out to us!

Hi @noris,

Thanks for getting back to me. I appreciate the honest answer. I actually have a Harmony Hub so I think I can go to plan B which is to set up the “Deep Harmony” extension that I believe will control the Roon Core directly. I’m a bit of a lazy git though so was hoping that direct KEF control might be possible since volume and mute already work perfectly. Oh well, better start reading the Deep Harmony thread.

I honestly expected this to come down to a KEF problem so your reply wasn’t a nasty surprise, it would have been an extremely pleasant and very unexpected surprise had you come back with a “fixed in the next release” reply. I’m wondering if one last step that might make sense might be for me as a KEF customer to file a support ticket with KEF against the LS50w firmware to complain that it’s implementing the transport controls in a sub-optimal way as far as Roon endpoint functionality is concerned.

Is it possible to get any more detail from the Roon dev team about the exact problem re “how the transport controls are implemented” on the LS50w that results in Roon losing control of the device and whether they think it’s reasonably fixable by KEF in a firmware update? I don’t really need to understand the answer coming back from your dev team, I would just cut and paste it into my bug report filed with KEF, but in my experience being as specific as possible with a bug report and sometimes even suggesting the exact fix tends to help get a dev team’s attention. Maybe worth a try so I would be interested to know the Roon dev team’s thoughts on that and any specifics they might be able to give me to include in my bug report to KEF to help KEF identify what could be fixed so that they play better with Roon controls.

At the very least it might help KEF not have the same issues if they ever update the LS50w to a newer model. Now that LSX supports Airplay and wireless left-right speaker connection LS50w is slightly behind its smaller LSX sibling as far as features are concerned so I would be too surprised to see the LS50w updated at some point. Not that it would help me unless the fix was back-ported but maybe might help other future Roon users if KEF can do it right the second time around (or third time if already LSX has the same transport control issues as LS50w).

  • Julian

We can’t really speak on their behalf and offer additional technical details, or hazard a guess on the chances of this being fixed.

That said, I don’t think you’ll need more information from us in order to give them this feedback – we’ve discussed these issues with KEF, and they’re aware of the limitation.

I’m sure they’d appreciate the feedback, as do we. Thanks @Julian!

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