KEF Introduces LS50 Wireless Active Speakers - Page 3 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #61 of 190 Old 01-12-2017, 07:34 AM
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Looks like I won't be getting mine in January. Cheap explanation I've been given says they're a little late with the production and that it's common during holidays. Yet, you guys over there are getting them already. Guess UK really hates Europe.
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post #62 of 190 Old 01-12-2017, 07:54 AM
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Originally Posted by RLBURNSIDE View Post
It seems like Wisa as a wireless audio standard is totally dead. Every single manufacturer seems to be doing it via Bluetooth and/or Wifi or their own concoction. Sad.
(low energy!! haha)
I won't be using Bluetooth on these speakers. They should also have Airplay or at least AAC over Bluetooth. Bluetooth on speakers like these is just silly and disappointing. There will be an Apple TV somewhere in the chain to these speakers for Airplay.
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post #63 of 190 Old 01-12-2017, 08:26 AM
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I don't think it's silly, though I would never need to use it because they'd be in my home where I have Ethernet in most places and Wi-Fi everywhere.

The standards for Bluetooth data/sound transfer quality have come a long way. The aptX codec implemented into devices today is actually pretty good. Many buyers of the LS50 Wireless will use BT and not know the difference between it and true lossless. I might, the speakers promise to be as good or better than passive LS50.

My preferred stream would be from a NAS through Ethernet, though DNLA wireless should be the same. One of my cousins is a big Apple user and has Airplay. I know nothing about it but was able to connect her Bluesound Vault 2 to her network for Tidal Hi-Fi, feed analog out to her NAD C356BEE and to her Totem Sttaf speakers.

How will you get signal to your LS50 Wireless, and how do you expect to control it?

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post #64 of 190 Old 01-12-2017, 08:38 AM
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Originally Posted by KenM10759 View Post
I don't think it's silly, though I would never need to use it because they'd be in my home where I have Ethernet in most places and Wi-Fi everywhere.
The standards for Bluetooth data/sound transfer quality have come a long way. The aptX codec implemented into devices today is actually pretty good. Many buyers of the LS50 Wireless will use BT and not know the difference between it and true lossless. I might, the speakers promise to be as good or better than passive LS50.
My preferred stream would be from a NAS through Ethernet, though DNLA wireless should be the same. One of my cousins is a big Apple user and has Airplay. I know nothing about it but was able to connect her Bluesound Vault 2 to her network for Tidal Hi-Fi, feed analog out to her NAD C356BEE and to her Totem Sttaf speakers.
How will you get signal to your LS50 Wireless, and how do you expect to control it?
I would think most people spending this kind of money would know the difference and could tell the difference.
Also for this kind of money they could have better streaming protocols.
Apt X bluetooth should also include AAC over bluetooth for the high population of Apple device users who also tend to be in the demographic that buys higher end audio devices like this.
I can stream Apt X from my MacBook Pro at least. Airplay is lossless and even AptX bluetooth isn't. There is a reason so many audio devices have airplay built in. Every decent receiver does even low end ones. I can also create a whole house audio solution that beats the snot out of Sonos using Airplay.
By getting signal I assume you mean how will it get on the network? I will use ethernet. If you mean music sources it will be turntable, a variety of streaming sources as I have subs to most of them, FLAC and other lossless files. I'm looking at how I get Tidal/MQA to them and Roon as well.
I will also connect it to my TV using the optical connection. I decided I value space and simplicity over receiver and surround sound speakers.
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post #65 of 190 Old 01-12-2017, 09:11 AM
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It will be interesting to see a comparison side by side! I assume the active ones will sound better!

Now if only they could make them in RED I would buy two pairs
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post #66 of 190 Old 01-12-2017, 10:56 AM
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I appreciate the news reporting , but the $700 difference with the passives seems a lot to pay for built in amplification, wireless, and DACs. I wonder how much difference people would hear between the built in amplification and DAC over a $300 receiver?
I actually think the opposite. I think the $700 difference is a bargain considering what it costs for good amplification + preamp + cables + dac, etc. And, the amplification for this product is designed for the drivers in this speaker. John Darko did a review of these and he said the powered version sounded better than the passive ones using a Peachtree Nova150, and that's a stellar sounding combo. IMO this is where HiFi is headed. You see more manufacturers going to powered speakers and I think younger consumers are attracted by the simplicity of integration and fewer components. Remember, a lot of young people are living in smaller spaces and want simple, elegant, functional solutions. Look at KEF's 15's as another example. Even when they have components you're seeing more integrated options. I think at least these products get people in the door of HiFi, and then some may experiment with separates if they really get into it. However, I think the masses want simplicity and quality and this is a great offer.
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post #67 of 190 Old 01-12-2017, 12:25 PM
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I actually think the opposite. I think the $700 difference is a bargain considering what it costs for good amplification + preamp + cables + dac, etc. And, the amplification for this product is designed for the drivers in this speaker. John Darko did a review of these and he said the powered version sounded better than the passive ones using a Peachtree Nova150, and that's a stellar sounding combo. IMO this is where HiFi is headed. You see more manufacturers going to powered speakers and I think younger consumers are attracted by the simplicity of integration and fewer components. Remember, a lot of young people are living in smaller spaces and want simple, elegant, functional solutions. Look at KEF's 15's as another example. Even when they have components you're seeing more integrated options. I think at least these products get people in the door of HiFi, and then some may experiment with separates if they really get into it. However, I think the masses want simplicity and quality and this is a great offer.
I'm in total agreement with you. Darko's assessment along with some others I've read that go into detail about how the internal amps having a tailored to task digital crossover (similar to the way Linn can do with their DSM to power amp to speaker systems) means a more capable unit system at a reduced cost.

Of course there's the issue of you're without the whole system if it fails and needs repair, while with separates you can swap in another DAC, amp, or speaker while you get a repair. How often will that happen? Dynaudio has done VERY well with their Xeo line, so I kind of expect KEF should take this to other speakers. I'd love to have an active version of the R series floorstanders.

P.S. - I don't know what a KEF "15" is, can you give an explanation?

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post #68 of 190 Old 01-12-2017, 12:32 PM
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Originally Posted by KenM10759 View Post
I'm in total agreement with you. Darko's assessment along with some others I've read that go into detail about how the internal amps having a tailored to task digital crossover (similar to the way Linn can do with their DSM to power amp to speaker systems) means a more capable unit system at a reduced cost.

Of course there's the issue of you're without the whole system if it fails and needs repair, while with separates you can swap in another DAC, amp, or speaker while you get a repair. How often will that happen? Dynaudio has done VERY well with their Xeo line, so I kind of expect KEF should take this to other speakers. I'd love to have an active version of the R series floorstanders.

P.S. - I don't know what a KEF "15" is, can you give an explanation?
I agree that having all the electronics could be an issue if something fails. That is a real risk.

I meant the Klipsch Heritage Wireless The Fifteen: http://www.avsforum.com/best-of-ces-...tive-speakers/
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post #69 of 190 Old 01-12-2017, 01:30 PM
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Originally Posted by abd1 View Post
I actually think the opposite. I think the $700 difference is a bargain considering what it costs for good amplification + preamp + cables + dac, etc. And, the amplification for this product is designed for the drivers in this speaker. John Darko did a review of these and he said the powered version sounded better than the passive ones using a Peachtree Nova150, and that's a stellar sounding combo. IMO this is where HiFi is headed. You see more manufacturers going to powered speakers and I think younger consumers are attracted by the simplicity of integration and fewer components. Remember, a lot of young people are living in smaller spaces and want simple, elegant, functional solutions. Look at KEF's 15's as another example. Even when they have components you're seeing more integrated options. I think at least these products get people in the door of HiFi, and then some may experiment with separates if they really get into it. However, I think the masses want simplicity and quality and this is a great offer.
An additional $700 for all of this matched to the speakers is a screaming good bargain. Externals that match this quality level would be way more.
All the things you listed are why I am buying this and I'm 57 :-). I'm listening to Tidal MQA right now and can't wait to hear it through these speakers.
Mine were arriving Friday by the way but they were held up by customs in Canada so now its Monday...:-(
I am kind of concerned that the warranty on these is only a year but not enough to not grab them.

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post #70 of 190 Old 01-12-2017, 02:04 PM
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An additional $700 for all of this matched to the speakers is a screaming good bargain. Externals that match this quality level would be way more.
All the things you listed are why I am buying this and I'm 57 :-). I'm listening to Tidal MQA right now and can't wait to hear it through these speakers.
Mine were arriving Friday by the way but they were held up by customs in Canada so now its Monday...:-(
I am kind of concerned that the warranty on these is om;y s ear but not enough to not grab them.
You're going to be one of the first to own them. Looking forward to hearing your impressions.
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post #71 of 190 Old 01-12-2017, 02:26 PM
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You're going to be one of the first to own them. Looking forward to hearing your impressions.
I will definitely be posting about them. I have the black/blue coming. Right now tracking shows Monday delivery.
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post #72 of 190 Old 01-12-2017, 02:45 PM
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I won't be using Bluetooth on these speakers. They should also have Airplay or at least AAC over Bluetooth. Bluetooth on speakers like these is just silly and disappointing. There will be an Apple TV somewhere in the chain to these speakers for Airplay.
Did they seriously forget Airplay on these? Yet they included some lossy nonsense? (Bluetooth is barely acceptable for phone calls in the car. Music? Maybe through ceiling speakers while riding an elevator...)

Seriously: if they're not catering to people with taste and some disposable income, what exactly is their market?

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Did they seriously forget Airplay on these? Yet they included some lossy nonsense? (Bluetooth is barely acceptable for phone calls in the car. Music? Not a chance.) How ridiculously stupid of KEF.
Seriously: if they're not catering to people with taste and some disposable income, what exactly is their market?
Exactly!! :-)
I'm connecting them to my high end Samsung TV which has a One connect box with HDMI. There is an Apple TV on there so I'll route Airplay that way most likely. Or I could attach a 3rd get ATV to one of the speakers optical port and connect from there.
I'm drooling at the prospect of Roon and Tidal MQA with these.
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I have no clue what that "Wisa" is but will argue that Bluetooth and Wi-Fi are both very common, widely accepted and commonly used. I don't see many audio products deviating from those lately. What's the issue?
Wisa is low latency, supremely resistant to interference, and allows 8 tracks of uncompressed 24 / 96 audio. Just google it or search on this forum there are many articles about it.

Apparently multi-channel Bluetooth solutions don't work that well, especially for home theater. It works great for headphones though. I got a new pair for xmas and it's really fun walking around the house. Plus turning on/off the headphones in Windows automatically switches the audio output which saves me a bunch of annoyance from using the headphone out on my motherboard. Plus, being wireless is great, I can instantly use it to watch movies from couch when my g/f is asleep on demand. Not sure how I lived without it for so long.

Anyway, I've heard only horror stories about wireless multi-channel home theater gismos. All except Wisa-based. Although those are generally way overpriced niche boutique brands.
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post #75 of 190 Old 01-12-2017, 07:31 PM
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I actually think the opposite. I think the $700 difference is a bargain considering what it costs for good amplification + preamp + cables + dac, etc. And, the amplification for this product is designed for the drivers in this speaker. John Darko did a review of these and he said the powered version sounded better than the passive ones using a Peachtree Nova150, and that's a stellar sounding combo. IMO this is where HiFi is headed. You see more manufacturers going to powered speakers and I think younger consumers are attracted by the simplicity of integration and fewer components. Remember, a lot of young people are living in smaller spaces and want simple, elegant, functional solutions. Look at KEF's 15's as another example. Even when they have components you're seeing more integrated options. I think at least these products get people in the door of HiFi, and then some may experiment with separates if they really get into it. However, I think the masses want simplicity and quality and this is a great offer.
Even older people want simplicity, less equipment, elegant and stylish audio. Enough black boxes and components.

If I didn't already have 7 KEF LS 50s passive I would buy 7 of these
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post #76 of 190 Old 01-12-2017, 07:32 PM
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I will definitely be posting about them. I have the black/blue coming. Right now tracking shows Monday delivery.
Let us know how they sound
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post #77 of 190 Old 01-12-2017, 09:46 PM
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Even older people want simplicity, less equipment, elegant and stylish audio. Enough black boxes and components.
If I didn't already have 7 KEF LS 50s passive I would buy 7 of these
Totally agree. How do you have your 7 hooked up?
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post #78 of 190 Old 01-13-2017, 05:25 AM
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How would things work for 7 individual channels? My understanding is that the LS50 Wireless is designed to be a pair, master and slave arrangement and only one has the inputs. The slave apparently has only a power cord and an Ethernet input, so I'm curious how would one use multiples of them in a home theater situation?

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post #79 of 190 Old 01-13-2017, 08:17 PM
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Why wouldn't three pairs and one master (for the center channel) work? Not that I know that KEF would sell just one. I am assuming a 7.1 preamp or a receiver with preouts.

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post #80 of 190 Old 01-14-2017, 04:39 AM
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Why wouldn't three pairs and one master (for the center channel) work? Not that I know that KEF would sell just one. I am assuming a 7.1 preamp or a receiver with preouts.
I suppose it would, under the right conditions. You'd have to send a pre-amp signal to the speakers, so as long as your AVR has those outputs you're fine. In a good system with a high quality AV pre-processor you could eliminate the power amp altogether, a big cost savings. Would the LS50 wireless be powerful enough for the front three in all HT situations? No of course not, but they would work in smaller rooms with closer distances to listening position and moderate volumes.

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post #81 of 190 Old 01-14-2017, 12:00 PM
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So my LS 50's are sitting at UPS where I live right now but they won't deliver them until Monday. Good thing I have Monday off. I have the stands and everything ready to go.
I'm going to play Tidal/MQA through a USB direct connection from my MacBook Pro. But Roon is supposed to support MQA very soon. I want hardware decoding of MQA and am thinking either a Dragonfly read or meridian explorer attached to the usb on these speakers. But I use an MQA hardware decoder like this inline to the Kef's with that devices DAC also be used instead of the Kef's? Want a way to play hardware decoded MQA on these speakers...any thoughts would be helpful.
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post #82 of 190 Old 01-15-2017, 08:52 AM
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That's the (only?) problem with this type of system is that you can have a solution for hardware decoding of MQA, DSD, DXD, etc..(whatever the built-in DAC doesn't support) but your speakers are going to take the analog signal that you feed them from your DAC and convert them to digital (A/D) and then convert the signal back to analog (D/A). The questionn for me, is does the DSP tailoring and phase aligned digital crossover add more than the extra A/D > D/A takes away. After reading about the perceived effects of A/D > D/A conversions, my guess is yes.

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post #83 of 190 Old 01-16-2017, 10:15 AM
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Anxious to hear some other takes on these...seriously considering selling my B&W/McIntosh combo for a pair in order to simplify the system.

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Anxious to hear some other takes on these...seriously considering selling my B&W/McIntosh combo for a pair in order to simplify the system.
Bill
Mine are on the UPS truck right now for delivery today 😊
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OK, I got my Kef wireless 🙂 I’m in southern California.
Right now I’m connecting my MacBook Pro direct playing Tidal/MQA 🙂 Astonishing!
I can see why you would not need a sub but I’ll connect my SVS at some point to try it out. It’s a SVS PB1000 sub and I’m wondering if getting a Kef sub would be a better match or does it really matter?
I also have the optical connected to my Samsung JS9000 by optical. The TV has the full one connect box which I have an Apple TV connected to by HDMI. I can airplay to the Apple TV and sound from the Apple TV works. Sound from the built in TV apps does not work even though I changed the tv setting to optical.
Bluetooth sounds decent but I’ll be using Airplay.
The app shows my iTunes and Apple Music but won’t play any of it.
I had a hard time connecting the speakers to my wireless network until I did several hard resets of the speakers. The app keeps not seeing the speakers and I have to reconnect.
Looks like an update is needed for both wifi and the app.
The remote is just ok. Hard to tell how much volume through the buttons.
You have to use either the remote or the speakers buttons to switch between sources. No auto switching it seems. I’d like to see what I can figure out for voice control like with an echo dot.
I have Vanatoo’s with a subwoofer in the bedroom that I stream music to and I’ll probably get another set of these to replace them but I’d like to see an update on app and speaker firmware first.
You gotta hear Tidal/MQA through these…:-)
Oh and in Tidal it let me choose these speakers as a source though direct connect via USB. I’m using the supplied usb cable with an Apple USB-C adapter to my MacBook Pro.
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post #86 of 190 Old 01-16-2017, 05:30 PM
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The Samsung One Box things are buggy as hell, in my experience with my cousin's. Glad the Samsung TV I got doesn't use one.

Nice to get your report on MQA sound quality through those. It's about what I expected.

Good luck getting the bugs out, I can't help with anything Apple and kinda glad I can't.

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post #87 of 190 Old 01-16-2017, 06:21 PM
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...I can see why you would not need a sub but I’ll connect my SVS at some point to try it out. It’s a SVS PB1000 sub and I’m wondering if getting a Kef sub would be a better match or does it really matter?...
Sure, get two of these

https://www.amazon.com/KEF-REFERENCE.../dp/B015R06SAS

Seriously though, I'm pretty sure most folks that are running subs with their LS50s are using small sealed ones. I"m using a pair of diy 2 cubic foot sealed boxes with old TC Sounds 12" drivers in each, powered by a Crown XLS1500. They blend in fine and give that extra bass kick that the KEFs by themselves can't do (in my room).
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post #88 of 190 Old 01-16-2017, 06:32 PM
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Agreed. KEF subs can't really compete with the specialty makers. A single SB2000 or pair of SB12-NSD would be under $800 and mate quite nicely with the LS50 Wireless.

KEF R500, R200C, R100, SVS SB2000 sub, NAD T758 receiver, Pro-Ject RPM1 TT w/ Ortofon 2M Red, Bluesound Vault2, Sony BDP-S480 BlueRay player, Samsung UN55JU6500F 4K LED TV, KEF M500 headphones, Sony CDP-CE500 CD changer.
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post #89 of 190 Old 01-16-2017, 06:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KenM10759 View Post
The Samsung One Box things are buggy as hell, in my experience with my cousin's. Glad the Samsung TV I got doesn't use one.
Nice to get your report on MQA sound quality through those. It's about what I expected.
Good luck getting the bugs out, I can't help with anything Apple and kinda glad I can't.
Buggy in what way for the Samsung? So far I was only using the HDMI. My guess is that if anything is buggy it is these speakers which just came out.
Yes MQA sounds brilliant through these, I don't think I've ever heard anything sound as good.
The Apple stuff works best of everything as usual. Airplay is great and all my Apple stuff plays and sounds great for the device itself if not through Kef's app. I just think the Kef app clearly needs some work which isn't Apple's issue but Kef's.
I also think the speakers need a firmware update to stabilize the wifi and I assume there will be firmware updates on a device like this. Would be really nice to see MQA and Roon added in this way if they can...
I am going to figure out either an optical or usb MQA capable DAC to attach to these in the meantime for Tidal and Roon which will do MQA shortly.
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post #90 of 190 Old 01-16-2017, 06:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KenM10759 View Post
Agreed. KEF subs can't really compete with the specialty makers. A single SB2000 or pair of SB12-NSD would be under $800 and mate quite nicely with the LS50 Wireless.
There is only one sub output so can't do pairs and i wouldn't do that anyway unless it was for home theater. I don't really have the room for one thing. I'll stick with my PB 1000 for now. I'm sure it will be fine. But I can see why Dar Ko said he didn't really see the need for a sub with these speakers.
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