KEF Introduces LS50 Wireless Active Speakers - Page 10 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #271 of 341 Old 02-16-2018, 03:05 PM
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Originally Posted by feedbackq View Post
I doubt it would be cable length - it could be a product issue (not surprised) so hopefully you're within a year of warranty. As with most new generation of products, they have production issues. LS50W has been riddled with issues - my first one arrived and the left speaker was giving out a burnt metallic smell every time I turned it on. Sent it back to Amazon for a replacement (wasn't light!).
I tried the original cables and so far haven't gotten the problem of the left speaker dropping off intermittently. I then bought some 26AWG Cat 6A shielded cables (20 ft) and so far don't have the left speaker issue either. This is after about a day's use. It's not scientific but at the very least it seems to be less frequent. KEF doesn't say it needs a Cat 6A on their FAQs (only Cat 5e or above) but that's my experience at this point.

My speakers had a funny chemical smell on the heat sink fins but that went away after a couple of days. I've had them for about a week as of this post.
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post #272 of 341 Old 02-16-2018, 03:10 PM
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Originally Posted by techtone View Post
I tried the original cables and so far haven't gotten the problem of the left speaker dropping off intermittently. I then bought some 26AWG Cat 6A shielded cables (20 ft) and so far don't have the left speaker issue either. This is after about a day's use. It's not scientific but at the very least it seems to be less frequent. KEF doesn't say it needs a Cat 6A on their FAQs (only Cat 5e or above) but that's my experience at this point.

My speakers had a funny chemical smell on the heat sink fins but that went away after a couple of days. I've had them for about a week as of this post.
That's great news! Good to know - this update will probably help others who might have the same/similar issues.

KEF LS50, r200c, KHT3005, Denon x3400h, Epson 5040UBE
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post #273 of 341 Old 02-17-2018, 01:09 AM
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Speakers at this price should not have such major issues. They could have delayed launch after further testing.
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post #274 of 341 Old 02-19-2018, 12:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Soundizer17 View Post
Speakers at this price should not have such major issues. They could have delayed launch after further testing.

Can the powered LS50 be converted to be used with a regular power amplifier? Regular speakers last 20 years or more. I don't imagine the electronics in the powered LS50 will last that long.
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post #275 of 341 Old 02-19-2018, 01:01 PM
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Can the powered LS50 be converted to be used with a regular power amplifier? Regular speakers last 20 years or more. I don't imagine the electronics in the powered LS50 will last that long.
but who the heck keeps their speakers for 10 yrs, let alone 20?
esp if you're into digital and the advancements that keep on happening.
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post #276 of 341 Old 02-19-2018, 01:37 PM
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but who the heck keeps their speakers for 10 yrs, let alone 20?
esp if you're into digital and the advancements that keep on happening.
I have three sets of speakers that are 20+ years old. I'm listening to a set of Acoustic Energy speakers, driven by a SMSL 50 digital amp, sourced by an Amazon Echo Dot. It's my bedroom system, and it sounds great.

I would venture to say that it would be easier to keep up with digital advancements using regular speakers rather than speakers with built-in electronics.
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post #277 of 341 Old 02-20-2018, 10:41 AM
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Originally Posted by openbaffled View Post
I have three sets of speakers that are 20+ years old. I'm listening to a set of Acoustic Energy speakers, driven by a SMSL 50 digital amp, sourced by an Amazon Echo Dot. It's my bedroom system, and it sounds great.

I would venture to say that it would be easier to keep up with digital advancements using regular speakers rather than speakers with built-in electronics.
and that is great...but you're a rarity, i'm sure.
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post #278 of 341 Old 02-27-2018, 10:53 AM
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1. KEF recommends cat5e SHIELDED and above. Shielded - especially in an urban environment can be critical to digital transmission/performance issues. The shielding may have been the critical issue.

2. Even 20 year old non-active/electronic speakers can show signs of age. Particularly if they have ferrofluid tweeters from that era - which includes most all metal domes. Ferrofluid can dry up/evaporate/scorch/gunk up changing the response curves of the tweeters - ironically sometimes even worse when NOT used regularly. And everyone is aware of surround/spider degradation on woofers and mids.

But to answer the question, actives most likely could not be converted (easily) to passives - for one, no passive crossover. What would be more likely is the possibility of upgrades/improvements/maintenance to the active board sections like Meridian has done for years with their DSP speakers.
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post #279 of 341 Old 02-27-2018, 11:16 AM
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Now as an aside, I have the Nocturne edition on trial. Impressions:

1. Phenomenal sound - when I'm not getting drop-outs. This may improve as I work on WiFi network issues. I live in a urban multi-condo environment. And am not exactly a cyber-savant.

2. Nocturne does not - to the best of my attempts - "Glow in the Dark" as represented. It must require a blacklight - something that is not mentioned in any marketing materials or review. I would MUCH rather just have a Black Edition Wireless. I imagine it's coming. Anyone heard?

3. Why can they not perform their firmware updates directly via network connection like everyone else - even if by ethernet? I am an iOS device household only - no PC or Mac in sight. I'm likely going to do Roon but it was going to be with a dedicated device as I didnt even want to run a laptop continuously. Is there a workaround for this cyber-challenged member?
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post #280 of 341 Old 02-27-2018, 02:06 PM
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Originally Posted by snbeall View Post
Now as an aside, I have the Nocturne edition on trial. Impressions:

1. Phenomenal sound - when I'm not getting drop-outs. This may improve as I work on WiFi network issues. I live in a urban multi-condo environment. And am not exactly a cyber-savant.

2. Nocturne does not - to the best of my attempts - "Glow in the Dark" as represented. It must require a blacklight - something that is not mentioned in any marketing materials or review. I would MUCH rather just have a Black Edition Wireless. I imagine it's coming. Anyone heard?

3. Why can they not perform their firmware updates directly via network connection like everyone else - even if by ethernet? I am an iOS device household only - no PC or Mac in sight. I'm likely going to do Roon but it was going to be with a dedicated device as I didnt even want to run a laptop continuously. Is there a workaround for this cyber-challenged member?
but these should sound the same as the regular ls50 w? only diff is aesthetics? or am i incorrect?
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post #281 of 341 Old 02-27-2018, 03:09 PM
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but who the heck keeps their speakers for 10 yrs, let alone 20?
Normal people...which none of us are.

I had a pair of B&W CM9 S2's for about three years. I think that's a record for me.
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post #282 of 341 Old 02-28-2018, 06:08 PM
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Originally Posted by snbeall View Post
Now as an aside, I have the Nocturne edition on trial. Impressions:

1. Phenomenal sound - when I'm not getting drop-outs. This may improve as I work on WiFi network issues. I live in a urban multi-condo environment. And am not exactly a cyber-savant.

2. Nocturne does not - to the best of my attempts - "Glow in the Dark" as represented. It must require a blacklight - something that is not mentioned in any marketing materials or review. I would MUCH rather just have a Black Edition Wireless. I imagine it's coming. Anyone heard?

3. Why can they not perform their firmware updates directly via network connection like everyone else - even if by ethernet? I am an iOS device household only - no PC or Mac in sight. I'm likely going to do Roon but it was going to be with a dedicated device as I didnt even want to run a laptop continuously. Is there a workaround for this cyber-challenged member?
I (with the help of and ISP tech) improved my wireless network performance by setting the router to a static channel; because there are a lot of other hotspots nearby, network interference was causing a lot of channel switching, and Roon in particular seems to require a very stable wireless connection. I also switched everything to 5G. Everything is much better now. No getting around the need for Mac or PC with Roon that I know of. The easiest thing I can think of would be to get a mini computer and dedicate it to hosting Roon Core and your library. Should be doable for a couple hundred dollars. I'm considering that route myself just so I have an 'always ready' system.
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post #283 of 341 Old 03-01-2018, 09:25 AM
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How did you go about finding/choosing the clearest channel. I believe the KEF's are limited to the 2.4ghz spectrum and thus 11 channels - 1, 6, 11 are the only ones that don't overlap. But how do I know which my neighbors are on to choose another?
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post #284 of 341 Old 03-02-2018, 06:47 AM
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Well, this is a new one. Have had my LS50W?s for just under a year and had the right channel stop outputting sound. The selector on top still lights up and the left channel still puts out sound. Tried all inputs (WiFi, analog, optical, usb) and balance knob on back of left speaker. No sound from right channel. Bizarre. Sent them back to KEF so they could see what?s going on. Anyone else run into this?

Btw, best sounding speakers I?ve ever had. I won?t be swapping them out for something different.
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post #285 of 341 Old 03-03-2018, 09:12 PM
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Well, this is a new one. Have had my LS50W?s for just under a year and had the right channel stop outputting sound. The selector on top still lights up and the left channel still puts out sound. Tried all inputs (WiFi, analog, optical, usb) and balance knob on back of left speaker. No sound from right channel. Bizarre. Sent them back to KEF so they could see what?s going on. Anyone else run into this?

Btw, best sounding speakers I?ve ever had. I won?t be swapping them out for something different.
no sir, haven’t hadn’t any problems with mine. got them last summer.
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post #286 of 341 Old 03-03-2018, 09:41 PM
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A lot of people have had trouble including me. Are you on the latest firmware?
Check this thread out.

https://community.roonlabs.com/t/pol...s-owners/32500
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post #287 of 341 Old 03-03-2018, 09:45 PM
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How did you go about finding/choosing the clearest channel. I believe the KEF's are limited to the 2.4ghz spectrum and thus 11 channels - 1, 6, 11 are the only ones that don't overlap. But how do I know which my neighbors are on to choose another?
Read the faq. Lots of information there.

http://us.kef.com/ls50-wireless

Here is what it says about WiFi
A2: Can I use my router with LS50 Wireless?
LS50 Wireless supports most common routers. Detailed technical requirements are as follows:

• Your wireless router must support IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n.

• Security protocol WPA2, mixed mode WPA2/WPA, WEP and open networks. Open networks are not recommended for security reasons.

• WEP is an old encryption and may lead to setup and streaming problems. The WPA2 security protocol is recommended. Please refer to the user guide of your router to select the encryption method.

• Channel 1-11 (2.4GHz) and Channel 36, 40, 44, 48 (5.2GHz) or Channel 149, 153, 157, 161, 165 (5.8GHz in Taiwan ONLY) are supported. You are recommended to set the router on a channel with fewer overlapping networks as this will have less interference. Please refer to the user guide of your router to select the router channel.

Remarks: Streaming Hi-Res music files through a 5GHz Wi-Fi network with a router transmission speed of at least 1300Mbps will offer better performance.
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post #288 of 341 Old 03-03-2018, 09:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bleu_falcon View Post
I (with the help of and ISP tech) improved my wireless network performance by setting the router to a static channel; because there are a lot of other hotspots nearby, network interference was causing a lot of channel switching, and Roon in particular seems to require a very stable wireless connection. I also switched everything to 5G. Everything is much better now. No getting around the need for Mac or PC with Roon that I know of. The easiest thing I can think of would be to get a mini computer and dedicate it to hosting Roon Core and your library. Should be doable for a couple hundred dollars. I'm considering that route myself just so I have an 'always ready' system.
Roon runs on Macs and PCs and has a special build for Intel NUCs
https://kb.roonlabs.com/Roon_Optimized_Core_Kit

Also some NAS
https://kb.roonlabs.com/Roon_Server_on_NAS

And some devices designed to run Roon out of the box
https://www.smallgreencomputer.com/c...s/audio-server
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post #289 of 341 Old 03-04-2018, 09:16 AM
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Read the faq. Lots of information there.

http://us.kef.com/ls50-wireless

Here is what it says about WiFi
A2: Can I use my router with LS50 Wireless?
LS50 Wireless supports most common routers. Detailed technical requirements are as follows:

• Your wireless router must support IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n.

• Security protocol WPA2, mixed mode WPA2/WPA, WEP and open networks. Open networks are not recommended for security reasons.

• WEP is an old encryption and may lead to setup and streaming problems. The WPA2 security protocol is recommended. Please refer to the user guide of your router to select the encryption method.

• Channel 1-11 (2.4GHz) and Channel 36, 40, 44, 48 (5.2GHz) or Channel 149, 153, 157, 161, 165 (5.8GHz in Taiwan ONLY) are supported. You are recommended to set the router on a channel with fewer overlapping networks as this will have less interference. Please refer to the user guide of your router to select the router channel.

Remarks: Streaming Hi-Res music files through a 5GHz Wi-Fi network with a router transmission speed of at least 1300Mbps will offer better performance.

Thanks. Yeah, I had also read that. It confused me because during setup, following the initial KEF network setup stage, when you go to rejoin home network, my 5G network does not show up as an option. Perhaps it just uses 2.4 for setup - but then how does one force it onto 5G? Sorry I’m no network expert (know how my parents felt with VCR’s now), so forgive my ignorance. I feel pretty smart just by having figured out how to log in to gateway, but I’m still at a loss to know what channel to pick (rather than auto). How to tell which channel is clearest? I’m in condo building so going to be congested...
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post #290 of 341 Old 03-04-2018, 09:34 AM
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....No getting around the need for Mac or PC with Roon that I know of. The easiest thing I can think of would be to get a mini computer and dedicate it to hosting Roon Core and your library. Should be doable for a couple hundred dollars. I'm considering that route myself just so I have an 'always ready' system.

I was considering a NUC, myself. I have a very limited library and no plans to expand it much. I am satisfied with what I get streaming Tidal/Apple. I read about how great the Roon/Tidal combo is and it seems to solve my biggest gripe with the KEF - lack of gapless. Don’t know if it’s a shortcoming of the app or the non-gapless nature that makes changing songs such a hit or miss frustration. First time I’ve dealt with non-gapless. Spotify was great, but no lossless. I’m imagining that Roon is even better. I’m more interested in the DSP functions of Roon - current and future - than any file management

That said, which NUC would be advisable? Roon seems to recommend gen7 i7 for heavy DSP use. I don’t know what qualifies as “heavy DSP” use. I’d have two endpoints. And would want to do room correction.

And as an aside, I mentioned I have no PC/MAC. Could the NUC function to do the firmware updates for the LS50W?

Last edited by snbeall; 03-04-2018 at 09:40 AM.
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post #291 of 341 Old 03-04-2018, 09:39 AM
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See the link I posted on NUCs. It specifies the options and specs.
It runs a specific version of Roon core based on Linux and you need a Mac or pc for firmware updates. Kef should really make firmware updates work from their app but they don’t.
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post #292 of 341 Old 03-04-2018, 09:41 AM
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Thanks. Yeah, I had also read that. It confused me because during setup, following the initial KEF network setup stage, when you go to rejoin home network, my 5G network does not show up as an option. Perhaps it just uses 2.4 for setup - but then how does one force it onto 5G? Sorry I’m no network expert (know how my parents felt with VCR’s now), so forgive my ignorance. I feel pretty smart just by having figured out how to log in to gateway, but I’m still at a loss to know what channel to pick (rather than auto). How to tell which channel is clearest? I’m in condo building so going to be congested...
I’ve seen other devices that for some reason have to be setup on 2.4ghz first in order to be able to run on 5ghz. Most recently some Homekit accessories.
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post #293 of 341 Old 03-04-2018, 09:42 AM
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Reread my post above. I edited it to clarify. You assume I know what specs I’d want/need. Or even know what they mean. Lol
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Reread my post above. I edited it to clarify. You assume I know what specs I’d want/need. Or even know what they mean. Lol
Go by what they say for library size. Most people won’t be using DSP tweaking at all let alone heavy use.
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post #295 of 341 Old 03-04-2018, 09:48 AM
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I’ve seen other devices that for some reason have to be setup on 2.4ghz first in order to be able to run on 5ghz. Most recently some Homekit accessories.

So how do I know what band/channel the KEF is on at the moment? And how do I know which is clearest to pick a static one?
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post #296 of 341 Old 03-04-2018, 03:06 PM
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You can see on your wifi routers losing page which wifi you are on. I don't recall if the Kef app shows it or not, it might.
As far as picking the best channel there are lots of articles on that.
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post #297 of 341 Old 03-09-2018, 03:20 AM
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What are the closest competitive offerings to the KEF LS50W = All in one [SPEAKER + DACS + WIFI STREAMING]?
At about the same price level.

Or are KEF LS50W much better than anything else for the price?
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post #298 of 341 Old 03-09-2018, 05:04 AM
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I don't know if it has all the same features, certainly not as powerful amps, but there's the Dynaudio Xeo 4. Different, better for some folks ears.
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post #299 of 341 Old 04-15-2018, 09:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Soundizer17 View Post
What are the closest competitive offerings to the KEF LS50W = All in one [SPEAKER + DACS + WIFI STREAMING]?
At about the same price level.

Or are KEF LS50W much better than anything else for the price?
There are the Devialet Phantoms. I trialed them (Gold and Elevate both) side by side with the KEF’s . Phantoms have already gone back. KEF’s - with a sub - were much better particularly on the upper mids and treble end. Wasnt even close. Phantoms’ bass is phenomenal. IMO too much so. Overpowering and no option to adjust it.

That said, the KEF’s are going back as well. The sound is fantastic. Functionality is horrible. Particularly HATE non-gapless playback. App is frustrating/glitchy. Of course, if I was able to update to latest firmware it might be better, but why would I not have a unit shipped with the latest firmware this far out from latest update? Why no ability to update firmware directly over network - even wired Ethernet?

Remote has poor range and off-axis function and would be tossed if it wasn’t the only way to turn them on. And/or adjust volume (for other inputs) from your couch. And you have no feedback on what the volume is when doing that - other than your ears of course. Which can lead to shocking results. The built-in streamer has the worst connectivity of all my devices. Even tried running a direct Ethernet connection across the living room floor. Still dropped out continuously. KEF support blames my router - and that may be - but it doesn’t happen with my other devices.

I imagine there any number of ways around all these issues. After all, to hit this price point, some compromises had to be made. Unfortunately, since they’re hardware issues, they require external hardware device solutions - which defeats the whole all in one box solution. For instance , if you ran Tidal/Roon to it in a WIRED configuration you could get around a lot of these functionality issues. But that would add another $1000 for a Roon Core device and subscription. And require a local Ethernet connection which I lack (and can’t add). But kinda defeats the purpose of wireless doesn’t it?

So I’m going back to my 20 plus year old Meridian DSP’s fed by a Bluesound Node 2 which doesn’t have nearly as many issues while they iron out the kinks, improve the App, add MQA, and come out with an all matte black edition. It has phenomenal potential. And for those that have workarounds for all these faults, there is nothing better at the price. I’ll be back. When they’re ready for prime time. Maybe sooner when someone points out what I’m missing...
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post #300 of 341 Old 04-15-2018, 10:53 AM
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Originally Posted by snbeall View Post
There are the Devialet Phantoms. I trialed them (Gold and Elevate both) side by side with the KEF’s . Phantoms have already gone back. KEF’s - with a sub - were much better particularly on the upper mids and treble end. Wasnt even close. Phantoms’ bass is phenomenal. IMO too much so. Overpowering and no option to adjust it.

That said, the KEF’s are going back as well. The sound is fantastic. Functionality is horrible. Particularly HATE non-gapless playback. App is frustrating/glitchy. Of course, if I was able to update to latest firmware it might be better, but why would I not have a unit shipped with the latest firmware this far out from latest update? Why no ability to update firmware directly over network - even wired Ethernet?

Remote has poor range and off-axis function and would be tossed if it wasn’t the only way to turn them on. And/or adjust volume (for other inputs) from your couch. And you have no feedback on what the volume is when doing that - other than your ears of course. Which can lead to shocking results. The built-in streamer has the worst connectivity of all my devices. Even tried running a direct Ethernet connection across the living room floor. Still dropped out continuously. KEF support blames my router - and that may be - but it doesn’t happen with my other devices.

I imagine there any number of ways around all these issues. After all, to hit this price point, some compromises had to be made. Unfortunately, since they’re hardware issues, they require external hardware device solutions - which defeats the whole all in one box solution. For instance , if you ran Tidal/Roon to it in a WIRED configuration you could get around a lot of these functionality issues. But that would add another $1000 for a Roon Core device and subscription. And require a local Ethernet connection which I lack (and can’t add). But kinda defeats the purpose of wireless doesn’t it?

So I’m going back to my 20 plus year old Meridian DSP’s fed by a Bluesound Node 2 which doesn’t have nearly as many issues while they iron out the kinks, improve the App, add MQA, and come out with an all matte black edition. It has phenomenal potential. And for those that have workarounds for all these faults, there is nothing better at the price. I’ll be back. When they’re ready for prime time. Maybe sooner when someone points out what I’m missing...
I've had the Kef's since they first came out so find your comments interesting. I'm actually on my 2nd pair. The first ones died on me which seems to have happened to a lot of people.
I've seen quite a few people prefer them over the Devialets and many traded theirs in or sold them for the Kef's.
Yes firmware update is a pain but its not exactly fair to expect them to ship with the latest firmware. Like most items they can sit in a store or distributor for months. Lots of items have firmware and I would be hard pressed to think of anything that has come with the latest firmware that I have bought.
If you think the app is bad now you should have seen it when they first came out. It basically didn't work and the firmware was garbage too. it took about 8 months for it to be reliable product.
As an IT person very familiar with software development my guess is they are using cheap outsourced 3rd world developers.
But I never use it anyway and I use a Logitech Harmony remote instead of the terrible remote Kef ships.
There are a lot of ways to get gapless playback and I use mine with Roon. Roon has a special integration with the Kefs that is really great as the Roon people are fans of this speaker.
I would read the far abut seeing up wifi because you should only use specific channels.
U.S. support of the Kef's is terrible, they don't even answer e-mails half the time. UK and europe support seems better.
Having said all that they do sound amazing and combine with Roon is just an awesome experience. i especially like how minimalist they are. I've actually put up with a lot more with these speakers than I normally would have and now that the miserly 1 year warranty is over I hope they don't break on my like the first pair did. Of course in Europe they have a 2 year warranty but they have actual consumer protection there unlike the U.S.
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