KEF Introduces LS50 Wireless Active Speakers

What happens when you take one of the best sounding monitor style speakers on the market and add active amplification as well as comprehensive wireless connectivity? You wind up with the KEF LS50 Wireless speaker system ($2200/pair). The original, passive LS50 was released five years ago, in celebration of KEF’s 50th anniversary. Now, this proven and respected speaker design can serve as the entire sound system.

The KEF LS50 Wireless speaker system.

The instantly recognizable Uni-Q concentric two-way driver is the centerpiece of of the LS50 Wireless. The new features include a 192kHz/24-bit high-resolution digital signal path, two DACs per channel (four DACs), a preamp with built-in streaming capabilities, and dual-mono bi-amplification that feeds 200 watts into each bass driver and 30 watts into each tweeter. A DSP-based active crossover handles time alignment, allowing the Uni-Q to act as a true point source.

The LS50 Wireless Uni-Q driver combines a 1-inch aluminum-dome tweeter with a 5.25 inch mid/woofer. All told, the system can deliver 106 dB of output and frequency response is specified at 40Hz – 47kHz (-6 dB) and it does include a subwoofer output.

Connectivity options include 2.4GHz/5Ghz dual-band Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0 with aptX, asynchronous USB Type-B input, TOSLINK Optical Digital, and RCA line-level analogue inputs.

The LS50 Wireless has its own dedicated app for both iOS and Android devices. The app can be used for network setup, streaming, and control of playback options. It includes three levels of customisable EQ settings that users can employ to tailor the sound to personal preference.

I had a chance to hear these new speakers in person at a secret listening session during CEDIA 2016. The “make a long story short” of it is that these speakers provide the sort of precision and fidelity that teases the finest details out of carefully produced tracks. Just add a subwoofer to the mix and what you’ve got is world-class sound coming from a decidedly compact and minimalist system

KEF argues that the LS50 Wireless offers both better performance and monetary savings versus purchasing electronics to power a passive pair. This new model will ship in December 2016 and is available in titanium grey with a red Uni-Q, gloss black with a blue Uni-Q, or gloss white with a copper Uni-Q driver.