My review on the KEF LS50
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Author: Thomas & Stereo
Hey Thomas. Would you consider auditioning the kef r300 or the ascend acoustic Sierra 2s? I am really interested in your opinion. Thanks!
A friend of mine used to own this LS50 too paired with a sub as well. I wasn’t that impressed, mostly because the internet is so excited about it and when you hear it, it doesn’t compete with like the higher end speakers you might be used to. That said; it is still impressive for its size! And the design is pretty clean (the finish also, great quality).
Sounds like my phone
How do these compare to the Uni-Fi?
Hello.. i am driving my ls50 with tube amp… primaluna classic amplifier.. and it sounds great… i have also rega brio r but it doesn’t sound nearly good as my primaluna amp. Rega brio-r is too bright ! I agree with you that some amps sound too bright…
why would you pair £800 speakers with mackintosh etc etc , you are obviously out to destroy these speakers just connect your high end speakers and leave normal folks alone to enjoy the LS50 they are fantastic for normal listeners not geeks listening for every fault .
Thomas great video, quick question I am considering LS50’s connected to a Naim Atom which is about the same cost as the LS50 wireless. Which route would you go, wireless or combined standard LS50 with Naim? Thanks for support
I really enjoy the LS50’s sound. (for the price bracket).
I compared them side by side with Magnepan 0.7 planar speakers in my listening room. The LS50’s had a wider listening spot (did not have to be dead centre). They also provided more impact. I kept the Kef’s and sold the maggies.
The LS50’s are usually on sale, I got my pair new for 1100 cdn (860 usd) from a kef authorized dealer.
I found the sound clearer and having more bass extension using a high power amp. Would be awesome to compare them to the wireless version to see the difference the built in amps make…
Thanks for the video
I’ve had a pair of these about a month and just wanted to comment about the “brightness” of these speakers. On axis they are a bit bright but I find(and many agree) that if you point them straight ahead without any toe in, the brightness is gone. Kef even mentions in the ls50 white paper that about 15 degrees off axis is the smoothest response from these.
That’s an excellent review. I’d like to test them with my Marantz hd amp1 because I like them very much.Greetings from Greece.
would intergrated rotel amp drive them 70 watts . like u reviews thanks
i love how you guys have the amps on display haha… everyone is like hide the wires and the amps.. i like that the audio phile world showcases them… theyre lovely.
What you do for living ? i cannot even afford $300 speakers.
Awesome review Thomas I couldn’t have agreed with you more regarding the KEF LS50 can be ear fatiguing for long listening times as well as not playing all music genres. But! I just bought the Yamaha A-S2100 amp which is a very warm sounding that tames it and can play more music genres better now. I was using a Athem Integrated 225 amp powerful but can project being a little bright in sound. I highly recommend the Yamaha A-S1000/2000/2100/3000 amp with the KEF LS50 you will be happy for anyone that is on a budget.
Great review. I bought a pair of LS50’s about a month after they were first released and have loved them ever since. The best pairing I found for them is my Cambridge CXA80 amp with a SVS SB-1000 sub. It’s a perfect system for my small listening room (10’X14′).
dude check out these coentrant drivers… my buds over and renkus were on to something.. https://www.renkus-heinz.com/stx7
I’ve got the same grey one’s and hooked them on the Marantz KI-pearl lite in a rather small room and i think it’s a fine combination and sounds perfect.!
Thanks for a valuable and interesting review!
I have KEF Q350 and it would be interesting to know your opinion about them(or Q150) if you tried them, in comparison to LS50.
I think all these uni-q speakers have a pretty bright tone and demand a good amplifier for a good sound. Because of the very detailed and distinct sound character the sound otherwise can be a bit harsh. I have no experience of your brand of equipment but think my Rega Brio/Apollo is a decent choice for KEFs.
Which country do u live sir?
Thomas and stereo…. Have you tried Jamo c series speakers? If so, how do they compare to these. Thanks for your review
Thanks, this is really useful. I’m thinking of using 3 of these in a home cinema setup, because I can turn one on its side and use it as a centre.
With an AV amp I’m likely to be doing YPAO automatic eq anyway (with maybe some manual tweaking for taste). Presumably the brightness can be dialled back in eq (assuming brightness is just certain frequencies being louder – what else can it be?) Presumably I would retain the “resolution” (assuming “resolution” is more than just an illusion stemming from the brightness). Hopefully at some point I can try before I buy and that would prove it one way or another.
get the kef r300
Hi Thomas, it’s really great review. Just wonder if you would do some review for the LS50 wireless one?
I’m not questioning your audition or judgment of these, but it’s kitsch to say in the audiophile community that “metallic” tweeters somehow impart a bright or harsh sound. This is a bias based on a myth that because the metal drivers are shiny, they somehow impart a bright coloration. It’s the same with dark components where people think that those impart a somewhat dark coloration to the sound. I have these and nothing could be further from the truth. I also drive them with a spectral electronics which are ultra detailed and transparent and the highs and midrange are tonally correct and not fatiguing at all. Of course, room set ups are different .
Great review. What did you set the crossover to for the subwoofer? And what do you usually start out at? Thanks.
I always wanted a pair of these and now I have just bought some and I am delighted with them. I previously had an all Roksan system with Caspian M2 CD and Caspian M2 Amp, driving a pair of Roksan TR5 S2 which have a very detailed and smooth ribbon tweeter but sound a little polite with the Caspian M2 amp as they were designed for the Roksan Kandy series of electronics which are brighter. As soon as I installed the LS50 I knew I had made a good choice as they are a fantastic match for the Roksan Caspian M2 which, although only 85 watts per channel, the Caspian is capable of high current delivery. The dynamics and detail are nothing short of astonishing. Because of the detail and resolution I can understand that this particular quality of these LS50’s could expose shortcomings up the chain but to me, they are terrific. The detail is such, that, more than most speakers I have tried they are very revealing of the musicians positioning and the studio acoustic, producing an almost holographic soundstage.
I think they are stunning.
it is not recorded properly but does not go well with a mobil phone
I heard the LS50s with 4 different amps and in 3 different rooms. 3 out of the 4 times they exhibited brightness in the mid-range and treble that I found very fatiguing. They sound great with Marantz gear. Personally I’d stick with the wireless version to avoid a headache. Sold mine after less than 2 weeks of ownership.
Going to demo these with a Naim Uniti Atom & Star against Totem Rainmakers.
Do you plan to review the KEF LS50W?
I have a set of LS50s in front of me nearly every day, all day, in a 24sqm home office, playing through Naim 200/202. I love them. Few speakers you can enjoy touching as much as these (owners will understand). Still, I play through them 50% of the time, and the rest through 35 year old JBL 4412 studio monitors. I like both for different reasons, and the comparison is insightful. The KEFs are a modern speaker and draw definitive sound from recordings. They feel like you’re experiencing every intent. The JBLs are bigger and fill the physical space more. You experience the sound enveloping you, rather than being projected to you. Both are exciting in a different way. The KEFs can sizzle where the JBLs meander, but the JBLs explode where the KEFs hold back. For certain music that’s not demanding of scale, the KEFs are great. They’ll still surprise you how far a small speaker can take the music. Not surprising they’ve been successful, just don’t expect too much and they’ll make you very happy.
Despite their 84db sensitivity and 3 ohm load dip my LS50’s partner great with a vintage NAD 3155 integrated.
I believe that KEF test these speakers with arcam amps (not sure which). I have an arcam CD linked to a Monitor Audio A100 amp, 60 watts output. I tried 2 different sets of cable until I got the transparency I wanted. I don’t find them harsh or too bright. Also send music wirelessly (IPhone AirPlay) through the A100 built in dac. Both routes sound great. A more powerful arcam amp would probably be the best match (for my taste) but my neighbours wouldn’t agree. All my music now inhabits the space in the room, in a way that I find very engaging. They look fantastic and would recommend if you value transparency. The bass is powerful but balanced.
Thanks for your series, good work, keep going. Considering LS50 are demanding…what amplifier do you think will match? Would Yaqin you tested work nice and produce enough power to fill 20m2 room. Do you think I could par LS 50 with my current amp NAD C352 + cd NAD C542 and have good clarity, scene, resolution and relatively low bass? Best
I ended up just ordering Q Acoustics 3050s new got a great deal,,will arrive in a week or so 🙂
Ugly nasty looking curved pos hideous
My Buschrdt with 7inch woofer and 30Hz bass kicks the shit out off this….
I have the ls50w and I love it. It just sounds good and sweet. Obviously super heavy bass isnt there but is more than enough if you are sitting in a room and listening. This is actually a pro for me as you never get any boomy sounds from this, neither that high pitched thin metallic treble sound you tend to get on “high quality” brand name systems. This is the real deal but you will never get huge amounts of air with this size speaker. Still the mid is awesome
I auditioned some, I was disappointed ,they sounded thin and flat and not detailed or spacious. Nothing like as good as I thought they would be. Not quality, maybe with a sub they would sound better.
Hey awesome review I’m not an audiophile but recently bought kef entry level q100. I’m not gonna lie I was really impressed by the entry level speakers and think they are worth every penny. The LS50 are definitely are on my buy list as I get in the hobby. Cheers
Did I hear him fukkn right?
“They feel like brand new though”
Hi Thomas, I’m interested in LS50 but it sounds like it needs some decent partnering equipments. Is there any budget amplifier can drive them well? Or maybe the powered LS50 Wireless a better choice?
History easier to find because they have made many many many oh so that opens the market but I think the biggest problem with them is that they’re just not like namik enough high resolution does not mean High Dynamics and if you are at 2 that did they are quite power-hungry for the volume that you get out of them 1 + 1 x 2 you can just get a more Dynamic speaker that it’s easier to drive with almost the same resolution and a little less hardness but that’s just my opinion
which one is better with harbeth P3esr ?? really need advise, i use wharfedale denton and using NAD hybridD3020 as amplifier…
I bought a pair of LS50’s to replace a pair of Spica TC-50’s that were slowly dying. After 30 years, they were pretty well finished.
I listened to the LS50’s, Castle Knight 5’s, Sonus Faber Venere 1.5’s, Harbeth P3ESR’s and Totem Rainmakers.
The soundstage of the LS50’s was better than my old Spicas and that’s saying a lot. All the other speakers soundstages were almost nonexistent (flat) to fair (the Harbeth’s and the Totem”s). The Sonus Faber’s had the smoothest top end and the Castle Knight’s had the cleanest deepest bass. To get the Harbeth’s with the sort of bass from them would have been the next model up but the P3ESR’s were already pushing my budget.
I’m driving them with a Marantz PM6006 which is ok for now, I’ll give the Schiit Freya and Vidar a shot sometime soon.
Soundstage and accuracy are both important to me, the LS50’s had by far the best soundstage and I can work around the bit of upper treble harshness.