KEF LS50 Wireless II review: an impressive all-in-one system that continues to exceed expectations
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What Hi-Fi? Awards 2022 winner. An innovative and entertaining sequel
Tested at £2250 / $2499 / AU$4295
(Image: © KEF)
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The name of KEF’s latest all-in-one system leaves no doubt as to their heritage. KEF is clearly proud of the fact that its LS50 Wireless II are sequels to a product that we regarded highly enough to be a What Hi-Fi? Hall of Fame entry – and it has every right to be.
The LS50 Wireless launched in 2016 as an active speaker system take on KEF’s legendary passive LS50 speakers. It’s a pair of wireless stereo speakers packed with built-in amplification and streaming smarts, and their impressive execution of this appealing concept earned them a five-star review and a What Hi-Fi? Award.
They weren’t perfect: they came with some control app hiccups, and the need for a cable to connect the two speakers was a small blip in an otherwise neat package. But not only are the new LS50 Wireless II speakers untethered, they also come with a new and improved app.
The Wireless II don’t simply address their predecessor’s imperfections, though. They have been designed to squeeze even more performance out of the familiar chassis and Uni-Q driver arrangement through the introduction of a new KEF innovation called Metamaterial Absorption Technology (MAT).
Essentially, MAT is a clever way of absorbing sound waves that radiate from the rear of the tweeter dome so that they don’t distort the unit’s forward output. Physically, this technique sees a round piece of plastic with a maze-like structure placed behind the tweeter.
Each ‘path’ in the structure is a certain size and length and ‘tuned’ to absorb a specific range of frequencies. KEF says that, together, the various paths effectively act as an ‘acoustic black hole’, absorbing 99 per cent of the unwanted sound.
This absorption technique has been used in other fields before, but this joint initiative with smart materials and acoustics company Acoustic Metamaterials Group marks its first application in a loudspeaker. It has also been implemented in the new KEF LS50 Meta passive speakers.
- KEF LS50 Wireless 2 (White) at Amazon for £2,479
(Image credit: KEF)
The 12th generation of KEF’s patented Uni-Q is not only defined by MAT but also a reworked motor system, for which KEF has optimised its bespoke digital signal processing algorithm system. Mirroring the LS50 Wirelesses’ configuration, a new 100W class A/B amplifier powers the tweeter, while 280W of power is available to the mid/bass driver.
In 2018, when KEF introduced its LSX speaker system – essentially a miniature version of the LS50 Wireless – it replaced the physical inter-speaker cable with a wireless connection that could play files (up to 24-bit/192kHz) across a maximum 24-bit/48kHz resolution.
KEF LS50 Wireless II tech specs
(Image credit: KEF)
AirPlay 2 Yes
Google Chromecast Yes
Roon Ready Yes
Max power 380W per channel
Dimensions (hwd) 30.5 x 20 x 31.1cm
It’s no surprise to see this more convenient method used in the LS50 Wireless II, although the wireless limit has been upped to 24-bit/96kHz, meaning they only need to downsample files above that resolution – peak file support is 24-bit/384kHz. Physically connecting the right (master) and left (slave) speakers via the included ethernet cable increases native playback to 24-bit/192kHz.
Support for DSD256 is also onboard this time, too, as is MQA decoding for the playback of compatible downloaded files and hi-res Tidal Masters.
Tidal is one of many streaming services directly accessible from the new KEF Connect app – you have Amazon Music, Qobuz, Deezer and Spotify, as well as internet radio and UPnP servers, at your fingertips too.
Our review sample only has access to an early version of the app, so some functionality – including music server discovery – isn’t available. However, first impressions suggest it’s a positive replacement for the often-glitchy Stream app on the LS50 Wireless. Loading dense service libraries, navigating its clean and logical interface and switching inputs proves a pleasant and reliable experience.
You could own these KEFs and have little need for the dedicated app, considering the LS50 Wireless II support AirPlay 2, Google Chromecast and Bluetooth, and are also Roon Ready.
Despite ditching the USB Type-B computer connection, KEF has hardly shortchanged future owners in terms of connectivity, replacing it with an HDMI eARC socket to make it more TV-friendly. Alongside it are coaxial (24-bit/192kHz), optical (24-bit/96kHz) and 3.5mm aux inputs and a subwoofer output – which round off the LS50 Wireless II’s comprehensive spec sheet.
(Image credit: KEF)
The considerable advancements KEF has made for this sequel are belied a little by the familiar aesthetic. In fact, you would perhaps need to look at the underside of the new LS50 to tell them apart from their predecessor. They have threaded inserts in each corner, allowing them to lock onto the top of the new KEF S2 Floor Stands (£400, $449, AU$800 per pair).
However, considering the design is based on the passive LS50, one of the most recognisable and striking loudspeakers around, that familiarity is no bad thing. Their Uni-Q driver array, beautiful Carbon Black, Titanium Grey, Mineral White and Crimson Red Special Edition finishes, and curved front panel all combine to create a thorough head turner.
While conceptually similar stereo speaker systems have come into the market since the LS50 Wireless’s arrival, none we’ve seen are neater than this next-generation version.
(Image credit: KEF)
In our review of the original LS50 Wireless, we noted their “clean and precise” manner and “neatly layered and nicely defined” soundstage. KEF has taken these attributes to another level here.
The effect of MAT is clearly heard in the cleanliness of the treble, although the difference in purity can be heard across the frequency range. Mids are cleaner-cut and bass more defined, their extra refinement making the originals sound a touch crude. The whole presentation has been opened out, that extra room not only filled with subtler, more precise detail, but also allowing for greater instrument separation that makes its delivery sound much less congested in comparison.
We listen to Adrienne Lenker’s Symbol and it is a more captivating affair through the Wireless IIs. The extra space between her vocal and the strings is in relative contrast to the originals, where it sounds as though they’re fighting against one another for attention. That extra spaciousness isn’t at the expense of cohesiveness either – a hallmark quality of the Uni-Q driver’s tweeter-inside-the-mid/bass-cone design.
The new KEFs lay bare more intricacies in the guitar work, while disclosing the distinctive fragilities in her vocal. Similar sharpness and attention to detail is evident as we switch to Peter Broderick’s Moment, the piano sequence aching with meticulously written melody as the LS50 Wireless II more deftly define the start and finish of notes.
We play Mac Miller’s What’s The Use? and the Wireless II are keen to show off their improved punch and agility as well as their enhanced subtlety. Their clarity and cleanliness enlivens the tuneful baseline and unequivocally cutting rap, complementing the track’s clinical production.
These sonic advancements are not only a credit to KEF’s engineering but also representative of how far such speaker system concepts have come in recent years. Needless to say, we look forward to hearing more products using MAT technology in the future.
Upon their launch in 2016, KEF’s LS50 Wireless highlighted the appeal of an all-in-one stereo system over a system of separates at the modest end of the market, and the LS50 Wireless II simply improve on that concept.
As a product following in the footsteps of such a huge success, the KEF LS50 Wireless II arrive with a world of expectation on their shoulders – but they well and truly meet those expectations. Make no mistake, this is a sequel of rare quality.
- Sound 5
- Features 5
- Build 5
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KEF LS50 Wireless II (Carbon Black) Powered stereo speakers with Wi-Fi®, Bluetooth®, and Apple AirPlay® 2 at Crutchfield
Network & Internet Integration
Bluetooth, Analog & Digital Inputs
24-Bit/384kHz DAC: The KEF LS50 Wireless II utilizes a 24-bit/384kHz DAC (digita-to-analog converter) for audiophile quality playback. The LS50 Wireless II supports digital music files up to 24-bit/384kHz, as well as MQA Decoding and DSD256. All sources are resampled to either 24-bit/96kHz PCM or 24-bit/192kHz PCM; depending on a wired or wireless connection between the LS50 Wireless II’s two powered speaker.
- MQA (Master Quality Authenticated): MQA is a revolutionary end-to-end technology that captures and delivers master quality audio in a file that’s small enough to stream or download. MQA lets you hear your streamed digital music files exactly like the way the artist intended you to hear it when it was approved in the studio.
- DSD (Direct Stream Digital): DSD is high-resolution digital audio format that uses a single bit to deliver a high resolution signal. Instead of sampling the information several thousand times a second, this single bit samples 2.8 million times a second to generate the audio signal. The result is still a Hi-Res audio signal that clean and pure.
Bi-Amplifier Configuration: The built-in amplifiers have been developed in-house by KEF. Each tweeter is driven by a 100W class A/B amplifier that delivers a smooth, incredibly detailed treble performance. Dedicated 280W class D amplifiers power the midbass drivers, for room-filling (up to 328 sq/ft), controlled sound up to 108db. The two powered speakers may be connected together either wirelessly or hard-wired.
- Wireless Mode: LS50 Wireless II is pre-paired at the factory for easy setup in wireless mode. The wireless transmission is totally independent of the local WiFi signal. The minuscule delay (2.9ms) between the primary and secondary speakers in this mode is automatically accounted for, through an equal delay applied to the primary speaker. The wireless connection re-samples all audio to 24-bit/96kHz. Wireless Mode has a range of 26′.
- Wired Mode: The wired interspeaker connection uses CAT-6 cable, plugged into the RJ45 sockets on the rear of the speakers. Cable mode must be enabled in the KEF Connect app settings menu. In this mode, all audio signals are resampled to 24-bit/192kHz. The included CAT-6 cable is 10′ in length.
Note: Because the LS50 Wireless II is self-powered, each speaker will need to be plugged into an AC wall outlet. Two 6.5′ detachable AC power cords are included.
Digital Signal Processing: All aspects of the LS50 Wireless II’s performance is aided by KEF’s proprietary Music Integrity Engine. This collection of unique Digital Signal Processing algorithms is optimized for the Uni-Q driver configuration, enabling it to deliver a perfectly timed performance, for better imaging and a tighter sound.
Metamaterial Absorption Technology (MAT): KEF teamed up with the Acoustic Metamaterials Group (AMG) to use Metamaterial Absorption Technology (MAT) in their LS50 Wireless II powered speaker. Metamaterials are specially developed structures that use existing materials in such a way that they exhibit new, desirable properties that are simply not found in naturally occurring substances. A truly revolutionary technology, MAT is a highly complex maze-like structure, where each of the intricate channels efficiently absorbs a specific frequency. When combined, the channels act as an acoustic black hole, absorbing 99% of the unwanted sound that comes from the rear of the tweeter, eliminating the resulting distortion and providing a purer, more natural acoustic performance.
12th Generation Uni-Q Driver Array: The LS50 Wireless II powered speaker utilizes KEF’s patented 12th Generation Uni-Q driver configuration, in which the tweeter is mounted at the acoustic center of the midrange cone. With both acting as a single point source, the sound is dispersed widely and evenly throughout the listening area allowing you to experience superbly defined and perfectly balanced stereo imagery with a wide “sweet spot”. Using simulation and analysis tools and decades of accumulated in-house knowledge, KEF engineers developed a 12th Generation Uni-Q driver array, with a new cone neck decoupler and motor system that is precisely shaped to reduce high-frequency distortion in the mid-frequency driver. The result is reduced coloration, less distortion and a sound that is more transparent and life-like than previously possible. The same can also be said of bass performance, where LS50 Wireless II exceeds the expectations of a modestly proportioned bookshelf and standmount speakers to deliver room-filling sound with deep, articulate bass.
- 1″ Aluminum Vented-Dome Tweeter: The geometry of the tweeter dome matches that of the midrange cone to avoid disrupting the waveform. By smoothening high frequency response, this helps to account for the detailed and strikingly natural-sounding treble. The 1″ aluminum vented-dome tweeter utilizes a Tangerine Waveguide to encourage the sound to radiate spherically for wider, more even dispersion so that everyone in the room enjoys the same superb sound quality. A large internal vent prevents potentially distorting high pressures from building up behind the dome in the critical vocal region, preserving all the nuance and fine detail of the original performance.
- 5.25″ Aluminum Cone Woofer: The 5.25″ woofer uses an Aluminum cone that is light, stiff, and smooth for natural midrange and midbass sound. As well as allowing the midrange cone its full extension, KEF’s ingenious Z-flex surround guides the sound from the tweeter across the surround without any disturbance or secondary radiation. Treble response is clearer and sweeter.
Advanced Cabinet Design: From the precision molded curved baffle to the solid, reinforced cabinet, every inch of LS50 Wireless II has been designed to perform. Every aspect of LS50 Wireless II has been considered for acoustic benefits and from a design perspective. The low-diffraction curved front baffle is subtly mirrored by the gently radiused rear panel, where both the port exit and the speaker’s inputs/outputs have been elegantly recessed and softened visually.
- Rigid Cabinet Bracing: The LS50 Wireless II’s extremely rigid cabinet is optimized for the best performance, with smooth curved surfaces that help radiate sound out across the baffle without any interference. Inside the cabinet, cross bracing and Constrained Layer Damping (CLD) combine to deaden internal vibrations. The result of such meticulous attention to detail is that LS50 Wireless II produces the lowest coloration of any speaker in its class.
- Robust Curved Baffle: LS50 Wireless II’s baffle is engineered from an injection-moulded Dough Moulding Compound (DMC), usually found in the automotive industry. The LS50 Wireless II’s low-diffraction, curved baffle is precision modelled around the Uni-Q driver array. It’s smooth curved surfaces help radiate sound out across the baffle without any interference from hard edges, which cause diffraction. The result is cleaner, more precise sound.
- Flexible Port Design: Using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD), the port flare and profile of LS50 Wireless II’s patented off-set port is calculated to delay the onset of turbulence, and the flexible port walls prevent resonances from coloring the midrange. This leads to improved clarity, with exceptional depth and detail. Two foam port plugs are included to seal the cabinet if the bass is too “boomy” because of speaker placement.
Note: No grilles are included with the KEF LS50 Wireless II.
Dual Subwoofer Outputs: For even more impact and bass extension, LS50 Wireless II features two mono-RCA subwoofer outputs, to connect a powered subwoofer (sold separately – see Accessories Tab). The KEF Connect App (for Apple iOS 14.0+ and Android OS 8.0+) on your compatible smartphone or tablet device allows you to set the subwoofer outputs’ Low Pass Frequency (50 to 120 Hz), Gain (-10 to 10 dB), and Polarity (On or Off). You can also set the speaker’s High Pass Frequency (50 to 120 Hz).
Mounting & Placement Options: The speakers should be placed on a flat and level surface that is free from vibration, such as the KEF S2 speaker stands (sold separately). The two speakers are distinguished between the Primary Speaker and the Secondary Speaker. By default, the Primary Speaker is the right channel and should be placed on your right hand side as you face the speakers, while the Secondary Speaker is the left channel and should be placed on your left hand side as you face the speakers.
- For the best stereo experience, soundstage and stable connection, place the speakers within 26′ apart from one another.
- The optimum distance between the speakers and the listener will depend on how far the Primary Speaker and the Secondary Speaker are separated.
- Try to keep the same distance of the speakers to the listener so it forms an equilateral triangle.
Network & Internet Integration
Wired or Wireless Network Connectivity: The KEF LS50 Wireless II can be connected to your home network via a wired (Ethernet) or wireless (WiFi) connection. There is a RJ-45 Ethernet port (10/100Mbps) on the back of the speaker which allows for a hardwired connection. Built-in 2.4/5GHz dual-band WiFi (802.11 a/b/g/n/ac) allows the LS50 Wireless II system to connect wirelessly to your home network. This network connection allows support for the KEF Connect App, Apple AirPlay 2, and Chromecast Built-In; plus Roon-Ready. You can select between 3 audio streaming settings based on your home network.
- Hi-Fi (Hi-Fi quality): Always select this setting for the best audio quality. The highest quality depends on the music streaming service and your subscription.
- High (CD Quality): Select this setting when the speakers are in a crowded network and experiencing quality drop-outs.
- Normal (MP3 Quality): Select this setting when the speakers are in a crowded network and experiencing audio drop-outs.
- For better streaming stability, especially on hi-resolution music files, a 5GHz WiFi network with a router transmission speed of at least 1300 Mbps is recommended.
- The KEF LS50 Wireless II must always be first connected to your local network before you are able to use any of the speaker’s wired or wireless source inputs.
Online Music Services & Internet Radio: The KEF LS50 Wireless II provides access to Amazon, Deezer, Qobuz, Spotify, Tidal, and vTuner through the KEF Connect App (for Apple iOS 14.0+ and Android OS 8.0+) on your compatible smartphone or tablet device.
- Amazon Music: Amazon Music has a growing selection of over 2 million songs is always ad-free and on-demand, with curated playlists, personalized stations and unlimited skips. Upgrade to Prime Music Unlimited, and enjoy 10 million songs, weekly new releases, and more.
- Deezer: With 43 million tracks, 100 million playlists, and a presence in 182 countries, Deezer literally covers the globe for its subscribers. Subscriptions start at $9.99/month, and include ad-free playback, premium audio quality, and more.
- Spotify Connect: The KEF LS50 Wireless II offers Spotify Connect support, so you can stream millions of songs from your portable device with ease. You will need to subscribe to Spotify Premium and have the Spotify App on your Apple iOS or Android smartphone, so you can stream Spotify to the LS50 Wireless II system. Spotify is a digital music service that gives you on-demand access to one of the largest music libraries in the world (over 15 million tracks and counting). Spotify makes it easier than ever to discover, manage, and share music with your friends. You can browse music by artist, album, track, or most popular; and create your own music library with customized playlists.
- TIDAL Connect: The integration of Tidal Connect will enable Tidal users to instantly select and wirelessly stream music to the LS50 Wireless II from within the Tidal app (for Apple iOS and Android OS). TIDAL is a global streaming service that offers over 30 million songs in high-fidelity CD sound quality. TIDAL has two pricing tiers; either $9.99 or $19.99 a month. Both pricing levels allow you to access TIDAL’s entire music library. The $19.99 tier has the added benefit of high-fidelity sound at CD-level quality.
- Qobuz: Qobuz offers the biggest catalog of Hi-Fi and Hi-Res albums in the world, both for new releases and specialized genres. For hundreds of thousands of albums, Qobuz includes all the information you need to recreate the appeal of a real CD – the names of musicians, producers, lyrics (everything you need to know to appreciate your favorite albums). Qobuz offers MP3, CD, and Hi-Res quality subscriptions.
- Internet Radio (vTuner): You have the ability to access thousands of internet radio stations through vTuner and save your favorite presets for easy access. Supported Internet Radio formatted content includes MP3, AAC, Ogg Vorbis and MMS.
Chromecast built-in: Use the Google Home App (for Apple iOS 12. 0+ and Android OS 6.0+) to enable Chromecast built-in. Chromecast built-in gives you access to hundreds of online music streaming services, internet radio, and podcasts. Chromecast built-in streams audio directly from the cloud, so you get the 24-bit/96kHz sound quality and the ability to enjoy crystal clear sound exactly the way the artist intended. Simply tap the Cast button from a Chromecast built-in compatible music app on your Apple iOS or Android OS device to start streaming to the KEF LS50 Wireless II speaker system. You can search, browse, play, skip, and turn up the volume directly from the music apps you know and love on your compatible smartphone or tablet. Chromecast built-in supports FLAC, WAV, AAC, and MP3 music files. While you cast your music, you can still use your smartphone to answer a call, play a game, send a text, and even leave the room – all without interrupting what’s playing on the KEF speaker system.
- Music, Radio, & Podcasts: Chromecast built-in lets you play music from popular music services and search by artist, song, genre, album playlist, mood, or activity. You can also listen to your favorite internet radio stations and podcasts. Compatible music and internet radio apps include Tidal, Spotify, Pandora, TuneIn, iHeart Radio, YouTube Music, and more (subscriptions and fees will apply). You’ll also be able to stream your favorite music, playlists, podcasts, and more that are stored on your Android (OS 4.4.2+) device to the LS50 Wireless II speaker. You cannot stream stored content on an Apple iOS device using Chromecast built-in. If you’re on your laptop or computer, you can also cast any music streaming website through the Chrome web browser to the speaker.
- Multiroom Audio: Add more Chromecast built-in speakers throughout your home (sold separately – see Accessories Tab) to create a whole house audio experience. You can play the same Chromecast built-in compatible music app (like Tidal, Spotify, or Pandora) on all speakers or groups of speakers in different rooms of your home. You’ll be able control the multiroom audio system from the Google Home app on your Apple iOS or Android device, or using the Google Assistant and your voice on a compatible Google Home device.
- Voice Control (Optional): Purchase a Google Home wireless speaker (sold separately – see Accessories Tab) and gain voice control of compatible Chromecast Built-in music apps. You’ll be able to access a specific music app and then select a specific station or song using only your voice. You’ll also have voice control over Play, Pause, Skip, & Volume. The LS50 Wireless II and your Google Home speaker must be connected to the same wireless (WiFi) network.
Note: Chromecast built-in currently supports a single account per user (up to 6) and streaming service. Click here for a complete list of Chromecast built-in compatible apps.
AirPlay 2: AirPlay 2 is an advanced and easy-to-use wireless multiroom audio platform for iTunes, Apple Music, and other compatible Apple iOS apps. With AirPlay 2 you can play any sound from your Apple iOS device (running iOS 11. 4 or later) or Mac computer (running OS X 10.13.2) through the KEF LS50 Wireless II speaker system and other compatible AirPlay 2 speakers throughout your home. You can choose to play audio in one room, play the same audio in grouped rooms, or play the same audio in every room. If you are an Apple Music subscriber, you can even play different music in different rooms (you can control and group directly from Apple’s Music App and Home app on your Apple iOS device). You can even ask Siri-enabled devices (like your Apple iPhone, iPad, or Watch) to control playback of your Apple Music on the KEF LS50 Wireless II. In addition, you can watch videos and movies from YouTube and Netflix on your compatible Apple iOS device or Mac computer with perfectly synced audio on the LS50 Wireless II speaker system.
UPnP (Universal Plug-n-Play): The KEF LS50 Wireless II is UPnP compatible, which enables you to play your digital music library stored on UPnP servers (such as a network server with integrated UPnP software,Windows PC, or Mac OS X computer) through the LS50 Wireless II speaker system. You can stream a variety of compressed, lossless, and high-res music files. UPnP file browsing can be carried out using the KEF Connect App (for Apple iOS and Android). The LS50 Wireless II supports streaming digital music files up to 24-bit/384kHz, as well as MQA Decoding and DSD256. Supported music file formats include – MP3, AAC, FLAC, WAV, AIFF, ALAC, WMA, DSD, MQA, LPCM and Ogg Vorbis.
Note: Windows Media Player version 11 or above incorporates built in UPnP support. A variety of third party UPnP applications are available that are compatible with both Windows and OS X operating systems.
Roon Ready: Roon is a feature rich music library and playback application that compiles all the music files available to your network and makes them easily available to play across the KEF LS50 Wireless II speaker system and other Roon enabled audio devices. Roon manages digital music files (including FLAC, WAV, AIFF, ALAC, and DSD) collected on hard drives and networked storage. It can also access your iTunes library, and optionally integrate with the Tidal music streaming service. Roon is available for mobile, laptop or desktop devices. When you open the Roon app, it will display your complete audio library together with its metadata and artwork along with the KEF LS50 Wireless II and all other Roon enabled devices. Simply select the music you wish to play and the LS50 Wireless II or Roon device in which you want to hear it on.
Note: To use Roon you will need a Roon Core running on the same network as the KEF LS50 Wireless II speaker system. The Core is media server software that runs on your computer, NAS, or player (sold separately) located on the network within your home.
Bluetooth 4.2: With built-in Bluetooth 4.2 and support for wireless audio streaming (A2DP), you are able to wirelessly stream stored music, music apps, and other audio content from your Bluetooth enabled smartphone, tablet, laptop, or computer to the KEF LS50 Wireless II speaker system. With SSP (Simple Secure Pairing), Bluetooth source devices can be paired with a single press of a button and without entering a PIN code. Multiple devices can be paired with the LS50 Wireless II speaker system, but only one device can be connected and playing at a time. You’ll still need to control music playback and view song/artist/album info from your Bluetooth source device.
- The KEF LS50 Wireless II does not support wireless Bluetooth audio transmission to a set of Bluetooth headphones.
- The KEF LS50 Wireless II speaker system does not support Bluetooth hands-free communication for making and answering phone calls.
- The LS50 Wireless II must be first connected to your local network before it can be used as a Bluetooth speaker.
Bluetooth, Analog & Digital Inputs
HDMI eARC: The KEF LS50 Wireless II is outfitted with a HDMI eARC jack for connection to your TV’s HDMI eARC or ARC input, so you can playback your TV’s audio signal through the LS50 Wireless II speaker system. The HDMI eARC jack supports 2ch PCM audio up to 24-bit/192kHz.
- The LS50 Wireless II’s HDMI eARC jack must be connected to a TV’s HDMI ARC or eARC input; it will not work with a standard HDMI input.
- The HDMI eARC jack does not support Dolby Digital, DTS, or other multi-channel formats.
- The HDMI input does not support video.
- The LS50 Wireless II must always be first connected to your local network before using the HDMI connection.
Optical & Coaxial Digital Inputs: The KEF LS50 Wireless II is equipped with two digital audio inputs. There is one optical (toslink) digital input and one coaxial (RCA) digital input. The optical digital input supports 2ch PCM audio up to 24-bit/96kHz, while the coaxial digital input supports 2ch PCM audio up to 24-bit/192kHz.
- The optical and coaxial digital inputs do not support Dolby Digital, DTS, or other multi-channel formats.
- The LS50 Wireless II must always be first connected to your local network before using the optical or coaxial digital inputs.
Analog Input: The LS50 Wireless II also features an analog stereo minijack (3.5mm) audio input. This is a line-level input (not a Phono input). If you want to connect a turntable, you’ll need an external phono preamplifier (sold separately) or a turntable with a built-in phono preamp.
Note: The LS50 Wireless II must always be first connected to your local network before using the analog Aux input.
USB-A Input: There is a USB (Type-A) input that is used only for service purposes only. It does not offer media playback or charging.
KEF Connect App: The KEF Connect app (for Apple iOS 14.0+ and Android OS 8.0+) provides setup and control of the LS50 Wireless II system from your compatible smartphone or tablet device. The KEF Connect app also gives you access to a variety of online music service and internet radio stations.
- Wireless Setup: The KEF Connect app allows simple and quick connection of the LS50 Wireless II to your home’s wireless network router.
- Online Music Services: The KEF Connect app provides access to Amazon HD, Deezer, Qobuz, Spotify, Tidal, and vTuner.
- Playback Control: From the app, you can control playback volume, and input source selection.
- Audio Optimization: The app lets you optimize your listening experience through its EQ settings; allowing you to adjust the output of the speaker to better suit the room and your personal taste.
- Timers & Alarms: The app also lets you customize settings such as sleep timer, auto-wake up source, and child lock
Note: The KEF LS50 Wireless II does not work with older KEF apps – such as the KEF Control and KEF Stream apps.
IR Remote: The included IR remote provides basic wireless operation of the KEF LS 50 Wireless II speaker system. The IR remote provides the following control functions – Power On/Off, Source Selection, Volume Up/Down, Mute, Play/Pause, and Previous/Next Track.
Top-Panel Controls: Top-panel capacitive touch controls on the Primary Speaker (Right) include Power On/Off, Source Selection, Volume Up/Down, and Mute.
EQ Settings: For the best audio performance, apply sound settings from the KEF Connect app according to your listening area. EQ settings include – Desk Mode (-10 to 0 dB), Wall Mode (-10 to 0 dB), Treble Trim (-4 to 4 dB), Phase Correction (On or Off), Bass Extension (L/M/H), High Pass Frequency(50 to 120Hz), Sub Out Low Pass Frequency (40 to 240Hz), Sub Gain (-10 to 10 dB), and Sub Polarity (On or Off)
Auto Firmware Updates: Automatic firmware updates are done over your home’s local network using the KEF Connect app (for Apple iOS 14.0+ and Android OS 8.0+).
KEF LS50 Wireless II – in SoundProLab
KEF LS50 Wireless II – active wireless speakers, the second generation of active LS50 Wireless monitors. The speakers have become more powerful, streaming capabilities have been significantly expanded, in particular, support for AirPlay 2 and Chromecast has been added, the speakers have received a wireless connection between themselves, as was previously available in KEF LSX. The model provides improved sound quality, exceptionally high connection reliability, advanced control options, as well as the widest range of audio settings.
The most accurate, immersive sound – anywhere in the room
With the KEF LS50 Wireless II, you’ll enjoy music. Revolutionary Absorbent Metamaterial (MAT) Technology eliminates distortion for a cleaner, more natural sound, while the 12th Gen Uni-Q with MAT Driver Array delivers less coloration, less distortion, and a more transparent and natural sound than previously possible, while all sound is evenly distributed throughout the room.
12th Gen Uni-Q Driver with MAT Technology
Like the passive KEF LS50 Meta, the LS50 Wireless II uses an updated 12th Gen Uni-Q Driver with Metamaterial Absorption Technology (MAT) . The Uni-Q driver for has been developed from the Uni-Q used in KEF’s R Series loudspeakers, with modifications to suit system design.
KEF’s MAT technology uses a special labyrinth structure, each segment of which absorbs sound in a certain frequency band and behaves like an “acoustic black hole”, absorbing a total of 99% of unwanted sound energy, while traditional absorbers, such as padding polyester, provide only 60% absorption.
Fully wireless or wired speaker connection
Two speakers can be connected wirelessly or with a cable.
Both LS50 Wireless IIs are pre-paired at the factory for easy wireless setup. Wireless transmission is completely independent of your Wi-Fi signal. When connected wirelessly, the sound will be converted to 96 kHz / 24 bit.
Speakers can be wired using a CAT-6 cable connected to the appropriate connectors on the rear panel. In this case, the wired mode must be enabled in the settings menu of the KEF Connect application in the settings menu of the KEF Connect application. In this mode, all audio signals are resampled up to 192kHz/24bit.
AirPlay 2, Google Chromecast, MQA, ROON
KEF LS50 Wireless II support AirPlay 2, Google Chromecast, ROON (requires firmware upgrade), UPnP, Bluetooth 4.2.
Support for digital formats in the streaming scenario includes PCM 24/384 and DSD256, plus MQA decoding.
Speakers are Roon Ready certified and can be controlled using the proprietary KEF Connect app, which integrates all major music streaming services – Tidal, Amazon Music, Qobuz, Deezer, Internet radio, Spotify Connect, MQA and Roon are also supported.
Your LS50 Wireless II not only allows you to connect wireless audio sources, but also connects almost any source via a wired connection, whether it’s a CD player, turntable, your laptop or TV.
All inputs located on main speaker:
- eARC PCM up to 192 kHz / 24 bit – HDMI (TV) connector
- S/PDIF up to 96 kHz / 24 bit – TOSLINK optical connector
- S/PDIF up to 192 kHz / 24 bit – RCA Phono (coaxial) jack
- 3.5 mm analog stereo Aux jack.
- Network wireless (2.4 or 5 GHz) and via cable (RJ-45 connector and CAT 6 cable) supporting up to 384 kHz / 24 bit, DSD256, MQA.
- Bluetooth 4.2
Source selection via smartphone app, controls on top of main speaker, or supplied remote control.
Connect up to 2 subwoofers
If you lack bass, you can connect one or two subwoofers to your speakers.
Each speaker (main or sub) has a subwoofer output (RCA Phono).
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KEF LS50 Wireless II (Titanium Grey) The
KEF LS50 Wireless II is more than just a high performance loudspeaker; it’s the ultimate all-in-one speaker that streams from any source with wireless compatibility with AirPlay 2, Chromecast and more, and wired connection to your TV, game console and player. Great sound, no strings attached.
All music, all the time
No matter how you stream your music, the KEF LS50 Wireless II has you covered. You can stream directly from your own Spotify app using Spotify Connect. With the KEF Connect app, you can also stream Tidal, Amazon Music, Qobuz and Deezer, or tune in to internet radio and podcasts.
All your devices
Built-in wireless compatibility with AirPlay 2, Google Chromecast and more, plus wired connections such as HDMI for your TV, turntable, CD player and game console. Whatever source you have, KEF LS50 Wireless II is ready for it.
The KEF LS50 Wireless II offers audiophiles support for music streaming up to 24bit/384kHz, as well as MQA, DSD and Roon Ready. These features mean that even the seasoned Hi-Fi enthusiast will be amazed by the capabilities of this exceptional speaker system.
Let yourself be alone
Even apart from its flawless musical performance, the KEF LS50 Wireless II is very easy to set up thanks to the KEF Connect app. It is intuitive to use with any source in your home and allows for easy wireless firmware updates, giving you new and improved features with a minimum of fuss.
Wired or wireless
You can choose to operate the KEF LS50 Wireless II fully wireless at 24bit/96kHz for a completely silent setup, or connect two speakers with the included cable for 24bit/192kHz audio.
Personalized listening experience
The all-new dedicated KEF Connect app controls the KEF LS50 Wireless II daily, including intuitive audio settings so you can customize the sound to your liking. You can even select your favorite source to wake up the LS50 Wireless II whenever it turns on, giving you immediate access to the best sound.
Simple multi-room system
Using the KEF LS50 Wireless II with AirPlay 2, Chromecast or Roon, you can simultaneously stream to multiple speakers throughout your home. With multiple LS50 Wireless II speakers, you can create a simple yet powerful multi-room system.
Metamaterial Absorption Technology (MAT)
A truly revolutionary tool in the KEF acoustic arsenal, Metamaterial Absorption Technology (MAT™) is a highly complex labyrinthine structure that absorbs 99% of unwanted sound from the rear of the driver, eliminating resulting distortion and delivering a cleaner, more natural sound. sound.
Every seat is a sweet spot 12th Gen Uni-Q with MAT™
Even beyond its flawless musical performance, the KEF LS50 Wireless II is super easy to set up thanks to the KEF Connect app. It is intuitive to use with any source in your home and allows for easy wireless firmware updates, giving you new and improved features with a minimum of fuss.
Music Integrity Engine
All aspects of the performance of the KEF LS50 Wireless II are supported by the specially developed KEF Music Integrity Engine. This collection of special DSP algorithms is optimized for the Uni-Q driver, allowing it to deliver perfectly synchronized performance for better picture and tighter sound.
Built-in amplifiers designed by KEF. Each HF cone is powered by a 100W Class A/B amplifier that delivers smooth high frequencies with incredible detail. Dedicated 280W Class D amplifiers power the mid/bass drivers, filling the room with controlled sound up to 108dB.
Attention to every detail
Every aspect of the KEF LS50 Wireless II has been considered in terms of acoustic benefits and design. A curved, low-diffraction baffle is accurately modeled around the Uni-Q driver, while attractive heatsinks and color-coded ports sit on a well-appointed rear panel. The top control panel is designed to be stylish and functional.
The perfect color for you
The KEF LS50 Wireless II is available in three matte colors: Carbon Black, Titanium Gray and Mineral White, as well as a special edition of Crimson Red. All color options are mirrored on both the drive units and the rear port. The top control panel is designed to be stylish and functional.
Designed by Simon Davis and the KEF Industrial Design Team
Simon Davis led the KEF Industrial Design Team from 2000 to 2018. He has been responsible for the design of key products including the LS50 and LS50 Wireless, the Reference and the R series. Since 2018, Simon has served as a Design Consultant for KEF and continues to work very closely with the KEF Industrial Design team.
Owners of the KEF LS50 Wireless might be wondering what’s new? Answer: almost everything. The original was fantastic, but the LS50 Wireless II is better in every way, with improved sound, better connectivity and usability thanks to the all-new W2 wireless platform.
|Specification: KEF LS50 Wireless II (Titanium Grey)|
|Frequency response (+/- 3 dB) 85 dB / 1 m||
45 Hz – 28 kHz (+/- 3 dB)
40 Hz – 47 kHz (-6 dB)
2 x 100 W (HF)
2 x 280 W (LF)
|Speakers (Uni-Q module)||
HF: 1 x 25 mm, aluminum cone
Bass/Mid: 1 x 130mm, Uni-Q (12 Gen) Aluminium-Magnesium cone using MAT