The new KEF LS50 Meta speaker systems feature the traditional Uni-Q driver for KEF speaker systems (here it is already the 12th generation) complemented by the revolutionary MAT sound absorption technology. The Metamaterial Absorbent Technology (MAT), developed by KEF engineers in collaboration with the Hong Kong company Acoustic Metamaterials Group, as the name suggests, involves the use of an artificially created material (metamaterial) that behaves like an “acoustic black hole” (that’s what the official press release says). KEF release), absorbing almost all the sound energy from the back of the speaker, and at the same time occupying a minimum of space in the speaker system.
KEF’s MAT technology uses a special labyrinth-like structure, each segment of which absorbs sound in a specific frequency band. It is not for nothing that KEF says that this structure behaves like an “acoustic black hole”, since MAT can absorb 99% of unwanted sound energy, while traditional absorbers, such as padding polyester, provide absorption of only 60%. KEF LS50 Meta speakers are connected to the amplifier using two universal terminals. The crossover (with a crossover frequency of 2.1 kHz) consists of two boards (they are spaced apart closer to the side walls). All parts are integrated onto them using the hinged mounting method.
The KEF LS50 Meta monitors turned out to be surprisingly miniature – with a curved front panel of A4 sheet format and a depth of 30 cm. The heart of the KEF LS50 Meta is the Uni-Q coaxial driver (which is a ring-shaped 5.25″ low-frequency head in the center of which a 1″ dome tweeter is installed ) latest generation. Each monitor weighs more than 7 kg. This indicates a high quality factor of the housing and the use of large and heavy magnets in the emitters. A massive curved front panel, special metal pins (fastening the facade to the rear wall), special spacers connecting the top edge with the base and side walls, plus special damping materials – all this is designed to neutralize unnecessary internal sounds to achieve a relaxed and, at the same time, natural and accurate sound. A special role in the design of monitors is played by the bass reflex, the output port of which in this case was brought to the rear wall of the speaker system.
However, the stylish appearance and high-tech equipment intrigue the user to a much lesser extent than the sound. When the KEF LS50 Meta first sounded, it was hard to believe that such a large and rich sound was reproduced by such compact monitors, and not by large floor-standing speakers. While listening, I felt the urge to walk along the music stage (like at a concert) to look at the musicians from different angles. And, it is worth admitting that (in the case of good enough recordings) this was quite possible. The Uni-Q driver does provide a very realistic and spacious soundstage.
The timbral character of the sound really surprised me with monitor accuracy in almost the entire operating frequency range, which allows the KEF LS50 Meta to be used in a recording studio. Some coloration of the sound occurs only in the deep bass region (somewhere below 100 Hz) – after all, the woofer “ring” adds its own “zest” (compared to a woofer of a traditional cone design). When using the KEF LS50 Meta in a professional studio, this feature should be taken into account. But for home listening, such velvety “bassiness” will especially not hurt. Perhaps it makes sense for infrared lovers to think about an additional subwoofer.
However, for those who listen to “pure genres” (classical, jazz, authentic ethnic music), the bass will be more than enough. The sound will be very accurate and detailed anywhere in the room. The KEF LS50 Meta speaker systems are available in four finishes: Mineral White and Royal Blue Special Edition will be added to the already available Titanium Gray and Carbon Black. The speakers can be placed on any flat surface or on KEF’s S2 stands, which are the exact size and color of the speakers.
Characteristics of KEF LS50 Meta
Design: Two-way bass reflex HF speaker
: 25 mm (1-inch) vented with an aluminum dome cone Midrange
speaker: 130 mm (5.25-inch) with a magnesium-aluminum alloy cone
Frequency range (- 6 dB): 47 Hz – 45 kHz
Frequency response (±3 dB): 79 Hz – 28 kHz
Crossover frequency: 2.1 kHz
Required amplifier power: 40 – 100 W
Sensitivity (2.83 V / 1 m): 85 dB
Nominal impedance: 8 Ohms (minimum 3.2 Ohms)
Maximum sound pressure level: 106 dB
Dimensions: 302 x 200 x 278 mm
Weight: 7.8 kg.