KEF LS50 Wireless II
KEF LS50 Wireless II
KEF LS50 Wireless II

KEF LS50 Wireless II: First-class wireless all-in-one audio system

The KEF LS50 Wireless II model is a first-class wireless self-contained all-in-one audio system with streaming function (24 bit / 384 kHz files, MQA, DSD256), support for AirPlay 2, Chromecast, etc. and the ability to connect to a wired TV, game console or vinyl player. The manufacturer promises improved sound quality, exceptionally high connection reliability and advanced control options. According to the manufacturer, the KEF LS50 Wireless II model is an “innovative revolution” compared to the original speakers – the company spent three years of careful research on their development. According to the description, the new product “raises the bar, offering previously unimaginable sound clarity along with intuitive controls.”

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The KEF LS50 Wireless II was the first KEF product to be created using metamaterial: 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” (this is exactly what is written in the official KEF press 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 housing.

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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%. The KEF LS50 Wireless II acoustics have become more powerful – now the mid/bass section accounts for 280 W of class D, and 100 W of class AB are allocated to the tweeters. The speakers can communicate with each other wirelessly – previously they had to be connected by cable. The model also received support for AirPlay 2 technology.

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KEF LS50 Wireless II is ready to process PCM signals up to 24 bit/384 kHz, DSD256 and even MQA. Using the KEF Connect application, the user can control the playback of tunes from streaming services and home network storage. There is also Roon Ready certification. KEF decided to replace the USB Type B connector with an HDMI ARC connector, arguing that the size of the LS50 Wireless II makes them more compatible from a design perspective with TVs than desktop computers.

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The cost of the KEF LS50 Wireless II can hardly be called low. Even if we take into account the excellent sound quality, it is psychologically difficult to pay this amount for a pair of bookshelf monitors. To understand the true value of this model, remember how much a High-End class AV receiver or network player and the corresponding amplifier can cost. Add to this the cost of  the KEF LS50 themselves , which in the passive version are also quite expensive. The total amount will be at least two to three times the price tag of the LS50 Wireless II. Thus, the KEF LS50 Wireless II is quite capable of replacing a modern high-end stereo system and can even be considered a profitable purchase.

Specifications KEF LS50 Wireless II

Number of bands: 2
HF driver: 25 mm aluminum dome
MF/LF driver: 130 mm aluminum-magnesium alloy ring cone
Frequency range: 45-28000 (+/- 3 dB) standard bass setting
Amplifier power: 280 W LF/MF (Class D) and 100 W HF (Class AB)
Maximum audio resolution: Network up to 384 kHz / 24 bit, Optical up to 96 kHz / 24 bit, Coaxial up to 192 kHz / 24 bit, HDMI up to 192 kHz / 24 bit
Wireless connections: Bluetooth 4.2 AptX, WiFi 2.4/5 GHz
Technologies: AirPlay 2, Google Chromecast, ROON support, UPnP compatible
Streaming services: Spotify via Spotify Connect, Tidal, Amazon Music, Qobuz, Deezer, QQ Music via QPlay , Internet Radio, Podcast
Supported formats (all inputs): MP3, M4A, AAC, FLAC, WAV, AIFF, ALAC, WMA, LPCM and Ogg Vorbis
Supported formats (network): MQA, DSF: DSD64, DSD128, DSD256, DFF: DSD64
Inputs: HDMI eARC, optical digital, coaxial, analog 3.5 mm, USB type A (service), RJ45 Ethernet (network), RJ45 Ethernet (between speakers)
Output: adjustable for subwoofer
Dimensions: 305x200x311 mm
Weight: 10/10 .2 kg (left/right)

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