Multi-room marvels Plug'n'play - KEF

Sennheiser's cutting-edge HD. 660 S advances legendary range. Next-gen cans. Dealer systems ... streaming with Spotify, Tidal et al does cut down the field somewhat. Considering the £2k asking price, the wealth of ... Wharfedale Diamond 11.1s (HFC. 429), the sonic stakes are pretty high. With its glossy white cabinet and.
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Going active

KEF’s LS50W speaker with built-in amps leads the way

Next-gen cans

Sennheiser’s cutting-edge HD 660 S advances legendary range

Stellar sounds

PASSION FOR SOUND

Issue No. 433

February 2018

Naim’s Uniti Star one-box wonder plays it all

26

Dealer systems

Three CDat setups th delight

PRODUCTS ON TEST:

Bowers & Wilkins, Denon, Pioneer, Raidho & Sonos

DESTINATION CALGARY

Canada’s best stores for record collectors

SCI-FI SOUNDTRACKS

Essential out of this world movie scores

FEBRUARY 2018

PRINTED IN THE UK

EXCLUSIVE

Plug’n’play £4.75

US$15.00

Pro-Ject’s complete vinyl starter package

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GROUP TEST

Multi-room marvels Six entry-level speakers for wireless music around the home

25/01/2018 16:07

REVIEWS KEF LS50 WIRELESS £2,000

KEF LS50 WIRELESS £2,000

that are hard to avoid with passive speakers, particularly when swapping between late-night listening and party levels. Add the Uni-Q driver’s reputation for delivering excellent off-axis dispersion along with a real sense of soundstage depth and pinpoint imaging, and you can’t blame KEF for claiming that the LS50 Wireless is a unique proposition. At first glance, it looks like the regular LS50, which is hardly surprising as the low-resonance FEA-designed cabinet, Uni-Q driver, constrained layer damping bracing, precision-engineered curved baffle

Fine clarity and focus, a spacious soundstage and unfettered musicality

Active duty David Vivian is deeply impressed by the stylish standard-setter’s transformation into a wireless active speaker system

S

ooner or later, thinking gets connected and everyone’s happy. KEF’s LS50 Wireless is a neat (and I do mean neat) example. Prior to its launch, there tended to be just two types of self-powered stereo speakers you could buy in the UK. One is the truly active type favoured by recording studios, with dedicated built-in power amplification for each driver that requires a couple of mains sockets and a link to an external preamp and source to work. Maybe not the ultimate clutter-buster and no digital processing, but what a sound. The other, hitching its colours to the nascent lifestyle trend, simply puts an integrated amp/DAC with Bluetooth REPRINTED FROM

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inside one of the enclosures, giving drive to its passive host speaker and, via a length of speaker cable, its equally conventional partner. This approach is undeniably convenient and, depending on the internal amp/ DAC combo, capable of respectable sonic results. But it’s not active in the truest, purest sense. One such speaker from HFC’s recent reviewing past that struck a likeable compromise is DALI’s Zensor 5 AX (HFC 410) while Acoustic Energy’s AE1 Active (HFC 421) is a fine representative for the frill-free, super-sonics active camp. KEF’s LS50 Wireless isn’t the first two-box package to seek a perfect marriage between true active design and wireless convenience, but being

and elliptical flexible rear-firing reflex port are just the same. Side on, it’s more obvious that the cabinets are a little deeper and heat-sinked to accommodate and dissipate the heat that’s generated by the on-board electronics. Substantially weightier, too. The right-hand ‘master’ speaker is the one with the controls and connections. A touch-sensitive strip for power-up/down, input selection and volume runs along the top surface, functions shared and

DETAILS PRODUCT KEF LS50 Wireless ORIGIN UK/China TYPE Active loudspeaker system with wireless streaming WEIGHT 10 (left) 10.2kg (right) DIMENSIONS (WxHxD) 200 x 300 x 308mm FEATURES l 25mm aluminium tweeter l 130