Audiophiles are a prickly bunch, specially when it arrives to wireless speakers. In purchase to preserve time, area, or funds, audio firms will typically consider the style of a greater, additional high-priced unit and dumb it down a little bit to make a products which is additional available, and most likely improved for most of us. Of training course, audio fanatics transform up their noses at these kinds of compromises.
Until finally I experimented with the KEF LS50 Wi-fi II, I tended to concur with them. Even at the substantial conclusion, wire-chopping speakers just in no way matched their cabled counterparts. But right after a month listening to these new KEFs perform every thing from Sheryl Crow to Stephen Colbert, I’ve listened to genuine evidence that amps and cables will finally go the way of the dodo. KEF’s wireless speakers are a just about ideal window into the future of substantial-fidelity audio.
Two to Tango
The British firm has been earning speakers given that the early sixties, but the wide the vast majority of audiophiles know KEF for its additional current styles. The company’s proprietary Uni-Q motorists, which mount the tweeters concentrically inside the midrange speaker, are its modern-day calling card. These flower-like motorists have propelled the unique LS50 model to in the vicinity of-legendary ranges of nerd attraction given that they launched in 2012 to rejoice KEF’s 50th anniversary.
Hardly ever concern, nerds: The new version of the LS50 appears to be like the similar as the aged just one. They’re rounded rectangles with a curved front that showcases the gorgeous motorists. You can get them in numerous hues, but my critique models came in a elegant matte black with copper accents.
Compared with the passive LS50 Meta speakers, which involve a stereo amp to offer the juice, the LS50 Wi-fi II speakers are self-powered. Plug them into the wall, and to every other, and there are no external amps required.
Even without the need of focused outboard components, the back of the correct speaker has a smorgasbord of inputs. You will locate an optical input, a coaxial cable jack, a three.5-mm mini-jack, and even an HDMI ARC port for TV—a scarce feature that helps make them superb for placement in a residing space on either aspect of a monitor. For fully wireless procedure, you can pair a Pc or mobile phone with them employing Bluetooth, or add them to your Wi-Fi community for AirPlay, Chromecast, Spotify Connect, or Roon streaming. Controls for all of the higher than can be modified with the provided tiny black distant, or by handling the backlit contact controls on the prime of the correct speaker.
New KEF Seem
Beneath the hood, the company’s engineers have expended a significant amount of time guaranteeing that the LS50 Wi-fi II heartily outperform the unique KEF wireless model that came out many several years back.
The new speakers feature what the firm phone calls Metamaterial Absorption Know-how, which according to KEF, will allow the speakers to absorb up to sixty percent of the distortion-resulting in electrical power which is ordinarily reflected back into the speaker cupboard. The maze-like buildings of this content within every speaker aren’t straightforward to style it took a two-year research job with a firm identified as Acoustic Metamaterials Group (AMG) for the firm to develop.
The results are significantly less complex to recognize than the engineering itself. Turn on the KEF LS50 Wi-fi II and you are greeted by the most immersive, distortion-free of charge sound you have most likely at any time listened to from speakers this sizing. They might glance the similar as their predecessors, but they absolutely sound improved.
The depth and width of the sound stage is substantially improved, many thanks to that lower distortion down lower. Just about every factor of the tunes you happen to be listening to occupies an practically three-dimensional position in the sound, making it possible for you do effortlessly dart target concerning them or to listen to additional clearly how they merge into the total.
I’ve become obsessed with Lucy Dacus’ new monitor “Hot & Large,” which builds from synthy pads to full-fledged dance rock around the first minute. On the KEFs, the slow addition of layers and instruments pulls me by means of the song, as although I am in a position to see every aspect of the tunes by means of a sharp, distinct lens. I can listen to specifically exactly where every of Dacus’ vocal harmonies is sitting down in the sound, the ideal edge the engineer acquired from the sign at any time so a little bit distorting when she sings her loudest.