Kef LS 50 Wireless

erniejadeerniejade Posts: 3,631
I have a set of the LS 50 wireless on loan / demo from my favorite local audio shop Holm Audio. I am going to break this down into a a couple of categories. 1. Wants 2. App rating, 3 sound quality.

1. To have this as some type of all in one solution for home audio, it needs to have a couple more things. 1 another set of rca jacks. Let's say an average audiophile would have a CD player, maybe a streamer, maybe a turntable, well you only have one set of rca's so you would need to choose. 2, coax input. 3 wifi to be able to do more then 96k. 4 dsd via USB and the USB not be capped out at 196.

2. The app has a good concept but it's not ready for prime time in my opinion. Actually I am surprised it was released. Huge issue 1 that would completely stop me from picking a set of them up, if you change the input from the wireless feed, it completely drops connection to the app! Unless I am doing something wrong, I was shocked it would completely drop going from the wireless feed to using the rca's. not only can you not turn the volume up and down once it disconnects, it seems to not use the dsp settings until you go back to the wireless! I did not try it with USB or the toslink only with the rca. This would be my number one turn off and would prevent me from buying them. If it's a setting somewhere, I could not find it and since it's Sunday, no phone support.
Within the app, it has a nice dsp setting where you can adjust how close to wall however, it's a line that has the min/max distance but not actuall numbers where you are. You have to guess. It has an electric crossover that a nice sectable range ( not just 60-80 hz).
It picked up my western digital nas without any issues however, my nas uses twonky and this app did not want to read the files too well. On the same nas I have minimserver running on a desktop pointing to the nas. This reads perfectly within the app.
I could not get my iPad. I kept getting an error that would not let it connect to an unsecured device. I gave up after 20 min and tried my Droid cell. My cell is a galaxy 3 ( old) and it connected without issues.
Playing music, it seemed to keep getting stuck or glitch between songs. Sometimes it could not advance. There is a few more things that seemed buggy to me but I won't go into them. I think I have slammed the app enough.

3. Since I could not use my lumin due to the disconnect of the wireless, I did all testing via its wireless using uncompressed wav rips. After I got the dsp and subwoofer setting where I liked them, the speakers basically took everything I threw at them and came out with flying colors. They sound darn good! The soundstage is wide and extends beyond the physical location of the speakers. Lots of texture as well as dept to the speaker. The sweet spot is much wider then my psb, legacys, mythos sts, bryston mini T, or just about every other speaker I have had in this room. I don't have real stands right now and they are sitting on stools. Not even the right height or anything but they still sound fantastic. They aren't a one trick poly either. They did good on Sabbath on down to Miles Davis. Piano is spooky good. No matter what volume I gave them, they kept their composure. The midrange and highs are smooth and detailed. I like bass so tried the settings 40,50,60,(you get the picture) and for my room, 75 was the magic number.

Hopefully they will get the app issues figured out quick. The app issues would keep me from purchasing a set even for a second system.
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Comments

  • DSkipDSkip Posts: 12,902
    I think you highlighted exactly why these products success with high end will likely never happen. The fact that they sound good is promising, but it sounds like the implementation is far from ideal. Thanks for sharing.
  • erniejadeerniejade Posts: 3,631
    It's no problem skip. I had to hear for myself if they would sound as good as they did in the store in my horrible room and with the dsp, they did but that app is horrible.

    I wish I had a dynaudio dealer close by to see and hear their version.
  • TForanTForan Posts: 302
    edited February 19
    They have an update for the app. I'm not sure if it's completely solved the problems.

    WHAT'S NEW

    - Minor bug fixes
    - Fixed compatibility with VoLTE and tethering
    - Added notification when Location service is switched off
    - Fixed issue that prevented to retrieve list of networks during speaker setup with some LG and Samsung models
    - Fixed crash during speaker setup for Samsung models running Android 5.0
  • erniejadeerniejade Posts: 3,631
    Thanks for the update on that.still doesn't address when I changed to rca, you loose the "remote" app so no volume or dsp runs.
  • DSkipDSkip Posts: 12,902
    edited February 19
    I haven't dug into these but I suspect the analog is intended to be used with an analog preamp. I assume the volume control is digital and hey might have tried their best to avoid an AD/DA conversion for those who might want to use external digital pieces. That would also explain why the DSP is negated.
  • erniejadeerniejade Posts: 3,631
    That could be skip. Without the dsp they are ok still but the do loose a little bit of magic. Since they don't have Tidal built into the app, I till need my lumin to use Tidal through it or I would need to on the laptop and put it USB to the kef but, then I cannot remote control what's playing on tidal since it's not built into jriver app. Yep I want it all. Lol.
  • erniejadeerniejade Posts: 3,631
    I talked to some people on a different forum. I did not know they had a physical remote and I did not receive one while on loan. So the volume thing is not an issue.

    I still wish it had tidal built into the app as well as the app not be as buggy like not advancing songs or freezing up. @TForan when did they release the update? I loaded it Saturday.
  • TForanTForan Posts: 302
    Late December ?
  • erniejadeerniejade Posts: 3,631
    Got ya. I think the app will be a work in progress. I wonder how a Microrendu running into the usb at 192 would sound.....
  • tonybtonyb Posts: 27,204
    erniejade wrote: »
    Got ya. I think the app will be a work in progress. I wonder how a Microrendu running into the usb at 192 would sound.....

    You sure wonder a lot Brian. lol

    Trying to get digital right can be a trying task, least up to audiophile quality anyway. Buy the best, buy used or demo, and relax until you can move out of that closet your in for audio.
  • TForanTForan Posts: 302
    tonyb wrote: »
    erniejade wrote: »
    Got ya. I think the app will be a work in progress. I wonder how a Microrendu running into the usb at 192 would sound.....

    You sure wonder a lot Brian. lol

    Trying to get digital right can be a trying task, least up to audiophile quality anyway. Buy the best, buy used or demo, and relax until you can move out of that closet your in for audio.

    Give them a listen with an open mind. I was quite impressed !
  • erniejadeerniejade Posts: 3,631
    edited February 21
    I am thinking the exact same thing Tony. I have to return them today but, I listened to them on and off for about 14 hours Sunday while the pork shoulder was smoking ( a little over 16 hours but it was late and turned it off around 14 hrs LOL ) and again Monday night. Even using their not so hot app running on my cell and NAS sounded wonderful especially after I put the sub on with it and played around with the crossover settings. There was not a style of music they didn't like.

    I am not saying this is a killer end all for everyone, far from it but, if you have a difficult room and the room isn't too big, or even cramped for space, this is a great solution.

    Once they get their app up properly and integrate Tidal, I would see no need for another streamer via the usb unless you have a lot of dsd files. The built in dac sounded wonderful with my uncompressed wav and flac files. I could still hear the difference between wave and falc on this setup as well. I tried hooking up my Cd player to it via the rca and the wav files playing via the built in dac on the Kef sounded better.

  • TForanTForan Posts: 302
    My point was that for someone who has limited space and budget, they are hard to beat.
  • tonybtonyb Posts: 27,204
    Maybe that's your ticket then for that small room Brian. LS50'S and a digital setup and be done....for awhile anyway. Why do I seem to recall when these speakers first came out, you gave them a shot back then.....or maybe I'm thinking of someone else.
  • erniejadeerniejade Posts: 3,631
    I did give them a shot when they first came out. The unpowered LS50 I thought they sounded great in my room but, they got ringy when kicked up. The powered LS50 do not have that same issue. In my room they did not get ringy and stayed nice and even at even my loudest listening level. It could be the dsp at work?????

    I am considering it. I am going to see if they can cut me some kind of deal.
  • tonybtonyb Posts: 27,204
    Thanks Brian, you just reassured me my brain isn't shot just quite yet. lol
  • TForanTForan Posts: 302
  • erniejadeerniejade Posts: 3,631
    Another good review. Outside of the app itself, I haven't seen any bad reviews of it.
  • tonybtonyb Posts: 27,204
    Haven't seen a bad one either Brian. I did see Ecco audio is selling them for 2200, and saw stands for those on ebay for 70 bucks under HIFI audio site.
  • erniejadeerniejade Posts: 3,631
    The matching stands for 70? When they are available, I believe Kef is saying $400

    2199 (2k) seems to be the going price for a set. Im waiting for Holm to get more in
  • erniejadeerniejade Posts: 3,631
    Are you talking about Steel Speeker Stands by Vega A/V
  • TForanTForan Posts: 302
    The KEF stands are $400. There's a guy on Ebay who sells them for $1900 shipped.
  • erniejadeerniejade Posts: 3,631
    1900? An authorized dealer?
  • TForanTForan Posts: 302
    erniejade wrote: »
    1900? An authorized dealer?

    Probably not.
  • DSkipDSkip Posts: 12,902
    TForan wrote: »
    erniejade wrote: »
    1900? An authorized dealer?

    Probably not.

    Most certainly not.
  • tonybtonyb Posts: 27,204
    Yeah Brian, the steel stands by Vega.....not the Kef stands but still seem like they'd work on the cheap.
  • TForanTForan Posts: 302
    Here's another positive review. Also, they can be bought for $1800 according to couple of guys over at AK.

    http://www.6moons.com/audioreviews2/3x1_2/1.html
  • TForanTForan Posts: 302
    Brian, are you breaking-in the KEFs ? When you get chance, maybe share your thoughts.
  • tonybtonyb Posts: 27,204
    TForan wrote: »
    Brian, are you breaking-in the KEFs ? When you get chance, maybe share your thoughts.

    Brians been spanking the monkey to those things for awhile now, I can't even get together with the man. Not sure I want to shake his hand either next time we do. :)

  • erniejadeerniejade Posts: 3,631
    Lol I haven't had too much time on them. Right now im in Tallahassee. My daughter got married! 1 down, 2 to go!

    But so far, outside of the app quirks, they sound fantastic!
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