KEF sold a lot of LS50s. KEF also sold a lot of LS50 wireless systems. Now the British brand is looking to jump even closer into mainstream sales figures with a smaller and significantly cheaper wireless system the clearly mimics the original inspiration of the clever coaxial-studio-montior-turned-hifi-beauty-queen.
Right off the batt its easy to tell that a unmistakable stroke of industrial design has been retrofitted to the overall look. The website touts a direct relationship is a product designer named Michael Young for credit on the color scheme accents and fabric wrapped changes from the previous 50s. Also worth mentioning is the price, down to a mere $1.1k for the US market. That’s a fairly sizable jump from the $2.2k LS50 wireless, but still likely something that just dips down to potential sound bar looky loos on the prowl.
One major difference that some may view as an upgrade to the pair is the improved freedom from the conjoining ethernet cable of the LS50 system. Now only tethered by a power cord to the wall, both speakers can be spaced as you please with nothing in between – one speaker still remains the master and holds all other inputs. There isn’t a usb input however, but rather a powered usb socket for charging a phone or perhaps powering a smaller streaming device like Google’s Chromecast.
The front end is a new version of Kef’s Uni-Q coaxial driver, this time with a 1″ aluminum tweeter surrounded by a 5.25″ woofer setup. Internal amplification is class D and inputs include 3.5mm analog, TOSLINK Optical and Ethernet connectivity. Control for setup is with the same app that helps along the LS50 wireless, which has demonstrated both helpfulness and versatility through real world options like distance from a wall or desk edge, taking some of the ultra hifi knowledge out of the equation for a friendlier interaction for beginners or people who just want to set it up once and move on.
Given the smaller overall size, the LSX makes an even more likely companion than the 50 for an Audioengine-like desktop companion, as well as a significant upgrade for standard issue TV sound, both big markets indeed.
Full press release with additional specs below:
“KEF introduces LSX – a fully stereo and fully wireless music system
Marlboro, NJ – November 1st, 2018 – KEF is proud to announce LSX, a compact two-speaker wireless music system with all the convenience and connectivity of the connected world, but with the emotion and detail of true high-resolution stereo. LSX is fully wireless both from source and between the speakers and will feature AirPlay 2 for multi-room streaming from Apple devices in January 2019.
LSX follows the award-winning LS50 Wireless, and shares much of the cutting-edge acoustic engineering that has made that product famous within the audio community. It features KEF’s Uni-Q driver array, a signature innovation that radically improves stereo imaging and does so across a much wider listening area.
This combines with KEF’s highly advanced Music Integrity Engine™, a cutting-edge collection of bespoke Digital Signal Processing algorithms that ensure accurate time alignment and phase coherence. The result is that while LSX is small enough to sit on shelves, desktops or flank a TV, it offers a massive and deep sound field which completely belies its size.
LSX’s gently curved cabinet was designed with extensive use of Finite Element Analysis and is extensively braced as well as featuring constrained layer damping as found in KEF’s high-end products. Continuing KEF’s long tradition of design collaboration, LSX was overseen by designer Michael Young who has created a masterpiece of understated elegance. LSX comes with in a choice of five colors – Black, Blue, Maroon and Olive – which are clad in a luxury fabric by Danish textile manufacturer Kvadrat – and a striking Gloss White finish.
LSX will integrate with key music services and can also access music stored on a networked hard drive or PC via DLNA®. It also features Bluetooth™ 4.2 connectivity. Its two-box form factor make LSX perfect for music and TV, for which it features both TOSLINK® optical and Auxiliary inputs.
LSX can be set-up in minutes using the KEF’s Control app which also manages feature updates via simple over-the-air downloads.
Compact, effortless to operate, and with connectivity options to satisfy both music streaming and TV needs, LSX is a major step forward in the quest to deliver true and proper sound quality for connected consumers.
LSX will retail for $1,100 /pair and will be available through Magnolia Design Center retailers, Amazon, KEF Direct and other participating KEF Authorized Dealers.
Available in: Maroon, Blue, Gloss White, Black and Olive
2 x 30W + 2 x 70W Class D amplifiers
Proprietary wireless inter-speaker connection supports 48kHz/24bit; optional wired connection supports 96kHz/24bit transmission
Acoustic design with 4″ Uni-Q driver; FEA designed cabinet with hidden heat-sink
Apple AirPlay 2
Tidal Music (via KEF Stream app)
Dedicated apps for iOS and Android
Bluetooth 4.2 with Qualcomm aptX codec
KEF’s dedicated time correcting Music Integrity Engine™
Adjustable EQ settings via KEF Control App
Supports source files up to 192kHz/24bit
2.4GHz/5GHz Dual-band Wi-Fi connectivity (DLNA/uPNP)
Optical input (TOSLINK)
Mounting insert for supporting wall-mount
Supports 3rd party programmable remote controls
Supports IP Control
On November 1st, 2018, KEF launched our newest member of the renowned LS family – LSX.
Designed for users who want the convenience of a Bluetooth/WiFi speaker but who also want a better musical experience than what they’ve been getting with the run-of-the-mill system-in-a-box packages available on the market, LSX allows you to rediscover stereo (or discover the magic of stereo for the first time) in a system that is as convenient and easy to use as a single Bluetooth speaker.
Here Are Some Quick Facts About This Exciting New Product!
4.5” Uni-Q, Rear-ported with subwoofer out
Same DSP as LS50 Wireless (via KEF Control app)
200W Dual-Mono Bi-Amp Configuration
100W per channel
Ways to Connect
96kHz/24bit in Cable Mode
48kHz/24bit in Wireless Mode (wireless interspeaker connection)
Spotify Connect, Tidal, and Roon
Apple AirplayII – available January 2019
Optical – 96kHz/24bit
AUX analog via 3.5mm stereo input cable
With the LS50 Wireless pedigree, LSX is a high-performing music system in a convenient and easy-to-use package. Rediscover the joy of music!”