There are plenty of exceptions to that old saying “bigger is better”, and this certainly rings true for audiophiles. All things being ideal, who wouldn’t want to install a monster rig involving 50-inch speakers. Or a subwoofer the size of a wine barrel? But let’s be realistic: not all of us can afford the space (or spare the cash). As the pursuit for pure sound deepens, manufacturers push the limits on speaker design. The trick lies in being able to deliver more with less.
Visually and aurally pleasing
KEF is one such example – a trailblazing audiophile brand with a flair for the contemporary, as evidenced by its latest LS50 Collection of bookshelf speakers – the LS50 Meta and the LS50 Wireless II. As opposed to the sprawling setups that hardcore enthusiasts are fond of, the LS50 Collection favours a more fuss-free and streamlined approach. By combining the practicality of a bookshelf speaker design with bleeding-edge technology, KEF’s latest offerings achieve the rare feat of delivering industry-leading performance in a package that’s easy to digest. Bigger, in this instance, is not always better.
If one appreciates the importance of starting on the right foot, then applying the same principle to one’s ears would be second nature. Both the LS50 Meta and LS50 Wireless II are well-suited to a variety of environs, ranging from living rooms to studies and private listening booths. The design and styling of the speakers are modern enough (without veering into avant-garde) that matching them to any given decor is considerably effortless. As opposed to being excessively industrial-looking, the LS50 Collection takes on a very refined aesthetic with its smooth rounded edges and matte finish.
While many recognise KEF as an audiophile icon, its latest collection of bookshelf speakers is indicative of the brand’s ability to leverage its technological expertise to cater to a wider demographic. For those looking to get their first taste of a world-class soundscape, the LS50 Collection delivers in spades. The exact definition of “good” sound may be subjective, but its enjoyment is universal. Better still if it doesn’t require a hefty downpayment.
And this is precisely what the LS50 Collection achieves, and more. The listening experience is beyond reproach (as expected), but what truly impresses is the level of inclusivity displayed by the LS50 Meta and LS50 Wireless II. After all, not everyone has the patience or desire to spend an inordinate amount of time finding their sound system’s “sweet spot”. The combination of robust speaker designs and smart algorithms allow neophytes to achieve a sound quality akin to a veteran setup but within a mere fraction of the time.
Both speakers are the first to employ KEF’s proprietary Metamaterial Absorption Technology (MAT) – a synthetic material with a complex maze-like structure capable of absorbing 99 per cent of all unwanted sound radiating from the rear of the driver. Another key feature within the LS50 Collection is its use of Uni-Q driver array. As seen in KEF’s flagship Muon and Blade, Uni-Q combines matched directivity with precise time alignment for significantly improved stereo imaging. Even at higher volumes, both the LS50 Meta and LS50 Wireless II retain their clarity and evenness regardless of frequency. The only notable distinction between the two? The LS50 Wireless II (active speaker) is good to go “out of the box”, while the LS50 Meta (passive speaker) requires a dedicated amplifier – a bit of news that would likely delight experienced enthusiasts with their own amp preferences.
Versatility meets performance
The various strengths of the LS50 Collection allow them to fulfil a variety of home entertainment purposes. An obvious scenario would be a home cinema setup vis-à-vis a living room situation. The LS50 Collection delivers stellar audio reproduction while maintaining a discreet enough visual presence insofar that it effortlessly complements a variety of interiors. Standing at approximately 30 centimetres in height and 20 centimetres in width, the LS50 Meta punches well above its weight. Paired with a matching amplifier, the speaker delights even the most discerning ears. “Bang-for-buck” is an oft-bandied term but it certainly applies to the LS50 Meta, considering its capacity for delivering clarity, consistency and precision.
The LS50 Wireless II builds on these features with its wireless functionality. It’s a fantastic choice for heavy users of wireless streaming services, due to its compatibility with platforms such as Spotify, Deezer, Amazon Music, Tidal, and more. Full resolution playback of high-res audio formats is likewise possible thanks to DSD256 support and MQA decoding, along with a peak file support of 24-bit/384 kilohertz. Meanwhile, the companion KEF Connect app makes catching up on podcasts an easy affair. Bluetooth, AirPlay 2, and Google Chromecast support also enable seamless connections with compatible Apple or Android devices. The appeal of a cable-less setup and operation is apparent and applies to virtually any environment – less clutter means more enjoyment.
Given KEF’s expertise with high-end speaker systems, the LS50 Collection’s price point is especially tantalising (S$2,099 for the LS50 Meta and S$3,999 for the LS50 Wireless II), providing immense value and greater accessibility to the brand. There are tons on tap with the LS50 Collection; its price point is virtually unmatched when one considers just how much KEF has invested in technology, engineering and most importantly, experience. In terms of aesthetics, the LS50 Collection’s sleek lines and urban colours accommodate a wide array of contemporary tastes and interior design layouts. Both LS50 models come in Carbon Black, Titanium Grey and Mineral White. Special edition colours are also available, with the LS50 Meta in Royal Blue and the LS50 Wireless II in Crimson Red.
Discover a new dimension of sound with KEF’s award winning speakers, click here to book a demo with KEF.