What if? A two-word question that signals an itch for loudspeaker loving audiophiles. The scratch comes in the form of a new amplifier that might, through a combination of luck and judgement, bring forth better sound quality. The optimal amplifier, should it exist, will be different for every loudspeaker. Locating it calls for a series of trial-and-error experiments that can take us beyond the horizon. This amplifier, then that amplifier, then another amplifier. The gear churn is where the money is.… Read the full article
On digital audio knowledge, it’s not what we know that matters most but our ability to grasp what we don’t know. High-end digital audio asks us to install software and USB drivers and troubleshoot the same. When faced with a roadblock, do we dismiss the pursuit of better sound quality as overly complicated or do we admit that it’s currently beyond our ken and that we’re keen to learn?
Self-knowledge pertaining to the setup and troubleshooting of network audio often comes with sharper edges.… Read the full article
Ben H. from KEF HQ writes via email: “Just read your Sonos One news piece. Just to let you know, that the firmware update for LS50W (released 22nd May) allows you to adjust the auto standby. As standard, it’s 20 minutes, but if you hold down the “wall/free space” button on the back until the light flashes, you can disable auto standby completely, or hold down the “desk/stand” EQ button to set to an hour.
Also, new firmware out today [9th October, my emphasis] adds Spotify Connect support and the ability to swap the speakers over.”
The standby extension hack is well-known among forum feeders and being able to turn the left speaker into the right (and vice versa) is a helpful touch.… Read the full article
One. The greatest hifi product of the last five years? KEF’s LS50 Wireless (US$2199) stand head and shoulders above the rest. Why? These loudspeakers are a complete high-end audio system in a box. With one eye on the more expansive world that exists beyond the audiophile ghetto, audiophile tweakery has been shown the door in favour of bespoke amplifier matching via a digitally active crossover.
Experience tells us that we’d need to spend close to US$10K on matching amplifier and DAC to get this kind of audible performance from a pair passive LS50.… Read the full article
At US$2200, the KEF LS50 Wireless should have rival loudspeaker manufacturers quaking in their boots. A complete high-end audio system in a box. Just add mains power.
The LS50 Wireless’ Achilles heel, if they have one, is the in-house coded smartphone app. It’s fine for occasional use: system setup (‘onboarding’) and setting DSP according to speaker position, room size and its acoustic make-up. Less so for everyday music playback. The absence of gapless playback within the app’s Tidal and UPnP streaming implementations has this DJ mix and live set lover running for the recently announced Spotify Connect.… Read the full article
Per their unofficial announcement at Munich High-End 2017, loudspeaker manufacturer KEF have today made official an update to the company’s LS50 Wireless control app, one that adds support for Tidal streaming to their future-facing LS50 Wireless loudspeaker (reviewed here and here). Update your existing app from within or seek out new versions from the Apple’s App Store or the Google Play Store.
From yonder press release: “KEF proudly announces its partnership with TIDAL, the global music and entertainment streaming platform, and its integration into the KEF LS50W app.… Read the full article
Best amplifier for the KEF LS50 standmount? A hundred listeners might spill with a hundred different answers. Each would more than likely be the result of a brief trial and error dance with power shortfall, driver overdamping and tonal balance shifts, more often than not determined after money has been committed, before settling.
We choose loudspeakers that best suit our tastes and room, then choose the best amplifier to power those loudspeakers. After that, it’s time to select a DAC and streamer.… Read the full article