in ,

Tidal, Spotify Connect coming to KEF LS50 Wireless

  • Little and large. The shiny Muon reach for the stars in performance, physical stature and price: £140,000/pair. Being passive loudspeakers, their amplification is external. At Munich High-End 2017, that came from Arcam:

    “An AV950 preamp processor feeds 3 x P49 per side – a two-channel class G power amp switched into bridged monoblock mode. Each one can deliver 1kW at 0.0001% distortion. That’s a 6000W system!”, says Arcam’s Andy Moore. Monstrous!

    For one thirty-fifth of the Muon’s asking, we get the KEF’s active mini monitor LS50 Wireless (seen here in white, £2000/pair). The amplification is KEF’s own and internal, housed inside each loudspeaker cabinet and optimised at the driver level with DSP.

    Also part of this active loudspeaker deal is internalised, wireless digital audio streaming. Thus far, that has meant Bluetooth and/or DLNA via KEF’s in-house developed iOS/Android app. However, the LS50 Wireless’ digital internals and supporting smartphone app are each field upgradeable and at no additional cost to the end user. In other words, new features can be added for free.

    In two weeks, give or take, an app update will add full Tidal support. In two months, a firmware update will roll out via supporting desktop app (Windows/MacOS) to add Spotify Connect to the loudspeakers themselves.

    Not bad, huh?

    Further information: KEF

    John Darko

    Written by John Darko

    John currently lives in Berlin where creates videos and podcasts and pens written pieces for Darko.Audio. He has also contributed to 6moons, TONEAudio, AudioStream and Stereophile.

    Darko.Audio is a member of EISA.

    Follow John on YouTube or Instagram


      • Andreas – think of it this way: I share your eagerness for Roon Ready support in these speakers but if official confirmation were indeed forthcoming it would be IN the article and headline. 😉

    1. I assume a firmware update would have other fixes too.
      Auto-switching of sources would be really great.
      I’m using a Logitech Harmony 650 as a remote by the way and the Keys are in the harmony database. Much better than the junky remote that came with it.
      I assume Tidal does not mean MQA yet…??
      Tidal, Roon, and MQA would be amazing.

    2. Great news. The more KEF add to these beauties the better.
      Time will tell if my Bluesound Node 2 is made redundant!

    3. what about audirvana 3+?
      i never said that this is first time i replied to this post ! are you a robot?

    4. Really excited about the addition of Tidal – and for feature updates rolling out so quickly.

      Those are tidy little stands they’ve paired the LS50’s up with – and with cable management. Shot in the dark, but any chance you noticed which stands those are?

    5. The reviews sound great and this functionality would be a must have, I’d be very tempted but that said I think they’d be overkill for my 3m x 3m Study.

    6. J.D having had the Passive LS 50 with Peachtree Nova 150 (wonderful class D amp.)for over a year on stands for my desk top 2ndry system I was very skeptical about your review of the LS50W since the passives have a 5 year history and numerous multiple reviews but I must say I was wrong, got a pair of LS50W last week (via Amazon) to try out.., right out of the Box they surprised me ! Big bass in a room 12 by 12 with 9 foot ceiling on pangea stands , I also found the the the lows seem to go lower and the high’s are more clear I guess they are keepers, so my question to you is are the internal DAC’s upgradeable ?

    7. 2) my question has to do with the fact that will the DAC software upgradeability support DSD >
      my own con: is that KEF needs to pack these better the packing needs something to be desired ! I just the love the packings of Audioengine ,( have HD6 for bedroom Tv OPPO( 203 for my main gear in the living room) and Apple with the amount of money one pays for these KEF can do better

    8. Beautiful stands indeed. I don’t really like stands but these are gorgeous!

    9. I would very grateful for any comments about the KEF app for iOS, in terms of set up and usability for playing music. With Spotify connect the app for playing music may be not such an issue but how it integrates with Tidal may be relevant.

      Thank you in advance.

      • Until KEF introduce the update with Tidal included, we don’t yet know how agreeable its UX for playback. For setup, it’s fine.

    10. The update is now available on the Google app store!
      Tidal integration and the ability to change settings under all inputs, not just wifi!

      • Thanks for the heads-up, Anthony. What do you mean by “change settings under all inputs”?

        • No worries.
          You can now change the speaker settings when your using optical, aux, usb etc.
          Previously you could only change the settings under wifi.

    11. Bigger for me at this point is the firmware update that was silently released back on May 22nd.
      1. Support ALAC format
      2. Fixed Volume Control over App issue
      3. Fixed Wi-Fi network memory occasionally lost after system restarting
      4. Fixed potential left speaker no output issue
      5. Other bug fixes and improvements

      Number one was big for me. None of the music on my iPhone or on my NAS could be streamed to the speakers over wireless (or wired) network since it was all ALAC.
      Yesterday I updated the LS50W app, and firmware. Tidal playback is flakey for me. Seemed to be okay if I didn’t do anything else but run the app. If it doesn’t get any better I will continue to use Minimserver/BubbleUPnP/Linn Kazoo workaround. May even break down and go to Roon with a streamer of some sort. I echo everyone else’s sentiments that these need to become Roon Ready!

      However, despite any shortcomings, I am still super happy with the LS50Ws. When J.D. made the announcement on them back in October, I had my nova220se and LS50s on Craigslist a few days after. Pre-ordered the new ones and went for 4 months without anything but Audioengine A2s while I waited for the LS50Ws to arrive.

    The sounds of Munich High-End 2017 (Part 1)

    How to add MQA support to AudioQuest DragonFly Black/Red