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A short film about the KEF LSX

  • “Honey, I shrunk the LS50 Wireless” might be the snappiest way to describe KEF’s latest active loudspeaker: into a compact, Danish-fabric-wrapped cabinet, designed by one Michael Young and landing in five colour options, goes a new version of the British loudspeaker company’s Uni-Q driver array, internally juiced by Class D amplification – 70w for the mid/bass, 30w for the tweeter – and crossed over in a DSP engine that takes its binary feed from the (also internal) digital streaming board. An attractive hi-fi system in a box for apartment dwellers and bedroom producers.

    Inputs number four: Ethernet/WiFi streaming (DLNA/UPnP, Spotify Connect*), aptX Bluetooth, optical TOSLINK and 3.5mm analogue. Unlike the LS50 Wireless, the master speaker has no touch panel. Instead, power on/off, input switching and volume attenuation come via the supplied IR wand or KEF’s Control app (iOS/Android) whose speaker setup/onboarding routine and EQ configuration have been forked by KEF from the Stream app (iOS/Android) which still handles Tidal and UPnP streaming. Gapless playback support is now in beta.

    Say hello to the KEF LSX where lassoing the master speaker to the slave with a run of Ethernet wire is optional.

    Pricing comes in at US$1100/pair in the USA, €1200/pair in Europe and 999 Great British Pounds in the UK. You can find this high performing hi-fi system on Amazon, at Magnolia Design Center or selected KEF dealers.

    ‘High performing’ because I’ve been playing with a (red) pair since early October – in my lounge and my office. I saved a second (black) pair for the unboxing that kicks off a video review which details the LSX’s setup procedure, sound quality (including a surprise finding) and a very tidy way to sidestep an absence of internal Roon support:

    Further information: KEF

    Camera: Line Kühl | Editor: Jana Dagdagan

    Rarely has a DAR-KO Award been so easy to give.

    Footnote #1: Spotify Connect support is due to be in place soon after launch. AirPlay 2 support is currently slated for a February 2019 firmware update. On future Roon compatibility, I’ve no clue.

    KEF LSX features:

    • Acoustic design with 4″ Uni-Q driver; FEA designed cabinet with hidden heatsink
    • KEF’s dedicated time correcting Music Integrity Engine
    • 2 x 30W + 2 x 70W Class D amplifiers
    • Adjustable EQ settings via KEF Control app
    • Dedicated apps for iOS and Android
    • Proprietary wireless connections supports 48kHz/24bit; optional wired connection supports 96kHz/24bit transmission
    • Supports source file up to 192kHz/24bit
    • 2.4GHz/5GHz Dual-band Wi-Fi connectivity (DLNA/uPNP compliant)
    • Apple Airplay 2 (available in early 2019 via firmware update)
    • Tidal Music (via KEF Stream app)
    • Bluetooth 4.2 with Qualcomm aptX codec
    • Optical input (TOSLINK)
    • AUX input
    • Subwoofer output
    • Mounting inserts for supporting wall mount
    • Supports 3rd party remote programme
    • Supports IP Control

    KEF LSX specifications:

    Written by John Darko

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

    Darko.Audio is a member of EISA.

    Follow John on YouTube or Instagram

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