Some established high-end and hi-fidelity brands have made successful jumps to the mainstream consumer market, but few have managed to expand their market reach while keeping its core values intact and appealing to its own traditional user base as KEF did with its LS50 Wireless model. The new LSX design 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. The driver features a 19mm (0.75in.) high-frequency section with an aluminum dome, and an LF/MF, 115mm (4.5in.) magnesium/aluminum alloy cone which is able to reach 50Hz. This combines with KEF’s highly advanced Music Integrity Engine, a cutting-edge collection of custom Digital Signal Processing algorithms that ensure accurate time alignment and phase coherence. The result, according to the brand, is that while LSX is small enough to sit on shelves, desktops or flank a TV, it still 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.
LSX integrates with Spotify, Apple Music (via AirPlay 2, January 2019) and Tidal via Wi-Fi, and can also access music stored on a networked hard drive or PC via DLNA. The paired wireless speaker design features two 30W and two 70W Class D amplifiers alongside dedicated DACs, and uses a proprietary wireless inter-speaker connection that supports 24-bit/48kHz and can use an optional wired connection (RJ45 Ethernet) to support 24-bit/96kHz digital audio signal transmission, with the ability for playing out files up to 192kHz from the Optical input (TOSLINK). The radio module supports Bluetooth 4.2 with Qualcomm aptX codec and 2.4GHz/5GHz Dual-band Wi-Fi connectivity (DLNA/uPNP). There is also an analog 3.5mm AUX input and a subwoofer output, and the system supports 3rd party programmable remote controls and IP control.
LSX can be set-up in minutes using the KEF’s Control app which also manages feature updates via simple over-the-air downloads. With Spotify Connect built in, music lovers can stream Spotify’s entire library directly from the cloud. Streaming is never interrupted, so users can watch videos, play games, answer phone calls and more, all without causing pauses or interruptions to the music, even as the listener leaves the room or goes out of range.
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. The suggested retail price for LSX will be $1100 a pair and the speakers will be available through Magnolia Design Center retailers, Amazon, KEF Direct and other participating KEF Authorized Dealers.