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Kef LS 50w conundrum

Jimboo

Well-known member
Oct 29, 2019
510
211
1,270
I own a pair of the Kef Ls 50w speakers. To me they were just the future I was dreaming of , less is more , cables and boxes slowly banished. No more hours of hand wringing issues and endless upgrades.
From a dedicated source ,transport or (with a good wax recording) awesomeness abounds.
However , given the not so minor problems of using two apps instead of one and the absolute disaster that accessibility and use of tidal/ streaming / recognition of the very speakers themselves that are caused , how do they and their smaller siblings equate to award winners and 5 star product awards?
If a little light in the bass or slight plastic feel to the product etc generally allows reviews to drop a star , why does a major,major problem with apps, the need for a computer to upgrade said apps and sheer disgust from so many owners such as myself about the issues in streaming put them so proud on a highly competitive pedestal?
There is opinion and there is fact. Has there ever been such a coveted product in hi fi history that has had such a major flaw that has been so massively ignored by so many in the audiophile world. I stick with mine because I believe that they will sort this out and that when they sing , they really sing. It would have helped us all if the audiophile press had addressed the shortfalls.
 

priam

Well-known member
Oct 26, 2016
74
6
4,545
Speaker reviews are given on the basis of the speakers capability alone and what they can produce, regardless of compatibility. This is due to the fact that not everybody uses a streaming service, or even the same source (CD, Vinyl, MP3, Reel to Reel, and yes Streaming). Therefore most reviews are given from the perspective of listening to the music. If you want to know about using 2 apps to stream, I'd suggest a tech based website rather than a hifi site. What-Hifi does a great job of recognizing these flaws in their review.
You will notice that reviewers generally don't state the source they use for playback, and that's mainly because the source that they have works for them, most of them probably only use one streaming app if any.
Wireless speakers are also a relatively new area for established hifi brands, so you have to give them time.
 
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Jimboo

Well-known member
Oct 29, 2019
510
211
1,270
Hi Priam , i hear you , they are not speakers though , they are a complete system for streaming that allows other sources to be connected them , therefore it is all about the tech. It is sold as , described as and received awards as a system. Think of it this way , imagine it was a cassette deck that didn't recognise what source you were recording from and then would record the first track you asked it too eventually and then decided to skip every second track completely , oh , and then randomly hit the pause button when it felt like it. You think you would want to know that? What i am surprised about is the universal acclaim v the users exp. They are not the same.
 
Anyone with LS50 Wireless should make sure the firmware is fully up to date (both the speakers and the app). There’s been far less issues for a while now, and no owners of the ones I’ve provided have come back with user issues. I’m not saying there are none at all, but compared to the early days, they’re far else’s common, or at least diminished.
 

Jimboo

Well-known member
Oct 29, 2019
510
211
1,270
Yes the issues are less frequent in some cases. It is a shame that such a wonderful pair of products are so let down by a basic app. My main concern as i have said is that this must have been an issue when reviewed. I hope David if you ever come into contact with Kef's representatives you could ask them to engage with their customers.
 

Jimboo

Well-known member
Oct 29, 2019
510
211
1,270
Yes , the dealer blamed his poor wi-fi during the demo for the streaming problems we experienced at the time. I love them playing c.d and records , great. Streaming doesn't work , Tidal is impossible . The bluetooth is more stable. A quick look at the google play store for the apps will show the vitriol Kef have released. I just assumed they would fix the app issues and keep the customer happy , they didn't and don't. I love the sound so much , but would i tell someone else to buy them or their little brothers , not a chance.
 
I haven’t listened to my pair in a little while (I think there might be an update to perform), but I don’t recall my last demo pair to be anywhere near as bad as your experience. It might be next week now, but I’ll put them through their paces again and see if any issues make themselves known.

I do tend to recommend to people something like a Bluesound Node to go with them, as their app is bulletproof, and it also adds the possibility of other streaming services and internet radio too. I’ve got to touch base with a recent customer of mine who replaced his desktop system with a pair, so I’ll see if he’s had any issues so far - if he has, he’s keeping quiet! He said he loves the sound of them though.
 

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