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I wanted to buy the KEF LS50 Wireless2 but I see the LS50 Meta are much cheaper. I have a Marrantz PM6005 and a chromecast audio (this is all I need to stream). Is it worth the money to spend an extra £1250?
I agree with other comments above that the built-in amplification on the LS-50 Wireless (1 or 2) is far superior to most entry-level amplification, and it is perfectly integrated to the speaker(s) in a way that is difficult to match without spending at least twice that amount.
However, regarding the LS-50 W2 - I think the LS-50 W1 can be found much cheaper nowadays, and they have a USB input (which the LS-50 W2 doesn’t) which is superior to all other inputs on that speaker/system. If your source can output lossless to USB, I would still buy the LS-50 W1 today.
I have heard the W2 in a shop for a good 30 minutes, but not compared directly both systems side by side, so you may want to check with people who have tried both — as long as they have tried the USB input on the W1, which is the critical point IMO.
In short, I think the W1 on USB will sound better than a W2 on other inputs, for a lot cheaper. I would, however, recommend a decent USB cable to take full advantage of this setup.
I think a lot of comments about pairing metas with cheap amplification comes from Darko's review.
In it he kind of suggests the match with a 316BBE is almost the end game ... .
I like him and am a subscriber but on that one I feel he missed the bulls eye for a mile.
Whilst I have not heard that particular pairing I can not imagine ANY low cost/power amplifier can bring the results the active version can. - It may be entirely acceptable but is likely to short sell one of the best mini monitors in recent times.
Simply the implementation of carefully matched/developed active operation will yield superior results. That is without taking into consideration power and all the features.