KEF LS50 Wireless II - Without Wifi / Only Cable?

jaygould

Member
Sep 27, 2021
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I owned the original Kef LS50W and enjoyed them a lot. Now I need a new pair of speakers and saw the Wireless II. I am interested in buying them but from looking at the manual, it seems that the speakers must be connected to the Wifi router? Is there no ethernet port so you can connect them via cable?

I don't want to use any kind of Wifi or Bluetooth, but like to do everything by cable. Would this be possible with the Wireless II? If not, could you recommend me another setup that can run analog and doesn't cost more than $3000 including everything?
 

jaygould

Member
Sep 27, 2021
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What components have you got at the moment?
Do you want to keep any of them?
What music sources would you like to include?
I have no other components at the moment (just moved to a new house).

I would like to play from either a laptop or a phone (through AUX or USB). Maybe I will use bluetooth every once in a while (when I have guests) but I don't want the speakers to be connected to Wifi. I don't even have a Wifi router (it's all cabled).
 

Gray

Well-known member
I don't want the speakers to be connected to Wifi.
Don't blame you, neither would I.
Seems to me like you need one of those decent little USB DAC / Bluetooth receivers from the likes of Topping - analogue out into standard amp and speakers.
Or, something like this, which can act as a preamp - meaning that you could go straight into a power amp, or active speakers, rather than an integrated amp:
As you're starting with a blank sheet, you need to do some listening to amp / speaker combos.
You could describe the type of sound you prefer, that would get you a few suggestions, but you should always listen for yourself first.
 
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daveh75

Well-known member
Jul 31, 2008
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18,920
I owned the original Kef LS50W and enjoyed them a lot. Now I need a new pair of speakers and saw the Wireless II. I am interested in buying them but from looking at the manual, it seems that the speakers must be connected to the Wifi router? Is there no ethernet port so you can connect them via cable?

I don't want to use any kind of Wifi or Bluetooth, but like to do everything by cable. Would this be possible with the Wireless II? If not, could you recommend me another setup that can run analog and doesn't cost more than $3000 including everything?
If you look at the rear panel of the primary speaker there are two rj45 connectors


One is used to interconnect the primary and slave speakers and supports 24/192 kHz audio as opposed to the 24/96 kHz when they're connected Wirelessly (not that you'd hear a difference)

The other rj45 is a wired network connection.

It looks like from a brief read of the manual and a couple of reviews, that the speakers have to be 'onboarded' via WiFi using the app, and once done you can enable wired mode from the app
 
Last edited:

jaygould

Member
Sep 27, 2021
6
0
20
Don't blame you, neither would I.
Seems to me like you need one of those decent little USB DAC / Bluetooth receivers from the likes of Topping - analogue out into standard amp and speakers.
Or, something like this, which can act as a preamp - meaning that you could go straight into a power amp, or active speakers, rather than an integrated amp:
As you're starting with a blank sheet, you need to do some listening to amp / speaker combos.
You could describe the type of sound you prefer, that would get you a few suggestions, but you should always listen for yourself first.
Thanks for the suggestion on that amp. What do you think of pairing it with a pair of Klipsch RP-8000Fs? Or would those speakers be overkill for an amp such as this?

I intend to use the speakers in my living room, both for music and movie watching. My living room is about 350 sqf. I won't listen overly loud since I have neighbors pretty close by.

The kind of music I listen to is mostly classic rock and blues (lots of live performances) as well as a bit of classical and electronic/dance/soul/pop.
 

jaygould

Member
Sep 27, 2021
6
0
20
If you look at the rear panel of the primary speaker there are two rj45 connectors


One is used to interconnect the primary and slave speakers and supports 24/192 kHz audio as opposed to the 24/96 kHz when they're connected Wirelessly (not that you'd hear a difference)

The other rj45 is a wired network connection.

It looks like from a brief read of the manual and a couple of reviews, that the speakers have to be 'onboarded' via WiFi using the app, and once done you can enable wired mode from the app
I see. This is good to know. Thank you. So do you think the KEF would still be a good choice for me, even though I won't really take advantage of all its technology? Or should I look for some floorstanding speakers and pair them with a separate amplifier?
 

nopiano

Well-known member
Feb 15, 2009
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It does seem slightly contrary to be considering a Wireless product yet be so adamant you don’t want to use it wirelessly!

However, if you like the KEF (lack of) character, as I do, then there won’t be much else worth considering. You’d need a very good streamer amp and pair of speakers to beat them, and they’d probably cost rather more than the recently increased price.
 

daveh75

Well-known member
Jul 31, 2008
611
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18,920
I see. This is good to know. Thank you. So do you think the KEF would still be a good choice for me, even though I won't really take advantage of all its technology? Or should I look for some floorstanding speakers and pair them with a separate amplifier?
As you've already owned and enjoyed the original LS50Ws I think the Wireless IIs should at least be on your shortlist
 

jaygould

Member
Sep 27, 2021
6
0
20
It does seem slightly contrary to be considering a Wireless product yet be so adamant you don’t want to use it wirelessly!

However, if you like the KEF (lack of) character, as I do, then there won’t be much else worth considering. You’d need a very good streamer amp and pair of speakers to beat them, and they’d probably cost rather more than the recently increased price.
Well I haven't really heard much else in this price category, so I don't have anything to compare to. I bought the original LS50w based solely on online reviews.

So lets say a combo of a Cambridge Audio CXA61 (amp) + Klipsch RP-8000F (speakers), would the KEF still produce a better sound? The money would be about the same (slightly less for the KEF).
 

Gray

Well-known member
Thanks for the suggestion on that amp. What do you think of pairing it with a pair of Klipsch RP-8000Fs? Or would those speakers be overkill for an amp such as this?
You need to be clear about the differences between pre-amps, power amps and integrated amps.
That Dacmagic alone will not drive speakers - because it is only a pre-amp.
Unlike the CXA61 you mention, which is an integrated amp - it contains pre and power amps so will drive speakers. It also has a DAC and Bluetooth built in, which would suit your purposes.

That into those Klipsch floorstanders is likely to sound very different to the Kefs - so it's down to your preference.....and, no matter how much well-intentioned advice you may given, there's just no substitute for listening.
 
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Deliriumbassist

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Apr 27, 2011
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I see. This is good to know. Thank you. So do you think the KEF would still be a good choice for me, even though I won't really take advantage of all its technology? Or should I look for some floorstanding speakers and pair them with a separate amplifier?
Assuming you would still use the app to control it, the only difference between using the speakers via WiFi or via Ethernet is purely how it connects to your network. That's it.
 

abacus

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Sep 24, 2008
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Buying speakers using online reviews is the biggest Hi-Fi sin you can ever make as everybody’s ears are different, and only by listening can you decide what is best for you.

Go to a dealer and listen to a few combinations to see which you prefer and go with that as you will get a much better sound.

Just curious, why not use Wi-Fi as it makes things much more flexible and convenient? (Hardwire fixed things yes, but there is no difference in quality between Hardwire or Wi-Fi when it comes to quality)

Bill
 
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nopiano

Well-known member
Feb 15, 2009
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Well I haven't really heard much else in this price category, so I don't have anything to compare to. I bought the original LS50w based solely on online reviews.

So lets say a combo of a Cambridge Audio CXA61 (amp) + Klipsch RP-8000F (speakers), would the KEF still produce a better sound? The money would be about the same (slightly less for the KEF).
I’d much rather have the KEFs, but that doesn’t mean you wouldn’t like the Klipsch.
 

Tinman1952

Well-known member
May 19, 2021
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Buying speakers using online reviews is the biggest Hi-Fi sin you can ever make as everybody’s ears are different, and only by listening can you decide what is best for you.

Go to a dealer and listen to a few combinations to see which you prefer and go with that as you will get a much better sound.

Just curious, why not use Wi-Fi as it makes things much more flexible and convenient? (Hardwire fixed things yes, but there is no difference in quality between Hardwire or Wi-Fi when it comes to quality)

Bill
Agreed. Auralic used to actually prefer WiFi over Ethernet with their streamers to avoid RFI contamination over the cables. Plus you won’t need to buy one of those ‘audiophile’ network switches which suddenly seem all the rage! 🙂
 

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