Which is better Kef LS50 Wireless 2 or B&W Formation Duo?

  • Thread starter Deleted member 2457
  • Start date
D

Deleted member 116933

Guest
the wireless 2, it's a better thought out product in regards to connectivity

id also look the a500's by buchardt audio
 
Last edited by a moderator:

nopiano

Well-known member
Feb 15, 2009
1,215
824
20,070
I fear that the otherwise dependable B&W developed the Formation to please their now departed investors from the US. It never seemed highly praised and I’d steer well clear myself.

KEF’s first version sounded great, though they’ve been a bit poor at evolving it. However the series 2 you’ve asked about looks much better.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Deleted member 2457
D

Deleted member 2457

Guest
The new Kef it is. Thanks guys. (y)

Going to wait around 6 months first though.
 

RBinDC

Well-known member
Aug 21, 2020
59
22
545
the wireless 2, it's a better thought out product in regards to connectivity

id also look the a500's by buchardt audio
The A500s outclass the KEFs and is priced substantially higher. Several reviews conclude that substituting a streamer preamp with a good DAC (e.g., NAD 368 with Dirac) for Buchart’s hub extracts even more performance from the active speakers.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Deleted member 2457

RBinDC

Well-known member
Aug 21, 2020
59
22
545
The new Kef it is. Thanks guys. (y)

Going to wait around 6 months first though.
You may want to factor in the cost of a subwoofer. The KEF II is criticised for lacking Bass response. (I tried twice to spell “criticize” with “s” but my spell check kept puttin g in a “zed.” LOL!).
 

manicm

Well-known member
May 1, 2008
1,109
274
19,570
Americans seem to love subwoofers for stereo no? The KEF LS50 passive are actually in the monitor vein. They should have ample bass with requisite amplification.

The actives will have no problem with bass - where did you read they’re bass light?
 
D

Deleted member 116933

Guest
The A500s outclass the KEFs and is priced substantially higher. Several reviews conclude that substituting a streamer preamp with a good DAC (e.g., NAD 368 with Dirac) for Buchart’s hub extracts even more performance from the active speakers.
not that much more and certainly worth saving for. And you don’t have to buy the nad
 
D

Deleted member 2457

Guest
This subwoofer looks really cool:

 
  • Like
Reactions: RBinDC

RBinDC

Well-known member
Aug 21, 2020
59
22
545
not that much more and certainly worth saving for. And you don’t have to buy the nad
In the US the KEF II costs $2500 (w/o stands). The A500 system with hub costs $$4,400 (also w/I stands). I consider that to be a substantial price difference ( although I bought the A500s).

Adding a $1,000 subwoofer (or two) to the KEF II could close the performance gap but it also narrows the cost difference. I have not seen any reviews comparing these two options. But the A500s also offer Master Tunings that allow the owner to modify the speakers’ sound signatures by changing crossover frequencies and/ or converting the system to a three-way speaker system. To me this flexibility sounds like it is worth the extra $600 - even it the subwoofers level the sonic field.

I agree that one doesn’t need to add a separate DAC-streamer, and the performance improvement from doing so may be so slight as to not be cost- beneficial. But that judgment lies with the listener. And having that option adds further value to the Bucharest system as it provides an update path in DAC technology.

My guess is that the improvement the two reviews discovered by adding an external DAC/preamp/streamer was largely due to the ESS Sabre chips in the external DACs. But admittedly, I am no expert in DACs or Hi Fi equipment.

when I get my A500s I will try out the NAD C368 and see what difference it makes using my 83 years-old ears. Maybe none at all. When I was in my 20s I could hear the ultrasonic alarms in department stores. Today I often can’t make out what my live-in partner is saying. LOL!
 

RBinDC

Well-known member
Aug 21, 2020
59
22
545
Americans seem to love subwoofers for stereo no? The KEF LS50 passive are actually in the monitor vein. They should have ample bass with requisite amplification.

The actives will have no problem with bass - where did you read they’re bass light?
John Darko’s review comparing the KEF II to the Buchardt A500s.
 

manicm

Well-known member
May 1, 2008
1,109
274
19,570
I seriously doubt the KEF LS50 Wireless 2 requires a subwoofer. Darko certainly didn’t think so when he reviewed it standalone, from what I can remember.
 

RBinDC

Well-known member
Aug 21, 2020
59
22
545
I seriously doubt the KEF LS50 Wireless 2 requires a subwoofer. Darko certainly didn’t think so when he reviewed it standalone, from what I can remember.
You are right. Darko didn’t say the KEF II needed a subwoofer. What he did say was that the Buchardt A500s produced a deeper bass response that made them more satisfying to listen to.
 

RBinDC

Well-known member
Aug 21, 2020
59
22
545
You are right. Darko didn’t say the KEF II needed a subwoofer. What he did say was that the Buchardt A500s produced a deeper bass response that made them more satisfying to listen to.
Let me add that I have heard the KEF II system (though not in an optimal listening environment) and they sounded really good without a sub. I also own the older wired LS-50s with no sub.

I have not yet heard the A500s so my opinions are based purely on the five or six reviews I have read, which essentially came to the same conclusion, I.e., that the A500s do a remarkable job considering their price. They punch way above their weight. However, they are not as good as the KII actives, which cost three times as much.
 

Solo

Well-known member
Jan 27, 2021
28
13
45
For me the B&W formation Duo sound a lot better, it has real clarity. But that is personal i think. Also their mesh system works really well. It is a lot of money, but you get great speakers. Maybe it is worth looking at Clearance models.
 
D

Deleted member 2457

Guest
For me the B&W formation Duo sound a lot better, it has real clarity. But that is personal i think. Also their mesh system works really well. It is a lot of money, but you get great speakers. Maybe it is worth looking at Clearance models.
Clarity was my issue with the Kef LS50 Wireless! Thanks
 

Solo

Well-known member
Jan 27, 2021
28
13
45
Any Formation Duo owners on here using the active speakers with the Formation Bass?
 

gowiththeflow

Well-known member
Jan 10, 2009
52
11
18,545
Any Formation Duo owners on here using the active speakers with the Formation Bass?
I'd also like to hear opinions from someone using that combination.

I've had both the LS50 2 and the Formation Duo's here and the B&W's were definitely better in terms of sound.
They are more refined and went deeper, but are slightly laid back in the upper treble..
I thought the KEF's could sound a bit "boxy" at times, but from memory, not as much as the mk1 could be on occasion..

KEF have the edge with their new app and more connectivity options, but having to connect wires to the back of the master speaker, rather than to a hub, for other sources is very limiting for placing the speakers and those trailing wires can be very unsightly.

B&W's plans for a new app and an increased number of embedded streaming services, have been set back by their change of ownership and split with their previous partners; but I've been assured they are working on it.

The Formation Duo and their matching stands are priced way too high. Even more if you want the overpriced Formation Audio wireless hub, to connect other components (e.g. CD, turntable etc).
However, I managed to get a pair of the Duo's and their stands at a huge knock down, which cost only a few hundred over the LS50-2. Well worth the extra expenditure for the sound quality IMHO.

I'd definitely like to try out the Buchardt's, both the A500 and the much larger A700, although the 700's would be too big and almost certainly have too much bass for my listening room.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Deleted member 2457

Solo

Well-known member
Jan 27, 2021
28
13
45
The Formation Duo are full range speakers, so it will be interesting to hear if the Formation Bass brings anything extra to the experience.

I also use the Duo's for TV when watching movies (easy connection via apple tv). A 2.1 setup might improve the soundstage.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Deleted member 2457
D

Deleted member 2457

Guest
The Formation Duo are full range speakers, so it will be interesting to hear if the Formation Bass brings anything extra to the experience.

I also use the Duo's for TV when watching movies (easy connection via apple tv). A 2.1 setup might improve the soundstage.
Do you connect it by Bluetooth for movie watching?
 

Solo

Well-known member
Jan 27, 2021
28
13
45
No via Apple TV hence Airplay. On the Apple TV it is easy to switch from TV speakers to the Formation Duo's
It is also possible to connect it via Bluetooth (TV to speakers)
 
  • Like
Reactions: Deleted member 2457

ASK THE COMMUNITY

TRENDING THREADS

Latest posts