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KEF LSX (LS50 Wireless's sibling)

raghupb

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Sep 11, 2015
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Bengaluru
Have been on the lookout for an all in one digital/streaming/amplification/speaker system for a while now.
The main use if for "quickie" music listening and "better" TV sound.
What I have today:
For stereo
Chromecast-Audio --> Marantz PM7001 (preamp mode) --> Outlaw Audio M2200 mono blocks --> KEF R300
Recently Schitt Modi2 DAC went kaput
For TV
TV optical out --> Outlaw Audio OSB-1 Soundbar
Optionally both TV sound can play on the main stereo system (via TV analog line out); use this to play music from HDD (not great, but there)

Just read up written reviews and watched DARKO short film about KEF LSX. Sounds very promising for the average user looking for convenience factor.
My intent (if I decide to get them) is to connect these to the network for music streaming (direct), music streaming (indirect via Chromecast-Audio), TV out to OPT in.

KEF's own song and dance is here: https://m.int.kef.com/products/lsx
DARKO review is here: https://darko.audio/2018/10/a-short-film-about-the-kef-lsx/

What interests me are the following:
1. KEF sound (have the R300; and I am happy with it's performance)
2. Two plus two amplification (70W class-D LF, 30W class-D for HF; should be enough for my 12x12 living room)
3. Useful inputs/sources (BT, 2.4/5.0GHz Wi-Fi, TOSLINK, 3.5mm, Ethernet, USB power out)
4. Form factor (can sit on desk/table or stands); 9.5" x 6" x 7"
5. Design (yummy colors)

Where do I have the doubts:
1. DAC capabilities (most of my music is down to earth 16/44.1 and some 24/96)
2. Sound stage (specifically when doubling up as TV speakers)
3. Class-D amplification (I am used to Class AB)

If anyone has similar products, active speakers (with or without wireless) used in a similar setup please chime in.
This will be my first serious foray into active speakers.

Cheers,
Raghu
 
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milestoneseeker

Active Member
Joined
Aug 8, 2011
Messages
501
Points
43
Location
Bangalore
I have a Dali KubikOne soundbar which, in all honesty, is a two-channel active set up in a soundbar form. It is so as there is no virtual surround, multi-driver set up within the box. I have had this set up for more than a year now and despite moving from 2-channel tower speaker set up (Paradigm Monitor 7s), I have not found it lacking in capability. It too has Class-D amplification for each of its two channels.

With this background, I happened to listen to LS50 Actives in the latest What HiFi show here in Bangalore and I must admit that I was super impressed with what these small babies can deliver. I have heard the passive LS50s and the actives do full justice to the reputation of the base cousins. Unfortunately, I could not get the show folks to play my music list at the show so I can't figure out how good or bad the DAC is. However, from what I have read, it is indeed the weak link in the chain. However, considering most of your music is standard CD spec, I do believe it will not a material degrade, if any.

The connectivity options on LS50 Actives are pretty decent and during my readings, I have found what they have to offer pretty adequate. Honestly speaking, considering the next best alternatives are DynAudio Xeos which are higher in the price range and the last time I looked them up, they offered far less in connectivity options, I do think the LS50As are pretty neat deal.
 

raghupb

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Messages
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113
Location
Bengaluru
@milestoneseeker
Thanks for the feedback and comments.
Good to hear that class-D, if well appointed, doesn't fall short for music or movies.
I am a content with 2 channel sound even for movies. Frankly, don't have the space for a full AVR/speaker rig.

The model being considered is KEF LSX (smaller version of LS50 Wireless).
I am not considering the LS50 Wireless. It is out of my budget for now :) And logistics wise it is big!!

If I manage to acquire these, the plan is to use them as streaming setup for music and for TV sound.
I have been using my regular stereo setup too for "immersive" sound when watching movies. It doesn't disappoint.

Have to find someone to lug the LSX from UK or US now. Just released, so I don't see the possibility of price break soon.
Maybe after 2019 summer when "phoren" folks visit, there may be a slightly lower price.
Currently listed at USD1100 or GBP1000 depending on country of purchase.
Let's see if something works out in the near future.

Cheers,
Raghu
 

milestoneseeker

Active Member
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Aug 8, 2011
Messages
501
Points
43
Location
Bangalore
@milestoneseeker
The model being considered is KEF LSX (smaller version of LS50 Wireless).
I am not considering the LS50 Wireless. It is out of my budget for now :) And logistics wise it is big!!
Missed the "X" bit as I didn't realize there is a smaller version of the LS50 Actives available :) If they go with the same sound signature as their elder siblings then I am sure they will sound nice. Plus, at that price range (~ INR 1.25L assuming the landed price in India), you wouldn't have too many options with wireless connectivity unless you want to check out soundbars. However, soundbars don't have a desktop form factor which is one negative for you. There is one recommendation based on the latest What Hi-Fi mag Nov edition - let me look up the exact brand and share on this thread later today. It is a bluetooth wirelesss speaker which has been rated very very highly to a point the reviewer states that a pair of these will easily match any 2 channel set up at 1L price mark. If I remember, each speaker was ~44K.
 

raghupb

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Sep 11, 2015
Messages
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113
Location
Bengaluru
@milestoneseeker
DARKO review is here: https://darko.audio/2018/10/a-short-film-about-the-kef-lsx/
Check this out, if you haven't already. This is why it piqued my curiosity.
DARKO says some nice things about the LSX. Also included is a size comparison with LS50W.

The challenge at home is that my wife and son, feel intimidated by the complexity of audio related setup at home.
LG TV digital optical out is connected to soundbar. This one is a no brainer. Switch on soundbar and sound is output.
LG TV analog line out is connected to integrated amp. This set up requires unmasking dust covers and switching on three units.
So today, I rearranged the setup so that one main switch will turn on IA + power-amps. Only unmasking required.

My son is seriously interested in listening to music on the "main" system these days. His source is Youtube via phone or Ipad.
So setup audio casting from all handheld devices at home. Hopefully, they will feel less flummoxed now.
It is like using regular Chromecast (which they are used to).

Cheers,
Raghu
 

hifitoaster

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Jul 4, 2018
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India
To my eyes, the original ls 50 was really ugly. It reminded me of a non flat CRT tv kept vertical. But lsx looks better with proportions. Still two eyes will be staring at you from either side of you tv since they come with no grill, if am not wrong.
 

raghupb

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Joined
Sep 11, 2015
Messages
1,660
Points
113
Location
Bengaluru
To my eyes, the original ls 50 was really ugly. It reminded me of a non flat CRT tv kept vertical. But lsx looks better with proportions. Still two eyes will be staring at you from either side of you tv since they come with no grill, if am not wrong.
Haha. Never thought of it this way.
Sauron's lidless eyes.

Cheers,
Raghu
 

milestoneseeker

Active Member
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Messages
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Location
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@raghupb, I hear ya on the complexity of a stereo set up, particularly for rest of the folks in the family. Plus, I absolutely abhor messy wires. These were reasons which made me go for an active set up like KubikOne which eliminated my AVR and my two large floor standers, not to forget the additional input flexibility which I added to my relative archaic system. The lure of a good active setup is immense and I still toy with the idea of buying the ATC SCM50 actives :)

The speaker I was mentioning in my previous post is Studio Nineteen ES500X-EQ (quite a mouthful). I have not really researched it further but you may want to check it out in context of what you are looking for.
 

raghupb

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Joined
Sep 11, 2015
Messages
1,660
Points
113
Location
Bengaluru
Studio Nineteen ES500X-EQ sure does look good.
Will read and research more. Doesn't hurt to do window shopping.

On the wiring front, I eliminated Tatasky STB recently. 3 less wires.
Most of the wires are hidden behind the AV rack. But it is still a pain.
I boxed up my AVR (Marantz NR1605) too. It was too unwieldy.
Will set this up at my parents place with a couple of speakers.
Monitor Audio Radius range possibly.

Cheers,
Raghu
 

newlash09

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Joined
Dec 17, 2014
Messages
730
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93
Location
hyderabad
Not directly related to the above query. But thought it might help someone looking for a easy way to power up their system. Iam using a logitech harmony system. And despite being the dumbest member on the forum at computers, I managed to program everything in under 30 mins. I have the app setup on a cheap android tablet. So both my wife and daughter who mostly use this system, just have to switch on the main breaker. Wait for a minute for everything to stabilise. And then touch just one button in the app or the included remote . Logitech does the rest brilliantly. It switches on the TV, changes to the correct hdmi input port. Switches on the AVR, and sets it to the correct input, switches on the integrated amp and sets it to the correct input. It basically does in 10 secs what would otherwise require 4 remotes and 30 secs. Now my family no longer feels intimated with my complex setup. Just my 2 cents
 
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raghupb

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 11, 2015
Messages
1,660
Points
113
Location
Bengaluru
Not directly related to the above query. But thought it might help someone looking for a easy way to power up their system. Iam using a logitech harmony system. And despite being the dumbest member on the forum at computers, I managed to program everything in under 30 mins. I have the app setup on a cheap android tablet. So both my wife and daughter who mostly use this system, just have to switch on the main breaker. Wait for a minute for everything to stabilise. And then touch just one button in the app or the included remote . Logitech does the rest brilliantly. It switches on the TV, changes to the correct hdmi input port. Switches on the AVR, and sets it to the correct input, switches on the integrated amp and sets it to the correct input. It basically does in 10 secs what would otherwise require 4 remotes and 30 secs. Now my family no longer feels intimated with my complex setup. Just my 2 cents
Amen to this!!
Many of us, in our enthusiasm to have ultimate connectivity/combinations lose track of the fact that there are other folks living in the same house.
What prompted me towards this line of exploration is that my wife & son asked very pertinent questions.
"We have spent lakhs on all this equipment, why is it so difficult to use?"
"Isn't there something simpler?"

Cheers,
Raghu
 

JayaRaa

Active Member
Joined
Apr 14, 2015
Messages
848
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Location
India
This model is just launched and not available for demo yet at profx. The darko video piqued my interest in them as well. Look forward to hear them when they arrive in India.
 

raghupb

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 11, 2015
Messages
1,660
Points
113
Location
Bengaluru
This model is just launched and not available for demo yet at profx. The darko video piqued my interest in them as well. Look forward to hear them when they arrive in India.
I am not in a hurry to get something going.
There are enough components + methods to temporarily solve the "ease of use" problem.
In fact, as I stated in earlier posts, just got the main stereo setup hooked to a single power on/off mode.
And audio casting via CC-Audio. Now need to figure out an easy way to cast audio from windows laptop.

ProFx (KEF distributor in India) hopefully will have a demo unit soon. It will be an interesting audition when it happens.

Cheers,
Raghu
 

raghupb

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 11, 2015
Messages
1,660
Points
113
Location
Bengaluru
This model is just launched and not available for demo yet at profx. The darko video piqued my interest in them as well. Look forward to hear them when they arrive in India.
It is listed on HiFiMart!!
https://www.hifimart.com/kef-lsx-wireless-music-system.html

At a reasonable price for a new introduction.
India list price is Rs. 1.1L
US list price is USD1100 (converted Rs. 77K)
UK list price is GBP1000 (converted Rs. 89K)

Cheers,
Raghu
 
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