[Recommendation / Help] KEF LS50 Meta + AMP or Elac ARB51 Navis Powered Bookshelf Speakers + DAC for a PC Setup.

SpyVision

New Member
Joined
Jul 17, 2019
Messages
6
Points
3
Location
Mumbai, India
Hi,

I need recommendations for my PC setup which is used mainly for Gaming and Music (occasionally movies).

My current sound setup consists of KRK Rokit 8 Gen 3 (Pair) + Focusrite 2i4 DAC / Motu M2 DAC. I want to upgrade this configuration to something better and sell some of these items. I also use the Sony HT-ST 5000 Soundbar for my TV + PS5.

I am currently fixated on the KEF LS50 Meta’s (White or Black) hooked up to an AMP that will be connected to my PC. While doing research I came across the Elac ARB51 Navis Powered Bookshelf Speakers, they seem convenient as they’re self powered and have XLR + RCA input options. I want to know if anyone has experienced these speakers in comparison to the KEF LS50 Meta’s.
Overall I’ve been finding online that the LS50 Meta’s trump everything in this price point. LS50 Meta’s are going for 1.50L and the lowest cost for Elac‘s are 2.07L. Both of these speakers look aesthetically good too!
I have considered the KEF LS50 Wireless II but the lack of a USB input put me off and I don’t want to use Coaxial / Optical or WiFi. I also have a lot of WiFi devices at home and from what I’ve read online there are connection drops etc, basically having WiFi inbuilt is useless since it’s going to be hardwire connected to my PC. Also I have bad luck occasionally with electronics and these come with a measly 1 year warranty in India.

I have uploaded some pictures to help you understand what my setup looks like below.

Here’s a couple of points that I require -
  • DAC / AMP must have an USB input connection for my PC’s sound.
  • DAC / AMP must be in a small sized in configuration due to space issues. Max size can be W 9“ + D 7” + H 4” to be precise.
  • DAC / AMP with a heat venting grill on the sides would be nice, but if there are lack of options then a top venting grill will do. As I plan to have the system placed in a very tight area (Check picture below).
  • DAC / AMP must have a volume control and/or remote control.
  • DAC / AMP that aesthetically looks good can be a plus point, can settle for a simple plain system.
  • I will mainly be using Spotify / Youtube and FLAC files for music.
  • I usually play my music at a loud volume over the weekends for house parties. So the sound should be room filling, lively, clear and have a solid punch.
  • The speaker’s should aesthetically look good. I don’t like grill covered speakers, they look very dead, flat and basic.
  • No need for streamer features, just a basic DAC / AMP with 2.1 support.
  • In the future I plan to add a suitable subwoofer for a 2.1 setup overall.
  • I currently do not have shelf space for AV Receivers.
  • Budget is 2-2.5L. Can push it but if I find something that fits all my needs under budget, I’d happily go for it.
  • Music I listen to - Electronic / House / Pop / Rock, you know the usual party types.
  • Overall sound setup must be future proof for atleast 5-10 years or so.
  • I‘m located in Mumbai, if there’s a place where I can listen to any recommendations please let me know.
  • If it’s possible to have a company bring over the KEF LS50 Meta’s and a recommended AMP for home testing.
  • I’m open for other speaker recommendations as long as they are value for money and have the best in class sound overall.
  • Looking to buy these products by June/July, 2022.
Quick question, since these LS50 Meta’s are passive will it be any issue for a PC? Like do I turn them off or the amp off before powering up my PC or will the AMP protect the speakers from powering up situations. Because in my current setup, my focusrite is connected to my PC via USB, both the KRK’s are powered, when I turn on my PC I get these loud speaker pops upon boot. I get lazy sometimes to power off the speakers individually before I turn on my PC. The speakers have a sleep function hence I sometimes leave it on 24x7. It turns on when a sound signal is passed through. However with my new DAC the Motu M2 this problem does not exist, maybe because it has newer technology.

If there is anything else you would like to know please ask. I will also think of any missing points and add it.

Thank you for your valuable time and input!

E08BE7F8-E25E-413C-8DA0-C22206B03052.jpeg
 

Attachments

  • 52D5BC7E-2AC1-4A22-934B-ACC7610242FC.jpeg
    52D5BC7E-2AC1-4A22-934B-ACC7610242FC.jpeg
    853.5 KB · Views: 14
  • 9F55D185-C5D4-4839-A86A-0D3D923885B1.jpeg
    9F55D185-C5D4-4839-A86A-0D3D923885B1.jpeg
    1,007.9 KB · Views: 16

OM_2K19

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 2, 2019
Messages
1,802
Points
113
Location
Bangalore
I have considered the KEF LS50 Wireless II but the lack of a USB input put me off and I don’t want to use Coaxial / Optical or WiFi. I also have a lot of WiFi devices at home and from what I’ve read online there are connection drops etc, basically having WiFi inbuilt is useless since it’s going to be hardwire connected to my PC.
If you intend to play your local music collection, you don't need a USB input. LS50 Wii comes with native HDMI/UPnP/Roon support to stream the Music to LS 50Wii. I don't see the absence of a USB as a deal-breaker. WiFi drops are no longer an issue; they fixed it last year via a firmware upgrade. I even had positive results by creating DHCP reservations in my router before the firmware fix.

In my experience, if you want to squeeze the max out of your LS 50 Meta, better hook them with a Hegel; else, go with the Active version. The amount of tweaking they have done with the Active version can easily rival the passive one hooked to a 10K$ set-up. For near-field listening, you may consider the LSX version (+ Sub); the LS 50 needs some room between the listener and the speaker to shine.
 

SpyVision

New Member
Joined
Jul 17, 2019
Messages
6
Points
3
Location
Mumbai, India
If you intend to play your local music collection, you don't need a USB input. LS50 Wii comes with native HDMI/UPnP/Roon support to stream the Music to LS 50Wii. I don't see the absence of a USB as a deal-breaker. WiFi drops are no longer an issue; they fixed it last year via a firmware upgrade. I even had positive results by creating DHCP reservations in my router before the firmware fix.

In my experience, if you want to squeeze the max out of your LS 50 Meta, better hook them with a Hegel; else, go with the Active version. The amount of tweaking they have done with the Active version can easily rival the passive one hooked to a 10K$ set-up. For near-field listening, you may consider the LSX version (+ Sub); the LS 50 needs some room between the listener and the speaker to shine.
Hi, I require the USB input to connect to my PC as its main source for sound. I will be using the speakers for everything, like browsing, games, movies, local music and Spotify music.
The LS50 Wireless 2 have a lot of features that’s of no use to me. The HDMI port I won’t be using, I know it supports eARC and ARC, but I’m using ‘Display Port’ for my PC to Monitor (which is 2K 165hz), I understand it’s just a sound pass through, but sometimes it can lead up to issues if it’s not in sync with the video speed pass through capability. HDMI 2.1 supports 4K 120Hz, I’m not sure what KEF is using, it could be 2.0.
As for Optical and Aux, doesn’t this limit or reduce the audio quality? I read this somewhere, I can’t remember where I found it.
I won’t be using Roon, UPnP.
I understand the Wireless 2’s are an all in one solution, but it comes at a hefty price tag and measly 1 year warranty which has put me off. I have bad luck occasionally with electronics and I don’t want the headache of something going wrong after warranty. I just thought the LS50 Meta’s made sense since it’s half the price tag.
I understand that it requires an AMP but I need recommendations for this. You mentioned ’Hegel’, but I cannot seem to find this online in India. I presume this will be way over budget for me. Also, I have space constraints, some of these AMP’s like Cambridge are massive in size for which I don’t have. I require something small in size. Budget overall is 2-2.50L including KEF Speakers at 1.50L. That leaves 1L for the AMP.
Isn’t the LSX an older model? They don’t seem to be available in India, all sold out, maybe because it’s outdated? Also they seem to be small in size. I have a large room, doubt it would be able to fill it up. Would prefer to buy a newer model.
If you think I should scrap this whole idea and get some other speakers, please do recommend. I currently have the Motu M2 and (Old) Focusrite 2i4 DAC.
 
Last edited:

Kannan

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2008
Messages
2,175
Points
113
Location
Chennai
why not upgrade to 3-way studio monitors. You can retain rest of your chain as it is and save space on an external amplifier. I recently got my relative a Dynaudio LYD 48 3-way monitors that is also space saving. Sounds superb. Has excellent power handling with excellent details even at low volumes. So either for parties or desktop (near field listening), it will perform equally well.
You can also look at other 3-way options from Rokit, Adam Audio etc.

If you are looking for all-in-one solution from home audio segment, many companies are now coming out with such models namely KEF that you have shorlisted with Elac, Q Acoustics, Dali, Airpulse (all its models have USB option), B & W, Magnat to name a few. How many of them have USB DAC option you will have to check individually.
 
Order your Rega Turntables & Amplifiers from HiFiMART.com - India's reputed online dealer.
Top