Well-known in the audiophile circle, KEF decided to celebrate its 50th anniversary in a very popular way among producers, timed to release the new LS50 acoustics. It should be noted that with a fairly generic undertaking, the British developers managed to really surprise their fans. Looking ahead, the KEF LS50 shelf speaker system, made in mini form factor, can match the quality of the output audio scene with many outdoor Hi-Fi speakers. The manufacturer has very carefully approached the creation of a new speaker, which is noticeable both in a well-designed external design and in high acoustic characteristics.
When meeting with a new pair of columns, the first thing that catches the eye is miniature. Made in a compact package with a depth of 278 mm, the acoustics fit perfectly even in small apartments, without problems being placed on a shelf or racks. The weight of each speaker is 7.2 kg, which, with compact dimensions, guarantees excellent stability with maximum output power. Thick walls of MDF together with a high level of assembly ensure the reliability of acoustics and excellent anti-resonance properties, contributing to the formation of natural sound.
The design and exterior design of the KEF LS50 model deserves special attention. Thanks to the first-class piano lacquer coating, the acoustics look stylish and modern, while a wide variety of color finishes allows you to choose the speakers for the interior of the room. On the front panel of the column with a memorable curved shape, sound emitters are compactly placed. On the top panel the logo of the brand flaunts, and the rear part of the case is equipped with a bass reflex port and a pair of quality gold-plated screw terminals.
The company-producer KEF used all the long-term experience in the new two-way acoustics. The sound scheme of the shelf speakers, capable of providing a maximum power of 100 watts per channel, is built on the basis of selected components and specially designed speakers. The 130 mm Uni-Q driver and mid-bass driver at the center of the radiator, thanks to the ring-shaped design, the 25 mm tweeter allows audio files to be played in the frequency range 47-45,000 Hz.
The proprietary coaxial low-frequency Uni-Q loudspeaker with a rigid dome, large neodymium magnet and magnesium-aluminum diffuser is placed in a special damper chamber that suppresses the arising vibrations. Suspension of the MF / LF-emitter is flexible, which allows the system to form a dynamic scene with a well-detailed middle and deep bottoms. Responding to the upper frequency range, the emitter with an aluminum dome and a special ventilated structure is placed in the middle of the bass with the help of Tangerine technology.
Thanks to the coaxial design of the speakers, the manufacturer managed to balance the reproduced audio scene as much as possible. Nearby sound emitters form a dense stream that provides a truly unified sound palette. A crossover consisting of two boards with a separation frequency of 2200 Hz guarantees harmonious operation of the speakers with a minimum noise level. With a sensitivity of 85 dB and a maximum sound pressure of 106 dB, the shelf speakers recreate a natural scene with wide frequency boundaries and a rich palette of the output audio stream.
The company KEF professionally approached the development of not only speakers, but also a bass reflex. Due to the open acoustic design, the LS50's poles recreate surround sound with a deep and rich bass. The bass reflex tube made of special elastic material with a special design difference makes it possible to significantly reduce the level of transverse resonance in operation. Providing a qualitative reconstruction of the sound wave, the rear bass reflex perfectly complements the high-level output stage of the front radiators.
The music scene reproduced by the KEF LS50 shelf system as well as the sound arrangement of the speakers deserves all sorts of praise. With compact dimensions, the speakers are able to provide sound with a maximum output of 100 W and decent acoustic characteristics for professional scoring from 15 to 20 m2. A detailed audio pad with a wide frequency range picks up and delivers to the listener all the sounds of musical instruments. Specially designed dynamics guarantee the purity of the upper, the detail of the middle and the saturation of the lower classes in any genre direction.
The advanced design of cases with high anti-resonance properties and proprietary reproduction scheme make the KEF LS50 shelf audio system a universal option for a modern music lover.
The drive unit complement is the latest evolution of KEF’s trademark Uni-Q array. The Uni-Q may look like a single unit, but it’s really a 25mm aluminium dome tweeter in the centre of a 13cm magnesium/aluminium–coned mid/bass. The idea is to improve the way the speaker disperses sound and help integration.What looks like a grille in front of the tweeter is in fact a waveguide that improves its high-frequency performance. Even without that opinion-dividing colour – KEF calls it Rose Gold – this is one distinctive driver complement.
The engineers have worked hard on the cabinet. That curved front panel is made of DMC (Dough Moulding Compound: a polyester resin combined with glass fibre and calcium carbonate). DMC was chosen for its mass and inertness.The rest of the enclosure is made from MDF. It’s heavily braced and strongly damped to minimise any resonances.We don’t tend to go on too much about reflex ports. The elliptical one used to tune the bass on the LS50 is unusual, though. Put your fingers inside and you’ll feel that it’s flexible. This helps to reduce any unwanted midrange distortions.
Given a little space to breathe and mounted on a pair of solid stands these monitors sound terrific. The first thing that strikes us is the quality of the bass performance.For boxes that stand just 30cm high, these speakers deliver deep, agile and powerful lows from the likes of Massive Attack’s Flat of the Blade. But, unlike most small speakers that deliver big bass, the LS50s don’t over-egg things – everything sounds balanced.
Move up the frequency range and these KEFs continue to impress. Kate Bush’s vocals on 50 Words For Snow are as clear and articulate as you could wish for. These speakers communicate the energy and drive in a piece of music brilliantly.We’re impressed by the speaker’s seamless integration too, as we are by the way it sets up a huge stereo image populated by securely focused sounds.And, perhaps most importantly, these speakers are fun to listen to. It’s not something (we think) KEF has always managed with its products. Here it has.
• quality cases with a stylish and memorable design;
• emitters with selected materials and sound elements;
• Well-designed design of the phase inverter;
• High output power of sound with compact dimensions of AC;
• A rich sound stage with a volume stream and live musical instruments.
• There is no connection type Bi-wiring.
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