AudioStream Product of The Year 2018

Let’s be real, having to choose a product that qualifies itself as one that breaks through the noise of everything that 2018 saw in new products for audiophiles for all the myriad reasons that allows a product to set itself apart from all others is no easy job to take on.

But taking new technology, cutting-edge design, impeccable sound and build quality, ease of operation, price, usability and access to music in a way that it can be shared by everyone in my home all into consideration, the KEF LSX Wireless Music System gets my nod as AudioStream Product of The Year 2018.

KEF has historic design and SQ chops in the wireless speaker system department and has built on what is already an outstanding product in their $2,200 USD LS50 Wireless to deliver the LSX at half the price and almost all the features.

In the LSX, KEF has produced a timbral and tonally-rich sounding set of truly wireless loudspeakers (just needs AC power) that only require a source to stream tunes and are capable of creating an enormous, deep, 3D-soundscape with astounding resolution, airy treble, punchy mids and incredible, tight bass – especially from such a small package.

Look for an upcoming review in the New Year.

–Rafe Arnott

COMPANY INFO
KEF – GP Acoustics (US), Inc.
10 Timber Lane Marlboro NJ, 07746
orders@kefamerica.com
1-877-271-9355

COMMENTS
Sue's picture

...or were the KEF LSX speakers a slam dunk?

My only nit pick is the fabric finish. I'd love to see a pair of those in gloss black.

Everclear's picture

Check out KEF EGG $500, available in gloss black ....... Somewhat similar specs as LSX :-) .......

Also, KEF LS-50 wireless and KEF LS-50 Nocturnes are available in gloss black ........ They are higher priced than LSX :-) ............

Check out KEF website for details :-) ...........

The LS-50 Nocturnes were reviewed by TAS :-) ...........

Rafe Arnott's picture
There were a few others, but nothing close overall – especially when you factor in affordibility. The KEF come in at such a great price point and honestly – they sound absolutely amazing. Add in the wireless/wired flexibility, DSP options and usability by everyone in my family and it was a done deal.
Everclear's picture

May be Rafe could review KEF EGG speakers too ($500) :-) ..........

Sue's picture

Amazon is selling the KEF EGG for $319/pair. Also the LS50W (not wireless version) for $999/pair. Do I really need wireless? Sounds like a great deal for the EGG speakers and original LS50W.

Everclear's picture

Agree ....... The legacy LS-50 passive speakers are a great value for $999/pair ......... LS-50s are one of the most reviewed speakers .......... Seems like a lot of reviewers personally own them ...... You can't go wrong buying them :-) .........

The KEF EGG [eggs? :-)] are active and wireless .... meaning, no need for amps or wired connections, for sound ....... So, they can be driven (played) with a phone, tablet, lap-top or portable DAP wirelessly .......
Of course we can also make wired connection for sound ......... If you like streaming music, you may like the convenience of wireless :-) ..............

Darko Audio has a video demo of how he does all that with a phone using LSX ........ Darko also seems to do EQ with the phone with LSX, because LSXs have built-in DSP ........ I don't know whether we can do all that with the EGGs .......... There are several on-line reviews of EGG speakers ........ I haven't read all of them :-) ............

Everclear's picture

You could also check Elac Discovery Z3 wireless/wired self-powered speaker ......... It is (stereo) one box solution ....... It is selling for under $500 on Amazon ........ There are several positive reviews and answered questions on Amazon :-) ..........

Sue's picture

While checking out the Elac, I ran across the Dynaudio Xeo 2 active wireless bookshelf for $899. And I still have the KEF speakers in my Amazon shopping cart as well.

What to do, what to do....sure wish I could hear them. The sound is always the most important to me. Buy them all and have a shootout?

Everclear's picture

Agree ....... Difficult choices :-) ........
All three companies have great reputation for great sound ....... All three companies have talented designers/engineers, who care about sound .......
The Dynaudio speakers have more traditional 'boxy' look, but they don't look bad in white finish .......
The EGG and Discovery Z3 have more modern 'life style' look ......... The Elac looks like a (21st century) table-top radio, without an alarm clock ...... at least not yet :-) ........
The Elac is a compact one box ....... one power cord connection, fits in small spaces, and has no wires connecting the two boxes ......... Of course, it won't have that much of a stereo separation and 3-D imaging as the other two ...... The other two can be placed on either side of a desk-top/lap-top computer or a TV display ...........

Judging from all those positive reviews and the company reputations, I would say all three should sound good ........ If you are willing to spend the money, you can get all three under $2,000 ...... one for each room ....... Your family and friends would be impressed by the looks and sound ....... also, they can play their favorite music from their phones/tablets via Bluetooth or wired connection :-) ........

Everclear's picture

If you get any one of those or all three of those speakers, tell us how they sound ....... kinda like micro-mini review :-) .......

Sue's picture

I found a Soundstage review of the Dynaudo Xoe 2 that contained this comparison versos the KEF LS50. Looks like the LS50 wins.

"I was also curious to hear how my passive KEF LS50s ($1499.99/pair) would fare against the Xeo 2s. The LS50’s sculpted cabinet allows it to “disappear” from a room more completely than the Dynaudio, provide more finely delineated imaging, and sound even more spacious. The LS50’s midrange and treble, while ultimately more detailed than the Xeo 2’s, has a slightly relaxed, laid-back quality that contrasts with the Xeo’s slightly forward sound. At low to medium volumes, the KEF’s bass was actually outshone by the Dynaudio’s. The Xeo 2 dug lower and maintained its composure while doing so; the KEF turns a bit loose and lush. As the volume rose, however, and the Xeo 2’s DSP-driven midrange-woofer began to buckle and flap, the LS50 went unflappably on. For all of the Xeo 2’s strengths, the LS50 is superior -- it’s as good a two-way speaker as you can buy for $2000 or even $3000/pair. But how close to it the fully active Xeo 2 came for only $100/pair more -- which, remember, includes the power amps -- was remarkable."

Everclear's picture

Not surprising ....... Many audio reviewers own passive LS-50s and use them as 'gold standard' for comparison when reviewing any new bookshelf speakers ........ As I mentioned before you won't go wrong by buying passive LS-50s :-) ..........

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