KEF LSX Arrive for Review

Imaging.

That’s the first thing I noticed after I spent all of five minutes getting the new KEF LSX Wireless Music System up and running, that and prodigious, clean bass that seemed improbable from an $1,100 USD pint-sized loudspeaker not even mounted on stands.

I wrote about the LSX launch in November HERE, where you can read all about their specs and a Q&A on their new design with KEF Brand Ambassador Johan Coorg.

The LSX comes beautifully and solidly packaged, double-boxed with a pair of dedicated AC/mains cables an Ethernet cable, remote control and a Quick-Start Guide. They’re ridiculously easy to set up and have music playing in no time, all I did was download the KEF Control and KEF Stream apps (which Tidal and Spotify directly feed into) to my iPad, run through the app instructions and Tidal Hifi was playing clearly with gorgeous tone and timbre to stringed instruments, weight on piano notes and brassy hues to saxophones and trumpets. Congested electronic music was presented with plenty of space around all instruments and that bass... so clean, so deep, so crazy for something that is literally placed amongst novels on a large set of bookshelves.

I’m currently running them at 24/48 completely wirelessly via my dedicated audio wifi router and plan on hooking my MacBook Air 11-inch with Roon Core into the mix next. With an AUX and TOSLINK Optical connection included alongside a 3.5mm auxiliary input and an RJ45 Ethernet connection, there's plenty of options for jacking in via wires if you want to run at 24/96.

With a Uni-Q drive array consisting of a .75-inch aluminum-dome tweeter and 4.5-inch mid-bass magnesium/alloy cone that delivers a stated frequency response of 54Hz~28kHz (depending on speaker settings), the LSX is primed to set a new bar for what I expect from a mini-monitor, never mind one that needs only a source to run. Add in four Class-D amplifiers, with each individually optimized to each of the drive units, alongside dedicated DACs and it ups the LSX’s game even further.

The room-placement freedom that wireless connectivity between the speakers unlocks will be a boon to urban apartment dwellers for their main system, or someone like me who is looking for that second system to add to their home or cabin. Hell you don’t even need wifi to run them thanks to Bluetooth 4.2 built-in. Look for the LSX to support full AirPlay 2 features coming in January.

Look for a full review in the new year.

COMPANY INFO
KEF – GP Acoustics (US), Inc.
10 Timber Lane, Marlboro, New Jersey US-07746, United States
info.us@kef.com
+1 732 683 23 56

COMMENTS
darthlaker's picture

Premium price and a USB charging plug but no USB input plug. Major fail. Next.

Rafe Arnott's picture
An incredible-sounding system, with an emphasis on wireless input for $1,100 is a 'Major fail" to you because it lacks USB input?

You and I have very different ideas of what constitutes a failure.

hb72's picture

There are really lots of streamers out there which do not permit feeding via USB and I wouldn’t rate them all as major fail. On the contrary.

So, i really do not see your point, sorry.

darthlaker's picture

Premium price.

Easy input to have a USB input on there.

Each to their own.

PoweredSound's picture

It is too bad the Bluetooth wasn't AptX HD but probably too new. The USB charging should should make it easy to add a Bluetooth receiver once AptX HD becomes more common. Would be awesome to see a comparison to the LS50W.

Rafe Arnott's picture
I'll ask KEF if it's something a firmware update can accommodate.

But it's dependent on having the CSR8675 Bluetooth audio SOC (system on chip). So, if that's what KEF is using, they could update it, but perhaps since it's 24/48 via Wi-Fi (24/92 wired), they figured 16/44 for Bluetooth was good enough.

As it is, aptX HD is 24-bit/48kHz with a compression ratio of 4:1, and a bitrate of 576kbps. Regular aptX is 16-bit/44kHz with a bitrate of 352kbps and the same 4:1 compression.

jaiello's picture

I own these. Sure I would like to have a USB input. I'd like them to come in more colors. I'd like lots of things but epic fail? Nope. Great speakers. It's easy to say epic fail to anything. New car? Doesn't have run flat tire? Epic fail. How about you tell us what you are buying that are not an epic fail? I bet you aren't buying anything. You are just standing outside throwing rocks.

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