Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
KEF has spent decades refining the sound of their reference-level bookshelf speakers. The LS50s are the culmination of their hard work, marking 50 years of speaker innovation. This stylish pair of bookshelf speakers creates engaging, room-filling sound. Its sleek, grille-less design is available in two high-gloss finishes that will stand out in your room.
KEF's patented Uni-Q technology places each speaker's tweeter in the acoustic center of the bass/midrange cone. This lets the LS50s create a detailed and accurate three-dimensional sound image. This makes the "sweet spot" (the ideal listening position) much larger. Sit wherever you like — you'll have fantastic sound throughout your room.
KEF LS50 bookshelf speakers leverage 50 years of expert design and craftsmanship to create a phenomenal listening experience.
One of the best parts of working at Crutchfield is listening to the variety of speakers that come through our doors. It's fair to say that we geek out about it. So I was thrilled when I had the opportunity to test the award-winning LS50 bookshelf speakers.
I listened to a dozen high-resolution tracks that revealed crystal-clear detail and pinpoint imaging. "Billie Jean" from Michael Jackson's Thriller album had that instantly recognizable 80s glossy production texture and feel.
When we landed on the ballad "Blue in Green" from Miles Davis' seminal Kind of Blue album, coworker JR Stoffel remarked on the detail you could hear in Jimmy Cobb's delicate brushwork.
I was pleasantly surprised by the LS50's bass response. Even in a large, open room these speakers delivered musical, full-bodied bass.
Want the best sound possible from your LS50s? Pick up a pair of custom-designed LS50 speaker stands. KEF created these to provide a rock-solid foundation for your speakers.
Ruben J Lizardi, San Juan, PR
Average Customer Review(s):
These speakers sound phenomenal. Such as dynamic sound from bookshelf speakers. I paired the LS50s with a RR2160 stereo amplifier, and I was blow away listening to records and studio-quality lossless digital-audio.
I picked these up on sale for $1,000, and for that price, they are fantastic. I've seen a lot of reviews stating how they blow away speakers many times the price, including tower speakers. To my ears, that's a bit of an exaggeration. While they compete with most similarly sized bookshelf speakers of any price, they lack the dynamics of decent (at least $3000 a pair) floor standers. And I certainly wouldn't use them for a home theater as they lack a lot of low end boom (you'll need bigger speakers for that). These are definitely music oriented speakers that do particularly well with jazz, electronic, classical, and classic rock. They do not do so well with rap or pop music due to their tighter bass. Compared to my Klipsch RF7-IIs, which I use for my home theater, the Kefs lack some of crispness in the highs that the massive Klipschs have. And it goes without saying that the Kef's lack the low end punch that the RF7-II's two ten inch woofers provide. I know this is an unfair comparison, but for those who are going for the absolute best performance for all types of music, the Kef's may not be the best choice if money or space aren't an issue. Compared to other bookshelf speakers, the only ones that I've heard that sound better cost close to $10,000. So if you want a small speaker with great sound, these are about as good as it gets without breaking the bank.
Pros: Soundstage, mids, clarity, tight bass, beautiful finish.
Cons: Low end lacks the presence required for some genres, the highs may be a bit too laid back for some.
These are GREAT speakers. Powered by NAD 388, playing a mix of jazz, classical, etc. The soundstage is wide, and the speakers reproduce what was recorded with amazing accuracy and clarity. Great detail, and the bass is fine. ( Like any speaker they need accurate placement for their best performance) They're not super high end audiophile, but for the price they are right up in the top tier of even more expensive speakers. I could listen to them all day. With the right amp and placement the low end is excellent.
Pros: Very accurate Excellent soundstage
Cons: Needs a high quality amp for best performance.
Excellent vocal and music presentation. Very articulate treble soundstage with a judicious amount of bass. I'm very happy with this purchase!
Pros: Price and setup was a breeze. Sound great on 28" stands filled with a 50lb mix of sand and lead shot in each.
Terrific detail for such a compact speaker, but still hoping for bass to open up more. Disappointingly experiencing some distortion on higher volumes with mid range. Was not expecting this since the reviews talk about clarity. Running a vintage Marantz 4140 amp to drive these, and wondering about compatibility...hate to buy another amp to pair with these, so we will see as these are still in the burn in phase and am trying to give them a chance to shine. Can see why a sub would be necessary for these.
Pros: Aesthetically pleasing to the eye
Cons: Seems easy to overdrive these at higher volumes
Unsure whether to buy online without comparing to other speakers in person. Decided to upgrade from a pair of Focal Chorus 706S model (earlier model from current stock). Finally decided to take the plunge when I saw a price reduction. Ahhhh.... Everything the reviewers related was accurate. Fabulous sound. Full, wonderfully balanced and detailed. Very pleased!
Pros: Clear, detailed, full and spacious sound.
Cons: low efficiency? but I don't notice at the volume levels I listen to.
My first nice pair of speakers. They may be five stars but I need a little more time to use and compare. ??
I paired the KEF up with the new Outlaw Reciever... wow! Wonderful! The speakers need some run time to sound their best. Simply run music thru them for a week or so. The bass will develope nicely as they losses up. I start them off at a low volume and ease them into life... KEF has done a fantastic job building these guy. Great finish rock solid and a sweet happy midrange! I love the sound! They are small in size but very big in sound and sound stage. They do need a good amount of power so don't think of trying to run them with some single ended triode, it ain't gonna work. The Outlaw has plenty of power to do them justice. Buy these guys! Enjoy!
Pros: All good
Cons: Not much.
This is probably the best standmount speaker on the market-at least for under $5000. The B&W 805 is comparable in quality (though a bit different sonically and maybe just a touch higher-end in the upper registers), but its price is silly next to what KEF asks for the LS50, which easily beat my DALI Ikon 1 MK2 standmount and 7 MK2 floorstanding model, along with the higher-line Mentor 6 floorstander). Be sure to give them room behind and on the sides, and let them break in for a couple days' worth of less-than-optimum playback. The LS50 will the. open up and sweeten to its correct registers across the spectrum, presenting a holographic stage. Finally, give this speaker good power. I use both NAD M27 and PrimaLuna DiaLogue HP amplifiers. The latter is superior, but both are "Class A" amps (per Stereophile's ratings). Great speakers need at least above-average power. Ignore Wattage ratings. Good power is clean and consistent across the bandwidth. Read reputable reviews. Avoid low-end receivers, no matter how tempting. Crutchfield has an excellent selection, and, as always, their reps will help you choose the right one. I've been shopping with Crutchfield since the late 1980s, when I was a graduate student at the University, and, not only was Crutchfield the same "best" electronics store back then as it is now, its people were the same knowledgeable and helpful professionals they are today. Trust that relationship with good people. The right gear will follow.
Pros: Class A sound for Class C price.
Cons: Some say "not enough low end." Not true: use a great amp, and you'll hear the LS50 go places you thought impossible.
Great quality. I had Sony towers and upgraded to these Kefs. I may add a sub in the future but now I am using just the bookshelves and they sound great.
The LS50s are great. I've had many speakers in the past 5 years (klipsch, Kef R series, Kef Reference, Tekton double impact), and the LS50s are perfect for desktop application. In the past I had used the LS50s for home theater but found that I couldn't get enough mid-base to remain satisfied, and that their use for "home theater" can't quite reach the dynamic peaks required for intensive scenes requiring higher volume. Kef of course didn't design the speaker for home theater and didn't intend for consumers to use them in that application--explicitly stated use as nearfield monitor, but of course I wanted to get Class A speaker into my home theater so i repurposed them. Right now i have them on my computer desktop with isoacoustic stands and a nuprime ida-8. With that simple setup I could improve the sound with the active ls50s or buy a better integrated amp e.g. deviate, but I wouldn't recommend spending more than ~2k on this setup, or I'd suggest buying the active speakers--which are highly regarded as sounding better than vastly more expensive separates--or buy the kef reference or even some of the tekton speakers. The caveat to spending more than 2k would be in the event you want to pair the ls50s with a tube amp--which I may actually do in the future. Excellent speaker, happy once again.
Pros: -clean, clear, good base on desktop, classy looking speaker
Cons: -isn't a full tower ls50 with more mid-bass and lower bass drivers but magically keeping the soundstage and cost to 1k.
One of the best speakers ever bought, they are extrembly well built and heavy. Every inch oozes quality. I use them as my main front speakers in my setup and they work beautifully. You do need to add a subwoofer to give the resulting sound a deeper bass but I expected that. Did I mention they look gorgeous? No complain so far, pretty happy with the purchase and I highly recommend them in a home theater or stereo setups, they are very versatile.
Pros: Small, resolving
Cons: Light on the bass but not a problem with a subwoofer (expected due to size)
Great Sound! You feel like you are in the venue with the artist playing for you. Highly recommend these speakers.
I was very surprised to see these at Crutchfield. The KEF LS50 while not old is becoming somewhat of a audiophile legend. When I found these at an "open-box" sale price, I just couldn't resist. This is my first experience with KEF but do believe all the good hype you've heard about this speaker. I'm using it as part of my desktop computer audio system and is an immense step upward from the Audioengine P4's that it replaces. Not that the P4's are bad in any sense, they are actually incredibly good for a smaller speaker, but the LS 50s are in another league altogether. I listen almost exclusively to classical, jazz, folk and easy rock and the KEFs really get to the heart of a recording like I've never heard before while never becoming edgy or bright. Plus they can be stand-mounted and used as part of a regular 2-channel room system. BTW a subwoofer is probably optional for the LS50s even though I'm using my Audioengine S-8 (turned way-down) to round out the bottom end. I should mention, my system consists of a Marantz HD-AMP1 / Oppo UDP205 / Audioengine S-8 Subwoofer connected to my iMac Retina via Audioquest cabling. While this might not be the cat's meow for everybody, it certainly floats my audio-boat and fills many hours with absolutely wonderful hi-def music. The only problem is that recently KEF released the LS50 Wireless version that is supposed to be even better and I'm getting a bad case of up-grade-itis that may have to be reckoned with.
Pros: Believe the other reviews
Cons: Nothing comes to mind
These compact units speak much larger than their size. Most importantly, the quality of sound is amazing, especially for the price point. The soundstage beats speakers many times the cost of these. Highly recommended.
Phenominally happy with these speakers that replaced ADS L9e speakers I loved for 25 years. I love no longer hearing driver separation. This must be how the master engineer heard recordings in the studio - all I notice now is the music. Using with NAD c356 BEE, that has some punch (decent amp) and these KEFs hang in superbly. I was worried I would not find a reasonably priced replacement for my ADSs - but after researching and listening... am stoked on the LS50s. If you want to pay attention to the recordings and diminish awareness of the equipment these will do...
Pros: Clarity. No driver separation. Excellent dispersion. Huge volume range, with same presentation throughout.
Cons: Flatter response to bass and treble adjustments than traditional 3 way speaker design.
Absolutely great sound comes out of theses little beast with super tight bass and fwrd sound as long as you keep normal leves. They are not to be used if you like listening to high volumes with heavy bass content or distortion guitars. The drivers will over extend and distort quite bad.
Pros: Super tight bass and clear mids with detailed highs
Cons: Do not play them at loud level or they will over drive and distort on the mids and especially the lows.
Very good set of bookshelf speakers. Works well on desks but will be great on the stands. Due to its uniQ driver technology, highs and mids are very well integrated and it feels like the sound is coming from one single source. On and off axis dispersion of sound is great. One drawback of smaller speakers is the lows. With KEF LS50, bass is adequate for 5.25inch driver. But if you need more bass, you need to add a subwoofer. Since this speaker doesn't come with a speaker grill to cover the driver, you will have to be careful when you have mischievous kids. Overall a great buy.
Pros: - Well integrated highs and lows - On and off axis dispersion of sound - Smaller in size but not on sound. - Vocals sound great
Cons: - Bass is adequate for its driver size but many will prefer a subwoofer - Doesn't come with the speaker grill - Bass port on the rear so keeping it closer to the walls will result in muddy bass
|Tweeter Type||Vented dome|
|Tweeter Size (inches)||1|
|Midrange Size (inches)||N/A|
|Woofer Size (inches)||5.25|
|Woofer Composition||Magnesium/aluminum alloy|
|Frequency Response||79-28k Hz|
|Mounting Bracket Included||No|
|Recommended Stand Height (inches)||18-28|
|Parts Warranty||5 Years|
|Labor Warranty||5 Years|
Uni-Q Driver Array: The LS50 bookshelf loudspeakers feature KEF's patented Uni-Q driver configuration, in which the tweeter is mounted at the acoustic center of the midrange cone. With both acting as a single point source, the sound is dispersed widely and evenly throughout the listening area allowing you to experience superbly defined and perfectly balanced stereo imagery with a wide "sweet spot". The Uni-Q driver array is made up of a 1" aluminum vented-dome tweeter and a 5.25" magnesium/aluminum alloy cone woofer.
FEA-Designed Cabinet: The FEA-designed cabinet with its constrained layer damping bracing and precision engineered curved baffle, along with the elliptical flexible port all work in concert to prevent cabinet vibration and resonances that produce unwanted sound coloration for clear, spacious, distortion-free sound.
Note: The LS50 bookshelf loudspeakers do not include grilles.
Binding Post Terminals: On the rear of each speaker cabinet is a pair of heavy-duty binding post terminals to connect your speaker wire (sold separately). The binding post terminals will accept bare wire (up to 10AWG), pin-connectors, spade-lugs, and banana plugs (single only).
Mounting Options: The KEF LS50 bookshelf loudspeakers can be simply mounted on a stand, shelf, table top, or other flat surface. The KEF GFS-524 LS50 speaker stands (sold separately) are custom-designed specifically for the LS50 bookshelf speakers. The speakers should be mounted 18" to 28" from the floor and spaced 6' to 10' apart. They should be "toed" in slightly to the main listening area. Eight self-adhesive rubber feet (four for each speaker) are included to provide a secure non-slip, protective mounting surface. The feet add approximately 0.1875" to the overall height of the speaker.
Note: There are no keyhole slots or threaded inserts to accommodate wall mounting.
At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team. They verify what’s in the box, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.
online reviews and audio forum reputation [ greyscale Jan 28, 2018 ]
other user opinions on quality of sound [ Mark Dec 04, 2017 ]
Excellent sound [ Brian Dec 03, 2017 ]
There are the best speaker at this price range. [ Wing Nov 29, 2017 ]
great reviews [ mark Nov 29, 2017 ]
These are great speakers for their size. I plan to use them in my office to listen to jazz. With the sale price they are a very good value. [ Bob Nov 29, 2017 ]
This is a Stereophile A (LF restricted) rated speaker. [ Edwin Nov 28, 2017 ]
excellent reviews. [ David Nov 28, 2017 ]
Want the best [ New User Nov 28, 2017 ]
Most audio equipment is black or silver... [ Michael Nov 22, 2017 ]
To pair with Arcam A19 integrates amp. [ S Dec 31, 2017 ]
bi-amped design with separate Class D woofer and tweeter amplifiers for greater headroom and lower distortion
Bluetooth® 4.0 with aptX® for high-quality audio streaming performance
built-in dual-band Wi-Fi® for audio streaming from DLNA devices on your network