Bookshelf speakers (High Gloss Piano Black)
Our take on the KEF LS50 by Crutchfield's Kramer Crane
Exquisite sound, fifty years in the making
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.
A room-filling "sweet spot," thanks to Uni-Q® technology
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.
My experience with the LS50s
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.
Match your LS50s with a great pair of stands
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.
- reference-level performance in a "mini monitor" design
- ideal for a high-end stereo music system
- Uni-Q® driver array technology makes your entire room sound like the "sweet spot"
- 5-1/4" magnesium/aluminum alloy woofer
- 1" vented aluminum dome tweeter
- frequency response: 79-28,000 Hz (±3 dB)
- sensitivity: 85 dB
- impedance: 8 ohms
- recommended amplifier power: 25-100 watts
- constrained layer damping prevents cabinet rattling and vibrations
- curved baffle design ensures smooth soundwave dispersion with minimal reflection
- bass-reflex cabinet with elliptical rear port for accurate, musical bass
- 5-way binding post speaker terminals
- high gloss piano black finish
- 7-15/16"W x 11-15/16"H x 10-15/16"D
- weight: 15.8 lbs. (each)
- warranty: 5 years
- Our 60-day money-back guarantee
What's in the Box:
- 2 Bookshelf loudspeakers
- 2 Foam port plugs
- 8 Self-adhesive rubber feet
- Owner's Manual
- Warranty Registration Card
Great speakers - highly recommend
Anonymous, Newton, IA
KEF LS50 Reviews
Average Customer Review(s):
Thanks for submitting your review
Features and Specs
|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.
- 1" Aluminum Vented-Dome Tweeter: The geometry of the tweeter dome matches that of the midrange cone to avoid disrupting the waveform. By smoothening high frequency response, this helps to account for the detailed and strikingly natural-sounding treble. The 1" aluminum vented-dome tweeter utilizes a Tangerine Waveguide to encourage the sound to radiate spherically for wider, more even dispersion so that everyone in the room enjoys the same superb sound quality. A large internal vent prevents potentially distorting high pressures from building up behind the dome in the critical vocal region, preserving all the nuance and fine detail of the original performance.
- 5.25" Magnesium/Aluminum Alloy Woofer: The 5.25" woofer uses a magnesium/aluminum alloy cone that is light, stiff, and smooth for natural midrange and midbass sound. A well as allowing the midrange cone its full extension, KEF's ingenious Z-flex surround guides the sound from the tweeter across the surround without any disturbance or secondary radiation. Treble response is clearer and sweeter.
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.
- Curved Baffle: The curved baffle is shaped so that the sound waves spread from the drivers with minimum reflection from the edges which gives a very nice spacious sound. The curvature also improves the rigidity of the baffle which reduces vibration and sound coloration.
- Constrained Layer Damping: The constrained layer damping which is between the brace and the enclosure walls and also the front baffle, prevents the cabinet from vibrating and radiating sound. This helps to prevent coloration in the midrange.
- Flexible Port Tube: The rear-firing port tube has a flexible wall which allows midrange sound that is travelling down the port tube to escape back into the cabinet and prevents longitudinal resonances; which can otherwise radiate and cause midrange coloration. The port tube also has very carefully flared walls to avoid the chuffing noises that you can hear when you get air turbulence inside the port. Two foam port plugs are included to seal the cabinet if the bass is too "boomy" because of speaker placement.
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.
Our Product Research Team
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.
Product reviews from the Crutchfield Labs
by Kramer Crane
Which KEF LS50 speakers are for you? Powered or non-powered? Crutchfield's reviewers offer their takes.
Why did you buy this?
The general Quality-to-Price ratio fits the speaker's Intended Use (my mother), plus the ultra compact size makes these worth a try. Also: Nice fit, finish & design. Go KEF. [ michael Aug 16, 2018 ]
Online reviews, your return policy, special discounted price for scratch and dent. [ Shovik Jun 14, 2018 ]
To explore the LS50 legend. [ DONALD Apr 28, 2018 ]
simply luv the look as well as sound [ SHIRADWADE SATE Apr 26, 2018 ]
I've read a lot of reviews and these speakers seem like they will be classics [ James Apr 21, 2018 ]
They're RAD [ Jeffrey Mar 05, 2018 ]
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 ]
Amazing sounding speaker [ Rafael Mar 31, 2018 ]
People raves about it and it looks beautiful! [ Manny F. Mar 18, 2018 ]
Replacing a 20 year set of Cambridge Soundworks speakers which still sound great. Decided it was time for new technology and a fresh sound. Very hopeful that they exceed my expectations and sound better than what I have. [ John W. Feb 26, 2018 ]
To pair with Arcam A19 integrates amp. [ S Dec 31, 2017 ]
Looking for more? Check out the next model in this lineup.
Get built-in high-performance amplification that's specifically tuned to match the LS50's drivers
The KEF LS50 Wireless offers these features:
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