After many people clamored for the creation of smaller speakers that can fit in small apartments, one of the answers to this problem is the invention of bookshelf speakers. Fortunately, certain market and technical issues have contributed to the widespread adoption of bookshelf speakers until now.
Bookshelf speakers have improved drastically over time, and it has reached a point where they can be used wirelessly. One of the renowned manufacturers of bookshelf speakers, KEF, has also produced a series of wireless bookshelf speakers, and we will be determining which of their two products is better: the KEF LSX or KEF LS50?
We know that it would really be difficult for you to choose which is better, that is why we are going to help you create a side-by-side comparison with the two top-notch wireless bookshelf speakers.
|KEF LSX Wireless Music System (Black, Pair) LSX Black||Check Latest Price|
|KEF LS50 Wireless II (Pair, Carbon Black)||Check Latest Price|
After the successful launch of the KEF LS50, KEF has released a miniature version of it, the KEF LSX. The KEF LSX bookshelf speaker still utilizes the company’s renowned Uni-Q driver technology that is able to produce high-quality sound.
The KEF LSX is equipped with an impressively designed miniaturized Uni-Q driver, which produces impressive highs and mids. Although its bass does not extend too deep, it can reach around 55Hz with enough volume that those frequencies can be clearly heard and felt.
Audio specifications of the KEF LSX:
|Driver||1 x 4.5-inch (115 mm) magnesium/aluminum alloy cone;0.75-inch (19 mm) aluminum dome tweeter|
|Frequency Response (±3dB)||54 Hz – 28 kHz (More bass extension)59 Hz – 28 kHz (Standard)69 Hz – 28 kHz (Less bass extension)|
|Resolution||Input (Supports up to 192 kHz/24 bit)Output (Wireless Mode: 48 kHz/24 bit; Cable Mode: 96 kHz/24 bit)|
|Amplifier Output Power||Low Frequency: 70 WattsHigh Frequency: 30 Watts|
|Maximum Output (SPL)||102 dB|
The KEF LSX has four Class-D amplifiers, one for each of the driver units, which can produce a high-end digital signal of up to 96 kHz/24-bit, but to achieve this high-resolution signal, you will need to run an ethernet cable between the two speakers.
The KEF LSX twin 4.5-inch drivers effortlessly produce an impactful and muscular bass. Although it is not really that noticeable at a lower volume in comparison to higher ones, it is still enough and feels tight and compact.
From both male and female, Vocals are portrayed equally well by the KEF LSX, and its midrange has a warm emphasis and is very detailed. Its treble is equally remarkable with the midrange. Its extension is great and is able to reach the topmost audible area without issues.
The KEF LSX tweeters portray great details as you can notice there are no peaks and dips when high-pitched instruments like cymbals and hi-hats are played, and they are clearly present in the mix without being either piercing or, on the other hand, distant. Instead, the tweeters lend air and greatly counterbalances the bass.
Amazon gave an average score of 3.9 stars out of 5 stars for its totality as a bookshelf speaker. They also gave an average score of 4.4 stars out of 5 stars for its sound quality, as the reviewers were impressed with its well-balanced sound from its small frame.
Sound-wise, the KEF LSX is one of the most outstanding options for bookshelf speakers available in the market. Being able to create a miniaturized version of the highly-touted Uni-Q driver array is highly impressive on its own, and the KEF LSX is equipped with this great arsenal.
KEF launched the LS50 Wireless in the market in 2016 and, since then, has received numerous praises. The KEF L50 Wireless bookshelf speaker uses KEF’s trademarked Uni-Q driver/tweeter design, complete with a specialized waveguide to improve overall performance.
The KEF LS50 features an impressively designed 5.25-inch driver with a 1-inch tweeter fitted in its center. The KEF LS50 speakers are omnidirectional, which means that they are able to radiate sound accurately throughout a room regardless of the listener’s position.
Audio specifications of the KEF L50:
|Driver||1 x 5.25-inch magnesium-aluminum alloy cone|
1-inch (25 mm) vented aluminum dome
|Frequency Response (±3dB)Measured at 85 db/1 m||45 Hz – 28 kHz (More bass extension) |
50 Hz – 28 kHz (Standard)
61 Hz – 28 kHz (Less bass extension)
|Resolution||Up to 24bit|
|Sampling Rate||192 kHz with USB Type B or 96 kHz with Optical|
|Amplifier Output Power||Low Frequency: 200 Watts |
High Frequency: 30 Watts
|Maximum Output (SPL)||106 dB|
The KEF LS50 has two power amplifiers inside each speaker, one for the bass and midrange driver and one for the tweeter. They produce a clean and precise sound. The speakers are impressively able to generate strong dynamic shifts without stress.
Its bass extends almost linearly to the lower notes, similar to KEF LSX, and its midrange is clean, clear, articulate, well-layered, and detailed. The highs are crystal clear as its extension reaches the uppermost area with ease resulting in a nice sense of space and air.
Amazon gave an average score of 4.1 stars out of 5 stars for its totality as a bookshelf speaker.
Overall, the KEF LS50 is an excellent bookshelf speaker that every audiophile would want. Its sound quality is impeccable due to the Uni-Q driver array. Considering the price you will pay for its sound quality, then the KEF LS50 is an excellent option.
When it comes to size, it is safe to say that the KEF LSX is really small. Although its cabinets are made of plastic, they can still take a beating and are solidly built.
Dimensions of the KEF LSX:
|Dimension (H x W x D)||240 x 155 x 180 mm (9.5 x 6.1 x 7.1 in)|
|Weight||Master: 3.6 kg (7.9 lbs)|
Slave: 3.5kg (7.7 lbs)
Optimized using Finite Element Analysis, the KEF LSX has a contoured baffle that improves sound dispersion, ensuring that sound waves travel outwards and are not reflected around the cabinet surface, resulting in a purer sound with less cabinet coloration.
The KEF LSX uses its company’s own digital signal processing technology, the Music Integrity Engine, which helps the speakers deliver transparent bass with great extension while reducing distortion, resulting in a rich and full-bodied sound.
The use of Class-D amplification by the KEF LSX allows it not to include a heatsink in its design, which gives it a tidier look. The speakers are covered in a stylish, textured fabric that requires vacuuming occasionally. This fabric comes from Danish designer, Kvadrat, who worked together with the speaker cabinet designer, Michael Young.
Its overall build quality is impressive as its sound quality. The plastics used in the cabinets are high quality and is durable. The fabric used gives the speaker a very elegant look overall. These bookshelf speakers are really compact as advertised.
It is hard to find any faults in the KEF LSX’s build quality.
The KEF LS50 Wireless speakers have a beautiful aesthetic and are well-built pair of bookshelf speakers. Its available colors are titanium, black gloss, or white gloss.
The KEF LS50’s cabinet is made from medium-density fiberboard, an industry standard for speakers, and its front is hard resin. It is heavily braced to reduce movements from vibrations. The KEF LS50 is impressively built and the materials used are high-quality, which is why you can expect that these will last for a long time.
Dimensions of the KEF LS50 Wireless:
|KEF LS50 Wireless||Specifications|
|Dimension (H x W x D)||300 x 200 x 308 mm (11.8 x 7.9 x 12 in)|
|Weight||Left Speaker: 10.0 kg (22.0 lbs)|
Right Speaker: 10.2 kg (22.5 lbs)
The KEF LS50’s cabinet is made from medium-density fiberboard, an industry standard for speakers, and its front is hard resin. The KEF LS50 is impressively built and the materials used are high-quality, which is why you can expect that these will last for a long time.
The resin used for the front of the KEF LS50 is actually called the Dough Moulding Compound or DMC. This polyester resin offers an acoustically inert material combined with glass fiber and calcium carbonate.
KEF LS50’s build quality is excellent, and you can rely on its durability as top-notch materials are used in making this one. You should not worry about its lifespan as it will be a very, very long one.
The KEF LSX’s looks can be deceiving as its control and connectivity options are impressive. They can be connected to each other either wirelessly or using a dedicated Ethernet cable. The only difference between the two types of connection is that the wireless is only limited to a 48 kHz sampling rate.
Control and Connectivity options of the KEF LSX:
|Inputs||2.4 Ghz/5 GHz Dual-band Wi-Fi Network|
Bluetooth 4.2 with aptX codec
3.5 mm Auxiliary Input
RJ45 Ethernet (For network)
|Output||Subwoofer Output 5V2A |
|Bluetooth Range & Memory||10 meters, 8 devices|
|Bluetooth Frequency||2.402 GHz – 2.48 GHz|
|Primary and Secondary Speaker Connection||Wireless: Propriety 2.4 GHz|
Wired: RJ45 Ethernet
The Bluetooth option is compatible with the aptX codec, which lets the user hear high-quality music when using this option. The Wi-Fi option on the other hand, lets you stream 24 bit/ 192 kHz content with downsampling to 24 bit/ 96 kHz. Both connections are stable and very reliable.
The KEF LSX is also equipped with an internal digital signal processor that manages the frequency response and can be tuned to adjust to the specific setting of the speakers’ room, which is pretty great for its size.
The KEF LSX can also connect to two KEF applications, the KEF Connect and KEF Stream. The KEF Connect is used to set up the speakers, while the KEF Stream is used to stream content. It also comes with a small remote control to control the speakers.
Overall, its control and connectivity options are outstanding for its size. Having able to put all of that in a tiny speaker is impressive. The KEF LSX is an excellent option for a compact-sized speaker with great control and connectivity options.
The KEF LS50 offers broad control and connectivity options. Similar to the LSX, it still needs an ethernet cable for both speakers to stay constantly connected with each other.
Control and Connectivity options of the KEF LS50:
|Inputs||2.4 Ghz/5 GHz Dual-band Wi-Fi network |
Bluetooth 4.0 with aptX codec
Analog Line Level
|Bluetooth Range & Memory||10 meters, 8 devices|
|Wi-Fi Network Standard||IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n|
|Wi-Fi Network Frequency Band||Dual-band 2.4GHz / 5GHz|
The KEF LS50 is equipped with an internal digital signal processor to phase correct the crossover, and using its built-in application, it will allow the speakers to play load and true while minimizing distortion.
The KEF LS50 supports aptX Bluetooth and streaming from connected drives, and it has a TIDAL built into its application and can support Spotify Connect too. It also has a streaming preamplifier to allow the speakers to playback music wirelessly.
The KEF LS50 application allows you to tweak the speakers’ sound to your taste from your Android or IOS device.
Overall, the KEF LS50’s control and connectivity options are stable and solid. You can trust that its connectivity options will not fail you. For the control and connectivity options the KEF LS50 is offering, the price you are going to pay would be worth more than its value.
Considering the KEF LSX’s build, sound quality, and all its control and connectivity options, the price you are paying would be worth it all. Considering its size, it would be hard to find other speakers with the same control and connectivity options as the KEF LSX. The KEF LSX will be a great addition to your compact speaker collection.
The price you are going to pay for a pair of KEF LS50, it would be like you have a great discount. Its build, sound quality, and control options are worth more than what the KEF is pricing for the LS50. Audiophiles also love these speakers.
If you’re a fan of KEF and want a cheaper option, have a look at my KEF Q150 vs Q350 comparison.
Pros and Cons
- Excellent sound quality
- Exceptional build quality
- Beautiful aesthetics
- Plenty of control and connectivity options
- Compact size
- More apps than necessary
- The remote control needs to be redesigned
- Lack of physical controls
- Impressive clarity
- Tight bass and strong dynamics
- Excellent build
- Wide variety of options for connections
- Omnidirectional speakers
- Will need some time to find the perfect tuning adjustment
- Can’t control physical inputs via the application
- Application isn’t as responsive as it could be
Which is Better?
Both products are great, but if I have to choose, I’ll go with the KEF LSX. Although KEF LS50 is more powerful, the KEF LSX is more compact and way cheaper than the KEF LS50, considering that they have similar control and connectivity options. Any of the two would really be an excellent investment for your speaker collection.
These are quite expensive options, so the KEF Q550 might also be in your price range. I recommend giving that a look too if you want a good set of floorstanding speakers.