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Small but powerful: First looks at the KEF LSX wireless speakers

By Marcus Wong - 13 Nov 2018

Small but powerful: First looks at the KEF LSX wireless speakers

It’s been about a year since we covered the KEF LS50 Wireless ‘Nocturne’ speakers, and now they’re back with a new addition to their Wireless speaker range - the smaller LSX. KEF is billing this as a full stereo and wireless music system that you can buy, plug in and have it up and running in a matter of minutes. 

The engineers at KEF managed to shrink the Uni-Q driver down to fit this smaller speaker.

As you can see from the picture above, visually the LSX looks just like a miniaturized version of the LS50 Wireless, only that the LSX has Kvadrat fabric covering over its cabinet and comes in a range of colors. The signature Uni-Q driver is, of course, present, and we’re told this helps the speakers to essentially turn the entire room into a sweet spot, so everyone can enjoy the same great sound. 

Two apps are used to control the LSX - the KEF Control app lets you set up the speaker and apply equalization settings. This has a basic and an expert mode, and you can use the app to get the speaker to adjust itself to take into account how near it is to a wall on the sides or rear, thus letting you calibrate the speaker to your space. Meanwhile, the KEF stream app lets you access your network stored music or to tap into compatible music services without having to connect the speakers to a computer. 

First use the KEF Control app to set up the speaker.Then use the KEF Stream app to send music to it.

Support for Apple Music, Tidal and Spotify is available, and the LSX features 2.4/5GHz Dual-band Wi-Fi connectivity for an even better connection. Apple AirPlay 2 is said to be coming in early 2019 via a firmware update, giving you multi-room capabilities. And you can of course stream music to the speakers via Bluetooth as they support Bluetooth 4.2 with the aptX codec. The LSX is also Roon tested so it will have full support as an endpoint by the end of November.

As you can see, the LSX comes with an optical input port and your typical 3.5mm audio jack on the rear of the master speaker. This is the right speaker by default, but KEF says there's a way to switch channels to the other speaker in case your audio source is on the left instead.

There’s also a port for a subwoofer if you want to increase bass output and Ethernet ports for internet streaming and if you want a wired connection to the slave speaker. If you do plug in a subwoofer to the LSX, you would be able to control its output via the KEF Control app too, making it easier to fit it into your system/room of use.

The rear of the master speaker is where you'll find all the ports for connectivity.

Meanwhile, the rear of the slave speaker just holds options for pairing to the master speaker.

While the LSX supports source files that have a resolution of 24-bit/192kHz, what the system outputs depends on how you connect the master and slave speakers.  A wired connection will give you 24-bit/96kHz audio output, while going wireless will bring this down to 24-bit/48kHz resolution. KEF explains that this is to ensure the smoothest streaming experience possible, but that audio quality will not suffer because the speakers use KEF’s Music Integrity Engine to ensure you get all the details.

We were treated to a short demonstration on the LSX, starting with a recording of Paul Simon’s Homeless (from his Graceland album), and were quite impressed by the wide sound presented by these relatively small speakers. The track had good imaging and showed off a nice lower range too.

Moving on to a recording of In the Mood for Love by Enoch Light, and the speaker set again impressed with the clarity they were able to achieve. This instrumental piece features plenty of percussion instruments, giving the speaker set a chance to show off its performance in mid and high registers.

Finally, we went to an old familiar - Hotel California by the Eagles. With this piece, the speaker did well to maintain good separation between the lead vocals and the backing instruments, while still giving enough weight to the cheers of the crowd. Not an easy showing for sure.

Measuring just 240 x 155 x 180mm and with each speaker weighing about 3.5kg, the LSX is smaller and lighter than the LS50 Wireless it’s modeled upon. The quality (and volume) of sound you can get out of this smaller offering is certainly impressive, and arguably offers a better option for Singapore's small homes at a recommended retail price of S$1,899. It’s available in a choice of Maroon, Blue, Gloss White, Black, and Olive now from authorized KEF distributors.

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