It’s a fact that wireless bluetooth speakers are a boon in our lives, simply because they allow us to enjoy music without having to put up with the sight of messy wiring. But one of the downsides to getting a wireless speaker is that they are usually singular units, which means you (more or less) have to compromise on getting that shiok surround sound feeling you get with conventional speaker systems.
Thankfully, AV system maker KEF offers a wireless dual-speaker system that you can play around with to get an all-round high definition sound for your music.
Brief intro to KEF: the company was founded by Raymond Cooke in 1961. He was an ex-electrical engineer for the BBC so he knew a thing or two about the need for execellent sound production. KEF stands for kent Engineering & Foundry – a metal-working factory located in Kent, England. The company is really well known for its range of home theatre systems, headphones and of late its wireless speakers too.
The KEF LSX True Wireless Music System
According to the PR pitch, LSX is “a compact two-speaker wireless music system with all the convenience and connectivity of the connected world, but with the emotion and detail of true high-resolution stereo.”
Here are some of the highlights:
- New 4” Uni-Q driver array
The new 4” Uni-Q driver has undergone a number of refinements throughout. The main addition, however, is the ribbing around the midrange cone. The added strength helps reduce distortions for a purer sound, allowing it to be small enough to sit on shelves, desktops or flank a TV, yet offer a massive, natural and deep sound field.
- Award-winning designer, Michael Young collaboration
LSX was overseen by designer Michael Young who has created a masterpiece of understated elegance. LSX comes with in a choice of five colours – Black, Blue, Maroon and Olive – which are clad in a luxury fabric by Danish textile manufacturer Kvadrat – and a striking Gloss White.
- Play anything. Hear everything.
Wirelessly access all the music in the world through Spotify Connect, Tidal or access a music library stored on a NAS drive via DLNA and uPNP. Apple AirPlay 2 will, once released, extend LSX to become part of a multi-room wireless music system, easily controlled from iOS devices.
Now let’s fast forward to my review.
What I like about the LSX
Out of the box, the LSX is relatively easy to set up. It looks really high end, with a matte finish façade in front and wrapped in textured Kvadrat fabric all around. Kvdrat is Europe’s leading manufacturer of designer textiles, and they are often used by premium furniture brands for upholstery as well.
The LSX comes in five cool shades, which I totally dig because it looks damn classy in any setting. The front panel sports sensual rounded edges, which helps to distribute the sound output evenly, helping to enhance the crystal-clear audio from the 4.5” Uni-Q driver within.
And because of its compact size (24cm by 16cm by 18cm), I decided to place mine on each side of the bed, so I can enjoy the surround sound while chilling out in the evenings before bedtime.
Aside from the two loudspeakers, each box also comes with black power cables for each speaker, an additional ethernet cable (for connecting the two speakers together manually if you prefer), and remote control.
Naturally, the quality of the output is top-notch and impressive for loudspeakers of this size. I actually had an aural-epiphany while listening to Adele’s “Someone like you”, simply because of the crisp and clear audio featuring the smooth transition of Adele’s voice from the low bassy notes to the raspy-and-angsty high octaves. In the mid-range, the sound is capable of making your hairs stand on end, and that really puts the LSX in a class of its own. Even for (or should I say especially in) a concert recording, the surround sound came through beautifully, giving you the authentic feel of being there in the audience. I was SHOOK!
What I didn’t like about the LSX.
Okay, now for the less impressive bits. First off, I believe the price tag is going to be a stinger with many homeowners. We are talking $1,899 for these babies. I’m pretty sure you can find many other options for playing your music for less than that. However, if you consider yourself a real audiophile and someone who prides him/herself on their uncompromising taste in terms of music and design, than the LSX is what you can consider.
Secondly (and something that irks me more) the connectivity between the two speakers can be a tad wonky. By that, I mean sometimes the signal can be lost or worse, you keep getting intermitten breaks. That’s immensely irritable. However, this can be solved when you connect th speakers together using the provided ethernet cable.
Thirdly, users need to download not one but two different apps in order to fully optimise the digital use of the speakers. The KEF Control app allows you to set up the units and toggle the EQ settings to your desired quality, as well as checking for firmware updates, while the KEF Stream app is necessary for creating playlists and streaming music from Spotify. Now you can choose to avoid downloading the streaming app if you play from your music in your digital device directly through the bluetooth, but that means you are missing out on maximising the full prowess of your LSX.
All in all…
I want to love the LSX so so much, simply because of its drop-dead gorgeous looks, but you know what they say about heaven being fair right, sometimes it’s not easy getting the best of all worlds. However, what I can say is that the LSX is an instant headturner, and all the guests to my home were swoon over by the speakers as soon as they stepped into my bedroom. That, for me, is worth every cent it costs.
Availability: From 8 th Nov onwards from KEF (#01-18/19, The Adelphi, 1 Coleman St, Singapore 179803, tel: 6338-7011)