M.it recognizes by its membranes. Loudspeakers from the traditional English brand Kef make music with a coaxial chassis, i.e. concentric transducers that vibrate a dome tweeter in the middle of their membrane cones for low and medium tones. Larger speaker calibers from the manufacturer complement this construct with additional woofers. For the compact models, however, the one converter copy called a Uni-Q is actually sufficient on each baffle. This also applies to the company’s newest loudspeaker, the LS 50 Wireless II, which specializes in wireless streaming and multi-room operation.
What does the technically complicated, coaxial structure bring? All tones originate at one point and reach the ear without differences in their transit times. Coaxial chassis therefore have good prerequisites for high localization sharpness. Kef also pursues this goal with the shape of the housing. The fronts of these speakers are slightly curved forwards. Instead of sharp edges on which sound waves could break, curves limit the surface.
The electronics department of the new loudspeakers, which cost € 2500 per pair, is hardly less interesting. We only mention for the sake of completeness that here, as the data sheet claims, switch output stages operate with a crazy 760 watts per box. The variety of musical sources from which the speakers draw is more exciting. Mobile devices can be radioed directly via Apple Airplay 2 or Google Chromecast, Bluetooth of course also works. The Kef Connect app that is part of the system also connects to the respective apps from the streaming services Spotify, Tidal, Amazon Music, Qobuz and Deezer, and if that is not enough, internet radio can also play the program. Roon will soon be added as a high-end music service provider.
However, wired sources can also be used via an optical and a coaxial digital connection, an analog jack socket and an HDMI interface for television sound. A sensor field on the master box is used to select the waves, but the control app can also do this, as can the remote control. The music signals are allowed to flow towards the loudspeakers in the highest resolutions. 384 kilohertz and 24 bits are maximum key data; serial DSD-256 data streams are also accepted. All of this applies if the supplied patch cable establishes the connection between the two boxes. If this takes over a radio link, a signal processor limits the sampling frequency to 96 kilohertz, but this value is also beyond good and evil.
Setting up the system put us to the test of our patience. Somehow the data transfer crashed again and again in the Bermuda triangle of router, iPhone and loudspeaker. However, the still tricky and so far only English-language tax app Kef Connect will soon receive updates. At some point all connections were made. Fortunately, because the rest of the system completely convinced us. The small loudspeakers were a decoration of every recording studio, they reproduce music so precisely, with great attention to detail and without slag. Suddenly a timidly battered cymbal hisses deep from the background of a large stage that we had never consciously noticed before. The Kefs put it in the spotlight. You know that vocal soloists breathe, but these loudspeakers make it audible. And those who appreciate dryness not only with champagne will love the bass reproduction of these speakers.