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Focal Aria S906 vs KEF LS50 Meta

Focal Aria S906 vs KEF LS50 Meta

  • Focal Aria S906

  • KEF LS50 Meta


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Hello everyone!

I'm currently trying to decide between Focal Aria S906 ($1000) and KEF LS50 Meta ($1000). They are both used in mint condition.

As for my living room home theater set up, I already have Sony's HT-A9 with SA5 subwoofer, so this would mostly go into my bedroom which is around 120 sq. ft. The bedroom doesn't have too many furniture (a bed + desk with desktop pc + monitor) and the ceiling is about 14 ft high.

I'll be pairing the speakers with Yamaha TSR-700 AVR that I already own, and it will be connected to my desktop PC with A&K SE180 as a USB DAC.

I'm currently not really considering adding a sub to my bedroom speakers as the one in the living room has already proven to annoy my neighbors from time to time. However, that might change when I move to a place with better setup.

Provided that the prices are the same, which would you guys recommend? (I'd listen to all kinds of music except metal, watch movies or play video games occasionally.)

Thank you for your time and for your insights in advance!
 
OP
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If this is for near-field use, then the coaxial design of the KEF will show its advantages.
Thank you for your comment. I've seen from various posts that Metas really lack bass while S906 could potentially be used without a sub. What's your take on it? Also, how would adding a sub change things?
 

VintageFlanker

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Focal "S906" doesn't exist.;)

Aria 906 does. Very good speaker considering EU prices and usual discounts, but I would never pay 1k$ for a pair (not to mention: used).

LS50 Meta is technically a more accomplished speaker, yet you have to deal with its narrower directivity (Aria sounds wide in comparaison).

If this is for near-field use, then the coaxial design of the KEF will show its advantages.
Definitely.

Having tested that quite a few times, Aria 906 doesn't shine in nearfield listening.
 
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Focal "S906" doesn't exist.;)

Aria 906 does. Very good speaker considering EU prices and usual discounts, but I would never pay 1k$ for a pair (not to mention: used).

LS50 Meta is technically a more accomplished speaker, yet you have to deal with its narrower directivity (Aria sounds wide in comparaison).


Definitely.

Having tested that quite a few times, Aria 906 doesn't shine in nearfield listening.
Woops thanks for pointing that out. I've been looking at too many bookshelf speakers that I must've gotten the model number mixed up (probably with B&Ws)

Why would you not consider Aria 906 for that price? Is it that bad for that price range? What do you think a fair price for it is?

Do you think Metas require a sub? I've heard many saying how KEF LS50 lineup generally lacks bass and would require a sub.
 

Newman

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Why would you not consider Aria 906 for that price? Is it that bad for that price range?
Not at all bad. I think the suggestion was to check its new price in your region. The price you saw for a used pair might be not much less.
 
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Not at all bad. I think the suggestion was to check its new price in your region. The price you saw for a used pair might be not much less.
I did check online again to see if there are better deals, but generally the new pair goes for $1100 + tax, which would end up being around $1200 total. I figured buying used would basically save me $200 which I could put towards something else.

It's weird how vendors like Adorama sells it for $1100 + tax while Crutchfield or Amazon sell them for $2000+ lol
 

VintageFlanker

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:pWhy would you not consider Aria 906 for that price? Is it that bad for that price range? What do you think a fair price for it is?
It's not "bad" for its raw performance for sure (plus, they are made local)... But I'm French.:p Here, we've seen deals from 400 to 500€/pair quite often. I paid mine 440€, I know some who bought them for 399€. In fact, almost nobody buys Aria at their MSRP anymore. Hard to justify twice that price in used condition, wherever in the world... When I see Aria 948s retailing for 6,600$ overseas (I was about to buy a pair at 1400€), I tend to think that Focal importers are just scamming people in NA. In fairness, tho, I can see the other way around for Revel in France, with not that much of price differences.

while Crutchfield or Amazon sell them for $2000+ lol
Yep, saw "2,200$" and fell off my chair. That's the rip-off I'm talking about. There's no way importing fees add that much over French prices. If I recall correctly they costed 1,500$ at launch (899€ here) and it was... 9 years ago already.

Do you think Metas require a sub?
You should first check Amir's review. Bass extension should be sufficient for plenty of people... Yet, if you're looking for full range listening, that is not in question, you need one.
 

AlexanderM

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I did check online again to see if there are better deals, but generally the new pair goes for $1100 + tax, which would end up being around $1200 total. I figured buying used would basically save me $200 which I could put towards something else.

It's weird how vendors like Adorama sells it for $1100 + tax while Crutchfield or Amazon sell them for $2000+ lol
Looks to me like the Adorama price is per speaker, not for a pair, which is x2.
 
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It's not "bad" for its raw performance for sure (plus, they are made local)... But I'm French.:p Here, we've seen deals from 400 to 500€/pair quite often. I paid mine 440€, I know some who bought them for 399€. In fact, almost nobody buys Aria at their MSRP anymore. Hard to justify twice that price in used condition, wherever in the world... When I see Aria 948s retailing for 6,600$ overseas (I was about to buy a pair at 1400€), I tend to think that Focal importers are just scamming people in NA. In fairness, tho, I can see the other way around for Revel in France, with not that much of price differences.


Yep, saw "2,200$" and fell off my chair. That's the rip-off I'm talking about. There's no way importing fees add that much over French prices. If I recall correctly they costed 1,500$ at launch (899€ here) and it was... 9 years ago already.


You should first check Amir's review. Bass extension should be sufficient for plenty of people... Yet, if you're looking for full range listening, that is not in question, you need one.
Oh wow lol... I had no idea the price difference was that crazy. I'll probably hold off on the Focals until I get a chance to go to France at some point.

Thanks for letting me know!

I'm getting a feeling from everyone commenting that KEF LS50 Metas (+ a compact sub) are the way to go in my case scenario.
 
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Looks to me like the Adorama price is per speaker, not for a pair, which is x2.
For a single speaker? Even crazier.. Considering that there is a seller from Germany on eBay that's selling a new pair for ~$1000, the markup in the US is just insane.
 

Rja4000

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I agree with @VintageFlanker on his point about prices (I'm in Belgium)

I never heard the LS50 Meta.

But I do have a pair of 906 and a pair of the original LS50. (I paid both 500€ for a pair, but the LS50 were purchased used)
I have to say I do prefer the Aria.
I just enjoy them more :)

I don't know if that helps you...
 
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I agree with @VintageFlanker on his point about prices (I'm in Belgium)

I never heard the LS50 Meta.

But I do have a pair of 906 and a pair of the original LS50. (I paid both 500€ for a pair, but the LS50 were purchased used)
I have to say I do prefer the Aria.
I just enjoy them more :)

I don't know if that helps you...
If I can get either of the speakers for 500 euros a pair, I'd just go with that, but the price here is at least 2x and now I'm not too sure which option I should go with..
 

VintageFlanker

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now I'm not too sure which option I should go with..
Seeing your first post:
As for my living room home theater set up, I already have Sony's HT-A9 with SA5 subwoofer, so this would mostly go into my bedroom which is around 120 sq. ft. The bedroom doesn't have too many furniture (a bed + desk with desktop pc + monitor) and the ceiling is about 14 ft high.

I'll be pairing the speakers with Yamaha TSR-700 AVR that I already own, and it will be connected to my desktop PC with A&K SE180 as a USB DAC.

I'm currently not really considering adding a sub to my bedroom speakers as the one in the living room has already proven to annoy my neighbors from time to time. However, that might change when I move to a place with better setup.
Your question has been straightly answered from post #2.;)Your description implies nearfield listening conditions and there is no competition in that case: LS50 Meta. Done.
 

Vacceo

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Seeing your first post:

Your question has been straightly answered from post #2.;)Your description implies nearfield listening conditions and there is no competition in that case: LS50 Meta. Done.
I´m just curious for your particular definition: what do you mean by nearfield? I have always assumed that nearfield equates rougly to "arm´s lenght" or "close enough to not be near side walls".

I wonder if there is an actual, firm definition with distance, obstacles or something stable.
 

VintageFlanker

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I´m just curious for your particular definition: what do you mean by nearfield?
I'd say listening position less than 2 meters away from both speakers.
I wonder if there is an actual, firm definition with distance, obstacles or something stable
Seems legit. I would be glad to see one as well.
 

Ata

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Thank you for your comment. I've seen from various posts that Metas really lack bass while S906 could potentially be used without a sub. What's your take on it? Also, how would adding a sub change things?

I have auditioned both speakers, though in different showrooms. In terms of bass, LS50M had noticeably more, in my observation. S906 had a more "open" presentation (wider dispersion) with "sweet" mids and highs, I really like that inverted dome tweeter. LS50M also had better imaging and soundstage, which ultimately convinced me to go with the Metas.

Both speakers will benefit immensely from a well integrated sub, in my case I went with the SVS SB1000Pro, a real bargain for what it is.
 
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