• WANTED: Happy members who like to discuss audio and other topics related to our interest. Desire to learn and share knowledge of science required. There are many reviews of audio hardware and expert members to help answer your questions. Click here to have your audio equipment measured for free!

KEF LS50 Meta Review (Speaker)

tw 2022

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
Apr 11, 2022
Messages
915
Likes
812
Aesthetically this shits over the sierra tbh. It will probably be my next purchase.
point taken , but that's about the only place i see an advantage...it's not like i'd turn down a free pair,but if i'm spending *my * money , i'll take a sierra or ceramic mini all day long ...
 

Matias

Master Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jan 1, 2019
Messages
5,116
Likes
11,013
Location
São Paulo, Brazil
It's a small and pretty entry level speaker. We should keep our expectations to this.
 

tw 2022

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
Apr 11, 2022
Messages
915
Likes
812
It's a small and pretty entry level speaker. We should keep our expectations to this.
agreed , honestly it's not obviously "better" than even a dbr 62 in anything other than looks...
 

dfuller

Major Contributor
Joined
Apr 26, 2020
Messages
3,438
Likes
5,292
It's a small and pretty entry level speaker. We should keep our expectations to this.
Not for nothing (and I say this as someone who isn't huge on Genelecs), but it's the same price and size range as an 8030C (or G3), which has similar looks, but the Genelec has substantially lower distortion at the same levels. I expect better because there is better.
 

holdingpants01

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Forum Donor
Joined
Mar 18, 2023
Messages
678
Likes
1,066
it's hard to see much value for passive speakers at and above $1500, especially if they look like made of plastic. I paid the same price for a pair of 8330
 

CJH

Member
Joined
May 31, 2019
Messages
61
Likes
19
Been using my LS50 Meta pair (with EQ) for over a year now with each sitting on top of a Rythmik 12 servo sub built as 24" stands for them. Mostly listening with a crossover around 150Hz based on their frequency response. After seeing Erin's review, I bumped the crossover point to 300Hz to see if I could hear an improvement in the distortion. I can. It's not night and day but the added clarity is nice. I also hear less wander in the images, which was already quite good. I'll keep it there for a while. Worth a try, if you're curious.
CJH
 

sweetchaos

Major Contributor
The Curator
Joined
Nov 29, 2019
Messages
3,934
Likes
12,195
Location
BC, Canada
Written review is live.

Let's see some GIF comparisons:

Spin:
ls50m vs r3m.gif
passive vs active.gif

r3 vs active.gif


Response Linearity:
r3 vs meta.gif


ls50 passive vs active.gif


r3 vs active.gif


86db distortion:
ls50 vs r3.gif


passive vs active.gif


r3 vs active.gif


96db distortion:
r3 vs ls50.gif


passive vs active.gif

r3 vs active.gif
 

sweetchaos

Major Contributor
The Curator
Joined
Nov 29, 2019
Messages
3,934
Likes
12,195
Location
BC, Canada
it's hard to see much value for passive speakers at and above $1500,
I don't agree. There's plenty of models that can outperform speakers at US$1500/pair, even at higher price points.

I can recommend 13 speakers above this price point, from my 'passive recommendation speaker' thread, link in signature.

At the US$1000/pair sale price of the LS50 Meta, here's my current recommendations:

Bookshelves < US$1,000/pair:
NamePSPSwSubLFX
Ascend Acoustics Sierra 1 V2 (Erin)6.48.442
Philharmonic Ceramic Mini (Erin)5.97.942
Revel M16 with sealed port [readme] (Amir)5.9????
Elac Debut Reference DBR-62 (Amir)(Erin)5.27.446
Kef Q350 (Amir)5.77.538
Revel M16 with open port (Amir)5.67.745
Kef Q150 (Erin)4.97.045
Polk Audio Signature Elite ES20 (Amir)4.86.739
Arendal Sound 1961 Bookshelf (Erin)4.47.368

Since Erin reported two Preference Score values:
PS of 6.0 for LS50 Meta when on-axis
PS of 6.1 for LS50 Meta when 15 degrees off-axis.

That will become #2 recommendation for that price point.

This speaker becomes an easy recommendation at this price point, especially if you need great vertical directivity, such as for a near-field, like a computer desk.
 

holdingpants01

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Forum Donor
Joined
Mar 18, 2023
Messages
678
Likes
1,066
I don't agree. There's plenty of models that can outperform speakers at US$1500/pair, even at higher price points.

I can recommend 13 speakers above this price point, from my 'passive recommendation speaker' thread, link in signature.

At the US$1000/pair sale price of the LS50 Meta, here's my current recommendations:

Bookshelves < US$1,000/pair:
NamePSPSwSubLFX
Ascend Acoustics Sierra 1 V2 (Erin)6.48.442
Philharmonic Ceramic Mini (Erin)5.97.942
Revel M16 with sealed port [readme] (Amir)5.9????
Elac Debut Reference DBR-62 (Amir)(Erin)5.27.446
Kef Q350 (Amir)5.77.538
Revel M16 with open port (Amir)5.67.745
Kef Q150 (Erin)4.97.045
Polk Audio Signature Elite ES20 (Amir)4.86.739
Arendal Sound 1961 Bookshelf (Erin)4.47.368

Since Erin reported two Preference Score values:
PS of 6.0 for LS50 Meta when on-axis
PS of 6.1 for LS50 Meta when 15 degrees off-axis.

That will become #2 recommendation for that price point.

This speaker becomes an easy recommendation at this price point, especially if you need great vertical directivity, such as for a near-field, like a computer desk.
But that's what I meant, you can get more for less, $1000 for LS50 Meta is rather local or at some big discount, here it's still at equivalent of $1500 so I judge it at this price
 

sweetchaos

Major Contributor
The Curator
Joined
Nov 29, 2019
Messages
3,934
Likes
12,195
Location
BC, Canada
Gotcha.

Since the introduction of LS50 Meta on Sep 2020, it was US$1500/pair until Aug 2021, then the price went up to US$1600/pair and stayed until Nov 23, 2023 where it dropped to US$1000/pair.
At US$1600/pair, it's a harder sell, of course. Since there's plenty of better performing speakers at that price.

At US$1000/pair, I think this has some serious value, being only beaten by Ascend Acoustics Sierra 1 V2, in terms of PS.
 

Vacceo

Major Contributor
Joined
Mar 9, 2022
Messages
2,739
Likes
2,898
Another element to consider with the PS score you reference: the top of the top is not that much higher up. And by then, we're talking Blade or Perlisten S series...
 

sweetchaos

Major Contributor
The Curator
Joined
Nov 29, 2019
Messages
3,934
Likes
12,195
Location
BC, Canada
Best performing bookshelf speaker is
-March Audio Sointuva AWG, with PS of 7.3 (in production) (at US$2k/each)

Best performing tower speakers are currently tied for same place, with PS of 7.5
-Kef Reference 5 (discontinued)
-Infinity Prelude MTS (discontinued)
-Kef Blade 1 Meta (in production) (at US$17.5k/each)

Which is better than PS of 6.0 for LS50 Meta, of course.
I say that a single digit increase of preference score is worth considering when comparing speakers to purchase.

But let's just say we compare bookshelves only...

- Is Kef LS50 Meta at US$1000/pair a good value against other passive bookshelves? Sure, there's a case to be made. If that case is "You need vertical directivity or just compact size?" Then yes, it's #1 pick. Otherwise Ascend Acoustics Sierra 1 V2 slightly takes the lead in terms of preference score, loudness, etc.

- Is March Audio Sointuva AWG at US$4000/pair, 4x better than Kef LS50 Meta? Nope. But there is an improvement, if you have the money.
 

Vacceo

Major Contributor
Joined
Mar 9, 2022
Messages
2,739
Likes
2,898
If you can afford better, by all means, get a better one.

But if you cannot (money, size... You name your constrains); and that's the great part, the cheaper alternatives are not massively worse.

Not so long ago the gap was a lot bigger and that shortening is great news.
 

MattHooper

Master Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jan 27, 2019
Messages
7,505
Likes
12,660

I was intrigued by Erin's discussion of the soundstaging, describing the "oval" soundstaging effect vs a strict rectangle. So he was trying to describe the phenomenon of where the soundstage/imaging boundary of any recording seems very defined to it's edges, a sort of "hard stop" as it were, vs the sense that the boundaries are a bit more fuzzy and so it can feel like the soundstage keeps going beyond the boundaries of the speakers. He says he prefers that more open, fuzzier boundary vs the hard stop.

I know what he means. I tend to prefer it as well, as it tends to sound a bit more natural to me, and it also helps give more of the peering in to a broad soundstage effect rather than peering at an event through a picture frame.

Anyone else know what Erin is describing, and do you have a preference?
 

CJH

Member
Joined
May 31, 2019
Messages
61
Likes
19
I'm no expert, but my guess is directivity and phase coherence between the drivers might account for this phenomenon.
CJH
 

abdo123

Master Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Nov 15, 2020
Messages
7,449
Likes
7,967
Location
Brussels, Belgium
I don't agree. There's plenty of models that can outperform speakers at US$1500/pair, even at higher price points.

I can recommend 13 speakers above this price point, from my 'passive recommendation speaker' thread, link in signature.

At the US$1000/pair sale price of the LS50 Meta, here's my current recommendations:

Bookshelves < US$1,000/pair:
NamePSPSwSubLFX
Ascend Acoustics Sierra 1 V2 (Erin)6.48.442
Philharmonic Ceramic Mini (Erin)5.97.942
Revel M16 with sealed port [readme] (Amir)5.9????
Elac Debut Reference DBR-62 (Amir)(Erin)5.27.446
Kef Q350 (Amir)5.77.538
Revel M16 with open port (Amir)5.67.745
Kef Q150 (Erin)4.97.045
Polk Audio Signature Elite ES20 (Amir)4.86.739
Arendal Sound 1961 Bookshelf (Erin)4.47.368

Since Erin reported two Preference Score values:
PS of 6.0 for LS50 Meta when on-axis
PS of 6.1 for LS50 Meta when 15 degrees off-axis.

That will become #2 recommendation for that price point.

This speaker becomes an easy recommendation at this price point, especially if you need great vertical directivity, such as for a near-field, like a computer desk.

I don’t know if you noticed but the 15 degrees off-axis spin has an extra .2 points

I think it’s one of the best measuring passive speakers out there for its price.
 

ViperDom

Member
Joined
Nov 6, 2022
Messages
54
Likes
49
Location
Delaware
With such small woofer it's totally nearfield.
For loud fullrange one will need some midbass augmentation, not just the ordinary subwoofer...

Any truth to this?

With something like MiniDSP you can set these up crossed with sub(s) at something like 100hz @ 48db/oct.
I assume this would allow the KEF's to be pushed significantly beyond the distortion limiting levels presented with full-range use.
 
Last edited:

Ciobi69

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 27, 2022
Messages
438
Likes
278
Any truth to this?

With something like MiniDSP you can set these up crossed with sub(s) at something like 100hz @ 48db/oct.
I assume this would allow the KEF's to be pushed significantly beyond the distortion limiting levels presented with full-range use.
Dependes on listening volume low to medium and thast it the kef as good it is is small
 
Top Bottom