KEF LS50 Mini Monitor Bookshelf Speaker Review: Quality+
When it comes to speaker sound, only you know what’s right for you. Choosing between bookshelf speakers and tower speakers all boils down to your personal preference:
· Are you okay with a decent bass output?
· Are you looking for that chest-thumping bass?
The size and type of room is also another vital factor that needs to be considered when choosing speakers. Audiophiles who have space to spare will always go for more substantial speakers. But, what if you have space constraints? Bookshelf speakers, such as the KEF LS50, are a viable option.
When talking about bookshelf speakers for home use, one name that pops into mind is KEF. The company has been operating for a while and has been offering excellent speaker systems. Their speakers are designed to deliver an exceptional level of sound quality to your ears in the most natural way possible.
In this KEF LS50 mini monitor speaker review, we’re going to take a look at the LS50 mini, its features, strengths, weaknesses, and why you should invest in it. So, let’s get this KEF LS50 mini monitor review started.
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What to Consider Before Buying the KEF LS50 Mini Monitor Speaker?
The one thing many floor-standing and bookshelf speakers have in common is, they deliver an immersive audio experience, complete with solid bass tones and pinpoint frequency accuracy.
Another benefit of choosing floor-standing or bookshelf speakers is, both do not require an extra set of woofers to deliver solid bass. Therefore, you get to enjoy an exceptional level of music sound quality with just the floor-standing or bookshelf speakers you invest in.
Two factors that come to the fore when choosing between floor-standing or bookshelf options are:
- The speaker’s ability to deliver room-energizing output
- A reasonable footprint, making it easy to fit just about anywhere
The good news is, many bookshelf speaker options provide the same level of sound quality as their floor-standing cousins. It’s a matter of searching out the right one.
The compact design of bookshelf speakers is another feature that you have to keep in mind. It means you can fit them almost anywhere in a room without taking up extra space.
Bookshelf speakers can be placed atop tables, shelves, and bookshelves (hence the name). Because of their portability, bookshelf speakers can also be mounted to speaker stands or can be wall-mounted for even more space efficiency.
Needless to say, you cannot achieve the same level of space-saving with larger, floor-standing speakers as you can with compact bookshelf speakers like the KEF LS50 mini monitor speaker.
Another significant advantage of bookshelf speakers is they allow the listener to enjoy a more precise, more impactful sound since bookshelf speakers can be placed at ear level. This can significantly improve the listener’s music experience.
Presenting the KEF LS50 Mini Monitor Speaker
KEF is a brand that’s no stranger to designing speaker systems. The company was formed in 1961 by founder, ex-BBC electrical engineer, Raymond Cooke.
It was initially based on the premises of a metal-working company, the Kent Engineering & Foundry (where the company got its name from) in Kent.
From its inception, KEF has had a reputation for breaking the mold and trying out new technologies and solutions to reproduce recordings in the most efficient way possible.
The sheer inventiveness of the company made it garner a lot of attention and fan following by audiophiles during the 60s, 70s, 80s, and 90s. The company has continued to deliver one exceptional speaker design after another, and the KEF LS50 mini monitor speaker is no exception.
For fans of KEF, it’s easy to see that the KEF LS50 mini monitor speaker was inspired by the well-accepted KEF LS3/5a. That said, the LS50 is a significant improvement and has clearly been designed as a professional studio monitor concept that can be used in a home setting.
As a result, the KEF LS50 mini monitor pair of speakers delivers a multi-dimensional, rich sound experience, which is not at all proportionate to its compact size. This is partly thanks to a combination of its smart speaker design and patented technology.
One of the main highlights of the KEF LS50 mini monitor speaker is the fact that the speaker can deliver a full, robust sound, despite its compact size. This is the result of the brand’s dedication toward always pushing the envelope when it comes to the sound quality and design of their speakers.
It wouldn’t be wrong to say that with this latest iteration of the bookshelf speakers, which also introduces the company’s patent-pending technology, KEF has broken new ground.
Pros of the KEF LS50:
- Proprietary Uni-Q advanced driver array for better sound quality
- Two-way bass reflex
- One-inch aluminum dome tweeter (vented)
- 5.25-inch aluminum alloy driver
- Available in three premium finishes
Cons of the KEF LS50:
- Not for those on a budget
- Vocals seem a bit thin
Let’s review the KEF LS50 mini monitor speaker closer.
Smart Cabinet Design Subdues Residual Resonances
While at first glance, the KEF LS50 mini monitor speaker looks unassuming, a lot is going on in terms of design and technology. First up, you’ll notice its aesthetically pleasing appearance, which immediately gives it that top-shelf quality vibe.
The sleek design and rounded curves of the KEF LS50 mini monitor speaker mean that these bookshelf speakers can be easily stored just about anywhere. Because of its smart, compact design, the LS50 will feel right at home in just about any setting.
One of the concerns of those looking to invest in portable bookshelf speakers is – build quality. KEF has gone the extra mile this time around with the LS50 mini, and it shows.
These speakers boast of a curved front panel, which makes it easy on the eyes and is made of from a hard, polyester resin, combined with fiberglass and calcium carbonate for extra sturdiness.
The designers have put a considerable amount of time into the back of the speaker as well. The rear of the KEF LS50 mini monitor speaker is where you will find a pair of heavy-duty binding posts, albeit, no provisions have been made for wall mounting.
The design of the LS50 doesn’t just serve the purpose of getting you an aesthetically pleasing bookshelf speaker, it also serves a functional purpose.
What you’ll notice is that resonances have been subdued to the bare minimum, which is not something you would expect from a bookshelf speaker of its price point.
It’s the extremely useful stiffening and bracing of the cabinet itself that subdues the resonances. Furthermore, any eventual vibrations are also trapped in the cabinet’s structure. The internal structure has been cleverly separated from the outer by insulating all critical parts.
Features Uni-Q, One of the World’s Most Advanced Drivers to Deliver a Truly Remarkable Sound
The KEF LS50 mini monitor speaker takes advantage of KEF’s patented technology, Uni-Q, which is considered to be the most advanced speaker driver in the world.
The custom-made Uni-Q driver, which was designed specifically for the KEF LS50 mini monitor speaker, boasts an incredibly large sweet spot when it comes to sound. This enables it to deliver detailed and accurate sound remarkably fast.
This also makes it possible for the KEF LS50 mini monitor speaker to deliver a sound that fills a small to medium-sized room in no time, without resulting in muffled sound experience.
One-Inch Vented Aluminum Dome Tweeter Produces the Highest Frequencies with Ease
The LS50 boasts a Tangerine wavelength, which, according to the company, uses channels of radial air for producing spherical waves up to the highest frequencies. This makes it possible for the speaker to deliver a clear sound even at high rates.
Another exciting aspect of the LS50 is the curved baffle design of the tweeter, which has been integrated into the speaker design for more optimized sound management and to minimize edge diffraction.
The excellent sound dispersion of the LS50 is due to a specially designed midrange driver, designed with a very delicate membrane to ensure the sound waves of the tweeter aren’t affected.
Elliptically Shaped Bass Reflex Tube Prevents Flow Noise
The LS50 features a bass reflex tube, which is flared at both ends. This ensures better control of the exit of air, which eliminates the ‘chuffing’ effect.
Another feature that sets the bass reflex tube used in the LS50 apart from any other bookshelf speaker available in the market is the tube itself.
In the middle, there’s a flexible section which allows the tube to expand, just like a balloon. This flexibility eradicates any long-stroke resonances which would otherwise lead to an uneven midrange.
This makes the KEF LS50 mini monitor speaker an excellent example of expert craftsmanship and the smart utilization of technology, which results in the LS50 being able to deliver a superior quality sound.
What Do Buyers Say?
The KEF LS50 mini monitor speakers seem to have garnered positives reviews across the board and rightly so. The LS50 can deliver superior quality sound, despite sporting a compact design.
The KEF LS50 gets full marks for sound performance and design, both of which the consumers in their reviews seem to appreciate.
Alternatives to the KEF LS50 Mini Monitor Speaker
Here are some alternatives to the KEF LS50 mini monitor speaker you might take a shine to:
- 3-speaker bass-reflex system
- ¾-inch tweeter
- Max Power Input: 100 watts
You can expect to get an excellent audio experience from the Sony SSCS5 bookshelf speaker. The speaker boasts a 3-way and 3-driver configuration, which makes all the difference when it comes to expanding the sound stage.
Listeners will get to experience the rich acoustics of Sony speakers, along with a chest-thumping, deep bass output, which makes investing in the Sony SSCS5 bookshelf speaker worth every penny.
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- Magnetically shielded enclosure
- Nominal Impedance: 8 ohms
- Max Power Input: 100 watts
The Polk Audio T15 100-Watt Bookshelf Speakers are another excellent option for those who are looking for that same punchy bass of the KEF LS50 speakers. The T15 boasts a 0.75-inch tweeter and 5.25-inch woofer to get you a powerful audio experience.
The Polk Audio T15 100-Watt Bookshelf Speakers will be a smart choice for those looking for a speaker system that is compatible with most home theater AV receivers. But the T15 does leave much to be desired when it comes to delivering that same fullness of sound we’ve heard so much of in this KEF LS50 wireless review.
For those who are looking for the cleanest and most accurate audio experience, the KEF LS50 mini monitor speaker is an easy winner.
The speaker comes from a brand that has a rich history of delivering exceptionally designed speaker systems. Rest assured, you know you’re getting an unmatched, studio-grade performance.
The KEF LS50 mini monitor speaker boasts a beautiful, high-gloss finish and the latest technologies which you might not find in any other bookshelf speaker at this price point.