KEF LSX II
Wireless HiFi Bookshelf Speakers w/ AirPlay 2, Bluetooth, & Roon Ready
LSX II delivers room-filling, natural, accurate sound from any source thanks to the knowledge and experience of KEF’s talented engineers and the iconic Uni-Q driver array. Plus it has a contemporary design courtesy of famed industrial designer Michael Young, and is available in a choice of five stylish finishes.
A Great Entry Into True HiFi Sound
Audiophiles rant and rave about the things some speakers can do to make music sound more like real life. The new LSX II from KEF brings that experience to a beautiful and easy to set up all in one wireless speaker system.
Luxury Level Build Quality
When you hold an LSX II in your hand, you can instantly tell it is built to perfection. From the fit and finish to the materials used, it is a true luxury build.
The App is Fantastic
We love the KEF app for the LSX II as it allows someone who might know very little about how to make a speaker of this level sound its best, just answer a few simple questions and it does it all for you. Or if you are a seasoned audio veteran, the expert mode lets you fine tune all kinds of acoustic aspects.
There are a lot of great powered wireless speakers on the market, but we have to say, the KEF LSX II All-In-One Speaker gets you into the world of true high fidelity with a sound that betters most amp & speaker combinations at this price point. They have the look and feel of a true luxury product with a design, fit, and finish you’d expect on multi-thousand dollar speakers.
Most of you have probably heard of the British speaker company KEF, but for those of you new to audio, KEF has been around since 1961. In 1988 they developed and patented their Uni-Q driver, which was the first true coincident source driver the world had ever seen. Ever since reproduced sound was first invented, engineers have been trying to achieve the perfect speaker. Many people believe the perfect speaker would be a single sphere that produced the complete range of sound. So far, no one has invented that, but aligning the tweeter with the woofer takes you pretty close to this concept, which is why KEF was able to patent their Uni-Q technology. KEF has been improving their Uni-Q driver ever since and the LSX II is a great example of how well it can perform.
We had a blast with our evaluation units and we wanted to share with you everything we found when playing around with these great speakers.
Design & Build Quality
First, the luxury experience starts right when you open the box. These have a very unique box in that once you take off the tape, the front of the box folds down and you simply slide the packing piece the speakers are in out of the box, which makes it so much easier to pull them out. KEF even has instructions to grab them from the sides so you do not accidentally damage the Uni-Q driver. This is just a first class touch.
These guys are pretty small at about 9” tall, 6” wide, and 7” deep. You’ll get 5 great finish options of gloss red, black, blue, white, a special finish called Soundwave by Terence Conran with the Uni-Q driver having a different color for each type. The fit and finish is at a luxury deluxe level — they are just beautiful!
They have a very small raised piece on the bottom with four little feet that raise them up a tiny bit off the surface. Those feet are also sticky to hold them still, which is a well known way to improve the sound of a small speaker. The idea is you don’t want a light weight small speaker to slide around when you crank things up. Audiophiles have been using blue tack on small speakers for this reason for decades. KEF also makes an optional floor stand, wall bracket, and desktop stand.
Features & Technology
The rear of the LSX II has a port in the corner and a great variety of connections. You have optical in, USB C in, analog in, and HDMI Arc. There is a connection for wired ethernet and another to connect the slave speaker to the main speaker. Across the top are Bluetooth pairing, KEF wireless sub pairing, and a reset button. And there is a subwoofer — out and let us tell you — this is not your typical wireless speaker subwoofer out. More on that later…
Many computer speakers have all of the amplifiers in the main unit and connect to the second one with just a speaker cable. The LSX II takes things a step further with the amps built into each unit. There is a 70 watt amp for the woofer portion and a 30 watt amp for the tweeter. These amps are obviously fine tuned to each driver which always gives powered speakers like this a leg up. Having a separate amp for each speaker component with electronic rather than passive crossovers is a much better way to go. You normally get a much more effortless and open sound, which is certainly the case with these.
There is a full plethora of music streaming available with Airplay 2, Chromecast, UPnP, Roon, and Bluetooth 4.2. Built-in services include Spotify via Spotify Connect, Tidal via Tidal Connect, Amazon Music, Qobuz, Deezer, and Internet Radio.
The DACs inside the LSX II are capable of accepting High Res audio up to 384kHz/24bit. The sample rate downgrades for Optical. If you are serious about better sound quality, you should use the wired connection between the speakers as that will take you from 48k to 96k.
We initially set these up in what would be considered a medium sized room of about 14 by 21 with 9 foot ceilings. The quick start guide tells you to download the KEF app first, but we just found them on our iPhone as a network, clicked it and they connected quickly, then we downloaded the KEF app. We then used both Qobuz and Tidal for streaming testing.
KEF must have some serious computer engineering behind their app as it is the best we have ever seen for a wireless speaker. We don’t think you will ever want to use the little remote that comes with the speakers after seeing their app.
For starters, it is very clear and well laid out with your inputs across the top and your other streaming options logically grouped together right below. It is super easy to find music to play and KEF gives you many options on how the speakers behave. You can adjust the power saving modes, the wake up source, the LED light, and more. If you need to physically put the right primary speaker with all the connections on the left side of your room, you can flip them in the app. You also get some great volume settings that let you fine tune the way the remote or smart device works, and set a max level. They are just super flexible.
But the real magic happens when you push the little EQ button. Ask any speaker engineer what has the most impact on how their speakers will sound, and they will tell you it’s the room. But the average person setting their first pair of true high fidelity speakers normally does not have the knowledge a seasoned speaker designer might have on the things you can do with a speaker like this to vastly improve how it sounds in your room.
KEF brilliantly gives you two different types of adjustment menus — normal and expert. You will need to name a profile to get started, but the first question presented is if you want normal or expert mode. In expert mode, you have access to all of the actual frequency settings to adjust the speaker. But their brilliance comes in with normal mode, where you just walk through a few questions to adjust the speaker performance to your room. As you can see from the screenshots below, it asks if the speaker is on a stand or a desk. Then you tell the speaker about the distances in relation to the room and if on a table top. Next, you’ll tell the LSX II how lively or dead your room is and the relative size of your room. For the sections people might have questions on, there is a little pop up with answers. Should you add a sub, this is also super easy. You can choose from the KEF subs or do a custom setting where you again answer some simple questions to dial things in.
This is just so cool! Through technology, KEF is enabling someone who might be a novice, but wants better sound to quickly do what could take a long time otherwise. If you are an audio geek like us, you will love the expert side, especially the subwoofer settings. You can set both high and low pass, sub polarity, and gain — very slick. And inside both settings, if you are using a KEF wireless adapter, you turn that on to account for the latency in the wireless signal.
We first used the normal mode to quickly set them up, then started listening. One big claim of the KEF Uni-Q driver is how evenly it disperses the sound, so even if you are sitting pretty far off-axis, you still get a great stereo image. To our ears, these speakers really showed that off. We could sit directly in front of one speaker and still hear a great stereo soundstage. But, as you might expect, when we sat dead center, it was even wider and deeper with great precision in the location of instruments.
The first cut we played was Free Falling from Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. You could swear from the midbass and up, we thought we were listening to a far more expensive set of speakers. Every individual instrument is totally separated from the others with an effortlessness to the sound that you get on very high-end gear. Granted, these do not go that deep in the bass, but what is there, after you fine tune them to your room, is very pleasing to the ear with great tonal quality. You can really tell these come from a speaker company who knows how to make seriously great sound.
After about two minutes, another aspect jumped out. We were tapping our toes and bobbing our heads up and down, really getting into the rhythm of the music. The more tracks we played that had a lot of swing and rhythm, the more we realized, these little speakers really get the timing right, which draws you into the music.
Another cut that sounded really good was Bleed to Love Her on “The Dance” by Fleetwood Mac. This is a Lindsay Buckingham song with a lot of fast guitar. We could hear every nuance on this track. We did notice on this cut, at a higher volume level, the room was probably too big for the speakers as they were getting a tiny bit boomy on the deep bass. But boy, the guitar plucks were just spectacular.
We then decided to connect up the KEF KC62 sub to the speakers. With this being on their list of subs in the app, you could see in expert mode where it finely tuned both the low and high pass settings. We replayed those two cuts and boy, having that bottom octave really made things come to life. As you would expect, the bass now reached deep and had far more punch, but the speakers seemed a bit more open and effortless as adding the sub took the deep bass demands off the midrange driver. When we went back to Free Falling, we felt the timing with the sub on was not quite as engaging as with it off, so we played around with it on and off and confirmed to our ears that the rhythm and pacing was better with the speaker by itself. This makes sense since without a sub we were back to a fairly perfect point source. Overall though, the benefits of the sub far outweigh this little nitpick.
If you also want to take your great new music speakers and improve your TV sound, the HDMI Arc connection will make that a snap. Your TV remote will take over the volume control of the speakers when you turn on your TV and it will switch instantly to that input. Even if you have an older TV without an Arc connection, you could use the optical input without the volume feature. This application is where having the sub will really make you smile as that little KC62 can do great justice to those big special effects.
We do think the LSX II without the sub is best suited for small to mid sized rooms or desktop use. When you try and push them really hard, which you would need to do in a large room, you can sense a bit of strain and they just can not move enough air to fill the space. But if you add a KEF sub, that is a different story!
We really have to hand it to KEF with the new LSX II speakers. They created a speaker capable of producing absolutely amazing sound, but they also thought about how the speaker will react in a room and how to make it very simple for anyone to get the best sound possible from their speakers with very little effort. The LSX II is not inexpensive but you get a beautifully built luxury product that will give you sound like you would expect from separate components. With the option of either starting out with a sub or adding one later to turn these into a true full range speaker, they may be all many people need to enjoy music like they have never experienced before for decades.
The Definitive Compact Wireless HiFi System
There has never been a better time to discover the joy of being able to hear all the detail in your favorite songs. KEF’s six decades of experience in acoustic excellence combined with constant innovation and the development of wireless technology has led to the creation of LSX II; a compact wireless Hi-Fi system that delivers pure, accurate sound, but with the compatibility and convenience of the very best wireless technology.
Much more than a simple upgrade from the award-winning original, LSX II combines class-leading sound with the all-encompassing W2 wireless platform from LS50 Wireless II. Connectivity options are further enhanced by the addition of both HDMI and USB-C, making this an ideal companion for both TV and desktop computer systems.
Play All The Music In The World
At the digital heart of the LSX II sits the same cutting-edge W2 wireless platform that drives the mighty LS50 Wireless II. This ensures that no matter how you like to listen to music, you can do so with the minimum of fuss and in pristine sound quality.
The KEF Connect app lets you stream Amazon Music, Qobuz, Tidal, Deezer, Internet Radio stations and podcasts. Apple AirPlay 2 and Google Chromecast seamlessly stream audio from compatible devices, whilst Bluetooth expands the options even further. You can use native apps to stream directly from Spotify Connect, Tidal and QPlay, and it is Roon Ready. When using Airplay 2, Chromecast or Roon you can stream to multiple speakers, so you can play music all over your house.
If that wasn’t enough, LSX II can also play your own private music collection from a compatible NAS drive or music server. Plus, audiophiles are covered with extensive file support up to 24bit/384kHz (PCM), DSD, and full MQA rendering.
Plug and Play to TV and Laptop
Alongside Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, LSX II also boasts a comprehensive collection of wired connections. These include HDMI ARC for seamless control using a TV remote and a high-quality USB-C input which makes LSX II the perfect desktop system with your computer. There are also connections for your turntable, CD player, games console, and many other devices. And, if you demand your movies and music come with some extra bottom end, there’s a dedicated output so you can connect a KEF subwoofer for the bass you crave. LSX II Wireless HiFi Speakers
The beauty of the two-speaker box approach is that music is given space to breathe and develop, creating a three-dimensional soundstage. The speakers appear to disappear, leaving you to enjoy the immersive performance that unfolds in front of you, drawing you into the experience.
Each LSX II speaker uses a version of KEF's 11th generation Uni-Q driver array specially designed for this loudspeaker. This signature technology acts as a point source, where the tweeter is placed at the precise acoustic center of the woofer, recreating how sound is produced naturally. This design eliminates the traditional, tiny 'sweet spot,' instead delivering accurate, pristine sound to all listeners.
LSX II has a combined 200 Watts of system power. Both the tweeter and woofer are powered by their own dedicated amplifier to deliver room-filling sound in such compact cabinets.
Performance is further enhanced from the award-winning original by the Music Integrity Engine. The cutting edge collection of bespoke Digital Signal Processing algorithms has just got an update. Optimized for the Uni-Q driver, the Music Integrity Engine enables LSX II to deliver a perfectly timed performance, for better clarity and a tighter, more accurate sound.
The KEF Connect app walks you through the set-up and controls the system and playback navigation, with intuitive sound settings so you can adjust LSX II to best suit your room.
With its powerful Room EQ DSP, LSX II can be fine-tuned to your room and personal taste without the need for a degree in acoustic engineering. 'Normal' mode is designed to talk you through the process with easy questions - all you might need is a tape measure. For easy integration of a KEF subwoofer with LSX II, Room EQ includes subwoofer pre-sets for the best possible system performance.
LSX II also comes with a host of other user-friendly features including volume settings, sensitivity adjustments, and the ability to select a source to wake it up when it comes on.
You can choose to connect the speakers wirelessly with 24bit/48kHz resolution for a cable-free setup, or with the supplied cable for 24bit/96kHz resolution.
Sound by KEF. Design by Michael Young.
The aesthetic design of LSX II comes courtesy of Michael Young, one of the leading lights in the world of industrial design. Famed for his sophisticated take on minimalism, Young’s signature is a smart, pared down aesthetic that perfectly suits LSX II’s requirement to deliver pristine, accurate sound while also looking incredible. Every single aspect of LSX II is carefully considered, with an elegant rear control panel and subtle design accents such as color-matched finishes on the Uni-Q driver and ports. LSX II also has neat mounting inserts, for secure placement on the P1 desk pad, S1 floor stand, or B1 wall bracket.
LSX II is available in a choice of five finishes: Mineral White and Lava Red models finished with satin and gloss spray, while Carbon Black and Cobalt Blue are clad in a specially designed fabric from Danish contemporary textile designer, Kvadrat. The Soundwave by Terence Conran Edition sees the ‘soundwave’ pattern woven into the same unique fabric for a true statement of the meeting of acoustics and design.
Summary of Features
- Plays all major music services and supports all major audio formats
- DSD, MQA and PCM up to 24bit/384kHz
- Comprehensive connectivity for your TV, laptop and any other equipment: USB-C, HDMI ARC, Analogue input, subwoofer output
- 11th Generation Uni-Q driver array for accurate, pristine sound
- Music Integrity Engine for rich, full-bodied sound
- System power: LF 70W class D, HF 30W class D, Max. SPL:102dB
- Intuitive on-boarding with user-centered features
- Personalized listening experience via KEF Connect App
- Design by Michael Young
- Optimized cabinet design for best acoustic performance
- Mounting inserts to secure on P1 desk pad, S1 floor stand and B1 wall bracket
- Available in 5 finishes: Carbon Black, Mineral White, Cobalt Blue, Lava Red and Soundwave by Terence Conran Edition
|Drive units||Uni-Q Driver Array
HF: 19 mm (0.75 in) aluminum dome
MF/LF: 115 mm (4.55 in) magnesium/aluminum alloy cone
|Frequency range (-6dB)||49Hz – 47kHz|
|Frequency response (±3dB)||54Hz – 28kHz|
|Amplifier output power (per speaker)||LF: 70W
|Amplifier class (per speaker)||LF: Class D
HF: Class D
|Max SPL||102 dB|
|Wireless streaming features||AirPlay 2
|Streaming services||Spotify via Spotify Connect
Tidal via Tidal Connect
QQ Music via QPlay
|Source resolution||Network up to 384kHz/24bit
Optical up to 96kHz/24bit
USB Type C up to 96kHz/24bit
HDMI up to 48kHz/16bit
|Interspeaker connection||Wireless: all sources resampled to 48kHz/24bit PCM
Wired: all sources resampled to 96kHz/24bit PCM
|Supported format (network)||MQA, DSD, FLAC, WAV, AIFF, ALAC, AAC, WMA, MP3, M4A, LPCM, and Ogg Vorbis|
|Dimensions (HWD per speaker)||9.5 × 6.1 × 7.1 in (240 × 155 × 180 mm)|
|Weight (per set)||15.6 lbs (7.2 kg)|
|Power input||100 – 240VAC 50/60Hz|
|Power consumption||200W (operating power)
Less than 2W (standby power)
USB Type C
Analog 3.5mm Auxiliary
RJ45 Ethernet (network)
RJ45 Ethernet (interspeaker)
|Output||RCA Subwoofer output|
|Wi-Fi network standard||IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n/ac
|Wi-Fi network frequency band||Dual-band 2.4 GHz / 5 GHz|
** KEF reserves the right, in line with continuing research and development, to amend or change specifications. E&OE. **