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KEF LSX: Size doesn’t matter

With the new KEF LSX system, the British loudspeaker manufacturer raises the bar — in a smaller unit

With sound systems, bigger generally is better. KEF, however, takes a different approach with its new LSX system. An evolution on the LS50 Wireless streaming system we raved about last year, the LSX comes in at half the size, about half the price and many, many kilos lighter. 

This model shares the DNA of its larger sibling: It’s an all-in-one hi-fi system with a network streamer, amplification and Bluetooth receiver all housed within a pair of compact stereo speakers. It features KEF’s Uni-Q driver array, a signature innovation said to radically improve stereo imaging. 

In addition to miniaturising the LS50, the LSX does away with the inter-speaker wires with a new inhouse connection, adding to the versatility of this unit. This adds to the clutter-less environment the LSX strives for as it does double duty as a music system and design element. 

And these are gorgeous pieces to look at. Its compact size and clean lines means it doesn’t look out of place on a bookcase or hung on a wall as a striking visual piece. 

KEF continues its design collaborations with this model. British designer Michael Young wrapped the maroon, blue, black and olive units in a woven fabric, creating great textural contrast to the satin-brushed finish of the cone and tweeter. There’s also a gloss white version, for those looking for a more minimalist aesthetic. 

This system is as successful on the sound front. The output is sonically expressive and dynamic, crisp and clear — although you can connect an external subwoofer if you need more bass. Everything from setup to playback is controlled through two user-friendly apps (KEF Connect and KEF Stream), but the company also provides a remote. 

The system also features integrated Apple AirPlay 2 support, making it easier to access your content organically. In theory this is a great idea, however tweaks are needed to perfect this system as we suffered annoying disruptions during testing. That said, this completes an extensive suite of offerings — Apple Music support, Spotify Connect, Tidal, Roon, Bluetooth, as well as optical and analogue, ensuring that almost every music source is covered.

KEF’s ethos is based in finding new and better ways of reproducing sound, and it achieves that with the LSX. It’s quite impressive to think all the functions of a hi-fi has
been condensed into this compact model, without compromising on the sound quality.

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