KEF’s 50th Anniversary LS50

Not only was Stereophile celebrating its first half-century at RMAF, so was British speaker manufacturer KEF with the US premier of its LS50 ($1499/pair) in one of retailer Hear No Evils’s rooms. Driven by Parasound electronics—ZDAC, P7 preamp, A21 power amp—the sound was both delicate yet full-bodied. This came as no surprise as reviewing this little beauty, whose single Uni-Q drive-unit was developed from that used in KEF’s flagship Blade model, for our forthcoming December issue was a highlight of my 2012 auditioning.

Audio Legend's picture

Hi Me. Atkinson: I have recently been very intrigued by this KEF speaker, and also by its driver design. I am a believer in coincident drivers. Without giving away too much from your review,can you list some of its strengths, and  would you say this speaker made you re-evaluate the under $2000 speaker market?

thank you!

John Atkinson's picture

Audio Legend wrote:
Without giving away too much from your review,can you list some of its strengths. . .

The important thing is that the acoustic problems of mounting a tweeter on the woofer' pole-piece have all been moved above the audioband, giving a very even treble response.

would you say this speaker made you re-evaluate the under $2000 speaker market?

Only in part, because the LS50 is still a small speaker, with limited low frequencies and dynamic range. It will work best in a small room. But within those limitaions it is state-of-the-art. I was sorry to see it leave my system.

John Atkinson

Editor, Stereophile


Audio Legend's picture

Thanks for the additional information! Yes, I should have clarified my question.

I DID mean sub $2000 mini monitors. But you intuitively answered correctly.

I know many really good monitors have passed through your pages in the past 24 months...PSB, Harbeth, Definitive, etc.

But if you are saying within the parameters of this product category, it is SOTA, then it would REALLY beg the quesion how something much more expensive could be recommended for the same application. Hmmmmm.

I have an audition scheduled very soon.

PS, you SHOULD here the Ken Ishiwata designed M25, $798 a pair M25 monitors.

They are currently my sub $1000 benchmark.

corrective_unconscious's picture

It's always the fine print, even when it's not. Do you find that to be true, also?

hcie95he's picture

Hi John,

Looking forward for your review in December. I bought a pair a few months ago. I am looking for a pair of stands to put them on. I like the ones shown in the picture. Do you have any idea what the brand or model is?

Best regards,



volvic's picture

That is a very pretty looking speaker and knowing and owning KEF's over the years know that is going to be a winner.  Might have to audition it. 


corrective_unconscious's picture

2.1 setup if you could find a good sub. I don't need to headbang.

L00k_C's picture

Dear All

I have auditioned the LS50 yesterday and they sound great. However, I found that I wanted some more bass in them. The guy in the shop suggested the Rell T-7 and T-9 sub to be connected in parralel. Any ideas?


Furthremorei would also like to knoa what speaker stands are most appropriate. I am currently looking  at;

Custom Design FS104 Signature, Partington Super Dreadnought and Partington Ansa 60.

Latsly which hifi amps would you suggest for them?

Any input is welcome.