search expand

KEF LS50 Speakers – A Comprehensive Review

First Impressions

I was initially drawn to the KEF LS50 speakers when I read about their ‘A’ rating from Stereophile for their “extreme” bass extension. Considering that such ratings are typically designated for speakers in a higher price range, this naturally piqued my interest. After all, who wouldn’t want to get premium audio quality without denting the wallet too much?

I should mention that I am a tad discerning when it comes to speakers, as I’ve previously owned an Accuphase with a tower speaker rig worth over $30k. I’ve always loved this setup, but since moving into a smaller space, I’ve been on the hunt for something more compact, yet stellar in performance.

So, with some measure of curiosity and anticipation, I invested in the KEF LS50 bookshelf speakers. On unboxing, I was immediately taken with their craftsmanship. The build was solid, far more than what I had expected from bookshelf speakers.

Design and Aesthetics

Aesthetically, these speakers are visually pleasing, with a unique UniQ driver design. However, some may not be too fond of the rose gold accents. I should also note that bi-wiring isn’t supported, which might be a bit off-putting for some audio enthusiasts.

Personally, I love the look and feel of these speakers, and I think their size makes them even more attractive for those seeking space-efficient audio solutions.

Performance and Sound Quality

The sonic performance of these speakers is best described as – agile, dynamic, accurate and with a wide, precise soundstage. Their effortless virtuosity had me captivated from the get-go. As well as serving up an unmasking veil of sound, the KEF LS50s managed to stay playfully musical without tiring precision.

The ability of these speakers to reveal everything in the audio chain is astounding. You hear exactly what the recording engineer would have heard, in addition to a layer of aspired musicality. This is due to the fact that these are not just studio monitors, they’re genuinely musical speakers.

The KEF LS50’s transparency extends to your audio chain’s individual components too. A warm, mellifluous tube amplifier will invoke the same richness through the speakers, while a sharply-focussed solid state amp will reveal itself as such.

Audiophile’s Partner

As an audiophile, I am particular about the sound I enjoy, and I have found that these speakers can authentically recreate the sound artists and recording technicians intended in the studio. This means any weak links in your audio chain will be exposed. But if your elements are optimally set up, you’re in for a treat.

The speakers reveal their magic when paired with well-recorded material, regardless of the type of music. Be it Jazz, classical, or popular, you get to enjoy an exact, tonally perfect sound, underlined by pleasant musicality. They do a particularly excellent job presenting voices and wind instruments – the level of clarity and staging is simply phenomenal!

KEF-LS50 Speakers

Bass and Power Handling

On the subject of bass, the LS50’s delivery is astonishingly sufficient for most instances. However, I drive a sub to complement the system when necessary, particularly during movie sessions. For the most part, music rarely requires additional bass unless you desire that extra kick for an immersive experience.

I want to debunk some rumors circulating about the KEF LS50 speakers being power hungry. From my experience, this isn’t necessarily true, and power requirements might be based on the size of your space and desired volume levels. I found them impressive on a smaller Qinpu A-6000 Amp setup that only outputs about 10-20W.

Placement Considerations

If you decide to invest in these speakers, take your time to experiment with their placement and toe-in to suit your typical seating position. Music is a personal experience, and with the KEF LS50s, you deserve the very best in sound quality and immersive experience.

Final Thoughts

In the world of audio, personal tastes and preferences wildly differ. But possibly, it’s the diversity of the audio industry that makes it so fascinating. The KEF LS50 speakers are undoubtedly amazing, boasting an impressive blend of impressive sound quality coupled with luxurious aesthetics.

If I were to summarize their performance, I would say the KEF LS50 speakers impeccably combine playful musicality with sharp precision, allowing you to immerse into the beauty of the music while enjoying the subtle nuances. For me, they represent an engineering marvel that gracefully bridges the gap between high-end speakers and affordability.


  • Exhibits dynamic and tonal accuracy
  • Geometric stage resolution is top notch
  • Great build and design
  • Good bass extension for bookshelf speakers
  • Handles power efficiently
  • Affordability in comparison to similar quality speakers


  • Slight limitations on colour and finish variants
  • No support for bi-wiring
Bass Response
The KEF LS50's bass capability is certainly decent, providing enough low-frequency response for most music genres. However, if you're a basshead who craves an earth-shaking bass, keep in mind these are not designed specifically for heavy bass. They possess a sound character that is more towards accuracy than power in the low-end.
Treble Detail
The treble delivered by the KEF LS50 is incredibly impressive. It's sharp and clear, almost like a katana, providing an exuberant array of upper-frequency details. This is particularly prominent in musical tracks with high-frequency instruments.
Midrange Clarity
The midrange—where most of the magic happens—is presented with an exceptional clarity and depth. Singers and instrumentalists are rendered with lifelike intimacy, providing a sense of being in the same room as the performers.
The solid build and sleek aesthetics of the LS50 is exceptionally appealing without coming off as overly flamboyant. Though the color choice is limited to black, their small and solid form beautifully complements any room decor without being overwhelmingly dominant.
Sound Quality
The sound quality of the KEF LS50 is simply stellar. The combination of playful musicality and utter accuracy achieved by these speakers is nothing short of a balancing act. They reveal everything within a given track, bringing forth a sense of openness and spaciousness.
Value for Money
From our experience, we think the KEF LS50 really offers a lot of bang for your bucks. Although its price point is not exactly in the budget category, its performance goes toe-to-toe with more expensive speakers in the market ranking them as audiophile deals of several decades. We assess this as a crazy good bargain, with the quality exceeding its cost.
Total Score
Rating Summary
From our observation with the KEF LS50, we can confidently say these speakers are an absolute gem in the realm of sound reproduction. Valued reasonably, they punched way above their weight class, demonstrating performance that rivals those costing heaps more. However, those obsessed with heavy bass might find them lacking in the extreme low-end department. The treble, the top end, is where the LS50 truly shines, revealing a kaleidoscope of high-frequency details, while the midrange exudes a level of clarity that brings a lifelike portrayal of singers and instrumentalists. The overall sound quality of the LS50 is strikingly open and spacious, unmasking every detail within a track. From an aesthetic standpoint, their design is pleasing to both the eye and the touch, blending superbly into any room setting without asserting dominance. As a whole, these speakers are highly competent and present a terrific value proposition to any serious music listener.