KEF LSX II ALL-IN-ONE SYSTEM
In what must represent the gold standard of 60th birthday celebrations in the hi-fi industry, KEF has announced a new ‘budget’ all-in-one speaker system just weeks after launching an innovative, high-end one. Hot on the heels of the LS60 Wireless (which you can learn more about on page 48) is the arrival of the LSX II. This dinky, does-it-all streaming speaker system is the successor to the original, which arrived in 2018 as an appealing option for those who wanted an affordable, fussfree, streaming-savvy and great-sounding music system in just two compact speaker cabinets.
The LSX II arrives in much the same physical form as the LSX and is available in a range of colour options. Acoustically, the driver and cabinet have not changed either. And yet, KEF has found ways to significantly update its most affordable all-in-one in order to justify its existence and attempt to sit with the The Godfather Part II (rather than the Titanic II) of sequels.
Firstly, while the LSX II carries over much of the original’s acoustic hardware — a decision KEF says it took to keep costs (and thus the RRP) down — it benefits from completely redesigned DSP software, some of which has trickled down from the LS50W II and LS60W higher up the range. This alone, KEF says, gives the system a step up in performance. “To be honest, it surprised us how much we were able to improve things by applying our latest DSP techniques,” Jack Oclee-Brown, VP of Technology at KEF, told Australian Hi-Fi.
The 200-watt LSX II unsurprisingly adopts the company’s latest W2 streaming platform, which is also baked into its siblings and facilitates direct streaming from Amazon Music, Qobuz, Tidal, Deezer, and internet radio stations via the KEF Connect app. Support for AirPlay 2, Google Chromecast, Roon, Spotify Connect and Bluetooth complete a highly competitive suite of streaming smarts.
Importantly, KEF has also expanded on the original’s physical connectivity to provide HDMI eARC and USB-C this time round for easier connectivity to a TV and laptop/computer. Those who choose to flank their TV with a pair of LSX II will also benefit from HDMI’s CEC feature, allowing them to power up and control the volume of the speakers with their TV remote.
File support is as all-encompassing as you might expect, too, accommodating DSD, MQA and PCM files up to 24-bit/384kHz (though anything above 24-bit/96kHz will be downsampled due to a wireless transmission limit between the left and right speakers). And, lastly, ‘Room EQ’ processing is onboard to enable users to tune audio to their room.
The attractive aesthetic — once again a creation by industrial designer Michael Young — comes in five finishes: ‘mineral white’ and ‘lava red’ models sport matte satin and high-gloss finishes respectively, while ‘carbon black’ and ‘cobalt blue’ are clad in Kvadrat fabric. A special ‘Soundwave by Terence Conran Edition’ finish marks one of the iconic British designer’s final collaborations, too. Optional accessories for the LSX II include the KEF S1 floor stand, P1 desk pad and B1 wall bracket.
Available now, the KEF LSX II will set you back $2,195 (RRP).
For more information, contact Advance Audio on (02) 9561 0799 or visit www.advanceaudio.com.au