KEF Leads the Way in Hi-Res Music Streaming with the KEF LS60 Wireless
Posted onAuthorRobert W. EvansComments Off on KEF Leads the Way in Hi-Res Music Streaming with the KEF LS60 Wireless
You can’t throw a pillow without touching a self-powered streaming bookshelf speaker these days, but it looks like high-end audio maker KEF has the streaming speaker market on its feet with the announcement of its KEF LS60 Wireless.
This handsome pair packs all the skills needed to perform as an active, high-resolution, standalone streaming audio system, sharing a genetic makeup with the KEF LS50 Wireless II bookshelf speakers we’ve much admired, and the dear ones – we’re talking about. $27-35,000 – the KEF Blade passive speakers. The LS60 wireless system consists of a pair of floorstanding speakers measuring 43 x 5.1 x 12.6 inches (HxWxD) and weighing 70 pounds each. MDF cabinets are available in your choice of three matte finishes: titanium grey, mineral white or royal blue.
Each tower contains one of KEF’s patented single-source Uni-Q drive units (here combining a 0.75-inch aluminum dome tweeter and a 4-inch aluminum dome midrange), plus two pairs of side-mounted 5.25-inch Uni-Core Force Units. cancellation of pilots. These are designed to maximize distortion-free bass response down to 26Hz. So there’s need for a separate subwoofer, which we found useful to flesh out the bottom end of the LS50 Wireless II. If you find you still need more boom in your room, each LS60 tower has a connection to add a subwoofer.
KEF deploys six Class A/B and Class D amplifiers (three per side, amassing a total of 1,400 watts) to power each driver as needed (compared to four amps/760 watts total in the LS50 Wireless II). Amplification is fine-tuned with KEF’s Music Integrity Engine and “tailor-made” digital signal processing algorithms to deliver “perfectly synchronized performance,” according to KEF press materials. KEF further claims that its Single Apparent Source technology will provide “the full bandwidth of sound so that all frequencies radiate from a single point”. This should yield the same ultra-sharp imaging and tempered performance over a wider-than-normal listening area that we greatly admired during our review of the KEF LS50 Wireless II.
Like its sibling, the KEF LS60 Wireless offers full connectivity including WiiFi, Bluetooth, HDMI eARC (for TV sound), digital optical, digital coaxial and analog RCA. Users can link the left and right towers together either wirelessly (with streaming up to 24-bit/96kHz) or with a single wired connection for ultra-high resolution playback: up to 24-bit /192kHz.
The KEF LS60 Wireless is Roon Ready and the KEF Connect app makes it easy to stream hi-res music from Amazon Music, Qobuz, Tidal and Deezer. You can also tune in to Internet radio and podcasts. The speakers can be controlled with native apps including Spotify Connect, Tidal and QPlay, or you can stream music to them via Apple Airplay 2 (best for bringing high-res Apple Music), Google Chromecast and Bluetooth. The system is compatible with the most popular file formats, supports PCM files up to 24-bit/384 kHz as well as DSD and MQA (Master Quality Authenticated) files from Tidal.
Priced at $7,000/system, the KEF LS60 Wireless is available for pre-order now, directly from KEF and through KEF Authorized Resellers. The speakers are expected to ship in late May 2022.
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