Just weeks after launching its high-end LS60 Wireless, KEF has now revealed a new model at the opposite end of its all-in-one speaker system range. Now that's how you celebrate a 60th birthday!
The KEF LSX II is the successor to the original, which arrived in 2018 and has since held an enviable position as our favourite ‘budget’ all-in-one system (with multiple What Hi-Fi? Awards to show for it).
The LSX II arrives in much the same form as the LSX, comprising two compact stereo speakers packing amplification and network sources, and available in a range of colour options. In fact, acoustically, the driver and cabinet have not changed. And yet, KEF has found ways to significantly update its most affordable all-in-one in order to justify its existence and offer customers even more than before.
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, vice president of Technology at KEF, told What Hi-Fi?.
The 200-watt LSX II unsurprisingly adopts the company's latest W2 streaming platform, which is also baked into its siblings. Users can stream Amazon Music, Qobuz, Tidal, Deezer, and internet radio stations via the KEF Connect app, while support for AirPlay 2, Google Chromecast, Roon and Bluetooth complete a highly competitive suite of streaming smarts.
Importantly, KEF has also expanded on the original’s physical connectivity to provide HDMI ARC and USB-C this time round for easier connectivity to a TV and laptop. 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).
‘Room EQ’ processing is onboard to enable users to tune their LSX II’s sound to their room and taste and also features subwoofer adjustments if one (KEF would no doubt point you to its miniature KC62) is paired with the LSX II.
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.
The KEF LSX II costs £1199 ($1400, AU$2195) and can be purchased alongside optional support accessories from KEF – an S1 floor stand, P1 desk pad or B1 wall bracket (pricing tbc). Availability is from the 23rd June, which is when anyone interested in the LSX II should pop back to read our verdict.
Read the KEF LSX review
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