KEF R300 vs LS50: full review and comparison

If you are an audiophile with an insatiable appetite for an immersive audio experience, you should know that the best audio performance comes from the best quality loudspeakers. To fully appreciate every beat and chord of your favorite songs, you would require just the appropriate loudspeakers to do them justice.

With so many loudspeakers available in the market these days, it can get tiresome to shuffle through the specifications of each and every one of them to finally land on your perfect pair of music boxes. This is why this review narrows down two of the most incredible bookshelf speakers in the market, the R300, and LS50, produced by the brand KEF which is widely appreciated for its aesthetically pleasing speakers with impressive sound quality.

A little about KEF

KEF is a British loudspeaker manufacturer that was formed in 1961 by Raymond Cooke, an electrical engineer. It offers a range of products such as loudspeaker drivers, subwoofers, headphones, and iPod speakers. KEFs contribution to the audio market includes driver decoupling, KUBE, and Uni-Q technologies. Some of its well-known products include the Q series, R series, X series, Blade, Muon, and LS50. KEF is currently owned by GP Acoustics, which is a subsidiary of Gold Peak industries. Despite all the challenges that it had to face to survive in the audio industry, KEF has earned its fame for engineering classy and superb sounding speakers.

Quick Comparison chart KEF R300 vs LS50:

 KEF R300KEF LS50
Type of speaker24 x 18 x 18 inches10.9 x 11.9 x 7.9 inches
Weight (lbs)24.6415.87
Power Range (Watt)25-12025-100
Frequency response(kHz)50-2879-28
Sensitivity (dB)8885
Woofer size (inches)6.55.25
Tweeter size (inches)11
Enclosure typeBass reflexBass reflex
Impedance (ohms)88
Tweeter materialAluminumAluminum
Woofer materialAluminumAluminum
Technology usedUni-QUni-Q
PriceCheck Price on AmazonCheck Price on Amazon

When compared, you will notice that these speakers are quite similar. The tweeters are identical in size and construction. The woofer material that has been used is the same in both speakers. Lastly, the Uni-Q technology is a signature feature that is used in KEF speakers- so it should not be a surprise that both the speakers have that feature in them.

Although the speakers share many similarities, there are some differences among them that set them apart.

The obvious and visible difference lies among the dimensions of the speakers, with the LS50 being smaller than the R300. Because of its compact size, the LS50 is also lighter in weight than the R300.

In terms of power, the R300 is much more powerful than the LS50.

However, LS50 has a wider frequency range than the KEF R300.

KEF R300: Lively, Lovely, and Refined

The KEF R300 is an impressive bookshelf speaker produced by the brand KEF which is known for its wide range of speakers with innovative technology and high-quality sound performance. The R300 is a part of the R series, which features two innovative speakers and premium home theater technology. Before going into the details of the speakers, here’s a short overview of the specifications that you might find useful:

Specifications in a nutshell

Speaker system type3 way speaker
Dimensions24 x 18 x 18 inches
Weight24.64 lbs
Enclosure typeBass reflex
Tweeter typeVented aluminum dome
Tweeter size1 inch
Midrange driver size5 inches
Woofer typeAluminum with rubber surround
Woofer size6.5 inches
Power range25-120 Watt
Frequency response50-28 kHz
Nominal impedance8 ohm
Sensitivity88 dB

Design and features

The speakers come with three different color options- the piano black, glossy white, and rosewood walnut- the aesthetics of which perfectly complement its ingenious sound technology. Its smooth texture is not only comforting to the touch but also sophisticated in appearance. However, its outer design is not the only best thing about these magnificent sound boxes.

At first glance, the KEF R300 may look like a two-way speaker system- but don’t be fooled. This is because the Uni-Q driver incorporates the aluminum diffusers of both the midrange and tweeter drivers, making it seem like a single structure. Thanks to this advanced technology, the speakers offer sound in a much wider frequency.

The center of the Uni-Q driver consists of a one-inch tweeter which is constructed of the vented aluminum dome. The tweeter includes a large neodymium magnet which helps to transfer detailed frequencies with high precision. Moreover, since the aluminum dome is vented, it prevents pressure from building up behind the dome, thus allowing higher midrange bandwidth.

The tweeter is surrounded by a five-inch aluminum midrange driver. This feature prevents resonance, reduces distortion, and helps to deliver cleaner sound.

Another feature is the 6.5-inch aluminum woofer which is surrounded by rubber. This bass driver serves the purpose of lower frequencies with remarkable dynamics and fast and coherent midrange response.

Behind the speakers are a variety of connection ports that may seem perplexing at first but are very easy to use with time. Connections include pin connectors, banana plugs, spade lugs, and nickel-plated binding post terminals. The ports are designed using a technology called Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD), which is aimed at minimizing turbulence reducing noise. The speaker can either be bi-wired or bi-amped using the binding post terminals.

Audio performance

Now to the most important question about the speakers- does it pass the listening test?

The overall performance of KEF R300 is very much musically enjoyable. Firstly, let’s talk about the bass. We know that the prime feature of these speakers is the Uni-Q drivers which help to increase the audio frequency in an impressive way. Thanks to the magnetic woofer, the bass response is absolutely clean and fantastic.

The midrange drivers are what make the sound well defined. The specialty of the vented tweeters is that they help to increase the midrange bandwidth. Hence, the sound generated is dynamic, allowing you to listen to the tiniest details in the music.

KEF LS50: Sleek, Modern, and Out of this world

The KEF LS50 is a highly professional passive studio monitor speaker that is designed to deliver multidimensional and rich audio quality. Despite its compact size, these monitors can deliver robust and excellent sound performance. The specifications of these small but powerful music boxes have been listed out for your convenience:

Specifications in a nutshell

Speaker system type2 way speaker
Dimensions10.9 x 11.9 x 7.9 inches
Weight15.87 lbs
Enclosure typeBass reflex
Tweeter typeVented aluminum dome
Tweeter size1 inch
Woofer size5.25 inch
Power range25-100 Watt
Frequency response79-28 kHz
Nominal impedance8 ohm
Sensitivity85 dB

Design and features

First look at these mini speakers and they feel like space and give out an alien vibe- but certainly in a good way. These bass reflex two-way speakers are visually appealing with their modern design, making them the perfect candidate for space in your top shelves! It’s the sleek design and round edges give it the right compactness for it to easily be stored anywhere in the house. The KEF LS50 includes an exterior of polyester resin which is composed of fiberglass and calcium carbonate, which gives the speakers its robust attribute. Hence in terms of design, these exotic and modern studio monitors are a solid 10/10.

Similar to the R300, the LS50 also has the trademark of KEF, the Uni-Q technology which provides the perfect sweet spot when it comes to music. This feature is very useful in the integration of precise sound.

In front of the tweeter, you will notice a design that looks like a grille. This is called Rose Gold and it is a waveguide that helps to improve the frequency response by producing high-frequency spherical waves using channels of radial air.

The mini speakers include a one-inch vented aluminum dome tweeter which is designed to support high frequencies. If you look closely, you will see that the front of the tweeter is curved. This curved panel is composed of DMC (Dough molding compound) which makes the speaker lightweight and minimizes edge diffraction.

On the rear end of the monitors exist a bass reflex tube. This bass reflex tube is elliptically shaped and flared at both ends. This helps the air to exist with ease and prevents flow noise. The port is very flexible; hence it offers a better-controlled resonance.

Audio performance

It’s true that these monitors are a remarkable example of the perfect blend of dedicated craftsmanship and advanced technology, but the x-factor of speakers lies in the quality of audio.

When you first look at these mini speakers, they seem very compact in size. It is natural to be doubtful about the power of such small speakers. I mean- we’ve always heard the saying “the bigger, the better” right?

But in the case of LS 50, these little studio monitors can catch you by surprise with their ability to produce robust and strong dynamics.

It is safe to say that you will be deeply impressed with the audio quality of these speakers. These mini-monitors deliver exceptional and detailed sound in an organized and stable manner. The details of the sound are concise and clear- once you hear them, you would want to hear more.

One of the remarkable features of these speakers that really strikeout is the tonal balance. Although it’s bass performance is not that extraordinary, compared to the size- these speakers generate low frequencies that are articulate and accurate.

Why you should choose KEF R300

Detailed and clear soundstage

The speakers provide detailed and clear soundstage, making your musical experience very enjoyable.

Impressive craftsmanship

The sturdy design of these bookshelf speakers is what makes them special.

Affordability

Compared to the features that the speakers have, they are quite affordable.

Why you should choose LS50

Aesthetic design

The unique exterior of these innovative mini studio monitors makes them standout. Unlike other speakers that have rigid construction, the LS50 has an extravagant design which sets it apart from the rest. It’s a speaker that needs showing off!

Durability and robust construction

It’s true that the speakers are beautiful but their robust build is what makes them useful and extremely durable.

Fantastic sound

Compared to the compact size of these speakers, their audio performance really stands out. With their precise, tonal, and detailed sound deliverance, these mini-monitors are exceptionally built for an enjoyable audio performance.

Things you should know

Before getting these speakers, there are some things that you have to consider.

First, let us talk about the KEF R300.

Although the sound quality is impressive, to say the least, the bass could have been better integrated. The bookshelf speakers offer a low high end and that is their biggest drawback.

Next, let’s look at how the LS50 can be improved.

There are no significant issues with these monitors. However, there were minor issues with the midrange tautness when the speaker volume was increased. The bass can also be improved for a better audio experience.

Lastly, the LS50 is a bit pricey- but that shouldn’t be a problem as long as you are willing to compromise for a great pair of speakers to go with your audio system.

Which one should you get?

KEF has been one of the brands that have kept up with its quality of speakers over the years and has not disappointed its consumers.

Of the many speakers that they have to offer- two stands out without a question.

The KEF R300, simply put, is lively, lovely, and refined.

The LS50 is sleek, modern, and out of this world.

If we talk about the exterior of these speakers, both of them look great but in my opinion, the LS50 wins the battle with its sophisticated design.

In terms of sound, the R300 offers a deep, sharp, and noticeable bass. On the other hand, offers a softer and more balanced bass.

Speaking from my opinion, I would go for the LS50 because they not only look classy but also offer an outstanding audio performance. However, which speaker you should get is a matter of individual preference and it also depends on your setting. But whichever you get, I am pretty sure you won’t be dissatisfied.

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