KEF R500 vs LS50: quick review and comparison

If you are searching for your first pair of speakers while designing music or home theatre setup, replacing a couple of old budget speakers, or spending every penny into purchasing a high-end speaker that matches your format, space, and finances, this is the right place. Today, I am going to inform you about two of the classic speakers of KEF and will compare them to help you decide which one is perfect for you to purchase: KEFR 500 vs LS50.

Highly advanced technology and fully skilled engineers have contributed to the success and helped to bring into a respectable place for one of the audio manufacturing industry called KEF.

KEF was one of the founders of UK high-end speakers and has been a significant part of the very beginning in the field of loudspeaker design. The KEF contains many of the most prestigious advancements in premium hi-fi audio and home theatre equipment from the most recent and outstanding speaker manufacturer.

You’ll love the complete Hi-Fi audio experience with KEF R500 and KEF LS50.

KEF R500

The R500 is KEF’s beloved R-Series’ tiniest floor stander available in the market. The R500 fits with other products in the line of products to shape the last AV surround sound home theatre system with the new introduction of the specially designed Uni-Q drivers collection found with all KEF R series models. KEF R500 provides a sort of smooth detail and dynamic audio performance which has made it worldwide popular.

KEF LS50

The superb LS50 wireless speaker provides clear, seamless sounds, all redefined form an integral system. It expresses with a rare degree of accuracy the subtle harmonic adjustments of song, which can make it seem so sophisticated.

You will get a lovely melody from the speaker which will drag you into every piece of songs. LS50W was planned for a lifestyle speaker that reveals that hi-fi loudspeakers are not a struggle.

KEF R500 vs KEF LS50: Side By Side Comparison

 KEF R500KEF LS50
DesignBass reflexBass reflex
Crossover Channel QtyThree-wayTwo-way
Amplification Typepassivepassive
Driver TechnologyUni-Q arrayUni-Q array
Driver Typemid-range driver, tweeter driver, woofer drivermid/woofer driver, tweeter driver
Driver Materialaluminum, magnesium-aluminum alloyaluminum, magnesium-aluminum alloy
Driver Qty1, 21
Driver Diameter0.98 m, 4.92 m, 5.12 m1 m, 5.25 m
Magnet Typeneodymiumferrite, neodymium
Nominal Impedance (ohms)88
Frequency Response39 - 45000 Hz47 - 45000 Hz
Maximum Output Level (SPL)111 dB106 dB
Recommended Amplifier Power25 Watt25 Watt
Sensitivity88 dB85 dB
Crossover Frequency46Hz - 28kHz79Hz – 22kHz
Connectivity Technologywiredwired
Detachable CablesYesNo
ColorsWalnut, Rosewood, Piano Black, Piano WhiteTitanium Grey/ Red, Gloss Black/ Blue, and Gloss White
Dimension (H x W x D)40 x 7.1 x 12 in.11.9 x 7.9 x 10.9 in.
Weight48.06 lbs.15.87 lbs.
Price Check Price on AmazonCheck Price on Amazon

Design

A bass reflex speaker includes a port which improves bass frequencies by channeling sound from the back of the speaker. The echo from the end and the waves coming from the front are correctly tuned to a well-designed bass reflex speaker.

The use of a bass-reflex port also serves to reduce the number of sensitive components in the circuit, thereby avoiding large-signal adjustments. The port works to discourage the driver from trying to enter relatively low frequency as a mechanical low-pass filter. Both of the items have a bass-reflex design.

The R500s are available in four finishes: high-gloss piano black, piano white, real-wood veneers of Walnut and Rosewood. KEF has incorporated some decent touches also. In comparison to the other products of KEF, the R500 is more traditional, but not in a bad way.

The most noticeable of these was the metal trim all over the drivers to mask unsightly twists and bolts with flexible carpet tips. As such, this is a beautifully proportioned build that uses a streamlined cabinet and driver configuration to appear sleek and symmetrical both as a pair and as a single unit.

Numerical techniques such as Finite Element Analysis (FeA), Boundary Element Analysis (BEA), and Computational Fluid Dynamics have been used considerably in LS50 design.

Unlike traditional speakers with two different drivers, dual-concentric drivers are placed in the middle of the woofer along with the tweeter. The LS50s usually are covered with a textured layer that involves vacuuming from time to time.

These speakers are stylish, sophisticated, and extremely flexible in Titanium Grey / Red, Gloss Black / Blue, and Gloss White.

Driver Technology

Of the many landmark developments that KEF has championed, undoubtedly the most significant of all is the Uni-Q source driver array with its outstanding acoustic accuracy and off-axis dispersion.

Both LSX and LS50W come with KEF’s Uni-Q driver array invention. With the very last Uni-Q driver specially developed for these models, they can both deliver a tremendous, clean, and powerful performance.

They are also able to significantly increase stereo quality by placing the tweeter in the center of the midrange and bass cones. Not only does this make music quick, precise, and vibrant, it does this to a broader soundstage as well.

Nominal Impedance

Since the music has a vast number of simultaneous frequencies, you will face a specification called nominal impedance. Nominal impedance means more or less the lowest level the speaker drops down to the load resistance added to any given frequency within its operating range.

Your speaker doesn’t have to be high or low, 6-8 ohms is best. The high impedance speaker needs more current, and the sound is drained where the right impedance is not detected. Low dynamics lead to overheating that can affect the amplifier.

Both products have a nominal 8 ohms impedance that is viewed in all categories as ideal and perfect.

Frequency Response

Frequency response tests whether and how well a single audio feature reproduces all detectable frequencies and whether it shifts a signal during transmission. A good frequency response sound is capable of playing both low, mid, and high tones correctly and to an appropriate degree, and that is what assures our ears that this is a high-end, rich, colorful sound system.

Bass sounds are louder and more descriptive as the number is smaller. Any show above or below 50Hz is considered reasonable.

As you can see, R500 can clearly go down to 39Hz when LS50 can get only to 45Hz. No doubt, R500 has a better overall response in terms of frequency that allows it to achieve a precise and thorough sound level.

Driver Size

It’s not just about volume or bass intensity: large speakers merely sound fantastic. The bigger the driver, the lower the frequencies it was used for. You want a speaker to produce as many frequencies in your ears as possible.

Smaller speakers will benefit from size and prices (because then you’re not looking for a new high-end model), large speakers are typically expensive than smaller speakers. And the audio output generally is something in a speaker that we all like most.

In this case, R500 is somewhat smaller than LS50. LS50 is much louder and much heavier than the R500 and is thus much more suited to broader space. LS50 also can create a larger soundstage for the audience to enjoy a better sound performance.

Maximum Output (SPL)

SPL is the Sound Pressure Level. It is the principal target measuring unit in decibels (dB) for acoustic performance. Two tests are used to quantify the degree of reaction of the speaker and the cumulative amount of power.

You will calculate the amounts for your brain more accurately as you hear something of the same SPL. You will figure out more clearly that anything is not well balanced will allow you to interpret the audio content reliably.

LS50’s SPL value is lower than R500, which refers that your LS50 requires more power to create accurate and natural vibrant sound.

Crossover Frequency

A speaker crossover frequency is used to maximize power efficiency and lower speakers and bass costs. A crossover separates a speaker from unwanted frequencies into a buffer.

This specification is hugely beneficial, as it increases the effectiveness and performance of all speakers directly to the frequency category. The suggested crossover frequency for the main speakers is 56-60 Hz (high pass).

R500 has an imposing range of crossover frequency when LS50’s speaker’s lower range isn’t ideal. LS50’s crossover frequency won’t be able to filter out low-end bass, which can cause distortion.

Sensitivity

You can see how much pressure you get from a particular volume of sound system noise through a sensitivity level. Both drivers and useful system modules you use will be impacted.

The average frequency of the sound system is 88dB. The 84dB sensitivity is the lowest, and this will affect the sound quality in particular cases.

Although the rating of R500 is a little high both speakers are basically the same sensitivity rate. Moreover, this slight variation makes no significant difference.

Audio Performance

The visual contrast between the R500 and more striking speakers such as the LS50, it is absurd to comprehend that the output of the two versions would be some resemblance.

KEF’s vast experience with metal drivers here reveals how precise and almost transparent the R500 is in tonal smoothness through mids and highs. The entire midrange area at all volume levels had exceptional clarity and perfect transparency.

R500’s topmost frequencies are so tidy, structured, elegant, and incredibly realistic that for audiophiles it was pretty surprising. R500’s tweeter can shift from its midrange tone, very smoothly.

The double bass, hanging to one side, has weight and texture, which make it sound natural all the time. For a small loudspeaker, the R500’s bass depth, fullness, and stability were fantastic.

The low-end performance of LS50 is compelling and well-formed, definitely bass-heavy than most of the bookshelf speakers in the same price range. For certain kinds of music, it may not be enough if you intend to use the speakers as a home theatre setup though the low-end response on the LS50 is more than adequate as a reference speaker.

The LS50 really shines when it comes to high-frequency and mid-range responses! With blowing details and clearness, the sound stage is unreal. For every tune and sound effect replicated for remarkable precision, the distinction of voices and instruments is unique.

It can create a stunning multi-dimensional soundstage for more expansive rooms. Nevertheless, both of the speakers might be needed a subwoofer for better audio performance.

Cost

The fact that the price of LS50 is less costly than R500 and makes it all that much better. On the other hand, R500 is a little bit expensive for a tiny floor-stander, and you can find it on Amazon now. Both speakers are undoubtedly costly.

But suppose you’re an audio enthusiast and don’t hesitate to spend any of your money on speakers. In that case, the devices bring you the richest and fulfilling listening experience you’re not going to find elsewhere.

What I liked about KEF LS50

  • Outstanding and extremely high-performance electro-acoustics.
  • A brilliant blend of tone neutrality, transparency, and continuity.
  • The flexibility of input.
  • Outstanding building
  • Incredible dynamics and bass.
  • Comparatively cheaper.

Places to improve for LS50

  • Voices look a little bland
  • Annoying concerns of usability

Why you should love KEF R500

  • Superbly refined and appealing tone
  • Beautiful appearance
  • Excellent building
  • Fantastic mids and strong efficiency
  • Completely transparent vocal
  • Splendid setup directions
  • Impressive stereo imaging

What I didn’t like about R500

  • Premium pricing
  • Bass can be sometimes overblown

Positioning

Before I get to the decision, let me remind you how to put these speakers in a spot. The location of your speaker will play a vital role in the sound you like.

  • It’s always safer to keep the floor speakers away from walls.
  • Place them on the front wall some three meters apart.
  • Try to position the speaker in such a manner that the distance between the speaker and the closest sidewall is 1.6 times that of the front wall. If you have a larger space than this, adopt the opposite law.
  • Making your speech and speakers a complete triangle, and the distance between the speaker and you should be the same.

Click Here: To know more about speaker placement guidelines.

Verdict: Which is the best of them?

These are both outstanding and convenient to have in their respective fields. But I’m just going for KEF LS50 in this case. KEF R500 is a gorgeous and willing speaker who can fit well in a range of fields.

It is important to remember, however, that there is no one-size-fits-all solution to boost the efficiency of any audio device. The stereo imaging is surprisingly neat, and the bass is precise over LS50, but because of its size and price, LS50 is a bit above than R500 in sound performance.

The LS50 is the leading edge of electric-acoustic technology and one of the best active portable speakers, either in the technical field or in the market. These speakers are fun to listen to what KEF’s items have not always done. Therefore I highly suggest you invest in KEF LS50, whether you have a wide area to fill in or wish to purchase loud, high-quality speakers at a somewhat lower price.

FAQ

Do I need a powerful amplifier and a sub-woofer?

Answer: You can either have a portable amplifier or add a power amplifier to get the full sound stage. It would be best if you had a subwoofer to produce quality audio efficiency for a more comprehensive bass.

What sort of termination is better for the LS50 if I buy the cable?

Answer: Bare wire, spade lugs Vampire Wire makes a broad spectrum or banana plugs make a decent massive duty pair for $20. You also can get oxygen-free copper multi-strand cable. Mogami is making a major 11/12 gauge multi-strand cable. In general, 10-16 gauge oxygen-free multi-strand copper speaker wire will be enough to do the task.

Is it possible to buy only one of the KEF R500 speakers and not to buy two of them?

Answer: One-half of a stereo recording can only be heard, in these terms. Hooking to a speaker both the left channel and the right channel cables will destroy the amplifier as well as the speaker.

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