KEF LS50 Meta

I am looking at buying a pair… Seem to be reviewed very well… Haven’t had a chance to listen to them yet… Do you consider these audiophile bookshelf speakers? Thanks!


With the equipment I have now, I would be driving them with either a NADC375BEE or a Peachtree Nova 150. 

If KEF ls50 meta speakers are not "audiophile" then nothing is.

I own a pair + a pair of original ls50s. Also several other highly regarded audiophile favorites like Sonus Faber and Ohm. Every speaker is different but in terms of pure overall technical execution and sound, the KEF meta line in general is top of the heap at most any price point.

Does that mean everyone will like or prefer them? Absolutely not. What people like or think sounds best is a completely subjective determination so anything is possible there.


I would expect either of those amps to do quite well with ls50 metas.

@mapman I appreciate the input, thanks for taking the time to respond, much appreciated, and have a great weekend!

As always listen for yourself if you can. Or order from somewhere they can be returned.

For me they lack dynamics and bass… if you gave me a pair for free I would not use them. I do however understand why people like them and understand our listening preferences are much different. 

I own the originals, not the metas. I like them but back in my younger harder and louder listening days....they would have been a terrible match. Yes they are bass shy, depending on your musical tastes this can be a deal breaker. I added a rel t-7 sub and that made a big difference. How loud do you listen? These ain't the speakers for the head bangers ball. No matter how good a deal don't buy these without a long listen. There is a reason for all the positive reviews, they are very good within their limits but you might find you agree with james633, and 20 years ago I probably would have too.

They are the smallest and least expensive model in the meta line. So yes the laws of physics apply and there are limits.

Bass extension is not full range accordingly. Adding a powered sub addresses that easily. Still, don’t plan to go much above 90db spl or so even in a modest size room.

But they are top performers within those limits. If you need more then you move up the line to larger models for greater cost.


John Atkinson sure likes the speaker; it’s his reference.

Of course British audiophiles, with their typically small listening rooms, are willing to forgo deep bass altogether. 50Hz? That’s mid-bass. The bottom note on a 4-string bass (the E string played "open") is located at 41Hz. Any loudspeaker that cannot reproduce 41Hz at full volume is imo not a hi-fi loudspeaker. By the way, the lowest note on a pipe organ (the bottom bass pedal) is located at 16Hz.

The LS50 has a 5.25" diameter "woofer". I have a pair of speakers which use the 5" KEF B110 as a midrange driver, which is what it’s good for. A 5.25" "woofer"? Surely you jest! IMO the LS50 is a midrange/tweeter satellite in search of a woofer. I recommend a Rythmik Audio sub, which reaches into the teens. The combo should make a killer full-range loudspeaker!


Despite their flaws, a really good speaker from a price / performance perspective. Buy a pair from Crutchfield. 90 day money back guarantee.

Thank you everyone for your input, it’s been very helpful. I have a line on a pair for about $400 and I’m thinking of just going ahead and making the purchase assuming everything looks OK.

For that price, run don’t walk!  But I agree with bdp24…they need a sub. I like REL but Rhyrhmix come highly recommended. Beware used subwoofers…they lead hard lives, and amp failure is common. 

I own a pair of the original LS-50s. The number one thing to understand is their use case. They are a nearfield monitor. If you sit more than a five or so feet from them the may sound small and lost. If you sit 3 feet from them, your are on their turf, and pretty exclusive turf that is. Simply, they are a world class speaker in every regard save low bass. The matching KEF RC-62 solves that issue, as will a REL T7. So if you have a small room, and want to listen seriously, you won't be disappointed, especially if you feed them from a good 100W/ch amp.

I had a pair and loved them. They sound big and clean. I liked them more than my buchardts (synergy pending). The kef are really well built and look awesome. And audiophile is a relative term. The kef punch well above thier price point.

Absolutely. I had a pair of the non-metas for years and they are excellent. I have graduated to the Reference One’s. You need a high current amp to drive them effectively, the earlier referenced NAD 375BEE was exactly what I had. Go for it.

The KEF LS50 Meta are great speakers in a smallish room with the KEF KC62 sub. I used them with the Benchmark AHB2 amp, CODA #8 amp, and KRELL Duo 175XD. They were all great combos.

I gave my LS50 Meta to my nephew and got the cheaper Magnepan LRS+ for $1000. The LS50 Meta is a bit better on the details but the LRS+ is a massive wall of sound and I think a better speaker.

Only issue with the LRS+ is that it is a lot harder to drive. So, you need a powerful amp. The AHB2 is not the best amp the LRS+.

The LS50 is a very good standmount speaker, and many people enjoy them. I have the powered version, LS50W2, and upgraded from the LS50W1, the original. For listening to the widest variety of music, pairing them with a subwoofer is recommended (the mid-woofer is only about 5 in, so the low end is limited.) I have used the REL T7i which does very well in that combination. (And I can recommend their Arrow wireless connector for use with your amp. Having used Peachtree integrated amps six years now, you should get excellent performance from the combination. I have not used that NAD amp, but I imagine it would do fine also.

The LS50’ and the LS50 Metas are great speakers and your amps will drive them without issue. Like any speaker, you will need to fiddle with placement and unless you are using them as near field, you will probably want an subwoofer to go with them.

All the best.

I have a set of LS50 Metas that I was using in my main listening room with a KEF KC62 sub. Nice sound and a great match with a crossover between the two at 90Hz. Amazing imaging with very good detail. Given the size of my room they were a little small sounding especially at higher volumes. I ended up replacing them with a open baffle speaker that completely fills up the space. I have since moved them into my office which is 10x12 and listen to them semi nearfield at about 5ft from my chair. From there they are magic. They still disappear sonically and also manage to fill my small room very well. Highly recommended for a smaller room. 

I think the KEF LS50 Metas are terrific near field speakers. Very, very capable.

I did an A-B test with the LS50 Metas and the Raven Audio Corvus Monitors (full review here). While the much more expensive Corvus Monitors won in the end, the LS50 Metas held their own very well and were QUITE impressive (especially considering their cost). I would highly recommend for small to medium size rooms. 

Good Luck!

I don’t really know what "audiophile" means. What I do know is that the LS50 Metas are a very good bang for the buck. If your room’s not too big and if you don’t need high SPLs you will be happy. Add a sub, or better two subs, and you will be very happy. I would take a hard look at the secondary market.  KEF sells a lot of speakers and they can often be found on the second hand market. Good luck and cheers.

since you seem to be concerned with whether it's a audiophile speaker, perhaps you should listen to a bookshelf speaker of a higher class - e.g. see list >>

such as Dynaudio Special 40, JA Prism, Harbeth P3ESR, Totem Signature One, Amphion Argon3S, Buchardt S400, Perlisten R4B, etc. to decide if there is a significant improvement FOR YOU. My guess is that there will be and you will want to explore it further if you can be happy with the LS50s, long term.

My question as to whether or not these are audiophile speakers was really more from a perspective of fun curiosity. I love music and have all my life, but I’ve never owned ultimately real high end gear. However, over recent years I’ve been working my way in that direction. I have KEF reference 103.2 speakers and many other pairs which I consider to be pretty solid. However, again was just kind of curiosity as to how audiophiles would classify these meta speakers. 

As I mentioned above,  the price I am looking at for a used pair is pretty low. I’m beginning to suspect that the ads may be bait for people to pay online as my attempts to purchase these things directly from the seller via local pick up seem to be ignored, unless the seller has something else going on that’s keeping him/her away from their listing. However when I have sent questions, I can tell that they are “seen” but I am not getting a response. 


Want to thank everybody for their input on the speakers, I don’t think my room is too big as I will only be sitting about 6 to 8 feet away so it seems they would work out nicely. Who knows, maybe I’ll ultimately be able to buy them…🙃

Thanks for everyone’s input!

whether or not these are audiophile speakers 

KEF is one of the largest speaker manufacturers. I'd say it's a brand across inexpensive consumer products to high end audiophile speakers, from 500 to 50K. Strictly speaking a $1500 speaker would fall outside "audiophile". But who really cares about these labels? 


I really wouldn't care if someone else considers a speaker to be "audiophile", because that is subjective.....and often related to budget. My $3,000 Clayton Shaw Caladans (which are great speakers), would not be considered audiophile by a great many.

Before I bought mine, I did a comparison for bookshelf speakers, with: Buchardt Audio S400 MKIIs ($2,400), KEF LS50s ($1,600), Philharmonic BMRs ($2,000), and Ascend Acoustics Sierra 2-EX ($1,700). They are all really good speakers in the $2,000 price range, but in the end I chose the Buchardt S400 MKIIs.

The KEF LS50 Meta were great in my office, where I was listening about 5' away. However when I moved them to my main system (about 8' from listening position), they could not other have said, I think they are near field speakers.

In my room the Buchardts and the BMRs were the cream of the crop, and I could have been happy with either. The BMRs were back ordered about 4 months, and I am impatient, so kept the Buchardts....and have not regretted that decision, but I've often thought about the Philharmonic BMRs.

@vthokie83 that's a great story. I do think highly of the Buchardts. However, buying new speakers was my biggest mistake. I spent an enormous amount on my speakers and I could have saved 50% if I had bought used. And I could have spent that on another upgrade. Oh well. I still learned a lesson. 


That is true, buying used can certainly be a better way to purchase audio components. I just posted that because it was my experience, as I purchased new. The feeling about the speakers remains the same however, and each can be purchased used right 30% to 40% off of new prices.

When I was considering upgrading from my LS50 Meta + KC60 sub in a small room. I was questioning the merits of an upgrade since the system sounded great. I audition the $15k TAD ME-1 standmounts, I thought it was better than the LS50 but not 10x better. I was considering buying the Yamaha NS3000 standmount, since the Yamaha NS5000 that I own is so good (better than the TAD). The NS3000 is only available for me in Canada, but I have family there so not hard to buy it.

However, after buying the $1000 Magnepan LRS+ on a lark and getting great amplification I said there is no way I would like any standmount over the wall of sound (with depth) that I am getting with the LRS+. This is also in the same small room.

The LRS+ suffers a tiny bit with the details compared to the other standmounts I meantioned. However, that is not a big issue, and if it were (it is not), I would look at these Magnepan clones to upgrade from the LRS+.

Diptyque audio - Hauts-parleurs plans Haute-Fidélité - Home ($$$)



I found that they were really good but in a narrow range to a degree. I also found that they love Class D amplification which opened them up significantly to my surprise. I sold mine because I wanted a more "all around" bookshelf speaker. You'll find that their resale value is dropping at least it was when I sold mine and a lot of people buy and sell these.

OK, so I kept shopping and ended up buying some pristine Ascend Sierra 1’s locally and am testing them out now. So far, they sound great. I may still get the KEF’s...need to think that over a bit while listening to the Sierras......