The LSX II and my Hi-Fi Journey
The pandemic has made a lot of people realise how important it is to have a great setup at home. Usually sitting in an office, you'd have your headphones on and you probably didn't pay too much attention to the quality of the audio delivered. Working more from home, I decided to have the best speaker setup possible that would allow me to enjoy my music whilst taking up little to no space at all. While hi-fi audio is not new, I recently visited a studio where I experienced how it was intended to be heard, this resulted in me signing up for Tidal's Hi-Fi streaming platform. But that raises the challenge to get a set of speakers that will go well with my Hi-Fi upgrade journey.
Having been introduced to the LSX II, the next iteration of the award-winning LSX, it ticked so many boxes for me. It's a pair of active bookshelf speakers which fit perfectly within my desktop setup allowing me to either have them sitting on my desk or to invest in new floor stands for them. The LSX II speakers ooze premium quality, from the way they’re packaged to the unboxing experience, which is designed for ease whilst making sure you don't scratch them. They are a beautiful, minimalist pair of speakers that are available in a range of colours, including the black ones I have, which are understated and solid. The fabric finishing fits in perfectly with the style I was going for, and the overall design doesn't distract from my listening experience.
The LSX II has the same design language you'd see across KEF's portfolio of audio systems, it’s a true British design, even down to its engineering. They use some of the trusted exclusive tech like the renowned 11th gen Uni-Q driver, which is designed to make sure even when I'm moving around in my office chair, I get the same sound experience and immersion regardless of where I'm positioned in the room.
LSX II Setup Process
For a first-time KEF speaker user, the setup process is very simple and straightforward. You simply plug in each speaker with one serving as the Primary with all the ports and controls. Then you can either use the KEF Connect app to get things all setup (which I recommend as it offers a plethora of tweaks and personalisation, as well as streaming apps), or you can simply plug it in via an ethernet cable, which then allows you to stream using your Apple Airplay for example. Speaking of ports, KEF has added a USB-C for connection to PC or MAC and a HDMI port which supports ARC, meaning you can connect it to your TV - to improve your TV sound quality.
The HDMI port supports CEC, which means you can use your TV remote to control the volume. Elsewhere, you also have analogue aux, optical digital, sub output and two ethernet ports. One of the ethernet ports is for connecting to your home network and the other to connect the speakers together for optimum quality audio output resolution.
Connectivity and Performance
With each speaker you get a 19mm aluminium dome tweeter and a 115mm aluminium midrange cone in a Uni-Q array which delivers a typical response of 49Hz-47kHz. If you connect the speakers wirelessly, which I often do, you get 24-bit/48kHz or using the ethernet cable in the box you can expect 24-bit 96kHz via the ethernet link. Using a class-D amp, you get 200 watts of power, which is astonishing for such a small package.
I've been using Tidal Hi-Fi and Masters to fully experience the LSX IIs and it's such a joy to experience the sheer quality they can deliver. Listening to Koffee's latest album, especially x10, the first track on the album, you can just hear the clear separation between the instruments; Koffee's voice is a unique one that needs a speaker system that allows you to take in the lyrics whilst being transported into the essence of the song, which is all about being thankful. The acoustic guitar and drums come across crisp and cleanly. The song has a rich melody, and you can feel every ounce of what the sound engineers intended for the listener through the LSX IIs. I often play my music using Airplay for convenience, but the experience is equally seamless when streaming via the KEF Connect App.
The LSX II is a joy to have and beyond just listening to music, you can also connect it to your game console and playing Call of Duty with the speakers connected, I feel fully immersed in the game, from the footsteps to the way the weapons fire. I love its elegant, understated design that just fits perfectly in my home and the versatility they offer. They allow me to go from steaming Hi-Fi music via Tidal to watching Ray Donovan on Paramount+ with ease, while thoroughly enjoying their excellent sound quality.
However you prefer to connect, from Chromecast streaming to pairing with your TV system, set-up is quick and simple. Watch our series of short How-To videos to be connected in minutes.