British loudspeaker firm KEF's been putting out quality designs for 50 years now, and they're showing no signs of slowing down. They've observed the occasion by introducing a slew of new designs, many of them drawing on the Uni-Q concentric driver array developed for the Blade tower speaker (which itself went from a concept to a very impressive actual product this year).
The latest KEF speaker to hit the streets is the all-new LS50 mini monitor ($1,499.99/pair), which follows in the footsteps of the BBC's signature and ever-popular LS3 and LS5a line of bookshelf speakers, loaded with KEF drivers designed by Raymond Cooke. The LS50, however, has updated the design significantly, employing the Uni-Q driver, set in a curved baffle designed to minimize edge reflections, and a new elliptical port design, with flexible interior walls intended to minimize midrange resonance, and flared walls that should cut down on turbulence. The cabinet itself uses a constrained layer damping scheme to eliminate vibration (the curved baffle is also meant to contribute to overall cabinet rigidity).
The miniscule speaker (11.9 x 7.9 x 10.9 in) looks to be intended for near to midfield applications; the 8 Ohm units (they'll handle down to a 3.2 Ohm load) can take up to 100 watts/channel, which given a sensitivity of 85 dB should produce in the neighborhood of 106 dB maximum output. Frequency response is given as +/- 3 dB from 79Hz - 28kHz; though usable response is a bit broader, at a claimed 6 dB down at 47Hz.
The LS50 will be available for pre-order beginning today, exclusively through www.kefdirect.com.
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