KEF celebrates 60 years with the LS60 Wireless

New from KEF: the LS60 Wireless; a 3-way floorstanding active loudspeaker built from the ground up to celebrate the loudspeaker industry’s sixtieth anniversary. It features the W2 streaming platform, first seen in the LS50 Wireless II (covered here and here), for Bluetooth, Apple AirPlay 2, Spotify Connect, Tidal Connect, Google Chromecast built-in plus Qobuz, Amazon Music, Deezer and QQ Music from KEF’s Connect app, which also allows customizing the sound profile. At the time of writing, the Roon Ready certification process is ‘ongoing’.

The most visually striking feature of the LS60 Wireless is its ultra-slim appearance. The front bulkhead is only 13 cm wide; that’s a shade more than the diameter of a CD. Height clocks in at 104 cm, depth at 32 cm. The plinth that holds this slim floorstander on its feet adds another 7 cm of depth. Why so slim? According to KEF, many consumers, especially those living outside the audiophile niche, are asking for a sleeker-looking speaker to maximize room placement options.

On the front bulkhead sits KEF’s 4″ version of a 12th generation Uni-Q driver array where an aluminum tweeter, complete with Metamaterial absorption technology capturing a large percentage of the backwave, is mounted on the acoustic center of the surrounding aluminum midrange driver.

Does all this make the LS60 Wireless a floorstanding version of the LS50 Wireless II? New.

The LS60 Wireless has as much in common with KEF’s Blade and Reference as it does with the significantly cheaper active 2-way monitor. The new floorstander borrows its ‘tweeter gap damper’ from Reference and Blade’s midrange driver decoupling – with the top half of the midrange driver unit decoupled from the bottom half (and thus the cabinet).

Inheriting even more from Blade, the LS60 Wireless features KEF’s ‘Single Apparent Source’ bass driver arrangement where two pairs of side-firing, force-cancelling bass drivers are positioned at the same height as the Uni-Q driver. These bass drivers feature the same shrouded voice coils, P-Flex surrounds and Smart Distortion Control as the KC62 subwoofer. KEF calls this bass driver tech UniCore. What might surprise you is that UniCore was first designed for the LS60 Wireless speaker before converting to the KC62 subwoofer (covered here and here

At low bass range, KEF claims the LS60 Wireless can deliver frequencies below 30 Hz. The company’s Kent-based engineering helps achieve the more specific rating of -6dB at 26Hz through Digital Signal Processing (DSP), which not only optimizes the driver’s performance, handles the Smart Distortion Control of the bass drivers, the crossovers and corrects any phase errors and applies all EQ settings specified by the user in the KEF Connect app. The DSP-adapted audio stream is then sent to three DACs that convert the digital signal to analog, ready for three amplifiers that in turn power the drivers: 500 watts Class D for the bass drivers, 100 watts Class A/B for the mids driver and 100 Watt class A/B for the tweeter.

The electronics are housed in a special housing that occupies the lower third of the speaker cabinet and is cooled by air drawn through a letterbox cavity in the front of the speaker – where the main cabinet meets the plinth – and exits at the rear top the connector plate. On the primary speaker we get wired input options for analog sources via RCA connectors, TOSLINK, coaxial and HDMI eARC – which was included instead of USB – and a subwoofer output. The secondary speaker also has its own subwoofer output.

On that connector plate, we attach the primary speaker to the secondary for inter-speaker communication that can accommodate PCM up to 24bit/192kHz. Those who don’t want to add another cable can take advantage of the proprietary wireless intralink that lowers the hi-res ceiling to 24 bit/96 kHz, but keeps all MQA resolutions intact – even those above 24 bit/96 kHz – because the second unfolding is performed at speaker level.

What may not be obvious to casual observers is the weight of the LS60 Wireless. Each loudspeaker weighs more than 30 kg and therefore comes in its own cardboard box. The couple arrives strapped to a palette. Whoever designed the packaging that allows the unpacking to be handled by one person earns a raise. We filmed it here:

The KEF LS60 Wireless will ship in June for $7000, £6000 or €6495 a pair. Your choice of Mineral White, Royal Blue and Titanium Gray.

More information: KEF

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