The newly released LS50 Wireless “Nocturne” from Marcel Wanders is really a bold new visual reimagining of British brand KEF’s flagship bookshelf loudspeakers. Conceived in collaboration with its namesake Dutch programmer, the limited-edition incorporate a new layer of aesthetic intrigue to a compelling line.
KEF is well known for producing some of most beautiful loudspeakers on earth–such as the140,000 Muon along with the favorite KEF Blade floor-standing version–along with the LS50 wireless monitors are no exception. The eye-catching speakers were one of those first in the marketplace to integrate high-quality Bluetooth streaming when it premiered in 2012, allowing for wireless playback of high-resolution formats. In the years since, the newest has occasionally released new color variations. In producing the most recent incarnation of the speaker, Wanders–best known for his product and interior-design work for brands like Baccarat, Christofle, Hyatt, and Louis Vuitton–focused on conveying a loudspeaker aesthetic inspired by the audio itself. Described by KEF as “a structured, architectural-type routine,” the layout consists of visual elements of musical notes and song structures that seem to emanate from the central speaker cone. Making its “Nocturne” moniker, certain portions of the speaker glow in the dark for additional late-night-listening appeal.
The LS50 is a powered computer, which means it does not require any distinct amplification or receiver parts. The speakers can join easily to receivers, computers, or preamplifiers through Bluetooth, which means you only require a smartphone to start enjoying music. They boast bass reaction as low as 45 Hz, thanks to the incorporation of motorist technology by the Blade loudspeaker. Unlike most bookshelf monitors, which feature the tweeter separate from the woofer, the KEF Uni-Q layout incorporates the high-frequency part in the middle of one driver. The cone turbine-like center–what KEF calls for a “tangerine wave manual”–is utilized to ensure maximum effective dispersion of noise. The iconic design also comes with a curved baffle, which prevents sound waves from encountering any hindrance in the speaker housing. The set includes four digital-to-analog converters along with four amplifiers, together with one of each committed to each driver.
The Nocturne variant is now available in Europe and retails for around $4,000, a good deal more than the2,200 inventory LS50 version.