KEF R3 & LS50

In January of 2019 I also listened to KEF’s LS50 and R3. They were connected to an Arcam amplifier.

I really liked the clear presentation and openness of both of these great looking speakers. The listening room was not optimal and maybe therefore they sounded quite alike.

Maybe all I can say of what I learned then, is that the R3 sounds a bit fuller. This must be due to the woofer in the design. Duh…

I started reading up on these speakers and found that the LS50 has a cult following. There seems to be another large group of people who find them too analytical or too thin.

The speakers are meant for my living room. It is not a big room, still I felt that the LS50’s might just be a bit too small and lack proper bass.

The R3 being a new speaker at the time, it was still quite invisible on the net. I found mostly articles and posts on forums announcing them.

Boenicke W5 SE

In January 2019, during my lunch break I walked to an audio store to get some info on what the audio world has to offer these days and I got to listen to these little speakers. I do not exactly remember what they were connected to, but I think it was a Nam Unity ATOM.

They did not sound too detailed. The sound reminded me of computer speakers. Also their price quite baffled me. They are close to 6000 euros for a pair!

Audio in the last decade

Steve Guttenburg (also known as the Audiophiliac) gives his take on this decade’s advances and trends in audio. No real surprises, but I think he makes some good points.

What he had to say about active speakers I found the most interesting. He comes to the conclusion that active speakers are becoming more and more popular, but that the popularity is mostly in the more affordable segment. He is referring to the KEF LS50W, DALI Callisto 2c’s and Elac Navis ARB-51s of this world.

There are of course the Kii Audio THREE speakers, but they are quite alone in their segment.

Quest for a new audio system

Over the last year I have been getting back into audio hardware. I have always dabbled, bought the odd DAC or headphones, but for over two decades I have not bought anything really substantial. I haven’t even had a dedicated audio system in the house for close to a decade.

Somewhere in the eighties I bought a Kenwood amplifier and CD player. I added some floorstanders by Magnat. I was 16 and proud of my first audio system. The Kenwood amplifier was quite well reviewed.

Somewhere in the 2000s I ditched my audio system. I don’t remember why. It probably had something to do with moving to a smaller place. In 2009 I added a pair of AudioEngine A5’s to my Mac Pro and enjoyed them for quite a while.

A couple of years later, fed up with the sound of my tv, I added AudioEngine A5+ speakers to my tv through an AudioEngine D1 DAC.

Then in 2016 I bought a Dragonfly Red DAC and a pair of Shure SRH1540 headphones. The sound quality was lovely. To my untrained ears tight and detailed.

In February 2019 I replaced the AudioEngine DAC connected to the tv in the living room with a Bluesound NODE 2i. This allowed me to stream hires audio in the living room to the AudioEngines.

Later that year I gave into a slight obsession with open headphones. I bought a pair of Sennheiser HD 660 S headphones and I couldn’t resist adding a Chord Mojo DAC to the order. To my ears quite a step up from the Shure and Dragonfly.

Having achieved a certain level of audio quality in the headphone department, my mind started to shift to a serious audio system.

In the next blog posts I will write about my journey towards a new audio system for the living room.

At it again

After a prolongued period of not blogging I have started a blog again. Mostly because I could use a sort of public notebook and some items might be of interest to others.

Expect items about Internet technology, programming, watches and audio.