KEF LS50 Meta is a worthy successor of the multi-award-winning speaker KEF LS50, and even exceeds its predecessor in terms of sound quality and performance. To achieve that level of sound quality is truly remarkable and that is why KEF LS50 Meta itself has won many awards, garnered praises from discerning critics, and won the hearts of audiophiles all over the world.
If you are a proud owner of KEF LS50 Meta, I salute you, as you have just made a wise choice of purchasing such a magnificent pair of stand-mounters for your home audio system. To drive LS50 Meta, you will need an amplifier that is equally as impressive and is able to unleash its fullest potential. Before we start naming the worthy amps to pair with these speakers, we must first find out the sound characteristics of the KEF LS50 Meta and its strength, then we will be able to pair them with the best matching amplifiers.
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Sound Characteristics and Strengths of KEF LS50 Meta
Like its predecessor KEF LS50, the LS50 Meta also uses a Uni-Q Driver Array driver which consists of a 25 mm (1 inch) vented aluminum dome tweeter situated right at the center of a 130 mm (5.25 in.) aluminum cone. From the size of the mid/low driver cone and the size of the speaker itself, we already understand that it won’t be able to reproduce high bass output and move a lot of air in the room as compared to bigger speakers such as floor-standers. The rear port will help supplement the bass output of the speaker though. The frequency response is 79Hz – 28kHz (±3dB) and the actual range is 47Hz – 45kHz (-6dB), we will stick with the frequency response when searching for the best matching amplifiers to pair with KEF LS50 Meta.
The speaker itself looks absolutely gorgeous, the stylish aesthetic design and color options allow it to blend in well with most modern amplifiers. Since the visual aspect of KEF LS50 Meta is absolutely no issue, let us now check out the sound quality. We already know that KEF LS50 is designed to be a passive studio monitor and the LS50 Meta is no exception. The sonic transparency is impeccable, you won’t miss a single musical detail as everything about your favorite tune will be revealed with crystal clear clarity and finesse. The KEF LS50 Meta delivers you a music presentation as faithful and close to what the artists have intended.
KEF LS50 Meta reproduces more details and clarity than its predecessor, making all instruments sound so natural and clear. The bass is detailed, rich, and accurate, you will be able to tell the difference between various percussion instruments. The bass doesn’t go as deep and is not as impactful which is expected from such compact speakers. Other than the low-frequency, the high and mids are exceptional, with no qualms at all. Insightful and refined, no matter how comprehensive the music is, the soundstage will always be cohesive and never muddle.
With superb stereo imaging and precision, KEF LS50 Meta is truly a world-class studio monitor for this price point. There are really revealing but fortunately not too clinical. This is where we need to be cautious when pairing them with an amplifier, as one of the greatest strengths may become its greatest turn-off. If we pair KEF LS50 Meta with a bright-sounding amplifier, the overall sound delivery could be too clinical and can easily cause listener fatigue. Bad recordings will be unbearable to listen to, and may not be as relaxing.
KEF LS50 Meta may have a nominal impedance of 8 Ohms but the sensitivity (2.83V/1m) is 85dB which is pretty low. You will require amplifiers with good power output to drive them and to hit loud volume. An amplifier with 80 Watts per channel will suffice, if you really want to play safe, 100 Watts per channel will be better. Do note that KEF LS50 Meta recommended amplifier power is between 40-100 Watts. For nearfield listening, you may not need such high-power amplifiers. So now we know their sound characteristics and limitations, let’s check out the best matching amplifiers to pair them with.
KEF LS50 Meta Specifications
- Speaker Type: Two-way bass reflex (rear port)
- Drive Units:
- Uni-Q Driver Array: 25 mm (1 inch) vented aluminum dome tweeter, 130 mm (5.25 in.) aluminum cone
- Frequency Response (±3dB): 79Hz – 28kHz
- Frequency Range (-6dB): 47Hz – 45kHz
- Amplifier Power (Recommended): 40-100 Watts
- Nominal Impedance: 8 Ohms (min. 3.5 Ohms)
- Sensitivity (2.83V/1m): 85dB
- Dimensions (H x W x D): 302mm x 200mm x 280.5mm (11.9″ x 7.9″ x 11.0″)
- Weight: 7.8kg (17.2lbs)
Best Matching Amplifiers to pair with KEF LS50 Meta
KEF LS50 Meta needs the power to drive and the Roksan K3 integrated amplifier got plenty of it. Not only does it has ample power output for the speakers, but K3 is also able to project a very wide soundstage and with the LS50 Meta filling the stage with crystal clear sound, you are in for a treat. The agility of the amp also provides the energy to make overall sound delivery more entertaining and it sounds neither hard nor bright. Roksan K3 is an amplifier that is a lively match for KEF LS50 Meta and is definitely worth your time for an audition.
If you want only the very best for your KEF LS50 Meta and the budget is no issue, then check out Naim Supernait 3. It is an integrated amplifier that delivers exceptional sound performance, it doesn’t struggle at the most difficult music passage and simply delivers. The low-frequency reproduction is improved as well, giving it more punch and scale. Naim Supernait 3 is dynamic sounding and produces a large spacious soundstage. With the KEF LS50 Meta transparency, you are really in for an entertaining music listening session. One of the best matching amplifiers for KEF LS50 Meta, you should at least just audition even if you are not buying.
Audiolab 6000A is another amazing amp that will be a good match with KEF LS50 Meta. It has a warmish sound which will make the overall listening experience a tad more relaxing. 6000A has the capability to project a large and spacious music presentation, the imaging is top-notch too and with the high-resolution sound reproduction of KEF LS50 Meta, you are going to have an impressive and entertaining sound delivery. The price point is affordable and even cost less than the speakers themselves, Audiolab 6000A is a great entry point to high fidelity sound.
I like the metallic minimalistic front of the Cambridge Audio CXA81, which blends well with the KEF LS50 Meta’s stylish and sleek aesthetics. In terms of sound quality, they complement each other as well. The CXA81 delivers an insightful and detailed music presentation without sounding harsh. The bold presentation also pulls you into the music and the impeccable timing keeps you invested. Cambridge Audio CXA81 provides a tad more fun HiFi sound without compromising the transparency and resolution of the music, it matches well the KEF LS50 Meta mini-monitors.
Hegel Music Systems H95 is a smooth-sounding integrated amplifier and has a clean sound delivery, which matches very well with KEF LS50 Meta. H95 doesn’t exaggerate or color the music (maybe just a tad little), only reproduces accurate and faithful music presentation, working hand in hand with LS50 Meta. The smooth and pristine sound quality just wants you to keep listening to more and more of your favorite tunes. Even at high volumes, the amp doesn’t lose its cool, you still get powerful and clean sound reproduction. A worthy amplifier to match with KEF LS50 Meta, definitely one of the best matching amplifiers.
There are also others who use NAD amplifiers to drive their KEF LS50 Meta, they are definitely worth the listen as well. Peachtree Audio amps are good as well, even though they are using Class D amps but they still sound warm and usually have high power outputs. You might want to go for HiFi separates if possible, such as mono power amps to power each speaker and stereo pre-amps, they usually sound a bit better than integrated amps. Going for HiFi separates will typically cost more and require more space to place them in your listening room.
To Sum it Up
The recommended amplifiers listed here are all worth your time and the effort to audition them. If possible, you should listen to them in your music/listening room, from there you’ll be able to judge whether you like the sound or not. You can also use these amplifiers as a reference to look for other brands/models, but always remember to audition them first before purchasing. Try to avoid harsh or bright-sounding amplifiers unless you prefer them that way. The moment you found the best matching amplifier for your KEF LS50 Meta, your music listening experience will be elevated to the next level and you will be enjoying your favorite songs for hours on end.