Science & Technology

KEF LSX II Speaker Review: Hassle-Free Hi-Fi


KEF’s original LSX was one of our favorite wireless speaker systems, and the new LSX II improves on everything we liked about the original. 

These sleek bookshelf speakers deliver fantastic, room-filling sound from a small footprint, and setting them up with everything from a TV to your Spotify account couldn’t be easier. It’s not easy for a company to top its own greatest hits, but KEF has managed to pull it off once more.

Tasteful Design

The LSX II shares a lot in common with its predecessor, and one of the best things it kept is the same stylish design. Each speaker is a single rounded block, with soft fabric wrapped around the edges. They come in black, white, red, blue, or “Soundwave”—a champagne gold with a wave pattern on the fabric and a striking blue center that came on my review unit.

The whole design hits a sweet spot where it can either disappear into your decor or be a visual focal point of an entertainment system, depending on how you arrange your living space. The color options are a moderate improvement over the previous generation, which were a little less subtle, though the lack of a green option might be a disappointment for those who prefer a nature vibe.

The bottom of each speaker has a ¼-inch mount, which makes it easy to place them on a speaker stand. If you do that, you’ll need to be mindful of the power cable that runs to each speaker—and possibly an Ethernet cable, for reasons we’ll explain below. But other than that, it’s possible to mount the speaker just about anywhere with minimal cable mess.

Myriad Inputs

Photograph: KEF

The beauty of a wireless sound system is how easy it is to connect your audio, and on that front the LSX II have no shortage of options. Once set up, you can cast music over Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, but they also come with a wide range of other, wired inputs for whatever you plan to use them for.

There are typical options like optical and 3.5-mm auxiliary inputs, but new to the LSX II are USB-C and HDMI ARC inputs. HDMI ARC is particularly notable because it makes it much simpler to control a wide array of A/V gear. While testing it, I used it to run game consoles and streaming sticks into my TV, and connected the TV to the LSX II. There was virtually no lag, and once set up I was able to keep using the same volume controls and remotes I’d been using the entire time.

It’s worth noting that while connecting a PS5 using HDMI ARC, I was unable to get sound from the LSX II. This was the only device I had this issue with, and I believe this is a bug with the PS5 software, not the LSX II, but it’s worth mentioning if you plan to use this with a PS5, as I did.

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