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DancingSea

KEF LS50 Wireless Streaming Alternatives

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Aloha,

 

I'm helping a 78 year old friend upgrade from 2 Sonos Play 1's to potentially a pair of KEF LS50W's.

 

He primarily wants to stream Apple Music, Spotify, and Tidal using his iPad to control.  I've read all over that the LS50W app is terrible and cumbersome to use. 

 

What are some reliably effective, reasonably priced streaming devices that could be connected to the LS50W's to bypass the KEF app system?  He's not a trouble shooting type, it just needs to work in a simple way.

 

Mahalo From Maui

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1 hour ago, Em2016 said:

 

Hmm it sounds like an AirPlay endpoint ticks all those boxes - like an AirPort Express with optical output:

 

https://www.apple.com/au/airport-express/

 

Just need a short 3.5mm-to-TosLink optical cable.

 

 

I tried that with Vanatoo’s at one time. It wasn’t seemless, I had to restart the airport express periodically and otherwise monkey with it. 

 

Was thinking a more more hassle free setup. Cost itself is not an issue, it’s more helping him understand that the expense has a good reason. 

 

Would a bluesound node be good?  Or something similar. It needs to just work or he’ll be upset I convinced him to spend the $$$

 

Hes is not an audiophile, yet. 😇

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8 minutes ago, DancingSea said:

Hes is not an audiophile, yet. 😇

 

Hehe Bluesound actually announced a partnership with Apple, for AirPlay 2 support, earlier this year.

 

So Apple Music will work, if the Node 2 gets this support (or will AirPlay 2 only come to the Node 3? Who knows). It's a bit of a waiting game though.

 

https://helpdesk.bluesound.com/discussions/viewtopic.php?t=4080

 

Spotify will work right now with the Node 2 though. 

 

https://support.bluesound.com/hc/en-us/articles/200870248-What-music-services-does-Bluesound-offer-

 

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Actually, I had issue connecting an Apple TV 3 to the Vanatoo’s. 

 

Once the airport express is connected to the LS50W’s, what would he have to do on his iPad to connect Tidal each time he wanted to listen?

 

Need to make sure its simple. 

 

Has anyone tried this arrangement?

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I'd say it depends on what connection your friend prefers.

 

If Bluetooth then there is no need to go anywhere near the LS50 app. Just use whatever streaming apps your friend prefers and is used to.

 

Saying that Spotify Connect now works via wifi without having to go near the app beyond an initial set up. I'm not sure about Tidal - I had this on trial for a while and never used Tidal's own app via wifi. Perhaps someone else can chime in to say if this works via wifi without needing to use the KEF app.

 

If they have access to DLNA storage they can also use whatever control app they have on their device without touching the native KEF app.

 

Saying that I'd say the description of the app being "terrible" or "cumbersome" is not really the case now it has had numerous updates and it will only improve. It's not spectacular but then again beyond device set up I'm not sure why anyone would want to use it any way.

 

 

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16 hours ago, DancingSea said:

Actually, I had issue connecting an Apple TV 3 to the Vanatoo’s. 

 

Once the airport express is connected to the LS50W’s, what would he have to do on his iPad to connect Tidal each time he wanted to listen?

 

Need to make sure its simple. 

 

Has anyone tried this arrangement?

 

Yes I've used it like this. It gives access to both Spotify's native app and Apple Music's native and Tidal's native app, all via AirPlay.

 

You just flick up from the bottom of the iOS device and press 'AirPlay' and select your AirPlay device (the Airport Express).

 

You can have multiple around the house of course (later) and give them separate names via the iOS AirPort Utility App.

 

Super easy! Very reliable I found - especially if you can connect it via ethernet. The AirPort Express supports AirPlay via both ethernet and WiFi.

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On 11/30/2017 at 12:07 AM, DancingSea said:

Aloha,

 

I'm helping a 78 year old friend upgrade from 2 Sonos Play 1's to potentially a pair of KEF LS50W's.

 

He primarily wants to stream Apple Music, Spotify, and Tidal using his iPad to control.  I've read all over that the LS50W app is terrible and cumbersome to use. 

 

What are some reliably effective, reasonably priced streaming devices that could be connected to the LS50W's to bypass the KEF app system?  He's not a trouble shooting type, it just needs to work in a simple way.

 

Mahalo From Maui

If he’s already used to the Sonos app then why not use a Sonos Connect either analog or digitally out into Kefs?  Of course you are nit getting high res but then again none if the streaming services you mention do that unless he’s interested in MQA from Tidal. 

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