The British brand KEF has just added Apple AirPlay 2 support to the KEF LSX Wireless speakers (read our review here), the KEF LS50 Wireless speakers’ smaller counterpart. Here are the many new features provided by AirPlay 2.
AirPlay 2 LSX Wireless: CD quality streaming
AirPlay 2 is a streaming protocol that lets you stream audio files via WiFi from any app (Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer, etc.) or web page displayed on a Mac or iDevice (iPhone, iPad, iPod). This frees you from the bandwidth limitations imposed by Bluetooth technology, allowing you to stream music losslessly in CD quality (16-bit/48kHz) to your LSX Wireless speakers. Better still, unlike Bluetooth which only works within a very limited range, AirPlay streaming can be carried out from anywhere in the home, even from the patio. The only requirement is that you are connected to the home network.
AirPlay 2 LSX Wireless: multi-room
With the first version of AirPlay, you could only stream to one device. Up until now, the only way to enjoy multi-room listening was to use iTunes on a Mac or PC, which allowed up to six connections. Unfortunately, Apple has just announced that the software is being discontinued on Mac computers. AirPlay 2 is therefore an alternative multi-room solution allowing you to stream the same music from an iDevice to several LSX speakers or any other device compatible with AirPlay 2 and connected to the home network. With AirPlay 2, it is also possible to stream stereo sound originating from a video viewed on an Apple TV or iOS device over the LSX Wireless speakers. As a result, you can enjoy Netflix shows with excellent sound quality and spatialization superior to that offered by the television’s built-in speakers.
AirPlay 2 LSX Wireless: voice control with Siri
The addition of AirPlay 2 also makes it possible to transform the LSX Wireless into smart speakers thanks to compatibility with the Siri voice assistant. The assistant isn’t directly integrated, but the LSX can be easily configured in the Apple Home app in order to use Siri from an iPhone or an Apple Homepod. It is then possible to ask the assistant to play your favorite playlist, turn the volume up or change tracks, amongst other things. All without having to take your smartphone out of your pocket.
How to benefit from AirPlay 2 with the LSX Wireless speakers
To stream music from an Apple device and benefit from the multi-room features offered by AirPlay 2, it is necessary to update the LSX’s firmware. Available since June 3, 2019, this update can be carried out using the Kef Control mobile app.