Nocturne edition of KEF’s LS50 Wireless speakers look as good as they sound

KEF makes damn good speakers. This year, we were fortunate enough to review both the $550 Q150 bookshelf speakers and the $2,000-plus LS50 Wireless speakers, and both sets blew us out of the proverbial water, earning four-and-a-half stars out of five and our prestigious Editor’s Choice award.

Now, the award-winning LS50W — which we first laid eyes and ears upon at CES 2017 — are getting a special “Nocturne” edition, which takes the classy aesthetic of the original LS50W and injects some futuristic vibes, courtesy of a “fractured” face design and some neat glow-in-the-dark accenting. The Nocturne edition speakers retain the LS50W’s unique design, with a curved front baffle and KEF’s proprietary Uni-Q driver technology providing unmatched acoustic clarity.

The speakers owe their fancy duds to Dutch designer Marcel Wanders (and his eponymous agency), whose portfolio ranges from architectural art design to practical product design. The plate’s accents extend from the baffle in a circular, “explosive” fashion, which represents the orchestration of tempo and the individual discovery of musical elements, according to KEF. That might sound like standard PR chatter — and it is — but in our experience, these speakers sound so sublime that you can indeed “discover musical elements” individually. As you can see near the end of the video above, inspiration was drawn from city skylines and from ballet routines to create the Nocturne pattern, which is simultaneously symmetrical and chaotic.

Under the hood, there aren’t any notable tweaks to the already-successful formula. Like the OG LS50 Wireless, the Nocturne feature dual-band Wi-Fi support, Bluetooth 4.0 (with aptX support), and a bespoke digital-analog converter (DAC) for each channel. The speakers utilize a 192kHz/24-bit high resolution signal path to ensure top-shelf sound quality.

“We wanted to honor the nocturnal concept,” Marcel Wanders creative director Gabriele Chiave said “The eloquent depth to the light and dark shades, textures, and patterns allude to what you would experience in a dream-like state.” Given their glowing faceplates, you might have to switch off the Nocturne LS50W to get any rest (isn’t that ironic?), but listening to them will definitely have you feeling dreamy. More images are available here.

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