Kef LS50 vs. Goldenear Aon 3

Some time ago I wrote about a lcomparison I made between the Goldenear Aon 3 and the B&W 805S:…d.php?t=481472

To understand some of the comments below, it might be helpful to read the above ‘review’ first.

Recently I picked up (read: stole) a pair of KEF LS50’s from Canada (long live the weak CA$) and I put them up against my beloved Goldenear Aon 3’s.

Just to jump to the end, I am keeping the LS50. The ‘why’ might surprise you…

First I started off with some of the old faithful songs that I know very well and have played many times with the Goldenears.
Red Hot Chili Peppers: Under the Bridge
Jimi Hendrix: Little Wing (live)
Norah Jones: Nightingale (high resolution 24/192)

As expected from the Goldenears, it sounded like a live performance, huge soundstage, natural sounding mids and deep lows…
The sound I loved for almost 3 years.

Now it is the KEF’s turn. The looks are very different, the KEF being the smaller of the 2 with that Orange ‘sunny side up’ fried egg in the middle.

I let them warm up a little after being shipped to me before I gave them a listen. Not a clue if it made a difference, but at least I made it look like that I knew what I was doing…

First thing I noticed, smaller soundstage and a little less bass (not a lot, but enough to notice). Not sure if I could live with that…

Then it hit me, these things are a lot easier to listen to than the Aon 3’s. Where the Aon 3’ were more fun and ‘I want to move to the music’, the LS50’s invited you to sit down and really enjoy the music. It sounded more ‘soothing’ (if that makes sense to anyone, besides me). Still, they sounded warm and very natural. There was a little more detail and more ‘air’ between the instruments and singer.

Reading back the ‘review’ of the B&W 805S and Aon 3 (see link above), I think I found the perfect in between with the LS50’s.

Now the reason why I am keeping the LS50’s…

I prefer the deeper bass, wider soundstage and more fun sound of the Aon 3’s, but the LS50’s kept me more engaged to the music. With the Aon 3’s I could walk around the room and listen to the music as if it were played live in my room, the LS50’s made me sit down and appreciate the songs I have known for a while all over again.

Maybe I should keep them both and switch between them depending on my mood that day, but I don’t think my wife and ‘interior decorator’ will let that fly…

Welcome to the “British” sound.

What you describe is the classic difference [ historically] of the sonic objectives of different markets. Of course Audiophiles are Audiophiles no matter where they reside but there is such a thing as “the masses” that often drive the market design demands and objectives.

I remember my old Jensens that turned my home into Woodstock in the 70s. Audiophile the were not but the live Peter Frampton album was a “moving” experience.