In this review, we will be comparing LS50 and BW 606, two Passive Bookshelf speakers from KEF and Bowers & Wilkins. Let's have a brief look at the main features of KEF LS50 and B&W 606 first before getting into our more detailed comparison.
In the following sections, we will get into details in order to better understand how KEF LS50 and B&W 606 compares and hopefully end up with enough arguments to decide which one of these loudspeakers is the better choice for you.
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Both LS50 and BW 606 are 2-way speakers. LS50 features a 1" Aluminum Vented dome Tweeter and 1 x 5.25" Magnesium/aluminum alloy Woofer with a Crossover frequency at 2200Hz. On the other hand, BW 606 features a 1" Decoupled Carbon Decoupled Dome Tweeter and 1 x 6.5" Continuum Woofer .
LS50 has a frequency range of 79-28k Hz whereas BW 606 has a frequency range of 52-28k Hz. With a minimum frequency of 52Hz, the BW 606 can go significantly deeper on the low side and provide stronger bass compared to the LS50's min frequency of 79Hz.
Below graphs depict how these two speakers compare with the max, min and average values of the Min and Max Frequencies of other speakers under Bookshelf class in our database.
Impedance and Sensitivity
LS50 and BW 606 has the same Impedance of 8 ohms but where they differ is the sensitivity levels. LS50 sensitivity is rated at 85 dB and BW 606's is at 88 dB. This 3 dB difference makes B&W 606 a more sensitive speaker compared to KEF LS50, hence will play louder with the same amount of watts.
is the range of input power in watts RMS that a loudspeaker is designed to handle. While using an amplifier within this range ensures the nominal performance , inputting a power that is higher than the max wattage can result in a damaged speaker.
LS50 can handle a max power of 120 watts RMS from the amp the whereas LS50 has a max power handling value of 100 watts RMS , 20 watts less than the BW 606.
Keep in mind that higher max power handling value doesn't necesssarily make that a louder speaker compared to a lower max handling speaker. Loudness or the sound level is also impacted by parameters such as Impededance, sensitivity and system efficiencies.
Input Type and Bi-Amping / Bi-Wiring
BW 606 features Post posts which makes bi-amping or bi-wiring possible. LS50 has a Post which doesn't feature bi-amping/bi-wiring.
Cabinet Type and Port Position
Both LS50 and BW 606 have rear firing ports. Rear ported speakers generlly need more room between the backside of the speaker and the wall compared to sealed and front/bottom ported speakers. Placing too close to the walls may cause the bass to sound boomy.
Size of a speaker can sometimes become an important decision factor due to space constraints or in some cases purely for esthetic reasons. In this section, we are going to compare KEF LS50's and B&W 606's external dimensions. KEF LS50 has external dimensions of 302.0 x 200.0 x 278.0mm ( 11.8 x 7.8 x 10.9inch) whereas B&W 606 has external dimensions of 345.0 x 190.0 x 324.0mm ( 13.5 x 7.4 x 12.7inch) .
KEF LS50 is 43mm shorter and 46mm less deeper than B&W 606 but it is also 10mm wider.
Below you can see the front view size comparison of KEF LS50 and B&W 606 in scale.
Base Surface Area Comparison
Base surface area of a loudspeaker may become a determining factor when the space in your room or desk is limited.
The base surface area of the KEF LS50 is approximately 556.0cm2 / 86.2inch2 and base area of the B&W 606 is approximately 615.6cm2 / 95.4inch2. The LS50 requires 10% less surface area than the BW 606 which gives it a small advantage on placement in tight spaces.
Here is an another comparison that shows both speakers on a BDI Octave Media Cabinet, next to a standard size amplifier and turntable in scale: