KEF LS50 Meta vs. Klipsch Reference R-820F

KEF LS50 Meta Bookshelf Speakers Klipsch Reference R-820F Tower Speakers
$1600 $1000
Dimensions (H × W × D)
11.90” × 7.90” × 11.00”
302mm × 201mm × 279mm
43.00” × 10.94” × 17.50”
1092mm × 278mm × 444mm
Power Type
Passive Passive
Frequency Response
79-28,000 Hz 35-21,000 Hz
ASR Score
4.6 n/a
ASR Score w/Subwoofer
6.7 n/a

Key Takeaways

TLDR Summary: In the realm of hi-fi audio, the KEF LS50 Meta bookshelf speakers and Klipsch Reference R-820F towers represent two contrasting approaches. The LS50 Metas, with their innovative Metamaterial Absorption Technology, offer a refined, detail-rich soundstage in a compact, stylish package, perfect for smaller rooms or discerning ears seeking accuracy. Meanwhile, the Klipsch R-820F towers bring a bold, dynamic presence, leveraging their larger form and signature horn-loaded tweeters for an impactful, room-filling performance that thrives in expansive spaces. Ultimately, listeners' preferences in sonic character and room considerations will guide their choice between these two distinguished contenders.

Speaker Comparison

When the conversation veers towards high-fidelity audio, two prominent names often dominate the discussion: KEF and Klipsch. These brands have carved out distinctive reputations within the audiophile community, each with a sound signature and design ethos that appeal to different segments of music and movie enthusiasts. Today, we're putting two of their creations in the ring: the KEF LS50 Meta Bookshelf Speakers and the Klipsch Reference R-820F Tower Speakers. Both sets are highly regarded, but for reasons as varied as their design philosophies.

Design Aesthetics and Build Quality

The KEF LS50 Meta, a successor of the well-regarded LS50, continues the tradition of KEF's commitment to excellence with its compact, sleek design that belies its robust build quality. The LS50 Meta sports a Uni-Q driver array, which is a hallmark of KEF's approach to coherent sound dispersion. In stark contrast, the Klipsch Reference R-820F presents the classic Klipsch look, with a larger floor-standing design that commands more presence. The R-820F features a Tractrix horn-loaded tweeter, a distinct characteristic of Klipsch speakers, giving it an immediate visual identity.

KEF LS50 Meta Bookshelf Speakers
KEF LS50 Meta arrow (at

Sound Signature and Acoustic Performance

With sound, the KEF LS50 Meta is all about precision and neutrality, aiming to reproduce recordings with meticulous clarity. The LS50 Meta speakers are renowned for their detailed soundstage and balanced presentation, making them a favorite among audiophiles who enjoy critical listening. Conversely, Klipsch speakers, and the R-820F in particular, are known for their dynamic and lively sound. The R-820F's efficiency and sensitivity allow it to deliver an impactful and engaging performance that can breathe life into any genre of music or movie soundtrack.

Another area where the KEF LS50 Meta shines is in its imaging capabilities. The proprietary Uni-Q driver enables the speaker to create a palpable three-dimensional soundstage with pin-point imaging that allows listeners to easily place instruments and vocals within a mix. The Klipsch R-820F, while offering a broad soundstage, places a stronger emphasis on room-filling power and bass response, thanks to its dual 8-inch woofers and the additional cabinet volume provided by its tower design.

Klipsch Reference R-820F Tower Speakers
Klipsch Reference R-820F arrow (at

Compatibility and Versatility

On the versatility front, the KEF LS50 Meta maintains an edge due to its smaller form factor, making it easier to integrate into a variety of listening environments without dominating the space visually. They can be placed on stands, shelves, or desks and are quite adaptable to rooms of different sizes. The Klipsch R-820F, being a floor-stander, requires more space but offers the convenience of not needing stands. Due to their higher sensitivity, the Klipsch speakers are often easier to drive, making them compatible with a wider range of amplifiers, including some modestly powered AV receivers.

When it comes to bass performance, the larger Klipsch R-820F naturally has an advantage. Its tower design allows for larger drivers and an increased cabinet volume, which contributes to a more pronounced and deeper bass response. While the LS50 Meta is no slouch in the low-end department, especially for its size, it may require a subwoofer to satisfy bass enthusiasts or for larger room applications.

Ultimately, the choice between the KEF LS50 Meta Bookshelf Speakers and the Klipsch Reference R-820F Tower Speakers comes down to personal preference and the specific needs of one's audio system. The LS50 Meta offers a refined, detailed, and accurate listening experience that appeals to purists, while the Klipsch R-820F brings forth a powerful, energetic, and room-filling sound that can energize any home theater or music setup. It's a classic case of British finesse versus American muscle, each with its unique strengths that hold a special place in the hearts of audiophiles around the world.

Check Current Prices:

KEF LS50 Meta Bookshelf Speakers
KEF LS50 Meta Bookshelf Speakers
Klipsch Reference R-820F Tower Speakers
Klipsch Reference R-820F Tower Speakers

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Disclaimer: the speaker data listed on this website are correct to the best of our knowledge, but we do not guarantee the accuracy of the data. Please double-check any measurements with the manufacturer before making a final purchasing decision.