KEF LS50 Meta vs. Micca RB42

KEF LS50 Meta Bookshelf Speakers Micca RB42 Reference Bookshelf Speakers
$1600 $150
Dimensions (H × W × D)
11.90” × 7.90” × 11.00”
302mm × 201mm × 279mm
8.70” × 4.90” × 7.90”
221mm × 124mm × 201mm
Power Type
Passive Passive
Frequency Response
79-28,000 Hz 50-20,000 Hz
ASR Score
4.6 4.4
ASR Score w/Subwoofer
6.7 6.6

Key Takeaways

TLDR Summary: In the arena of bookshelf speakers, the KEF LS50 Meta represents a pinnacle of engineering finesse, boasting Metamaterial Absorption Technology for pristine clarity and detail. Their predecessor's legendary status only enhances their appeal to audiophiles. Conversely, the Micca RB42 Reference, with its compact design and wallet-friendly price, offers a warm and engaging sound that punches above its weight class. While the LS50 Meta shines with its superior soundstage and resolution, appealing to the discerning ear, the RB42 caters to budget-conscious enthusiasts looking for a robust performance without breaking the bank.

Speaker Comparison

When discussing the world of high-fidelity audio, one cannot help but marvel at the innovation and craftsmanship that go into creating speakers that elevate the listening experience to new heights. The KEF LS50 Meta and Micca RB42 Reference are both bookshelf speakers that aim to deliver exceptional sound quality, but they cater to different segments of the audiophile market. The LS50 Meta, a successor to the acclaimed LS50, integrates KEF's cutting-edge Metamaterial Absorption Technology (MAT) to reduce distortion and enhance clarity, while the RB42 Reference is a compact powerhouse, known for its surprising performance at a relatively modest price point.

Design and Build Quality

The KEF LS50 Meta continues the brand's legacy of precision engineering with its sleek, curved baffle and the iconic Uni-Q driver array that positions the tweeter at the acoustic center of the bass/midrange cone. This design enables the LS50 Meta to create a more detailed and integrated three-dimensional soundstage. In contrast, the Micca RB42, with its classic boxy design, prioritizes functionality over flair. The build quality, though solid, does not have the same luxurious feel as the LS50 Meta, which boasts a high-density polymer enclosure and constrained layer damping to minimize resonance.

KEF LS50 Meta Bookshelf Speakers
KEF LS50 Meta arrow (at

Sound Quality

The LS50 Meta is a true showcase of KEF's commitment to audiophile-grade performance. The MAT significantly reduces unwanted sound reflections, providing listeners with a purer sound that articulately presents each individual element of the music. The bass is tight and controlled, and the midrange is notably clear, bringing forward the subtleties in vocals and instruments. On the other hand, the Micca RB42 offers a warm and pleasing sound signature, with a surprising amount of bass response for its size. Though it may lack the ultimate refinement of the LS50 Meta, it still delivers a balanced and engaging listening experience.

Power Handling and Efficiency

The LS50 Meta demands a potent amplifier to unlock its full potential. Its rated sensitivity of 85dB means it's not as efficient as some other speakers, and it will benefit from high-quality amplification to reach its dynamic best. The Micca RB42 is somewhat more forgiving, with a sensitivity of 83dB, but it still requires a fair amount of power to perform well, given its compact size and robust bass drivers. While the KEF will scale with higher-end electronics and reveal the nuances that only top-tier gear can provide, the Micca's performance ceiling is more within reach of budget-friendly amplifiers.

Micca RB42 Reference Bookshelf Speakers
Micca RB42 arrow (at

Compatibility with other components is another consideration. The LS50 Meta's revealing nature means it pairs best with electronics that share its precision and clarity, potentially adding to the overall cost for those seeking to build a system around these speakers. The RB42, however, is more versatile, capable of sounding quite good with a range of amplifiers and sources, making them a more adaptable choice for those with existing equipment or a tighter budget.

Value Proposition

Considering the investment, the LS50 Meta represents a significant commitment but also an equally significant return in sound quality. It's a speaker that will likely satisfy the discerning listener for years to come, offering a window into the nuances of recorded music that less capable speakers simply cannot. The Micca RB42, while not competing on the same level, punches well above its weight class, offering an excellent value proposition for those who want to step into the audiophile world without breaking the bank. Its performance-to-price ratio is one of the best in its class.

In conclusion, the KEF LS50 Meta and the Micca RB42 Reference bookshelf speakers serve different masters within the realm of high-fidelity audio. The LS50 Meta is a statement piece, a culmination of years of research and development offering a listening experience that justifies its premium. The RB42 is the scrappy underdog that refuses to be underestimated, delivering quality sound in a small package. Both have their place in the pantheon of great speakers, and the choice between them will come down to the listener's priorities, be it the pursuit of audio perfection or the quest for value.

Check Current Prices:

KEF LS50 Meta Bookshelf Speakers
KEF LS50 Meta Bookshelf Speakers
Micca RB42 Reference Bookshelf Speakers
Micca RB42 Reference Bookshelf 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.