KEF LS50 Meta vs. Pioneer SP-BS22-LR

KEF LS50 Meta Bookshelf Speakers Pioneer SP-BS22-LR Bookshelf Speakers
$1600 $160
Dimensions (H × W × D)
11.90” × 7.90” × 11.00”
302mm × 201mm × 279mm
12.56” × 7.13” × 8.44”
319mm × 181mm × 214mm
Power Type
Passive Passive
Frequency Response
79-28,000 Hz 55-20,000 Hz
ASR Score
4.6 5.0
ASR Score w/Subwoofer
6.7 7.5

Key Takeaways

TLDR Summary: In the realm of bookshelf speakers, the KEF LS50 Meta represents a high-end choice, boasting innovative metamaterial absorption technology for purer sound, while the Pioneer SP-BS22-LR offers remarkable value with its Andrew Jones design pedigree. The LS50 Meta delivers a more detailed and expansive soundstage, with a level of clarity and precision that audiophiles crave, yet at a higher price point. Conversely, the SP-BS22-LR punches above its weight with a warm, balanced sound and is accessible to the budget-conscious listener. Each serves a different listener profile: the LS50 Meta caters to the refined ear, while the SP-BS22-LR is a gateway for budding enthusiasts.

Speaker Comparison

When it comes to the world of high-fidelity audio, the speakers you choose can make or break your listening experience. The KEF LS50 Meta and Pioneer SP-BS22-LR are two bookshelf speakers that, while existing in different market segments, both seek to elevate your home audio to new heights. It's like comparing a fine Scotch to a masterfully brewed craft beer; both can be savored, but each offers a distinct flavor profile to the discerning audiophile.

Design Philosophy and Build Quality

The KEF LS50 Meta speakers are the result of meticulous engineering and a no-compromise approach to sound quality. They boast KEF's patented Uni-Q driver array, which positions the tweeter in the acoustic center of the midrange cone. This design innovation enables the LS50 Meta to produce a more accurate three-dimensional sound image. In contrast, the Pioneer SP-BS22-LR, designed by the renowned Andrew Jones, offers a more traditional and cost-effective design. The curved cabinet design is not just for looks—the stiffer design reduces standing sound waves inside the cabinet, which results in high performance at a more affordable price point.

KEF LS50 Meta Bookshelf Speakers
KEF LS50 Meta arrow (at

Sound Signature and Performance

Acoustically, the LS50 Meta speakers have a bold and detailed sound signature. The upgraded Metamaterial Absorption Technology (MAT) works to absorb unwanted sound coming from the rear of the driver, reducing distortion and allowing for clearer, purer sound. In comparison, the Pioneer SP-BS22-LR offers a warm and inviting sound that belies its modest price. The 4-inch structured surface woofer and 1-inch high-efficiency soft dome tweeter work together to deliver a well-balanced audio experience, but they don't quite reach the level of detail and clarity of the LS50 Meta.

Power Handling and Room Integration

When it comes to power handling, the KEF LS50 Meta is capable of dealing with more powerful amplifiers, withstanding up to 100W of power. This allows the LS50 Meta to retain composure at higher volumes and provides room-filling sound without distortion. On the other hand, the Pioneer SP-BS22-LR is more modest in its power handling, rated at 80W. This makes them suitable for smaller rooms or in a setup where they won't be pushed to their limits. Both speakers, however, are relatively easy to integrate into most rooms, though the LS50 Meta may require a bit more care in placement to truly shine.

Pioneer SP-BS22-LR Bookshelf Speakers
Pioneer SP-BS22-LR arrow (at

In terms of value, the Pioneer SP-BS22-LR punches above its weight class, providing a quality listening experience that is unmatched at its price point. The KEF LS50 Meta, while commanding a higher price, offers a glimpse into the upper echelons of audiophile performance. It is an investment for those who demand the pinnacle of sound detail and who are willing to pay for that last ounce of performance.

Ultimately, the choice between the KEF LS50 Meta and the Pioneer SP-BS22-LR comes down to your personal audio priorities and budget constraints. If you're looking for a speaker that will grow with your system as you upgrade components, then the LS50 Meta is a worthy contender. However, if you're just starting out on your audiophile journey or looking for a great set of speakers that won't break the bank, the Pioneer SP-BS22-LR is an excellent choice that will not disappoint.

In conclusion, whether you're sipping on that Scotch or enjoying a brew, both the KEF LS50 Meta and the Pioneer SP-BS22-LR offer distinct and satisfying audiophile experiences. The LS50 Meta speaks to those who seek the ultimate in precision and detail, while the SP-BS22-LR offers a gateway to high-quality sound at a fraction of the price. Whichever you choose, each will bring you closer to the music you love, enveloping you in a sound that is personal, emotive, and true to the original performance.

Check Current Prices:

KEF LS50 Meta Bookshelf Speakers
KEF LS50 Meta Bookshelf Speakers
Pioneer SP-BS22-LR Bookshelf Speakers
Pioneer SP-BS22-LR 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.