The bears had started out with some very beautiful Quad speakers - the 11L Active version - which came with their own amplification. While the finish on them was something else, the fact that the volume control was round the back didn't make them very convenient. And they did (in the end) have a rather veiled sound that left something to be desired.
As the bears upgraded the amplification on their system they tried out some other speakers but failed to find anything that captured their hearts.
Due to the location of the computer, a set of small bookshelf speakers was a necessity. Imagine Curly's pleasure then when he started to read some reviews of Kef's LS50 speakers. Not only were they lauded in the hifi press, but these were speakers that had a very attractive finish - and would fit nicely alongside the Mac.
To cut a long story short, a pair of Kef LS50 speakers subsequently appeared. And they have proved to be a massive success. They offer lots of detail without being tiring or shrill, a surprising amount of bass and a great fit to pop/rock in particular. They take banana plugs (remove the plastic covers from the terminals) as well as spades or bare wires.
There is a bass port at the back, and Kef supply you with three pieces of foam that can be used to tune the sound according to how closely they are placed to walls. The bass port is actually flexible, something that Kef found improved the sound.
Kef supply some nice little stick on feet, should you need them. They would no doubt sound even better on stands, but that isn't an option with the bear's setup.
The finish is particularly nice - piano black, with an inert matt black front surface. The rose gold drivers are even more attractive once you see them than they appear in pictures.
Running with the Curly's current amplifier of choice, the Roksan Caspian M2, the Kef's acquit themselves very well indeed and make it a real pleasure to listen to the bear's music. Of course, the downside of a better system is that the shortcomings of low bit rate music files are a little more obvious.
Downsides? None to speak of. They have no covers - so you do need to be careful of the combined bass and tweeter cone at the front when moving them.
In conclusion, if you do have to go for bookshelf speakers then the Kef LS50 is definitely one of the leaders in its class. Give it a listen if you can.