Kanto YU6 Review – Modern, Multifaceted

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Pros – 

Excellent connectivity, Clean yet customizable design, Well-balanced sound free of peaks

Cons – 

Average bass extension (not to be mistaken as a lack of bass), Slightly thinner midrange

Verdict – 

The YU6 is a stylish vehicle for a clean sonic canvas that enables the user to adjust to personal taste or simply enjoy their tunes with great fidelity.

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Introduction –

Kanto Audio is a speaker manufacturer from Canada with a focus on balanced sound and minimalist styling featuring a plethora of colours and textures to suit individual preference. Their speakers focus on versatility with some of the widest IO support on the market. The YU6 represents their largest and highest model with 5.25“ Kevlar woofer and 1“ silk dome tweeter producing a combined output of 200W RMS. It fills an important niche, seeking to augment a market consumed by convenience with traditional quality and style. You can read all about the YU6 here.

Disclaimer –

I would like to thank Kanto very much for their quick communication and for providing me with the YU6 for the purpose of review. All words are my own and there is no monetary incentive for a positive review. Despite receiving the speakers free of cost, I will attempt to be as objective as possible in my evaluation.

Accessories –

The speakers are well-packaged within a plain box that protects a colour printed box inside. Each speaker comes within a drawstring fabric pouch that keeps them pristine during shipping. Included is a remote with two aaa’s and a medley of cables, a 3.5mm to 3.5mm aux cable, a power cable and interconnect, no optical cable or RCA cables are provided, however. Additionally, Kanto provides all the paperwork to get the user started and for warranty purposes. Adhesive foam feet are provided should the buyer want to use them on a flat surface. Otherwise, the speakers have a threaded connector that permits use with stands that place the speakers more at ear level.

Design –

In person, these speakers are undoubtedly pleasing to the eye. They are contemporary and streamlined yet with a timeless quality due to their simplicity and symmetry. I opted for an unobtrusive matte black that exemplifies the modern aspects of its design while buyers looking for a more classic look have the option of pastels and even wood grain. In fact, the sheer level of customizability on offer is a major selling point of Kanto’s speakers.

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The speakers have no protective grills leaving the drivers exposed. Those potentially hazardous, this provides great visual intrigue with the aggressive Kevlar woofer promising a hearty low-end. The speakers are surprisingly light, however, build quality and finish are both excellent with even surfaces, perfectly smooth edges and no construction defects. The right speaker contains the electronics, it is the medium of all IO and also receives commands from the included remote via a front-facing IR receiver. An interesting addition that many users will be sure to find handy is a front-facing volume dial. This is immensely practical when placing the speakers on a desk or shelf where rear and occasionally side facing controls are hard to access.

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The receiver has a status LED that denotes power and changes colour to convey the selected input, mute or pairing modes. The speakers are powered by a 3-pin power cable that means users are able to swap out the stock unit for a longer one should they have a difficult placement. The passive speaker connects to the active unit via 2 cables that attach via spring-loaded connectors. This ensures easy connection and permits wider placement; though the included cable is already very long. The YU6 has a subwoofer output to enable use with Kanto’s own subwoofers in addition to third party ones. This is a great addition for use in larger spaces or for those wanting a more extended low-end for films and games in particular.

Usability –

The feature set packed into this speaker set is undoubtedly a highlight of the YU6. This is an active speaker system requiring no external amplifier. The speakers have an integrated phono preamp and Bluetooth connectivity that permits use with both wireless smart devices and older turntables that don’t have this feature built in. Moreover, the speakers support a plethora of inputs with RCA (with phono switch), 2x optical connectors and a 3.5mm port. Also included is a USB port with 1A output that can provide power to an attached Chromecast or similar device.

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The included remote is just as feature-laden with a wealth of controls. At the top are dedicated source buttons with an additional Bluetooth pairing button. Below is the volume adjustment alongside bass and treble controls that have 5 levels of adjustment. Below the bass and treble controls are reset buttons should the user want to revert to the default/balanced sound profile. Also included are playback controls that function over Bluetooth in addition to channel balance.

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It is easy to appreciate how almost every function can be controlled from the remote which makes placement on a high shelf or TV setup a lot more convenient. In addition, with Qualcomm Apt-X support, the speakers promise high quality over a wireless connection and this was reaffirmed in my subjective listening where the speakers provided almost wired quality over wireless. Moreover, they do so without introducing any hiss, even when the tweeter is turned up, a godsend for low volume listeners. Range is also admirable, and should easily permit wireless use with a TV should the buyer’s setup not permit a wired connection.

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About Author

Avid writer, passionate photographer and full-time student, Ryan's audio origins and enduring interests lie within all aspects of portable audio. An ongoing desire to bring quality audio to the regular reader underpins his reviewer ethos as he seeks to bring a new perspective on the cutting edge and budget dredge alike.

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