Kanto YU6, YU4 and SUB6 Review

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###Kanto YU6, YU4, and SUB6

*All speakers in this review were provided as review samples from Kanto.*

##Overview

Here’s what I’ll talk about in the video:

> Pricing + Specs

> Usecases

> Speaker Stands

> Subwoofer + Subwoofer Specs

> YU6 Specs

> Phono Preamp

> Stands

> Sound Signature

> Comparisons with Fluance and Micca

> Subwoofer Setup

> Negatives

> Positives

> Final Thoughts

##Summary of Video

I picked a pair of YU4 for my wife’s desk.  I picked gloss teal, but there is a large variety of color options on the Kanto website.

The YU4 has plenty of inputs for any use case.  Everything from bluetooth to optical to a phono input is included in these speakers.  This means that they have an integrated phono preamp, as well as an integrated DAC for any digital sources you need to hook up.  Hint: this would make them a great soundbar killer, since you can hook them up via optical.  This is one way that I used my pair, as well as a bluetooth connection to a Google Home and a USB connection to my wife’s computer.  You can have all of these connected at the same time, and switch between them easily with the remote.  They automatically turn on when you play something from a source, which is awesome.  Back to the remote.  It’s a real remote, rather than some of the cheap little plastic remotes you get with some of the other speakers in this price range.  It has buttons to change the source and volume, as well as buttons to adjust the bass, treble, and balance.  You can even skip songs with it.

The desk stands are fantastic for a desk setup.  They tilt the speakers towards your ears, as well as reduce vibrations through the desk.

I got them with a subwoofer because they will be replacing a pair of Logitechs for my wife, which have a subwoofer.  Hooking the subwoofer up to the speakers is a breeze, and it blends very will with them.

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I purchased the YU6 to use in my living room with my turntable.  The main difference in the two is the woofer size.  The YU6 have a 5 1/4” woofer, instead of the 4” woofer from the YU4.  The features are all the same as the YU4.

First, I used them with my turntable.  Rather than using the phono preamp in the turntable, I used the one in the Kantos.  It added a bit of warmth to the sound, and overall made the sound better.  There was a problem with the volume not being loud enough while using the phono preamp in the Kantos, but I reached out to Kanto and they informed me of the reason.  Every phono preamp outputs at a different power, causing a difference in volume.  They made theirs output less power than my turntable.  According to Kanto, they set it lower to “accept higher phono cartridge levels without producing distortion”.  This could be fixed with an external phono preamp.

I also got a pair of 24” speaker stands for these, so that the speakers aren’t on the same surface as the turntable.  The speakers are very hefty, and have a great cable management system.  The speaker wire and power cable can fit through the stand so you can hide it.  There is also a place to screw the speaker into the stand, so you or any pets won’t be knocking it off.

So, *how do they sound*?  They’re very flat, but have bass and treble adjustments via the remote, in case you want to change up the sound.  The YU6 gets down to about 60hz at -3db.  The YU4 gets down to about 92hz at -3db.  With both of these, you will probably want a subwoofer.  You’ll probably want a sub with both of these, and the SUB8 and SUB6 would match well with the YU6 and YU4, respectively.

The subwoofer connection on the back of the YU6 seems to bring the sub in at about 150hz, but unfortunately it doesn’t have a high pass crossover, which would remove those frequencies from the bookshelf speakers and just leave it up to the sub.  However, this isn’t much of a problem, especially at regular listening volumes.

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There were a couple of downsides to these speakers.

The first is the problem with the phono input, but Kanto explained why they did that and it makes sense.

Another problem is the low end, especially on the YU4.  For this price, I would hope that they could hit a bit lower, but it makes sense, since they are designed to be paired with the subwoofer that they sell.  Since they don’t go down as low, they can get louder before distortion.  Again, that could have been fixed with a high pass crossover from the subwoofer.

I wish that the bass was a little bit tighter.  They are ported to help it get lower, but that sacrifices the quality of it.

There are still plenty of positives,

These speakers are a lot of fun to listen to.  They aren’t like a studio monitor, where they just sound flat and boring.  You can tailor them to your needs, and play with them to get them how you like them.

The finish is phenomenal.  The gloss black is beautiful, and there were no blemishes or marks on them.  The cabinets are very solid.  This build construction is great for the price.

There is no hiss when they aren’t playing.  That can be a big problem with powered speakers, and these don’t have that problem.

There are a lot of features on them.  Bluetooth, phono input, and a remote, just to name a few, are fantastic to have.  They make these speakers an ‘all in one package’ for anyone looking to get something for their desk or for their TV.

The entire ecosystem, from the speakers to the subwoofers to the stands, is great.  The system is made to go together, and you can tell.

There is a color option for everyone.

They get loud, especially for their size.

They look awesome.  It just makes me want to use them.  They put a lot of time and work into making them look good, and it shows.