Kanto YU4 Review (Page 2 of 4)

Page 2 - Physical Look - Hardware

My first impression of the Kanto YU4 speakers was how beautiful the blue is. It is a more of a teal color, but I could not help myself to exclude the assonance of beautiful blue. I was not even the one to pick the color, as my colleague Aaron Lai chose it, but I am happily surprised to see how nice it looks. It also distinguishes itself from so many speakers that have a classic wood color. Anyway, the speakers also have a gloss finish, which gives a nice shine to the entire product. In most cases, a glossy finish is a fingerprint magnet. This case is the same, but the teal color hides them much better than other colors. The Kanto YU4 come in a variety of colors, and you can also get them with a matte finish if you choose black, white, or gray. Unfortunately, the flashier colors do not come in a matte finish. However, if you like your speakers to look like wood, they do also come in bamboo. The Kanto YU4 are quite big as well, meaning you will have to open up some real estate where you are placing them. The specific dimensions come in at 14 cm in width, 19 cm in depth, and 22 cm in height. They are also a little hefty; the active speaker's weight comes in at 3.2 kg, while the passive speaker comes in at 2.5 kg. Looks, size, and weight are nice and all, but what is even more important are the internals.

The front of both speakers is identical, except for the little knob and LED light found on the right speaker. Right by the LED light, the infrared receiver for the remote control is also found. Enclosed in the blue cabinets are 4'' Kevlar drivers and 1'' silk dome tweeters. Together, they have a rated frequency response of 60 Hz to 20 kHz. The total harmonic distortion is rated at < 0.25%, while the crossover frequency is rated at 2.0 kHz. The rated impedance comes in at 4 ohm. The Kanto YU4 speakers are powered speakers, meaning they have an internal amplifier. The YU4 in particular has a Class D amplifier. We will see how all of these technical specifications come together for a real world test on the next page.

The Kanto YU4 speakers are a bit more business in the back, party in the front type of deal instead of the usual saying, haha. This is common over all speakers though. The Kanto YU4 has a lot of different connections in the back to make them easy to use and compatible across a wide range. The right speaker in the above picture is where all the fun occurs, while the left speaker only has the connections it needs to connect the two speakers. Starting at the top left is the RCA/LA connection; it is especially easy to connect a turntable with an integrated phono preamp. There is also a switch to change between phono and line input. Below this input is the common AUX connection, which is a typical 3.5 mm jack. On the right side, there are two optical cable inputs. You can also connect wirelessly via Bluetooth powered by Qualcomm aptX. As for outputs, there is a subwoofer and 5V USB charger connection. At the bottom is the connection for the integrated power supply, with a rocker style switch to easily turn the speakers on or off.

The Kanto YU4 speakers are also user-friendly. The front knob, which can be seen in the top picture of this page, can be used exclusively with only some caveats. Obviously, turning the knob controls the volume, but pressing the knob cycles through the different inputs, while holding it in turns standby mode either on or off. For an experience not requiring the knob to be pressed ten times because you accidentally cycled past your desired input, the remote control can be used. The remote is decent size, and has all the different functions clearly laid out on the front. The remote can be used to control the balance and tone, volume, input, and playback options when using Bluetooth. The Kanto YU4 speakers will also automatically go into standby mode to conserve power when not in use. One of the caveats of using the knob exclusively is you are unable to change the balance. Moving on, there are small pads included in the packaging which can be stuck to the bottom of the speakers to prevent the speakers from damaging the surface they are on, and to prevent the speakers from being damaged if they are on a rough surface. The little hole in the middle is used to mount the speakers on a stand if so desired. The mounting hole is for 1/4'', 20 threads per inch stubs. Enough of all the features though, let us see how they perform on the next page!

Page Index
1. Introduction, Packaging, Specifications
2. A Closer Look - Hardware
3. Subjective Audio Analysis
4. Conclusion