Kanto YU2 Review (Page 1 of 4)

By: Jonathan Kwan
June 27, 2014

For someone who is in engineering, I have heard quite a number of jokes regarding our profession; some shining the spotlight on our common inner pride, while others throw a tongue-in-cheek outlook at our personalities. One particular story came to my mind when I began to compose this review. It talks about a mathematician and an engineer sitting at a table drinking at the bar when a very beautiful woman walks in and sits down across the room. The mathematician lets out a sigh and says, "I'd love to talk to her, but first, I will have to cover half the distance between where we are and where she is, then half of the distance that remains, then half of that distance, and so on. The series is infinite. There will always be some finite distance between us." Meanwhile, the engineer gets up, and starts walking. "Oh well, I figure I can get close enough for all practical purposes." As you can see, while the mathematician is correct in his assertions, the engineer in the story sheds a bit of insight on the difference between theoretical limitations and practical implications. I will let you ponder that for a moment as we reflect on the conclusion of my Audioengine A2+ review last month. I have asserted that "audio is a very special breed of product to review", and "hearing good sound shoots straight for the heart. It will tingle a sense of passion that simply does not resonate the same way when anything else is tested. It will feel right, and I will recognize it the first time I hear it." Ostensibly, the Kanto YU2 and Audioengine A2+ look and function in a very similar way. Just pull up some photos, and you will see what I am talking about. Economically, the former is only two-thirds the price of the latter at press time. Will the Kanto YU2 still be able to resonate the heart the same way the Audioengine A2+ for all practical intents and purposes, or will it be a case of "close, but no cigar"? Here at APH Networks, we will leave no audio questions unanswered.

If there is one more thing the Audioengine A2+ and Kanto YU2 coincidentally shares, it will have to be the place where our review sample arrived from. Using Canada Post Expedited, our desktop speakers arrived to us here in Calgary, Alberta from the Greater Vancouver Area in Coquitlam, British Columbia. Now, if you are not from the west coast, an interesting fact is Coquitlam is where many Koreans live. Have I ever told you how much I love Korean BBQ? Anyway, to put it in perspective, Kanto is a Canadian company, which is pretty cool, because there are not very many relevant technology companies left in this country (I mean, most will agree it is hard to say Blackberry is relevant at all nowadays). With everything arriving in excellent condition, we cracked open the brown corrugated cardboard box, and dug inside.

Our review unit of the Kanto YU2 powered desktop speakers came inside a retail box. Despite carrying roughly the same form factor as the Audioengine A2+'s retail box, the artwork style is very different. While the Americans took on a much more serious approach, Kanto made it much more youthful looking. As you can see in our photo above, there are no lines or borders anywhere; all you will see is the brand and model in large font, rotated slightly counter-clockwise in varying text sizes. Occupying the rest of the room is a photo of the YU2 in front of a black and grey gradient background. At the back, you will see a photo of the rear of the speakers. Occupying the rest of the sides include some promotion for Kanto's remaining product line, a sticker that indicates the color of the product, as well as some features and specifications.

Before we move on, let's take a look at the specifications of the Kanto YU2, as obtained from the manufacturer's website:

Tweeters: 3/4 inch Silk Dome
Woofers: 3 inch Kevlar
Nominal Impedance: 4 Ohm
Sensitivity 2.83V (/1W/1m): 84 dB
Amplifier Type: Class D
Power Output: 25 Watts RMS per channel
Input Sensitivity: 450 mV
Total Harmonic Distortion: < 0.1%
Crossover System: 2-way
Crossover Frequency: 2.5 kHz
Frequency Range: 20 Hz - 20 kHz
Frequency Response: 80 Hz - 10 kHz ± 6 dB
Inputs: 1 x 3.5mm stereo | mini-jack AUX | 1 x USB Audio |
Outputs: 1 x Subwoofer
Speaker Terminals: Left and Right Binding Posts
Input Voltage / Frequency: AC 100V-240V 50/60 Hz (auto switching)
Standby Power Consumption: < 0.5 W
Dimensions (each speaker): W 3.9” x H 5.9” x D 5.3”
(100 x 150 x 135 mm)
Net Weight (active): 3 lbs (1.4kg)
Net Weight (passive): 2.8 lbs (1.3kg)
Gross Weight: 8.6 lbs (3.9kg) (boxed pair)

Out of the box, you will receive what you need to get started. In addition to the cardboard brackets, you will also find both speakers inside its own microfiber bags. The power supply is neatly placed in a small box of its own, along with a Styrofoam sheet to fill in the remaining space to ensure everything arrives in pristine condition. With that in mind, here is a list of what you will receive in addition to the Kanto YU2 speakers itself:

- Speaker wire, 3 meters
- Power supply
- AC power cord
- Mini-jack audio cable, 2 meters
- Product manual
- 10x Rubber feet

No USB cable is included; you will need to supply your own, which is quite a bummer.

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