Coming in at $329.99 for the basic white and black gloss colors and $349.99 for the bamboo finish, they are a solid deal for powered near field monitors, but not out of reach for most users. I love checking out desktop monitors as I often work at my desk in the evenings. It’s become my most used listening area for music, so the Kanto’s look like an exciting upgrade. First, let’s learn more about Kanto then jump into the review.
“Kanto was founded in January of 2007. Our founders had a vision to build quality products with style – and offer excellent value to customers throughout their life cycle. Many years designing and manufacturing OEM products for large consumer electronics companies gave us the passion and understanding we needed to create a new brand with outstanding potential. Today, that knowledge and passion, combined with our team of dedicated design engineers, is the driving force behind our success.”
A simple and clean design is what Kanto is aiming for here. A 4” Kevlar driver for the middle and low frequencies with a 1” silk dome tweeter for the high end, the YU4 promises to “faithfully reproduce your favorite tunes.” While simple to look at, the feature list is strong. The YU4 has a built-in phono preamp, optical input, and Bluetooth. Oh, and did I mention the remote control? That’s not something you see included with most powered speakers.
They feel solidly built and not as heavy as I expected but they did fit almost perfectly on my desk. The paint finish is of high quality with no imperfections that I could find. The power light is very dim which makes it hard to tell if the speakers are on or off. The volume knob is larger than most which is nice. Overall, well-built and rock solid.
Check out the optical inputs and the sub output; something you don’t see on many powered desktop speakers.
Setup was actually a nice surprise as Kanto included all of the needed wires in very long lengths, not that I needed more than 10 feet but every cable was at least 6 feet long. Rarely do I see a setup this easy with most near field monitors, most of the time I need to find longer cables. Bluetooth was easy to control, not something I usually use but it worked great! No real challenge with these speakers at all, just easy to use. Nice work Kanto!
I expected a bit more from these speakers at this price point. Highs were very clear, but I felt as if the bass is far too polite. If you crank them up loud, the bass reveals itself, but then the highs become harsh. For my desktop, I like a nearfield monitor that is crisp and has some punch but can hold a balance of highs, mids, and lows at a low volume level. I feel like Kanto has all the parts; they just need to bring them into harmony. I have about 50 hours on the YU4s so far and break-in improved the low end a bit, but still not what I had hoped for. The speakers seem to just love the mid-range while not being as dynamic as one would expect. I have not heard the larger YU6s, so I am curious to hear if they have more bass.
The Kanto YU4s are simple little all-in-one speakers that look great on any desk, but I feel the audio is a bit lacking at this price point. While not the worst I’ve heard, they are not the best. Kanto is on the right path here, so I hope they do their best to improve the audio at this price point. I also didn’t like the status light; it was dim and almost useless on my desk. The features however really shine at this price point and their small size makes them a great option for most desktops.