If the name Kanto makes you associate it to the region within Japan, you’re wrong but you’d also be forgiven for thinking that. Truth of the matter is, it’s actually the name of an audio brand that’s based out in Canada, and they specialise in one thing: speakers.
In this review, I’ll be looking at the Yu2, a pair of desktop speakers, and see if they are able to stand up for themselves.
What Is It?
The Yu2 are a part of Kanto’s desktop speaker lineup. These desktop speakers sport a very minimalist design and style, while also looking and feeling solid. The front of each speaker contains nothing more than 3/4 tweeters that Kanto says are made from silk, while larger drivers below are made out of 3-inch Kevlar drivers.
Internally, the Yu2 houses a Class D Amplifier that has 100W Peak Power and frequency range between 80Hz and 20KHz.
Around the back, it’s the right speaker that traditionally houses the majority of connectivity ports, but as with all modern speakers, they also include a variety of input ports, including a USB DAC that is connected to a built-in soundcard, the standard auxiliary output port, and a separate output port for a woofer.
Is It Any Good?
Despite being small, the Yu2 speakers surprise me, packing a surprising amount of “oomph” both in volume and performance. Both the highs and mids that are delivered from them are clear and crisp, even low volume levels. At higher volume levels, the speakers also show no signs of breaking, even with high-pitch instruments begin hitting octaves well beyond human vocal capabilities.
Speaking of, vocals also sound clear and defined; voices in songs like Stacey Kent’s Venus du Melo, Florence and the Machine’s Never Let Me Go, or Priscilla Ahn’s I’ll Be Fine On The Outside sound amplified, but not to the point that they sound artificial.
The Bad Stuff. Tell Me.
As clear and audible as the Yu2 speakers are, there is one crippling flaw to its minimalist design: poor low-pitch performance, brought about by a lack of a subwoofer. Because of that, the overall experience does not feel or sound rich and full. In pieces that are bass-heavy, it becomes a muddy, addled mess, to the point that you can tell that something is audibly missing. Case in point, songs like Hozier’s Shrike, Nina Simone’s Feeling Good, and Yoko Kanno and the Seatbelts’ Digging My Potato all sound and feel like something is missing from the equation.
The silver lining to this, however, is that Kanto does offer its own subwoofer, the Sub8, but that piece of audio equipment alone would cost you between RM1550.
That brings us to the price of the Yu2. In Malaysia, these speakers retail for RM1150, which is quite pricey for just a pair of speakers, sans a woofer.
Should I Buy It?
After living with them for a while, I can honestly say that the Kanto Yu2 speakers surprised me with what they have to offer. For a pair of desktop speakers, they sure do drive a whole lot of sound. On another note, I actually like that simple and clean look they’ve been given, and if you’re not a fan of white, they’re also available in black, Bamboo and Walnut.
The only drawback from owning the Yu2 speakers that I can think of is, as I’ve made clear throughout this review, the lack of a dedicated subwoofer. However, upon having said that, I would argue that if you’re already set on buying them, you may as well go all in and get yourself a separate Sub8 subwoofer as well, especially if you want a more complete and full audio experience.
The Kanto Yu2 speakers are being distributed and sold by TechX Malaysia and represented by Highwind Tek. They can be purchased online via the seller’s official Lazada store page.
Photography by John Law.