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Kanto YU Review (PC Speaker)

amirm

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This is a review and detailed measurements of the Kanto YU powered computer speaker with remote control. It was sent to me for testing by the company and costs US $280 on Amazon including free shipping.

The YU is a nice and serious looking little speaker:

Kanto YU review powered PC speaker.jpg


Like the inclusion of a waveguide around the tweeter.

Speaker is powered but crossover is passive:

Kanto YU review powered remote control PC speaker.jpg


Like the inclusion of AC mains and all the regulatory certifications. Form what I have read, Kanto designs and builds speakers for other makers and likely that is the reason behind proper capability in this regard.

As noted, a remote control comes with the unit where you can adjust tonality (I did not use it).

Measurements that you are about to see were performed using the Klippel Near-field Scanner (NFS). This is a robotic measurement system that analyzes the speaker all around and is able (using advanced mathematics and dual scan) to subtract room reflections (so where I measure it doesn't matter). It also measures the speaker at close distance ("near-field") which sharply reduces the impact of room noise. Both of these factors enable testing in ordinary rooms yet results that can be more accurate than an anechoic chamber. In a nutshell, the measurements show the actual sound coming out of the speaker independent of the room.

I performed over 1000 measurement which resulted in error rate of roughly 1%.

Testing temperature was around 60 degrees F.

Reference axis for measurements was the center of the tweeter. Grill was not used in either measurements or listening tests.

Measurements are compliant with latest speaker research into what can predict the speaker preference and is standardized in CEA/CTA-2034 ANSI specifications. Likewise listening tests are performed per research that shows mono listening is much more revealing of differences between speakers than stereo or multichannel.

Kanto YU Measurements
Acoustic measurements can be grouped in a way that can be perceptually analyzed to determine how good a speaker is and how it can be used in a room. This so called spinorama shows us just about everything we need to know about the speaker with respect to tonality and some flaws:

Kanto YU frequency response measurements powered PC speaker.png


The main deviation from flat on axis is the bow between 300 and 800 Hz. This is followed by a few resonances (peaking). Directivity is very good though which means this speaker will be room friendly and respond well to equalization. We can see this from early window frequency response which is very close to on-axis:

Kanto YU frequency early window response measurements powered PC speaker.png


As such, predicted (far fiend) in-room response is what we would guess:

Kanto YU Predicted in-room frequency response measurements powered PC speaker.png


Near-field response shows one of the resonances from the woofer that is not filtered out and that of the port:

Kanto YU near field frequency response measurements powered PC speaker.png


CSD/waterfall shows more of them:

Kanto YU THD CSD waterfall measurements powered PC speaker.png



Distortion was surprisingly low for the class:

Kanto YU distortion measurements powered PC speaker.png


Not letting the 4 inch woofer play too loud certainly helps in this regard.
Kanto YU THD distortion measurements powered PC speaker.png


Beam width is nice and controlled horizontally:

Kanto YU horizontal beam width measurements powered PC speaker.png


Kanto YU horizontal directivity measurements powered PC speaker.png


Vertically you have more freedom than you typically do with 2-way speakers:
Kanto YU vertical directivity measurements powered PC speaker.png


Kanto YU Listening Tests
Let me preface this section by saying that I had a terrible headache when I started the listening tests. My allergies have also gotten bad as well. So read this section with a grain of salt.

I was very impressed by how loud the YU could play. Even though I test only one speaker, it could get quite loud and when it got distorted, it mildly went into that region.

As the response predicted the sound signature is quite light. This wasn't bad on female vocals but otherwise, overall it was not very satisfying. So I pulled out the EQ to correct:
Kanto YU Equalization EQ.png


At first I did not have band 4 in yellow. As a result the EQ was a mixed bag. It warmed up the sound but it was kind of boomy. So I thought I pull down that resonances at 120 Hz and this did the trick. The sound was much cleaner. Was it a "high-end" sound? No. Was it a huge step up from cheap computer speakers? Yes.

Conclusions
The Kanto YU has good directivity but unfortunately delivered a response that has a large dip in upper bass/lower mid-range and some resonances. Correcting these with EQ is possible due to very nice directivity. Ability to play loud with lower than expected distortion is another plus.

Judging by standard of great sound regardless of cost and class, the YU misses the mark. I did not enjoy listening to it longer term for that reason. But if you are going from nothing or some cheap computer speaker, it surely is a big step up. So while I am too much of a perfectionist to recommend it, you may want to consider it given its functionality and price. On the former, a powered pro monitor would do much better but comes with no remote or volume control which can be a major hassle/cost to accommodate.

------------
As always, questions, comments, recommendations, etc. are welcome.

Any donations are much appreciated using: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/how-to-support-audio-science-review.8150/
 

Attachments

  • Kanto YU spinorama.zip
    88.1 KB · Views: 32

MZKM

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I really don’t get their naming convention, all their other models have a number after YU (I own the YU5; I agree with Amir that it gets surprising loud). It’s more expensive than the YU2 and cheaper than the YU4. From a glance, this seems to be the YU4-lite, meaning the same drivers/cabinet but only with Bluetooth and RCA input (the YU4, which is $90 more, has a phono preamp, 2 optical ports, a USB charge port to power say a Chromecast Audio to feed an optical port, nicer finish options, and comes with a 3.5mm cable).

The Kanto rep here could confirm.
 
Last edited:

YSC

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Nice review as usual!

btw for the symptoms beware if that’s early symptoms of covid.. those are documented and if possible better go for a check
 
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amirm

amirm

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btw for the symptoms beware if that’s early symptoms of covid.. those are documented and if possible better go for a check
Thanks. I get these symptoms all the time with everything starting to bloom outside. Had my shot a week ago. Crossing fingers for a couple more weeks to put this worry behind me!
 

HiFidFan

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Great review @amirm

I was interested in this speaker at one time so am happy to see a real review.
 
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DanTheMan

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These look pretty good to me for the money. You’d have to cross them over rather high, but I do that anyway on my ADAM 5”ers anyway for the same reason And they cost nearly twice this amount. These would actually have to be crossed even higher than mine, but still this is not the end of the world. These may fit the bill quite nicely for a lot of people.
 

YSC

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Thanks. I get these symptoms all the time with everything starting to bloom outside. Had my shot a week ago. Crossing fingers for a couple more weeks to put this worry behind me!
I taken the first shot a few days ago too but mind you quite some friends got the Pfizer shot said the second dose feels like s__t, so you might want a few days off after;)

back to the e speaker do you have an idea what the lpf is for the sub out?
 
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amirm

amirm

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I taken the first shot a few days ago too but mind you quite some friends got the Pfizer shot said the second dose feels like s__t, so you might want a few days off after;)
I got the J&J vaccine so one shot is all. Made me sick the same day/evening but I recovered the second day.
 

YSC

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I do not unfortunately.
Right, I was thinking that if crossing them at around 120hz this should fix the valley a bit and get them all the bass needed, so wonders was it a 80/120hz filter
 

wwenze

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Personally I would just shelf filter down that >1kHz and boom we have a +-1.5dB response from 300Hz and up. Then the bass part just add condiments according to preference.
 

napilopez

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This is a pleasant surprise, and nice to see Kanto sent it to you too. The midbass scoop is an issue, but I wonder If maybe it isn't so bad if the speaker is placed right on a desk? I'm don't remember what frequency range gets boosted on a desk though so that's pure speculation.

Personally I would just shelf filter down that >1kHz and boom we have a +-1.5dB response from 300Hz and up. Then the bass part just add condiments according to preference.

I agree, that actually probably the simplest fix!
 

Maiky76

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Hi,

Here is my take on the EQ.

The raw data with corrected ER and PIR:

Score no EQ: 3.4
With Sub: 6.3

Spinorama with no EQ:
  • Not flat at all
  • Decent directivity
  • Port resonance and driver issue.
  • A lot of work!
  • Looks like there is a decent speaker underneath.
KantoYu Spinorama No EQ.png


Directivity:
Better stay at tweeter height
Horizontally, better toe-in the speakers by 10/20deg and have the axis crossing in front of the listening location, might help dosing the upper range.
KantoYu 2D surface Directivity Contour Only Data.png

KantoYu LW Better data.png

EQ design:

I have generated two EQs. The APO config files are attached.
  • The first one, labelled, LW is targeted at making the LW flat
  • The second, labelled Score, starts with the first one and adds the score as an optimization variable.
  • The EQs are designed in the context of regular stereo use i.e. domestic environment, no warranty is provided for a near field use in a studio environment although the LW might be better suited for this purpose.
  • You can add two PK to tackle further the two main resonances PK 1742.0, -3.00, 10.0,... PK 3732.0, -3.00, 10.0,...
Score EQ LW: 5.3
with sub: 7.9

Score EQ Score: 5.8
with sub: 8.4

Code:
KantoYu APO EQ LW 96000Hz
April102021-134742

Preamp: -1.1 dB

Filter 1: ON PK Fc 58.3 Hz Gain 0 dB Q 1.18
Filter 2: ON PK Fc 125.5 Hz Gain -5.46 dB Q 1.48
Filter 3: ON PK Fc 982 Hz Gain -3.7 dB Q 3.96
Filter 4: ON PK Fc 1266 Hz Gain -3.46 dB Q 3.65
Filter 5: ON PK Fc 1867 Hz Gain -1.52 dB Q 4.4
Filter 6: ON PK Fc 2465 Hz Gain -2.38 dB Q 4.65
Filter 7: ON PK Fc 3475 Hz Gain -3 dB Q 3.32
Filter 8: ON PK Fc 5283 Hz Gain 0 dB Q 2
Filter 9: ON PK Fc 5683 Hz Gain -3 dB Q 1.18
Filter 10: ON PK Fc 13636 Hz Gain -2.78 dB Q 2.2

KantoYu APO EQ Score 96000Hz
April102021-134608

Preamp: -0.6 dB

Filter 1: ON HPQ Fc 57.3 Hz Gain 0 dB Q 1.18
Filter 2: ON PK Fc 121 Hz Gain -5.27 dB Q 1.17
Filter 3: ON PK Fc 1004 Hz Gain -3.7 dB Q 2.98
Filter 4: ON PK Fc 1300 Hz Gain -3.38 dB Q 4.1
Filter 5: ON PK Fc 1940 Hz Gain -1.4 dB Q 4.74
Filter 6: ON PK Fc 2492 Hz Gain -2.6 dB Q 6.34
Filter 7: ON PK Fc 3390 Hz Gain -3.54 dB Q 3.32
Filter 8: ON PK Fc 5114 Hz Gain -1.67 dB Q 2.83
Filter 9: ON PK Fc 6700 Hz Gain -2.52 dB Q 0.87
Filter 10: ON PK Fc 13640 Hz Gain -2.92 dB Q 1.66
KantoYu EQ Design.png

Spinorama EQ LW
KantoYu Spinorama LW EQ.png


Spinorama EQ Score
KantoYu Spinorama Score EQ.png


Zoom PIR-LW-ON
KantoYu Zoom.png


Regression - Tonal, play with toe-in for flatter tonal balance
KantoYu Regression - Tonal.png


Radar no EQ vs EQ score
Significant improvements
KantoYu Spinorama Radar.png


The rest of the plots is attached.
 

Attachments

  • KantoYu APO EQ LW 96000Hz.txt
    525 bytes · Views: 34
  • KantoYu APO EQ Score 96000Hz.txt
    540 bytes · Views: 32
  • KantoYu 3D surface Vertical Directivity Data.png
    KantoYu 3D surface Vertical Directivity Data.png
    496.3 KB · Views: 20
  • KantoYu 2D surface Directivity Contour Data.png
    KantoYu 2D surface Directivity Contour Data.png
    259.6 KB · Views: 21
  • KantoYu 3D surface Horizontal Directivity Data.png
    KantoYu 3D surface Horizontal Directivity Data.png
    489.4 KB · Views: 19
  • KantoYu Normalized Directivity data.png
    KantoYu Normalized Directivity data.png
    454.2 KB · Views: 19
  • KantoYu Raw Directivity data.png
    KantoYu Raw Directivity data.png
    825 KB · Views: 21
  • KantoYu Reflexion data.png
    KantoYu Reflexion data.png
    242.2 KB · Views: 17
  • KantoYu LW data.png
    KantoYu LW data.png
    234.3 KB · Views: 15

richard12511

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Hi,

Here is my take on the EQ.

The raw data with corrected ER and PIR:

Score no EQ: 3.4
With Sub: 6.3

Spinorama with no EQ:
  • Not flat at all
  • Decent directivity
  • Port resonance and driver issue.
  • A lot of work!
  • Looks like there is a decent speaker underneath.
View attachment 123092

Directivity:
Better stay at tweeter height
Horizontally, better toe-in the speakers by 10/20deg and have the axis crossing in front of the listening location, might help dosing the upper range.
View attachment 123098
View attachment 123102
EQ design:

I have generated two EQs. The APO config files are attached.
  • The first one, labelled, LW is targeted at making the LW flat
  • The second, labelled Score, starts with the first one and adds the score as an optimization variable.
  • The EQs are designed in the context of regular stereo use i.e. domestic environment, no warranty is provided for a near field use in a studio environment although the LW might be better suited for this purpose.
  • You can add two PK to tackle further the two main resonances PK 1742.0, -3.00, 10.0,... PK 3732.0, -3.00, 10.0,...
Score EQ LW: 5.3
with sub: 7.9

Score EQ Score: 5.8
with sub: 8.4

Code:
KantoYu APO EQ LW 96000Hz
April102021-134742

Preamp: -1.1 dB

Filter 1: ON PK Fc 58.3 Hz Gain 0 dB Q 1.18
Filter 2: ON PK Fc 125.5 Hz Gain -5.46 dB Q 1.48
Filter 3: ON PK Fc 982 Hz Gain -3.7 dB Q 3.96
Filter 4: ON PK Fc 1266 Hz Gain -3.46 dB Q 3.65
Filter 5: ON PK Fc 1867 Hz Gain -1.52 dB Q 4.4
Filter 6: ON PK Fc 2465 Hz Gain -2.38 dB Q 4.65
Filter 7: ON PK Fc 3475 Hz Gain -3 dB Q 3.32
Filter 8: ON PK Fc 5283 Hz Gain 0 dB Q 2
Filter 9: ON PK Fc 5683 Hz Gain -3 dB Q 1.18
Filter 10: ON PK Fc 13636 Hz Gain -2.78 dB Q 2.2

KantoYu APO EQ Score 96000Hz
April102021-134608

Preamp: -0.6 dB

Filter 1: ON HPQ Fc 57.3 Hz Gain 0 dB Q 1.18
Filter 2: ON PK Fc 121 Hz Gain -5.27 dB Q 1.17
Filter 3: ON PK Fc 1004 Hz Gain -3.7 dB Q 2.98
Filter 4: ON PK Fc 1300 Hz Gain -3.38 dB Q 4.1
Filter 5: ON PK Fc 1940 Hz Gain -1.4 dB Q 4.74
Filter 6: ON PK Fc 2492 Hz Gain -2.6 dB Q 6.34
Filter 7: ON PK Fc 3390 Hz Gain -3.54 dB Q 3.32
Filter 8: ON PK Fc 5114 Hz Gain -1.67 dB Q 2.83
Filter 9: ON PK Fc 6700 Hz Gain -2.52 dB Q 0.87
Filter 10: ON PK Fc 13640 Hz Gain -2.92 dB Q 1.66
View attachment 123097
Spinorama EQ LW
View attachment 123093

Spinorama EQ Score
View attachment 123094

Zoom PIR-LW-ON
View attachment 123096

Regression - Tonal, play with toe-in for flatter tonal balance
View attachment 123095

Radar no EQ vs EQ score
Significant improvements
View attachment 123090

The rest of the plots is attached.

Wow that looks incredible after EQ. Why good directivity like these speakers have is so important.
 
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