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Vanatoo Transparent One Encore (Powered Speaker)

Rate this speaker:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 4 1.9%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 31 14.8%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 152 72.4%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 23 11.0%

  • Total voters
    210

amirm

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This is a review and detailed measurements of the Vanatoo Transparent One Encore powered/computer speaker. It was sent to me by the company and costs US $599 for a pair (in black and cherry).
Vanatoo Transparent One Encore Review Powered PC Monitor Speaker.jpg


This is small speaker but is quite heavy for its size and feels quite dense. All the electronics are in one speaker and four wires drive the slave indicating active (DSP) configuration. Back panel shows very rich connectivity (including remote control which is not shown):
Vanatoo Transparent One Encore Review Remote Control Powered PC Monitor Speaker.jpg


You are not going to find features like digital input, sub out, etc. in any budget professional monitor but you have it here and then some. That passive radiator is a serious looking thing in person as well.

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.

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.


Reference axis was the center of the tweeter (aligned by eye). Measurement room was at 15 degrees C. No grill was used.

Vanatoo Transparent One Encore 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:

Vanatoo Transparent One Encore Measurements Frequency Response Powered PC Monitor Speaker.png


On axis is impressively flat and extends quite low for such a small speaker. Unfortunately the woofer beams (narrows its response) before tweeter takes over with its broad beam so we have some directivity error. Back to bass, we see the low frequency tuning of the passive radiator:

Vanatoo Transparent One Encore Measurements Driver Frequency Response Powered PC Monitor Speaker.png


And its superiority over open port in suppressing cabinet/port resonances. Without this, you get mid-frequency colorations which are nicely absent here.

Here are the early reflections and predicted in-room response:

Vanatoo Transparent One Encore Measurements Early Window Frequency Response Powered PC Monitor...png


Vanatoo Transparent One Encore Measurements Predicted in-room Frequency Response Powered PC Mo...png


Distortion is nicely controlled at 86 dBSPL:
Vanatoo Transparent One Encore Measurements Distortion Powered PC Monitor Speaker.png


Vanatoo Transparent One Encore Measurements Relative Distortion Powered PC Monitor Speaker.png


Beamwidth clearly shows the directivity error:
Vanatoo Transparent One Encore Measurements Horizontal Beam width Powered PC Monitor Speaker.png


Vanatoo Transparent One Encore Measurements Horizontal Directivity Powered PC Monitor Speaker.png


Vertical directivity is as expected. Point the tweeter to your ear vertically:
Vanatoo Transparent One Encore Measurements Vertical Directivity Powered PC Monitor Speaker.png


For people who are fans of timing tests, here you are:
Vanatoo Transparent One Encore Measurements CSD Waterfall Powered PC Monitor Speaker.png


Vanatoo Transparent One Encore Measurements Impulse Response Powered PC Monitor Speaker.png



Vanatoo Transparent One Encore Measurements Step Response Powered PC Monitor Speaker.png


Speaker Listening Tests
I chose to test the TE1 on my desk as I see it as more of a nice computer speaker than stand-alone. Placed on the corner of my desk and near the wall, I was most impressed by the amount of bass out of this speaker. I think it goes deeper than just about any speaker I have tested in its size in the same location. Crank the volume way up and there is graceful breakdown with faint static and other distortion. Overall tonality was on the warm side.

I attempted to use the predicted in-room response to develop EQ. I put in a boost in the dip area and pulled down the bass a bit. This gave me a light and airy signature and tighter bass. But I could not convince myself that it was better for all music so I am not going to show it. Seems in near field on-axis response is dominant.

I then sat back, working on writing this review and enjoying the sound of this speaker.

Conclusions
Clearly good engineering has gone into this speaker with active DSP design and flat on-axis response. Really the only flaw is directivity error in crossover region which I found in near-field listening to not be as important. However, response may be more room/location dependent than if the directivity was fully controlled.

Overall, I am going to recommend the Vanatoo Transparent One Encore.

Edit: here is the video review:

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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/
 

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Rja4000

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@amirm
Interesting speaker.
Thanks for the review

I don’t see predicted in room response.

Also :
"Crank the volume way down and there is graceful breakdown with faint static and other distortion." seems weird
 
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OP
amirm

amirm

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OOps, added them in. On that quote, the usual response of powered speakers is either sudden cluck or severe static. Here it was mild and mostly lost in the music.
 

digicidal

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Nice. If I didn't already have so many extra speakers I'd consider this for a bedroom set to augment the horrible built-in TV speakers since it has optical input... if nothing else, cable management would be a dream.
 

Sancus

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Placed on the corner of my desk and near the wall, I was most impressed by the amount of bass out of this speaker. I think it goes deeper than just about any speaker I have tested in its size in the same location.

Looking at the 86dB vs 96dB sweeps, it looks to me like it's compressing the low bass significantly to control distortion in the 96dB sweep. Probably a smart move, but I was puzzled by the low distortion below 100hz and that's why.

1648709320912.png


This speaker is about 1" narrower(width generally being the limiting dimension for desktop use) than the Genelec 8030C with the same size woofer. Overall pretty good showing given that fact and the price.

The inputs and sub out are amazing though and also the reason I tend to recommend the Vanatoos to folks looking for an easy to use computer speaker that sounds better than your average Logitech or whatever. They don't have to worry about a DAC and cables are kept to a minimum.

E: Note that this is documented in the manual as a limiter/compressor on pg8 and can be disabled, but changing those settings is annoying.
 
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martijn86

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The look and the name made me think of some white van speakers. Marketed as bargain monitors, I'd be really sceptical. But that just shows why you can't always trust your gut instinct. For desktop, moderately loud monitors, these provide a lot of value for money. Especially for those who enjoy movies, games or bass heavy music, the Vanatoo's are a really safe bet. Teenage me would've loved them on my bedroom-desk.
 

AluminiumEar

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Speaking of small speaker with impressive bass, will you test the iloud micro monitor?

The specs says it's down to 55Hz (-3dB), but This says it's flat to 50Hz (for a 3" woofer, holy fuck!)

I had a pair few years ago, it's very impressive at low volume, but the hiss really bothers me
 

Tks

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I wonder how long this was in the waiting line O_O

I had a few questions. Was it tested with digital input or analogue input?. Oh no, Amir confirmed analogue input again :[

Also, any idea what sort of settings this was tested in? There is a toggle between two settings for DSP, and a Limiter. I think I also commented something along these lines back when the smaller sibling Zero was reviewed way back when.

Likewise there was a firmware update long ago to address this beaming issue to some extent I think. Not sure how long that unit you tested has been in the package room, but it may have something to do with it.
 
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digicidal

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Sorry. All testing was done with analog, 3.5mm input.
It would probably be of interest to many (like myself) to know if there is any significant difference between that and one or more of the digital inputs... since I would guess many more will use this with a computer, TV, etc. than with a headphone out from a handheld... but I might be mistaken.
 

brandonhall

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I had a pair of Vanatoo Transparent Zero's for like 3 1/2 years. Reliable and great sound for such a small box. The decision to replace them and go passive led me here.
 

thewas

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I voted for "not terrible" as directivity is quite poor especially for the price and I don't see the big advantage for relatively flat on-axis for a desktop monitor where it is easy and free to use EQ like Equalizer APO to correct it, I'd rather preferred smooth directivity instead which cannot be corrected by EQ. Also at times of a pair JBL LSR or Kali 5-6" costing around $300 this makes no sense to me.
 

fordiebianco

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Would be interested to see how they compare to SMSL's Tabebuias. Same market segment (though passive).
 

Robbo99999

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It does seem like a quality little speaker this, and the thing that struck me about the very gradual drop off in bass below 100Hz - I thought wow that's gonna fit in real nice with room boundary effects boosting up the bass in that section, which left me feeling that the bass could end up being "just right" when placed next to a wall (down to 40Hz or just above). Directivity look reasonable, but could be better. Nice connectivity options & bass/treble dials. Impressive for a small speaker all-in-all.
 

GWolfman

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Here are the early reflections and predicted in-room response:

Vanatoo Transparent One Encore Measurements Early Window Frequency Response Powered PC Monitor...png
What sort of thing (in this design) would cause such a large dip (i.e., reflection) in the ceiling bounce?
 

Robbo99999

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But isn't that when you crank volume UP ?
Maybe my English, sorry.
(You're right about it being "UP", it's not your English)
 
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