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In this Kanto YU3 review, we’ll be taking an in-depth look into Kanto’s YU range and paying particular attention to one of their 4” models, the YU3.
We’ll offer some of our own thoughts and opinions and the overall pros and cons, frequently asked questions, and which alternatives we think you should be considering.
At All Sound Lab, we’ve reviewed many speakers, so make sure you check them out if you’re in the market for a new set.
Before we dive into the details of the YU3’s, let’s take a look at the product overview.
Core Features of the Kanto YU3
One of the more popular products in Kanto’s speaker range, the YU3s come packed full of useful features and connectivity options for you to consider. Here, we’ll take a look at some of the stand out points.
|Total Power||30 watts per channel|
|Frequency Response||60 Hz to 20 kHz|
|Other Connections||RCA, ⅛” (3.5mm) mini-jack & 2 optical TOSLINK inputs|
|Dimensions||5.5 x 7.5 x 8.6 inches|
|Latest Price||Check here for the latest price|
These speakers are the ideal solution for many audio enthusiasts. For example, they are compact enough to sit on a desk area for use with a computer and fit comfortably onto most shelves, making them a good option for use in the living room whilst connected to the main television or other audio input.
The quality and depth of sound that they produce is good, making them a solid choice for the majority of customers. They are also suitable for use with speaker stands, so they can be positioned wherever necessary and allow the audiophiles among us to optimize their output.
When it comes to connectivity, then YU3s are certainly not slacking. In 2022, you need to ensure your products are integrative and usable alongside modern tech like smartphones and tablets.
Thankfully Kanto is more than wise to this and has included Bluetooth 4.0 as standard. This means you can quickly and easily stream music using your phone, laptop, or tablet.
For those who still require more traditional connection options, the YU3s have RCA, ⅛” mini-jack, and two optical TOSLINK inputs meaning you can connect anything from an old tape deck to a vinyl record player or home cinema system.
Another cool feature that links to connectivity, but is worth mentioning on its own, is the ability to connect to a subwoofer. Many speakers at this price point don’t offer this as standard so Kanto including this is a major win. Adding a sub to any speaker system will take the overall listening experience to the next level.
This is where the Kanto YU3 really comes into its own. For its price bracket, there are not many who will beat it. Due to its compact size and versatility, you’d be forgiven for thinking the overall sound quality may not live up to expectations but you’d be wrong. We can’t recommend these speakers enough if getting bang for your buck is high on your list of priorities.
The speakers themselves comprise 4” woofers with a 1” tweeter in each, more than enough to produce adequate sound levels for most rooms. If you’re gaming using these, you’ll find them responsive and crisp enough to feel in touch with your surroundings. If you’re purely listening to music through them, you’ll find they deliver a true sound with rich tones and little tail off in the low end.
Physically the Canadian company has brought a real level of craftsmanship to the product. Using specialist acoustic MDF, kevlar woofers, and silk tweeters really gives you a feel for the level of quality.
The brand has a reputation for sleek, simple designs, and the YU3s live up to the billing of looking stylish as well as feeling and sounding great.
Who doesn’t love extra places to charge your phone? Well, with the YU3 Kanto has decided to give you yet another option. These speakers come with a built-in USB charging port as standard. Super useful whether sat on your desk or in the living room.
The warranty that audio products come with is always worth mentioning. With the Kanto YU3s, you receive 2 years as standard. This is pretty similar to the majority of competitors and nice to know that should your expensive new audio equipment prove to be faulty, you’re entitled to a replacement set.
It’s also important to note that Kanto has a reputation for providing a good level of customer care, should you need it.
How do the YU3 Speakers Perform?
The important thing to note when talking about the performance of these speakers is that no pair of powered bookshelf speakers will ever provide a better listening experience than a set of passive speakers with an amplifier.
That being said, and taking the price point into consideration, Kanto has produced a solid set of speakers here that will more than handle day to day listening.
These speakers deliver true stereo and it shows. Even when compared to speakers in a similar price bracket that produce high-end simulated stereo, the YU3s are clearer and crisper.
They really fill the room, too. They produce enough volume without distortion to fill the vast majority of listening spaces and the included remote makes it quick and easy to tweak the highs, mids, and lows to your liking.
If you really want to boost the lows there is even subwoofer connectivity, should you need it, and they fit perfectly onto speaker stands if a crystal clear midrange is what you’re after.
We put the YU3 speakers through their paces in a number of scenarios. First, general listening whilst connected to a smartphone and streaming Spotify.
They performed well, as expected, and it was only really when turned right up or used in a room that was a little larger that the performance noticeably dropped off but again, that is to be expected.
We also hooked these up to a home cinema system via the optical TOSLINK inputs. As surround sound speakers these also worked very well. They handled the intense noise and rumbling bass of several movies and provided an overall great viewing experience.
If you were to be really picky the depth of bass could have been greater but that is quickly remedied by connecting a sub or tweaking the bass output.
Lastly, we hooked them up to a PC and put them through their paces as gaming speakers. Once again they did great, providing the clear surround sound necessary for a good gaming experience.
The only thing to consider if you’re looking at these to sit on a desk is that they are good-sized speakers. By that we mean they won’t easily fit on all desks although a pair of speaker stands soon solves the issue.
Another area these speakers excel in is when connected to analog devices like turntables and tape decks. Kanto has put a lot of time and effort into ensuring these speakers are the perfect accompaniment for vinyl listeners and as such, you won’t be disappointed if you’re one of the millions of enthusiasts out there.
They deliver crips tones and are well balanced all of the time, but sound particularly good when playing vinyl.
Pros of the Kanto YU3
The YU3s come packed full of great features, here we’ll take a closer look at what they mean for you, the listener.
The Bluetooth connectivity these speakers possess is a real winner when it comes to connectivity. You can have all the features and best sound quality in the world but if you can’t connect quickly and easily, the average listener won’t buy them. Thankfully Kanto has kept up with modern trends here and delivered a speaker that caters to a wide audience.
When we were testing them we noticed no drop off in sound quality when connected via Bluetooth and the connection itself didn’t drop out once during testing.
This speaker system possesses a great overall quality of sound with excellent tweaking options that are made easy via the included remote control. The sound they produce will easily fill living rooms, offices, or bedrooms and deliver some of the cleanest sound we’ve heard at this price point. Add to that the ability to plug a sub in to boost the low end and you’ve got an awesome set of speakers.
We’ve already touched on the speaker’s Bluetooth connectivity in this section but it is important to remember that the YU3 also comes with a ⅛” mini-jack, RCA, and optical TOSLINK inputs. This means that almost any audio device can be connected and they work optimally when used as a surround sound solution. Sub connection is via a simple port on the back of the main unit.
These speakers come into their own if you are planning on using them for multiple things, i.e. not purely for listening to music or watching movies. Because they are so adept at performing in different scenarios they benefit anyone wanting to game and watch movies as well as chill out and listen to some music. If you’re looking to only really perform one of these tasks, it may be worth looking at a more specialist speaker.
The design of these speakers really helps with their versatility. Small and compact, but featuring large enough drivers to deliver a good quality of sound. Their size and weight make them suitable to place almost anywhere and are more than happy when used with a set of stands if needed.
Another bonus of the Kanto YU3 is the manufacturer warranty that comes as standard. The 2-year cover means that you’ll be entitled to free repairs or a replacement set should you suffer any hardware failure. This warranty period is standard across all Kanto products.
Cons of the Kanto YU3
Despite the very obvious qualities that the YU3s possess, no audio system will ever please everyone. Here are some downsides you can expect when purchasing.
Distortion at High Volumes
When played at high volumes there is audible distortion. This is mainly due to the size of the speaker and you would expect to find the same in any systems of a similar size. The 4” drivers are perfectly capable at moderate to loud levels, but when really pushed their smaller size is evident.
Bluetooth Cannot Be Turned Off
This is not a major issue but definitely one any prospective customer should be aware of. The Bluetooth cannot be turned off and anyone is free to connect at any time, which can lead to confusion if multiple people are trying to connect or if you are using your speakers in a shared environment.
The Auto-off Sensor Can be Temperamental
If listening at low levels, for example falling asleep with music on, the auto-off can sometimes engage a little prematurely. Again, this is splitting hairs but something to bear in mind. This auto-off feature, like the Bluetooth, cannot be turned off.
What Are the Best Alternatives to the Kanto YU3?
When you’re shopping around for your perfect product it’s important to take a look at all the available options within your budget. Here, we’ll outline some of the key competitors that we think you should be looking at.
Edifier is no stranger to us here at All Sound Lab. They are a big name in the audio industry and their products usually stack up pretty well. The offering that we have highlighted here is the R1280DB.
These speakers come with almost identical connectivity options as the YU3s and similar power output. This particular option comes in at a much lower price point than the Kantos so is well worth considering for the budget-conscious buyer.
Another one of Edifier’s speakers to consider here. The R2000DB is from the same range as the R1280DB but this is the direct competitor to the YU3, sitting in a similar price bracket.
If you want top-quality sound and premium build quality, the R2000DB should definitely be on your ‘maybe’ list.
Klipsch Synergy Black Label B-200
With their striking looks and killer sound, the Synergy Black Label B-200 from Klipsch is another option we think you should look at.
With Klipsch you know you’re investing in quality and the B-200 offers a highly efficient audio option that represents great value for money. Make sure you check them out.
Frequently Asked Questions About the Kanto YU3
Here, we’ll answer some of the most frequently asked questions about these speakers.
Answer: Yes, all of your custom settings that you have programmed into the speakers via the remote control included are saved when turning the unit off. You will not have to reconfigure anything when you turn them back on and listen.
Answer: No, if you’re looking to purchase a subwoofer to connect to these speakers then you don’t have to worry about purchasing one from another brand. It will work perfectly fine with this speaker system.
Answer: If you manage to lose or damage your remote then it’s fairly simple to switch between inputs. Simply press the volume knob and the speakers will cycle through the available options.
The Final Word
If you’re in the market for a high-quality set of speakers that are versatile enough to perform just about any day-to-day task then we definitely think you should be considering the Kanto YU3. For their price point, there really aren’t too many better options available.
Their build quality, sound quality, and functionality should make them a candidate for anyone’s home.
If you’re looking to get a better idea of what else is available at the moment, make sure you check out our reviews on the Audioengine B2, P4 & A5+, as well as the Yamaha HS7 and Polk T15.