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In our Kanto YU5 review, you’ll discover all the functionality that comes with these bookshelf speakers.
Kanto are relatively new to the home audio scene – they were founded in 2007 – but they have built up a solid reputation for combining superior design with good audio quality. The YU5 speakers are one of their most popular systems.
If you are in the market for new speakers for your home or even your office, we have all the information you need. We’ll look at the core features, pros and cons as well as any alternatives that might be out there.
Key specifications of Kanto YU5
You can find the main specifications for the Kanto YU5 speakers below.
|Total Power||80w (40w per speaker)|
|Frequency Response||50 Hz – 20 kHz|
|Other connections||AUX, Stereo RCA, dual optical inputs|
|Remote Control||Yes (included)|
|Dimensions||6.9” x 8.4”|
|Latest price||Click here for latest price|
Core features of Kanto YU5
The Kanto YU5 speakers are classed as bookshelf speakers and they come with a wide variety of features. This gives them overall great functionality.
Let’s have a look at the core features in more detail.
One of the big plus points with the Kanto YU5 speakers is that they come Bluetooth enabled.
This is great for several reasons.
It means you don’t need to have messy wires running through your living room or home office. It is also great for overall functionality as it is easier to connect a device such as a phone or a tablet to these speakers. You also don’t have to deal with any issues such as AUX connections and Apple devices.
Even though the sound quality via the Bluetooth connection isn’t as good as a wired connection, it is still very good on these speakers. In most cases, you probably won’t even notice that much difference.
Another core feature of the Kanto YU5 speakers is that they come with remote control.
We’ll say right away that the remote control itself isn’t going to win any design awards. Considering how good these speakers look (we’ll explore this in more depth below), the remote control has a bit of a retro feel to it.
That being said, the aesthetic of remote control isn’t usually something most people care about. In terms of its functionality, it does what you need it to. You can control all the main sound features of the speakers such as volume control, bass and treble boost as well as the bluetooth.
It is straightforward to use and everything is pretty clearly marked out.
One drawback is that these speakers do have a heavy reliance on the remote control for the different functions. If you misplace it you are going to be a bit limited in what you can do.
The Kanto YU5 speakers have various connections that you can hook up your devices to in order to play music or link in with radio play.
Aside from the Bluetooth connection that we looked at above, you also get an AUX connection, stereo RCA and dual optical inputs. You can hook up non-proprietary speaker wires if you wish.
The connections are all well laid out on the speakers and easy to find.
There is USB connectivity however it is simply there for charging your devices and can’t be utilized for sound output. A bit of a downside but when you consider all the other options you have it really isn’t a massive deal.
These speakers have a total power output of 80w (40w per speaker) and the sound quality is what you would expect from Kanto – very good indeed.
They have an 87 dB sensitivity and a 50 Hz – 20 kHz frequency response.
You will get better quality with a wired connection than if you connect via Bluetooth however we thought the Bluetooth output was pretty good too. There is decent bass and treble boosts if you need and the speakers have a subwoofer output if you really want to enhance the quality.
For using the speakers at home the sound quality is sufficient. You might find them a bit loud in small spaces as they can fill up a room with noise pretty easily.
One thing we did expect from the YU5 speakers is a great aesthetic – it is Kanto after all!
We weren’t disappointed. These speakers not only sound great but they look fantastic as well. As a set of bookshelf speakers, you’ll be hard-pressed to find anything that looks as good as these.
They aren’t going to massively stand out in your home compared to some other unique designs we have come across. This is a good thing though. If you want something that just looks nice, modern, and sleek without drawing too much attention, these speakers do just that. People will still notice them, just not for standing out too much.
It is easy to find the connection ports and everything else on these speakers. Due to the easy to use design, you won’t need to go searching for what you need.
These speakers come with a 2-year warranty.
This isn’t bad for a set of speakers considering you’ll likely be using them quite frequently. It would have been nice to have a bit of extra warranty in there however the chances of anything going really wrong is fairly low.
How do the Kanto YU5 speakers perform?
The sound quality with these speakers is great and will be more than sufficient for a home setup. One thing to mention is that they do get quite loud so if you are looking for speakers for a small room, there are some other options available.
That being said, it is hard to find any flaws in how the YU5’s perform. You can add a subwoofer if you want but it handles low frequencies pretty well.
You will find the quality a bit better with a wired connection than over Bluetooth but this is pretty common amongst most speakers. There isn’t a massive difference we found between Bluetooth and wired and certainly not enough to discredit using Bluetooth at all.
Everything can be controlled via the remote which gives you a number of sound enhancement options.
For what you pay, these speakers perform very well and they offer a resonating sound. They especially work well with modern music genres with deep bass but really everything comes out well with the Kanto YU5’s.
Pros of Kanto YU5 speakers
There is a lot that we really like about the YU5 speakers, here are the highlights.
- Bluetooth – Bluetooth is a fairly standard connection in modern-day speakers and is particularly useful for outdoor speakers. However, having this function on the YU5’s is fantastic. Even though the sound quality will dip slightly with this connection, it really ramps up the flexibility. You don’t need to worry about AUX connections if you don’t want to and can easily connect any Bluetooth enabled device.
- Sound quality – The sound quality with these speakers really is top-notch. OK, they aren’t the absolute best on the market but you aren’t paying thousands either. Nor do you need to for a home bookshelf speaker system. For what they are made for the sound quality is great across many different music genres.
- Easy to use – The Bluetooth compatibility does enhance how easy these are to use however the remote control is another good addition. The different options are clearly labeled and you can easily adjust the volume, bass, treble, and mess about with the other functionality. The connections are laid out well on the speakers themselves and it really is a case of plugging them in and hitting play.
- Design – As with most Kanto products, the design of the YU5 speakers is great. They look fantastic but with a real understated tone to them. They won’t win any artistic prizes but they will sit and look great in your home.
- Variety of connections – You have a number of connections available with the YU5 speakers. Aside from the Bluetooth you also get an AUX connection, stereo RCA and dual optical inputs. You can use non-proprietary wires and hook up a subwoofer if you really want to. In short, there are a number of options for connecting your devices or enhancing the sound.
- Warranty– You get a 2-year warranty this the YU5’s. This is fairly good and while we would have perhaps liked to have seen it extended a bit more, we can’t really argue with it.
Cons of Kanto YU5 speakers
There are a couple of drawbacks with the Kanto YU5 speakers.
- Might be too loud – It sounds a big silly but these speakers do get very loud. Obviously, you have complete control over the volume but for small rooms especially they can feel a bit overkill at times. Even medium-sized rooms will fill up with noise without having to crank up the volume. Not a particular big downside as you can adjust the noise as you see fit but perhaps something to keep in mind depending on your home setup.
- Remote control – We really like that the YU5’s come with remote control. OK, it isn’t the most modern and it looks like something out of the 90s but it is handy for overall functionality. What is a bit annoying is that pretty much everything is done via the remote control. The speakers just have a volume knob for sound control and to enter or exit standby mode but everything else is done through the remote. It just means you have something else to keep track of and if you misplace it the functionality of the speakers is reduced.
- No headphone out – Something we haven’t mentioned yet and that is the inability to use headphones with these speakers. It isn’t something that is available out of the box. To use headphones you will need to either split the signal or connect a headphone amplifier.
Are there any alternatives?
The Audioengine HD6 speakers are a very good alternative to the Kanto YU5.
They are a wireless set of speakers and we had a look at this model previously. They produce a really great sound and in terms of cost they don’t differ massively from the YU5’s. They have a 88db sensitivity.
In terms of aesthetics, these speakers look the part. They have a refined but modern look and will sit nicely in your home without causing too much attention. You will find better quality speakers in regards to the sound out there but as a wireless option, they are great.
These speakers also offer Bluetooth, AUX, and other connections. You can add a subwoofer if you particularly want as well.
The Audioengine HD6 speakers are ideal for playing music at home or connecting up to your TV or computer. If you don’t necessarily need anything else and simply require a good set of speakers for a reasonable price, it is difficult to find many flaws.
KEF Q150B Q150 Bookshelf Speakers
If you don’t have as much money to spend and you’re looking for something a bit cheaper, the KEF Q150B Q150 Bookshelf Speakers are a good option.
They don’t look as great as the Kanto YU5’s or the Audioengine speakers but that is just our opinion. In terms of functionality, they come with 86dB sensitivity and a maximum output of 108db.
The sound they produce is excellent for the price. In small rooms especially they will sound really good but they’ll also be suitable for larger spaces as well. You can also get various accessories for this model such as stands and wall mounts.
The Uni-Q Driver is great for smoothing out the treble and enhancing bass so you get fantastic sound quality with these speakers. If you do want to save a bit of money then these speakers are a good option whether it is for music or hooking up to your TV at home.
Frequently Asked Questions about Kanto YU5 Speakers
Answer: There is a USB connection on these speakers however you can’t use it to hook up a device and play music. It is designed for charging only.
Answer: The power cord on these speakers is 6 feet in length. This should be sufficient for a home setup but it is something to keep in mind depending on where you are going to place these speakers.
Answer: Yes. There is a connection port for a subwoofer if you wish to add on to enhance the overall sound. There is only one sub-out port however you can add additional subwoofers but splitting the signal.
Answer: Yes. You get a 2-year warranty with these speakers.
Answer: No. They don’t come with a headphone out the connection. You do have a couple of options if you do want to use headphones with these speakers and this includes splitting the signal or connecting a headphone amplifier. It is recommended you take proper advice before you modify anything.
Final thoughts – the Kanto YU5 Speakers Combine Superior Style with Great Sound Quality
The Kanto YU5 speakers offer a lot for the home user.
From a variety of different connections – including very handy Bluetooth – to a very easy to use setup, there isn’t a whole lot to dislike about these speakers. They look fantastic as well and will really bring a lovely aesthetic to wherever you play them.
The sound quality is fantastic as standard but there are options to enhance it even further. This includes the inbuilt treble and sound settings and you can add a subwoofer if you want too.
The lack of headphone outputs, reliance on the remote control as well as the fact that they might be a bit overall in small rooms is noticeable drawbacks. That being said, we wouldn’t necessarily say these things are deal-breakers.
If you want a set of class speakers at home that not only looks the part but sounds good with a range of functionality, the Kanto YU5’s offer just that.