Recently we had the chance to review the new Kanto YU4 Powered Bookshelf Speakers. Boasting a wide variety of connection options, with the promise of crystal clear Hi Fi Audio, we were excited to hook these up and give them a try!
The Kanto YU4’s utilize 4” Kevlar Drivers, with a class D amplifier. The speakers are available in a wide range of colours / finishes, including Bamboo, Gloss Black, Gloss Red, Gloss Teal, Gloss White, Matte Black, Matte Grey, Matte White. The YU4 also offers many different ways to connect, including Bluetooth, 2x Optical (TOSLINK) Audio inputs, 3.5mm mini-Aux jack, and RCA inputs. It also the ability to switch on a phono preamp for the RCA input, letting you connect a turntable directly to the speakers, and a subwoofer out option as well. The unit also includes a remote control to choose inputs, adjust the volume, etc.
Out of the box, the first thing you notice is the sharp & clean look of the speakers. Though I may be a bit biased, as my personal home décor features many matching gloss red appliances (Coffee maker, toaster, etc). The speakers instantly looked at home, and with the variety of colours available, it should be easy to find the right fit for your own home décor.
Connecting my iPhone via Bluetooth was extremely easy. Personally I’ve always had issues connecting to other speakers via Bluetooth, so I was glad that connecting and maintaining a connection to the YU4’s was not an issue.
The Kanto YU4’s displayed an impressive amount of clarity during our listening tests. So much so in fact, that like most high quality speakers, they will expose poor mixes, especially with much modern pop music that’s a casualty of the “loudness wars”.
First we listened to a fresh off the rack modern pop song, Slide by Calvin Harris released in 2017. The song features a variety of synthesizers and effects, as well as a very punchy bass / kick drum. The speakers did an excellent job in producing tight, punchy bass at all volumes, and the mix felt very full throughout.
The speakers really showed their clarity however, when we went back to 1964 and listened to Miles Davis The Complete Concert Live. When positioned as instructed, the speakers created an amazing stereo field. The clarity of the instruments, and even the crowd noise was well produced, so much so that you could close your eyes and really feel like you were back at the Lincoln Center seeing Miles in his prime.
We did have issues with the bass response when listening to some modern R&B & hip-hop, such as the aptly titled “Super Bass” by Nicki Minaj. In this case, the bass response had a box like quality and was unappealing. However, I would attribute this more to the mix of the music being more targeted towards clubs & cars with subwoofers, than Hi-Fi speakers (and to be fair, the first lyric of the song is ”This one is for the boys with the booming systems”). Luckily, the YU4 has the option to add a subwoofer, and once we added the Kanto SUB6 the system was booming!
After the test, I didn’t want to return these speakers, based on their great sound quality, and that they fit in so perfectly with my home décor. The only recommendation would be to get the subwoofer if you primarily listen to club shaking hip-hop.
The sheer number of connection possibilities makes the Kanto YU4 a very attractive option, especially in smaller living spaces where your audio system will likely have to double as your TV audio. You could have the YU4’s connected to your TV via the optical cable, stream music via Bluetooth, and even connect a little mixer via the RCA input and play a guitar through them if you so desired. If you upgrade to a full home theatre system in the future, you can easily find another use for these speakers elsewhere in your home.
We hope you’ve found our review of the Kanto YU4 Speakers helpful. Do you have any questions about the speakers? Let us know in the comments below!