Kanto Audio YU2 Powered Desktop Speakers Review

Last updated on: 3-3-19

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Quick Overview

Speaker type: powered, two-way, back ported
Power handling/output: 25 W x 2 (continuous); 50 W x 2 (peak)
Sensitivity: 84 dB/W/m
Frequency response range: 80 – 20k Hz
Unit weight: 3 lbs
Cabinet dimensions: 4 x 5.5 x 6 in (width x depth x height)
Warranty: 2 years

Review And Discussion

Kanto Audio is a relatively new (circa 2007) audio company that so far produces a small lineup of powered desktop speakers as well as a/v accessories. The YU2 is currently their smallest compact desktop speaker.

It’s quite similar to Audioengine’s popular A2+ (reviewed here):

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The YU2 compared to the A2+ left to right

The cabinet is MDF all around with contoured edges. Interestingly the YU2 comes in an array of eight different colors where you’re normally lucky to get more than 1-2 color options with even the higher end speakers. The tweeter is a 3/4 inch silk dome housed in a very slight waveguide. The woofer is a 3 inch woven cloth composite with what looks like a simple rubber dust cap in the center. Pretty standard materials all in all.

Inside the slightly heavier parent speaker you have the class D amplifier that provides 25 W of continuous power to the speakers which have an 84 sensitivity rating. Kanto doesn’t specify a max SPL but based on these figures we’d say these should be limited to near/mid-field listening, which is what they’re clearly designed for and marketed as.

The response range is about what you can reasonably expect from a compact two way speaker with a 3.5 inch driver. The bass will probably be lacking, but these do have a sub-out line to add a subwoofer, which would render that limitation irrelevant. And speaking of which, we generally like when smaller two way bookshelf speakers don’t “try” to be big bass bringers, because they just simply can’t. It’s better for the driver to really focus on the midranges and have the option of adding a subwoofer on if the user really wants full bass.

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Input wise these are fairly basic, but sufficient. USB to connect to just about any device, AUX in the back if you want to use headphones, and of course the terminals to connect the child speaker and the power adapter input. You can also see the back firing slot port here. All essential connection cables come included which is nice, but a subwoofer cable you’ll have to get separately (with the subwoofer of course) if you want to add one on.

The YU2 is light and compact, and should be placeable with a minimum of fuss. Unlike the similar but front-firing A2+ the YU2 will need some room in the back for the ports to breathe.

These have a two year warranty which is pretty good for a budget powered speaker.

Our Overall Take, As Compared To The Competition

Definitely a viable option for a compact powered speaker at its price tier. Still kind of expensive though – bigger speakers with the same features are available for less. Online availability from authorized dealers (meaning the warranty remains valid, important!) seems to be limited.

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Relevant Links and Resources

The overall best powered bookshelf/desktop speakers