Undeniably loud. Satisfy your craving for powerful, full-impact sound with YU6. With a formidable Class D amplifier pumping out 200W peak power, YU6 will have you questioning what it really means to be loud. Its 5.25" Kevlar drivers and 1" silk dome tweeters inject detailed sound into every square inch of living space, evoking emotions that can only be expressed with an ear-to-ear grin. A built-in phono preamp makes it easy to spin your favorite tunes, while Bluetooth connectivity lets you keep the party going from the palm of your hand. While all finishes look just fantastic, our favorite is the new high-performance Gloss Red. It reminds us of a high-end sports car & its exciting look really matches the high-performance sound.
Gloss Red is available exclusively at Audio Advice.
Company & Product Overview
In 2007, Kanto's first big hit was an award-winning Apple docking station for the original iPod. Their huge success launched a line of fantastic powered speakers and audio accessories. Today, Kanto creates an assortment of products that look as good as they sound and they include a lot of features for affordable prices.
Previously, we gave you our Kanto YU Series Powered Speaker Comparison where we compared the YU2, YU4, and YU6 bookshelf speaker models together. At Audio Advice, we think Kanto's desire to bake great performance and high visual aesthetics into every model they create is evident in their YU series bookshelf and desktop speakers. In this review, we will focus on Kanto's YU6 Powered Desktop Speakers as an upgrade to near-field listening with turntables or music streaming services with computers.
Packaging, Design & Build Quality
The YU6 is a two-way bookshelf speaker that has a studio monitor-type look with the woofers and silk dome tweeters exposed.
We like how Kanto makes the YU6 available in so many different colors and finishes. There are five colors to choose from, which can either stand out and catch people's attention or just blend in with the room's decor. Audio Advice is the exclusive dealer of the high-performance Gloss Red that just looks fantastic sitting on top of a modern piece of furniture — but for an understated, minimalistic look that blends into the room, Matte White or Matte Black finishes are also available — and for those who want a cool, retro aesthetic to complement a turntable or a computer desk, Bamboo or Walnut finishes are available for a stylish and warm mid-century vibe. If your favorite sports team is red, like NCSU near us, they are a perfect way to show off your school colors.
When setting up the YU6's, we immediately noticed the craftsmanship of the perfectly smooth edges and high-quality connections on the rear. The speakers are around 10 lbs each so they definitely have some weight to them for their size. We do recommend a strong speaker stand like the Kanto SP Series 32 or 26. If you're aiming to put them on a tabletop, we recommend using desktop speaker stands like the S6 to separate the speakers from the table since they do have some pretty low-end bass and could cause some feedback.
Features & Technology
Kanto also makes two smaller models — the YU2 and YU4, which are very similar speakers but a bit smaller. To see the differences in these 3 models you can watch our full comparison of the Kanto YU2 vs YU4 vs YU6. The YU6 has both larger speaker drivers and a beefier amplifier than the YU2 and YU4. Kanto keeps the 1” silk dome tweeter and upgrades to a 5” Kevlar driver. Like the YU4, the YU6 is ported on the back for improved bass response. A 100-watt Class D amplifier is built into the left speaker which is enough power to fill a decently sized living room with some rocking tunes.
The YU6 has dual Toslink optical inputs, RCA inputs with a phono switch, a subwoofer out, a 3.5 AUX input, USB Type-A charging port, gold-plated binding post terminals to connect the L/R speakers, and best of all, Bluetooth 4.0 streaming. In the box, there is a 6' power cord, a nice remote control with batteries, 16' speaker wire, 6.5' stereo minijack cable, and self-adhesive rubber feet. We find this “ready to go” type of packaging ideal for someone just getting started and you don't have to worry about buying a lot of additional cables to get up and running.
The Kanto YU6's come with good connections to get you started. First, you have optical inputs that you can easily connect your TV to. Putting these on speaker stands to the right and left of your TV will give your movie-watching experience a serious boost of immersion – especially if you are still using the sound straight from your TV. The YU6 hold their own and even outperform many soundbars in the same price category. With a subwoofer RCA output, you can add the Kanto Sub8 and you have even more bottom end when watching your favorite movies for an extremely affordable price that again, competes with soundbars in the same price range.
With the recent resurgence of vinyl, we're frequently asked for recommendations on the best powered speakers to pair up a turntable. The YU6 does not disappoint! They have RCA L/R inputs along with a ground post if needed. One of our favorite features is a small switch on the back that allows you to flip the RCA inputs from Phono to Line depending on if your turntable has a preamp built-in or not. Now, this is super cool because it doesn't matter if you have a turntable without a preamp, you can just use the amp built into the YU6's and switch to Phono and you're good to go. This feature saves a lot of hassle of adding a bulky preamp to your turntable.
The YU6's have Bluetooth 4.0 aptX technology allowing you stream high-quality audio directly from any Bluetooth enabled device. Bluetooth 4.0 aptX is an audio codec that can support up to 24-bit audio transmission that reduces signal and noise transmission giving you a lot less distortion. Having this feature makes these easy to connect and stream your favorite song without worrying about losing quality via your transmission. However, the lack of Bluetooth 5.0 does limit these speakers for future and if we could upgrade a feature on these, it would be that. An AUX input is great for plugging in a phone or tablet for quick streaming playback if you do not want to connect to Bluetooth. On a desk, they are perfect for filling up your office with sound, and with a few additional accessories, you can really upgrade the sound coming from your powered speakers. Whether it's background music while typing a report, zoom calls to hear your coworkers loud and clear, or just watching YouTube videos, the YU6's have you covered. On the front, there is a small black knob that makes it easy to quickly change the volume. The remote is also well built and has tactile buttons to change sources, bass/treble, volume, connect to Bluetooth, and anything else you need to do.
We tested the YU6 in three scenarios that we could see people most commonly using them for. To start, we put them on the SP32 speaker stands and plugged them into our TV to watch some movies. We started out with Encanto because we thought all the music would really put these speakers to the test. We were blown away by the way these speakers painted the voices in the songs across the whole room. This made the movie a much more fun experience being able to clearly hear the different voices coming in and singing in different scenes. If you're looking for an upgrade to your TV's audio, you seriously have to consider these speakers over a soundbar. They sound amazing and have so many more use cases than soundbars at this price point. While on stands, they provide a look that stands out compared to a soundbar below a TV. A really cool option with these would be to add a turntable under your TV and have them both connected at the same time. With the remote, you are one button click away from switching sources and having turntable speakers along with TV speakers in the same setup.
With the return of vinyl, the YU6's are a perfect combo to your turntable. We connected our YU6's to a Pro-Ject RPM 1 Carbon turntable in red that matched our gloss red Kanto's. These not only looked sleek but also sounded fantastic while listening to vinyl. When we wanted to play something on the fly and didn't have the vinyl album for the song we were looking for, we quickly connected our phone via Bluetooth and pulled up our favorite playlists. A really nice touch to easily connect to our phone, laptop, or iPad.
Finally, we set these speakers on S6 desktop stands and put them on a desk. Working while playing Qobuz in the background was a pleasure. The song “Happier Than Ever” is a fun tune by Billie Eilish that really puts these speakers to work. You could hear the subtle breathiness of Billie's voice between words along with the background vocals and instruments perfectly separated during the whole first half of the song. During the second half, Billie takes it up a notch and the whole band kicks in with some solid bass and instrumentation. As I turned them up, the low end really shined with each hit of the bass being felt in my chest. These filled the office we were working in with a deep bass and warm sound that was easy and fun to listen.
Overall RecommendationWhether you are thinking about upgrading your TV sound, need a pair of desk speakers or want to pair these up with your turntable, we think everyone needs a pair of Kanto YU6's in their household. Solely based on the connectivity options and good-sounding these speakers are, you really cannot go wrong with them. There are other great speakers in this price category but with all the input options and color options to match up to your liking, Kanto really hit a homerun with these. And if you do like the Gloss Red style we tested, Audio Advice is the exclusive dealer and you won't find them anywhere else.
- Bluetooth™ aptX™
Built-in Bluetooth™ with Qualcomm® aptX™ technology lets you enjoy high-quality streaming from the palm of your hand
- Phono Preamp
Equipped with an integrated phono preamp, YU6 can be easily connected to any vintage or modern day turntable
- Remarkable Sound
Enclosed in handcrafted cabinets, YU6's 1" silk dome tweeters and 5.25" Kevlar® drivers deliver crisp highs and wonderfully balanced mid-range, faithfully reproducing all your favorite tunes
- Simple Interface
YU6's user-friendly interface features a single knob. Simply rotate for volume, push in to cycle through the five inputs, or push and hold to activate and deactivate standby mode
- Signal Detection
YU6 features automatic standby and power-up modes, helping to conserve power when you're gone and ensuring you never miss a beat when the music starts playing
- Remote Control
With volume, input, tone and balance controls, as well as playback options when using Bluetooth™, the YU6 remote gives you full control over your audio
- Tweeters: 1 inch Silk Dome
- Woofers: 5.25 inch Kevlar®
- Remote: Included
- Amplifier Type: Class D
- Nominal Impedance: 6 Ohm
- Frequency Response: 50 Hz – 20 kHz
- Total Harmonic Distortion: < 0.3%
- Crossover System: 2-way
- Crossover Frequency: 2.0 kHz
Inputs / Outputs
- 1 x 3.5mm mini-jack AUX
- 1 x RCA with Phono Switch
- 2 x Optical (TOSLINK)
- 1 x Bluetooth™ with Qualcomm® aptX™
- 1 x Subwoofer
- 1 x USB Charge 5V 1A
- Speaker Terminals: Left and Right Binding Posts
- Input Voltage / Frequency: 100V 60 Hz /240V 50 Hz (auto switching)
- Input Sensitivity: 560 mV
- Power Output: 200W Peak Power (100 Watts Total RMS)
- Standby Power Consumption: < 0.5 W
What's In The Box:
- Remote with batteries
- Power cord
- Speaker Wire
- 3.5mm Auxiliary Cable
- Rubber feet
- Height: 10.7"
- Width: 6.9"
- Depth: 8.1"
- Passive: 8.7 lbs
- Active: 11.4 lbs
- Shipping: 24.3 lbs
- Manufacturer Warranty (authorized online retailer): 2 Year Limited Warranty
|Amp Class||Class D|
|Amp Power Output||200W|
|Crossover Frequency||2.0 kHz|
|Dimensions||6.9” W x 8.1” D x 10.7” H (17.5 x 20.5 x 27.2 cm)|
|Frequency Response||50 Hz - 20 kHz|
|Inputs||1 x 3.5mm mini-jack AUX, 1 x RCA with Phono Switch, Optical|
|Output||1 x RCA with Phono Switch , 1 x Bluetooth with Qualcomm|
|Tweeter||1" Silk Dome|
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