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Saturday
Aug082015

Kanto YU3 Active Bluetooth Bookshelf Speakers

I bought some speakers, and I thought you might want to see them, so here they are.

These are active (built in amplifier) speakers that are beautiful to look at have a good well rounded sound quality and plenty of inputs (including two optical-in) as well as Bluetooth 4.0 with aptX and a full remote control.

I've seen some criticism in the youtube comments about the price of these. My suggestion is never to buy anything you can't afford - even if someone like me makes a nice video about it. These speakers were imported from the US - I bought mine via Amazon (CLICK HERE) If, like me you would have to import these, you can work out the total cost (including taxes, postage etc) by adding some to your Amazon basket - this will then calculate the taxes and postage costs to your location before you have to commit an order.  

When I did that today, the total including delivery and taxes came to $389 USD - that's £251. When you consider this is about the same price as the basic  'Jawbone Big Jambox' bluetooth speaker the Kanto's start to look like a much better deal.   

Some people on youtube seem genuinely disappointed that I didn't demonstrate the sound from these speakers by playing music through them. I'd like to share my opinion below about why I didn't do this - and why (to me) the idea of being able to demonstrate speaker sound quality via youtube is just plain crazy. 

People who want to listen to sound from these speakers on youtube, must believe that they can accurately assess the quality of a speaker by hearing the noise it produces recorded with a camera's microphone, encoded to a youtube stream and played back over their computer speakers or headphones.

That to me is the equivalent of trying to demonstrate a 4K TV's picture quality by showing someone a Polaroid photo of it. HiFi magazines have been reviewing speakers for years without the need to attach a tape cassette on the front cover so you can hear the true sound quality of a set of £10k speakers played back via your own £150 midi-system

The only true way to assess the sound from a speaker is to listen to it yourself, however what I am able to do in a video is demonstrate the features, setup, build quality and size. I can comment about my opinion of the sound quality (in my room with it's unique acoustics heard through my old worn-out ears)...but if you really want to know what something sounds like - then you have to hear it in person.

Perhaps I'm out of step with what the audience wants, and if anyone wants to start a youtube channel demonstrating speaker sound quality by recording it with a cell phone then it seems like there's definitely a ready audience for it - but call me crazy, I'm going to just stick to doing things my old fashioned way. 

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Reader Comments (8)

Can I ask how much you paid in total after British customs and VAT tax were added ?
My experience of importing electronics from the USA was quite grim after paying the taxes which more that doubled the price.

August 10, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterJeremy Travis

The prices mentioned in the article ($389 USD / £251) are the amount you will pay today including all taxes, postage, everything. Amazon are great to import from as they have a special programme whereby you pay them the postage and their estimate of any import duty and taxes up front. They then ship the item to you and pay the customs fee for you. If they have collected more deposit than you needed to pay then they will refund the difference to you. I've done this perhaps twenty or so times and it's always worked perfectly and usually get a couple of dollars refund back.

When I bought mine I chose the express postage option which added a lot to the price, but I wanted the speakers in a hurry. I paid $449.26 (£290). My speakers took approx 4 days to arrive.

I'd recommend that you put one in your basket and weigh up the costs - it's all laid out before you have to commit to your order.

August 10, 2015 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

Thanks for the review. I've been thinking of upgrading my Boston Acoustic desktop speakers. I've looked at Audioengine, M Audio and other lesser known speakers.
What other speakers did you consider before buying the Kantos?

August 11, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterTonyP

I looked at a lot of custom made speakers (on Easy) and then went to Amazon (as I had some credit there) and looked through their highest rated models. The Kantos were the first ones I found that had a good rating, looked smart, had all the features I needed and would be shipped to the UK fulfilled by Amazon themselves (to simplify duty & taxes).

August 12, 2015 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

For those in the UK would the Roth OLi POWA-5 (Mk 2) be a better option as they seem to be almost identical except they are cheaper?

August 31, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterMike

If they are the same, then yes they might work out a cheaper option for UK residents. My videos aren't really aimed at any particular country - 70% of the views come from non-uk residents...so it's always a good idea for everyone to a bit of research to find the best deal for them.

August 31, 2015 | Registered CommenterTechmoan

The Roth doesn't seem to be the same, but similar. Looking at it I saw that there seems to be a version without the build-in amp, Bluetooth, etc for £79. Now I'm wondering whether there's a cheaper way of making these cheap ones into Speakers I can use for my computer ...and with additional Bluetooth, i.e. adding an amp with line in and Bluetooth.

December 12, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterMatthias

The comparative DVD - "Look Around You" Excellent!

August 26, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterPete

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