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Kanto Yaro 2 Amplifier & Speakers Review


Hardware Canucks Review Editor
Oct 21, 2015
The Kanto Yaro 2 digital stereo system is aimed at desk use as well as TV and home theatre use. Kanto is marketing the system, which includes the company's Yaro 2 amplifier and two passive speakers, as a straightforward speaker solution with a small footprint.

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The Yaro 2 speakers have a gloss black finish with a soft rubber finish on the top, with design language similar to the Apple TV. While they look great, the finish is a magnet for dust and fingerprints. The package doesn't include a microfibre cloth, something that would have been nice to include.

The box does come with a far amount of accessories, however. The remote comes with a pair of AAA batteries, and the inclusion of a pair of optical cables of different lengths is awesome. Also included is an AC adapter, speaker wires, USB cord for connecting to your PC, and 3.5mm cable for connecting to a standard-sized mobile headphone jack.

The amplifier includes the standard array of input and output ports, as the speakers themselves are passive. The back of the amp includes a pair of left and right binding posts for the speakers as well as a connection for an optional subwoofer. The available outputs are the 3.5mm AUX, an optical output, and the USB connection. It's nice to see this selection of ports, because these three cover the widest range of potential options from mobile phones to high-end home theatre.

One missing option is Bluetooth, which is available on other Kanto products, as having a Bluetooth-enabled amplifier to connect to any speakers would have been awesome. The amp also includes a 3.5mm headphone out on the front. The included remote controls the volume and also allows you to control the source, balance and EQ of the system. It also includes playback control for use with the USB connection. The speakers have a 1-inch tweeter and a 3.5-inch woofer, housed in an acoustic-grade MDF cabinet. The tiny amp puts out a lot of power, pushing 35 watts RMS per channel.

Our reviewer tested the speakers with a computer system, as part of a home theatre set-up, and on their own as a music system. In use with a computer, the remote becomes non-essential and mostly stays in a drawer. The large volume control on the front of the amp is really all you need. The amp itself goes into standby mode when not used, which is a nice power-saving feature. But, if you turn it off, the Yaro 2 amp won't remember its settings next time you turn it on—forcing you to dive into that drawer for the remote. The system's headphone jack also has more than enough power to blow your ears out.

Our reviewer found the speakers sounded decent when used at his computer desk, with a reasonably flat response and acceptable soundstage. But they fall short in bass and in very low-register sound, something that might be addressed with the optional subwoofer. The mid-range was strong, but the highs didn't always hit. Overall, the speakers were lacking in clarity and punch, and aren't flat enough for studio monitors while lacking the tuned frequency response of speakers aimed at entertaining. At this price range, there are much more competitive options.

The small footprint and unobtrusive design of the speakers and amplifier, however, makes the Yaro 2 system a good upgrade for anyone looking to go beyond their TV's built-in sound. Most television programs rely on mid-range sound, and the speakers provide a much better experience when used for that purpose. And here the remote comes in handy, allowing you to easily switch between sources and control the output.

For home theatre, the Yaro 2 again falls slightly short. The amount of power the system can put out is great, and the speakers mostly sounded great for movies. But again, the lack of bass response was a real drawback. If you want to use the system for movies—or really anything that requires a lot of bass, including gaming—you're going to want to add a subwoofer.

The Yaro 2 amplifier is certainly the star of the show and the best part of the system. The range of features, the built-in high-quality DAC, and its flexible small footprint make it an awesome portable amplifier. However, the accompanying speakers are underwhelming. There's not bad by any means, but they seem lacklustre compared to the quality of the amp.
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