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Kanto SYD review: Polished sound and a sleek design

Kanto SYD

The clean design pairs well with the polished sound delivering on multiple levels.

9.5/10 rating

We do an awful lot of audio reviews around here, and there are a ton of choices on the market. From soundbars and headphones to bookshelf speakers and true wireless earphones, we’ve covered almost all of them. But, sometimes, we get something that’s a bit different in both sound and design, and the Kanto SYD stands out among the crowd.

The Kanto SYD isn’t really a soundbar, though you could probably use it as such, and it’s not really a bookshelf style speaker, though it can be used that way as well. Its design is sleek and modern and its sound stage is polished and room-filling. Read on for the full review of the Kanto SYD.

Specifications

The Kanto SYD has the following features and specifications:

  • Drivers:
    • 1″ Silk Dome Tweeters
    • 4″ Kevlar Drivers
  • Audio:
    • Class D Amplifier
    • 140W Peak Power (70 Watts Total RMS)
    • Frequency Response: 60 Hz – 20 kHz
  • Inputs:
    • 3.5mm mini-jack AUX
    • RCA with Phono Switch
    • Optical (TOSLINK)
    • Bluetooth 4.0 with Qualcomm aptX
  • Outputs:
    • Subwoofer
    • USB Charge 5V 1A
  • Dimensions and Weight:
    • 17.5″ W x 6.9″ D x 5.7″ H (44.5 x 17.5 x 14.6 cm)
    • 9.9 lb (4.5 kg)

What’s In The Box

  • Kanto SYD
  • Speaker Stand
  • Remote with Batteries
  • Power Cord
  • 3.5mm Auxiliary Cable (6.5′)
  • Manual and documentation
Kanto SYD
The open-face design is beautiful but may note be for everyone.

Design

The Kanto SYD design is just a bit different than your standard soundbar or bookshelf speaker. Actually, you could say that it resembles a bookshelf speaker, slightly longer and turned on its side. It has two drivers in the front along with two tweeters. There’s also a volume knob on the lower right-hand corner and an LED indicator on the lower left-hand corner.

The sides, top, and bottom have nothing on them and the whole unit seems to be made of wood along with some high-quality plastics and other materials. The rear of the unit is where all of your inputs and outputs are housed.

For outputs, you have the ability to add a Kanto stand-alone subwoofer to your setup and you have a USB charging port. The USB charging port is pretty handy for just setting your phone down and plugging in while listening to music.

For inputs, you have an AUX port, RCA jacks with phono switch, and optical (TOSLINK) port. Of course, you have Bluetooth with Qualcomm aptX, for which I think is what most people are going to use this speaker.

Kanto SYD
The metal stand does a good job of holding the speaker.

The speaker also comes with a heavy-duty metal stand that angles the speaker slightly. The speaker just sits on top of the stand and does not get screwed down. There are rubber pads on the stand that keep the Kanto SYD from slipping and sliding.

Also included is a remote control, which is pretty bulky and large considering the size of the speaker. It’s a pretty basic remote with straight forward controls, I just think it could have been less boxy and maybe smaller. In my opinion, it just doesn’t match the aesthetic of the SYD. The design doesn’t take away from its function, it works perfectly fine.

Overall, the Kanto SYD has a very sleek and modern look about it. The open-face design and the materials used all give it a nice clean aesthetic. I should mention, this speaker is not meant to be portable. It has a decent weight to it and does not have a battery. You can move it around if you like, but it’s not really meant to move from room to room.

Ease of Use

The beauty of the Kanto SYD is the ease and simplicity of use. Most of the connections are physical with Bluetooth being the only software connection to be had. Physical connections are a no brainer and everyone should be able to plug in a source and start listening.

Even the Bluetooth connection is simple. Just plug the Kanto SYD in, flip the standby power switch on the back, turn it on with the remote, press the Bluetooth button on the remote, and find the SYD in your phone’s Bluetooth settings. Once you’re connected, the speaker will always reconnect once it is turned on.

The rear of the SYD has plenty of input options.

Using the remote is simple as well. It has the most basic of controls and isn’t much different than your TV or stereo remote control. Very simple to use and there are no software or other extras to worry about. This lets you get to listening to your music faster.

Overall, this is a dead-simple device to set up and use. No screws, no software, no fuss, and no muss. It will take you longer to unbox the Kanto SYD than it will to set up and start listening.

Sound

I’ve heard a lot of speakers in my time of reviewing audio products around here, and the Kanto SYD has some of the most polished sounds I’ve heard from any speaker. It is nearly balanced in its sound stage, but it gives you some control over your EQ with the remote control. The mids and highs are nicely rounded and the bass is nearly perfect in holding everything up on its shoulders without enveloping and swallowing it whole.

The drivers in this unit are strong enough to fill a small room comfortably and loud enough for a small party. The clarity is pretty awesome with every genre of music I tried shining through with perfect sound. The Kanto SYD lends itself well to just about everything, even hip-hop and rap can be enjoyed. However, if you need real thumping bass or enjoy the bass frequencies to overtaking everything, this might not be for you. You can kick the bass up with the remote, but it may still not be enough.

One thing we must note here, we only tested this speaker with Bluetooth. Wired connections are likely going to deliver even better sound. So using the Optical, RCA, or AUX connections is going to give you the best sound overall. If the Bluetooth sound is this good, the wired sound is most-likely better.

Overall, the sound the Kanto SYD produces is sonic clarity and is sure to please just about everyone in the room.

The remote could have been smaller and a bit more sleek with a smaller Kanto logo.

Reception

Bluetooth reception for the Kanto SYD is the industry standard of 30-40 feet from the source. This is pretty much the same for any Bluetooth speaker so we have nothing bad to say here.

Price/Value

The Kanto SYD has an MSRP of US$329.99 and, given the sound alone, it’s well worth it. You can find the SYD on sale from time-to-time on Amazon and even the company’s website.

Wrap Up

The Kanto SYD is probably not for everyone. It lacks portability, it’s a bit large, and the remote is bulky. But this isn’t a speaker for those looking for all of that. This speaker is built around the sound experience and aesthetic appeal. I think Kanto is spot on for the market they’re looking to target. I’d recommend this speaker for those looking for a permanently placed speaker with killer looks and polished sound.

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Kanto SYD

US$329.99

Design

9.5/10

Ease of Use

10.0/10

Sound

9.5/10

Reception

9.5/10

Price/Value

9.0/10

Nailed it

  • Clean and sleek design
  • Great build quality
  • Easy to use and setup
  • Polished sound stage that fills a room

Needs work

  • Remote is a bit bulky
  • May be pricey for some
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