If I was buying these 5 years ago the Vanatoo Transparent Zero probably would have been the clear choice, but they’ve really risen in price and the Kanto speakers are on sale right now.
The fact that I can get speakers (+stands) and a sub for less than the price of the T0s makes me lean toward the Kantos. The bundle has to sound better than the T0s on their own right? I think if I was just buying the speakers, I’d be fighting physics - it’s hard to compete with the bigger size of the T0s…
That being said, if I went with the T0s I could always add a sub later. Hmmm…
Ultimately, this feels like a really hard decision since I’ve never listened to any of these speakers. If you have experience or insights I would really appreciate your thoughts.
PS - I’m hoping to get a slightly more minimal, fuss-free desktop setup… but if you have another budget desktop setup that isn’t totally impractical I’m open to other ideas.
I’d say check out all of Z’s recent speaker reviews…he was surprised several times in recent memory for some affordable bookshelf speakers.
Well for me I’d say the T0s. Haven’t heard kantos. But the T0s are the speaker that gave me the hifi bug. Ever since then I’ve been just looking for something that can pull off the same effect just in a larger package that is more appropriate for a large room. I’ve spent a few thousand dollars and still haven’t gotten close if that gives you anything to go on.
If you are using these for desktop listening you don’t have to go crazy. A small cheap sub will really allow these things to shine. The size of the soundstage and accuracy of the imaging is mind boggling. The center vocal image sounds so real you feel like you can reach out and strangle the singer. When there’s foot steps or doors opening on the extreme edges of the soundstage and its almost behind you I find myself snapping my neck around to make sure it isn’t actually coming from within the room.
I got them when they were $360. At that price they were an absolute steal and I feel like literally everyone should have a pair as computer speakers or a small bedroom setup. Even at $450 they are priced well since you won’t need an amp or dac and sound better than any $500 passive bookshelf I have tried to date.
That being said everyone is different and I’ve seen a few reviewers be not too impressed with them. But for me I can’t imagine a better small nearfield listening system. If only Vanatoo made a larger speaker I could have avoided a bunch of headaches lol.
They make the T1, don’t they?
Yeah absolutely. But I’d still classify the T1 as a diminutive speaker. I think the choice comes down to how much room on your desk you have. If you can only fit say the classic Logitech style computer speakers than the T0 is perfect. If you got a little more room or are going to be using them for say a bedroom TV setup then the T0s. Of course now with the T1 Encores having aluminum dome tweeters if you are sensitive to those you might want to go with the T0s that still have silk dome tweeters.
I can’t think of a better desktop PC speaker so the Vanatoos have me covered there. I meant something for a larger living room space. My living room is like 16’x35’ and the T1 just wouldn’t energize the room enough. Not to mention running a home theatre PC with a 130" projection screen they need to placed pretty far from the listening position.
Just got a pair of Arendal 1723 S monitors and they definitely get pretty close albeit at 50 lbs each and $2000 lol. The Vanatoos just have a crazy ability to do pinpoint three dimensional imaging all while projecting huge a soundstage that goes well beyond the speaker boundaries (like 6-8’ past the speakers 0_0). Usually pinpoint imaging and soundstage size is a tradeoff. Maybe that’s where some DSP digital crossover magic comes into play?
The Arendals image really well, the soundstage just doesn’t extend much past the speakers. Not that I need it to considering I have them like 14’ apart. So with the dynamics and extra efficiency they can pull off I think I’m happy. Everything else probably comes down to mostly room interactions since you don’t get that as much with a nearfield setup.