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|Getting to Know TUK: Features & Technology|
|Posted: Wed Jul 31, 2019 08:27:27 AM|
If you’ve been following us on social media or have stopped by our booth at one of this year’s industry tradeshows, you’ve most likely seen TUK, our newest flagship speaker. Launching later this summer, TUK is hands down the best sounding, most feature-rich speaker Kanto has developed to date!
We’ve been receiving a lot of inquiries from eager fans asking for more information about TUK. This blog post is intended to highlight every feature that makes TUK feel equally at home with turntables, desktop setups, living room setups, and smart home devices.
TUK is powered by a 130W RMS class D amplifier, sending 65W RMS to each channel. We’ve implemented full digital signal processing (DSP) to tune the speakers exactly how we want them to sound. It also gives us the ability to add an active crossover network in our speakers for the first time. The active crossover further improves low-end resolution by filtering out frequencies below 80Hz when connected to a subwoofer.
We have included an aptX HD codec to stream hi-res audio over Bluetooth. If your device supports aptx HD, you can now enjoy better-than-CD quality audio wirelessly. We also include standard aptX and AAC codecs to ensure you get great quality wireless sound regardless of the device being used.
AMT tweeters are incredibly lightweight, allowing them to react faster than standard dome tweeters. This translates into super-quick, accurate treble. The pleated construction of an AMT tweeter also improves efficiency by increasing surface area, allowing for more air to be moved than by a comparatively sized dome tweeter. Their rectangular shape limits vertical dispersion so that less audio is reflected off the ceiling and floor, while still maintaining a relatively wide horizontal dispersion. This ensures all listeners in the room hear a consistent frequency response.
Aluminum drivers are incredibly rigid, making them less prone to deformation when pushed to their limit. By preventing the driver from flexing, we reduce the amount of distortion the driver introduces to the audio being played.
The input display is another first for us. Dedicated LEDs for each input give you visual confirmation of which input is being used. It’s a small detail but takes the guesswork out of switching between your devices. The brightness of the input display is also adjustable so you can dim or fully turn off the LEDs if you prefer.
We’ve also included a 3.5mm headphone output on the front of TUK allowing you to use headphones with any audio source connected to the speaker. This simple addition, which is rarely seen on speakers in this category, prevents the need to purchase a separate headphone amplifier for more intimate listening.
Our built-in dedicated phono preamp reduces another piece of gear typically required when listening to turntables. There’s a separate RCA input specifically for line sources so you don’t have to flick a switch or share an RCA input between two analog audio sources.
PC onboard audio is notoriously noisy and prone to electromagnetic interference. The USB input, which supports up to 24 bit/96 kHz, gives you a solid digital connection to your PC without the need for an external DAC.
The optical input, which also supports up to 24 bit/96 kHz, gives you a flexible digital connection that can be utilized with TVs, PCs, or digital audio players.
Like all Kanto powered speakers, TUK features a sub-out. But TUK adds the benefit of a selectable active crossover network. The low pass filter sends everything below 80 Hz to the subwoofer and the high pass filter sends anything above 80 Hz to the speakers. This frees up TUK’s built-in amplifier to focus solely on the midrange and highs. Quick, dynamic transients have more impact and accuracy, and TUK can play louder without introducing additional distortion. The sub-out can be enabled or disabled at the press of a button using the remote.
The USB charge port supplies up to 2A to power Smart Home devices or charge phones or tablets.
Far from an afterthought, we packed a ton of functionality into TUK’s remote. Most of the buttons are self-explanatory, but we’ll expand on some of the hidden features.
Active Crossover – Hold the “Sub Mute” button for five seconds to enable the active crossover. This will activate an HPF / LPF network and send anything below 80 Hz to the subwoofer and anything above 80 Hz to the speakers.
Automatic Power-Up (APU) / Automatic Power-Down (APD) – If you don’t want the speakers to go into standby, or don’t want them to wake up after they’ve gone into standby, you can easily deactivate either setting. Hold the “Treble Reset” button for five seconds to disable APU, or hold the “Bass Reset” button for five seconds to disable APD.
Bass / Treble Memory (BTM) – By default, TUK applies your EQ (bass & treble) settings to all inputs. If you prefer to set individual EQ settings for each input, you can activate BTM by holding the “Play / Pause” button for 5 seconds.
Channel Swap – You can swap the L / R stereo output on TUK. This allows you to ensure your speakers are set up to deliver the stereo experience that the recording engineers intended. The active speaker is set to the left channel by default. To make the right speaker be your active speaker, press and hold the Next Track button for 5 seconds. To switch back to default, and have the active speaker on the left, press and hold the Previous Track button for 5 seconds.
TUK can do a lot. There’s no other powered speaker with the same feature-set. We didn’t create a feature-rich speaker simply for the sake of adding features, though. We wanted TUK to excel in four different applications and have thought through the functionality needed to give each user an intuitive experience.
Adding a phono preamp to a powered speaker is nothing new — our YU4 and YU6 have had it for years. Instead of flicking a switch to choose between a line source and a phono source, we gave TUK a dedicated RCA input specifically for phono. Adding a way to connect headphones to a turntable is something that used to require the purchase of a separate receiver, but that functionality is built directly into TUK. Throw on some vinyl, add in a pair of your favorite headphones, and bask in the simplicity of your setup.
To by-pass the potentially noisy onboard audio of your PC, we added a USB input to TUK. To simplify the connection, we tethered the volume of the speaker to the volume of the operating system. If you adjust the volume on your OS, TUK’s internal volume will change. If you adjust the volume knob on TUK, the OS volume will change.
We’ve also given you the ability to completely defeat the automatic power-down feature that traditionally puts our speakers into standby after 15 minutes of not receiving an audio signal. Allowing the speakers to stay on at all times ensures you never miss a notification or have to wait for the speakers to boot up.
Gamers who have roommates or game at night will appreciate the headphone output and the sub mute button on our remote – just one more small touch that provides a seamless experience when using TUK on your desktop.
Taking a nod from the home theater world, we utilized TUK’s built-in DSP and added a selectable crossover network for tight integration with subwoofers. This functionality is typically only found in outboard gear like AV receivers, but we included it to eliminate one more piece of gear needed in your living room.
Aligning TUK’s AMT tweeter with your ears and dialing in that sweet spot is crucial to extract every bit of audio performance from the speakers. Since speaker placement is so important, we added a ¼”-20 threaded hole to the bottom of TUK so it can be secured to our SP-series stands. Even in high traffic areas with children or pets, you can feel confident your speakers aren’t going to get damaged or end up on the floor. The removable speaker grills add another layer of protection so objects or curious hands can’t damage the aluminum woofer.
An optical input completes the living room experience, allowing TUK to connect to nearly any TV. Plug all your equipment into your TV, switch between inputs, and let your TV pass audio to TUK using a single cable. You still have an RCA, phono, Bluetooth and USB input to connect to any other device that isn’t plugged into your TV.
We made it easy to place TUK at the center of your Smart Home. The USB charge port on the rear of the speaker can power a Google Home mini, Echo input, or any other Smart Home device without the need to run additional cables.
Typically, when powered speakers go into standby, the Bluetooth connection drops. Since so many Smart Home devices rely on Bluetooth, we wanted to ensure seamless integration. With TUK, the Bluetooth link stays connected to your Smart Home device even when the speakers go into standby, allowing your speakers to automatically turn back on when you start streaming to them. Feel free to disable automatic power-down if you don’t want any interruptions waiting for the speakers to turn on – that way, the speakers are ready for casting at any time.
TUK is a speaker that not only sounds incredible, but feels equally at home in nearly every scenario you can imagine. With one speaker system, we eliminated the need to purchase an external DAC, headphone amp, phono preamp, and AV receiver. We think we’ve created a product with exceptional value that can go toe-to-toe with some of the best powered bookshelf speakers on the market. We’re excited for you to try them and experience some of the passion that went into creating TUK.