5.0 out of 5 stars Using in my kitchen, March 30, 2014

This is the kind of review that will make audiophiles cringe, but may be of interest to some of you.

Without getting into the long story of why constraints in my home led to this placement option, I have the Vanatoos sitting on top of my kitchen cabinets, where there is a 14" gap between the cabinet tops and the ceiling. We have a large-ish open L-shaped kitchen/dining/living room area. The speakers rest on pieces of foam core for a dampened base and to give speaker clearance over the cabinet top molding.

I was concerned that any small speakers would adequately fill up at least the kitchen area with good sound, but Vanatoo has the 30-day audition period, so I decided to try them out. They do very well for my purposes - primarily listening to vocal and acoustic instrument music at civilized volumes. Off internet radio or albums on my iPhone.

The signal is fed to the speakers from my iPhone using a Bluetooth adapter that plugs right into the back of one of the speakers or from an old Slim Devices Squeezebox using an optical connection. Given that I can't reach them (without hauling out a ladder), what's really critical here is that:

  • the speakers automatically go into standby (low power consumption) when they don't detect an input signal
  • there is no need to manually flip any switch on the speakers to tell it which input to use
  • I can leave the volume on the speakers turned up high and control the actual sound volume from my iPhone or Squeezebox.

I.e.: once the speakers were in place and connected, I have no need to touch them.

I first checked them out on my dining area table - representative of a more typical physical setting. Mid range was fabulous, the low end sufficiently present and tight as advertised, impressive for such small speakers. The highs very good, although perhaps not quite as crisp or pronounced as other speakers I listened to. Overall a very balanced sound. Did the sound deteriorate a bit when I moved them to above the kitchen cabinets? Not appreciably.

I had listened to a variety of speakers and then carefully studied internet reviews of speakers and comparisons of speakers for weeks before ordering the Vanatoos. I'm keeping them, and am very happy with my choice.

- Gary M.
Dover, NH

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