Top critical review
5 people found this helpful
Beautifully designed and built, but lacks in fidelity.
on September 13, 2012
I was really excited to get this stereo. The reviews have been nothing less than fantastic. The pictures make it look like a work of art. And it is. Truly, it's rather beautifully designed and well-built. I would give it 5 stars for design and build--that is, for how it looks and the care Kanto took in building it. The problem though is how it sounds. Don't get me wrong. The sound is good. There is absolutely no distortion from this tank of a unit, but there is also no fidelity. And what I mean by that is it lacks in the lows and highs much as nearly every other iPod/iPhone docking stereo out there.
Every piece of music I threw at it sounded flat and muffled, as if it were playing out of a tin can. Now, that may be a bit of an exaggeration, but really it sounds rather flat. I couldn't find any real detailed reviews about this stereo on Amazon, so I assume maybe most people who bought it never had a hi-fi system before and were basing their reviews on other cheap, plastic iPod stereos they previously owned. I don't know. What I do know is the Kanto Syd 5 lacks fidelity. There's no "splash" in the treble, and no "punch" in the bass. It's all kind of muddled together. And if you look at the specs it makes sense: there are no "tweeters," only "full-range drivers." And there are no "sub-woofers," only "woofers," so the lack of fidelity makes sense. I just think that when you add to that the inability to separate the speakers you run into what I would describe as a "tunnel speaker:" all the sound comes at you in one direction (being that all the speaker are so close together), and there is little fidelity. It all sounds like it's coming from one speaker, which in a way it is.
I really wanted to love this stereo, but I couldn't. The Altec Lansing iM7 from 2006 beat out this 2010 Kanto in nearly every sound test. I think the only reason it pulls that off is the side-firing subwoofer, but still, it blew the Kanto out of the water. Amazing. I expected the Kanto to sound better. I wanted it to sound better. But it didn't. If you're going to spend 300$ on an iPod stereo I would suggest a used B&W Zeppelin, or an iHome iP1, or an iM7 if you can still find one. Unfortunately, unless you care more about looks than sound, then I can't recommend this for the price. It does beat out the Bose Soundock in terms of sound and build-quality. If you're trying to decide between the Syd 5 and the Bose, go with the Syd. You'll get a better looking unit with "tighter" sound, but don't expect hi-fi.