Product News
Hands On: Kanto Zed Stereo Speaker/i-Dock
This compact iPod dock and stereo speaker solution can add convenient audio to a small space.
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Kanto’s Zed
July 07, 2009 by Geoff Oldmixon

Recently I jumped at the opportunity to review the Kanto Zed iPod dock because its size — 11.2 inches wide, x 5.5 wide inches high x 5.5 inches deep and just about six pounds — puts it in an ideal class. It’s the sort of desktop solution being sought by a relative of mine. She runs a small medical treatment office and needs some sound to fill her one-room workspace.

I liked that the Zed came in a solid wood cabinet, giving it a classy look and feel. It’s available in black or dark chocolate oak. But, of course, sound and functionality take precedence.

The Zed comes with a small IR remote for controlling the product, which could be a problem if you’re like me and tend to lose remotes easily. So, as expected at one point, when I plugged in an auxiliary source I couldn’t find the remote and that left me rather frustrated, which ultimately led me into the problem of its lack of easy-to-use source controls. (There is a back panel “selector,” but it’s understated.)

The only interface/control problem you may encounter beyond its functional limits is its volume control increments, which don’t allow for fine-tuning of the volume. Beyond that however, you shouldn’t run into any problems with the operation of the unit.

Moving on to its sound, it was much less frustrating. For what it is, the Zed is very nice—a small desktop iPod dock— that can sit on a shelf or a tabletop that is capable of radiating some quality audio within a close proximity. As for the volume levels themselves, you can boost the compact unit pretty high and maintain solid detail.

The Zed isn’t a high-powered “blow you away” solution though, and at $199 from the Kanto store it compares favorably against other single-box iPod solutions out there. It’s a small, classy 2 x 15-Watt sound system with built-in iPod dock, which will certainly take the convenience of your portable player and allow you to hear it on a larger scale than through earbuds.

It’s the sort of thing that’s perfect for a small office or bedroom. It’s a very simple single-room solution, especially good for light sounds or mood music.

Kanto is distributed in the U.S. by Audio Plus Services.

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Specifications

iPod Universal Dock
* Power button and indicator light
* Volume Up and Down buttons

Audio Inputs
* Left and right line-in RCA
* 3.5mm (1/8”) Auxiliary mini-audio jack

Outputs
* Subwoofer line output

IR Wireless Remote Control Functions (21functions)
* Controls iPod click wheel functionality
* Power,Volume, treble, bass and mute
* Input mode select: iPod, RCA or Auxiliary (3.5mm mini-audio jack)
* Instant repeat and shuffle mode

Rear Panel Controls
* Master volume
* Input mode select

Drivers
* Two 3” Magnetically Shielded Paper Cone
* Input impedance: 10K ohms unbalanced

Audio Specifications
* Frequency Response: 80Hz-20KHz
* >100dB (typical, A-weighted)
* Dynamic Power: 2 x 15watts RMS 4 Ohm @1% THD+N
* Bass reflex port enhances bass response

Cost
* $199 from Kanto store


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