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Kanto’s new Ren active speakers with HDMI take aim at your TV room

The front of the Kanto Audio REN powered speaker.
Kanto Audio

The Canucks at Kanto Audio are at it again, announcing the addition of another new set of powered speakers to its lineup. The Kanto Ren are a 100-watt pair of active speakers that, in a first for the company, offer HDMI ARC connectivity.

After unleashing its new Ora Desktop reference speakers a few months back and then announcing their cousin, the Ora4, at CES 2024 last month, the Canadian speaker maker has set its sights on TV connectivity with the Ren, a $600 set of compact powered speakers that can be connected to your TV with HDMI ARC and be controlled with an included remote or with your TV’s remote, with the help of CEC. The new connectivity makes the Kanto REN an intriguing soundbar alternative.

But, of course, that’s not all the Kanto Rens can do. In line with its other speakers, the powered bookshelf speakers offer all kinds of connectivity options, including Bluetooth 5.3 that supports SBC and AAC codecs, as well as USB-C and optical inputs that can support a resolution of up to 24-bit/96kHz for high-resolution playback from sources such as computers, digital audio players, network streamers, smartphones, and more.

The back and inputs of the Kanto Audio REN powered speaker.
Kanto Audio

For the more analog inclined, the Kanto Ren also have RCA line-in and a 3.5mm input for connecting things like turntables, DVD players, and other devices (you will need a turntable with a built-in preamp or an external phono stage, though). The REN also features a dedicated subwoofer output for adding extra bass to the proceedings, and if the aforementioned Ora review is any indication, that extra bass will be just booming.

Driving the Kanto REN speakers is 100-watts of Class D amplification with 200 watts of peak power to the speaker’s 1-inch silk dome tweeters and 5.25-inch mid-woofers. Kanto says the speakers will deliver “clear highs, detailed midrange, and impressively powerful bass.” They’ll also feature a couple of sound modes for TV watching — Vocal Boost for lifting dialogue,and Night Mode that will balance out any peaks and lows in the audio volume so as to not wake your household up when there’s an explosion in the action movie you’re watching.

With six colors — black, white, cream, green, brown, and orange — the Kanto Ren powered speakers will retail for $600 and be available in July. If you happen to be in Bristol, England, this weekend however, ,you can check them out at the Bristol Hi-Fi Show.

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Derek Malcolm
Derek Malcolm is a Toronto-based technology journalist, editor, and content specialist whose work has appeared in…
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