Kanto Audio’s first HDMI ARC active speakers are here to replace your soundbar

Kanto Audio Ren in a hi-fi room at Bristol Hi-Fi Show, with the company's entire lineup
(Image credit: Future)

If you're looking for an alternative to the best soundbars, Kanto Audio's new Ren speakers could be the perfect partner to your TV. The brand's first speakers with HDMI ARC promise to be an excellent audio upgrade for the best TVs. They also have dedicated TV modes for late-night watching that won't annoy your neighbors.

They're not just for TVs, though. These small speakers are designed to go pretty much anywhere, and they come in a range of colors to match most decorating schemes. The Ren speakers have Bluetooth streaming as well as a selection of inputs that enable you to connect them to laptops, phones, the best MP3 players and other audio hardware. There's no phono stage, though, so if you want to play vinyl you'll need one of those or a turntable with one built in.

Kanto Audio's Ren speakers: key specifications and price

Kanto Audio Ren in light yellow, in a hi-fi room

They're available in five other color options too…  (Image credit: Future)

The Kanto Ren may be comparatively small, but there's nothing titchy about their power output: there's 100W of Class D amplification driving their 5.25-inch mid/woofers and 1-inch silk dome tweeters. 

The powered bookshelf-sized speakers come with USB-C, RCA, analogue 3.5mm and optical inputs so you can connect them to all kinds of devices, and there's Bluetooth 5.3 with SBC and AAC for wireless streaming too. The USB and optical inputs support up to 24-bit/96kHz for hi-res audio devices such as network streamers and hi-res music players. There's also a subwoofer out if you want to add some low-end thump, and the Night Mode cuts that output when enabled.

The new Ren speakers will go on sale in July (not far behind Kanto's ORA4, recently launched at CES 2024), although if you're in the UK you can see them at the Bristol Hi-Fi show this weekend – as we have. There are six different color options: black, cream, white, green, brown and orange, and you can expect to pay $599 / £499 / €579 per pair.

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Carrie Marshall

Writer, broadcaster, musician and kitchen gadget obsessive Carrie Marshall (Twitter) has been writing about tech since 1998, contributing sage advice and odd opinions to all kinds of magazines and websites as well as writing more than a dozen books. Her memoir, Carrie Kills A Man, is on sale now. She is the singer in Glaswegian rock band HAVR.