In Barn: Vanatoo Transparent Zero Active Speakers

Vanatoo Transparent Zero Active Speakers ($359.00/pair)


4 inch aluminum cone woofer with 1 inch underhung voice coil
4 inch long-throw passive radiator
1 inch soft dome tweeter
2 way bi-amplified active speaker
Assisted passive radiator bass reflex system
8th-Order DSP derived Butterworth high-pass at 58 Hz
8th-Order DSP derived Linkwitz-Riley crossover at 2200 Hz
Bluetooth with aptX for wireless connection
USB audio up to 48K at 16 bits
Toslink optical up to 96K at 24 bits>
3.5mm (1/8") analog input, ADC sampled at 48K at 24 bits
Amplifier & DSP
Direct Digital Class D
4x48 Watts per channel
DSP resolution of 48K at 24 bits
Thermal, short circuit, over current protection
Frequency Response
56Hz - 20K Hz ±3dB (Shelf Mode in room)
52Hz - 20K Hz ±3dB (Flat Mode in room)
Subwoofer Crossover
4th-Order Linkwitz-Riley at 125 Hz (Shelf Mode)
4th-Order Linkwitz-Riley at 80 Hz (Flat Mode)
Power Repuirements
120 VAC ±10% at 60Hz or 220 VAC ±10% at 50Hz
7.5"H x 4.75"W x 7.75"D (without support)
7.5"H x 4.75"W x 9.75"D (with support)
4.5 lbs active / 4.0 lbs passive
Shipping: 7.75"H x 13.5"W x 17.75"D and 14 lbs

funambulistic's picture

Those look very interesting and I am anxious to read your opinion regarding their performance. I am in the market for a nice sounding all-in-one solution for the living room - right now I am waffling between the B&O Beoplay A6 and the Dynaudio Xeo 2 (powder blue front, special edition at a great price). The A6 looks fantastic and, based on experience, the Xeo 2 will sound even better. The Vanatoo may be in the mix because of the cool form factor, price and the sub out.

tabaplar's picture

I recently purchased the Zeros after considering the Xeo2's. I hadn't heard either before purchase (and still haven't hear the Xeo's) but the Zero's seemed like the perfect small but powerful speaker for a TV/ music setup in a small room, and a bargain priced version of the Xeo's based on specs. Some thoughts after a few months of use....

The Zero's do sound very good, though I'm admittedly not an Audiophile. As a point of comparison I've been using a pair of Audioengine A2's for many years. The Zero's are definitely more powerful and sound more 'controlled'. I like them better for the TV setup, but prefer the A2's for nearfield (computer) use. The A2's just have a 'natural' sound that's appealing, especially up close. And while the Zero's are nicely finished for the price, they can't match the considered aesthetics and gloss lacquer finish of the A2's.

The optical input and remote of the Zero's was a big part of the appeal for an AV setup, though the volume control via the included remote is overly touchy. A single press can yield a small change or a big jump, which is a real pain. I've had to switch to using the RCA inputs, which are noticeably inferior to the optical input in audio quality. For computer use the USB input should provide similar audio quality to the optical input (uses the built-in DAC in the Zero's) while allowing computer volume adjustment and avoiding the volume jump issue.

If the discount powder blue finish of the Xeo's worked for me (it doesn't) I would have probably paid the premium and tried them out.

funambulistic's picture

I appreciate your comments! What I am trying to do is set up a second, music-only system in my living room from which I can stream Tidal or whatever from my phone and possibly play a turntable. I already have a Philips Fidelio sound bar for my TV. It actually sounds quite nice for movies (also, it is almost the exact width of my 51" plasma screen and the cabinet upon which they rest - nice aesthetic!) but not so much for music. The idea is to have something rather room filling, but unobtrusive and pleasing to the to the eye amidst the decor while I work on my dedicated media room. If the Xeos were not a dollar under $1K, I would have jumped on them already. The B&O is gorgeous but still a little dear at $800. That is where the Zeros may come in. Plus, the savings may justify the purchase of a sub if I feel they need some reinforcement (at least, that is how I will run it by my wife). I also really like the looks of the A2, but I would have to hook them up to a bluetooth receiver...

funambulistic's picture

Man, I really messed up you user name!

tabaplar's picture

The Zero's bass output is impressive for the size but there's a limit to how much or how low a small speaker can produce. I have an Audioengine S8 sub that I might try adding in. It's useful that the Zero's sub crossover can be set as low as 80Hz.

I personally haven't tried the Bluetooth streaming. For a small music focused setup they're a great all-in-one solution, and via Bluetooth volume be controlled on the streaming device so the touchy remote volume wouldn't be as much of an issue.

geoffrey's picture

Like to purchase a highly recommended powered bookshelf system which permits play through of PCM to 192kHz/24-bit and DSD files. I suspect for foreseeable future I'll be back looking at non-powered bookshelf systems requiring separate amplification with DAC which handles the file resolutions in my library.
If one knows otherwise please URL me.

Michael Lavorgna's picture
...sticking with active speakers and adding a DAC.