Check out what our customers had to say about our amazing Vanatoo Speakers.
The T1 Encore is a revelation!
I’ve been a happy owner of the original Transparent One for about 6 years. Based on recent reviews in the audiophile press, I decided to upgrade to the T1 Encore. Wow, am I glad I did! This new version is a fabulous upgrade from what were already great speakers for their size and price range. And the new features, such as BT, remote control, and more flexibility among programmable options are a real plus. Kudos to the very talented gentlemen at Vanatoo!
I’m a big Klipsch speaker fan and loved the Promedia 2.1 speakers paired with my desktop computer. However, after many years of heavy use, they finally gave out. A few years ago, I remembered listening to a review of the Transparent Zeros by Joshua Valour and began researching them further. The reviews I found are consistent. I purchased a pair and set them up, about 40 inches apart, on my desk and paired them with a Klipsch R-100SW on the floor. All I can say is WOW, the sound was pure magic right out of the box using the recommended setup instructions (which automatically set the crossover for the subwoofer). These speakers are small and fit perfectly on my office desk, but you’d never know they were so small from the full and crisp sound they provide! I have them connected to my desktop computer through my Topping D90/A90 combo, but sometimes I just use them via Bluetooth from my iPad. Whether just listening to music, watching video, or playing games, I couldn’t be happier with this purchase!
More than I ever expected.
I love music. I am not an audiophile. I just know when the music sounds like it should. I have a friend who spends a fortune on audio equipment, so I tapped him fo a recommendation for replacing my “old school” speakers with more compact ones. Without hesitating he mentioned VANATOO. When the box came I opened it and starting with the packaging I was impressed. The “quick-start” instructions couldn’t have been any easier to follow. I was up and listening in less than 10 minutes. The speakers are elegant and the sound blew me away: Rich, crisp room filling distinct and transporting. I am not an audiophile, I did not know what to expect, but I do know when it sounds right. I highly recommend these speakers to anyone who loves listening to music. They are perfect in every way.
Flat out AMAZING
I first came across these at the Axpona audio convention years ago. I was walking by the Vanatoo room and heard the clarity and sound bellowing out from the door. When I walked in I expected to see some large towers, but saw the Transparent Zero’s. I sat and listened for a while and was blown away. I got them for Christmas and they sound even better than I remember! These speakers sound far beyond what they are priced at and I would HIGHLY recommend them!
The Holy Grail of Desktop speakers
I searched the internet for the best desktop speakers. Something that was not too large for a true desktop application more in line with near field listening and found the typical recommended speakers to be of the bookshelf type that overpowered my setup and did not aesthetically fit my needs. Then I ran into a review of Vanatoo’s Transparent Zero speakers. I was blown away by the fact that the speakers are bi amped with a 48-watt dedicated amplifier for each 4-inch aluminum woofer and each 1-inch soft dome tweeter (who does that for a speaker under $400). I was ok with the price for all the features the unit comes packed with.
USB, Toslink Optical, and analog inputs
Full-featured remote control
Auto input switching
Volume, bass and treble controls
Subwoofer output with Autosense
Magnetically attached grills
Vanatoo isolation pads
30-day trial Return policy
The imaging, clarity and soundstage is unreal at any price point. I stream music from Tidal using Audirvana for the ability to take advantage of Hi-Res files. A sub is not required for most genres of music but when you get to listening to Hip Hop (80’s/90’s, Reggae, Dance Music (70’s/90’s), House Music (80’s/90’s) and Jazz (Traditional Jazz pre 1969, with some exceptions, Sorry Kenny G) A sub is a must in order to reproduce those lows that are must have. I have my T0’s connected via a OWC Thunderbolt 3 dock S/PDIF connected to the T0’s Toslink Optical going to a GoldenEar Forcefield 3 Sub comprising of One 8″ long-throw high-output bass driver and One 9″ x 11″ quadratic planar infrasonic radiator rated at 1000 watts (class D amp) with a frequency response of 18h Hz – 250 Hz connected to the LFE output. The speaker volume level is set between 2 and 3 o’clock which leaves me with tons of headroom in the sub that simply is not needed beyond this point but great to know that it is there in the event if I really want to go crazy. The match between the T0’s and the sub are a match made in Heaven. I feel that if I continue to tweak the placement of the speakers and play with a few settings I may be able to get a slightly better sound out of them but frankly the image is so centered to my dual monitor setup that there really is no need to do anything at all other than enjoy them as is. These speakers are enjoyable at all levels. I typically enjoy my music loud but often find myself listening at lower/moderate levels for some reason the soundstage is more enjoyable. When it comes to audio components, I know I’ve found the Holy Grail when I find myself listening to music and not listening to the equipment and that is the case with the T0’S. The only negative I have with Vanatoo is that I am limited to as high as 24bit/96KHz with the internal DAC and not able to bypass with an external DAC. I have a large collection of 24bit/192KHz music files that I would love to listen to in a nearfield setting but can’t due to this limitation.
If you are in the market for dedicated desktop speakers, look no further, take Vanatoo up on the 30-day trial period and see for yourself. I have not spent as little as $350 on many things in my 55 years, but this was THE BEST $350 spent thus far. I plan to do what you are supposed to do with great music and that is sit back, listen and enjoy.
Amazing sound and clarity in a small package.
I found the Transparent Zero speakers after looking around a bit on the internet. I was specifically looking for a smaller form factor speaker for a desk set up that did not sacrifice build or sound quality. After some deliberation (and reading of various audiophile reviews) I decided to order a pair.
And I was not disappointed. After some testing with my media, including lossless rips and vinyl, I was pleasantly surprised. The Transparent Zero speakers have a robust sound despite their size, and have clarity that I have never heard out of a speaker this size. Nothing sounds muddy here.
Feature wise, I appreciate the remote and the several options for connectivity (Bluetooth is very welcome!). One criticism I have is that the knob and VTB switch for utilizing the special functions is a little arcane to say the least, but this does not detract from the overall quality of use and listening experience these bring.
The Transparent 0 is a probably the widest staging speaker for the size - a desktop must..
I have been using the T0’s for more than a month now and I’m blown away every time I use it.
I previously used the Edifier S1000DB as my main speakers for my computer but it was just taking too much space on my desk and I wanted to use it for my tv and after doing a lot of online research I landed on Vanatoo which was an unknown company to me, but on the recommendations of Zeos and Jashua Valor I pulled the trigger and I don’t regret it a bit.
To be honest I had some unrealistic expectations when it came to the low end frequencies, as my S1000DB paired with the ifi Zen Dac had some really punchy bass even at relatively low volume, which I enjoyed while listening to some soundtracks which the T0s physically can’t do (but i am comparing it to a speaker 4 times the size of it to be fair) but what it delivers in the low end is a really tight and precise, and the fact that with the help of the passive radiator the bass shakes my desk giving the impression of a lower extension.
The mids and highs are clear and sharp and in no way fatiguing, the sound is very detailed and there is good separation in frequencies, and the separation of instruments is unreal for any speaker regardless of the size, especially when listening to Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles sound tracks.
Sound stage and depth, OMG I seriously am not exaggerating, for near field listening the T0’s have a sound stage (sounds from right to left) similar to open back headphones but also an amazing depth to the sound (front to back) which really places instruments in a 3D space and the stereo separation is very precise also, making this speaker amazing for gaming.
I’m not a huge audiophile but I have my share of headphones and speakers, and the closest thing I have to compare to is the Sennheiser/Drop PC38X, wide, detailed, pleasant. It is not as “crispy” as the DT990 pro, or as boomy as the Sr125e, but it lands in a nice middle ground between the two with an added depth to the sound.
– for placement make sure the speakers are not pointed directly at your ears, like 3-4 inches away from you ears, you will sacrifice a tiny bit of high end detail, but you will gain massively in sound stage.
– sound of the USB was great but I did perceive noticeable improvement in sound quality when paired with a dac, the Fiio E18 and Topping E30 gave a “cleaner” sound but I again preferred the Zen Dac for the truebass button to give an extra push in low frequencies when im listening at low volume (around 55-60 db)
Overall I give high praise and I look forward to what Vanatoo will come up with next.
Excellent products with exceptional customer service
I purchased a pair of the T-One Encores last October and was so impressed by the soundstage, imaging and versatility of the set I bought a pair of the T-Zeroes in November.
Both systems check all the boxes; clean crisp highs, great mid-range tonality & deep bass that you don’t really need a sub-woofer (unless you’re a bass-head). You can customize the treble and bass settings manually or with the remote control that comes with speakers.
Everything is well thought out & the fit and finish are impressive. They connect with Bluetooth, Toslink Optical, USB, Co-Ax & Analog.
Lastly, the T1-Es had a power issue so I contacted Customer Support. Gary emailed the next day with the following response “The T1E is our new flagship product, we’re proud of it, and we stand behind it.” He attached a pre-paid UPS label, I shipped the active speaker & had it back within a week.
How many Company President/CEOs do you know that would respond in person & so quickly? If you’re in the market for a terrific powered speaker system look no further than Vanatoo.
Major fan of the Transparent One Encore speakers, and the remote control handset too !
While most reviewers will be raving about the audio fidelity (and I agree with them) I most want to share how the speaker remote control handset is a really useful tool. This controller has those elastic material buttons which protrude (stick out) a long way so I’m egetting a great tactile feel.
With those buttons all I need is a light press and I’m getting a 100% reliable response.
I’ve given away two sets of speakers simply because they had those flat “membrane action” remote controls, where I would spend a few minutes trying to get the audio levels to change, and the buttons would engage only intermittently (fresh batteries, close to the unit or further away – no improvement).
The Vanatoo remote works from every angle, from every distance, and only requires a soft push. Loving it !
Very nicely made equipment: transparent one encore
Loved working with these guys and their helpfulness in making my purchase. Love using these as a combination desk/ living room speaker. Plenty of clear sound whether loud or quiet, and excellent host of features.
I am an audiophile used to stellar audio reproduction. I can honestly say the T0s defy logic. Put them up off the table or desk a few inches. The small iso acoustics stands are perfect. You don’t need anything else. Perfect stands for desktop. Set the T0s on flat, turn off the limiter, connect with toslink. Truly amazing performance will greet you. High end worthy sound in a near field mini monitor. Astonishing!
Outstanding service/support after the sale
I have several Vantoo speaker products and they have always performed flawlessly. So I was surprised when my T1E passive speaker quit working after I moved the speakers to a new location. I’m a pretty technical minded person, so I spend some time troubleshooting and wasn’t able to resolve. I emailed Vanatoo to ask for assistance in troubleshooting. Gary responded with the likely cause and provided an immediate solution. He sent me replacement parts in less than a week, which did fix the issue. I am absolutely thrilled! I can’t thank Vanatoo and Gary enough for this outstanding customer service. Did I tell you I purchased the T1E in January 2019 as part of the early shipment of the new design? WOW.
Truly excellent speakers and a fantastic company
I’ve bought two sets of the T1E’s now. They’re just fantastic. On the second set, I was late on ordering them for my wife’s birthday. I called the mainline and Rick answered the phone. I told him the situation and he promised to get my order out ASAP. I got a tracking number confirmation within 30 minutes of making that order and they arrived at my house a day early. Not many companies I can think of that give that level of service.
The speakers themselves are truly excellent. The clarity they offer, especially on vocal tracks is unmatched. I paired mine with subwoofer because, well, I like loud bassie music sometimes, and when turned up the sub really helps match the punch that the T1Es put out in the higher ranges. If you plan on using these for home theater applications, I would highly recommend a sub. But if not, the T1Es have very respectable bass on their own, and that might do it for you. Best advice is probably to just buy the speakers only first, see if that works for you, and then decide on sub.
Set up was an absolute cinch. The materials are clearly written and easy to understand.
I also REALLY like the remote control. Why? Because they made the volume button a different shape from every other button so it’s easy to find by touch when in the dark. Well done, Vanatoo. Well done.
Vanatoo T1E: a beautifully executed, well connected, convenient, ultra high value, everyman audiophile speaker system
I am blown away by these speakers, rather this all-in-one speaker system. I have spent the last many years hunting down components that offer the highest level of sound quality for the lowest cost, and the T1E system is the culmination of that effort.
The most expensive speaker system I have owned and listened to over a long period of time is: a PS Audio DSD DAC, PS Audio M700 Monoblock amps, KEF LS50 Meta speakers, with AudioQuest William Tell Zero speaker cables, AudioQuest Sky (v1) interconnects, an AudioQuest Niagara 1200 power filter, AudioQuest NRG-4 power cables, and IsoAcoustic isolators under everything, all fed by Roon over USB. Every one of these components are class leaders, represent the highest sound quality per dollar available (IMHO), and together present music in the most natural, balanced, and effortlessly detailed manner I have experienced. I am providing the details of this system so that you can understand the context of my thoughts and to act the baseline for my sonic comparisons.
The Vanatoo Transparent One Encore system, in my room, properly set up on IsoAcoustic isolators and fed by the AQ Niagara 1200 and a Mac mini running Roon (via USB with AQ Jitterbugs), consistently reminds me of the system detailed above. Over and over, well-known song after song, I keep mentally connecting these two systems. It’s akin to freshly experiencing a nostalgic smell, of something well-known from childhood. Your brain instantly links your present experience with those of the past and all the memories wash over you anew. In fact, the T1E gets so close to achieving the sound of the former system, I am selling all my other speaker components and keeping the T1Es. This is the highest review/recommendation/accolade I can personally provide.
To add to the sheer sonic prowess of this overachieving system, it also is highly compact, convenient, connected, and beautifully finished. It has 5 inputs: USB, coax, optical, 3.5mm analog, and bluetooth. It offers auto-switching among these inputs, for convenience I’ve never had with any other audiophile system. To top it all off, the speakers’ fit-n-finish is at home with the best components available at any price.
Most (every?) speakers and systems have downsides, and the T1Es are no exception. They won’t play uber loud and would not be appropriate for a large room. Their bass extension is commensurate with their cabinet size and won’t dig out the lowest lows, but neither will the KEF LS50 Metas. Also, They aren’t the last word in resolution, accepting up to 96/24 PCM signals, and downsampling everything to 48/24 for internal DSP functions. And speaking of bits, since they sound much better via bit-perfect playback, it’s unfortunate that Vanatoo doesn’t provide a Windows ASIO driver. So, you’ll have to find a third-party driver, or use a Mac instead (which offers bit-perfect playback natively).
Even with their limitations, the T1Es represent the absolute last word in value. I will be recommending them to every music lover and audiophile I know. Why? Because everyone I know CAN afford them and SHOULD own them if they love music. Why? Because they go so much farther down the audiophile rabbit hole than they have any right to, for their asking price. Also, they are so small and well-connected that they should easily fit into anyone’s space and lifestyle. And treated like the audiophile component that they are (with proper placement, isolation, source, and power), they provide a high level of musical enjoyment and refinement. They are THE ONLY all-in-one true audiophile speaker system available for everyone.
I had unrealistic expectations for what the Transparent Zero could sound like...
I am cheap. I like good value.
When I told an audio enthusiast friend I was interested in some of the more common desktop speakers they told me to check these out.
I thought to myself how good could they really be compared to the cheaper options?
I hemmed and hawed for weeks, but the 30-day return window finally put me over the edge. No real risk, right?
Well, I am utterly blown away. I have had them for several weeks now and am happily outside my return window. These things are unbelievably good.
Don’t really know what else to say.
Incredibly good value.
I don't know what to say, I love these speakers.
Like many others, I spend a lot of time at the computer. I listen to all different kinds of music from electronic to metal and I really do love my music. I had a pair of JBL Studio Monitors and they were taking up my entire desk, and I also needed an audio interface for them. I don’t like clutter, I’m a minimalist, so I went looking for something better and landed on these. The requirements were that they needed to sound the same, or better, and take up less space. Well, after a few days of use, I can confidently say these speakers are nothing short of incredible. It sounds like the area around you is filled with sound. Hard to explain. They don’t need a sub, but I want to see how good these sound with a sub, so I ordered one.
A toast to a good investment
Sniffing around the web last year for some serious desktop audio quality, it wasn’t long before I picked up the scent of the Transparent Zeros, because they are so widely praised by those who own them.
I began saving for them, sustained by that Vanatoo website photo of a cold glass of beer sweating in front of a PC desktop rig that includes a set of T0s. That photo got me through the winter.
After the pennies were saved, and the order was placed, and the speakers arrived, I set them up on my desk, poured a beer, placed it in front of my setup, and took a picture. I emailed it to Gary as a tip of the hat.
Then I drank my beer as I gave the T0s their first test drive.
It was worth the wait.
Soul, funk, jazz, classical, choral, bluegrass, sacred, even drum and bugle corps — my playlist is eclectic. From Tower of Power to the Penguin Café Orchestra to Pat Metheny to Union Station to The Chamber Choir of Europe to the Casper Troopers, these speakers open up detail that I had been missing in my favorite tracks. Among its many reviewers, much is made of the T0’s expansive soundstage and precise voicing location within it, and I’m here to add my +1. The sensation in the ears, even at higher volumes, is of easy power — not the familiar sensation of pressure boring into the brain. I have logged continuous hours of worktime listening without fatigue. Even the endless videoconference calls that now define our days are less exhausting.
When the Zooms are done for the day and I ask the T0s to stretch it out, they reach down and deliver the sub-bass pedal tones of the 1755 Silbermann pipe organ belting out Philip Glass’ “Mad Rush” (Mark Steinbach, Glass-Bach Dresden EP, 2021 Orange Mountain Music OMM0150). I can only imagine how a subwoofer would extend the depth — not that I felt I was missing anything. With a flurry of quick jabs they land the tight kick drum and bubbling bass line of The Preatures’ “Is This How You Feel?” All the joyful musical chaos of Snarky Puppy’s “Lingus” is articulated with precision. Each heartbreaking harmonic interval of Morten Lauridsen’s “O Magnum Mysterium” has its own life. The brass and sax of ToP’s “Squib Cakes” is punchy, bright and clear. The brass bell tones of the Troopers playing “Battle Hymn of the Republic” raise the hairs on my arms. I haven’t found anything I can’t throw at them, and they’re still playing in.
At the moment, the T0s are arranged on the desk as recommended by the manual, streaming Spotify through my PC at 320kb/s, and using the USB connection. I notice that the soundstage feels more 3-D, and the *chit-chit* of the hi-hat achieves an extra sparkle, depending on where I position my ears in relation to the speakers. As I lean in on the speakers, toward my PC monitor, these qualities of detail are enhanced. As I move away, back toward a normal sitting position, some of that crispness and spatial separation diminishes *slightly* into more of a blur. My aging ears are losing their grip on the higher frequencies, so this may have more to do with my equipment than with Vanatoo’s. I have been tinkering with the treble adjustment to compensate, and I suspect I have not yet found the perfect alignment of these speakers. The experimentation is part of the fun.
The build on T0s is top-notch; the quality of these units is as evident in the fingers as it is in the ears.
My recommendation: Save your pennies, then raise a glass to your new Transparent Zeros. Cheers.
Not easy to get them in Europe but well worth the effort.
I needed a paid of small speakers for my desk, mostly for when I make videos (trainings, tutorials, etc) and to listen to some music in between videoconferences. I didn’t want them to take too much space but I wanted them to sound decent, after having heard so many hollow-sounding cheapos. I didn’t want to have to deal with a subwoofer neither, I hate clutter. 🙂 As Vanatoo does not deliver to Europe I used a freight forwarding company (myus.com) and they did a good job. Be aware though that you will incur import taxes depending on your country and also additional costs if you have to send your units back. Rick at Vanatoo took the time to unpack my speakers and test them before shipping, just to make sure. Nice service!
So, the speakers themselves. They’re pretty hefty small units and connecting them is simple (I used USB). Vanatoo provides small damping foam pads to avoid vibrations and help keeping my Iroko desk scratch-free. Thanks! Out of the box they sounded quite muffled but nothing that the internal equaliser couldn’t fix and I suspect that a bit of run-in will help too. I set them up using my B&W CM6 S2 as reference, which was really unfair. But even though they won’t blow my hair away with bass (but still impressive given their size), they have a very good presence and the mids are very well defined. They really excel on vocal jazz and I just finished listening to a Leonard Cohen track and the best I can say is that I had the impression that Lenny was my coworker for three minutes.
Really very capable little units that won’t take over your desk and will provide a good quality soundtrack to my work days!
These T1Es might be the best speakers I've ever owned regardless of size
I bought a pair of Transparent One Encores a couple of weeks ago to replace a wife-approved sound bar/wireless sub combo that wasn’t remotely making it for me with music. I knew that size was going to be a concern for my home-fashion-conscious wife so I couldn’t go any bigger than the T1Es in our townhome’s living room. I was instantly floored by the fidelity, clarity and imaging of the Vanatoos. I simply can’t believe the bass definition and depth coming from such small speakers, even at background volumes. Songs such as Come Fly With Me by Holly Cole are absolutely stunning. I have seen her live and she has followed me back into my living room via these speakers. Everything is in perfect balance from top to bottom and there is no listener fatigue at any volume. I tried hooking up my Tannoy TS2.10 sub to the T1Es and while there was definitely more and deeper bass, I felt that the sub took away some of the magic from the Vanatoos. While I have owned many far larger and more expensive speakers over the decades, I have zero nostalgia for any of my previous systems. I thought from reading the reviews that the T1Es would be a no-brainer upgrade from my $900 (Canadian) sound bar but I just can’t believe the difference. I will be recommending these speakers to any friends looking for a sound bar or surround-sound alternative. I phoned Gary with a couple of questions and was super-impressed that he showed a genuine interest in chatting with me. Vanatoo is a 100 percent class act. Bravo!
Harkens back to my "audiophile days"...
I’ve had my Vanatoo Transparent Zero set for four days now and have spent the majority of each of those days at my computer desktop, constantly astonished at their audio quality and flexibility, in terms of getting their sound “dialed in”. The speakers are two-way and bi-amped, with a 48 watt dedicated amplifier for each 4 inch aluminum woofer and 1 inch soft dome tweeter.
Decades ago, I was an obsessive “audiophile” painstakingly assembling my system, growing more interested in constantly upgrading equipment, wires, cables, speaker stands and room placement etc rather than just enjoying the music. When life circumstances changed and I moved to a smaller home, I decided to sell all my stereo gear and start over. The starting over never really materialized except for a fairly recent foray into high quality headphones, headphone amplifier and external DAC. Deciding that I wanted to get some desktop speakers, fairly small in size but not wanting to spend a lot, I purchased and used some JBL 104s. Great little speakers but to me noticeably missing that “alive”, detailed and exciting quality.
Thru Google and YouTube searches, I learned about Vanatoo and their Transparent Zeros. I ordered a set and since their delivery and set-up, feel very much like I’m listening to “audiophile” quality sound, seemingly greatly surpassing their size and cost! I did have a subwoofer that I was using with my JBLs and although VERY satisfied with the Zeros by themselves, pairing them with the subwoofer produces audio quality magic! Whether fairly loud or comfortably soft, these are a constant revelation! Sitting at my desk listening, more often than not the Zeros seem to disappear. Highly detailed, everything seems to play awesomely through this “system”. I hadn’t heard air and breath around female voices on speaker playback in a long time. Can’t say enough good things about Vanatoo and their speakers. Universally very positive reviews, these are definitely a winner and certainly are reminiscent of my “audiophile” days, except that I now have no need to or desire to upgrade. Well done Vanatoo! Highly recommended!
Amazing, just buy them
I’ve had my T1 Encore’s for ..wow, almost 2 years now. Writing this review now because even after 2 years, just now when I started listening to them I was so impressed and pleased. Their sound is so tight, accurate, and detailed. The bass is very satisfying as well, even at low volumes – I’m amazed at the amount and depth of it that comes out of these little things. I use them both for desktop listening and to fill the room with music, and they excel at both. I also use them for movies with a computer/projector – in that application I use the bluetooth input and am happy to say there’s no lag. The amount of input options, and being self-contained (self amplified) makes these the best option for a wide variety of people. Really a home run, just wish the Vanatoo name was more well known so that more people could enjoy these. One suggestion would be to be able to adjust settings/programming via a simple phone app. The current programming technique is not ideal, but also not a big deal because you basically set it once and forget it.
I’ve had my Vanatoo T0s for a month. I have to say these things rock. So much awesome sound from a great form factor. I highly recommend. If you are looking for a versatile awesome sounding set of monitors in a neat form factor package, look here.
Highly versatile speaker system
As a not very wealthy lover of music, I’ve spent half my life listening to music with whatever I could afford (or was small enough to cart with me), which meant mostly headphones, of which I own some decent ones. Was not till a few years ago that I made the decision to try to build/purchase an actual speaker system of some sort, and like most ignorant people, read a lot of reviews and not nearly enough how to’s. Ended up with systems that were either too large for the room, or near field exclusive, nothing that met my needs. I’ve been fortunate to be able to resell some of the equipment and I finally managed to acquire a pair of Vanatoo t1e, and they are perfect for my needs, excelling at near field, yet still very good at filling my room (which is part computer room, workshop, library, game room).
Started with shelved dsp setting and just set on my desk with some pieces of angled foam, and then a set of 5 inch desktop stands, adjusting the dsp setting away from shelved, and then finally some 9 inch Soundrise stands. I’ve experimented with various positions, toe in, toe out, straight out, ended up with about 18 degrees of toe in set 4 feet apart for best near field and room filling sounds. I don’t own a subwoofer, so I was experiment that route, though I would never add one because of lack of bass, these put out some quality bass that can be felt across my room. I did test out the speakers with a dummy plug attached to sub out so I could test if the mids improved substantially like I have heard in other reviews, but hard to tell with the volume increase and with the bass cut out. Still its great to know I have that option if I ever acquire a quality subwoofer, though it certainly does not lack without, tested with some fairly bass heavy material.
As for what music these are good for, I would again apply the word versatile as the main adjective. With solid quality bass and precision treble, and a well programmed dsp, these have stood the test with what music I have available, mostly flac or straight from my teac cd player, I have listened to Sibelius, Stravinsky, Beethoven, Holst, and some Ravel, using performances I am most familiar with, they have been absolutely all that I could hope for. I switched to jazz, Grover Washington Jr, Vince Guaraldi, Coltrane, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, and Bill Evans, and found they are slightly too revealing for some of the poorly mastered cd’s that I have, but sounded stellar with the rest, though I would be the first to say that I have some old recordings of Bill Evans that are nearly unlistenable on almost any system, more’s the pity.
Changed gears to more modern sources, and while I again ran into some issues with some poorly mastered cd’s, as these speakers played whatever they were fed, I could still enjoy the bulk of my rock and roll collection, not going to mention all the names tested, but I have definitely spanned the bulk of a century at any rate, neglecting only content from the last decade or so. Even tried some metal, though again mastering of old/new metal is questionable, still had some good sounds, particularly opeth and tool.
Bass I tested with what bass laden content I have, which is Beastie Boys (very very good), Tron:legacy soundtrack, and some more milder compositions that were Cello heavy. These have no issues with bass, accurate to the content played, could really be cranked, if that is your thing, with the included, and highly functional, bass and treble adjustment knobs. Which I should more than mention, I’ve rarely found an eq supplied with any speaker that made much of a difference, but the ones on the Vanatoos were exceptional, if anything they were a little too aggressive, a small turn of the knob makes a huge difference, really allows a lot of adjustment.
I have a very limited selection of country music, and would be a poor judge of its accuracy, that goes for a lot of the music produced in the last couple of decades, though I try not to artificially limit myself based on preconceptions and am always on the lookout for something worthwhile. I’ve tried a few times to get into electronic music, but with how fast it has blossomed and no set route of distribution, I have found myself left behind and uncertain how to navigate to find quality examples. I’m sure someone else here can/have be a better judge for anyone reading these reviews looking for particulars.
One last note, I do like the auto source algorithm, at least for how I use them. I keep these off when not in use and rarely switch sources in the middle of a listening session, but turning them on and no matter what source I decide to use at that particular time, they are very quick to pick up on and they keep on it for the remainder of my session. Perfect for me, would not change a thing.
Going to cut this short, too much to do and so little time, thanks for a great product, hope to enjoy it for years to come.
Transparent One Encore Speakers - THERE IS NO MATCH!
I’ve owned numerous speakers, however, none with the combined versatility and sound of the Transparent One Encore speakers!
I recently purchased the brand new, Audioengine HD4 speakers. When my notebook was placed next to the powered speaker, a terrible feedback happened . I contacted support and their solution was to, …move them away from the power source 🙂 Also, no treble or bass settings on the HD4’s and the sound simply wasn’t great. These Encore’s on the other hand – all I can say is WOW! For approx. $150.00 more than the HD4’s and/or about the same price as the HD5’s, ….if you’re unsure, I would highly recommend to simply try them. I’ll wager a bet you won’t be returning them! Fantastic, small remote, excellent input options, Bluetooth has worked seamlessly, ….and again, the sound is amazing! I have a SONOS set-up in my living room, which I’ll now be retiring and replacing with another set of these speakers!! I couldn’t imagine the sound if you added a SUB! Way to go Vanatoo, keep up the great work!! BTW – what Audioengine has going for them is slick marketing and advertising – with an inferior product. If you picked it up a notch with your online presence (coming from someone who builds websites, i.e., your website is weak), ….you’d see Audioengine in your rear view mirror 🙂
On the Fence....JUST DO IT!!!
If you are on the Vanatoo website then you are not just the average consumer. I can’t speaking highly enough of these speakers! No idea why there is very little coverage or word of mouth on these bad boys!!! Amazing speakers. I have tried them all and I take great pride in what I spend my money on. They handle all types of music beautifully but my heart is with EDM and man do these babies shine. Adding a sub is not a necessity but at the same time I think adds more oomf at the bottom end. Just a cheap subwoofer is all you need unless you really wanna perfect that sound. I use them in my office and every day I am just blown away about how awesome they are. The sound is the most important aspect of a speaker but they do so much more. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!!
Transparent Zeros Worth Every Penny
The Transparent Zero slays. The fidelity and near-field coverage is incredible for such small speakers. As some interviews below said, I too spent a lot of time combing through audiophile reviews of desktop speakers – your only option to get great sound in a small package? The Transparent Zeros. Really glad I spent the money on these: you won’t regret it. They’re really well made. You can tell a lot of thought went into the entire package. I’d probably pair it with a sub at some point down the road if I wasn’t in an apartment, but I have other applications for that in the meantime. The perfect desktop speaker.
One of my best 2020 purchases
Like many of us I have spent most of 2020 working from home, as such I decided to upgrade my speaker setup. I spent many hours poring over various forums and subreddits before finding my way to these speakers (shout-out to r/budgetaudiophile for showing me the light). Before purchasing I corresponded with Gary about a subwoofer pairing and he was very helpful. After receiving the speakers I was immediately impressed. They have brought life to my daily grind, improving my tunes and even podcasts and TV shows. With the external sub they are more than loud enough for my small bedroom office, I have never turned them up more than half way. Beyond the amazing sound quality I love their adjustability and amount of inputs. I use all of them on a regular basis and rarely have to manually change them. The remote is also an awesome touch. My only slightly negative comment is that changing settings on the speakers themselves is kind of a learning curve but it’s not too bad with the supplied documentation. Overall, I can’t recommend the speakers highly enough, hopefully I’ll have a space large enough to justify their big brothers some day! Also, don’t be afraid of the refurbished models, I have encountered no issues with mine.
Best $500 audio speaker I have ever heard.
I found these giant killer(Transparent One) speakers at the Washington DC audio show. I am an audiophile, my systems include Klipschhorns,Mcintosh,Parasound,Quad Z4 and others.
During the audition I kept thinking I must have been drugged as I couldn’t believe the sound coming from the little things. The production was still several months away but I quickly purchased two pair. I carry one pair around like a puppy just to blow my other audiophile friends 3 to 5 k systems away. If you only have 500 bucks, this system is the biggest bang
for the buck I have found. Gary and Rick, Keep up the great work.
T0 - Desktop Endgame
I can’t assume everyone falls into the same trap as me, but I would think some do. For me, when I buy some new speakers or headphones, I am left wondering, “what would have happened if I spent just a little bit more money?” Often I would wait a year or two until the itch becomes so great and I break down and buy said incremental upgrade hoping to find that perfect setup. Long story short, I think with the T0, there just isn’t anything better for desktop listening.
I have had my T0 for about 6 months now. I have them paired with a Paradigm Seismic 10. I do everything on my computer from games to music to TV. While 90% of their use is near field, I do also play them louder to fill my whole basement so I can workout to some music. I can’t give some fancy audiophile jargon filled rant, but I will say that these things are very accurate and detailed. When I first set them up, I thought something sounds off. I looked closer at them and notice one speaker was angled just a couple of degrees more than the other.. and my ears knew it before my eyes did. I like bass (but not obscene amounts), and while these things are decent for their size, I think they need sub. God, they sound so much better with a sub. The transitions from high to mid to low and hand-off to the sub is seamless. I don’t think I have heard anything as seamless. Everything sounds right..
Anyways, I am quite satisfied that I have acquired an endgame setup. There is simply nothing better for desktop, near field listening for anything close to this price (and size). At least I am not aware of anything better. The personal sales support from the top guys at Vanatoo make these a hidden gem I wish I found years ago. If only I could skip the incrementalism and went straight with the T0, I would have saved so much money and never wondered if I could do better.
T0s on my desktop
Right to the point, these speakers are really quite nice in a smaller room. The sound is clean, detailed, and has reasonable bass, but to me the key to getting the most out of these speakers is this….. I added a reasonably priced Polk PSW111 8″ sub which easily plugs right into the Vanatoos and WOW!, this system is absolutely outstanding! Amazing for the small size! I am particular about my sound and it is such a sonic pleasure to listen to music in my office with these gems. You don’t need a 10″ or 12″ sub. In fact, that may be overkill and could create unbalanced sound. Just get a nice 8″ sub and the whole system explodes with deep clean sound. Also great to have a bluetooth option, simplicity of installation, and numerous options for both hook up and fine tuning bass, treble, etc. Damn satisfied! I did a great deal of research before purchasing and this was my choice. What I don’t understand is why these speakers are not on every “best of” list. I have owned some decent desktop speakers but these are clearly the best and a pleasure to use. Owned since Christmas 2019.
Thank you to the developers of this amazing product 1000 times over
One of the most quality purchases I’ve made and one of the most helpful companies that I have made communication with
Standalone speakers were more than enough to bring great sound to my work station, but I added a sub for more base. Truth be told, the speakers and sub became overkill for my needs, so in retrospect, I would not have purchased the sub. I opt to keep the sub now that I have it because I do get the added pleasure of getting more highs out of my t0s
My Transparent Zero,s replaced my MMG's AND my Elac tower speakers . ( yes really! )
Truthfully, when I first bought my Zero’s, I didn’t think they were a big improvement over my old 2.1 Altec Lansing system (with an external Opp headphone AMP/DAC …..used as DAC only) system on my computer. Probably because of my built in corner desk location in my small kitchen / living room.
This was my original reason for this purchase. So depending on set up, your sound experience could vary.
Ok …..so now what???
My living room was set up with a Huge Emotiva 80 pound amp driving two Magnapan MMG’, and a 10 inch Emotiva sub. The MMG’s were eventually replaced with Elac tower speakers. For reasons unclear, probably because of my 12×20 room/s size, they never seemed to sound as good as my expectations.
Flash forward, and these Zero’s are on speaker stands,paired with my older Emotiva sub. The resulting combination…Heavenly !!!
Listen all day…no fatigue. (Spotify , wireless to chrome cast audio > 3.5 optical in.)
And, plugged into my TV head phone jack out to the analog in on the Zeros, it sounds great for movies and TV. (really)
I will say though, a proper sub, adds SIGNIFICANTLY to the musical experience of these speakers.
No more amp….No more pre-amp ….No more cd player….No more squeeze box….No more cluster of wires….. Not missed
Rugged?? I had my Zero’s a year plus before moving to the Philippines. Packed in a u haul box, these speakers made a long hike across the ocean on a container ship. The box arriving ,looking like 12 rounds with Mike Tyson.
Now plugged into 220 volts (no converter needed) and, as I write this , playing beautifully here for more than a year 🙂
After nearly a year still great and a tip
I’ve had my Vanatoo Transparent One’s for about a year now and I still love them. Over the past year Vanatoo updated the driver software and it definitely improved the mid-range. They are always available by phone and are über helpful. At their price I think it would be hard to find anything better especially if you want bass extension.
I’d like to mention two tweaks. 1) I got the isoAcoustics stands which improved the sound. 2) I first tried with USB but had a Peactree X1 USB to SPdif converter. I do think there was a clear improvement using SPDIF through a coaxial connection. The peachtree converter broke and I was able to buy the inexpensive DOUK Audio “U2” USB to SPDIF converter which has an XMOS ship to decrease USB flutter and this works great to improve the sound over direct USB connection.
Transparent Zeros are Great Speakers
These speakers sound great, especially for their size, and are a pleasure to listen to music through.
Great for video conferences and virtual meetings, nice for streaming music, too.
As the usual conferences and meetings I had were changed from in-person to virtual, I needed computer speakers that had good intelligibility. The Vanatoo Zeros fit the bill. I had heard them at an audio show a couple of years back and was impressed with their sound for their small size. They’re easy to set up. I prefer using the Toslink connection. I recommend the Amazon Basics as inexpensive and works well. Sounds good for streaming music, a nice bonus. I left them at the initial, default settings. Easy to adjust with the remote or manually. Only annoyance is as they reactivate, there’s a very slight “popping” sound. Easy to eliminate by leaving them activated all the time, but I decided to save a bit of power and live with it. Another potential annoyance, if in a bedroom, is the bright blue light on the back. Again, adjustable and can turn off, if one wishes. In an office environment, the blue light is a reminder that the speakers are on. The bass goes deeper than one usually hears in a speaker of this size, so the small pads underneath are necessary so they don’t move around! I also bought the matching stands. Using as computer speakers, it turned out to be unnecessary. For this application, they angle up towards the listener’s ears. The handle at the back makes moving them simple. Having the external volume control also on the back of the speaker was initially off putting, then easy to reach by feel after a few uses, also nice aesthetically. The magnetically attached grills are a nice touch. All, in all, a worthwhile purchase during the pandemic and a pleasant surprise in audio quality in small powered speakers.
A diamon in the rough
It is so nice to see that there are still companies out there putting love into their products. My Vanatoo speakers blow my mind every time I turn them on.
Saaaay, anybody seen my cat?
I’ve really been enjoying these speakers. Overall, they sound extremely good. I doubt you can beat them at this price point. The speakers excel at bass response, big soundstage and clean volume. When I see a passive radiator I assume the bass is going to be muddy but these have a really clean distinctive bass response. The passive radiators mostly seem to enlarge the soundstage explaining why a lot of reviews mention that these speakers sound bigger than they look. Sound volume is really clean; no clipping when you crank these up. I’ll also mention that every detail of these speakers has been thought out to the gnat’s ass, from the packaging to all the included cables and allen wrench for the handles to the way the speaker covers attach (magnets! who’dathunk?) to the programming functions. And what a nice feel to the remote. Where’d they find that thing? So back to gear and sound, a few years back I’m in Hawthorne Stereo (great shop) sitting on the couch in the high end listening room waiting to test drive some speakers when the guy in front of me put’s an old jazz album on the Rega turntable hooked up to about $15K worth of Naim gear. We’re all nodding and murmuring in hushed tones but I’m thinking, wow, that really sounds like crap, nothing but bass. What we got here is a bad case of inappropriate gear, that album was mixed to be played on one of those all-in-one RCA phonograph cabinets. Led Zep? How about a stack of JBLs and maybe an old Kenwood. Today’s streaming services played from an app? Try these.
So much coming from so little?
In a way, I’m misusing the T0’s but they perform perfectly nevertheless: I’m presenting a video at meetings of our conservancy and decided to look for something that could produce a big sound from a relatively small box that I could lug around portably and the Vanatoo’s came to the rescue! My only complaint is that the various adjustments are rather byzantine in their complexity. I know there isn’t a lot of real estate on the back panel to do this more obviously, but perhaps you can design a smartphone app that will make this simpler.
Hours and hours of great listening
A loudspeaker has to been really good for me to listen for hours on end, day after day. My new T1Es have passed that test with ease, after a month of daily use. I’ve been involved with audiophile systems since the 1950’s and have lived with many great systems and listened to many others at audio shows and dealers. The T1Es are very musical, reveal lots of subtle details, and have at times startled me with what sounded like something was happening in my room. Yes, for a LOT more money a person with a discerning ear could say the reproduction is even better, particularly if your room is really large and you like to listen at high volumes, but even then adding a good subwoofer might be enough to keep you happy. Kudos to Rick Kernen and Gary Gesellchen for fine ears to assess it all and the engineering and product delivery chops to make it happen.
I didn't know this level was possible on a desk
So even going in with high expectations I’m beyond happy with the T0. Sonically they are doing things I didn’t think possible on a desk. I am hearing width, depth, articulation, everything. My normal favorite sound qualities from vandersteen/thiel is coherency and from tekton enzo 2.7 is the immediacy. The T0 gives me gobs of both of those.
The Vanatoo approach is so good Im kind of questioning my audio hobby approach in other rooms because “lab matched” driver/x-over/DSP/amp achieves so much more per dollar . 🙂
Surpassed High Expectations
I had high expectations for these speakers, based on reviews, and those expectations have been surpassed; the speakers are incredible. I have owned studio monitors from some very high end brands and I can genuinely say that these Vanatoo speakers perform better than speakers costing twice as much. I will be recommending these speakers to everyone I can, because this company really deserves to flourish.
Just what I was looking for
I used to have – and love – Apogee Calipers, ribbon speakers with an amazing presence. Those days are long ago, and I was looking for a transparent sound with great imaging without dedicating my life and living room to speakers, amp, pre-amp, and cables. I did a lot of research, and it seemed like these would fit the bill. (And the 30-day guarantee didn’t hurt.) I was thrilled from the moment I heard the beginning notes of my audio test recording (Frederica von Stade singing “Una voce poco fa” from Mozart and Rossini Arias on Philips). I could hear the breath; everyone was in the proper place, spread out in front of me. I followed that up with Mel Torme singing “Too Close for Comfort” (Verve Compact Jazz), and it was just as good. And that was cold, out of the box. They have only improved with time, and my listening experience is so much more enjoyable now.
I had some questions as I was considering the purchase and called Vanatoo. Rick returned my calls and was very patient with me and extremely helpful.
I’m so happy that I purchased these! Thank you, Vanatoo.
(These are sitting on IsoAcoustics ISO 155 stands, set up on my desktop, with backs exposed to the room.)
Just buy them
I spent A LOT of time looking for powered speakers to go in my office. I needed a smaller speaker and looked at companies like Kanto and Audioengine before seeing that Vanatoo kept showing up in comments (Reddit mostly). I went with the T0 and have since tested them out at my desk, for my tv, and paired with a turntable. They’re amazing. Seriously. I hope someone reads this and it ends their search because for the size of these speakers you’re not going to do better anywhere. Sound quality aside, you can tell they have put a lot of thought into these with the little things like the remote, magnetic grills, etc.
These speakers are for real, and the guys that make them are super cool
I could not be happier with the Vanatoo t0s. These speakers punch way above their price point, and I’d say they are the best value for your money when it comes to bookshelf speakers. I would not say I am an audiophile, but to my ears, these speakers sound incredible. My dad has a pair of B&W 700s, and while maybe not at the same level, the t0’s get pretty close(especially when paired with a good sub). Additionally, you can tell that Rick and Gary put a lot of hard work and love into these things. The attention to detail for even the smallest facets of this unit is top notch. I don’t think I’ve ever seen included functionality that allows you to adjust the blue-tooth light brightness on any speaker. These things are easy to set up, versatile, and in my opinion look pretty badass. If you are in the market for a new set of bookshelf speakers, I highly recommend these.
Best purchase of recent years
You know, in our world of excessive consumption, we often times regret our purchases, looking back. Perhaps it seemed right at the time, it was enticing, it was new. You wanted it. But once the shine wears off, all you’re left with is a piece of plastic and a hole in your pocket. I really didn’t want to fall into this trap, and so I made sure to do a very thorough research before I purchased a set of powered speakers. And let me tell you something…
I’m so glad I did. My purchase of Vanatoo’s T1E is honestly the best decision I’ve made recently. I believe it’s been around a year since I got them, and the amount of joy they have brought into my apartment is infinite. I never felt a sliver of regret.
They’re very easy to handle, look beautiful and have an excellent sound quality to them. My classic trance playlist is done full justice by these speakers. Only thing that slightly bothers me is the blue light on the back of the left speaker that beams a little too bright.
All in all, simply a masterpiece.
Response from Vanatoo
Thank you for the kind words. It makes us happy that you are not feeling any amount of buyer’s remorse. We hope that is the case for all our customers.
By the way, that blue light that you feel is too bright? Do you know that you can adjust the brightness? Just hold the Pair-Prog button on the back panel down for 5 full seconds. Then while keeping the button depressed turn the volume knob which will then adjust the blue LED brightness. You can adjust the brightness all the way down to off if you wish.
How will I get any work done today?
I just spent the last hour setting up my Vanatoo’s perfectly around my desktop. Now I’ve got a BB King Mastered Album playing through Tidal and my hands and keyboard are shaking with excitement and bass. Oh my gosh, how will I get any work done today? I can’t stop smiling, my face is feeling the sound as much as my ears. It’s so deep and crisp. Having listened to my internal speakers for the last 4 years, this is an incredible upgrade and experience.
Very impressive small speaker, and equally impressive company
I purchased the Vanatoo Transparent Zero’s (T0s from here on) for use on my computer desk as near field monitors connected to my RODECaster Pro mixing unit. I had researched Audio Engine, Edifer, Kanto and other options for active speakers. Reviews on YouTube and in writing were highly positive about the T0s, so I took a chance and placed an order for set sight (and sound) unseen. First, I was incredibly surprised when I received an email from one of the company founders thanking me for the order, very impressive, and appreciated. Second, when the shipment arrived the packaging was first rate. A heavy duty exterior brown cardboard box, inside the outer box was a white cardboard box with a carrying handle, and the Vanatoo logo, contents identification and serial number of the contents placed on the outside of the white box. Inside the white carton was form fitting foam protection, with cutouts on top of the foam right under the lid of the white carton for holding a plethora of interface cables, the quick start guide, a small Allen wrench to remove the screws securing the handle on each speaker (so as to allow moving the handle to the opposite side if desired for mounting/desktop usage with the front of the speaker aimed directly at the listener). The power supply and power cord, and two foam vibration dampening pads for under the speakers when placed directly on your desktop finish out the accessories. Under the top foam piece are the speakers, firmly nestled in form fitting cutouts in the foam insert, each speaker was double wrapped, first in a clear plastic bag, then in a thicker white protective bag. The magnetically attached speaker grills are also in this section of the packaging.
The speakers are very solid, surprisingly hefty for the very small size. I used the analog 3.5mm input to connect to my RODECaster Pro monitor out via a dual TRS ¼” to TRRS 3.5mm plug cable, hooked up the interconnect cable between speakers, and the power supply, and immediately had audio from the monitor outputs on the RODECaster Pro. The sound was very full, a surprising amount of bass for such a small speaker, and more volume than I can imagine anyone needing in a near field desktop scenario. I fired up a Phil Collins concert from the web and the sound was very impressive. Articulation was very good, voices were clear, instruments were full bodied and easily identifiable in the mix. In the near field, with the speakers aimed appropriately at my seating location the center was rock solid, the sound seems to be coming right out of the monitor, not from the speakers to the side of the monitor. I then watched the opening minutes of “Den of Thieves” on Netflix at my desktop location. The opening scene of attacking the armored vehicle had a very broad sound field, sirens of approaching police cars were far to the left of the actual speaker, dialog was rock solid in the phantom center channel, reverberation in the space the truck was taken to was all around the desk, extremely good performance for such a small set of speakers. First impression was very good.
Next I moved the T0s to my family room/kitchen area and connected them to my 65″ LG OLED TV via the fiber optic connection (after I first flipped the plastic handles to the opposite side so as to have the face of the speakers aimed directly at the seating location, with the tweeter and passive radiator at the top of the speaker). My first test was watching the Loreena McKennitt “Nights from the Alhambra” concert DVD on the 2 channel PCM audio option. This concert has a large number of different, and very unique stringed instruments, and the T0s did an amazing job of delineating the tones and characteristics of each of the different instruments, it was easy to distinguish the individual instruments. Next I tried a movie via my AppleTV 4k (HDMI to the TV, then still the fiber optic cable from the TV to the T0s). All of the various sounds made as I navigated the menus and selected a movie to watch were heard, but as soon as the movie started no sound at all! I checked that everything was still hooked up, went back to the DVD and had sound, hmmm. After scratching my head a bit, I thought about the audio settings in the AppleTV 4K, I checked and the AppleTV 4K was set to Dolby Atmos, I changed the output format to two channel stereo only and restarted the movie and had full audio (moral of this story is that the speakers internal decoder for the bit stream from the TV via the fiber optic cable was unable to make sense of the multichannel feed for the Dolby Atmos mix, which is totally reasonable for what is obviously only a stereo pair of speakers).
My normal TV setup is a Sonos Playbase, with the Sonos Sub, and two Play1 speakers for the rear channels. I have been thinking about needing a change as I find it difficult at times to hear nuances in the sound track of a complex movie, voices often times buried in the mix, and many times closed captioning indicate that something like a doorbell rang, but I was never hearing it (in fact closed captioning is turned on partly due to the difficulty in hearing low volume voices and effects in the mix coming out of the Sonos Playbase). With the T0s the sound was very intelligible, all the small background sounds were present, doorbells, items dropping on the floor, etc. I never saw a closed caption comment about some background sound that I did not actually hear. Panning sounds from left to right were well placed. The impact of things like bullet shots was well defined. Again, for no subwoofer at all, and the diminutive size of the speakers the bass was surprising good, certainly not gut busting, wall shaking bass from a full on subwoofer, but very impressive and usable. The room my TV is in is a quite large space, and the listening chairs are about 6 feet away from the TV. The T0s were able to play as loud as we wanted to listen with no sense of stress (to be fair we were not listening at lease shattering levels, but at volumes that were more than loud enough, certainly not at THX reference level, but for an average home and circumstance more than loud enough and I never attempted to see what the maximum volume was, it was satisfying loud enough below maximum). The one shortcoming was that with the speakers much further apart (on each side of a 65″ TV) and given the locations of our seats the listener is biased more towards one of the speakers, rather than in the dead center as was the case at my desk in my initial listening. In the setup with my TV there is a loss of the strong center focus, making sounds that clearly were mixed to be center focused appear to be coming from the speaker closest to the listener. I suspect this is partially due to the speaker being likely intended for use as a near field speaker, rather than a far field speaker, at 6 plus feet from the speaker I was certainly not in a near field situation and again to be fair, my listening location geometry is not optimal for two speakers, especially this small, to try and create a strong phantom center channel. But what was clear is just how much we are missing with the Sonos Playbase system (even having tuned the room with the True Tuning function in the Sonos app). I will certainly need to make a change to the system being used with the TV, the day of using the T0s connected to the TV, even without a strong phantom center channel, killed the Sonos Playbase listening experience.
I put the T0s back on my computer desk and have to say I am very impressed. Certainly these are not $2000 KEF LS50 Wireless equivalents, but for the cost of the T0s, and the size of each speaker, the sound is most impressive. Add in the remote control, the myriad of input options, the flexibility in mounting and changing the angle of the face of the speaker versus the listening position by moving the plastic handles to the opposite of the speaker and this is an incredible bargain of an active powered speaker system. And clearly, I need to make a change in my primary TV audio setup! Add in that Vanatoo is based in the Seattle, WA area, as am I, and I am very pleased with my decision to purchase these.
All in all, very pleased and I would recommend these to anyone looking for a physically small, but powerful, highly flexible input options and mounting options, and amazingly affordable set of speakers.
Outstanding desktop speakers for music
As a longtime audiophile I was a little skeptical about ordering the Transparent One Encore without having listened to them before. I decided to trust the positive reviews and the 30 day money back guarantee offered by Vanatoo, and give them a try. Right from the start I could tell that this company was first rate: Ordering process, email communication and timely shipment went smoothly (in the middle of COVID 19 lockdown).
I got these speakers primarily for near-field music listening on my desk, in my second home. I‘ll just go out and say I couldn’t have made a better choice. Attention to every detail has been placed in designing this product. They look great, they are easy to operate, and above all sound transparent and true to the music, specially when connecting to the USB digital input from my laptop. It’s not even been a month yet but I have spend endless hours enjoying all kinds of music on these special little music makers.
Keep up the good work!
Great Speakers connected to Computer
When buying electornic gear it is quite important to clearly think through what you are trying to accomplish.
I currently spend much of the day at home working at a desktop computer. I listen to classical music almost all the time while working, essentially all of it streamed (Idagio, WQXR, Berlin Philharmonic Digital Concert Hall, Met Opera On Demand) The computer speakers and quite old powered speakers attached throught the headphone port where clearly inadequate. The desk where I am working is in an open area, open but not a great acoustic enviroment.
I have a moderately high end home theatre with excellent electronics and speakers in excellent acoustic environment. However, this is not where I spend my time working and I am not about to try to duplicate this.
So, I needed good speakers to sit beside a computer while working. I decided to look for a pair of powered speakers with a built-in DAC. After spending much time on reviews, I choose the Vanatoo Transparent Zero. Great choice for this application. They fit well on the desktop and look great. Wonderful detailed sound, good base and high end. I have put it through its paces with favorite arias (e.g. Catalani, Ebben? Ne andrò lontana, Callas, 1954 recording), keyboard music (e.g. Brahms Intermizzi op. 117 #1, Radu Lupu 1970 recording) , music with a lot of bass (e.g. Bach Tocatta and Fugue in D Minor). I was pleased with all. For my application I do not see the need for an additional subwoofer.
Overall a great purchase and great value.
Could not be happier with my decision
I was looking for a set of powered speakers for my new computer room and did not want typical low cost and trivial computer speakers. I was searching to fill my bedroom size computer suite with near audiophile quality sound without high end cost. I have a very satisfying audio system in my study and still wanted sound I wouldn’t grow tired of for music and watching movies as well as YouTube lectures and quality documentaries. I searched the net and read and watched many reviews eventually taking the plunge for the Transparency T 0. Of course one takes a risk since watching a review can no way represent the sound live. Unboxing immediately impressed me with the speakers apparent finish quality and how it complimented my computer environment. My computer output supported Toslink optical cable and the whole system was ready in 5 minutes. Searched Youtube for some audiophile music and BAM I was blown away from the start. My room was filled with extremely pleasing high and mid-range and the surprisingly concise bass from 4 inch aluminum speakers. From the start, before listening, I was considering adding a sub-woofer which the T0’s support. After 4 months of use, I feel no need to do so since I’m consistently pleased with the bass performance. For my use the Vanatoo T0 speaker system has fulfilled my acoustic needs beyond expectations with high quality sound, a range of controls options and Bluetooth that should fulfill anyone’s needs including a quality remote control and 3 year warranty. I’m sitting here very content.
These speakers are so good. I really am in awe. The sound quality is extraordinary and the ease of use and wide range of connections makes them super versatile. Very happy with this purchase.
So much Dynamic, virtually no back ground noise ... amazing
I’m not an audiophile but like getting good sound. I before had a SA 1550 column speaker and NAD3020 + DAC Hi Fidelity + Tidal.
I get tired of those system that need a minimum volume to get all sound out even if they are very good when out. I use it for near field listening on my desk but have tried on living room it fill the room pretty good with Quality sound. With Just this Speaker using USB or BT I havent really felt any quality loss. it streamline the entrire sound quality and as a result I’m now listing at much less volume and the details is just good. i listen Classic for Working and Cool Electro house to chill out and all sound texture is so well rended / highligted all sound work / mix is very well rended. I really enjoy.
I start to be anoyed by previously unoticed noise like AC starting or LAptop fan starting since you have such low back ground noise you really enjoy the dynamique. focus on pianissimo part then get the amplitude of a forte surprising you.
Dont know what to say if not supporting those people dedicated and driven by passion of sound. their 30 days listing is as well a commitment and trust in their product.
As my first “audiophile” speakers these little speakers blew me away with what they can do. The amount of low-end they can produce is crazy. Highs are crisp and vocals are Cristal clear. I have never experienced imaging this good outside of headphones. They get really loud with no distortion. I’m 100% happy with my purchase.
I have never owned speakers that sounded this good before.
I am writing this review because I think you will be hard pressed to find another set of powered monitors that are this good at this price point. I am not going to sit here and spout to you what I think of the treble, mid range, and bass, there are enough people doing that. No, I am here to say that these just sound good. My previous setup consisted of some giant kenwood tower speakers that I found at goodwill for 50 bucks and an old sansui receiver that a buddy gave me and these blow those out of the water while taking a fraction of the space. As someone who is normally budget oriented I am so happy I decided to spend just a little bit more and pick up these beauties and I hope you do too.
Also… I got these delivered to me about 2 days after I ordered them even during the quarantine in Washington, definitely a big plus!
Just Had to Add Another Blue Note
Holy cow! I thought the Vanatoo T1Es were great for blues that I normally listen to. I was wrong. They are even better for jazz. I’m listening to Miles Davis and Miles is in the center, some kind of high-pitched drum is on the right, and a softer wind instrument is on my left. I’ve NEVER heard such instrument separation before and I feel guilty at the pleasure. How do the speakers manage to place the center image so precisely between the speakers emanating from my PC screen where there is nothin?!
Straight out of the box, they sound better than any speakers I've had.
Beginnings of a Vanatoo T1E review.
The box is really neat, did not have to be cut or destroyed so it can be used indefinitely to store or move the speakers and comes with a carrying handle built-in so can be easily carried. Very smart engineering.
Each speaker double wrapped in soft cloth-like paper as well as plastic. Love the cherry wood (not vinyl but real wood). Looks very expensive. Don’t tell Gary but after seeing them, I would have paid $1599 and not $599 for them. Might I say looks just like the expensive PSB cherry models.
Straight out of the box, they sound better than any speakers I’ve had. This is with factory bass/treble and all other factory settings. I haven’t attached the little isolation pads or purchased Isoacoustic stands, nor played with toe in.
The speakers are 4-5′ apart on a desk, 1-1.5′ from front wall, and 5′ from side walls. I’m about 3′ from each speaker and I pointed them straight at me. Connected by USB out from my PC.
As far as I can tell, toe in doesn’t make a difference when I altered it hugely, which is a good thing. I mean the sweet spot is huge and there seems to be no bad way to point them. The bass is very good–gives a lot of presence to the music that I was not getting earlier. Painful lead guitar blues is not painful/fatiguing but very pleasing. How do they do that? Vocals are very very good and centered. My desk gives very pleasing vibrations to my finger from the music as I type.
Sound is natural, not processed. All this is with my hearing aids off. I guess it’ll blow me out of the water with them on but I’m just testing slowly for now.
The official pictures on Vanatoo’s website are very bad and misleading compared to how beautiful the speakers are in person. Which amateur took these pics, guys? Why is the beautiful black baffle photographed so poorly on your website. I almost didn’t buy the T1E due to these pics and expected to have to keep the grills on all the time. I haven’t unpacked the grills yet and don’t intend to!
destroys other small powered speakers
I just received the Vanatoo t one encores and couldn’t be happier. I’ve had for the last three years the JBL ls305’s and in my living room they sounded ok. I couldn’t put them where they really needed to be. In the open about three feet from any wall they sound great. But I had them in a entertainment cabinet on the ground even though they’re rear ported. Needless to say they sounded boomy in that spot. Also had them connected to a powered homemade subwoofer but the mix never sounded quite right. Fast forward to last Saturday when the Vanatoo’s arrived. same exact position same subwoofer without changing any of the optional settings. HOLY COW! literally they sound amazing. Our living room is 25ft long and 14 feet wide with very high ceilings and just using Bluetooth sounds amazing. Thanks so much for the great product, couldn’t be happier to be honest.
I e-mailed the general support address for Vanatoo and the CEO replied with all the info I needed in less than 5 min. Twice.
I e-mailed the general support address for Vanatoo and the CEO replied with all the info I needed in less than 5 min. Twice.
Vanatoo Transparent Zero - Voodoo Magic
Use Area – I have a computer desk with PC monitor/keyboard in the middle and a small TV at the back and right corner. And just to the left and right of my cluttered desk, I have a pair of floor standing loudspeakers that tower 12” above the height of the desk. They probably shouldn’t be there, as they are only used as stands for a lamp and various odds and ends… room is too small (11×13) to be used as they are intended.
Setup – So, I place the T Zeros at each end of said cluttered desk, about 12” from the front of desk and 18” from the back of desk/wall. They are perched on top of 9” high yoga blocks about 42” apart, toed-in and tweeters at ear level. The result is amazing… sound isn’t coming from THEM, but rather from the CENTER of said cluttered desk. How can this be?
Aside – Okay, so I occasionally visit my eastern-influenced chiropractor (acupuncture/gentle chiropractic). I have often referred to her as my Voodoo doctor, as her methods are mysterious but yet very effective and quite magical. Yes, it is mysteriously effective and magical that these small speakers can be so accurate in bass, midrange, and highs… with sound stage, imaging, and volume that is astonishing.
Gentlemen, you have created some kind of Voodoo with the Transparent Zero… and I thank you!
Example track evaluations –
– America Holiday album, the clarity and sound separation of Hollywood is amazing. Analog from turntable sounds great.
– The acoustics from Nils Lofgren Acoustic Live album, Keith Don’t Go… is absolute ear ecstasy.
– Billie Eilish COPYCAT… even with speakers on EVA foam blocks, Bass is powerful and vibrating the desktop surface.
– The Morricone Duel, is like sitting front and center in the balcony. Add visual Blu-Ray DVD with optical TOSLINK connection, Wow!
– Helen Merrill whispering up close in the microphone? Yes, she is right there in front of me.
So “What’s New”? A re-awakened appreciation of all types of music. Thank you Team Vanatoo
Just Wow! Thank-you
Let me start with the visual after taking them out of the very well engineered shipping box.
They are a beautiful, a beautiful, oh just such a beautiful speaker to hold in hand feel the quality of the silky black finish. Substantial denseness, weight yet not in your face large.
Solid craftsmanship, and just a beautiful speaker to look at. Did I say beautiful enough. Nice job lads!
The set-up and connections are professional, and easy to get going.
I hesitated buying online, I must admit, but these are professional speakers from start to finish. NOT BIG BOX!
Now my set up is either side of two screen monitors and elevated off the desk by some home made 3″ risers
Now to the sound!
I have never listened to more precisely re-produced sound from any set of speakers of any size that I have owned in my 55 years of listening.
I sit here typing listening to So Far Away – Straits and Ain’t no sunshine – Whithers my stress melts away and I get shivers listening to the reproduction quality & accuracy of the snare, the electric guitar, bass, piano and violins.
They could be behind my monitors- so real.
Summary, just get them, you will be so happy you did.
Had many, many a speaker in my day, but these are keepers.
Thanks Guys for these wonderful speakers.
You have made wonders and out done yourselves
As Good As It Gets
From someone who does his homework before buying, there is absolutely nothing out there that competes with the Vanatoo Transparent Zero, for its size and price point…..nothing! For those of us who are tired of all the audio components, cables, wires, settings, and cost of typical stereo systems, this is as good and simple as it gets. Superb sound and connectivity options at an unbelievable price. I attached a small compact Orb Audio sub that I had and the sound is superb. One viewer mentioned the Niam Mu-So qb2 which is a different product altogether. It is one speaker not intended to put out stereo sound. Think of it as an Apple HomePod on steroids….absolutely amazing for what it is. In their category, the Transparent Zero and qb2 are excellent sounding, quality products. Keep doing what you are doing Vanatoo and I wish you continued success.
Chose Transparent Zeros Over Naim mu-so qb , B&W Wedge and Dynaudio Music 5
Needed a wireless speaker to set in a bookcase in my small home office where there’s no room to setup proper left/right speakers with space between them. I set them right next to one another and configured them in mono – this was my preferred setup. Sounds great! Love the remote and bass/treble controls. Sounds better than the 3 other wireless speakers I noted in the Title in my application. Highly recommended. Also using the IsoAcoustics stands which are a must!
These are the only pair of speakers that seem to fit all of my needs
I have never in my life heard a pair of speakers able to deliver sound like these do in such a small package any where near their price range. These turned out to be exactly what I was looking for and I could not be any happier. These speakers are small enough to fit perfectly on my computer desk, they are self powered, and they even include their own DAC. The fact that you can keep these speakers hooked up to three different audio sources at once is a huge plus to me so I don’t have to route everything through my computer monitor’s terrible interference inducing audio ports just so I can easily switch the Inputs. Instead, my computer (which I use for critical music listening) can remain connected directly to the DAC while my game consoles are routed through analog inputs and I can even use my phone’s bluetooth when I’m running around cleaning my house, and the fact that these speakers actually come with a dedicated subwoofer port is a gigantic plus to me when it comes to keeping the setup as simple and clean as possible for each mode of audio input that I use. These speakers accomplish absolutely everything I wanted in new audio setup and they are worth every penny.
Awesome stuff - completely impressed
Having seen the reviews I was anticipating something decent. I wasn’t expecting great – for the price. As a professional live sound engineer and commercial A/V designer, these deliver exactly what I’m looking for in a small package. Put it together with a quality sub and it is simply hands down the best desktop speaker system I’ve heard for the price. It cannot be beat! If you’re debating, stop. Buy them, today.
I bought the T0 mainly for my bedroom and it’s more than adequate without a subwoofer, but once a subwoofer was added, it gotten louder. Outside of the highs, mids and lows, what stood out was imaging. It’s crazy how with the right toe in and height adjusted, you feel as though there’s truly a singer performing it live in front of you. I’m using this as my desktop setup and it’s excellent choice as it contains all the inputs you could possibly want and not clutter the desk with any separate amp/dac. I miss nothing about my big O bookshelves speakers. This sound just as good, if not better. Plenty of power for a bedroom desktop setup, glad I didn’t need to step up to the T1E. Thanks Vanatoo for creating this affordable but awesome sounding product. Keep up the good work, would be awesome if you created a subwoofer as well.
I have these on my desk, using them for my computer. I love the sound. These are really really fantastic speakers. I added a Klipsch R-100 sub (10″ woofer and 150/300w amp) and the combo is flat out killer. (Vanatoo recommends setting the amp crossover to full but I found that didn’t suit this setup. I went with the crossover set to about 130-140hz, which is about 2-3 o-clock position, and the gain at about the 10 o-clock position.) It’s rich, clear, full, detailed, and just overall sweet as. The Vanatoos were properly packaged with a nice compliment of cords, and the remote is fine. Very happy with these!
small footprint and clear as a bell
i’m no “audiophile” in the pejorative sense of the term as someone who is foolish enough to spend hundreds of dollars on simple RCA type interconnects, but i am fussy about sound quality, and have owned some decent gear. Played some flacs on the Transparent Zero speakers, and they are extremely clean sounding, differentiating between instruments very well, and their imaging is also excellent. you hear the voice as if the singer was in front of you and the instruments as they were recorded. i replaced some Grace Digital BT speakers with these and, while those produced higher volume, the quality of the sound of the Vanatoos is much better. i have used it with the USB connection as well as with an external USB amplifier from my laptop (because my laptop does not put out much volume) that then connects with a 3.5 mm male-to-male. i haven’t listened enough to notice a difference between the two types of connections.
Vanatoo T1E is the perfect system for apartment living.
After 2 months of ownership I lost count of how many times I drifted off to sleep to amazingly nuanced mids, highs and satisfying bass that enveloped the entire apartment. I love closing my eyes and visualizing all of the sound sources because the imaging is so good ( even at soft volume levels ). These speakers truly are transparent! Especially on speaker stands, flat DSP settings and disabled compressors.
After finding the magic speaker position that coupled them with my living room – the bass response out of these tiny enclosures is shocking. I am using them as my main HT/Music system, with a mix of Netflix and EDM/Jazz/Hip-hop from Amazon HD.
I re-watched the first two seasons of “Dark” just to hear it again. It’s unbelievable how good of a cinematic experience you can get with just 2 speakers when you have this kind of imaging and transparency. I am able to sit anywhere in our living room and hear dialog that lines up with mouths. I get awesome dispersion and sound stage with minimal toe in. The bass extension is so good that thunder sounds believable, with enough power to pass the “adjacent room” test.
Speaking of power, these will get your neighbors complaining even without a sub (ask me how I know). They are very energetic, so any small to midsize room will “sing” and amplify bass response down to the mid 40s. These are astonishing figures, for any 2 way bookshelf speaker, regardless of size. So you will find that these will get as loud and as low as you can reasonably expect for apartment living.
Whenever I will decide to upgrade these, I would have to be looking at something like KEF LS50W, Buchardt S400 or Dynaudio Xeo 10/20 to be worth the SQ gain and ONLY if my next living room is significantly larger than my current one. The speakers I listed cost over $2000 and not all are active, because NOTHING under 2k can even get close to the combination of size, performance and versatility that is Vanatoo T1E.
There are speakers out there in the 600$ range that might be as musical, but they won’t be as good for home theater, or they might be good for home theater but not as musical. Most likely they will be much bigger and won’t have the kind of tight and powerful bass combined with the amazing imaging and transparency. These speakers have awoken the dormant audiophile in me after a 20 year hiatus and now im shopping around for high end speaker stands 🙂
Speaking of speaker stands, my only gripe is the lack of detachable power chord. Because most stands on the market have routing that is far too narrow for a power plug.
A small price to pay for otherwise phenomenal system.
Also, these are underrated on Amazon because some of the reviews are written by ignorant users who don’t know how to setup speakers and blame Vanatoo for Bluetooth limitations which apply to all brands. So don’t spend too much time dwelling on them.
Vanatoo Transparent Zero
First time I heard this speaker was from the NY Audio Show 2019, and I was amazed by the highly capable, highly articulate upper mid bass, the fabulous sonic image, the lush highs that don’t bleed your ears.. When this small mighty team up with a 10 inch Speedwoofer from RSL ( Rogers Sound Lab ) at the show really impressed me, and I just ordered the same combination and had it all setup within few days. I can pretty much sum up this speaker like this.. “You can get the $10k Sound from this $800 combo, and you will have the ultimate desktop speaker..
All my HD FLAC files sent through the USB cable sound amazing.. Rush’s “Tom Sawyer” kicks you in the chest, Michael Jackson’s “Billy Jean” made my dishes danced, Jesse Cook’s “Cancion Triste” – sweet yet sad guitars/cello will draw tears from your heart.
The image is big and wide.. reminds me of my Martin Logan’s large image.. I am still amazed by how this little pair can accomplish this trick.
I have tried out many different genres of music, and spent over 3 hours listening to all the details, and articulate kicking thumping bass lines. The speaker came with a 4 inch passive radiator, and the Transparent Zero really shines. This passive radiator really adds weight and authority to all the percussive sound and I can tell you from my 15 years of playing drums, the bass and drum sound are pretty convincing.
This little speaker pair has many inputs connectors for your needs. It can take in Blu-tooth, RCA, mini headphone jacks, Fiber, USB, so if you are looking for a small but highly capable powered speaker that also comes with internal DACs.. and don’t want to spend a fortune.. then look no further.
You'll Never Want to Leave Your Desk!
These Transparent Zero’s are absolutely fantastic and I’m in love with them! I read several positive reviews & bit the bullet with the anticipation of experiencing audio nirvana. I went ahead and ordered a subwoofer to go along with them. I wasn’t as picky about the quality of sub that was necessary to match the Vanatoos, so I got the Polk Audio PSW10…choosing value over performance in that department.
The speaker box is packaged inside a shipping box, and when I opened the shipping box, I was shocked at how compact the actual speaker box was. I immediately pulled everything out and set the speakers up on my desk with a USB connection to my computer & tuned in to Sirius XM streaming content.
I felt like Ralphie in “A Christmas Story” getting a Red Ryder carbine action two-hundred shot range model air rifle! My dream was about to come true! I pressed play expecting immediate gratification. What I got was…meh. Yes, “meh.” I experienced every emotion from anger to disappointment to sadness & regret. What was wrong?! Then I remembered that I could manually adjust bass & treble…and I could also tweak my Windows 10 sound properties. After a few bumps to the bass & treble…Whoa! Excitement! Awe! Joy! Disbelief!
These speakers are…! I was speechless. I wanted to tell all of my friends and family. They HAVE to experience these things. The clarity, the imaging, the sound stage, the bass! The Bass? I never hooked up the subwoofer! I went through another round of emotions…why did I get this stupid subwoofer? I don’t even need it! Crap! I waited 3 days to hook it up while I considered sending it back. In a moment of weakness…I plugged it in to see what the full system would sound like. OMG! Nope, I’m not sending anything back…the experience got even BETTER! The Vanatoos sensed the subwoofer and a second or two later, they got LOUDER and the subwoofer took over the job of pushing out bass that, like voting for Pedro, made all of my wildest dreams come true.
Good luck prying me away from my desk now. I feel like I need to listen to every song I’ve ever listened to in my entire life allll over again. I’m hearing minor details that, for some reason, make all the difference between a good song and a great listening experience. Like what? Like hearing someone’s breath in a moment of silence in a track. Like distinctly hearing the “Tih, Tih, Tih, Tih” of the drumstick lightly tapping on a cymbal. Like hearing the 3-dimensional space of vocalists and instruments. You wanna hear something fun? Listen to “Time>Breathe Reprise>” by Greensky Bluegrass. (They’re on Spotify) You’re welcome!
I can’t say enough about these speakers. When you get them, tweak the levels to your preference then prepare to get pulled into the experience like a tractor beam from the Death Star…Death by Vanatoos? Yes, please!
Originally three years ago when searching for a good pair of headphones for CS:GO I bought a pair of Audio-Technica headphones. I didn’t realize it then, but this purchase turned me into an audiophile. Recently I changed offices and could fit a pair of speakers on my desk, which sent me to find the best value speakers available. Through a myriad reviews and trying out other reference speakers like the JBL LSR305’s, I came across the Vanatoo Transparent Zero’s. The sound on these blew me away and the connectivity is top notch. If you are looking for a pair of sleek, functional, multifarious, audiophile speakers – look no further. Save yourself the time and energy by making the right choice the first time with these speakers.
Want simplicity, and quality? Look no further.
If you’ve seen some of the video reviews on these, you already know these speak for themselves. At this price range (and honestly even over $1,000) for this form factor and size. You’re getting something I can barely rationalize. Only now are companies starting to offer something somewhat similar to what these are capable of. The amount of convenience and creature comforts offered here are simply wonderful. The connectivity options alone sell these speakers. And for anyone looking to get great audio without the rabbit hole of amps, dacs, pre amps, and all the requirements that comes with getting and having the capacity for such setups.
I love the enclosed cabinet, and the bass that is produced as a result, and by extension it makes the dedicated Subwoofer-out connection almost redundant for people like me living in a New York City apartment.
The DSP options in place do a nice job of keeping the speaker tamed to avoid damage to the drivers when really pushing these to/and beyond their limits. But for those who want to take such risks, such settings can be disabled and you can go out and tinker to your preference.
It’s very perplexing to try and pigeon-hole these speakers to a specific use-set. When in fact you can use them for critical listening when set up properly. Or basic living room TV watching, the quality of sound is there, and (again) the ease of use also is there to facilitate laymen use. On a side note, anyone even remotely considering getting a sound-bar should avoid them at all costs. Not really because they’re all terrible (compared to these, they pretty much are though), but the fact these exist at such a price – soundbars have almost no place in the living room provided you have a few feet of space to place these on the sides of a television.
One bonus is the easy grill on-and-off magnetic mechanism. Very useful for those times you want them to not stand out, but taking the grill off, and you’re greeted with a very attractive contemporary look. Oh and the remote control is perfect in my opinion. Feels nice and has all the controls I need right there (really good job with that).
The experience of these now makes me want to spring for their desktop Transparent Zero speakers to replace a bunch of useless desktop speakers from years ago.
I was on the hunt for a new set of computer speakers. I had the 5.1 THX Creative Lab speakers… They were nice, but I wanted something better for music. Something I could listen to while working, that could also be used for gaming. Something to give that awe factor where I would want to listen to higher quality recordings. I had a Sonos Play 5. I wanted more.
After reading a number of reviews online, I decided to try out the Transparent Zeros. They were amazing! Great bass and clarity for the size. I was blown away. I also loved the Bluetooth functionality. After researching more, I came across the next step up, the Transparent One Encores. I had read how a subwoofer was not needed. I bit the bullet, and I decided to upgrade.
After receiving the One Encores, I realized how right the reviews were. The sound coming out of these speakers are unreal, and Vanatoo outdid themselves again.
I listened for a good amount of time with the speakers by themselves, and just now added a subwoofer. Simply plug and play, the speakers detect the cable, and pass the lower frequency to the subwoofer. The speakers sound amazing with, and without the subwoofer (SVS SB-1000). In all honestly though, the subwoofer may go back. These speakers are that good without them.
Great job Vanatoo. What is included with this package is definitely worth more than the price you are selling them at. I even sold my Sonos Play 5. That was my old “main” speaker in the bedroom/office. These have taken over, and are so much better. Thank you for making these.
The perfect next step from Computer Speakers and Sound Bars
Because music listening enthusiast come from different backgrounds, I think it’s important to explain how I personally started. Going back to college I began with a pair of Logitech Z-2300 and these were a lot of fun for a couple of years, but when a roommate blew out the left satellite speaker i decided to try out a pair of Klipsch ProMedia 2.1. Now both of these respected 2.1 computer systems have already been reviewed numerous times and what is commonly said is 100% true. The Z-2300 8 inch subwoofer punches very hard but the satellite speakers left something to be desired. While the Klipsch were the complete opposite, in that the satellites were super bright and clear but the 6.5 inch subwoofer always felt lacking, which was unfortunate when it came to Saturday nights.
Fast forward a few years later and I’m living in a downtown apartment and decide to acquire a “surround sound system”. At the time, space was limited so I went with the Vizio SB4551. While it’s described as being a 5.1 it’s really a 3.1. A 45inch soundbar with two rear satellite speakers that plug directly into a flat 8 inch subwoofer that goes underneath the couch. While getting everything connected to the wifi was a pain in the butt, once completed i was very happy with the new set up. When it came to watching sports the Vizio’s did a great job of immersing you with the noise of the crowd, and action movies were even better when you get to sit directly on top of the sub. That being said, I always considered the musical performance of the Vizio’s as being just good, and that was only after extensively tweaking the settings on the Vizio smartcast app for weeks. I should also mention that by this time in my life I had friends with true Polk & Klipsch 5.1 systems and there was simply no denying the quality difference in sound, but as I already stated the space was not there.
Now in present day I’m living in a different city with a slightly bigger apartment but the itch for stereo quality speakers has finally consumed me.The good news for myself and anyone with a smaller living space is in 2018 powered bookshelf speakers that you could plug in and play started to become a more common offering. But after conducting a fair amount of research the remark I continued to see was that these speakers still needed a subwoofer to complete the overall sound. To be specific, I’m talking about the Kanto YU6, Audioengine A5+, and SVS Prime wireless. But come this past July/August i start to see reviews about the Vanatoo T1 Encore, and specifically noticed the comments about the unique passive radiator subwoofer design that was allowing for deep bass that had not been heard in this segment before. I continued to monitor the internet for the next several weeks and what I saw was everyone coming to the same conclusion. The Vanatoo T1 Encore can really do it all and so I ordered them with knowing there’s a 30 days return policy.
After they were delivered my very first impression was lifting the box and thinking dang these are heavy. Then when it came to the setup it was extremely easy and in about 10 minutes I connected the bluetooth to Spotify on my phone (Audiophiliac gasp as i’m not using Tidal or taking advantage of the usb or optical inputs ). But guess what? I’m not that guy and after the first week I could not be happier. My expectations have been exceeded and with the little space that these speakers occupy I’m amazed with the variety and level of sound that they can produce. When you read about speakers a lot of times you’ll see them referred to as either being flat (Elac) or bright (Klipsch). In my opinion the T1 Encores have figured out a way to do both. It’s hard to explain but listening to Fleetwood Mac or Tom Petty the acoustic guitar and vocals are super clear and neutral, but when you switch over to Drake or Travis Scott these speakers come alive with sound that you can actually feel.
Now my current listening space is a 9ft X 15ft family room with the speakers being 9.5ft from the couch and am thoroughly impressed with how even at lower volumes the T1 fill the room with clear instrumental sound. No lie, I believe if you were to blindfold a person and tell them they were listening to surround speakers they would believe you. Out of everything that this setup has to offer the soundstage is the most impressive part. For two speakers that are just under 11 inches they seriously make you wonder how is this possible? Which brings me to my next point, some mainstream audio reviewers are calling these desktop speakers, and the sweet spot is 3ft away but any further it’s not the same. I would have to disagree and say you’re grossly underselling these speakers to the average consumer. While I understand their footprint would give most people the impression they’re meant for a desk, these speakers will sound great in any small or medium size living room. Scouts honor.
Ultimately the reason why I felt compelled to write this review is because I believe there are a lot of other people like myself who are craving a better listening experience but if you go to a store they will either try to sell you a more expensive sound bar or tell you to purchase a receiver, tower speakers, subwoofer, etc. to get the desired performance. So what happens is we don’t do anything and continue to settle for what we have. I’m here to tell you that unless you don’t have the budget there is no longer a reason to settle. There’s not doubt in my mind that Vanatoo is going to upset a lot of Audiophalic purists because what Rich & Gary have created are speakers that are cheaper, easier, and sound just as good for a quarter of the price.
Excellent Value and Great Sound
Not an audiophile, but know what sounds good. These speakers are an impressive option for the money. Bass is better than expected. The variety of input options and the footprint allow me to easily use these for several different use cases around the house. On top of that, the customer service and communication from Vanatoo is top-notch. These are the speakers you’re looking for.
Best small bookshelves on the market?
I was looking for a pair of small active bookshelve speakers but didn’t want to compromise sound quality. After reviewing all of the options I decided to give the transparent zero’s a try and couldn’t be happier! They put out amazing sound for such a small footprint.
My only recommendation would be to pair these with a sub if you’re going to be using them to watch movies or listen to a lot of music with deep base. Don’t get me wrong the bass is awesome (very tight and clean for being so small), but I still think a dedicated sub helps balance the listening experience. Luckily the designers planned for this and there is a dedicated sub-woofer out with the ability to set the crossover on the speakers themselves depending on your listening position and preference.
Thanks Vanatoo for making such a great product!
Response from Vanatoo
Thank you Jonathan for taking time to give us your feedback. We are happy that you are enjoying your new T0s. We agree that if you want to use your T0s for watching movies and you want to experience that visceral bass line that is sometimes present in movies then the T0s are greatly enhanced by adding a subwoofer. As you pointed out, that’s why we added the subwoofer output. Enjoy your music (and movies).
Buy Them, You'll Be Glad You Did!
Okay, let me start with a disclaimer, I don’t profess to be a “audiophile” — but I know good music when I hear it and good equipment — like Transparent 1 Encore speakers in this instance — when I hear them. So I spent this past winter/spring researching; then purchasing, all the best equipment I could afford to set up a home recording studio for my pianist wife. I started from square one and spent around $9K, which I state only for the purpose of assuring you if I needed to spend more to get top notch “studio monitors” I would have done so. Yes, it was in my research for transparent studio monitors that I stumbled across Vanatoo, a company I’d never heard of. I’ve never shied away from purchasing sound system components directly from manufacturers (if comfortable they stand behind their products) as I’ve had great success in doing so throughout the years and would sooner pay the researcher/developer/manufacturer a premium (if necessary) than support a store front that needs to tack on all their sales & overhead costs. So I called Vanatoo a couple of times, and ended up speaking with Gary and Rick (the co-owners) answering their own phones each time — very impressive! With the assurance that these guys know and stand behind their products I had no issue with giving the speakers a whirl for their intended use as studio monitors, my greatest concern being the recording studio area being 24 ft. square and whether or not the Transparent One’s could fill it? With very little tweaking the speakers presented a fabulous sound stage and would have checked all the boxes for great studio monitors — the LAST equipment I intended to purchase. Unfortunately (for me) the Vanatoos not only filled the room with sound, they were way to MUSICAL not to wish to play my other recorded music (previously restricted to my home theater equipment/room) through as well:>) So back on the phone to Vanatoo requesting their suggestion for a sub-woofer that could keep up with the Transparent Ones. No only was their recommendation immediate, it was another company, RSL, I’d never heard of. I’ll save my glowing recommendation for the RSL Speedwoofer 10S (and that company’s top-notch owners) for their web site but suffice it to say these Vanatoo speakers and that Speedwoofer are a marriage made in heaven! If one were to put on Spyro Gyra’s ‘Heart Of The Night’ or ‘Breakfast At Igor’s’ (as mere examples) and remain in their seat, check your pulse, chances are you’ve passed!
Response from Vanatoo
Thank you Keith for the kind words. We never get tired hearing reviews like this. And thanks for noticing our customer service. It’s important to us that we address our customers’ questions as quickly as possible. Enjoy your music.
Remarkable, even revelatory
Powered computer speakers are not supposed to sound like the Vanatoo T0 — not even close. Remarkably clear and clean, with layering and imaging (both lateral and depth) that is uncanny on the desktop. Vocals are spot on, very natural sounding with rock solid placement between the speakers. Musically satisfying in category bending ways. Bravo!
Response from Vanatoo
Thank you Paul for the kind comments. While the diminutive size of the T0s do present some limitations, we have made every effort to squeeze every drop of performance from this size speaker. We’re glad you are enjoying them.
Transparent Zero - Review
At the time of this review, it has been about a month since receiving these and to be honest it’s I have zero regrets. I could not be any happier with this purchase. The sound of these two speakers is outstanding the sound stage these two speakers create is fantastic. I’m surprised that I don’t miss my Sub from my original 2.1 setups do yourself a favor try them out. I have been listening to most of my music and gaming from a pair of Sennheiser HD 58x with DAC and AMP combo (Magni and MODI) had I have been really enjoying them but how I missed listening from a pair of speakers and what pair these Transparent Zero turned out to be.
Response from Vanatoo
Thank you Marco for your feedback. It’s important to us that our customers do not regret their purchase. When we design our products we make every effort to reproduce the sound stage as accurately as we know how.
Surround Sound from two speakers
There are times that the sound is so good that you swear you on on site. This is accomplished is sheer genius. Find better at 5x’s the price. Good luck.
Response from Vanatoo
Thank you Peter. We spent considerable effort to make sure our speakers do a good job of reproducing the sound stage.
Over the Rainbow
In that I live in Ireland I had to wait till the power supply would accomodate 240v. When they, I purchased on Amazon and I had a friend who was in NYC bring me a set in his luggage. This was a slight risk as to a possible return. But my faith in this product based on a phone call with the company made me fine with the potential risks. I have had my T0s for a year. They do it all and then some!
Response from Vanatoo
Thank you Peter for the kind words. We do hope some day to be able to make it easier for our friends outside the US to purchase Vanatoo products.
I’ve had several pairs of desktop speakers over the years and was never truly happy with the sound. So, about a month ago, I started my search for a new set and came across the T0’s. After watching a few reviews on youtube specifically reviews from (Z Reviews & Joe N Tell) I had to pulled the trigger and purchase them. Let me tell you, once they arrived I was blown away by these little guys. I don’t know what kind of Voodoo Vanatoo used on these things but they created desktop gold! The low end these produce is simply mind blowing!! Anyone who picks up the T0’s will be a happy camper…period! I will most likely be buying the T1 Encores for my small to mid-sized living room at some point after having bought the T0’s. I couldn’t be happier with my decision and thank Vanatoo for creating the BEST desktop speaker I’ve ever heard.
Response from Vanatoo
Thank you Brian for your endorsement. I really like the phrase “desktop gold”. Heck, I guess I like anything that is gold.
I was looking for a sound bar for the TV in the family room plus I wanted to play music through it when the TV was off
I did a lot of research and came across the Vanatoo speakers so I started reading the reviews. The Transparent One Encore
are second generation speakers so I figured that if there were any bugs they would be worked out by now . I received the
speakers this last February and wanted to give them a good workout before writing a review. These speakers are awesome.
When watching a good action movie it puts you in the scene as if the sound is coming right at you.
Playing music through them is also a great experience. You can adjust the base and treble, plus a whole lot more, from the remote for your listening pleasure
if you are looking for great speakers that will fit anywhere in a room with great sound these are the ones. They have a subwoofer option
but you probably won’t need it
Response from Vanatoo
Thank you for the kind words Ed. We always enjoy hearing how people are using our products AND that they are also enjoying them. We agree that the T1Es make a good alternative to a sound bar. A lot of our customers are using them in this configuration.
T1E Speakers Are Very Good
In October of 2018, I wanted to replace an old set of speakers and a receiver with a set of powered speakers. I found Vanatoo on the net. I sent an email inquiring about the purchase of the T1s. Rick Kernen replied that those were out of stock, but the T1Es would be available in the Spring of 2019. Based upon what I read about Vanatoo and their products, I preordered the T1E speakers. These speakers are very good. You will not find other speakers with the sound, build quality, and functionality at Vanatoo’s price. Thanks guys.
Response from Vanatoo
We hare glad that you found us Jim. Thank YOU for being a Vanatoo customer.
Great range, soundstage
Well, after much anticipation I received these on 3/25. I didn’t have time earlier in the week to test them out but yesterday I did. After putting the T1E’s through their paces I’ve decided I made the right choice. My listening room is 15×12 so I wanted something to fill that. These do with ease. I set the treble and bass knobs up all the way with the main volume at roughly 10 o’clock. Started with the bluetooth option and played some tracks I thought would be good tests. The big, airy drum sound Neil Peart has on Animate by Rush had an almost concert hall-like feel. Angel by Massive Attack had the ribs thumping from the bass. One reason I picked these speakers as an upgrade from my Edifier 2.1 set was the hope that I wouldn’t need a separate subwoofer and to keep the tangle of cables to a minimum. These speakers check both of those boxes for me. Maybe in time I will add a sub but for now I think the bass is more than adequate. I switched over to the usb input to try some songs on my computer. At first I was unimpressed, it didn’t seem as loud as I imagined. But, after tinkering with some sound settings (PC owners – check the “loudness equalization” option, it makes a huge difference) I achieved the desired effect and was happy yet again. I’m sure these will last me a long time, the heft of the speakers even had the UPS guy saying he was going to send me his chiropractor bill. So congrats on a well made product, Vanatoo.
Response from Vanatoo
Thanks for the review, Steve. We’re happy that you are enjoying your new T1Es. There’s no need to give your UPS guy our contact information. 🙂
Compact, Convenient Audiophile-quality Bookshelf Speakers
I needed another set of speakers last October, and choosing Vanatoo again was a no-brainer. The only downside was waiting 3 months for my pre-ordered T1Es to arrive. Now they are here, and — as I expected — it was worth the wait.
I now own 3 pairs of Vanatoos: 2 T1’s and now the T1E. Both models are fantastic speakers: audiophile quality in a compact format without the hassle or expense of separate components, expensive cables, etc. Other speaker systems, which are only so-so in audio quality, are marketed heavily for convenient streaming and will even sell you expensive special-purpose streaming boxes. But you don’t need that with Vanatoo: just plug your old laptop into it via USB and you’ve got an instant audiophile streaming home stereo!
Or drive the speakers right from your phone: the T1E now has built-in Bluetooth and an input-switching remote control — both things that were obviously lacking on the original T1. I sometimes watch movies on my laptop, with sound through the Vanatoos. The T1E hooked up through Bluetooth sounds great, and performs perfectly in audio/video sync tests on my MacBook. For example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ucZl6vQ_8Uo . Again, this is a step up from the original T1s, where I used a long USB cable to watch movies because of unacceptable delay in the external Bluetooth.
Other than the new Bluetooth, the T1E also has a better and easier speaker wire connecting the two. That is nice, no need to fiddle with old-style connecters anymore, just plug it in and screw it down. I’m sure the T1Es sound better too; but I’m not counting, both sound excellent. My one nitpick is the T1E now has a built-in power cord, vs. the plug-in power cord of the T1; this is less flexible, for example, if you need a longer power cord or if the original is damaged. Overall, I am 110% satisfied; all the minor downsides of the original T1 have been fixed. Not to mention the solid and beautiful wooden cases. If you care about top-flight engineering and excellent sound quality, Vanatoo is the way to go.
Response from Vanatoo
Thank you for the kind words, Elizabeth. And a special thanks for being a repeat customer. The T1Es are voiced very much like the T1s so they will sound very similar. However, as you point out, the T1Es have a richer feature set and they do reach a little lower than the T1s.
I have all three Vanatoo speaker systems and can’t wait for the next pair.
These T1E speakers are phenomenal and while they were playing at full volume in the living room, I went into the bathroom and experienced the same visceral sensation I would get if I were in a bar bathroom while live music was being played 50 feet away. Listening to them is just short of a religious experience for me and although I didn’t see God, I think I heard applause from heaven when I was blasting the Old School tune “ Spirit in the Sky”. Once again Vanatoo has surprised me by improving upon a nearly perfect product and I can’t wait for my fourth set of speakers so hurry up guys. By the way, in my experience as a repeat customer, dealing with the guys at Vanatoo is always a pleasure, whether I needed technical advice or help when UPS lost my shipment, they did whatever it took to help me out and that is priceless.
Response from Vanatoo
Thank you for being a repeat customer, Brian. We’re glad you are enjoying your new T1Es. “Spirit in the Sky” happens to be my wife’s favorite tune so as you can imaging I’m pretty fond if it as well. Here’s hoping you enjoy your music on your Vanatoo speaker systems for a long time to come. And keep watch for new product announcements. We are always working on something new.
Vanatoo Transparent Zero are mind blowing
I was looking for a good set of speakers for my office. I don’t have a large desk so I needed something to fit into the available space but I also didn’t want to sacrifice sound quality. I checked several reviews of various products and then I found these babies. The bass that these put out for something so small just blows my mind and it is vibrating my desk as I type this review. I wasn’t hugely price conscious in making my decision for what to buy and I would have been willing to pay more for these speakers based on how they sound. I have Audeze LCD-X headphones and when I feel like taking them off to listen to these speakers I don’t feel like I’m sacrificing anything which is an amazing accomplishment.
To Vanatoo, thank you for these speakers and please consider making a surround sound set of speakers as I would love to replace my living room setup with your products.
Response from Vanatoo
Thank you for your comments, Curt. I agree with you that it’s nice to not have to give up sound quality when you want to eliminate the headphones. You might want to take a look at the Transparent One Encore for your living room needs
Really enjoying these speakers, such a lifelike sound.
Took a bit of a chance on the Vanatoo T1E speakers; they’re the nicest speakers I’ve ever purchased, but I’m completely satisfied. No regrets at all. I’m still going through my playlists and trialing speaker placement, but I’m so impressed with (as best I can describe it) the lifelike sound– something about the clarity, balance, and soundstage comes together to bring the musicians to the middle of in my room.
Response from Vanatoo
Thank you for the kind words, Cliff. What you are experiencing is just what we strive to accomplish; reproduction of the music as faithfully as we can to make the musical artist are real as possible.
Bang for the buck!!
I heard the speakers at the Florida Audio Expo in Tampa.. in the midst of speakers that ranged from $25k to over $100k – these small bookshelf packed a bang that really stood out.. I bought them for a small NY studio apartment – perfectly sized with a big sound and incredible configurable options….
Completely blown away
I am beyond impressed with these little speakers. I have them on my desk with a powered Velodyne Sub and the sound quality is amazing.
On setting up the pair, I had some issues. I was shocked that I received a personal reply quickly. Gary covered a fair number of things I could check and was very interested in seeing that I had the best experience.
It took some digging but I located my problem within my computer. Once adjusted the T Zeros simply worked.
I use them as computer speakers, music listening and for my flat screen TV. All connections were straight forward and easy to set up.
My main system is a B&K amp paired to a set of Vandersteen 1c’s. The clarity of the T Zero’s equals my main set up and they are clearly on par with the Vandersteen’s.
I can not recommend these more.
As good as it gets
Believe the hype, stop reading and buy these speakers. You can’t do any better at twice the price. I am driving them on a Sound Blaster Zx card on my computer without a subwoofer and it is all I need.
Superb sound!! How can they be so small??
I replaced some large studio monitors with my Vanatoo Transparent Zero speakers and they sound fantastic!! The frequency range and imaging are very impressive, and the versatility in setup and adjustments are one of the main factors that led me to go with this brand/model. My one complaint is the slight clunkiness of the adjustment procedure for the (many) features. It would be nice if the tweaking process was more intuitive, but it certainly gets the job done. I’d also love it if Vanatoo incorporated a way to get some kind of feed back on the current settings of the speaker (sleep mode, DSP, bass, treble, etc.)
Other than those slight critiques of the setting up process, I cannot be happier with these speakers.
I don’t normally go out of my way to write reviews but for this product I feel compelled to. I had a few complications related to my order and Rick really went out of his way to ensure the best service possible. The speakers themselves are perfect for a desk setup, providing great sound and are jam packed with features. Given the price, these should be a no-brainer choice for speakers in this category.
Response from Vanatoo
Thank you for your review, Matt. We’re glad you like your speakers. It was our pleasure to provide you with the best service we can.
Compact Speakers With Large Speaker Sound!
This is my second set of Vanatoo Transparent series powered speakers. I purchased the first set about six months ago for listening to music and podcasts from my iPhone and was so pleased with the sound that I purchased a second set to get better sound from our TV. The sound quality is excellent. The speakers are compact and have a nice look. The shipping both times was very prompt and both sets arrived in perfect condition. I highly recommend these speakers.
Response from Vanatoo
Thank you so much for the review, Colleen! We’re so glad you’ve been please with **both** pairs of Vanatoo speakers you’ve purchased. Mazel tov!
Follow up review - Transparent Ones
I bought my Transparent Ones back in February of 2017. I have to say that I am just as happy with them now as I was then. I have mine connected to a Schiit Audio “Modi 2 and Magni 3” stack that I use for my headphones. This is convenient for me, because it puts the volume control right there beside my keyboard. I have an old used subwoofer connected to the back of the Transparent One control unit. The sound quality of this combo is great for me and I can easily switch between speakers and headphones by just plugging the headphones into the jack on the front of the Magni 3. The Transparent Ones have so many options for connecting and I am sure you will find the one that works best for you.
One word of advice. When placing your Transparent Ones on your desktop, keep them spaced at least 8 inches from the wall behind them, so they sound more open and normal. They NEED space around them.
I absolutely love these speakers. They sound great for music, movies, speech, or whatever you throw at them. I had never heard of Vanatoo until I saw them on Z Reviews’ YouTube channel. Thanks to Z for pointing me to them. It was not an easy decision to spend this amount of money for a pair of desktop speakers, but I have had no regrets and I would buy them again. It was money well spent.
Response from Vanatoo
Thanks for the follow-up review, Wilson. We put our whole hearts into the T1’s, and are glad you’ve been enjoying them for almost two years now!
Best powered desktop speakers I've heard
I ran into Vanatoo at the Capital Audio Show, and it’s telling that the sound coming from this room grabbed me a bit more than that of most others, as those other rooms were mostly populated by systems costing tens of thousands (at least). Vanatoo’s room just had their Transparent Zero and the new Transparent One Encore.
I run fairly large training classes (up to 50 people, typically big rooms), and so I bought these as a business expense to use for those. They’re largely replacing my old Bose Soundlink III (a nice compact speaker, priced about $230, but the sound quality doesn’t begin to compare), at least for the big rooms. But I’ve found myself using them most often on my home office desk even more often. In fact, I almost never used that desk over the last year, preferring to sit in front of my $50k+ main stereo system, comprised of Soundlab U1 speakers + Mytek Manhattan II DAC + Ampzilla 2000 + Rega RP6 turntable + Rega Apollo CD player. While I can’t say the Vanatoos really compete with that system, I will say that I’m using that desk regularly once more, and I love the sound.
Regarding the sound, I’d say that for such small speakers the Transparent Zeros have amazing weight and strength behind them, and they image very nicely even in a near field environment. I use them heavily toed in, just off axis, and I’ve elevated them just a couple of inches on small stands that I jerry rigged, improving the imaging further. Great tight and well-defined bass, effervescent but non-fatiguing highs, and a smooth midrange. I’m playing through a Roon instance on my main stereo, which gives me access to my entire local and Tidal library with a nice interface. They also can go shockingly loud if you need them to, with a minimum of distortion. The built in amplifiers are clearly well matched to their respective drivers, and having two separate amps per speaker in a unit of this price is a great value.
The customization and configuration options are also great; plenty of ways to connect (I go USB for best quality), plenty of ways to tweak (I went flat DSP and disabled the limiters). You have many other options too (RCA, Bluetooth), and it’s really a plug and play affair.
At the end of the day, I feel that these speakers are just a wonderful value. $360 isn’t much for something that needs nothing more than your phone to create a complete and high quality sound system. If I were going for an apartment and didn’t need some portability I’d definitely upgrade to the One Encore (I heard that one too, and it did sound noticeably richer top to bottom), but if you need to lug the speakers around occasionally, put them on a desk or use them to augment a TV, these are just perfect.
Response from Vanatoo
We’re so glad you had a chance to stop in to our exhibit at CAS, Arlen. Thanks for taking some time with us, and for writing this thoughtful review. Take care!
Compact Desktop Killers
My Audioengine A2’s have been the longest surviving piece of kit on my desk at 12 years. For 12 years, nothing could displace their sound quality…for the size. However, the Vanatoo T0’s finally took the A2’s out. The T0’s bests the A2’s in soundstage, vocal clarity and clean bass by a healthy margin. Now, no speaker this size is going to kill larger hi-fi, but the engineering needed to work within the size constraints is thoroughly impressive and the T0’s set the new standard as to what is possible in a super small cabinet. Bravo!
Response from Vanatoo
Thank you for the review, Derrick! We’re glad you’re loving your Transparent Zero speakers and hope you continue to enjoy them for many, many years. Cheers!
Transparent Zero: best-in-class compact speaker
Auditioned A2+ and other best seller competitor in class. Zero won out.
Best-in-class compact speaker for price and versatility.
Holding out purchasing in hope another iteration is coming in near future.
Zero sounded best mounted on suitable speaker stands w/appropriate spacing.
Like the settings choices.
Want: option to bypass Zero internal DAC. Have Chord Hugo 2 for use with audiophile headphones. Like to use the Hugo 2 through Zero.
Want: Finish besides black. White would be really cool and take even more sales away from Audioengine.
Be nice to have for occasional use: Bluetooth protocol that matches up with better external DACs.
Bottonline: Well though-out compact speakers.
Response from Vanatoo
Thank you for your thoughtful review and suggestions, Brian!
I’m only halfway through my burn in and I’m completely impressed and satisfied. Almost hard to believe they will get better. After personally testing four pairs of highly rated desktop speakers my search is over. These speakers have everything I was looking for. Multitude of connection and tuning possibilities, compact size, attractive look, and of course what everyone is looking for, amazing sound and even more impressive because of their size.
Response from Vanatoo
Thank you for the review. We always enjoy hearing from our customers and really like it when we are able to impress them. Enjoy your music.
I spend quite a lot of time at my computer so I decided I to get rid of my tower speakers and downsize my system for my work area. I checked out a lot of reviews and videos on different desktop and bookshelf speakers and noticed that the Vanatoo T0 speaker reviews and sound demos were all pretty much great so I decided to try them. First of all, they are small compared to others. I have a 60″ computer table and they were a perfect fit. I received them and as others have stated, hook up was very simple. I have them hooked up USB to my computer, but most of the time I’m streaming XM or Spotify through Bluetooth. The sound out of the box was nothing less than exceptional, but since I’ve used them over the past few weeks the highs and mids have opened WAY up, and the clarity is stellar. The imaging is spot on center, and if I couldn’t see the speakers, I would think that the sound was coming directly in front of me. It took a while playing with the crossover, treble and base settings but now have that all dialed in and couldn’t be happier. I had a 10″ Polk ported sub connected, and it but actually detracted from the Vanatoos with a muddy sound, so I got rid of that and bought an SVS SB-1000 sealed 12″ sub and now my system is audiophile caliber. I can’t say enough about the quality, fit, finish and sound from the T0’s. If you want big sound from small speakers, then buy these. If you want clarity and sound that most extremely high end speakers deliver then buy these. The only thing I would recommend is to have a really good sub. The SVS sub rounds out the low end perfectly and my system now sounds like I have a high buck system in my office. I can’t be more happy and will definitely recommend them to anyone wanting small speaker. Great job guys!!!!!!!!!
Response from Vanatoo
Thank you for all the kind words and for taking time to write a review. Our primary goals are to develop a solid product and to make people happy. Enjoy your music.
A new level of music enjoyment
Here’s a letter I sent to Rick at Vanatoo – it says it all.
Rick – WOW!!!
These speakers are just amazing – such pure and well balanced sound. I find myself pausing and sinking into the music from time to time. Songs I have heard many times before take on new dimension. Music has the ability to move us, and these speakers move mountains. I also love the ability to dial up and down the Bass & Treble, enables finding that perfect balance for the song/music type, and loudness levels. And the stands are magical – and I got a kick out of the video you did to show how clean the sound gets when the speakers are on the stand. A whole new level of listening.
Response from Vanatoo
Thank you for your review, Scott! We’re so glad you’re enjoying your speakers, and appreciate the time you took to write us. Thank you, sir!
The sound just blew me away!
I was in the market for speakers for my MacBook pro that I have hooked up with a 4k monitor. I wanted some real quality speakers that I could play music, watch my movies and also have the ability to play music from my phone or iPad. My research led me to Vanatoo T1 but they were out of stock. And so I called the number on the website. I talked to Gary like he was an old friend for about 20-30 minutes and based on my needs he recommended that I get a pair of T0s with a subwoofer. Now mind you, I was willing to wait and pay extra money for the T1s when they came back in stock. He suggested that for my needs the set up he recommended was more than enough.
I got my speakers today and I plugged them with a polk audio subwoofer. I played Thunderstruck by AC/DC and my teenage son came running down to my office surprised at the quality of the sound. Needless to say we were both blown away by the sound quality. The Bass is awesome, the clarity is fantastic and the balance is just perfect. Gary was right on money about these T0s being more than adequate for my needs.
I am so glad I bought these speakers. Outstanding customer service! Outstanding speakers! these guys know what they are doing and they are not out there to just make a sale. I recommend them highly for anyone in speaker market. You will not regret.
Response from Vanatoo
Thanks for all the kind words. We are happy that the T0s worked out for you like we thought they would. Enjoy your music!
LIVING WITH VANATOO
I have owned the transparent ones for nearly two years, they are attached to my home desktop where I have put these speakers through their paces nearly every day. I listen to classical, pop, jazz, movies and yes even gaming. Let me start by saying these speakers are very good and well worth the money, they give a full body sound and are very clear, some previous reviewers have mentioned that they don’t get real loud and I would suggest that if you are looking for a really loud sound that you can blast some journey too and not hear yourself singing, then yes these speakers will not hide your poor singing abilities, also if you are looking for a speaker that has really deep bass that will vibrate items off of shelves, go look elsewhere, perhaps the back of your kids car. These are not toy speakers, these are very sensitive “tools” and as such need to be treated that way. When I first got them I was slightly disappointed, I felt they sounded like you were listening to music in a box and they appeared to be rather boomy, however after removing items surrounding the speakers and elevating them so they were off of my table top by several inches the sound completely transformed and the true ability of these speakers came to life. These speakers are sensitive to their surroundings, getting three foot stands and isolating them from any close objects would probably be ideal, however even just setting them a few inches off the top of my desk and 6″ off the back wall they are still very good. One other thing, these speakers are well built, you feel like you got your monies worth the moment you open the box., also I haven’t been harassed by Vanatoo on a daily, weekly or even monthly basis via email. I expect to have these speakers a very long time and they have made a great addition to my home office.
Response from Vanatoo
Thanks for your review, Todd. We’re happy you’re so happy with your Transparent One speakers. We think your advice of keeping them about 6 inches off the wall is a fantastic suggestion. Take care.
True audiophile sound! Same great sound as Transparent One, with Bluetooth, smaller, and LESS expensive! SIZE DOES NOT MATTER!
What’s NOT to love, I broke down and bought the Zero even though I own the Transparent ONE system. More than impressed, fabulous sound, incredible frequency response. I am comparing them to Martin Logan Sequel 2s my standard stereo speakers for listening to music. Unfair? Yes, but the only thing missing is the sound of DEEP bass for movie soundtracks, it’s there just not as deep and room shaking. The Vanatoo company is friendly and responsive, do yourself a favor BUY the Zero! If your poor get B stock and save some cash.
Response from Vanatoo
Thank you so much for taking the time to review your Transparent Zero speakers. We’re glad you are enjoying them so much!
Best Budget Debut Product
I was shocked that these speakers sounded better than the Transparent Zeros. Yes, I expected a little more bass, but the Transparent One Encore is simply a more refined-sounding speaker. It produces a large sound with deeper and tighter bass and a more delicate top end. Don’t misread that last comment. It’s only the top end that is delicate; this speaker sounds big and bold.
"Bargain Price Powered Loudspeaker of [AXPONA] Day One" Award
Given their price, and all the negatives associated with Bluetooth technology, these speakers sounded shockingly good. The Transparent One Encore represented a big musical leap forward in terms of refinement, smoothness on top, and image size, but the little Transparent Zero did quite well on the satisfaction scale. Given the speaker’s extension and sound, and the fact that it produced bass without aid from a subwoofer (such as the one in the photo, which was not in use), Vanatoo earned my “Bargain Price Powered Loudspeaker of [AXPONA] Day One” Award.
I heard Vanatoo speakers at a Chicago audio show about three years ago. I, my grandpa, father-in-law, and friend thought those were among the best sounding speakers at the show. I can't recall the name of the other speakers in their top five, but Vanatoo was one of them. That should say something. I wish I could afford a few pairs of Vanatoo powered speakers for my computer and living room, among other places. Just not the time in my life to spend that money (I'm poor). When the time comes, I'm buying Vanatoo. Side note: I'm not a fan that your web page isn't secured (https). I'm a stickler about that.
All I was shopping for was a decent pair of speakers for my computer. I really didn't know what to buy, so I started doing research. A LOT of research. In the end, I ended up purchasing the Zanatoo Transparent Zeros. Seriously sweet sound! Now, I am no audiophile. So, I am unqualified to speak to specifics. But classical music is a large part of my life, and the Zanatoos reproduce it faithfully. Full and rich. I couldn't be happier.
- Michael M.
Outstanding product, especially at this price point. I use them as my primary set of speakers in my living room. I love being able to connect them to the TV, my laptop, and my phone interchangeably. The look and the size look great for the room. They fulfill 99% of my listening tastes. Occasionally at high volumes, trumpets and French horns will clip, and boomy synth bass will exceed the power of the onboard subs. I may buy the additional subwoofer at some point, but am truly extremely satisfied with the speakers without it.
- Etienne M.
Vanatoo Transparent 1 and Sub
I could go on but I'll make it brief - bought a pair of Vanatoo1's -liked the sound -I used to sell hi end systems, son is a musician - i'm old, he's got an ear. We both loved them immediately - asked for advice on a sub. Gary emailed me back directly. Found an bargain without equal. - Awesome sound for a meagre price. -wish The Absolute Sound was still around. 5 star for the price - absolutely no regrets
- Ted B.
Transparent Zero - Astounding Speakers
I first saw these speakers in action at the RMAF in 2017. In a show full of multi-figure-dollared hi-fi systems, these caught my attention so much so that I returned home and ordered a pair the next day.They have punch and clarity and resolution that rival equipment far more expensive. I am looking forward to integrating a sub, which these are set up to easily accomplish, but certainly don't feel like anything is missing by using them solo. I spend a lot of time working at my computer, and it's great to have some real, and real affordable, audio coming at me while doing so. And yes, I am listening to them at this very moment.
I attended the New York Audio Show to listen to Reference Monitor Speakers for my tube amp. As I walked past the Vanatoo room, the sound drew me in. I listened for 30 minutes. I could not believe what I was hearing from these smallish speaker. The tone, imagining were spot on. The bass was very impressive, the sound filled the room. Long story short, I plunked down the cash and bought them on sight. At first I hooked them as computer monitors. They were spooky how they imaged, the voices seemed to coming from the screen. They later made it down to my beach house and sound beautiful on their stands. They are very versatile. Bluetooth, digital inputs and housing the amps and DAC all built in. I went to the show to buy $10,000 speakers and came home with The Ones. I've never looked back! Side note I did buying $8,700 monitor speakers. I enjoy The Ones as much as my much more expensive speakers. Order them and you won't be disappointed!
- Brian C.
I heard a demo of the Transparent Zero at the RMAF in October 2017. They sounded very clear and packed quite a punch for such small enclosures. I bought a pair for our rental home so our guests will be able to enjoy great music just by connecting their mobile phones or tablets. We've never had any decent sound there before but now, thanks to Vanatoo, it sounds absolutely fantastic!
- Don V.
Incredable sound on a budget
As a member of the DC HiFi group I had the pleasure of going to the Capital Audiofest where I had the pleasure to audition them. After hearing them, I purchased them. I think they sound great and offer so much in the way of flexibility to connect to various sources, they are hard to beat. Build quality is very high. Did I mention they actually sound good? Very musical. They may be the cheapest entry into high end sound out there. If you are looking for smaller self powered speakers that can also be portable, you owe it to yourself to try these. Highly recommend.
- Dave L.
Bought my first set of Vanatoo's about 6 years ago and they blew me away with their great sound and incredible bass. Ordered a second set 2 days before Christmas for the kids to use with their video games. Received a call from the President of the company who offered to deliver them in person so the kids would have them before Christmas, which he did. Great company. Incredible speakers.
- James M.
Vanatoo Transparent Zeros — Terrific
A lot of people out in consumer land never get to hear a “stereo” as good as the T0s. Their musical presentation is very clear and pleasing, and terrific for the cost. Their soundstaging and imaging abilities are outstanding. They are darn powerful for their size. Great in any small or medium room to stream any music source. But be aware—if you feed them a compressed stream like Spotify or iTunes, you won’t hear them at their best. Feed them CD-quality like Tidal or plug in a DVD player with a digital cord and they will really sing. Or plug in that old turntable if it has a phono preamp. Buy some for the shop, computer desk, or kitchen. Buy some for kids in college or a hapless relative. They are better than you expect or hope!
- David S.
My Favorite Speakers & Great Technical Support
I've had these for about 2 1/2 years now. I wanted some self-powered speakers that I could use with iOS AirPlay in my bedroom that would sound better than your average bluetooth speaker system. I spent a fair amount of time researching and I kept coming back to Vanatoo because of their features are unlike anything else I found. I am just overjoyed at the sound quality from these speakers. Their bass response is way beyond what I would expect from small bookshelf speakers. The sound is just about perfect for a small space like a bedroom or office. I can't recommend these enough. The only issue I had was with trying to use an Apple Airport Express WiFi access point as the AirPlay receiver. The Airport Express has a optical digital audio connector (mini-TOSLink) and I wanted to use that to connect AirPlay to the speakers but I kept on getting drop-outs on the audio. I recently upgraded my home WiFi and wasn't having drop-out issues on my main living room stereo system so I knew it wasn't a WiFi issue. I contacted Vanatoo support and they had unfortunately bad news, the latest version of Apple's Airport Express has serious issues with the the optical out. I verified this through some searching on Apple's support pages and confirmed that the drop-outs only occurred using the TOSLink connector. An analog connection worked without any issues. I was also advised that Apple's older Airport Express didn't have these problems. I actually had an old Airport Express in a drawer and trying it out, sure enough the drop-outs went away. Kudos to Vanatoo's support for the help. Thanks for the great technical support. So I wanted to wait for a decent amount of time to listen to these wonderful speakers and give them time to break-in before posting a review. Over time, my favorable opinion has just increased. If these speakers are in your price range and you are looking for a very high-tech powered speaker system, I give these the highest recommendation.
- James B.
In spite of positive reviews I was shocked at how good these sound.
First, my setup. I have these in an approx. 11.5' by 10' office. I have them on speaker stands (the glass and metal ones from Monoprice) the rear height of the stand is 23.5" and the front height is just over 24", so the speakers are angled slightly up. The speakers are 11" from the wall toward the center of the room and 12" away on the outside, so the speakers are angled slightly inward. The left speaker is 16" from the wall to the left, and the right speaker has a doorway to the right. I have the speakers pulled all the way forward on the stands to avoid reflection off the glass stand. The source is currently an Echo (more on sources later) and Spotify Premium using a high quality 3.5mm stereo cable with extra shielding. There is no hiss or hum at full volume. I have the volume on the speaker set to roughly 75% - the marker is parallel with the floor, the bass is all the way up, and the treble is set to about 60%. My listening position is behind my desk, facing the speakers, exactly centered, the rear wall is about 2' behind me. You might get the idea that I'm annoyed by boundary reinforcement... OK. First thing I noticed is the soundstage of these is nothing less than amazing, I mean not quite as good as $2000 electrostatics, but really excellent. For example,"Great Gig in the Sky", the vocals come from the center of the room, and you can place the individual drums. On "Money" the change and cash register sounds come from distinct left and right, but the bass and vocals come from the center of the room, Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No 2 is immersive. The sound is extremely "tight" for 2 way speaker - meaning that there appears to be no slurring of the highs, the bass is not boomy or sloppy - you hear every detail of the music - things that you miss on other speakers - I can't really explain it better than to say the music sounds more "real". The speakers are also very well balanced - they are not warm, nor are they bright. The bass is accurate - (more on this is a bit). "Money For Nothing" sounds simply incredible on these - there's a lot going on in that song, and it's all distinctly audible. "I Robot" is fantastic. Regarding inputs, I have used Airport Express over optical, Chromecast Audio over optical, and the Echo via analog. It seems weird, but the imaging seems much better with the analog than the optical - I put this down to the Chromecast, and/or the source, not the speaker - I have no explanation for it. One of the amazing things is that than there is no hiss at all from these when there is no input. It's dead silent, unlike my Denon amp - with no input at high volume settings a little his is audible. I assume this is due the class d amplifies and how the signal is amplified - it's black magic to me, but the speakers don't get warm, and they only make the sounds you tell them to make. Regarding bass - these speakers seem to roll of starting about 50 Hz, and while the bass is completely accurate, and sounds great, I think I could use a little more (my wife in the next office, however, would disagree - the common wall is the one the passive radiators face 😉 The bass these make is amazing for speakers that are 10" tall, but I will be testing out a subwoofer in the not too distant future. For my 10 by 11 office these are more than loud enough, but they are not quite loud enough to serve as main drivers in my 16 by 28 living room with valued ceilings. (I do wish Vanatoo would consider making some Transparent Two speakers with about 180 watts) These speakers have lots of pros, and no real cons to speak of, particularly for small speakers. If I was forced to pick a con, I would suggest that the blue power light on the rear of the speaker is too bright. Maybe a dimmer amber or red LED would be better... If you are considering Sonos, or something like that, consider these and something like Echo Dots or other device. There is literally no valid comparison between these and ANY Sonos speaker, and these give my buddy's Totem Signature One speakers a run for their money in even category except volume and a little low end, but then again those are about 3 times bigger and 4 times the price. And you need an amp. Don't even think about Audioengine speakers or any thing like that. Try these - you won't be sorry.
- Craig J.
Very happy with my purchase. I got them for my desk after hesitating with other bigger alternatives. The all-in-one setup, as well as the size of the T0 saves tons of space but the sound is still superb and amaze people every time as they didn't expect this quality and amount of sound out of them (just play "Money for nothing" on these...:-). For those who wonder, like I did, they got recognized right away and properly when connected to my PC running Linux Mint 18.3. Very happy with my purchase and definitely recommend them. Thanks.
Fantastic for all the jobs they were meant for
I have had my Vanatoo Transparent Zero speakers for a few months now and, I think, I have spent enough time getting to know them to give a decent review. A quick summary: 5/5 stars because they are great at what I use them for, namely near-field listening connected to a laptop. What are they good at? - As a 2.0 or 2.1 near-field system they are fantastic. I find putting my head nearly in-between them (as you might do while using them on either side of a computer monitor) produces some of the most "holographic" stereo sound I've ever heard. That is the sound-stage, when near-field, is unbelievably deep and realistic. I find I can easily place the locations of instruments and singers on acoustic recordings and have great fun hearing where sounds were placed on more engineered electronic songs. This only gets better when you add a sub. Don't get me wrong, the T0's do sound great without a separate sub, but the bass, while accurate, still lacks weight. With a sub every recording sounds better and acoustic recordings get those deep room reverberations that make you feel like you are in the space they were recorded. - As a 1.0 (single speaker) take-along system the T0 is also amazing. This is a way of using the T0's that I didn't think I would care about. Who, I wondered, would want a 1.0 speaker with bluetooth? Well when you're painting a bedroom or doing construction on a bathroom (as I've found myself doing since purchasing these) it's nice to take one speaker to the room and connect wirelessly to your phone. I tried taking the pair up to one bedroom, but it was cumbersome by comparison and, while working, I didn't really appreciate the audio any more in stereo than I did with the solid sounding mono from the 1.0 configuration. - As someone with sensitive ears, especially in the high-range of sound, I find the smooth and clear tweeters on the T0's to be ideal. They reach way up there, but are never shrill while doing it. - As a small speaker I didn't think the bass would be as present as it is, but I can easily say the bass sounds correct. That is never over-bearing, muffled, or lacking in tone. It is clear, controlled, and smooth. It's just a little lacking weight (as I mentioned before), making bass-heavy tracks feel less solid. Easily solved using the built-in sub-out. - For vocals, male and female, these speakers truly shine. I've found myself tearing-up at emotional vocals. Something I only seem to really have when I'm hearing them on clean speakers or headphones. - For piano (acoustic or electronic) the mid-bass really shines and accurately reproduces the resonating tones of a good piano. What are they bad at? - Ok this isn't fair because they aren't really "bad" at anything. Take these points with a grain of salt. - In contrast to the near-field experience with the huge and clearly defined space, if you sit just a couple feet back the experience becomes pointedly less holographic. Now that's not horrible, and they still sound very "stereo" just not "whoa is this surround sound?" levels like they are in near-field. I think part of that is because the sound from the sealed radiators blends-in to the foreground once you are not in a position to hear a little bit of the division between the sound coming from the speakers and that being echoed to the rear by the radiators. I found this to be the case when I flipped them over (just trying things out) and noticed the sound immediately lost depth (at least on my desk) with the radiators pointed downwards. - They are very loud, and do not distort, but their small size can't be overcome completely by the tech packed into them. Being small is something I don't really notice near-field, but if i crank them to listen to in a larger room or just in my house in general (it's a very open concept 2200 ft 2-story with 20 ft ceilings) the lack of weight behind the bass becomes very noticeable. Another point towards adding a sub-woofer to the mix. Main uses: - I use them as (the best ever) computer speakers, in a room where I do a lot of work and have a lot of listening time. They don't fatigue me at all, even after hours of listening. - A great alternative to a sound-bar. They provide much better sound than any sound-bar I've heard and with blue-tooth connectivity can do double-duty working with your phone or other device. - Nice as a once-in-a-while take it with you 1.0 system. I don't believe they are durable enough to frequently throw in a trunk and head to the beach, but for those times when you're working in the garage or painting a bedroom they come in quite handy and still sound fantastic. Sounds best: - In normal configuration (radiator up, flat on the desk) a few inches to a foot away from the wall on a not-too-solid desk (or on the floor oddly) with a sub-woofer blended-in and pointed towards you and the T0's with zero toe-in. Head nearly between them. Sounds worst: - Right on top of the wall, on a solid bit of furniture, on the other side of the room, with no sub. They almost sound flat in this configuration, which I believe is where some of the bad reviews have come from. I mean if you take your solid bookshelf speaker system that sounds great when you have it across the room on a serious bit of furniture with it toed-in to make a "sweet-spot" and replace it with the T0's you're not going to get the best sound. If, instead, you just slap them next to a laptop on a desk or table with you end up with the amazing sound so many people have reported enjoying. I hope this review helps others find these fantastic speakers!
- Gary V.
Simply Awesome after 2 years - no regrets!
I'm 50 and a long time lover of car audio, home theater and what I call "desktop audio" I was reading my home theater magazine winter of 2016 when I saw a quick article about the Vanatoo Transparent One. I said that's what I'm looking for. 5 1/4 driver and passive radiator, bass and treble control with sub out. Never heard of Vanatoo but I'm not afraid to try new stuff. Ordered them along with a Cerwin Vega XD8s subwoofer. I've had them 2 years and super love them. I have an expensive 5.2 home theater set up with an external amp, dual subs and tower speakers. I'd listen to my Vanatoo for music any day over my HT set up. They produce excellent bass on their own. I use the subwoofer with them if I want extra bass at low volume or room bumping bass at high volume. Listen to me. 2 years later I love my Transparent One's. They are excellent for desktop audio. What the DSP does is push the detail forward ( bass, vocals, treble ) at the right mix at all volumes. The simple clarity is what makes the difference.
Vanatoo, the sound solution to high fidelity on the go
After attending Axpona 2017 and listening to the folks at Vanatoo and their then newly announced Transparent Zero's, I knew I had found the answer to my biggest challenge, how to achieve quality stereo audio in a reasonable to go package. I ordered a set of their Transparent Zero's on line, and a few days later I was auditioning my new speakers. These speakers are as quality of a product as I have every purchased, the audio quality is fantastic, I heard nuances coming from these speakers (in stereo mind you) that I had not heard from my other (mono) travel speakers. Sure, these speakers take a little more to get up and running due to the stereo effect, but that is a minor inconvenience for the increased quality in sonic sound. To make my travel speakers even better, I converted an old RCA VHS camcorder travel case into my "briefcase full of blues" travel case for my Zero's and now going on the road with high fidelity is no problem. Pro's: Excellent stereo sound, great imaging, at a very reasonable price. Con's: You do need power and you need to connect the speakers with cable, however, as stated above, I'm willing to put up with these minor issues for better sound quality while on the road.
- Bob B.
This last summer I built my own desktop. One of my close friends told me about the Vanatoo t0 and more recently I had the money to invest in these speakers and I am not disappointed. Since I first started listening to them I knew I made the right choice, the sound quality is excellent.
- Dakota T.
Happy distant customer of Zero's
Hi Gary and Rick, it's a pleasure to review as well as to be owner of these special speakers! Immediately after reading a review in noaudiophile,com i decided to get a pair. With the help of a delivery company to Bulgaria i placed a preorder and in the beginning of May i received the compact and well organised package. From then on i am enjoying almost continuously the sound an the look of the Zero's. I am listening mostly classical, instrumental and jazz. Tried the speakers on a desk as well as on stands. My preference is for stand mounting, limiters off, flat response, not toed. As source - mostly USB from a Raspberry/Volumio or Optical from Raspberry/Hi-Fi Berry Digi and Synology NAS/Minimserver. Nice sound - balanced and with authority. Small disadvantages are they run hot (the acive of course) and slight lack of shine in the highs, only compared to much more expensive gear. Thank's for a great product and looking for news from your side - Ivan, Sofia, Bulgaria
- Ivan T.
Transparent Zero,Beyond phenomenal.
First off, Customer Service of this company is 11 out of 10. Shipping was very fast, & the packaging made sure my speaker's made the journey safely ! Very easy to set-up,quality construction. As for performance these things are BEYOND PHENOMENAL ! Had them for about a month & have thoroughly enjoyed the VANATOO experiance. I have been around quality speaker's most of my life,grew up listening to my dad's MARANTZ/TEAC setup. Although I do not consider myself an audiophile,just someone who enjoys quality sound reproduction. I hope other's enjoy these amazing speaker's as much as I do.
- Toby A.
A very successful project by vanatoo
Let me first say, these transparent zero’s are so good, I sold my emotive studio monitors! I am giving these speakers every fair chance possible by using them in a small room with proper sound treatment, positioning, and mounting, just like studio monitors. I don’t monitor audio or do any work with audio, I just enjoy great sound. I know why I love these speakers so much. The large tweeters with the low crossover point provides resolution and imaging to the sound. Pair that with small woofers that can produce over 7kHz but cross them over way too low also adds to the incredible midrange and vocal resolution and instrument separation. These are not particularly expensive or special speakers, but what has been done here is truly impressive. Vanatoo brought together the perfect recipie to provide high resolution flat sound using decent quality capable components. These speakers show a true effort and attention to detail to bring affordable and functional high end audio to the mass market. There isn’t much competition in the market to compare these speakers against, and making DIY speakers to rival these would be nearly impossible, especially at the price. These speakers are a work of art combining economics, logistics, technology, design, and attention to detail where it matters.
One of the very best
I use the Vanatoo Transparent One & can confirm they are one of the best desktop-type PC speakers in their price range. You can tell by looking at the speakers they were designed & built with great care & pride. What matters most to me however is how well they sound, & on this front, I can say they are excellent. As an owner of Bowers & Wilkins, REL & Dynaudio speakers costing many times more than these, the One's hold their ground & more. How do they generate such great & clean sound from such a small package? Perhaps it is the combination of the built-in amp & DAC? I had a pair shipped to Australia (they don't sell them here) & it needs an external power transformer for them to work. Apart from this annoyance, these are great.
One set is not enough
Bought one set years ago on the advice of an audiophile friend who was spot on. Bought a second set for my kids a year later and it was personally delivered by the president of the company just before Christmas. Both sets have functioned perfectly. They are truly amazing. Give them a try, you have nothing to lose.
- James M.
Vanatoo transparent zero! Great speakers!
I swapped out my very large 8" monitors for these to save desk space. At first I was nervous I would lose the clarity but I was wrong. These sound amazing and im glad I gave them a try. You wont be disappointed.
I couldn't be happier with the Vanatoo T1's that I purchased off of Amazon almost a year ago. They are fantastic at sound fidelity, very warm and rich. Again, could not be happier and will definitely be looking at Vanatoo for speakers in the future.
- Von F.
Vanatoo Transparent Zero Best $350.00 Audio Buy
I have the Vanatoo Transparent Zero in a nearfield computer desktop setup in my bedroom since i purchased a pair back in September .. Prioor to the Vanatooss the speakers i've used in my computer setup have been first the Acoustic Energy Aego 2 sub/sat system, i had for 8 years, this was followed for the last several years with the Audio Engine A2 amplifed loudspeaker. . Both these speakers I felt were a cut above most speaker systems for nearfield use. That was until I came across the "Vanatoo Transparent Zero" amplified loudspeakers. The Vanatoo's are similar in size to audio engine brand stepup model HD3, but design wise, that's about all that's similar. Compared to the competition at this price point $350.00/pair, the Vanatoos utilizes design and components, found usually on much higher priced speakers. It uses a 1 inch soft dome tweeter, 4 inch aluminum midrange/bass driver, coupled with a passive radiator, in an acoustic suspension sealed enclosure for more accurate bass response.The speaker is bi amplified with 48 watts into 4 channels to power each tweeter and woofer individually. Even the cable to connect the slave speaker, is unique , instead of speaker wire, it utilizes a special 10 pin cable. Sound quality is very subjective, , but there is just something "special and magical" when listening to my music with these Vanatoos. They have laser like pinpoint imaging, so good, that on certain recordings one is able to hear the illusionary effect of a 3 dimensional soundstage. Due to the robust biamplified design, coupled with the sealed acoustic suspension design of the cabinets, these speakers really are able to produce a more full bodied, musical presentation, compared to speakers i've heard in this price range. , Bass notes for such a small speaker, is very tight, and not boomy, Treble, is very clear, midrange voices and instruments are spot on. In fact writing this review, this instant Bobby Darin and his orchestra is literally in front of me . sounding so real and alive, with the orchestra to the back and sides, and Mr. Darin, dead center, and slightly forward , in marvelous voice.. Anyway, I've rambled on for too long a time as it is. I have "no" affliliation with "Vanatoo", I'm just a customer who bought the speakers. I've spoken to Rick and Gary, two of the owners in Washington numerous times, prior to deciding to puchase the speakers. They;re both great to deal with, and are very knowledgeable about their product. For $350/pair i consider iit the best audio buy ii've ever made in terms of price and performance for my money. Great job Vanatoo!!.
- Bill Q.
Impressive desktop speakers
Transparent Zero's were easy to set up, right out of the box. I am using the analog input and the USB input with great results. The equalization to my subwoofer is spectacular, better than I could set manually. These are very capable, easy speakers to use with tons of functionality for the money. The sound quality is as good as you can get from this size speaker--will not disappoint.
- Mark S.
Vanatoo transparent zero speakers
I replaced my older Kilipsch pro media speakers with the tansparent Zero speakers that i use for my desk top computer. I also added a powered subwoofer to enhance the bass. Well it plays so clear and no distortion when I am playing music. I am very pleased with my Transparent Zero speakers and tell evey one about them. I look foward to your next product release.
- John B.
Let them break in it's worth the wait.
I ordered my Vanatoo T1s online brand new in the box. Setting them up was a breeze, connect them together with the supplied speaker wire, plug in the powered unit, supply an input, and you have sound. I used rolls of toilet paper as stands until my isoACOUSTICS ISO-L8R155 stands came in. I used the longer posts, supplied with the stands, to get them to ear level while sitting on my desk. I tried several positions and orientations until I settled on spacing them out until my head, in my typical seating position, was at the point of the "golden equilateral triangle", with the speakers sitting at the opposing triangle points. I set the stands up to support the speakers in a level position and pointed directly at ears. They sounded good out of the box on my desk, better on the toilet paper rolls, even better on the proper stands. What happened next put a bigger smile on my face each day. I left the speakers playing each day, when I went to work. I would pick an album with decent bass, and set it on repeat. After about a month I would say they are now broken in, and every time I listen to them they surprise and impress me with how the bass has improved from new. As I said, they sounded good out of the box, but over time the bass has dramatically improved. If you've bought a pair, let them break in, it's worth the wait. I have only one complaint. I feed them with an optical cable, out on my iMac. I used the Audio MIDI Setup app, in the Applications Utilities folder, to set the Built-in Output to 96000.0 Hz and 2ch-24bit Integer. I keep the volume slider in iTunes at maximum, to avoid any software resampling that might affect the original audio file's resolution. What this means is I have to adjust the volume of the speakers with the knob on the back of the powered unit. I would dearly love one of two things, a remote to adjust volume, or a knob on the front of the speaker. I wouldn't mind and probably prefer a wired remote that plugs into the back of the powered unit, like a Bose puck. I have a question. Where in the signal path does the volume knob on the back of the Vanatoo reside? Is it a digital control that affects the DACs analog conversion, or is it a post DAC attenuator of the analog signal sent to the amp? Overall, I love these things, they sound great, they make me smile every time I listen to them, and I don't hesitate to recommend them.
- Dan C.
Awesome little speakers
I have a pair of Vanatoo Transparent Zero, and all I can say id, they're better than they have any right to. They are very neutral, no glaring peaks or boosting in any of the frequencies. Bass is accurate & tight, with decent extension for the size. The mids are clear and easily understood without getting sibilant, and the highs are well represented if not the most airy and detailed. Certainly no slouch and I have nothing to complain about for the price. Highly recommended!
- Anthony K.
Crystal Clear Flat Sound
Gary & Rick at Vanatoo have done a fantastic job of packing a big punch into their small (but not too small) Transparent Zero speakers. The crystal clear flat sound is perfect for doing audio clean-up work and mixing for video. They were an excellent choice for my company, and I'm happy to recommend them here.
- Black S.
Good fit for my needs and expectations
I've long wanted to have better (more accurate and less muddy) sound in my living room without having to have a huge complicated stack of a equipment. After a lot of internal debate I decided to give the Transparent Zero a shot and I've been happy with it and have no regrets (especially for the size there aren't many competitors). It's great (and louder than I need) for music, and also seamlessly lets me switch between digital audio inputs and bluetooth, which is all I really needed or wanted. The only thing that's been a problem for my setup is 5.1 and 7.1 input from movies, which comes through significantly too quiet, especially on digital in, which suggests (to me) something somewhere isn't doing an ideal job of downmixing, though not sure which piece in the chain to blame. And even then you can up the volume enough for watching the movie to be pleasant, it's just pretty problematic to switch from "movie volume" to music if you don't remember to turn down the volume. I also have to say that the amount of bass and deep sounding audio that these speakers put out is really impressive (in my opinion anyway) for the size. I'm sure huge bass fanatics will still want a subwoofer, but more acoustic/soft listeners (like me) will probably never feel as though one is even needed. In terms of things that maybe could be better, the UI for making any kind of adjustment is rather esoteric, but you're probably never going to use it more than once or twice, so that's a pretty minor thing overall.
Transparent Zero / Capital Audio Fest
Hi. Your setup at this year's CAF in Rockville, MD was impressive enough that I ordered the Zero's as soon as I got home. Amazing sound for the size, fair price. Flexible for use with computer, receiver, iPhone, etc. That's how I am using - flexibly. I love walking them from place to place in the house.
- Walt R.
I'm just starting to research great two channel sound. I'm sitting at my desk now with the Transparent Zero's and they sound better than they have any right to at this price.I have speakers that cost a lot more, but I don't ever feel bad sitting at my desk listening to these. When you put these things on a stand, they sound even better. They hold their own well and you will not likely regret your purchase unless you are just looking for a larger speaker.
I've had these on my desk (on isolation stands) for a few months now. I used them without a sub until just last week, though the sub out was calling my name and I finally broke and bought one. I couldn't believe the sound quality and volume that was coming from such a - relatively - small speaker. The passive radiator really works wonders. The bass is deep. The mids are clear and the highs are shimmering without being sibilant. I didn't know little speakers were capable of such things, and I often hear the same from people who sit at my desk and listen. The last person said (and I quote) "This sounds better than our home theater!". I really cannot say enough good things about the quality of the sound. Now that I have a sub attached, I EQ these to be brighter, and of course the sub out controls the crossover from the sub, so you don't have to mess with it. I upgrade to these from some A5's which I sold to my brother, and we both agree that these are a good step up. They also aren't distracting in the design like the A5's were. One small negative is that the speakers go into sleep mode, and over time they seem to be taking longer to wake up as I've had them. I used to have to slide the volume control in windows so it would make the chime noise, and that would wake them. You can allow a song to play and they usually wake up, but sometimes it takes over a minute. I'm using analog instead of optical, usb, rca etc, because my EQ that came with the motherboard (long explanation). The tech support is great, though, so I may just need to call in and find out why. Even with this issue, they are still 5 stars, which should tell you a lot.
- Ronan A.
Superb audio quality
I recentlt bought a pair of the transparent one and I couldn't be happier. For the price, these speakers are quite superb. The clarity of the audio is quite the jump from a previous $100 pair of computer speakers. The low end is shocking for a speaker this size. Everyone I show the speaker to agrees that the bass from such a compact box is startling. That extra oomph at the bottom really brings music to life. The simplicity of the digital amp means these are really the optimal desktop speakers for most. The digital eq adjustments on the back is really the icing on the cake. For a small to medium room, I can't think of a better speaker, especially at this price point.
- Caio F.
I own a lot of high end equipment including a Linn Turntable and Exposure Amp. I use the Vanatoo Zero speaker to run audio for my TV this is the best value I have found for the dollar in any single piece of audio equipment. The base is solid down to the mid 50's in a room that is 12 x 15. In addition I use them for Spofify streaming. I have taken them on the road several times for traveling and used them in hotels since they are portable. For the price point they are a great buy
- Neal S.
My Transparent Ones over the last two years
So i’ve owned the Vanatoo T1’s for about 2 years now. The first year i owned them i bought them with the avantree roxa bluetooth receiver and kept them in my room for easy listening. I admire the rich and smooth low end that these speakers reproduce. They make for a very intense and surreal listening experience, especially for the right music. Fast forward to the present day and my speakers are still in tip top shape. I maintain and clean them regularly. I also use the speakers with Pro Tools and Ableton for sound design and post production, and I have to say I am still very pleased with the sound of them. I see the transparent 0’s are now available for purchase and i’m glad that Vanatoo has finally released a more compact and affordable speaker, however, due to the sentimental value of my T1’s I don’t think i’ll be buying them anytime soon.
- Albert S.
Heard these speakers at Axpona last year and was really impressed. Bought a pair and use them in my kitchen connected to airport express. Didn't have a lot of space and these provide great sound. Can't wait to hear the next new product. Ron Cary, IL
T0 beautiful sound quality in an inexpensive and tiny package.
I am using them for my dance studio and listening room. Paired with and older Infinity 12 inch x 300 Watt sub. I host dance parties and I relax and enjoy the sound in this space. Considerably more volume then I would need with 20-30 people in the mid sized room. At the same time clear and detailed sound especially when positioned in the ideal listening position. Using the sub with the 80 Hz cross over point. Typically I don't use the on board DAC unless I am using Bluetooth and it does sound fine my stand alone just sounds like it has slightly more detailed then the on board over USB or bluetooth. While the interface is a little bit confusing the sound quality and compactness makes up for it. If I ever move them to a small space or on a desk that will more then make up for hassle of the complex configuration process. I recommend watching the Z Reviews. He has since touched on other options in the space but note then are all slightly more expensive and typically not the sweet spot for features. Don't have the spl out. Don't have the Bluetooth or USB DAC. So while you might get competitive sound for slightly more you typically loose the complete package. Which for this design is really the win. Would love to hear the T1's but don't think I would want the higher sub cut off. Maybe I wouldn't need the sub at that point realistically. In truth these sound great with out it. They just fill out the room with more umph with it. Quality construction. Slightly odd cable to wire the speakers together. Note you can purchase these online if you search for it. I found a RJ50 coupler and a larger extension. My speakers are mounted at head height and about 10 feet apart for listening facing down. Then about 15 feet apart and more flat for dance events. Never had them over heat even running for 5 hour events at reasonable volume.
- Chris S.
If you are looking for small active speakers (including dac) then these should be on your review list. Easy to setup and a joy to listen to.
- David F.
The Best Desktop Speakers
Simply put, these are the best desktop speakers you can get. I'm a professional musician. I use these to listen for work, for pleasure, for mixing, for gaming. Anybody who listens to these always asks where I put the subwoofer because the bass presentation is so full and impactful. But it is never bloated and doesn't bleed into the mids. The mids, presence region, and highs are crystal clear. I also own some pretty high end Monitor Audio speakers in the living room and I'll put these up against them any day! And these are a quarter of the price! I don't know how they are able to extract such incredible detail from a silk dome tweeter. There must be some witchcraft going on. The one and only con (and it really isn't a con) is that they aren't offering passive speakers. I'd buy those in a heartbeat.
- Phillip T.
Love my Vanatoos!
My search began a couple years ago when my ex wife stole my computer speakers. I decided to get some new ones that would last me for years to come. I'm the kind of guy to research gear ad nauseam because I own a small video production business and want the best I can afford. I ended up narrowing down my search for desktop speakers for my edit bay to just a few options. I ordered the B+W ones first because I found a killer deal on Amazon, the sound was so tiny that I returned them after a couple day break- in period. I emailed Vanatoo and asked them some specific questions and was impressed with the customer service so I decided to order the Transparent One's instead of the Rolands, because of the overall sentiment in reviews I read. I needed something transparent for my video editing... Some of our work is seen by million's of people and I need things to be perfect. I edit a TV show and have done a commercial for an NFL playoff game, regional Honda commercials, etc. I also got a recommendation for a subwoofer from Vanatoo and all I can say is I've been thrilled with my decision and never look back. I have been talking my assistant editor into getting a set for his edit bay because he has to come do his mixing on my setup. They pack an enormous punch for such a small speaker. Highly recommended!!
- Tom S.
Excellent Home Theater Speakers
We have the Transparent One speakers connected to our Mac Mini which is connected to our TV. It's connected via USB and so we can easily control the volume on our bluetooth keyboard. The sound is terrific - a very impressive range for such a small speaker. We don't feel any need for a subwoofer. It's been a great "Home Theater" speaker system for us.
- Bob M.
Yes, spending over $300 on a pair of speakers is insane. My wife reminds me of this at least once a week. Yes, I should probably regret spending this much money on a pair of speakers. However, I could not be happier with the Vanatoo T0. There is no way to describe how they sound other than just perfect. There is nothing about them that I have an issue with. They are small enough to fit anywhere. They kick out more bass than you would ever need. They get louder than you would ever want. All the while, sounding fantastic and keeping amazing clarity and detail. If you want to hear every single detail loud enough to go deaf, these are the speakers for you. If you want solid speakers for anything whatsoever, these are the speakers for you. The fact that these are so reasonable and have such a small form factor is mind boggling. It is truly magic and I am enjoying these more and more every single day. Well done Vanatoo, you have created a masterpiece.
- Michael G.
like a bottle of fine wine, gettin' better everyday , except
This bottle of acoustical nectar is open, so i drink with the Gods ... Facts: fantastically built, designed, and priced . Imaging is glorious. I have cried in joy and relief listening to old favorites reborn and heard the way music was meant to be heard - Transparently. I am challanged by others' notions that the TO's are limited to standard sized rooms ; At half volume, things in my room start dancing in vibrational entrainment. I live in Brasil, a culture of music and dance. I pre-orderd my Vanatoo's to arrive while visiting the US. Vanatoo owner Rick Kernan personally contacted me to say he would make sure they arrived in time. Unsolicted, he also did some research as to Brazilian voltage compatability. My Vanatoo's arrived ahead of schedule. These guys care because they too are lovers of sound and music, like their smart customers ( pat pat pat on my back ). For my Vanatoo colleagues, I have a recommended vintage that will make your Vanatoos swooN and sMiLe ... https://youtu.be/CpV2b-RbCFg ( just a preview, of course lossless download it )
- Lawrence R.
Vanatoo Transparent Ones
These are great speakers! I first heard of Vanatoo on the "No Audiophile" website, and really liked his style, so felt he was honest and straightforward, qualities I admire. I bought blind, based on his review, and have been extremely satisfied, and amazed, actually, at how good these speakers are. The only reason I gave four, rather than five stars, is lack of a remote. I'm aware the Zero's have a remote, so I know you guys can do it. What has impressed me most is the bass and overall great sound. They play as loud as I'll ever want, and sound as good as my KEF LS50's, in a small room (and that's a huge compliment, as I love my KEF's). What I want to see, and would jump on in a minute, is a larger active, or even passive, floorstander, something to challange ATC, and I think you could do it, based on the sound qualities of the T. Ones. I can't wait to hear what you're going to do in 2018.
- Don I.
Perfect high-end computer speaker (for lossless audio and gaming) W/O Subwoofer
I did a lot of research and selected the Transparent One's for my computer. With their internal DAC and Roon (as an audio player) I have a lossless audio path for higher res music files. The speakers are also fantastic for gaming. My goal was to replace my prior speakers with a pair that would have solid bass without a subwoofer (so I wouldn't keep kicking it) and these allowed me to accomplish that goal. The only oddity is that you have to turn up the speaker volume to at least 95% of MAX in order to get usable volume with a computer. It took me some time to figure this out but once set they work correctly and the volume control is now entirely via the volume controls (dial in my case) on the keyboard.
- Derek K.
A satisfied customer (V zero)
Everything rosy for me. The zeroes are part of high quality pc audio system comprising of a PC and dac from Chinese smsl (for bitperfection of my high res and dsd files). The zeroes replaced the american audience one speakers and I havent missed them a bit. I had to import them from USA to Europe so the price doubled so I d wish you set up a european distribution network. But I understand you are a small company, so everything is forgiven. Thank you.
- Andrei L.
I purchased my Vanatoo One speakers a few years ago and have enjoyed them immensely since then. The ability to connect them to either digital or analog sources without an additional DAC is pretty cool. The sound quality is great and the quality of the customer service is incomparable. I had a question about the speakers, emailed Vanatoo, and got an immediate response, although the responding party was out of the country, at a convention. After a couple of years with the Vanatoos, I am very happy with them.
- Lynn W.
Makes a (lot) of difference
Ok, so you can call me a moderate audiofile: I do have some mid-level equipment, $300 headphones, $200 headphone amplifiers... but not higher. I am not reading obsessively audio equipment reviews - but I can read them if I am in a market for something. And as many other people, most of my music listening happens at the computer while working - and, as you can guess, this is not set up as an audio listener's haven, with wall treatment, etc. It is just a computer desk, with a 27 inch monitor, and a glass top. So if you happen to be a an audiofile, you will need to read different reviews of the Transparent Zeros, but maybe there are people who are in a similar situations than me. I bought these speakers to replace the Klipsch Promedia 2.1 (where after 10 years of service, the subwoofer fried out). I cross-shopped them with the JLB LSR305, as well as with other computer speaker setups. So, let us see the experiences, in question / answer form: 1. Installation, looks, convenience?: For my setup, installation consisted on opening the box, putting the speakers on the provided pads on the two sides of the monitor, and plugging the USB cable in the computer. The pads make a difference in eliminating the resonance compared to putting the speakers on the glass. More sophisticated stands might make a further difference, but not at the moderate listening levels implied by working at the computer, with the speakers on the two sides of the monitor. The speakers are small, do not appear ostentatious, do not get on the way of the desk space. 2. Sound?: The word "Transparent" reflects the sound of the speakers quite well. I would also call it "effortless". They give an immediacy of the listening experience, which is quite obvious when coming from the Klipsch, and is more comparable with listening to the earphones. One can clearly hear the stereo separation. I did not found sound adjustment necessary: one can trust the speakers to convey the wishes of the sound engineer who mixed the music. 3. Bass?: One figures that the two small speakers on top of the table would not shake the floor with bass, and that's true. However, from a practical point of view, I hear more "usable" bass from these speakers in front of me at moderate sound levels, than from the subwoofer that used to sit under the table. You can connect a subwoofer, but I won't. 4. Are the differences noticeable? Yes. The improvement from my previous setup is immediate, noticeable by me, family, and casual visitors. They remark on the quality of the sound, at very moderate sound levels, without seeing the speakers etc. 5. Are they worth the money? If you are listening to music at the computer, I would say, absolutely. They stay out of the way, they provide an ongoing pleasure (hopefully for many years). Again, it is possible that other speakers in similar price ranges provide similarly good sound, but one might want to consider that they can be quite bigger, and more hassle to set up as computer speakers. Caveats: -I did not configure them for different inputs. -The room is 230 sq ft. For very large rooms, and different listening setups, a larger speaker might win out. -The sound is "transparent" - if I understand correctly what the designers wanted is to convey the intent of the original sound engineer. If you prefer your sound "colored", these might not be the speakers for you. -There might be the better choices for gaming, movies with lot of explosions etc., at least without an external woofer.
- Lotzi B.
Great sound in a compact design. Perfect from Chomecast Audio
The Transparent Zeros are the perfect Chromecast speakers. Full sound in a sleek compact design. Crystal clear sound reproduction. I purchased mine as soon as they became available so I have had them for 8 months or so. Great speakers.
- Chris H.
Great looking, great sounding & nice size for desks. Connectivity options are useful. Definitely recommend
hello.I have over the years I have several computer speakers.The vanatoos are the best.You could make these with proper stands into a very good hifi system.Thanks Larry
- Lawrence L.
Vanatoo Transparent redefine what small affordable loudspeakers can do!
I have two Vanatoo Transparent Zero speakers, one set in my bedroom and another set in an upstairs bedroom used as an office/TV room. Both are wall mounted using an inexpensive kit from Amazon. In the bedroom I listen to mostly evening local jazz programming, the upstairs is for the TV and Sirrius satellite stations. I love having the internal amp, which made set-up and connections easy as well as having built in conversion for digital and analog signals. These speakers produce accurate base and do not have the usual upper base emphasis that most small speakers have - amazing bass for their size! The rest of the range is smooth with no noticeable irregularities or harshness. These are non-fatiguing speakers that can be listened to for hours and disappear from their locations. Sound is very real. These will not replace my large speakers in the living room, but cost only 1/10 as much! Great bargain and may be all many people need. Do use better cables for your sound source. The sound will improve dramatically by using good analog and digital interconnect cables. The supplied cables are just to get started until the speakers are fully broken in, which will take a couple weeks or more.
- Michael G.
I love the Vanatoo Ones especially for music What I’d like to see are speakers made especially for Home theater with better power output I’m sure they would be spectacular if they were Vanatoo made
- Wilfredo R.
Loving my Vanatoo Transparent Zero Desktop Speakers
I was really impressed when I went into Vanatoo's exhibit room at Capital Audiofest. They were showing both their Transparent One and Transparent Zero speakers. I'd heard the Transparent Ones before, but it was my first time listening to the Transparent Zeros. After speaking with their salesperson, I decided that I'd order a pair. I've had them in my office for the past few months now. I absolutely love them. The amount of bass I get out of these little speakers is amazing. The mids and highs are crisp and clear, too. What I like most, though, is their shape. Because they "lean back," my ears are right in the sweet spot. I get perfect stereo imaging without any veiling. They're ideal. As for the downside, I wish the volume knob was on the front panel. But that is seriously nit-picky.
- Mark G.
I purchased a pair of the Transparent One speakers about a year ago. I am extremely pleased with them. No coloration of the music, very clear & great base for the size. Love'em
I bought my Vanatoo Transparent Ones several months back. I am not what you would call an audiophile, but I enjoy great sound. I have been nothing short of thrilled with these speakers. I recently added a subwoofer because a friend had one that he no longer needed and the difference is noticeable and nice, but I could easily take it away and not miss it. If you are into really heavy bass music, yes, you will want to add a subwoofer. Otherwise, you don't need one. I use mine as computer speakers. They are used for YouTube videos, music, etc., and they are just awesome. I did get some yoga blocks from Amazon and I use those as speaker stands to get them up to ear level. I like being in the sweet spot. When you are as close as computer speakers are, the sweet spot is smaller and getting them aimed properly is important. From across the room, not so much. I had a couple of questions in the beginning. I sent an email and got a response back in less than an hour. They look great. They sound great. Would I buy them again? Absolutely!
- Wilson P.
Vanatoo Transparent One
I absolutely love my T1's. They are so versatile and sound fantastic. The amount of inputs they can handle is impressive. I have them paired with an SVS sub which really isn't necessary as these get low all on their own. Admittedly I am a little over the top. I have 3 PCS and an Echo dot going through these and it is awesome! I literally can't think of one negative thing to say. The customer service is amazing as well. I have bounced a few emails back and forth and get personal responses from Gary. Such a nice guy! Please support this brand as you will not regret it. These guys make outstanding products and back it with service.
I’m 100% happy!
- Mike C.
My T0's are the best!
I'm really enjoying them in my office. I've had other computer speakers, but haven't really liked them. I love the T0's.
- Gavin F.
I had the opportunity to try out these speakers as near field monitors and keyboard practice speakers. These compact speakers put out plenty of sound and some thought was put into the design as far as audio connections are concerned, making them versatile in most applications.
- Paul G., Seattle, Wa
These speakers shine like no other. I'd buy these again in a heart beat. Best $500 ever spent.
- Shri G., New York, NY
With these speakers I can input analog and digital input, Bluetooth or direct. And the sound is great. Not heavy on the base, but just right. Well balanced and perfect for our space. And now family and visitors can play their own music from laptops, iPads, smart phones and music players.
- Thomas P., West Des Moines, IA
Bottom Line - Great speakers at a reasonable price. The Vanatoo Transparent One speaker is the result of two talented and dedicated engineers following their great passion, without bean-counters interfering. Best speakers under $750 - $1,000. The market place should embrace and support products...
- Russ. H, Livermore, CA
I had listened to a variety of speakers and then carefully studied internet reviews of speakers and comparisons of speakers for weeks before ordering the Vanatoos. I'm keeping them, and am very happy with my choice.
- Gary M., Dover, NH
I never did get a chance to listen to the polk audio Woodbourne but did listen to the klipsch kmc 3 and in comparison the t1's sound way better IMO. Just to add, portability was not an issue just the sound quality, The klipsch is great for that. I highly recommend these speakers!
- Dennis J., Hawthorne, NJ
These Vanatoo Transparent One's are, by far, the best powered speakers on the market today. The bass and balance on these speakers are incredible. These are very hard to beat at their price!
- Anthony R., Port St. Luvie, FL
The design of these speakers are amazing and the smaller compact size is even more amazing consider the loudness and sound quality they produce. They can be used as desktop speakers but they can certainly fill a large room.
- Chris D., Ashburn, VA
A sign of good craftsmanship is not just getting the basics right, its spending time on the little details. You can tell the designers put a lot of love and care into making these and considered the use cases closely.
- Nick P., San Francisco, CA
Shipped and arrived promptly. Well packaged. Extremely heavy compact nice looking speakers with remarkably good sound quality. Easy set up, great connectivity options. Gave a dedicated 2 hours to listening to variety of music (Temptations, Modest Mouse, The National, Vampire Weekend, Bon Iver, Pink...
- Peter A., Kailua, HI
These are incredible. Absolutely incredible. Right out of the box, before burn in, without acoustic isolators, only 4 feet apart, no subwoofer, and they sound incredible.
These speakers (once a little broken in) will definitely challenge what you thought was possible from such a small cabinet!!! Read about speaker placement and invest in good stands! Try to take advantage of the digital input options, and be prepared to beam with pride!!!!!
- Reynard A, Clearwater, FL
The build quality is solid and it is apparent, as others have mentioned, that the speaker design was extremely well thought out; especially for varying room conditions and digital media. You won't believe your ears!
- JF, Naples, FL
I have had these speakers for a week and been letting them burn in the whole time. It's almost as if I didn't need to, the sound is that good. I use a sonos system for this particular pair and the sound is beyond my expectations. The Vanatoos One is clear, conscise and the sound lively. How they...
- Corey H., Fairfax, VA
I was happy with my Creative T12 speakers for my pc desktop. They are fine little speakers. But I wondered if I could get better in a desktop/bookshelf size speaker. So I read the reviews and took a chance on Vanatoo. I mean, these are 3X the money of the other well-rated pc desktop speakers. Dear...
- Glenn A., La Crescenta, CA
Details in my music come out that i've never noticed before, Its so obvious of a change/improvement It's worth writing a review to boast the quality of these Vanatoo T1's. You simply cannot go wrong with the purchase of them, they are perfect for a wide range of uses from computer gaming, HIFI,...
- Tim C., Bothell, WA
I use these every morning to listen to music while I get ready, and since I live in an apartment complex, it is important to me to have amazing quality sound even at low volumes. These speakers are perfect for this. I also use these to preview music that I have recorded and they give you a very...
- Conner M., San Louis Obispo, CA
I am a life-long audiophile and these are VERY good speakers. Nice design... all-in-one with DAC, amps and various digital inputs with automatic switching make this an absolutely amazing package, especially for the price.
- Gene K., Amherst, OH
They don't seem to get hot and are small enough to place just about anywhere. The auto source switching is very nice. After two weeks in the dorm, the comment was, "they have a warmth I'm not used to, it's great, great for a small room."
I love this product! The sound quality is brilliant. The speakers perfectly fill my living room in my small apartment and bring color and texture to every note of music that is played through them!
- Jeffrey F, Reno, NV
I received my Vanatoo a few days ago and I am delighted. Just now realize what I have been missing all that time with my Bose dock: great sound precision and clarity. Not only these speakers are extremely versatile (plug any source to it... they have the input for it!) but the Bass are also very...
- Fred B., New York, NY
I don't post a lot of reviews on Amazon. But I LOVE THESE SPEAKERS! Every time I listen to them I am reminded of how happy they make me. If you have speakers attached to your computer and you listen to music on them, buy these speakers!
- Stephen K., Bayside, NY
The two pairs' sound seemed similar, but there was more harmonic detail on the Vanatoos. The music was a bit more lively and the highs were more extended. We ran through the comparison set. Then someone asked to turn the volume up, and on went some cuts from Talking Heads' Stop Making Sense. We...
- Michael M., Salem, OR
Side by side against the Audio Engine's, there's simply no comparison whatsoever. Extraordinary bass, pinpoint imaging, and sparkly highs. As for inputs and features (including bass and treble controls!), they provide versatility beyond anything available at this price.
- Stereoman, Los Angeles, CA
The sound is spectacular (clarity, separation on tracks, range) on the different types of music (acoustic guitar, classical, rock) that I've tried streaming from the AppleTV (via iTunes Match, or AirPlay). The Xbox games and streaming video over the console also have great sound. I like the...
- BB13, Bellevue, WA
Well, in mid April 2013, we finally gave in and got the Vanatoos. The AEs are now in our son's room. He is pleased but we are delighted!
- Anthony L., West Seattle, WA
Sound quality is without question the best I have ever heard in a near-field listening environment on my PC. The rear bass radiator design offers a stunning level of tight bass for a speaker of this size. I mean wow! It feels like throughout quality. The weight feels substantial. The cherry wood...
- Les K., Millbrae, CA
As other reviewers mention, the overall sound quality is awesome for such a small package. You don't need to be an audiophile to recongize the difference in clarity and range compared to other desktop or bookshelf speakers. The Transparent Ones do an impressive job of handling different types of...
- Shawn H, Woodinville, WA
Within minutes after opening the box, I had a fully wireless system controlled through my iPhone (via Apple TV). No setup, passwords or fuss. The connection options and built-in amplifier completely eliminates the need for a stereo, making my audio system truly transparent. The sound quality and...
- Randall S., Spokane, WA
So I am a minimalist. I do not want to buy a set of hi-fi speakers, a DAC, an amplifier, yadda yadda yadda. I want my room to have a clean minimalistic look, and not have to have a power strip to accommodate for all the audio crap an audiophile would typically have. These speakers are hooked up to...
- Ryan O., Elkridge, MD
Love, love, love these speakers! They were incredibly quick and easy to set up and the quality of the sound coming from these speakers is amazing! I connected the speakers via a Mini-TOSLINK to TOSLINK connection to an Airport Express and use the speakers wirelessly to stream music and/or control...
- Sarah W., Los Gatos, CA
Firstly, I was amazed when everything played properly the first time! Secondly, I was struck by the quality of the sound coming from the speakers. I picked Adelle's "Someone Like You" (it was my wife's iPod, OK ?!), selected the proper interface over which to play (in this case, my AE Hub) and I...
- Reese F., Essex Junction, VT
I was very impressed with all levels of tonal reproduction (highs, midrange, and bass). As mentioned in the article you won't get over the top bass from a speaker this small but I did hook up my high quality Velodyne 10 inch sub-woofer and it not only worked flawlessly (regarding auto cross-over...
- Ed C., Santa Cruz, CA
I really enjoy listening to clear, clean music, and it seems you have to pay thousands of dollars to get that level of fidelity in speakers these days. With the Transparent One speakers, you not only get the clarity and precision of high-end speakers, you get it in a very compact, affordable,...
- Mark L., Normandy Park, WA