How Good is Obama’s Home Sound System, Really?

WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 4: President Barack Obama sings "Happy Birthday" to his daughter Malia Obama at the Fourth of July White House party on July 4, 2016 in Washington, DC. Maila Obama celebrated her 18th birthday during the party, which featured guests including singers Janelle Monae and Kendrick Lamar. (Photo by Aude Guerrucci-Pool/Getty Images)

The newest issue of Architectural Digest includes a picture of Obama’s sound system and turntable setup as a part of a feature taking a look inside the White House. One’s first impression—besides the implication that Barry dips into a vinyl collection now and again—might well be: Man, that’s a little dinky, isn’t it?

Others took to Reddit to complain, among other things, about Obama’s bush-league speaker placement mistake: that is, putting his Kanto YU5 bluetooth speaker system on the same table as his turntable (a Denon DP-300F). User “swolemedic” noted, astutely, that “that marble table is gonna reflect like a mother fucker.” They are also placed near to a wall, which can cause further unwanted reverberations, as well as a boomy quality.

The Kanto speakers are a brand-new product with a lot of functionality, and have a nice flat face and tweeters, though some Redditors and Amazon reviews seem to prefer the Audioengine A2+ system. Also, Obama doesn’t have them hooked up to an amp that could give them added warmth, outside of the militant, compressed low end provided by the woofer.

The newness of the speakers (surely, the president could at least score some nice vintage JBLs) suggests a knee-jerk Amazon buy, and the desire to primarily be streaming off of a device instead of spinning some pristine, first-run LPs. The more important implication for people who don’t give a shit about hi-fi audio: If Obama is using bluetooth to jam his favorite Chance the Rapper tunes, is there the potential to hack his phone or iPad?

And as for the turntable, well, the Denon is far from the best deck in the under-$500 price range. Digital Trends describes it as “designed with beginners in mind” and the fidelity of the sound as “decent enough.” Come on, Barry! Is the president of the United States going to settle for “decent enough”?

Check out the White House rig below.

How Good is Obama’s Home Sound System, Really?


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