Totem KIN Play Powered Bluetooth Speaker Review

2019-10-10T17:15:08+00:00October 10th, 2019|Home, Reviews, Speakers and Subwoofers|113 Comments

Totem Acoustic is a spectacularly successful Canadian speaker maker that has a devoted following around the world. Perhaps that’s because it’s always stayed true to its roots: design loudspeakers that evoke an emotional connection with your soul when listening to your favourite music. Another reason Totem has achieved such a high status among music lovers is because they produce honest products that are simply fun to listen to. For the most part, Totem steers clear of expensive exotic materials and unnecessarily complicated designs, like so many other manufacturers. Instead, Totem focuses on the core design elements that result in great sound: solid, well built cabinets, dynamic, high performance drivers and tweeters, and highly desirable point-to-point wired crossovers.

At the end of 2018, Totem launched the KIN Play, the company’s first powered Bluetooth speaker aimed squarely at the next generation of music lovers. This speaker quickly found resounding success with listeners of all ages and paved the path for numerous new KIN series product designs. This fall, at the CEDIA Expo, Totem introduced several new products into the KIN series, aiming to strike all the right chords with those who desire simplicity, excellent sonics and a price point that everyone can dance to. The KIN series currently consists of two powered Bluetooth speakers (the KIN Play and KIN Play Mini), a pair of passive speakers (the KIN Monitor and KIN Mini Flex), the KIN Sub and several architectural (in-wall / in-ceiling) speakers. Brand new to the series is also the KIN Amp – Totem’s first-ever integrated amplifier. In this article, I take a closer look at the KIN Play bookshelf speakers.


The Totem KIN Play ($1,250 CDN) is essentially an all-in-one music system housed inside two bookshelf cabinets – all you need is a music source and you’re off to the sonic races. This versatile duo will happily let you stream high resolution music wirelessly from your phone or laptop and they even offer a phono turntable connection. The KIN Play speakers are designed to be used as dedicated music system or as a system that is paired with your TV set. Their wireless connectivity comes courtesy of a Bluetooth 4.1 chip (Qualcomm aptx HD; capable of sampling rates up to 48 kHz), while their turntable compatibility is a function of the built-in phono input stage (compatible with moving-magnet cartridges; 47 kOhm input impedance). Power comes from an internal amplifier that pumps out 2 x 120 watts (RMS) which easily allows the speakers to rock out at house party volume levels. How’s that for flexibility?

Each KIN Play speaker is outfitted with a 1-inch metal alloy dome tweeter, complemented by a 5-inch natural hybrid woofer. The KIN Play system has a frequency response rated from 39 Hz to 22 Hz (+/- 3 dB). To achieve the best sonic performance, Totem recommends placing the speakers 6 inches to 2 feet away from the back wall, with a distance of 3 feet to 12 feet between the speakers. The wide range of placement options means that the KIN Play will be very easy to position just about anywhere in your home.

The rear panel of one of the KIN Play speakers houses a stereo analog RCA input that can be switched between phono and line level, a 3.5 mm mini jack input, as well as an optical input capable of receiving 192 kHz / 24-bit audio. This optical input is designed to connect a TV’s output to the speakers, or other music sources with an optical output. There’s also a subwoofer output for those whose desire to connect an external subwoofer to get more bottom end oomph.

The KIN Play speakers come available in your choice of matte white or matte black. Each speaker measures 7” x 14” x 9.25” (WxHxD). Included in the box, you’ll find a number of goodies: a remote control, speaker wire, power cable and a pair of interconnects – basically everything you need to get started. Visually, the KIN Play speakers are neither small nor large. They’re a comfortable size that will easily fit into just about any room – whether it’s a teenager’s bedroom or a family living room. Personally, I prefer the matte white finish, which my review pair was provided in, over the matte black version because they “appear” to be more compact.


To get the party started, I set up the KIN Play speakers atop my bookshelf speaker stands, about 12 inches away from the back wall, in the dining room – the space where much of the music listening takes place at my house, especially when entertaining friends and family. I paired my iPhone via Bluetooth to the speakers in seconds flat and connected my Gold Note Giglio moving magnet turntable to their phono input.

I sat myself in an armchair, with my phone in hand and began selecting tunes through my TIDAL streaming music app. I started with the BORNS Dopamine album and tracks such as “Electric Love”, “10,000 Emerald Pools” and “American Money”. The fluid and mesmerizing vocals of Garrett Clark Borns had me lost in the music in no time. The KIN Play did an excellent job at conducting the energy of BORNS’ music and painted a surprisingly large sonic landscape. The soundstage extended well outside the side walls of my room and reached just as far in depth behind the speakers. To me, a speaker’s ability to produce a soundstage with an extended width and depth are paramount because this characteristic makes the music sound more exciting and immersive. In this regard, the KIN Play managed to put a great big smile on my face.

Another rock / pop band I’ve really been enjoying lately is Arkells, from Hamilton, Ontario. I’ve seen them perform live several times over the last few years and they continue to release incredible music. Coincidentally, I ran into lead singer / guitarist Max Kerman at a local bar in downtown Toronto the weekend before I wrote this and shared a quick drink with him. I queued up some of their latest hits on TIDAL such as “11:11”, “My Heart’s Always Yours”, “Knocking at the Door”, “People’s Champ” and “Relentless”. The KIN Play speakers reproduced the upbeat emotion of the music very well and teleported me sonically to the live performance. These attributes are definitely some of the hallmarks of a great speaker.

Changing up the pace, I listened to my favorite tracks from Billie Eilish, Lorde and The Weeknd. The KIN Play speakers delivered a consistent, detailed sound from all the tracks I listened to from these artists. They also managed to produce a respectable amount of bass, which provided a solid foundation to the tracks. To be honest, I didn’t hear any earth shattering or precisely articulate bass here but that wouldn’t be a fair expectation from a modestly sized bookshelf speaker. Such tricks are best left to subwoofers and that’s why Totem gives you the option to hook up an external subwoofer, like its own KIN Sub.

While I tested the KIN Play speakers, I tried them in different locations around my house to get a better sense of how they performed if placed in less-than-ideal environments. I quickly learned that they are remarkably forgiving in terms of placement because they offer a large sweet spot, meaning that they’ll sound very good even if you’re not sitting perfectly in front of them. This is a highly desirable speaker character. I found them to play well with even just a couple of feet between them, although for best imaging I recommend placing them at least four feet apart. Also, if you’d like to “pump up the bass” a little, simply move them a little closer to the rear wall. Those who like to tweak the sound to their liking, will be pleased to know that the provided remote control also allows you to adjust the treble and bass.

If you own a turntable, you’ll be happy to know that the KIN Play speakers offer a phono input, a feature that is not offered by any other powered speakers that I’m aware of. This input allows you to hook any moving magnet turntable, like my Gold Note Giglio directly the speakers.
Milky Chance and their record “Sadnecessary”, as well as Muse’s “Simulation Theory” record, once again demonstrated that the KIN Play excel at creating a large soundstage with great width and depth. The vinyl versions of these records definitely sounded more “alive” than the digital files. The vocals and instruments in the midrange benefited from finer gradients in musical details which made them sound more fluid and realistic. There was also an increased amount of air between the various layers of instruments. With the Muse album, especially, the KIN Play’s created a vast, out of this world sonic immersion.

With Don McLean’s “American Pie” record, the strumming of the acoustic guitar sounded genuine and articulate. On the title track, I could easily hear the soft guitar pick dancing across the strings. Meanwhile, drums and other instruments that reach into the higher frequencies played with just the right crispness and rolled off gently. Listening to records demonstrated that the built-in phono stage was quite capable and easily allowed the warmth of vinyl albums to shine through.

I also played several Lana Del Ray records, including “Ultraviolence”, “Honeymoon”, “Lust For Life” and the latest release “Norman Fucking Rockwell!”. With these albums, right from the outset, the KIN Play’s generated toe-tapping energy and excitement. And once again, I noticed that the KIN Play’s were very good at achieving great separation between vocals and instruments. Only when the music featured a large number of layers, the vocal / instrument separation started becoming less apparent – but in order to get this right, you’d have to step up to much more expensive speaker models. Of course, Totem offers plenty of choice in truly high-end designs.

All in all, I spent many hours listening to different records and music genres and can say with confidence that every time I walked away from the music, I walked away very satisfied.

Pleased with the KIN Play’s performance with music, I moved the speakers onto the TV console in my living room and launched Netflix. Do you ever wonder where your TV sound comes from since you don’t see any speakers in the front? It usually comes from one or two tiny speakers mounted in the back, which rely on reflections from the back wall to deliver sound to your ears. While this is a neat solution design-wise, it leaves much to be desired in terms of sound quality.

With the KIN Play speakers in place, I was immediately rewarded with sound that was far more enjoyable and did a great job of bringing the on-screen action to life. In contrast to the puny, congested sound from the TV speakers, I was presented with a significantly richer, more detailed sound. Voices became fuller and more palpable, while the soundstage became much wider thanks to the increased stereo separation. Busy city scenes in Murdoch Mysteries gave the impression as if I was standing in the middle of a crowded street. Action scenes from sci-fi series Dark Matter and blockbuster movies like Bumblebee benefited from increased impact and energy.

Last by not least, I also played a few games on my PlayStation 4, including NHL20, Wolfenstein: Cyberpilot and Contra: Rouge Corps. With the KIN Play speakers providing the sound, there’s no question that the level of immersion was far greater that with the built-in TV speakers. Voices became more realistic, alien noises became scarier and gunshots were at times frightening. Overall, the improved quality of sound made me feel more like I was in the game, rather than just playing it. It would be tough – no, it would be impossible – to go back to watching movies and playing games using the TV speakers again.


The KIN Play powered Bluetooth speakers strike a superb balance between immersive sound, compact dimensions and price. There’s something very honest and deeply satisfying in the way they reproduce sound – something we’ve learned to expect from all Totem speakers. For $1,250 CDN, there is a lot of value here: you get a pair of well-built speakers, an integrated amp, Bluetooth connectivity and even a turntable input. These speakers are likely to provide you with many years of listening pleasure, without having to sacrifice a lot of space that a full blown audio system demands and without chowing down too much of your disposable income. If you’re in the market for powered speakers, these puppies should definitely make your short list.

Totem Acoustic

Totem KIN Play Powered Bluetooth Speakers
Price: $1,250 CDN

  • About the Author:

    After completing a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science in 2002, Suave turned his attention to his passion for audio, video and technology in general. Through hands on experience with an extensive number of audio video products, Suave provides a real world, expert perspective on the latest products and the technology surrounding them. As an enthusiast, he shows a true passion in his writing that is easy to understand by all consumers. Aside from contributing to NOVO, Suave has also written about audio for special sections of The Toronto Star, Son et Image Magazine (FSI Guide) and appeared several times on television. More recently Suave was interviewed and quoted in articles for the Globe and Mail and In 2010, Suave launched the Toronto Audio Video Entertainment Show (TAVES), an annual consumer trade show that has witnessed tremendous growth year after year.  In 2014, the show was expanded to include a new technology & innovation pavilion and rebranded as the TAVES Consumer Electronics Show.  As of 2016, the show attracts over 7,600 attendees and exhibitors from around the globe.  TAVES showcases cutting-edge technology and innovation in the most exciting categories: virtual reality, drones, wearables, health & fitness, gaming, audio, home theater, robotics, 3D printing, personal transportation, smart devices and electric vehicles.  For more info, please visit


    1. […] The larger portion of the suite was configured like a living room and featured several products from Totem’s KIN Series, a range of products designed for the next generation of music lovers. Visitors were given a chance to sit on a comfy couch and listen to the Totem KIN Play powered Bluetooth speakers. The KIN Play is essentially and all-in-one music system – just connect your phone wirelessly and you’ll have access to all the music in the world via your favourite music streaming app. But here’s the cool thing that makes these speakers unique: they have a built-in phono stage that allows you to hook up a moving magnet turntable. The KIN Play easily filled this larger room with sound and no matter where I moved around the room, the music seemed to follow me hinting at the speaker’s large listening sweet spot. Despite its bookshelf factor, the KIN Play serves up a great deal of musical energy, in turn producing a truly immersive and engaging listening experience. The KIN Play actually spent the last few months at my house – you can check out my review HERE. […]

    2. viagra on line no prec Apr 22, 2020 at 12:45 am

      viagra on line no prec

      Totem KIN Play Powered Bluetooth Speaker Review – NOVO Audio and Technology Magazine

    3. cialis 20mg online sale Apr 29, 2020 at 11:26 pm

      cialis 20mg online sale

      Totem KIN Play Powered Bluetooth Speaker Review – NOVO Audio and Technology Magazine

    4. buy chloroquine online uk May 27, 2020 at 2:32 am

      buy chloroquine online uk

      Totem KIN Play Powered Bluetooth Speaker Review – NOVO Audio and Technology Magazine

    5. lowest prices on viagra Jun 29, 2020 at 3:58 pm

      lowest prices on viagra

      Totem KIN Play Powered Bluetooth Speaker Review – NOVO Audio and Technology Magazine

    6. viagra overnight delivery Jul 11, 2020 at 12:14 pm

      viagra overnight delivery

      Totem KIN Play Powered Bluetooth Speaker Review – NOVO Audio and Technology Magazine

    7. cialis without a doctor prescription

      Totem KIN Play Powered Bluetooth Speaker Review – NOVO Audio and Technology Magazine

    8. usa pharmacy viagra Jul 26, 2020 at 10:19 am

      usa pharmacy viagra

      Totem KIN Play Powered Bluetooth Speaker Review – NOVO Audio and Technology Magazine

    9. generic viagra 20mg pills erections

      Totem KIN Play Powered Bluetooth Speaker Review – NOVO Audio and Technology Magazine

    10. cialis ed Sep 22, 2020 at 5:57 am

      cialis ed

      Totem KIN Play Powered Bluetooth Speaker Review – NOVO Audio and Technology Magazine

    11. thenaturalpenguin Sep 22, 2020 at 10:18 pm

      … [Trackback]

      […] Here you can find 23019 additional Info to that Topic: […]

    12. … [Trackback]

      […] Find More to that Topic: […]

    13. buy cialis online overnight shipping

      cialis online buy

    14. Making Money Online Sep 30, 2020 at 12:48 pm

      … [Trackback]

      […] Read More on that Topic: […]

    15. cialis otc Oct 4, 2020 at 8:30 am

      cialis prices

      cialis pills

    16. sildenafil Oct 7, 2020 at 11:44 am


      otc viagra

    17. viagra cost Oct 8, 2020 at 10:44 am

      canadian viagra

      where to buy viagra

    18. viagra dosage Oct 13, 2020 at 1:30 pm

      viagra prices

      viagra cost

    19. brand cialis online Oct 22, 2020 at 11:27 am

      buy cialis in toronto

      cialis youtube

    20. need viagra pills Oct 24, 2020 at 11:13 am

      viagra coupon pfizer walmart

      why does viagra cost so much

    21. cialis super active 20mg Oct 26, 2020 at 7:03 am

      walgreens cialis price

      cheap generic cialis online

    22. buy viagra online usa Oct 30, 2020 at 10:21 am

      how to stop pfizer viagra emails

      order viagra soft

    23. viagra in hindi Nov 9, 2020 at 3:05 pm

      buy viagra online australia

      viagra ontario

    24. is generic viagra the same Nov 17, 2020 at 12:52 pm

      buy viagra co uk

      where can i buy viagra pills

    25. viagra price in india Nov 20, 2020 at 10:00 am

      pharmacy in singaporeviagra

      viagra en espanol

    26. cialis 36 hour online Nov 26, 2020 at 12:51 pm

      cheap cialis uk

      cialis lisinopril

    27. order viagra from canada

      viagra time to take effect

    28. cost of viagra at costco

      viagra coupons online

    29. viagra for women in hindi Dec 22, 2020 at 4:37 pm

      generic viagra pills

      viagra mint soft tab

    30. generic cialis 10mg

      safest place to buy generic cialis

    31. edmonton viagra Jan 6, 2021 at 1:03 am

      how much viagra is safe

      can i get viagra in chennai

    32. buy viagra discreet delivery

      buy viagra cialis online

    33. cialis gel Feb 1, 2021 at 5:10 pm

      5mg cialis

      teva cialis

    34. order prescription viagra Feb 18, 2021 at 6:54 pm

      viagra ingredients

      viagra amazon

    35. order original cialis online

      USA delivery

    36. generic cialis uk cost

      tadalafil dosage

    37. herbal viagra Jan 27, 2022 at 3:51 am

      buy levitra online

      viagra sin receta

    38. buy viagra online india Jan 27, 2022 at 5:16 am

      women viagra

      sildenafil without a prescription

    39. ivermectin cena Jan 27, 2022 at 6:26 am

      ivermectin ingredients

      ivermectin liquid

    40. ivermectin dengue

      buy oral ivermectin

    41. buying proventil online Jan 27, 2022 at 1:30 pm

      albuterol tablets australia

      buy albuterol pills online

    42. ivermectin cream Jan 31, 2022 at 9:28 am

      ivermectin india

      molnupiravir vs ivermectin

    43. ivermectin 50 Feb 1, 2022 at 1:03 pm

      ivermectin 3 mg

      stromectol tablets uk

    44. ivermectin otc Feb 1, 2022 at 3:48 pm

      ivermectin cost australia

      ivermectin 6 mg tablets

    45. stromectol 3mg Feb 2, 2022 at 11:01 am

      ivermectin 400 mg

      oral ivermectin cost

    46. ivermectin online Feb 3, 2022 at 5:03 pm

      how to get ivermectin

      ivermectin australia

    47. ivermectin tablets for sale

      ivermectin for sale

    48. ignition casino update Feb 4, 2022 at 6:14 am

      ignition poker issues

      ignition casino code

    49. buy tadalafil generic india

      generic tadalafil

    50. stromectol 0.5 mg

      stromectol where to buy

    51. ivermectin 4000 mcg Feb 9, 2022 at 4:11 am

      ivermectin 0.5% lotion

      ivermectin 500mg

    52. generique cialis

      tadalafil daily

    53. side effects of viagra Feb 9, 2022 at 4:30 pm

      us pharmacy generic viagra

      viagra no prescription

    54. lasix online india

      furosemide 20mg tab price

    55. ivermectin pills human Feb 10, 2022 at 6:10 am

      stromectol otc

      ivermectin and covid

    56. roman tadalafil Feb 10, 2022 at 12:49 pm

      cialis without a doctor prescription usa

      generic for cialis in the usa

    57. cost of tadalafil 10mg Feb 10, 2022 at 4:43 pm

      best tadalafil generic

      tadalafil 10mg

    58. 80mg tadalafil Feb 11, 2022 at 8:32 am

      northwest pharmacy

      where can i buy cialis online usa

    59. generic cialis drugs Feb 11, 2022 at 3:06 pm

      where to buy cialis in australia

      cost of cialis without prescription

    60. ivermectin in humans

      ivermectin in humans

    61. cialis dosis Feb 14, 2022 at 3:52 pm

      generic name for cialis

      cialis cost

    62. cialis walmart

      peptides tadalafil

    63. use of prednisone 20mg Feb 14, 2022 at 7:56 pm

      prednisone 20mg for arthritis

      buy generic prednisone online

    64. molpunavir Feb 15, 2022 at 7:41 am

      merck’s covid pill

      merck covid pill fda

    65. cialis pills for men Feb 16, 2022 at 10:36 am

      tadalafil kaufen

      tadalafil regular dose

    66. what is tadalafil Feb 16, 2022 at 12:43 pm

      how to buy cialis from canada

      where can you get cialis

    67. prednisone Feb 17, 2022 at 10:11 am

      side effects prednisone

      steroid side effects

    68. generic prescription viagra Feb 17, 2022 at 10:53 am

      exceed viagra and cialis

      generic viagra online purchase in usa

    69. cialis price walmart Feb 17, 2022 at 3:22 pm

      cialis 20mg online

      cheap cialis india

    70. free online slots that pay real money

      free online games that pay real money

    71. where can u buy viagra Feb 18, 2022 at 5:39 am

      buy viagra online paypal

      viagra sans ordonnance au quebec

    72. tadalafil goodrx Feb 18, 2022 at 6:26 am

      cialis website

      generic cialis tadalafil

    73. ivermectin humans Feb 18, 2022 at 8:53 am

      ivermectin 50 mg

      how to get ivermectin australia

    74. cialis price Feb 18, 2022 at 9:55 am

      generic cialis tadalafil

      generic cialis tadalafil

    75. stromectol tab 3mg Feb 18, 2022 at 2:56 pm

      ivermectin paste

      ivermectin pyrantel pamoate

    76. casinos online usa Feb 19, 2022 at 5:44 am

      win casino online

      best online real casinos slots

    77. ivermectin wormer Feb 19, 2022 at 7:08 am

      ivermectina oral

      ivermectine et covid

    78. buying accutane in canada Feb 19, 2022 at 2:19 pm

      cost of accutane no insurance

      buy accutane online au

    79. otc sildenafil

      buy viagra online from india

    80. generic Feb 19, 2022 at 3:45 pm

      generic for cialis

      tadalafil and dapoxetine

    81. buy viagra online Feb 20, 2022 at 5:27 am

      cialis tadalafil

      cialis dosis

    82. stromectol ingredients

      ivermectin pills for people

    83. best online casinos usa Feb 22, 2022 at 6:28 am

      gambling online

      games that pay real money

    84. ivermectin brand

      ivermectin 1%

    85. ivermectin 3mg tablets Feb 23, 2022 at 3:49 pm

      buy ivermectin 12mg tablets

      ivermectin 3 mg tablets for humans for sale

    86. ivermectin medicine Feb 24, 2022 at 7:48 am

      ivermectin 3 mg dose

      stromectol australia

    87. mexico ivermectin

      ivermectina oral

    88. ivermectin uk Mar 1, 2022 at 6:26 am

      ivermectin kaufen schweiz

      stromectol for sale

    89. ivermectin stromectol Mar 1, 2022 at 7:54 am

      ivermectin price uk

      ivermectin stromectol

    90. cialis pills Mar 1, 2022 at 10:27 pm

      tadalafil otc

      cialis walmart

    91. invermectin Mar 2, 2022 at 5:42 am

      ivermectin buy australia

      ivermectin from india

    92. ivermectin 0.5% brand name

      buy ivermectin

    93. ivermectin 3mg price Mar 4, 2022 at 8:12 pm

      ivermectin 6 mg online

      ivermectin cost canada

    94. buy ivermectin 12mg for humans

      get ivermectin

    95. stromectol otc Mar 9, 2022 at 1:10 pm

      ivermectin 3 mg

      stromectol usa

    96. ivermectin 9 mg Mar 10, 2022 at 5:35 am

      order ivermectin for humans

      stromectol cvs

    97. furosemide buy Mar 10, 2022 at 1:16 pm

      over the counter lasix drug

      lasix 10 mg pill

    98. ivermectin 12 mg pills Mar 10, 2022 at 3:59 pm

      buy ivermectin 3mg for sale

      ivermectin 5 mg

    99. lasix best price Mar 11, 2022 at 5:07 am

      furosemide 40mg tab

      80 mg lasix daily

    100. how is ivermectin made

      stromectol for lice

    101. ivermectin 5 mg

      ivermectin over the counter uk

    102. stromectol tablets Mar 17, 2022 at 6:18 am

      stromectol pill for humans

      stromectol tablete

    103. stromectol Mar 17, 2022 at 11:01 am

      ivermectin 6mg dosage

      ivermectin cost uk

    104. ivermectin 9 mg Mar 23, 2022 at 6:17 am

      ivermectin and covid

      stromectol medicine

    105. tadalafil 20 mg how long does it last

      cialis effects

    106. stromectol tab Mar 31, 2022 at 5:37 am

      ivermectin lice

      buy ivermectin pills

    107. ivermectin 1mg Apr 1, 2022 at 11:46 am

      ivermectin tablets order

      molnupiravir ivermectin

    108. hydroxychloroquine brand name

      can you buy hydroxychloroquine over the counter in canada

    109. ivermectin trials Apr 18, 2022 at 5:13 am

      cost of ivermectin lotion

      ivermectine buy

    110. stromectol 3mg cost

      ivermectin cream canada cost

    111. stromectol liquid Apr 19, 2022 at 5:32 am

      ivermectin ld50 human

      buy liquid ivermectin

    112. stromectol 3mg tablets

      stromectol tab price

    113. ivermectin interactions Apr 21, 2022 at 5:10 am

      buy ivermectin nz

      ivermectin syrup

    Leave A Comment