Review: Canton Smart Soundbar 10 & Smart Sub 8- Soundbars belong – at least that’s how I experience it – to the type of device that has developed most in the direction of “adult” in recent years. When the first soundbars appeared, they were primarily there to “free” music and film sound from the tonal straitjacket called flat-screen TVs – or to set hearty effects accents. Many soundbars did not have real audiophile qualities at the beginning. Well-known stereo manufacturers now also have soundbars in their product range, and the quality and diversity of the genre have expanded astonishingly. Here and now I am busy with the bundle of the Smart Soundbar 10 (899 euros) and the Smart Sub 8 subwoofer (599 euros) from Canton.
Last but not least, I was curious about the Canton duo because in July 2020 the Nubert nuPro XS-7500, which was priced very similarly (1,432 euros)Soundbar was my guest, where the deep bass department resides in the soundbar housing. If you see both soundbars side by side, you can almost speak of David and Goliath from a purely visual point of view: The Nubert device is massive, heavy and exudes a certain imperturbability, the Canton opponent, on the other hand, looks almost like a fine lady, which certainly includes the stylish one Material mix (high-quality metal front grille, upper cover made of polished real glass) contributes. It should also be mentioned that the Canton soundbar can be carried comfortably under the arm, while two strong people are required to transport and set up the Nubert counterpart. A clear difference in terms of handling.
Technology & concept: Canton Smart Soundbar 10 and Subwoofer Smart Sub 8
A bit fiddly
Small downer: The very compact height of the device is due to the fact that you need very slim and skillful fingers to connect the HDMI cables, especially if several of the HDMI interfaces want to be wired in parallel. If you look at the device from behind, the sockets are not next to each other, but behind one another . In addition, straight (symmetrical, “angular”) HDMI plugs are compulsory, those with angled connection cables – and they are known to be found in many households – simply do not fit into the rather fancy connection terminal. But good, enough moaned: Clear the stage for the Canton bundle.
Sound test & comparisons: Canton Smart Soundbar 10 & Smart Sub 8
Moving pictures, moving sound?
When played back in the same way, the tonally extremely balanced coordination of the soundbar in connection with an equally even and coherent sound distribution in the near field (almost 2 meters listening distance) is pleasing. As the distance increases, the action via the Canton station wagon appears increasingly compact and enclosed.
First of all, the tonal impression: the soundbar and sub play as if from one piece, the sub does not impose itself in a gaudy or cheeky manner. It does what it should: it primes the music and functions as a seamlessly connected woofer in the “extra apartment”. Even with classical music in a small ensemble (trio of piano, cello, violin) the representation appears tonally homogeneous, authentic, natural. Interestingly, while listening to the Canton combo, I never even thought of evaluating bass, midrange or treble separately according to the criteria catalog – Smart Soundbar 10 and Smart Sub 8 together act as a “device without properties” in an absolutely positive sense, everything works in a pleasant way in balance, whereby the fine resolution is comparable in quality to that
I would even like to say that with regard to the fine resolution, especially in the high frequency range, I like the Canton duo a bit better than the overall tonally similar, but not quite as audiophile-looking, large Nubert nuPro XS-7500, which in return is at Increasingly higher volumes thanks to its two thick 20.4 cm “oschis” installed in situ, then has the lead in the low-frequency range. This is all the more true – logically – if the subwoofer is taken out of the game. A powerful bass church organ work with 32-foot registers, a double bass massacre (Metallica: One) and the like are naturally more hand-tamed without the Sub 8 – but still not “sticky”, but with good timing and a quick attack. The only thing missing is the pressure in the pit of the stomach and the punch.
Good on the move
Another look at the spatial representation: The Canton bundle, as I wrote above, offers far more spatial impression and space in the near field – especially on the X and Y axes – than the compact dimensions would suggest. This ensures a pleasantly live sound experience that is drawn into the action. You have to make certain compromises with the Z-axis, with the depth of the image: The combination of Canton Smart Soundbar 10 and Sub 8 plays well in width and turns on towards the front – on the other hand, the perceived stage does not fan out towards the rear. However, this does not turn out to be particularly dramatic, especially since – unlike classic stereo speakers – installation close to the wall or even mounting on the wall (the device has corresponding openings on the back) are the standard scenarios anyway. The localization of the sound sources is in line with the concept and price class, but the Canton Smart Soundbar 10 naturally cannot keep up with a well-coordinated, compact stereo two-way system. Due to the system, that would also be a limping apple-and-pear comparison. Overall, in terms of space, I would attest the Canton Smart Soundbar 10 – with or without Sub 8 – similar qualities to the noticeably larger Nubert nuPro XS-7500.
Conclusion: Canton Smart Soundbar 10 and Smart Sub 8
It’s great what is possible today in a small space for a voluminous and adult sound. But what I personally liked about the combination of Canton Smart Soundbar 10 and Canton Smart Sub 8 was the exemplary neutral and coherent tonal coordination, in which no frequency range seems to be excluded, excessive or missing. It is by no means to be misunderstood as a sheer “effects device”. Anyone who usually listens to music or watches films at room volume, and particularly values audiophile sound aspects, should be well served without the subwoofer. If, on the other hand, you need something a little poundier, more voluminous or simply louder with still neutral tonality, the right subwoofer is recommended with the best of conscience.
Does that make the Canton duo a one-size-fits-all solution? Not that either. When it comes to large living rooms and listening distances of more than three / four meters, solutions that are physically wider or that work with separate speakers can of course offer even more, especially in terms of space and deep bass power. The Canton duo is hard to beat for my taste in view of the price range and the very small dimensions in the near field. And I would also like to emphasize the practicality once again: Unpacking and setting up, but also quickly moving to another room: All of this is really child’s play with the Canton double.
Smart soundbar 10
- Concept: soundbar
- Interfaces: 4 x HDMI, Toslink (max. 96 kHz), S / PDIF coaxial (max. 96 kHz), high-level analog (Cinch), Ethernet, Sub out
- System power: 300 watts
- Dimensions & weight: 7 x 99 x 10 cm (HxWxD), 5.24 kg
- Colors: white, black
- Price: 899 euros
Model: Smart Sub 8
- Concept: subwoofer
- Inputs: Sub in (Cinch) / radio
- Transmission range: 30 – 200 Hz
- Music power: 200 watts
- Dimensions & weight: 33 x 27 x 27 cm (HxWxD), 5.3 kg
- Colors: white, silver, black
- Price: 599 euros