Review: Canton Smart Soundbar 10 & Smart Sub 8

Review: Canton Smart Soundbar 10 & Smart Sub 8: Does the Canton duo a one-size-fits-all solution? Not that either. But it comes with lots of benefits.
5/5 - (1 vote)

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

Unlike the massive Nubert sound bar, the Canton Smart Soundbar 10 cannot be used at the same time as a base or stand for the flat screen TV, because it has woofers that radiate upwards. Another conceptual difference: the Smart Soundbar 10 is Dolby Atmos and DTS-HD certified. In addition to the four 79 mm aluminum woofers, it is equipped with two 50 mm aluminum mid-range speakers and two 19 mm fabric domes for the high frequency range; Mid-range and high-frequency drivers radiate forward. Two oval passive membranes can also be found on the front: The Soundbar 10 works with a more advanced bass reflex system. Canton specifies the system output as 300 watts.

Der 22-cm-Konuslautsprecher des Canton Smart Subwoofer 8

The Canton Smart Sub 8, on the other hand, is roughly cube-shaped with an edge length of around 30 centimeters, it radiates downwards – keyword downfiring – and comes with a 22 cm cone speaker with a cellulose-graphite membrane. The built-in Class D power amplifier should deliver a music output of 200 watts, the manufacturer does not specify a sinusoidal output. It is practical that the sub can also be connected wirelessly within the Canton Smart ecosystem, but if necessary it can also be played via its cinch input. If the subwoofer is integrated into the setup, the DSP in the soundbar 10 automatically relieves the internal woofers and transfers the frequencies below 100 Hertz to the sub.

Die Tieftöner der Canton Smart Soundbar 10 strahlen nach oben ab

Doubly surprised: graceful & generous

Two things surprised me about the Canton system: On the one hand, despite its width of almost one meter, it looks downright graceful: With a height of only seven and a depth of ten centimeters, the soundbar hardly appears in the room. On the other hand, the range of functions and connectivity is astonishing: in addition to four HDMI-ARC interfaces (including ARC), there is an optical and a coaxial digital input as well as a cinch high-level input. But also an Ethernet connection and a WLAN Receivers (2.4 GHz and 5 GHz) are available so that the Canton Smart Soundbar 10 can be easily integrated into the in-house network and played via Chromecast from any smartphone app or the Chrome browser. Yes, various scenarios up to a more complex 5.1.2 setup are even possible with other speakers from the Smart series. But that’s not all: The Bluetooth receiver, which is also on board, allows content to be played quickly and easily without installing any apps.

Die Rückseite der Canton Smart Soundbar 10 bietet vornehmlich digitale, aber auch analoge Anschlüsse

Tastefully decorated

The variety of functions becomes apparent at the latest during the initial setup, which is made pleasantly easy for the user: The soundbar 10 has a sophisticated menu structure, the structure of which is conveniently sent to the television via the HDMI out and displayed there (on screen display). Very pleasant, if you think of some of the other “parameter diggers” of the guild, where you are definitely lost without a manual. With the help of the supplied remote control and the OSD, all features can be conveniently called up and configured. Here, for example, the various inputs can be “named”, the phase position of the subwoofer can be adjusted or the maximum volume can be set. The built-in DSP is also configured here. Among other things, it allows a certain amount of room adjustment: You simply set the distance between the listening position and the soundbar and the height of the room via the menu – the DSP in turn adjusts the soundbar to the entered values. In addition, there is a three-volume EQ for fine-tuning bass / middle / treble as well as a voice preset for optimal speech intelligibility, a stereo mode for pure music playback as well as a night and a movie mode with a certain increase in the stereophonic base width. In contrast to the Nubert soundbar, however, a room measurement using an iPhone microphone is not provided for at Canton. a stereo mode for pure music playback as well as a night and a movie mode with a certain increase in the stereophonic base width. In contrast to the Nubert soundbar, however, a room measurement using an iPhone microphone is not provided for at Canton. a stereo mode for pure music playback as well as a night and a movie mode with a certain increase in the stereophonic base width. In contrast to the Nubert soundbar, however, a room measurement using an iPhone microphone is not provided for at Canton.

Canton Smart Soundbar 10 - Frontabdeckung mit Logo

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?

Die Canton Smart Soundbar 10 kommt mit Fernbedienung

Since my wife and I are in the middle of the highly recommendable Netflix family saga “Bloodline”, we simply took the opportunity and used our usual setup, consisting of the Marantz PM 7000N amplifier (1,199 euros) and the Nubert nuBox 483 (558 euros ) immediately replaced by the Canton bundle. First, not necessarily to be expected, realization: The Canton bundle makes my home system work up a sweat in terms of film sound and music and looks at the comparison with obvious serenity.

The musical intro of the series consists of a very well produced bluegrass song , in which a harmonica with a lot of reverb and considerable depth plays an iconic riff, followed by spherical synth pads, a steel guitar and wistful vocals, accompanied by typical sea noises (waves and seagulls). Even if the soundbar is one meter wide and has a smaller base width than my usual speaker setup (1.70 meters), the sound fans out very evenly, wide and high in the room – at least in my living room setup with a listening distance of almost two meters. No discoloration or nasal marks can be seen on vocals, harmonica or guitar. The harmonica has a tingling presence without excessive sharpening, the guitar has a full and voluminous body, the ambient noise transports you directly to the sea.

Das aufgeräumte Heck des Canton Smart Sub 8

The positive impression continues with the effect tracks: The series takes place in the Florida Keys, the weather is appropriate – there is a lot of rain and thunderstorms. But the series also has some action scenes ready, for example a car accident, a hearty beating or an exploding speedboat: As long as the subwoofer is there, nothing stands in the way of an exciting, bass-rich and impressive sound experience. The rumble of thunder is authentic and threatening, as does heavy downpours – and if the bar fight is done correctly, the bad boys manifest themselves more realistically in the room than one would like. Well, it’s not surprising that when you remove the subwoofer, a little less happens “down below”. Still it is amazing. It plays the fundamental and upper bass range pleasantly precisely, without slag and substance – the deep bass fades out very quickly (roughly below the E string of a bass) – and the “bar” cannot logically offer sub-basses without the support of the subwoofer.

Stereo, stereo

How about stereophonic music? For this purpose, I connected the Canton Smart Soundbar 10 (in conjunction with the Sub) to my CEC CD 5 CD player (price: around 3,000 euros) both via S / PDIF coaxial and analog via stereo cinch cable. I liked the analog connection a bit better in terms of sound, which is probably due to the higher quality DAC in my CD player. Via the digital input, the overall picture appears a bit more “remote” and in the high-frequency range a bit less fine-resolution and grainy.

 Die Canton Smart Soundbar 10 von vorne

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

Der Subwoofer Canton Smart Sub 8

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

Canton Smart Sub 8 und Canton Smart Soundbar 10

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