The Canton DM 50 is a lesson in what a soundbase should sound and look like.
With its premium quality build and lavishly detailed sound, it fully justifies its £400 price tag.
The first impression of the Canton DM 50 is one of power. It’s a big and muscular sound for a soundbase unit, filling up the room with breathtaking dynamics.
We were enveloped by a rich and full-bodied sound, one that packs a punch while also allowing space for the top end to soar.
The DM 50 digs up plenty of detail, with voices packed with emotion and subtlety. The bass performance is the star here, sounding gorgeously deep, taut and agile with both TV and music.
Stream Kansas’s Carry On Wayward Son over Bluetooth, and the Canton charges along with great rhythm, taut and precise guitar pluckage and bagfuls of energy.
It’s the most dynamically subtle soundbase we’ve heard so far, too, with more depth and insight than the rival Cambridge Audio Minx TV.
The trade-off for that authoritative bass performance is that it can sound a bit too rich at times, especially at high volumes.
However, there’s no issue with booming, which we found in the Orbitsound SB60; the Canton is nicely balanced.
It’s worth experimenting with the two sound modes available on the DM 50. In Stereo mode, the Canton is tightly focused and cohesive – it’s a strong sound.
Surround mode predictably injects a sense of space, but without pushing voices to the back. We were happy listening to either.
Build and design quality
The Canton soundbase goes to the top of the class with its stunning build and elegant design. It has a satisfying heft to it, and feels like it will easily shrug off the weight of most big-screened TVs.
It’s impeccably finished too, with the smooth, semi-gloss finish (available in black, white or silver) adding a touch of class.
More after the break
Single optical and coaxial inputs and a pair of phono connectors are all the connections you get on the Canton DM 50.
It’s adequate enough for a direct connection to your TV (optical connection is our favourite method), but we would have liked a better breadth of connections – such as HDMI inputs.
Bluetooth streaming is on board, as mentioned before, with the aptX codec support that boosts the streaming quality from your smart device.
The Canton’s front panel has a blindingly bright blue LED display that indicates all the basic and important information, such as the selected input, the volume level, and which sound mode you’re turning on.
You can also control the bass and treble levels. It’s worth playing around with this feature, as you can fine-tune the sound to your liking. We toned down the bass just a touch, but left the treble alone.
All of this can be adjusted from a nicely made, big chunk of remote control.
Unlike the small, flimsy flat remotes that are supplied with most rival soundbases (the Cambridge Audio Minx TV and Orbitsound SB60 are the worst offenders), the Canton’s is solid and reassuringly hefty.
The buttons are large and laid out neatly, and are responsive and easy to use.
There is a single subwoofer output too, just in case you wanted more bass (you don’t need it.)
The DM 50’s rich, velvety sound, incredible depth of subtlety and powerful sound easily won us over. It’s a satisfying and thrilling performance.
The only fly in Canton’s ointment is the Cambridge Audio Minx TV, which performs almost as admirably, but at half the cost.
However, if you’re after a premium quality solution to improving the terrible sound of your TV, then this will be a great upgrade for £400.
The Canton DM 50 is fully worth that premium price.