What Hi Fi Sound and Vision Thu, 29 Nov 2007, 12:00pm

Canton Chrono 5.1

Tested at £1100
80100
4

If you’re looking for all-out cinematic attack, jump right in. If you’ve the room, that is…

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For

  • Widescreen sound
  • shiny good looks
  • perceived value is high

Against

  • Lacks ultimate focus
  • needs plenty of space

‘Though this is the most compact incarnation of a Chrono multichannel package (two pairs of 502 standmounters, 505 centre speaker and AS525SC subwoofer), it's still a sizeable proposition. Those with small listening rooms must look elsewhere.

Everybody else should give the Chrono full consideration. Those sparkly, chromed driver surrounds may not be to everybody's taste, but Canton can't be faulted for making an effort when many rivals look humdrum.

And its sound grabs the attention, too: delivering Hot Fuzz, it impresses with its scale and confidence. It generates a wide, tall soundstage and establishes effects on it with precision, handling movement and placement with ease. The centre speaker, as seems only reasonable from such a substantial cabinet, is also richly communicative, investing dialogue with detail and character.

Subwoofer with slam
This same movie raised a few questions about the AS525SC subwoofer's firepower and expressiveness, but a switch to Jonathan Demme's Stop Making Sense reveals all to be satisfactory. This bass-bin is punchy and eloquent, and integrates smoothly with its surround sound partners.

Used for stereo listening, the Canton maintains its form. Music is big and bold, with particularly enjoyable levels of authority. Class-leaders offer greater detail and focus, and therefore greater fidelity, but none approaches the expansive nature in evidence here.

If you crave super-sized movie sound from shiny speakers, this is a front-runner. It's not the most faithful speaker system we've ever heard, but it's among the most fun.

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