Canton Movie 1050 review

A great-looking system, but it doesn't really impress in outright performance Tested at £900

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

A great-looking system, but it doesn't really impress in outright performance


  • +

    Sleek and slim build

  • +

    stylish looks

  • +

    good dynamics

  • +

    good tonal balance


  • -

    Not the most refined

  • -

    lack of cohesion

  • -

    imprecise subwoofer

Why you can trust What Hi-Fi? Our expert team reviews products in dedicated test rooms, to help you make the best choice for your budget. Find out more about how we test.

We’re always excited when we pit new products against old favourites, and straight out of the box the Canton Movie 1050’s first impression is favourable.

The German loudspeaker company has pushed the design brief, with rear standmounters and a centre-channel speaker that are positively tiny. It's also got floorstanders at the front – very sleek and slender ones at that. The whole thing looks stylish in either of the black or white finishes available.

Canton Movie 1050: Tech specs

Each speaker contains a 15mm aluminium tweeter and an 8cm aluminium mid/bass driver, with the front floorstanders using no fewer than four of the larger units, two each side of the tweeter.

The floorstanders come with their own circular plinth, and if you want dedicated stands for the rears (the LS 90.2), they’re an extra £100 a pair.

Canton Movie 1050: Sound quality

Play JJ Abrams’ Star Trek and the Canton package has a lot to sing about. It’s good at handling the challenging dynamics, and delivers a powerful sound proportionate to its size. Despite such disparity in the size and arrangement of the five speakers, there’s a consistent tonal balance.

The midrange shines with dialogue that’s direct and easy to hear, but the floorstanders have a slightly shouty quality to their sound that draws a disproportionate amount of attention and gives an overemphasis on foreground noise.

As a result, there’s a lack of a cohesion to the sound, and the rear speakers struggle to communicate background and surround noises effectively.

The top end of the 5.1 soundtrack shimmers brilliantly, but it’s at the expense of conviction and depth at the middle-to-low frequencies. The biggest weakness of the Canton package is the forward-firing 20cm-driver active subwoofer.

Canton 1050

Canton 1050

Canton Movie 1050: Subwoofer

It needs a fair bit of tweaking before it plays at its best. You'll need to play around with the crossover and volume level controls on the rear panel to get the right balance and integration with the rest of the system. It's quite tricky and might take a while, but get the fine-tuning right and you'll hear a marked improvement.

That said, while it certainly rumbles deep, it’s fairly unwieldy – basslines lack the agility to drive the rest of the system with enthusiasm.

Against the cheaper Monitor Audio MASS and Q Acoustics Q7000 systems, the Canton isn’t quite as adept at conveying the great expanses of outer space surrounding the starships in Star Trek. The soundfield ends up feeling rather congested.

Play some Pet Shop Boys and you’ll find the sound is dynamic, although individual instruments can get lost in the whole.

Canton Movie 1050: Verdict

The Canton Movie 1050 is a mixed bag. We like the look of it but it doesn’t quite hold up next to its more talented rivals.

See all our speaker package Best Buys

Follow on Twitter

Join on Facebook

What Hi-Fi?

What Hi-Fi?, founded in 1976, is the world's leading independent guide to buying and owning hi-fi and home entertainment products. Our comprehensive tests help you buy the very best for your money, with our advice sections giving you step-by-step information on how to get even more from your music and movies. Everything is tested by our dedicated team of in-house reviewers in our custom-built test rooms in London, Reading and Bath. Our coveted five-star rating and Awards are recognised all over the world as the ultimate seal of approval, so you can buy with absolute confidence.

Read more about how we test