There's certainly no shortage of competition in the hotly contested market of tiny satellite speakers, but Canton has more experience than most; Canton introduced its first satellite/subwoofer system in 1979, a decade or so before most brands ventured into this market. While most micro speakers inevitably compromise performance--deep bass is usually the first casualty, followed by lackluster music playback--the Canton Movie 150 OX ($1,200 list price) avoids most of these pitfalls. In fact, its size-to-performance ratio is up there with the very best. The only wrinkle is that some buyers may be put off by the system's monotonous appearance. It might not be the most attractive 5.1 speaker system we've seen, but it's a sonic knockout.
Design and features
The Movie 150 QX is a six-piece system with four 6.2-inch tall satellite speakers, one 11.4-inch wide center channel speaker, and a large subwoofer.
As much as we were impressed by the sound from the Movie 150 QX, we were underwhelmed by its looks. While our review sample's basic, matte black, plastic finish is nothing to write home about, the satellite's curved sides and 1-inch aluminum tweeter, with 4-inch woofers, peeking out from behind the nonremovable, perforated metal grille add slight visual interest. The center speaker itself features dual 4-inch aluminum woofers flanking the 1-inch aluminum tweeter. All of the speaker cabinets are fabricated from some sort of plastic, which is nowhere near as solid or inert as the mineral-filled polymer cabinets included in the Definitive Technology ProCinema 800 system. The Canton's dull plastic finish simply doesn't compare with the gorgeous high-gloss black we saw on the ProCinema 800.
The included L-shaped, plastic, wall-mount brackets allow the satellites to swivel laterally, so you can aim them toward the desired listening position. The center-channel speaker's bracket is a simpler affair, as it bolts the speaker square against the wall.
The satellites and center speaker don't accept banana plugs; instead, their all-metal connectors accommodate bare wire ends, spades, or wires fitted with pin-type connectors. While the Canton includes the above-mentioned wall brackets, optional LS 80 floor stands are also available for the satellite speakers.
The black, vinyl-covered, medium-density, fiberboard subwoofer is equally unremarkable in the looks department, though its large, silver, plastic port adds some pizazz to the design. The 8-inch aluminum woofer driver located inside the cabinet is powered by a built-in 120-watt amplifier. It's a relatively large subwoofer for this type of system, especially compared to the micro satellites, measuring in at 18.3-inches high by 11-inches wide and 16.5-inches deep. The sub's connectivity options feature both a stereo-speaker-level connector and line level (RCA) input.
The owner's manual isn't all that helpful in terms of setup, but we had everything squared away in just a few minutes. The subwoofer/satellite blend was best achieved with a 100Hz crossover setting playing from our Denon AVR 1909 receiver.