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Canton Smart Soundbar 10 review: An imperfect 10

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £765
inc VAT

The Canton Smart Soundbar 10 is an impactful Atmos soundbar with some useful smart functionality, but it’s not quite the complete package


  • Immersive, effective Dolby Atmos
  • Built-in Chromecast
  • Plenty of physical ports


  • Lacks built-in voice controls
  • Occasional issues with dialogue

German manufacturer Canton has been producing premium home audio equipment for decades, and the Canton Smart Soundbar 10 continues that rich tradition.

It’s a 2.1.2 system capable of operating as a 5.1.2 virtual surround-sound setup thanks to the incorporation of virtual centre, right and left channels. Those seeking a grander, more immersive audio experience and willing to splash the cash can add other Canton smart speakers to the setup in a wide range of configurations.

Judged as a standalone Atmos soundbar, it stands up reasonably well to the competition. Atmos effects are convincing and there’s a decent level of smart features available. Some audio balance issues and the lack of a built-in voice assistant prevent it from dethroning the very best soundbars in the business, however.

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Canton Smart Soundbar 10 review: What do you get for the money?

The Canton Smart Soundbar 10 launched at £899 but was available for £765 at the time of writing. That’s a fair whack to pay for a standalone soundbar without a discrete subwoofer or rear speakers, although the Sonos Arc and LG CX command similar prices and the Sony HT-A7000 costs significantly more.

For that kind of money, you’d expect impressive audio and smart credentials and, in that regard, the Canton Smart Soundbar 10 doesn’t disappoint.

It delivers its audio via a total of eight speakers – four woofers (two of which are upfiring), a pair of tweeters and two mid-range drivers – and is powered by 300W of amplification. That’s more than enough to soundtrack movie night, and the home cinema experience on offer is boosted by support for Dolby Atmos.

Both dual-band Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity are present and correct, there’s Chromecast built in, along with support for Spotify Connect, multiroom control via the Google Home app and Google Assistant voice control if you have a compatible smart speaker connected.

The Smart Soundbar 10 isn’t short on physical ports, either, with three HDMI inputs that support 4K passthrough, optical and coaxial digital inputs, stereo RCA ports, an Ethernet port, one ARC HDMI output and a line-out for connecting a wired subwoofer. A 3m HDMI cable is included in the box, as are optical and coaxial cables and a stereo RCA cable.

The Canton Smart Soundbar 10 has a lot to squeeze into its frame and is rather large as a result. It measures 990 x 100 x 70mm (WDH) and weighs 5.24kg, meaning you’re going to want to pair it with a 50in TV or above; anything smaller and the soundbar will dwarf your telly.

A range of touch controls can be found on top of the bar, which is fashioned from heat-treated cut glass. I found this to be a magnet for fingerprints when used regularly, but it does add a classy finish to the design. The included infrared remote is a suitably simple affair covering all the basic functions, including volume control, sound mode switching and bass/mid-range/treble adjustment.

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Canton Smart Soundbar 10 review: What does it do well?

The Smart Soundbar 10’s strongest suit is its handling of Dolby Atmos content, with the two 79mm upward-firing woofers creating convincing overhead channels that do justice to the format’s height effects.

When watching Disney+’s The Book of Boba Fett, I enjoyed an engaging, immersive experience that made me feel like I’d been plonked in the middle of the Tatooine desert. Everything from gusts of wind swooshing off the sand dunes to gunfire spraying from a speeding hovertrain felt accurately positioned within the Soundbar 10’s generously broad soundstage.

And with 300W of amplification behind it, the Canton Smart Soundbar 10 is able to deliver such action sequences with real impact. This is a bar that has no problems filling a medium-sized living room at less than 50% volume, and the built-in subwoofer does a decent job of handling low-end frequencies. There isn’t the same depth as you’d get from a discrete subwoofer, but there’s an impressive weight to explosions nonetheless.

The Soundbar 10 also offers a laudable number of audio customisation options, which are accessed by switching your TV to the HDMI port to which the bar is connected. You can input values for the height of your room, the distance you’re sitting from the soundbar and the height at which the soundbar itself is set. The soundbar’s levels are then adjusted to ensure optimal audio quality.

You can also make manual adjustments to each of the bar’s eight channels, boost or reduce bass, treble and mid-range frequencies, toggle voice clarity mode on and off, and select from three preset EQs. On top of those EQs, you have five “Play Modes” to choose from, with Movie, Music, Stereo, Discrete and Night each offering a slightly different sonic experience.

In addition to those audio options, you can set a maximum volume and sleep timer and even take corrective action to deal with lag between video and audio using the Lip Sync option. The breadth of personalisation on offer is highly commendable and, better still, it’s all very easy to access and intuitive to execute.

The comprehensive connectivity options mean you can hook up various devices to the Soundbar 10 in addition to your TV. With all those ports plus Chromecast built in and Spotify Connect, you’re definitely not going to be left wanting for ways to enjoy audio.

Finally, the Canton Smart Soundbar 10 looks every inch the premium soundbar it is. Its length means it takes up a fair amount of space on your AV cabinet, but it isn’t particularly tall and sits under most TVs with an air of style and sophistication.

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Canton Smart Soundbar 10 review: What could be improved?

The Soundbar 10 doesn’t have any kind of auto-calibration, so you’re going to need to play around with its settings when you first set it up to get the best sonic results. This won’t be an issue for those willing to get their hands dirty, but if you’re the kind of person that likes to have everything done for you, this probably isn’t the soundbar to buy.

While my overall audio experience, particularly when watching Atmos content, was a positive one, I found that dialogue would occasionally get lost in more hectic scenes, perhaps due to the centre channel being virtual rather than physical.

The Voice Clarity mode works pretty well if you’re watching a dialogue-heavy TV show such as After Life or Great British Menu but, even then, I found the mid-range was still swamped when watching movies with big, booming soundtracks. I did manage to improve vocal coherence further but had to make a number of other tweaks and adjustments to the bass and mid-range reproduction.

However, it proved a double-edged sword as it threw off the overall balance of the Soundbar 10’s sound somewhat. I ended up creating and saving presets for occasions where I wanted to prioritise dialogue over immersion and vice versa but, unfortunately, presets don’t store your voice clarity preference. That meant I had to enter the settings menu every time I switched presets, which is a faff most won’t bother with.

Lastly, while Google Assistant voice controls are available via a connected compatible smart speaker, they aren’t built into the bar as they are with the Sonos Arc or Bose Smart Soundbar 900. This means those who don’t already own a Google Home speaker will either have to buy one or use the integrated voice controls in the Google Home app on their phone.

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Canton Smart Soundbar 10 review: Should you buy it?

The Canton Smart Soundbar 10 looks great on your AV cabinet and shines when delivering hard-hitting Atmos content. It’s capable of creating a wide, engrossing virtual surround soundstage, and there are countless meaningful ways to tailor the audio to your liking.

It also offers an extensive range of physical connection options in addition to built-in Chromecast and Spotify Connect support, so has you covered on both the wired and wireless fronts. However, the absence of a built-in voice assistant and a virtual centre channel that struggles for vocal clarity during bombastic action sequences ultimately see it fall a little short of the best soundbars on the market.

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