Can­ton Por­ta­ble Mu­sic Box

The por­ta­ble Blue­tooth speaker mar­ket is prov­ing ex­tremely pop­u­lar to the ex­tent that it has at­tracted some top end sound brands such as Can­ton, with their Mu­sic Box of­fer­ing, Dali with their KATCH speaker and KEF with their over­priced MUO speaker, then t

SoundMag - - Contents - Writ­ten by David Richards

Dur­ing a re­cent visit to a Mel­bourne based, spe­cial­ist au­dio dealer, I heard for the first time the larger of the two Can­ton Mu­sicBox por­ta­ble speak­ers, I was then handed the smaller XS ver­sion and that is a story on its own.

In­stantly I was blown away by the high qual­ity of this Ger­man en­gi­neered prod­uct es­pe­cially as I had re­cently played with the Dali KATCH por­ta­ble au­dio player and I al­ready own a Har­man Esquire and a Bose SoundLink Mini II speaker.

It was when heard the smaller ver­sion of the Can­ton of­fer­ing called the XS which is sell­ing for $329 that I got the dis­tinct im­pres­sion that this Com­pany re­ally knew a lot about pack­ing big sound into a small box. The big ques­tion is which one, the Dali or the Can­ton de­liv­ered value for money.

Let’s start with the Can­ton branded prod­uct, their por­ta­ble sound of­fer­ing comes in two sizes. The Can­ton Mu­sicBox S and the mini XS.

The smaller Mu­sicBox XS was the Com­pa­nies first en­try into the por­ta­ble Blue­tooth speaker mar­ket, and while the de­vice looks like the Bose SoundLink Mini II the qual­ity of the com­po­nents are miles apart.

The Can­ton of­fer­ing has Ger­man made driv­ers and speak­ers which is a ma­jor plus for any small speaker sys­tem.

The first thing you no­tice, is that the Can­ton of­fer­ing has an all me­tal en­clo­sure and a soft rub­ber base, it also has an aux­il­iary in­put for non-Blue­tooth de­vices.

Stand­ing in the store I could eas­ily Blue­tooth pair both speak­ers.

All I did was hold the Blue­tooth button down un­til I heard “Blue­tooth Pair­ing “I then fired up my Spo­tify app on my Android phone, as the source for con­tent.

The sound out­put was way be­yond what I ex­pected from such a small speaker, sig­nif­i­cantly bet­ter than the Dali KATCH which at

$699 strug­gles to re­motely de­liver value for money.

On top of the speaker, we’ve got but­tons for power, aux­il­iary in­put, Blue­tooth and vol­ume, I shuf­fled my con­tent via the Spo­tify app on my smart­phone.

What I liked about the Mu­sicBox XS was that one could eas­ily cre­ate a stereo pair.

You can ei­ther choose the Can­ton Party Mode re­sult­ing in each speaker play­ing the same stereo sig­nal or you can move to true stereo mode with each speaker play­ing a sep­a­rate stereo chan­nel.


When com­pared to the Dali KATCH the Can­ton Mu­sic Box is a sig­nif­i­cantly su­pe­rior of­fer­ing with price be­ing a sig­nif­i­cant de­cider. At $699 the Dali KATCH is a beau­ti­ful look­ing player and where the Can­ton Mu­sic Box de­liv­ers 60 Watts of out­put the Dali KATCH only de­liv­ers 50 Watts from 2 X 25W Amp.

The pill-shaped alu­minium cab­i­net looks the part and the black speaker grill which con­sists of ABS/ poly­car­bon­ate baf­fles also adds to the look and feel of this de­vice but the big ques­tion does this de­liver $200 worth of added value over the Can­ton Mu­sic Box S of­fer­ing or $400 worth of value over the Bose SoundLink Mini II.

Like the Can­ton of­fer­ing there are but­tons that con­trol the vol­ume, power, Blue­tooth pair­ing and sound modes are on the top bar of the Dali KATCH.

Again, this de­vice was easy to pair, flip up the rub­ber button on the de­vice and one can eas­ily plug in none Blue­tooth de­vices like the Can­ton speak­ers.

In­side this speaker are dual 3.5-inch woofers that sit on a spe­cially de­signed chas­sis.

In a lit­tle bit of mar­ket­ing spin Dali will tell you that the de­vice has an in­verted alu­minium mem­brane and a spe­cial spi­der sus­pen­sion sys­tem for their com­po­nents.

There is also a port for the power charg­ing adapter. The built-in bat­tery takes about two hours to charge and de­liv­ers over 18 hours of play­time ac­cord­ing to Dali. Though I am still mys­ti­fied by their ref­er­ence to “24 hours of un­teth­ered play­back”.

The driver ar­ray in­cludes two 21mm light­weight soft dome tweet­ers, backed by a strong neodymium magnet with high-power han­dling and high sen­si­tiv­ity to the tweeter.

Miss­ing is a ded­i­cated app for stream­ing and like the Can­ton of­fer­ing, this de­vice was easy to pair with a smart­phone with mu­sic streamed via Spo­tify. I could play, skip tracks and adjust vol­ume us­ing my smart­phone.

Like the Can­ton speak­ers one must hold the vol­ume down and you in­stantly get a huge, sound fill­ing a room to the point that it can be­come un­com­fort­able when at max­i­mum vol­ume. With the Can­ton of­fer­ing sound dis­tor­tion tech­nol­ogy kicks in to bal­ance the out­put.

I tested both the Can­ton speak­ers and the Dali KATCH speaker with re­cently re­lease Jazz and Pop mu­sic. I have of­ten found that older 60’s and 70’s tracks don’t sound as good when test­ing speak­ers as the con­tent is of­ten re­mas­tered and was not ini­tially recorded as a digital file.


If you’re in the mar­ket for a Blue­tooth speaker, and money is no ob­ject the Dali KATCH de­liv­ers, but is not worth the $280-dol­lar dif­fer­ence be­tween the Can­ton Mu­sicBox S or the $370 dif­fer­ence be­tween the Can­ton Mini XS.

Both these speak­ers de­liver sound equal if not bet­ter than the Dali KATCH. At the same time the Can­ton of­fer­ing comes over as a bet­ter en­gi­neered prod­uct which is not sur­pris­ing as it is made by a Ger­man Com­pany.

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