Review: Canton Pro XL.3

Anonymous and unengaging

Canton follows an old speaker recipe with the Canton Pro XL.3, but here there is something gurgling.

Canton pro_xl.3 xl3
Karakter
Canton Pro XL.3
We think
Fuller sound than the size suggests. Compact dimensions blend nicely with the facade.
Trapped sound, twists in the bass when you turn up the volume. Flat dynamics.
Specifications
  • Type: 2-way closed cabinet
  • Recommended amplifier power: 20-120 W
  • Sensitivity / impedance: Not specified / 6-8 ohms
  • Dimensions: 15 x 23.5 x 15.5 cm (W x H x D)
  • Weight: 2.1 kg
  • Colors: black or white
  • Waterproof: Not specified
  • Other: Rotatable wall bracket
  • Web: njal.no
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Canton Pro XL.3 is a very compact outdoor speaker, but still Canton’s largest. You can choose between white or black.

The speakers are made for easy wall mounting: First you screw the wall bracket into the wall based on whether you want horizontal or vertical mounting (or what about slanting?). Then turn on the speaker easily with two included clamps. The speaker can be rotated almost 90 degrees in each direction from the center position.

The sound of Canton Pro XL.3

Singing voices – female as well as male – sound surprisingly rich, considering the compact dimensions of the speakers. Billie Eilish’s voice on the Bond song No Time To Die has a nice fullness in the chest sound area, and the piano has a warm fullness that is easy to like.

When the music takes it easy in the turns, without much bass, Canton sounds perfectly fine. The treble could well have been more distinct, it gets a little woolly – but no crisis.

The only problem is that most of the music has bass in it, and you want to be able to turn up the volume to something other than pure background noise. Especially outdoors, where the sound from the speakers drowns out more.

Canton Pro XL.3 XL3
This is how Canton XL.3 looks in black. Photo: Canton

As the Eilish song gradually escalates, the speakers fail to keep up. Instead, they kneel, and bass tones set off a distortion that propagates far up in the treble range. It shrinks metallically every time a bass note tries. Ariana Grande never offers to dance. A narrow chamber ensemble can work well, but only if the double bass takes it easy.

If you want these, you must either play very low, or use a processor that can do bass management. And send the bass frequencies to a subwoofer instead. We do not expect you to bother.

Conclusion

Canton Pro XL.3 are a pair of compact outdoor speakers. They still sound fuller than they look, but there is also the problem. Because even if they manage to play vocals well on their own, it becomes something quite different as soon as the bass guitar or drums come in. Not only does it get flat, but also distorted. The Canton speakers fail to catch up with their bigger competitors, and although these are the most affordable in the field, one can not say they offer much for the money. We simply have to say we are a little disappointed.

Also in this test

Monitor Audio Climate 60

The joy of playing weighs up

Monitor Audio Climate 60 has an energetic playing style that works for the most part.

Clear sound, good with life and rhythm.
Slightly dark tone on strings, the midrange sounds colored.

Klipsch AW-525

High party factor

Don't let size fool you. The Klipsch AW-525 speakers love to play loud.

Super efficient and easy to operate, potent bass for the size, and sparkling dynamics.
A little too woolly and grained sound for our taste.

Focal 100 OD 8

Speakers for outdoor parties

The Focal speaker is the best choice if you need a speaker with impact.

Bouncy dynamics and plenty of bass. High party factor.
The size can be a drawback and the sound lacks sophistication.

Sonos Outdoor

Too expensive

Sonos Outdoor works for the most part, and does little harm. Unfortunately, it sounds boring, and the price tag is a bit steep.

Pleasant midrange on vocals, and the sound is rich enough. It is also clear enough at the top for it to work well.
It sounds pretty flat and tame. It's especially dynamics that are missing, it simply sounds too boring. The price tag is also galimatias.

Bowers & Wilkins AM-1

The best outdoor speaker

The Bowers & Wilkins outdoor speaker is very elaborate, and so is the sound.

Beautifully balanced, refined and resolved soundscape, plenty of bass and sound pressure.
Requires a potent amplifier to perform at its best.

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