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
Canton Pro XL.3

Our verdict

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.
  • 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
Show more
Show less

Price: £

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.

Alternatives to Canton Pro XL.3

SVS SB-4000

American lowrider

Are you one of those people who likes the bass to feel as good as it sounds? Then you will love SVS's new worsting subwoofer.

9 Travel speakers

Whether on a trip to a ski slope or the beach, a battery-powered, sturdy travel speaker is perfect for the journey.

smart speaker

Smart speakers we recommend

Need a new speaker to listen to? A smart speaker can control the entire home. But how good do they sound?

Elipson Legacy 3210

French delicacies

Elipson Legacy 3210 look and sound more expensive than they are. More suited for connoisseurs of noble exclusivity rather than heavy rock.

Bowers & Wilkins Formation Wedge

The sound crushes the competition

Bowers & Wilkins impresses with the sound of their latest wireless speaker, Formation Wedge.

Argon Audio Forte A55

Full-Grown hi-fi without a wire

Argon's active speakers Argon Audio Forte A55 have doubled the power, the number of subs - and the price. But they are still a bargain.