Product Round-Up

Canton Movie MX-10 5.1 Speaker System
September, 2002

Brian Weatherhead



Satellites: Cabinet (H/W/D) 3.5'' x 4.5'' x 3.9''; Drivers: 15mm Tweeter, 80mm Mid-Woofers, Internal Crossover; Freq Response: 100 Hz - 25 kHz  3 dB; 4..8 Ohm Impedance (4/6/8 Ohm Receiver compatible); Sensitivity: 85 dB.

Model 172PBM Subwoofer: Cabinet (H/W/D) 9.4'' x 14.2'' x 17.7''; Driver: 200mm, Variable Crossover (80 Hz - 140 Hz), Integrated 50 Watt RMS; Freq Response: 33 Hz - 140 Hz    3 dB.

MSRP: $900 USA

Canton USA.; (781) 762-6300; Web


The Canton Movie MX-10 system is new this year, and was by far the smallest in this round-up. If you are looking for a system that is very unobtrusive, this is it.


The fit and finish is on par at this price point. The metallic grilles add a touch of class and distinction from the rest of the group. The speakers are small and easily concealable in a home. This set is a definite 10 on the spouse acceptance factor (SAF) scale. It is available in the silver color we had for the review or black/metallic.


The Cantons are designed for a specific price point and for small rooms. The compromise to create this small (as in "tiny") speaker is its output. The MX-10 system sounds good, but suffers in volume capability. There just simply isn't a way to squeeze more out of a speaker that is less than 4" high. But, let me say this: The MX-10 package does outperform another very well known "cube" speaker system (we can't mention their name). Realize that for its size, the Cantons perform VERY well. All five satellites together are smaller than a single PSB speaker in this round-up.

The system exhibited good frequency response, with midrange roll-off occurring at 200 Hz. There was a peak at 1.5 kHz, then an extensive valley from 2 kHz to 7 kHz before regaining the response level below 1 kHz. There was another peak at 14 kHz, then steep roll-off. When dishing it out, it became apparent that the sub is an integral part of this system. I left the crossover turned up all the way on the sub, and placed it as far forward as possible.

The sub that came with the review performed well. It's matched appropriately for this system. It has good detail, but suffers in SPL output. The sub keeps pace with the satellites, and covers the 35 Hz point. With only 50 watts RMS from the sub, I didn't expect it to be the top performer. I might consider upgrading to one of Canton's larger subs (example previously featured in our sub roundup) as it would make a very good addition to this system.

The MX-10 sat speaker had an average THD mark of 0.78% at 90 dB - 2". Very respectful of a system this size. The THD did get a little out of hand approaching 100 dB (3%), and the internals of the speaker prevented further output. The system provided for clean sound at moderate to low levels, perfect for a studio apartment or dorm.

Imaging from the system was good. The monopole speakers could be a problem in placement, but the small size of the speaker should more than make up the difference. Due to the high crossover frequency of the sub, placement was crucial to good imaging.


The Movie 10-MX system is a reasonably priced system that is compact and clean. Although the system plays clean, don't expect to be waking up the neighbors. The compact design makes this system an easy integration into homes where speakers are tough to place. The system comes with mounting brackets that allow the installation and aiming to be done right on the wall. If you are considering a cube/compact type system, give the Cantons a listen before you plunge into the marketing hype.

- Brian Weatherhead -

Related to the article above, we recommend the following:

Speaker Primer

Misunderstood 0.1 LFE Channel

Nature of Equipment Reviews

A Big Dig into Bass Reflex

What we Hear

Big Bass in Small Places

High Fidelity


Accuracy, Distortion, and the Audiophile

Copyright 2002 Secrets of Home Theater & High Fidelity
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