Although black is the fashionable finish in loudspeaker-land, albeit with high-gloss highlights, it's just one of just two alternatives available for the Canton Chrono SL 580 DC (the other being high-gloss white!)

This is such a beautifully styled, finished and presented loudspeaker, it clearly comes from a major brand with plenty of muscle.

The Canton name might not be well known here in Britain, but it was founded back in 1972 and is Germany's leading hi-fi speaker brand, with a large collection of different ranges in its portfolio.

The latest contenders

The Chrono SLs are the latest range to join the ranks, effectively upgrading and updating the original Chrono models, bringing much sharper and more modern-looking styling, alongside engineering improvements in enclosure, crossover and drive unit performance.

By virtue of using relatively small bass and midrange drivers, the Chrono SL580 DC has a slim front view, while the enclosure edges are all slightly rounded, avoiding any sharp edges.

Take the grilles off the front and the impressive row of shiny polished-alloy driver trims, that almost fill the front panel, supply plenty of bling. A neat trick is that the grilles can also be fixed onto the back as well as the front, so if you lose the sunglasses or children come to play, you can easily put these back on the front and cover up the drivers.

Canton chrono sl 580 dc plinth

This three-way design uses twin 160-millimetre bass units, reflex ported through the base of the enclosure. Shiny shock-absorbing spacers separate the enclosure from a small plinth, providing some mechanical decoupling and allowing the port to function.

However, the plinth only barely increases the stability footprint of the enclosure itself, and the 'spikes' are really just blunt studs and are not too good for carpet-penetration.

Moving the metal

All four of the drive units used here have metal diaphragms. The single midrange driver is mounted at the top of the front panel, above the tweeter and in its own 4.1-litre sub-enclosure.

The bass and midrange drivers appear to be identical, with concave dust covers creating dish-shaped diaphragms, roughly 98mm in diameter and using Canton's proprietary S-shaped injected rubber surrounds.

The 25mm aluminium/manganese tweeter dome sits within a shaped and polished alloy front plate, which probably acts as a waveguide to control dispersion.

A fixed mesh grille, that protects the dome from accidental damage, appears to incorporate a central 'blocking' annulus which presumably provides some phase compensation.

Fed by two pairs of well-insulated socket/binder terminals, linked when required by brass rods, the necessarily complex crossover network splits the audio band into three sections at nominal 300Hz and 3kHz frequencies, using 12dB/octave filters throughout.

The bi-wire/-amp option of twin terminal pairs used here separate the bass section from the mid/treble.