Surround Sound Speaker Systems

Canton Chrono 5.1 Home Theater Speaker System



On the Bench

All measurements, except frequency response sweeps, were conducted with the calibrated microphone placed one foot from the driver. For bench testing, the speakers were moved away from corners to the middle of the listening room, to minimize room-loading effects. Frequency response (on and off-axis) was measured at 1 meter.

As expected, the 509 floor-stander had excellent off-axis frequency response, particularly in the mid and high-frequency range. Frequency response dropped off at 60 Hz.

At 1 kHz, the 509's distortion was 0.19%.

At 50 Hz, THD+N was 0.81%.

And at 31.5 Hz, 1.33%.

The off-axis frequency response of the 505 center is quite good, considering the lobing effects that usually plague horizontally oriented MTM center channel speakers (although there is a dip in the 3 kHz range). Again, frequency response drops off at 60 Hz.

The AS 525 SC subwoofer put out a robust 100 dB at 50 Hz with only 0.49% distortion. This was consistent with my subjective observation that the Chrono sub could pump out a significant amount of mid-bass energy.

At 40 Hz, distortion was at a still respectable 1.4%.

At 31.5 Hz, the AS 525 SC had just about reached the limit of its low end output, registering 8.8% THD+N at 97 dB. Again, if you’re looking for a system that will reproduce bass impact down to 20 Hz, you should consider upgrading to one of Canton’s larger subs, such as the Ergo AS 650 SC.

At 25 Hz, the limits of this subwoofer are obvious, with 16.6% THD+N. I wasn't able to get much output at all at 20 Hz.


The Canton Chrono speaker system proves that you cannot judge a book solely by its cover (although I thought the front baffle lacquer finish was pretty slick looking anyway). It provides a realistic soundstage, with imaging that is particularly well-suited for surround sound film reproduction. If you’re looking for a 5.1 system in this price, you’ll definitely want to put the Canton Chrono series on your audition list.