The Canton DM 50’s design and build are sturdy and unassuming, especially in its black livery (a white option is also on sale). It can bear a 40kg load and has dimensions of 54 x 30cm. There are no HDMI inputs so hi-res BD audio cannot be decoded but digital optical and coaxial inputs provide a pathway for PCM signals with Dolby Digital decoding and DTS TruSurround playback. Wireless Bluetooth audio is compatible with the CD-quality apt-X codec.

The unit claims 200W max to its tweeters, two mid-range drivers and dual underside woofers. Low-end response is rated at 40Hz, with a subwoofer line out provided for supplementary grunt. Stereo phonos are onboard.

There are no controls on the unit itself and the hefty mid-sized remote control is durable, if a tad unergonomic. In standby all you see through the grille is a tiny red light; switch on and a five-character scrolling dot matrix display appears. The DM50 offers a fair degree of customisation with three positioning presets, treble/bass management, lip sync adjustment and switching between stereo and virtual surround. 

Despite the limited display the Canton DM50 is easy enough to operate thanks to a logical menu structure, nicely laid-out remote and slick operation.

Performance is excellent – Robert Downey Jnr’s muttered dialogue in Iron Man 3 is always intelligible and effects such as clanking metal, explosions and the suit crash-landing in snow resonate with reasonable clarity and impact. The surround mode merely disperses sound at the expense of dialogue sharpness. Music is a strong point; Bluetooth streaming of Jeff Buckley’s So Real has tremendous bass thump and smooth vocal reproduction.

Canton DM50, £400, www.unlimited.com/canton

Verdict: 4.5/5