Canton says up_yours to the rest of the wireless speaker market with its expandable your_World range that majors on stereo performance
Chances are you own an iPod dock, and chances are it's not doing justice to your music collection. That's Canton's theory anyway - the German loudspeaker brand is positioning its new your_World range as a bona fide audiophile approach to convenient, fuss-free playback of your MP3s. That means marrying active two-way bookshelf speakers to a USB transmitter for a PC or Mac (the your_Stick, reviewed here), or an iPod/iPhone dock (cunningly titled your_Dock).
Canton's lineup is scaleable, too. The speakers can receive up to three sources at once, and you can litter your house with your_Duos all paired to the same transmitter. Coming next year is the portable your_Solo and a wireless subwoofer - you can guess what that's called...
Canton your_Duo/your_Stick: Features
Buyers of this £600 bundle get the two your_Duo speakers, a remote and the wireless your_Stick that hooks in to a computer. While the latter is lightweight enough to dangle out of your laptop as you prowl your pad, the speakers themselves are weighty, sizeable affairs that bode well for audio quality. Even the remote (which annoyingly doesn't come in the same gloss white finish) is heavy-duty.
In terms of features, it's worth noting what the package doesn't offer, namely AirPlay or Bluetooth compatability. This means you can forget about streaming music straight from your smartphone.
On the plus side, the your_Stick sports a 3.5mm line-in socket to connect additional sources. And neither are you limited to your iTunes - whatever you're listening to on your computer, be it 'net radio or YouTube, can be given an audio boost.
Canton your_Duo/your_Stick Design
Because the your_Duo speakers have no designs on portability, they're definitely styled to take up permanent residence on a bookshelf or desktop. Yet their gloss white livery and curved edges means they should blend in with all but the most austere of living rooms. Each stands 24cm tall, and feels well-made. However, we preferred them with their grilles removed - and you'll need to find a way of concealing their power cables for a really sleek look.
Canton your_Duo/your_Stick: Audio Performance
Canton knows a thing or two about hi-fi, and it's definitely brought its 39 years of experience to the your_Duo speakers. Sound quality is excellent. Oozing clarity, it brings out details you'd probably forgotten existed in your MP3 collection, with a sparkling high-end. Meanwhile, the mid-bass driver is capable of plumbing the depths. A run-through of some decadent drum 'n' bass tracks makes me wonder if the forthcoming subwoofer will get many takers.
Perhaps the best facet of the your_Duo is its genuine stereo ability. Most traditional single-enclosure solutions suffer from a lack of breadth and spaciousness to their sonics, but place them far enough apart and the your_Duo enclosures create an engaging stereo image.
The transmission range of the your_Stick is claimed at 20m, and we didn't suffer any dropouts during our audition. Nor did ramping up the volume to neighbour-bothering levels introduce any worrying distortion.
Canton your_Duo/your_Stick Verdict
The price tag of Canton's your_Duo/your_Stick combi immmediately elevates it to the top-end of the wireless music market, where rival products, such as Bowers and Wilkins' Zeppelin Air, offer smartphone streaming. Yet Canton's product carves out its own niche thanks to exemplary build quality, classy design and a sumptuous stereo performance.
Canton's your_Duo/your_Stick availability: Out now
Canton's your_Duo/your_Stick price: £600