Canton MY21

Audio, Navigation, Electronic Faults and Fixes
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JamieK
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Canton MY21

Post by JamieK » Sun Nov 08, 2020 12:43 pm

I'd only heard Canton in a 2017 Octavia and seen screenshots of the software from YouTube. I thought both the sound and it's fuctionality were pretty basic. So I was very surprised to find Dolby Pro-logic II surround and a 6 band graphic eq. on MY21. Can anyone confirm if this is indeed new software or was the MY20 and before Canton the same?

Canton_MY21_2.jpg

Canton_MY21_1.jpg

Having had the car for a week I was going to review MY21 Canton but probably wasting my time if it's all been done before.

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Zach
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Re: Canton MY21

Post by Zach » Sun Nov 08, 2020 4:12 pm

New software. Interested to hear how it sounds
BW35 2019 Kodiaq RS 5 seater in Brilliant Silver + Ignite rims, Sunroof, Direct TPMS, Acoustic Windows

JamieK
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Re: Canton MY21

Post by JamieK » Sun Nov 08, 2020 10:35 pm

OK, my review of MY21 Canton and Infotainment in general.

Why I chose Canton?: Simple really. The std Amundsen system in my Octavia was one of the worst sounding ICE I've heard. No clarity whatsoever and at only 1/3rd volume, not only did the speakers begin to distort, but the trim would start to rattle with the awful bass. You could turn bass down but then you couldn't hear anything. My solution for the first two years of driving the car was to listen to 5Live rather than music. I then installed a Match DSP5 plug'nplay amp which at least made music listenable. We also own a Karoq with the standard 9.2" Columbus. Sound in the Karoq is much clearer than the previous generation Octavia. It's no hifi but at least you can hear music rather than the sound being muffled.

So when it came to chosing options on Kodiaq, I reckoned there was nothing to loose chosing Canton. Whatever the shortcomings I'd read about in reviews were, the system was no worse than the std infortainment. The £420 cost made it worth a punt. Of course ordering when there were no MY21 Kodiaqs to audition made it a gamble.

What am I comparing Canton too?: I'd listened to the Harmon Kardon system that was part of the MSport Plus package in a 5 series estate I'd test driven. I'd also heard the HK system in both a Volvo V60 and XC40. I'd also listened to the DynAudio system in a Passat estate which cost £1000. The best manufacture's system I'd experienced was a Dolby Pro-logic surround in a Volvo S60 I owned around 17 years ago. But that was a saloon which is accoustically superior to an estate, hatch type vehicle. The HK systems in the Volvos were pretty good as was the BMW's system - I'd have paid the hefty premium Volvo and BMW were asking. The Baumuster in the E Class estate was the best I'd heard recently but that commanded a £3500 upgrade to the car I was looking to buy. I wouldn't have spent that for what amounted to an amp + speakers.

Previous Canton reviews: Looking at various forums and YouTube reviews, my hopes for Canton in the Kodiaq weren't great. A lack of bass and not able to configure the system were the main criticisms. I'd also read about the weak centre speaker. Funnily enough, several people said that Harmon Kardon was much better than Canton - I say funny because it's Harmon Kardon who designed the Canton system in the Kodiaq. :D

Media used: Sound can only ever be as good as the source used. MY21 cars no longer have CD or memory card slots so you're limited to USB-C, bluetooth and radio. DAB can be hit or miss, FM is probably the best source to use over the air. MY21 also has Internet radio, stations so far I haven't found. (probably it's a case of RTFM ). Sound over BT is shite, so you're left with USB. I've been using two sources. Firstly a SanDisk clip player which has my CD albums transferred in .flac format. The Sandisk is a pretty decent little player. Secondly there's my Moto G phone who's music player isn't very good. To make matters worse, it's just basic .mp3 files that have either been recorded from YouTube or Spotify. I only have one of my CD collection on it and that's in .mp3 format

MY21 Canton review: On the way home from collecting the car, I listen to the Sandisk via USB. Not having made any changes to the sound's default setup, straight away I notice the system has much more bass than the std car + I can hear background insturments on many tracks that just weren't there listening to the std system. So when people were saying there was a lack of bass on the MY20 reviews, that's been addressed. I can turn up the volume to 50% without any distortion. Straight away I felt spending £420 was worth it.

Playing around with the settings I then find the graphic eq. which came as quite a shock as I wasn't expecting it. Neither was I expecting to see Dolby Pro-logic surround sound. The screen is sensitive enough that trying to fine tune the equaliser whilst driving was troublesome, if not outright dangerous. But even after a quick playaround, it meant I could turn up the volume to 75% without a booming bass and increase the clarity. I was chuffed. £420? Canton is now becoming a bit of a bargain.

Later that night whilst the car is sat on the drive, I have a play around with the infotainment. Now I hate Android Auto, I find it clunky thus never really used it. But as this is a new car, let's see if there's any upgrades. First thing the system did was tried to connect to my phone without it being connected to USB. OK that's another surprise, I didn't realise MY21 cars have wireless Android Auto capability. Unfortunately my phone isn't compatible. ( you need Android 11 or a Samsung / Google phone running Android 10 for wireless Android Auto. I believe there are also a couple of Samsungs that run Android 9 that can connect wirelessly too).

So I hook up my phone to the USB and Android Auto connects. The new interface is visualy more appealing and up comes the Spotify and 3rd party Music player icons on my phone. ( Google Play is no longer used). I select the music player icon. Now remember, the music on my phone is of inferior format to that on my Sandisk player.

First song on my playlist was 'Hotel California' ( which I'd listend to ealier on the journey home via .flac on Sandisk). Straight away the clarity was so superior that it could have been differnet speakers in the car. I could hear the individual guitars, then the bass kicked it and the singing started and it was like the system came alive. I was REALLY surprised by just how good this was over the USB player. I can't figure out why that should be. It's no Baumuster and it's no £2500 upgrade, but what it is is everybit as good as any of the Harmon Kardon or Dynaudio systems I've heard in BMW's Volvos and other VAG brands. £420? Are you joking me? I then play a recording I made from YouTube and its almost as good.

As the week went on, I started to fine tune the system and to say I'm stunned from what's coming out of a £420 system would be an understatedment, the Canton system in MY21 far exceeds all my expectations. I've since used Spotify via the headunit's AA interface, first song on my list was 'End of The Line' by Traveling Wilburys... OMG, why is Skoda charging £420 for this system - they could have charged £1020 quid and I'd still have chosen it.

Listening to audio in a car is not like listening to audio thru earphones. It can be, but you'd have to spend thousands of pounds and compromise on boot space etc, so if that's what you think Canton is going to sound like then you'll be disappointed. If there's a better value for money system out there I've yet to hear it. At £420 it's a steal. ( if you don't particularly like listening to music it's £420 down the toilet :D ).

Issues?
The bass sounds manufactured - of course it is because it's comes from a box of tricks rather than a pair of subwoofers that move air. It's not the type of bass that will rattle your stomach or be in danger of shattering the rear windscreen, but for a factory installed system, it's certainly as good as other popular branded system.

Dolby Pro-logic. There's a level you can adjust which sets the intesity of the surround sound from zero to nine. I can't really detect any difference. And to be honest, I'm not sure what 'surround' brings to the table because I couldn't really detect any change in where the music was coming from. With the Dolby Pro-logic in my Volvo, that did defo made sound come from all directions. When you take manual control you can of course bias the sound towards the driver. I found that the best setting of all.

I'm experiencing software glitches. Several times already the system hasn't reacted as expected. Occasionaly Android Auto has failed to connect to the phone. The navigation failed to start yesterday - I had to switch the engine off/on to reset it. It's even more frustrating when you have navigation set on the virtual cockpit with the words 'system starting' constantly reminding you the system's knackered. And despite only having covered 200 miles in the week, I've had notifications of three roads close to my home which are closed. Fake news I'm afraid, the roads were all open. To the best of my knowledge they were never closed nor is there any impending roadworks so God knows why the navigation was indicating otherwise.

Other infotainment differences:

Gesture control? It's basically the same Columbus system in our Karoq and I have no issues with gesture control in that car, but with the Kodiaq? As with the MY20 cars, Skoda have been naughty and used a headunit that's been designed for left-hand drive so when we Brits what to hit the menu button, the next music track plays because we have to reach over the screen. As a result, I've turned gesture control off - it's an obvious design flaw for RHD models.

Radio presets. Was it three pages worth of radio presets you could have on MY20 cars? I think it's now six on MY21 cars. That may because you can tune into internet radio. ( which I haven't managed to do yet ). 'AM' is no longer on MY21 year cars.

Skoda Connect? How more complicated could they have made it? I have the 'personalisation' option on my car but it works differently than my other cars. On startup, the system take a few secs to discover who's key has been used to open the car, and when it eventually indentifies you, will ask for identification. First time you use it you additionally set your s-pin and who the primary user is. It all sounds so uneccessary. In my old car I just opened the door, the information centre greeted me with HELLO, and I drove off.

Driving Mode? I though personalisation would save my preferred driving mode. If it does then I've yet to find out how because everytime I push the start button, the car starts in NORMAL mode. That's frustrating.

Ok Laura? We've only had one attempted conversation with Laura and it didn't go too well. We gave up after 10mins of asking Laura "Give us directions to Bibi's cafe in St.Andrews". We tried asking nicely in various forms but Laura wasn't playing ball. When I returned home, I thought of trying Android Auto. Fortunately AA connected to my phone 1st time and as soon as I'd given the instruction, the directions were displayed on the main infotainment screen. I think I might upgrade my Motorola to a Samsung or Google phone as I reckon I'll be using Android Auto more than I'll be using Skoda's latest software.

If you've any questions re: MY21 infotainment ( or anything else for that matter ) I'll try and help.

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Zach
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Re: Canton MY21

Post by Zach » Mon Nov 09, 2020 11:41 am

Great review.

I think MY20 systems are different to previous, and that MY21 builds on that. My MY18 Kodiaq with Canton was somewhat ‘weak’ with the bass, however it was much tighter and controlled. I had the subwoofer sent on 6 to be happy. With my MY20 RS, I use either 2/3 subwoofer and am pleased but not super impressed with the overall quality compared to before.

BTW: personalisation covers your individual drive mode. Due to emissions regs the car will always start in normal mode.
BW35 2019 Kodiaq RS 5 seater in Brilliant Silver + Ignite rims, Sunroof, Direct TPMS, Acoustic Windows

aerodynamic18
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Re: Canton MY21

Post by aerodynamic18 » Mon Nov 09, 2020 5:31 pm

The this sounds great. I have it in my 2017 Kodiaq so im glad I ordered it again and I hope will notice a difference :) Thanks for the review
SE-L 7 seater,petrol blue 2.0 4x4 manual. With canton, led interior pack, kids pack, rear camera, front and rear sensors, colour maxi dot, floor mats, space saver wheel and mudflaps.
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ajharvey
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Re: Canton MY21

Post by ajharvey » Wed Nov 11, 2020 11:00 am

When you say
from a box of tricks rather than a pair of subwoofers that move air
do you mean that the 21 series Canton no longer had the subwoofer in the boot (the one hidden in the centre of the spare tire). Or that the the well hidden subwoofer is a box of tricks?
Kodiaq Style - 2.0 TSI - Panaromic sunroof - Factory towball - Quartz grey - Sirius wheels

JamieK
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Re: Canton MY21

Post by JamieK » Wed Nov 11, 2020 9:40 pm

ajharvey wrote:
Wed Nov 11, 2020 11:00 am
When you say
from a box of tricks rather than a pair of subwoofers that move air
do you mean that the 21 series Canton no longer had the subwoofer in the boot (the one hidden in the centre of the spare tire). Or that the the well hidden subwoofer is a box of tricks?
.

This is what I refer to as a box of tricks. A subwoofer in name only.

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Zach
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Re: Canton MY21

Post by Zach » Wed Nov 11, 2020 11:34 pm

Yeah compared to before, the subwoofer just feels like it's 'somewhere' in the car and not the boot...weird feeling.

The new MY20+ Canton system honestly doesn't even sound far off the BMW Harman Kardon systems. Yes they're both using Harman components (like 90% of other premium sound systems), however for a non-premium brand to have such a cheap (standard in NZ) stereo option that is comparable with a premium brand, it's impressive.
BW35 2019 Kodiaq RS 5 seater in Brilliant Silver + Ignite rims, Sunroof, Direct TPMS, Acoustic Windows

Blackbat
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Re: Canton MY21

Post by Blackbat » Tue Nov 17, 2020 6:07 pm

I've just taken delivery of my MY21 SEL with Canton sound and have been playing around with the audio system. I *thought* it should play 5.1 flac files, as that was mentioned in the manual last year, but it seems to have dropped the capability, which is a shame. No mention of it in the MY21 manual. Likewise, voice enhancement seems to have disappeared.

JamieK
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Re: Canton MY21

Post by JamieK » Wed Nov 18, 2020 12:18 am

Blackbat wrote:
Tue Nov 17, 2020 6:07 pm
I've just taken delivery of my MY21 SEL with Canton sound and have been playing around with the audio system. I *thought* it should play 5.1 flac files, as that was mentioned in the manual last year, but it seems to have dropped the capability, which is a shame. No mention of it in the MY21 manual. Likewise, voice enhancement seems to have disappeared.
Perhaps the wrong thread to bring that up as this specifically deals with Canton, not the Infotainment system itself.

Voice enhancement was dropped. I don't know the exact reason but given the number of people asking what the weird noise was in the cabin ( the mic was picking up all sorts of rubbish and playing it in to the rear) it's little wonder it was dropped. As far as I can figure out, voice enhancement was one of those things that answered a question nobody asked.

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