Phone: (919) 341-9037    

The Canoe


Role Audio Canoe

"..addictivly engaging."

"I didn't keep this one, but I often wish I had."

"... the Canoes have an uncanny ability to unravel complex passages.."

"... superb imaging, as well as fine low-level detail retention."

"The Role Canoes have quite a lot in common with the $2,200 per pair ProAc Anniversary Tablettes." 

Shown: satin black and Spanish cedar, speaker grills are optional

Dimensions: 16 X 5.5 X 7.25 inches (H X W X D), 41 X 14 X 18 cm
Frequency Response: 47Hz - 20kHz
-10dB referenced to 1kHz: 38Hz



"...addictively engaging."
Marc Yun, The Audiophile Weekend Warrior

"This speaker has superb imaging, as well as fine low-level detail retention."
Steven Stone, Hometheater Review

"... its TL design lets it sound bigger and more extended than one would expect from such a tiny package. In fact, when I used it in my video system with a Marantz surround receiver that has Audyssey speaker/room correction, the calibration process often picked up the Canoes as a “large” speaker..."
Marc Yun, The Audiophile Weekend Warrior

"Going from the lower-priced $800 per pair GoldenEar Aon 2 speakers to the Role Canoes wasn't a subtle change. While the Aon 2 is a fine speaker with many outstanding traits for its price, it is not as high-resolution or neutral as the Role Canoe. One example of the Canoe's transparency is that it presents different recordings with widely varying soundstage sizes."
Steven Stone, Hometheater Review

"...the Canoe’s imaging is precise and holographic in the tradition of the best mini-monitors. Erol prizes time alignment and minimal phase shift in his designs, and careful driver selection and placement combined with a precisely tuned first order crossover deliver the kind of openness, seamlessness and palpability of imaging that’s unique to painstakingly-crated minimalist design. Solo voices and instruments are always solidly anchored in center stage while layers of an orchestra are precisely placed in space."
Marc Yun, The Audiophile Weekend Warrior

"The Role Canoes have quite a lot in common with the $2,200 per pair ProAc Anniversary Tablettes. Both excel at retaining low-level detail and make it easy to listen deep into a mix."
Steven Stone, Hometheater Review

 "I actually found the Canoes weren’t big fans of the usual garden house audiophile stuff, instead preferring simpler stranded, twisted-pair or even zip cord-style fare. Role makes a basic twisted-pair cable that sounds great,"
Marc Yun, The Audiophile Weekend Warrior

"If you're looking for a great under $1500 US-Made desktop monitor, the Canoes are a must-audition speaker."
Steven Stone, Audiophile Review

"Another standout quality of the Canoe is how engaging it sounds at quiet playback levels."
Marc Yun, The Audiophile Weekend Warrior

"If you are a fan of unvarnished, "truthful" speakers, you'll appreciate the Role Canoe's many virtues."
Steven Stone, Hometheater Review

"Bass is rhythmic and tuneful. It has the kind of tautness reminiscent of a good sealed box design, with better uniformity and control than any similarly-sized ported design I’ve heard. On first listen it might not sound as deep as a competing bass reflex speaker, but listen more carefully: it’s actually quite neutral and extended, with none of the boom that gives many small speakers a false sense of extension."
Marc Yun, The Audiophile Weekend Warrior

"... the Role Canoes disappear as completely as the best two-way monitor speakers I've heard."
Steven Stone, Hometheater Review

"The Canoe really shone on female vocals."
Marc Yun, The Audiophile Weekend Warrior

"Another aspect of the Role Audio Canoes' performance... was their ability to make it easier to listening into a dense mix.
Steven Stone, Hometheater Review

"... the Canoes have an uncanny ability to unravel complex passages through their rock-solid imaging and to retain very subtle locational cues."
Steven Stone, Hometheater Review

"I didn't keep this one, but I often wish I had."
Marc Yun, The Audiophile Weekend Warrior

I’d sum up the Role sound up as natural, a tad understated, but articulate and musical where it counts. Pick any model, and you can bet on excellent imaging, a detailed and nuanced midrange that’s never hyped, and a silky smooth tonal balance that makes acoustic instruments and vocals just sound “right.” I hesitate to ascribe a particular adjective to the tone quality, but it’s most definitely not bright - I’d call it a shade on the warm side, but not anything close to the warmer stuff I’ve heard (Sonus Faber or Devore Fidelity comes to mind). Dynamically and rhythmically they are expressive, but with the wrong amplifier can sound somewhat subtle or reserved. They are very easy to drive, but will benefit from powerful solid-state amplification and work exceedingly well with moderately priced gear.
Marc Yun, The Audiophile Weekend Warrior, 6/13/2017


Most desktop loudspeakers are simply small bookshelf loudspeakers that are not designed to address the issues of nearfield listening such as time coherency and accurate bass reproduction. Two telltale signs are distal placement between the woofer and tweeter, which means the sound from both drivers will not be integrated at close range, and the rear placement of ports, which means the bass will be muffled when the speaker is placed near to a wall.

The design of the Canoe addresses these and other issues that are crucial for accurate, full-range, music reproduction and nearfield listening. With a small footprint of only 5.5 by 7.25 inches, the design of the Canoe is based on the design of our highly regarded Kayak and Windjammer loudspeakers. The Canoe is time coherent, minimum phase, and uses our proprietary folded transmission line design to deliver effortless low bass. There maybe no need for a subwoofer since the Canoe produces extended bass.

The Canoe uses one of the finest soft dome tweeters available which is closely mated to an extraordinarily accurate woven carbon fiber cone woofer to form a near point source. The Canoe is outfitted with film foil capacitor, metal oxide resistor, laminated perfect lay coil, DH Labs silver plated copper wire to the tweeter, oxygen free multi-strand copper wire to the woofer and gold plated insulated five-way binding posts, mounted on a terminal cup, that reduce protrusion of the terminals to facilitate on wall, or near wall placement.

The woofer and tweeter are placed high on the front baffle to eliminate the need to tilt the speaker to project the sound to the listener's ears, which would upset the time alignment of the drivers, and the folded transmission line is vented to the front to produce clear articulate bass. 

As a result of these design choices, the Canoe produces sound that is integrated, even a foot and a half from the speakers. The tweeter produces smooth non fatiguing highs. The Canoe's bass is riveting and it's imaging and soundstaging are hard to beat. Indeed the Canoe is powerful enough to fill even large rooms with vibrant, full-range, non-fatiguing sound.

Moreover, there is no other desktop speaker that is built to the high standards of non-toxicity and eco-friendliness employed in the manufacturing of the Canoe. We go to extreme lengths to make the Canoe health friendly and free of cancer causing formaldehyde vapors that are present in the materials and paints used to manufacture the typical desktop loudspeaker. The cabinets of the Canoe are constructed from health friendly, certified green, birch plywood and CARB2, no urea formaldehyde added, medium density fiber board. They are assembled with non-toxic glues and materials and painted with non-toxic paints. You can enjoy the Canoe up close on your desktop knowing that the Canoe is non-toxic and free of cancer causing formaldehyde vapors.*

From its immaculately finished folded transmission line cabinets, and magnetic grills, which are constructed in-house for the highest quality control, to its transducers and crossover components, no cost is spared. The Canoe is simply one of the very best nearfield loudspeakers you can buy.

Note: The canoe ships in 3-5 business days. 


  • Folded transmission line design
  • Minimalist first-order crossover: film foil capacitor, perfect layer laminated coil, and metal oxide resistor
  • Hard wired and hand soldered with lead-free solder, silver plated copper wire to the tweeter, and multi strand oxygen free copper wire to the woofer.
  • Frequency response: 62 Hz to 20 kHz +/- 3.5 dB
  • Front vented folded transmission line and recessed fully insulated gold plated five-way binding posts terminals mounted on terminal cups reduce the depth of the Canoes and facilitate on wall or near wall placement.
  • Driver cover to protect drivers and to improve image focus
  • Riveting, extended low bass response
  • Smooth non-fatiguing sound
  • Optimized for near field listening
  • Front vent and shallow cabinet allow flexibility in placement including desktop, near wall, and on wall placement
  • Health-friendly: Only non-toxic glues and water-based paints and materials are used.
  • Environmentally friendly: Certified green white and red birch plywood and satin black CARB2 MDF cabinets
  • Magnetic grills