For over 40 years, Focal has been one of the preeminent speaker brands in the world. They have delivered countless innovations for all different kinds of listening experiences from home audio speakers and headphones to car speaker drivers and studio monitors.
Throughout this Buyer's Guide, we'll be covering the history of the brand and taking a look at their product offerings for the recording studio. No matter your set-up, Focal has something that will meet your needs and exceed your expectations.
The History Of Focal
The legacy of Focal starts in 1979, as the French precision mechanics company France Filières created a workshop and began manufacturing speaker drivers. By 1982, Focal had set a precedent in the world of bookshelf speakers with the DB13, which used Polyglass and Polykevlar speaker driver cones.
20 years after introducing the DB13, Focal developed and released its first speakers created specifically for the recording studio. The brand has gone onto create a wide range of monitors for studios of all budgets and sizes. Continue on below to delve further into Focal's Alpha Series, Shape Series, SM6 Series, and headphone line.
Focal Alpha Series
Focal’s Alpha Series has been a great solution for affordable monitoring with the unmistakable quality of Focal. These monitors are self-powered, so there is no need for an amplifier. The Alpha Series comes in three sizes, making it flexible for any size production environment.
Focal Alpha 50
Focal's Alpha 50 is a compact monitor with a 5” woofer and 1” tweeter. Frequency response is stated at 22kHz all the way down to 45Hz. The 50 is great for smaller environments that need a reliable, accurate monitor setup.
Focal Alpha 65
The middle monitor of this series, the Alpha 65 features a 6.5” woofer and 1” tweeter. Frequency on this one reaches 5Hz lower, down to 40 Hz. Low directivity ensures that you can trust the sound from these monitors, and with a size like the 65, this monitor is a great solution for a wide range of spaces.
Focal Alpha 80
The largest in the Alpha range, the Alpha 80 has a bigger 8” woofer. Same 1” tweeter as the rest of the line tops off the 80, and you’ll see low end represented down to 35Hz. For music needing more low end monitoring, this is your answer. At $549 per monitor, the value on this Alpha monitor is unrivaled.
Focal Shape Series
The Focal Shape Series is a nice mid-range option that features a variety of sizes, and comes as a 2 way speaker with side radiation allocations, instead of porting. It's all housed in a tasteful woodgrain style enclosure.
Focal Shape 40
The Shape 40 is the most compact in all of the Focal Professional line, but don’t count it out. The Shape 40 is a brilliant monitoring solution for small environments needing a near field monitor. With a frequency range from 60Hz all the way up to 35kHz, the Shape 40 is a small but powerful tool.
Focal Shape 50
Upgrading to the Shape 50 gives you a 5” woofer, allowing for extended low end, while maintaining the same great features of the Shape line. The Shape 50 will reach down to 50Hz, and like the others, all the way up to 35kHz.
Focal Shape 65
The largest driver option of the Shape line, the Shape 65 has a 6.5” woofer, allowing its low end to extend down to 40 Hz. With a rear switch High Pass Filter, you can EQ low end at 45, 60, and 90 Hz. Also featured is a 3 band EQ, allowing for you to dial in exactly what your ears need to hear.
Focal Shape Twin
The top of the Shape line, the Shape Twin features two 5” woofers mounted above and below the tweeter. These monitors will represent low end with great precision, and can reach a maximum SPL of 110 dB. For larger monitoring with the same great Focal sound, the Shape Twin is a fantastic choice.
Focal SM6 Series
Focal Solo6 Be
The Solo6 is a phenomenal nearfield monitor with two built in amplifiers and a 6.5” composite driver. Reaching from 40Hz to 40kHz, the Solo6 is here to transmit accurate detail of the entire frequency spectrum in your mixes. With a state of the art pure Beryllium tweeter and a maximum SPL of 113 dB, this speaker is a fantastic solution for high end monitoring in the nearfield.
Focal Twin6 Be
This active, 3 way speaker is filled out by two 6.5”, with a Beryllium tweeter in the middle. Designed for horizontal mounting, the Twin6 will find itself at home right on top of your console, and will reveal every nuance of your mix immediately. The dual drivers are designed to both transmit low end, while one of the two is specifically delegated to handle the lo-mid’s as well. The goal for monitoring is completely transparent listening, and the Twin6 nails this- it will impart no coloration on your mixes.
Focal Trio6 Be
Next up in the line is the Trio6, a three way near field monitor that caters to the most demanding of engineers. Featuring a 1” tweeter, 5” woofer, and 8” subwoofer, the Trio6 represents each range of the frequency spectrum fantastically. Accurate is an understatement with this speaker, and mixes will find that every corner of their sound is revealed to engineers. Reaching all the way down to 35 Hz, and extending all the way to 40kHz, your ears will be given exactly what they need to hear. Switching to FOCUS mode swaps the speaker over to a 2 way setup, allowing you to check your mixes for systems with limited response, such as TVs, cars, and phone speakers. Accuracy and optionality make the Trio6 a powerhouse.
Focal Trio11 Be
A precision midfield and nearfield speaker, the Trio11 can be operated as a two way or three way monitor. Featuring the same FOCUS technology as the Trio6, monitoring for different listening situations is a breeze. Carrying a 1” tweeter, 5” woofer, and massive 10” subwoofer, your mixes will be represented extremely accurately with this top of the line speaker from Focal.
The perfect subwoofer option for the Solo6 Be and Twin6 Be monitors, the Sub6 features an 11" woofer and has adjustable phase and level control. Additionally, the Sub6 has a footswitch that enables users to deactivate the subwoofer and high-pass crossover on the outputs that supply the monitors.
Accurate listening is not only done on monitor speakers, so Focal has you covered on excellent choices for reference headphones, allowing you to mix accurately on the go.
Focal Pro Listen Headphones
The Pro Listen studio headphones are closed back, premium listening at its finest. Representing from 5Hz all the way up to 22kHz, literally every frequency that humans can hear will be represented in these headphones. Incredibly neutral and isolating, these headphones are a superb choice for on the go mixing, all at a modest price.
Focal Elegia Headphones
Designed for incredibly luxurious listening, the Elegia headphone is made for home use and on the go. Music lovers will notice incredible detail and a strong degree of isolation, paired with an ergonomic design allowing comfortable listening for long periods of time. Made with leather, solid aluminum, and micro fiber, the Elegia is luxury for your ears.
Focal Clear Professional
Focal is no stranger to making excellent open back studio headphones, and the Clear Professional is proof. Reaching all the way down to 5Hz, and all the way up to 28kHz, there’s not a frequency of your mix that won’t be represented here. Aluminum/Magnesium drivers offer fantastic frequency response, and the incredibly comfortable design will make you forget you’re mixing on headphones.
Focal Stellia Headphones
Super high-end listening experiences won’t be the same once you introduce the Stellia. Cutting edge technology used in the speaker design allows for incredible articuation, and purity of sound. Those wanting luxury when listening at home or on the go, the Stellia is the headphone equivalent of a Rolls Royce.
Focal Utopia Headphones
Topping off the line of audiophile use headphones, the Focal Utopia is incredibly sophisticated in both its functions and its looks. Open backed drivers feature pure Beryllium, lending clarity, neutrality, and fantastic realism to any music you’re looking to appreciate at the fullest. With lambskin leather, memory foam earpieces, and even weight distribution, your premium listening experience will be dream-like with the Utopia.