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A Deep Dive Into Focal Speakers
Focal-JMlab (Focal) has been manufacturing high fidelity audio systems since 1979. These speakers have been manufactured for more than 40 years in France, in the French Loire region, Saint-Étienne.
Focal began as a family-run small-to-medium enterprise. The company started out as a two-man job. One of those men was founder Jacques Mahul. Focal established itself as a mainstay that would go on to entice music lovers and audiophiles worldwide.
Focal’s goal is to provide the best music listening experience for their customers. Utilizing new innovations integrated with long-standing traditions that still play a role in producing high fidelity sound. Every thought and direction is to maximize and optimize music enjoyment.
Focal views its products as lifestyle objects that are dominant in a person’s life, which inspires them to pay attention to every last detail from research, design to development, and troubleshoot so that every product is of the highest quality when it leaves the factory.
Acoustic Research is an area Focal does not skimp on to achieve their goal. Technology need not hamper tradition, rather it can further optimize the purity of sound. Focal’s outstanding expertise in speaker driver technology can attest to this striving.
Focal is a trailblazer when it comes to having no competitor when it comes to sound quality. Every loudspeaker and speaker driver attests to this.
Focal’s investments have made its products flexible in its use in any surroundings, home, office, anywhere indoors or outdoors, in the car, and anywhere the move with their quality headphones. Their products are also the top choice of the professionals that work out of recording studios
Focal, Naim Audio and Vervent Audio Group are established European leaders in the audio industry. The unification of Focal and Naim was an inevitability. The infrastructure of this particular joining is based on the enthusiasm both companies share.
Since 2011, the two companies have been harmoniously blending the two brands, which both continue to target the same geographical areas – internationally, as well as their countries of origin, the United Kingdom, and France.
There are hundreds of distributors worldwide who promote Naim & Focal brands to Hi-Fi specialists. From sound systems and loudspeakers for the home to speaker drivers for automobiles and more. Focal car speakers are some of the most sound, genuinely dependable we have ever come across. However, they cost a pretty penny.
Focal employees share the same attitude: French aptitude, technical knowledge, cutting edge skill and culture all come together to give audiophiles and music lovers access to the ultimate sound. Focal is a veteran in designing and forging home audio loudspeakers, car audio speaker drivers, amplifiers, monitoring loudspeakers for recording studios, and lately, headphones.
Who are Focal Speakers For?
The best of Focal’s acoustic technologies have won the hearts of audiophiles all over the world, with benchmark products that have left their mark on the world of high-fidelity.
These speakers appeal to customers that have high presumptions in terms of music.
What We Like About Focal Speakers
Focal products are the result of vicissitude and technologies unique to all developed by their own engineers in France. Because of the proprietary technology created and used by Focal in their loudspeakers, it is not available anywhere else.
The quality assurance and rigorous standards in Focal’s production process keep to the company’s principles in terms of superbness. They have tweeters built-in, which makes it an instant upgrade from many factory speakers.
The Polyglass, Kevlar or Flax cones, the Beryllium, and Aluminium/Magnesium tweeters, the Tuned Mass Damper, and the Infinite Horn Loading systems are just some of the high-quality materials used to create high-quality speakers.
The speaker’s output includes components where the system provides crossovers that are bi-ampable – meaning you can use different amps to customize your woofers and tweeters sound output. The crossovers offer 2-position tweeter level and midrange control, allowing you to tweak the sound quality of the system to your liking.
The caliber of this merchandise is fundamental. Focal choices of their French and foreign partners are made with as much attention to detail as possible, to stay steadfast and sincere to their heritage of a 100% Focal design. The only way to ensure that the design and quality assurance is continually at the highest standard is to keep the creative control over the products produced.
What We Don’t Like About Focal Speakers
Particularly because the manufacturing processes are outsourced to their partners. The tweeters distort at slightly higher volume and the sound completely breaks down at even higher volume. For the price, these are exactly what you should expect.
The clarity is okay, and will likely be better than the worn-out speakers in most older cars. If you are looking for premium, super clear audio, you may want to look elsewhere.
- Innovative technology
- Nominal power 80 W RMS (4 Ohm)
- Sensitivity 92.5 dB
- High power handling
- No distortions
- Bi-amp system
- Accurate and natural sound output
- Reliable construction material
- Tweeters contort at moderate volume levels
- Tweeters completely break up at somewhat higher volumes
- Huge magnets that require longer to install
- High priced
Included in the package are (2) Mid-Bass Drivers (2) Mid-Bass Crossovers (2) Mid-Bass Grilles (2) Tweeters (2) High Range Crossovers (2) Flat Surface Tweeter Mounts (2) Angled Surface Tweeter Mounts and a one-year warranty.
Overview Of Features
Focal is recognized as being the best at what they do in the field. Their speakers are unmatched in sound, design, and clarity. They didn’t achieve this overnight.
Besides their frequent corporate action, they offer high-fidelity audio systems, with consistent product lines focusing on electronics and loudspeakers. But their goals don’t stop there. There are fewer and fewer companies that offer consistent and reliable audio solutions. They are the only two of the remaining real manufacturers in their respective sectors.
Focal’s goal is for each company to become a major reference in its markets, offering renowned high-end products that set themselves apart from mainstream consumer electronics. They intend to build benchmark brands which offer a complete product range.
The Focal and Naim brands also offer lifestyle products and a top-level of quality in which their clients are connected to, and which creates added value for them. The interest is making these brands grow in confidence, creativity, and strength.
Complementing each other perfectly with their comprehensive “acoustic and electronic” range of products, the two brands have also forged a successful creative partnership.
This is clear to see in the Mu-so 2nd Generation all-in-one wireless streaming system by Naim, which features speaker drivers that result from a collaboration between Focal & Naim engineers and several years of R&D. More than an incredible product, the Mu-so 2nd Generation is the first to integrate components and technologies from both brands.
Focal and Naim believe that their arrangement is a vital system for creating brand coherence. Naim has to keep its more Northern European spirit, and likewise, Focal has to sustain its Latin integrity with its lavish arrangements.
Their producers have a gift for expressing this diversity of these unique worlds. What they all have in common is their desire to continue achieving exceptional speakers, both musically and in terms of design. And doing so while respecting the codes of audiophiles.
With Focal speakers, the developers infused the speaker with a lightweight cone made of hollow flax fibers that are woven and placed in between ultra-thin glass membranes. The cone is hung by a reliable Butyl surround and the flax design guarantees superior strength and incredible resistance to unwanted resonances.
Focal is one of a few companies in the world to constantly invest in acoustic research. Their goal is to reproduce the artist’s original work as true to the original sound as possible with their speakers.
Their team of acoustic experts, year after year, hone their proficiency in speaker driver technology and resonance replication by virtue of their financial backing in improvements and research. With each new span of time, products unify with their previous enhancements and variations, enabling them to constantly enrich their collections with new products.
Focal products offer unparalleled sound quality. The Focal speakers are specially designed phase plugs that ensure frequency dispersion issues are a thing of the past. The unit combines these innovative woofers with Focal’s renowned inverted magnesium alloy, some tweeters to deliver outstanding natural audio whenever you need it.
The inverted tweeters somehow act like small woofers by dispersing high frequencies in a wide pattern and thus producing rich, crisp audio. They equip the tweeters with the prong suspension for enhanced durability. They want every loudspeaker and every speaker driver to be the best in its category. Whichever product you choose you’ll be listening to the sound of the original work: The Focal Sound.
Focal products can be used in all kinds of environments, so wherever you go you can take music with you just how you like it. Experience Focal’s sound signature at home, with their speakers, Hi-Fi headphones, soundbar, or with their built-in systems for (the bedroom, living room, or kitchen…), they can also be installed outside (in the garden, or on the patio…) with their orchestrated audio solutions, with their car audio kits, and even while you’re on the move, with their portable headphones.
Reacquire your music in every place! The Focal’s Sound Signature speakers are also inherent in their professional loudspeakers for recording studios.
Q: When buying car speakers, what should I be looking for?
A: Sensitivity to sound. Power handling sound. Full range of sound with the speakers. Checking the materials of tweeters and woofers and the tweeters pivot and swiveling.
Q: Is this the same model as the PS165V?
A: The only variation is the year and location of manufacture. The PS165, PS165V, and PS165V1 are all the same item, just different generations. They all share the same parts and specs.
Q: Does this price include only a pair of (2) speakers and tweeters?
A: Included in the package are (2) Mid-Bass Drivers (2) Mid-Bass Crossovers (2) Mid-Bass Grilles (2) Tweeters (2) High Range Crossovers (2) Flat Surface Tweeter Mounts (2) Angled Surface Tweeter Mounts
Q: Were they hooked up using the cars’ factory wiring, or a dedicated separate set of wires?
A: Hooked up with 14 gauge aftermarket wiring. Make sure it is pure copper and not CCA (copper clad aluminum) to transfer as much amp power as possible.
Q: What amp is best to pair with these?
A: There have been earlier renditions of these speakers over the years and they have been paired with several amps. They are very revealing, meaning don’t take the cheap way out on the amp. Look for a class a/b amp with a high signal-to-noise ratio and low distortion or THD.
Side note, THD is Total Harmonic Distortion is a measurement that tells you how much of the distortion of a voltage or current is because of harmonics in the signal. THD is an important aspect of audio, communications, and power systems and should typically, but not always, be as low as possible.
You don’t need the full 80wrms to make these speakers sound good because they are high sensitivity. Amps attempted with the speakers are as follows: JL Slash 400/v3, JL HD 600, JL xd400, eclipse ea3422, and finally eclipse pa5422. The JL slash sounded best out of the JL amps. The other class d JL amps got loud and clear but sounded simple and lacked range and warmth.
The eclipse amps sound amazing, even the ea3422 with 50wpc sounded better than the JL slash, go figure. Watch eBay, the eclipse amps are a forgotten gem. Don’t let their age and low price deter you. If you want something new that sounds as good, be prepared to spend $600 or more on a four-channel amp.
Q: Is this the latest model (PS 165 V1)?
A: In the 165 series, that’s the latest model. You may also want to look at 165 F
Q: Does this come with a manufacturer’s warranty?
A: For focal, all products have a 1-year warranty covers.
Q: Is this made in France?
A: The Performance series is made with French and Asian parts. If you’re looking for a set that’s considered “Made in France” you should consider the 165V30.
Q: These look good, will they work in a VW Passat 2008 Turbo, if not which model will?
A: Yes, they are a good fit for a VW Passat 2008 Turbo.
Q: Will these fit in a Ford F150?
A: Yes, if the stock holes for speakers are 6.5”.
Q: Can the tweeter be mounted inside the bass/mid driver?
A: No, they should be separate.
Q: I have a ‘90 Suburban I am not happy with my set up. Would these be a good choice?
A: A set of 6.5” components are exactly what you need.
Q: Will these speakers fit a Honda Odyssey 2019?
A: At this time it’s unknown. Please check with your owner’s manual or Honda.
Q: Many people find Focal speakers harsh-sounding. How do you deal with that?
A: Depending on the line of product you’re looking for – the tweeters tend to be bright or pronounced. You can set the crossovers to where the treble is not so ear-splittingly sharp! Also, pair the speakers with some good subwoofers to provide balance…either way you will experience quality sound reproduction with Focal!
Q: Is the price listed for a set? Does it include the tweeter?
A: Yes, it’s for the set. You also get tweeters.
Q: This DFS (dual fiberglass structure) gives more sq than polyglass cones?
A: Yes. Recently gained a set of CDT 690 fiberglass 6×9’s and the mid-bass is fantastic. The fiberglass gives the speakers a very punch mid-bass that will not disappoint. These focal speakers are vintage and they are still going strong. These are bright if you don’t adjust the crossover to -3db. But purchase with confidence and enjoy my man!
Q: The final impedance the amp will see is 4 ohms. So what is the impedance of the woofer and tweeter individually?
A: The woofer and tweeter are also 4 ohms each. The crossover uses different resistors to give you a final 4-ohm load.
Q: What is the RMS wattage it handles?
A: The RMS wattage it handles is 60 watts RMS 120 watts peak power. They sound very clear at the rated power recommended.
Q: Are they sold in pairs?
A: Yes, they are.
Q: Can these be installed in a 2004 Dodge Ram 1500?
A: Yes, however, the tweeter will need to be mounted up high on the outside of the door panel. It will have to be a custom installation.
Q: How many wires go into the amp?
A: Two sets of wires from each speaker, one positive and one negative.
When buying car speakers, what should I be looking for?