We tried the Focal Sopra No2 standing speakers!
A pair of the Focal Sopra No2 standing speaker was tested a few days ago in a medium-sized hi-fi room. The owner works as a sound engineer, replacing his previous speakers with French-made Focal speakers. The hi-fi room is acoustically completely ideal, the owner took care of the acoustic treatment of the walls, ceiling and window, so there was no room for improvement in this area. For some slightly old, worn-out sound-absorbing panels, we recommended renovating their exterior with new acoustic silk cladding.
Let’s get to the point – take a closer look at the speakers!
The product’s original name was JM Labs – after the company’s owner, Jacques Mahul – the beautifully crafted, respectable-sized, wood-paneled, hand-crafted speakers have always received flattering reviews.
They used innovative solutions in their production. The 3-way, high-end speaker is a worthy representative of premium audio equipment. It is characterized by dynamics, optimal surround sound and detail. The Focal Sopra No2 speaker consists of 2 18 cm “W-cone” subwoofers, a 16.5 cm center speaker and an “IHL” beryllium inverted dome tweeter. The compact, modern, clean and elegant design appeals to most of us, and although its size is not small – it weighs 55 kg – it can still be conveniently integrated into any style of interior with a minimum area of 30 square meters. Its metallic lacquer finish is captivating, available in several vibrant colors. The combination of fine, soft curves and sharp lines results in a harmonious, pleasing look. There is a thick tempered glass on the base of the speaker, the steel spiked legs can be screwed.
Due to the relatively large weight of the speaker, it is advisable to place aluminum discs under the legs in order not to damage the parquet or wooden floor. Thick MDF sides and internal stiffeners, and high material density ensure strength and vibration-free. The lower part of the speaker tilts backwards, while the center speaker tilts forward, making the phase balance and radiation direction ideal. The 3-way tweeter is located between the subwoofer and center speaker, just right for the sitting listening position. The diaphragm of the tweeter is rigid and thin. Due to the thinness, crosstalk and backward radiation are experienced. A horn-shaped cavity has been created in the tweeter housing to gradually absorb unpleasant vibrations, resulting in a 30% reduction in distortion.
A thin aluminum grille protects the speakers. The speaker mounts are closed by a metal rim. Fixing the speakers and magnets was solved in a whole new way. Through NIC technology, a neutral inductance circuit controls the magnetic field, which also results in a reduction in distortion. Frequency transmission 34 Hz-40 kHz (- / + 3 Db), low frequency point 28 Hz, speaker sensitivity 91 dB, impedance 8 ohms, crossover frequency 250-200 Hz, recommended amplifier power: 40-300 Watts . The reflex box has a reflex tube pointing towards the sole, which is closed at the back and around. The granite-patterned diaphragms of the drives are made of plastic, called “W Composite Sandwich Cono”, which is used to dampen vibrations. A glass plate was placed on top of the speaker as a decorative element.
For the Focal speakers, we used a NAD C-388 stereo amplifier with an audio PC during testing. We started the test listening with classical music. We started Johann Sebastian Bach’s work on toccata and fugue organ in D minor. The music, which has Baroque style features, is characterized by fast, snare races. The Focal Sopra No2 did not distort at high volume either, we got an extremely fine, detailed sound.
We continued the rehearsal with alternative rock music, listening to Nirvana: Smells like Teen Spirit. The volume was wound up properly to give us a real rock feeling. Kurt Cobain’s hoarse singing (or shouting) sounded understandable, powerful, realistic, the music was detailed and spacious, the guitar sound was clearly discernible. Maybe the orchestral parts seemed a little shady, but it might only have been audible to our overly sensitive ears, but it wasn’t disturbing at all and it didn’t spoil the experience anyway.
We continued with this year’s hit song, Jason Derulo: Savage love’s song sounded. We didn’t detect a bug, we experienced intense bass (sometimes maybe a little even a lot), clear and understandable vocals in this case as well.
We’ve put a movie called Doctor Dolittle, starring Robert Downey Jr., into the DVD player. The Focal speakers performed well this time as well, the effects, soundtrack and dialogues sounded fantastic, creating a real spatial effect.
In the production of the Focal Sopra No2 stationary speakers, the makers have strived for extremely high quality, both in appearance and in engineering design and construction. With the help of unique and innovative technical solutions, vibrations and vibrations have been practically reduced to a minimum. The exterior of the speakers can’t be complained about either, each part is beautiful and sophisticated. It is recommended for hi-fi rooms and living rooms, it will not disappoint.