TECH­NOL­OGY

BIG SOUND FROM SMALL PACK­AGES, COUR­TESY OF FRENCH HI-FI COM­PANY FO­CAL.

Town & Country (Philippines) - - CONTENTS / JUNE - By Pierre A. Calasanz

The lat­est from French hi-fi com­pany Fo­cal.

Founded in 1979 in Paris by en­gi­neer, hi-fi afi­cionado, and tech jour­nal­ist Jac­ques Mahul, Fo­cal is a re­spected name among au­dio­philes fa­mil­iar with the com­pany’s loud­speak­ers for the home, car, and record­ing stu­dios.

While we’ve seen a rise in the num­ber of peo­ple re­dis­cov­er­ing the joys of ana­log record­ings, the dig­i­tal mu­si­cal world still dom­i­nates, lead­ing hi-fi mu­sic man­u­fac­tur­ers to cre­ate sys­tems to take ad­van­tage of the dig­i­tal for­mat with plug-and-play equip­ment and go­ing wire­less. For Fo­cal, that meant adapt­ing the tech­nol­ogy de­vel­oped for its award-win­ning au­dio­phile speak­ers for smaller sound sys­tems and head­phones, lead­ing to the New Me­dia Col­lec­tion. And just like the rest of Fo­cal’s other lines, ev­ery­thing is still proudly made in France, some­thing which the French min­istry for Econ­omy, Fi­nances and In­dus­try rec­og­nized by ac­cord­ing the St. Eti­enne-based com­pany the En­treprise du Pat­ri­moine Vi­vant (Liv­ing Her­itage Com­pany) sta­tus in 2014.

Lead­ing the new French rev­o­lu­tion in sound is the Dôme minia­ture speaker, the foun­da­tion for Fo­cal’s home the­ater sys­tems. Stand­ing at just a tad un­der seven inches, it de­liv­ers big, clear sound in a stylish round en­clo­sure, avail­able in white or black with a choice of poly­glass or flax for the speaker cones. Flax, the same ma­te­rial used in the su­perb Aria 900 speaker, gives the Dôme Flax model a slight edge in per­for­mance, of­fer­ing bet­ter clar­ity and a straighter fre­quency re­sponse. The Dôme speaker works well in a two-speaker stereo con­fig­u­ra­tion for mu­sic or in a set of five with the cor­re­spond­ing Dôme sub­woofer for 5.1 home the­ater ap­pli­ca­tions.

If you’d like to sim­plify things even fur­ther, elim­i­nate the need for sep­a­rate speak­ers with the Di­men­sion sound bar, which can be po­si­tioned just be­low your screen. With five built-in speak­ers, it de­liv­ers 450 watts of power for a rich home cinema ex­pe­ri­ence. Fo­cal has also given thought on your room aes­thet­ics. If your TV isn’t fixed to a wall, Fo­cal pro­vides a sub­woofer which at­taches to the sound bar and sup­ports the TV. Ca­pa­ble of pro­vid­ing deep bass all the way down to 30hz, the sub­woofer does this with­out any vi­bra­tion, en­sur­ing your screen stays per­fectly still.

For the times when you want to en­joy your mu­sic dis­creetly, Fo­cal has a full range of head­phones to suit all types, from the ca­sual lis­tener to pro­fes­sional sound en­gi­neers. In the Sp­hear, the com­pany’s first-ever in-ear head­phones, Fo­cal uses mem­ory foam and sil­i­cone for the ear­piece so it adapts nat­u­rally to the shape of the wearer’s ear. While small, it still de­liv­ers a rich mid-range sound with ex­cep­tional qual­ity, help­ing elim­i­nate lis­ten­ing fa­tigue. On the opposite end of the spec­trum, the Spirit Pro­fes­sional head­phones are Fo­cal’s top of the line of­fer­ing, with trans­duc­ers (minia­ture speak­ers) made from my­lar and ti­ta­nium al­loy, said to en­sure faith­ful sound re­pro­duc­tion across all fre­quen­cies, from the bass up to the high tre­ble notes. With a black tex­tured fin­ish, the Spirit is light, stylish, and pow­er­ful. fo­cal.com; @Fo­calAu­dioPh on Facebook.

Mu­SIC TO Our EArS From top: Fo­cal Spirit pro­fes­sional head­phones; the Sub Air woofer; a 5.1 Dôme Flax sys­tem; Lis­ten head­phones; the Di­men­sion sound bar and stand.

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