Focal Speakers: Are they any good? [Our Review]

The Focal brand has been active in the audio component market since 1979.

The company had its humble beginnings in St. Etienne in France when Jacques Mahul created powerful speakers in his father’s garage.

Since that time, this company has grown to be a powerful contender in the sound industry.

They are one of the most renowned car speaker brands inside the SQ & Audiophile circles.

Today, Focal offers quality products in the following arenas:

FOCAL CAR SPEAKERS
  • Loudspeakers for home use
  • Automotive sound systems
  • Headphones
  • Monitoring speakers

Part of their success can be ascribed to the company’s attention to detail which prompts the company to keep an eye on all processes.

All products are still manufactured and assembled in St-Etienne before being exported to Asia, America and Europe.

Focal’s excellence has even been noted and rewarded by the French government.

Let's have a look at their current lines of product and we'll review some of their most popular models to find out if they really are worth what they cost.​

Focal Speakers Series

  • K2 Power
  • Utopia Be
  • Expert
  • access
  • Auditor
  • Universal
  • Plug & Play

Focal makes sure its range provides items for every type of car.

If you simply want a system you can easily add to your current setup, the Plug & Play series will have what you’re looking for.

plug and play serie speaker review

The sets are made specifically for certain vehicle brands, so choose the one fit for your car.

Focal Speakers Reviews

1. Focal 690ca1

The popular 6x9" version of the Acess Series are excellent speakers, though their frequency range is not as broad as many others on the market.

Related: Best 6x9 Car Speakers

Specifications:

  • Sensitivity:  92 dB
  • RMS: 75 Watts
  • Peak Power: 150 Watts
  • Frequency Response: 50-20,000Hz
  • 2way/3way/4way: 2-way 

They handle adequate amounts of power, but connecting them to an amplifier that pushes many watts may be risky.

If you experiment to gauge the exact number of watts, you should push through each unit; you’ll enjoy clear, loud sounds without distortion.

EDITOR'S RATING:

Focal 690ca1 review

Pros

Cons

2. Focal Access 130CA1

This speaker scores high on many users’ lists, both for the clarity of the sound it produces and the power it can handle.

I recently published a list of the best 5.25 car speakers and this was my #1 choice.

Specifications:

  • Sensitivity: 91 dB
  • RMS: 50 watts
  • Peak Power: 100 watts
  • Frequency Response: 65-20,000 Hz
  • 2way/3way/4way: 2-Way 

It may not handle your lowest bass sounds or highest frequencies, but on average, it will sound amazing on highs and mid-level frequencies.

Focal invests time in designing speakers that can serve a purpose in any part of the world.

EDITOR'S RATING:

Focal Access 130AC1 review

Thanks to humidity resistant parts—such as the woofer—you can enjoy this speaker, no matter where you’re located.

The distortion, as well as wear and tear, is kept to a minimum by using a fiber basket.

This basket is non resonant, so you’ll get much less feedback.

You may need professional assistance to install the speakers, as this is the best way to ensure you get the ultimate sound quality from them.

Make sure the wires are connected exactly right and the speakers’ positioning is ideal.

Thanks to the low mounting depth, you’ll easily find space for these speakers.

The crossover is built in, which means you don’t require additional black boxes to be built. This saves time, money and space.

Pros

Cons

3. Focal PS165

First off, this speaker has a protective, stable housing, due to an aluminum casing with butyl rubber surrounds.

This keeps all components safe, and the rubber absorbs much of the shock experienced while you drive, or created during sound vibrations.

Related: Best 6.5 Car Speakers

Specifications:

  • Sensitivity: 92.5 dB
  • RMS: 80 Watts
  • Peak Power: 160 Watts
  • Frequency Response: 60-20,000 Hz
  • 2way/3way/4way:  2-Way 

The speaker produces excellent, clear sound—though bass sounds are limited.

You can also push the volume to adequate heights, but you should keep in mind the tweeters may then start to distort.

EDITOR'S RATING:

Focal PS165 review

If you really want to enjoy louder sounds, you may need to install an amplifier as well.

The speakers look great, so no matter where you install them, your car’s interior will still have aesthetic value.

Pros

Cons

4. Focal IS 165

This is an excellent option to upgrade your vehicle’s sound system, because in look, sound and installation, you’ll love the features.

Specifications:

  • Sensitivity: 92.6 dB
  • RMS: 70 Watts
  • Peak Power: 140 Watts
  • Frequency Response: 60-20,000 Hz
  • 2way/3way/4way: 2-Way 

The speakers have a very low mounting depth of only 1.96”, which is exceptional when compared to most speakers.

EDITOR'S RATING:

You may struggle to install these yourself, as often happens with component speakers where the tweeter is mounted separately. 

One of the main items you will need is a well-built, custom mount.

Apart from the physical requirements, when the system is installed you’ll get a clear, loud sound.

The speakers can handle a lot of power, so you can hook them up to an amplifier if you want to push the limits.

Many users comment on the clarity of its high sounds.

The speakers are made durable through the use of butyl rubber surrounds and the processed aluminum dome will last long.

The latter also gives stability to the speaker.

The speaker is lightweight thanks to a polyglass cone. This means your sound system won’t add too much weight to your vehicle.

Pros

Cons

Final Veredict.

Focal is an excellent option to trust with your future sound systems.

Decades of experience turned the company into one of the leading brands.

If you are looking for exceptional sound quality and high fidelity, then try Focal for your next sound upgrade.

Alex Meyer
 

Alex Meyer is a 26-year-old Certified Automotive Technician with over 10 years experience as a mechanic and car audio installer. He shares his knowledge at Gear4wheels.com

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