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:
- Loudspeakers for home use
- Automotive sound systems
- 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
- Plug & Play
The K2 series is set apart, not only by its exceptional quality, but by its look. All components can be recognized by the yellow cone making up part of the speaker sets.
The series includes component and coaxial sound systems. With every component, the designers offer you:
- A strong durable product
- A light component so cars aren’t weighed down
- Damping mechanisms to prevent distortion
The result is speakers that offer excellent sound quality across the frequency spectrum.
The Utopia Be range is the best quality speakers in Focal’s range.
The automated production line in the Focal factory ensures that problems are kept to a minimum because everything is standardized.
You can purchase component kits in this range.
The kits’ reputation for power and excellence is due to the high-quality drivers used.
Focal offers a wide range in this series, with seven kits available.
Some of these kits offer both passive and active versions, so you can choose what you need, depending on your preference.
The look of the Expert range emanates class and style.
The flax that’s enclosed in glass fiber creates a wood-like effect, which is perfect to match with many car interiors.
The use of flax also adds to the quality of the sound, resulting in harmony and power, no matter what frequencies are produced.
The Expert range has both coaxial and component kits.
The variety of sizes means any car owner can install this exceptional series of speakers.
The unique visual characteristic of this series lies in the red components used.
This color can be seen in the wiring, but also some fastening mechanisms.
Focal offers this series to enable clients to install excellent sound systems at an affordable price.
The additional focus on durability—thanks to insulating polyurethane—means these speakers can be used in almost any climate.
This is why these units are some of the best-selling Focal products worldwide.
The Auditor range is a more affordable series on the Focal product list.
Though these components aren’t as advanced as some of the higher ranking ranges, it by no means suggests that these sound systems are low in quality.
The Auditor range has the classic speaker look of black and grey.
You can purchase both component and coaxial kits, with amplifiers being an additional option.
The focus is not on power, but on clear, excellent sound.
The focus of the Universal series is to help car owners enhance current sound systems.
Therefore, most items on the Universal list can serve as replacement parts for factory systems.
You simply have to match your current speakers’ size with a Universal one.
To supply this excellent service, Focal offers an extremely wide range of speakers and they can be purchased as either component or coaxial kits.
The classic black design fits with most vehicles’ interiors and matches the majority of car owners’ preferences.
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.
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
- 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.
- Stunning look
- Affordable price while still delivering quality sound
- Focal offers 1-year warrantees on most products
- The speakers are resistant to challenging climate characteristics such as high humidity
- Limited frequencies
- Very low bass sounds aren’t supported
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.
- 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.
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.
- The speakers look as amazing as they sound, so you’ll experience clear sound production
- Low mounting depth allows for installation in most cars
- Grilles are included in the set, so you can protect your speakers from accidental damage
- Frequencies that it can handle are limited.
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
- 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.
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.
- The speakers are affordable when compared to current units in the market
- Clear, excellent sound can be produced through them
- The speakers don’t support bass frequencies
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.
- 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.
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.
- The speakers fall in an affordable price range
- You get a 1-year warranty from Focal
- The speakers need an amplifier for optimum sound quality and volume
- Professional installation is necessary
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.