Focal is an audio company based in France that’s well known for recording studio monitors and sound systems for cars. That’s why when the Focal XS Multimedia Sound System initially came out a lot of people were very curious. True to their brand, the Focal XS delivers outstanding sound quality and range. I’ve owned and tested a lot of 2.1 speakers before and I there are only a few that come to mind that can come close to the Focal XS in build, audio, and features. This isn’t for everyone though. Priced at a hefty Php32,000, the Focal XS is mostly for “Computer Audiophiles”. These are the type that listen to their music and watch movies/videos on their computers more than their TVs.
We tested this product for over a week and I can honestly say that this is one of those rare instances that the reviewer is sad when the demo unit is picked up, haha!
Build and Features
You know from the moment that you open the box that the Focal XS is “the good stuff”. The two satellite speakers weigh in at 2.2 lbs. each. The speakers have two drivers each: a paper cone driver (mid-bass) and a mylar dome tweeter. This combination delivers exceptional balance, clarity, and power to your audio. The right satellite speaker has an iPod/iPhone dock, a 3.5mm input and a mini-USB connector for your PC. In terms of design the speakers come in silver and black. Goes pretty well with any Mac products, especially the aluminum MacBook Pros.
If you thought the satellite speakers were heavy, wait until you get the subwoofer out of the box! The subwoofer tips the scales at 18.5 lbs. I often get asked what subwoofers are for so let me take this opportunity to explain as well. Good subwoofers aren’t supposed to wreck your home with overpowering bass. It’s supposed to let you hear very low-end frequencies from your audio tracks that you won’t regularly hear with your satellite speakers. This gives you a more complete and whole sound experience. Of course you can also turn up the bass knob to get you that “tugs-tugs-tugs” feel.
To say that the Focal XS is high fidelity is an understatement. You can already tell from the features that I wrote above that this can deliver exceptional audio. You get defined, clear, detailed, powerful, and balanced sound and it was always a joy for me to listen to tracks from Sting, Maroon 5, and Usher coming from the Focal XS when I get home after a long hard day’s work.
Another great use for the Focal XS is watching movies on your computer set-up. If you have a 22″-27″ screen and you like to watch your “downloaded stuff” then expect the Focal XS to give you a much better viewing experience. They weren’t kidding when they put “Multimedia” on the name of the product. Regardless if it’s podcasts, movies, or audio, the Focal XS will deliver well.
Since this is a bit pricey we can’t recommend it to everyone. However if your PC/Laptop is your main player for audio and video then you seriously have to include the Focal XS Multimedia Sound System in your list. Everything from the sound quality, build, and product design is just on a completely different level compared to a other more affordable alternatives.
The Focal XS retails for around Php32,000. Just shop around the different A/V stores in Shangrila and you can also go to Power Mac Center branches.