Focal is a French company that makes a wide variety of audio products, including several series of full home theater lineups going from mid to very high end. The Chorus 700 series is the latest iteration of their entry level Chorus lineup, and it features one bookshelf/stand-mount speaker, the 706, which we’re reviewing herein.
These speakers look fantastic – the contoured sides and covers that match it if you choose to put them on, the right-angled apparatus that serves as a tweeter basket and aesthetic logo up top, the sheen sides contrasting with the dull/mat top and baffle, it all comes together great. This is one of the nicest looking bookshelf speakers that we’ve seen. They don’t specify the cabinet material but it looks like fairly standard MDF, nice and thick and sturdy.
The woofer is 6.5 inches and made from their proprietary Polyglass blend, which interestingly mixes tiny glass balls with a blend of actual cellulose, sort of resulting in a paper and glass fiber hybrid material of sorts.
The tweeter is a standard looking 1 inch soft dome, housed in that cool looking angled bracket that also serves as a logo plate. It’s actually the same apparatus they use all the way up to their highest level Utopia lineup.
The result is a response range that gets all the way up to 28k Hz, which is significantly higher than most 1 inch soft dome tweeters can achieve, and while that might seem irrelevant because humans can only hear up to 20k Hz on average, it does imply that the tweeter is capable of staying nice and flat within the important 3k – 20k Hz range. It also helps the woofer really perform and stay flat itself within the mid ranges. The overall quoted response range of 55 – 28k Hz that stays within a 3 dB differential is very good. The floor isn’t spectacular, but, bass will always be a limitation of standalone two way bookshelf speakers. Adding a subwoofer would obviously overcome that shortfall handily, but these might actually have decent enough bass on their own for some people, which isn’t something we’d say for most bookshelf speakers by any means.
The speakers have a 90 sensitivity rating and recommended amp power up to 120 W per channel, which means they have potential to get very loud, and will probably suffice in just about any room that isn’t exorbitantly large. The trade off, we suppose, is that the 706 is definitely big and heavy for a passive speaker at close to 20 pounds each. The resting surface area isn’t too large (though these are quite tall), but they will need room in the back for the ports to breathe. Probably too bulky and overkill for near-field desktop listening.
One potential issue is that, Focal being an international European company, they don’t offer a direct warranty on their products and instead defer it to their authorized dealers and distributors, so you’ll want to make sure you get an adequate warranty or acquire at your own risk. We’d say 5+ years would be pretty solid for a speaker of this quality.
Our Overall Take, As Compared To The Competition
It’s cool that we’re starting to see more and more international companies that actually manufacture their products come into the market place, but unless you happen to be in France, finding a good deal on these with an adequate warranty will probably be more on the intermittent side, and that’s just kind of the way it is for the time being. Maybe you’ll have good timing and get lucky? Or otherwise, getting a competitor with established US or Chinese manufacturing will probably be the most reliable deal.