FOCAL Chorus 705V Bookshelf speakers

These attractive little French loudspeakers have pleasingly chamfered cabinet edges, with a 130mm polyglass bass/mid driver and a 25mm aluminium and magnesium alloy inverted dome tweeter, and a single reflex port. Round the back is a single pair of loudspeaker terminals. Vital statistics are 315x192x248 mm and 5.7kg apiece.


Starting with the Beethoven, I was surprised by the lively treble; there seemed to be an emphasis to the ring of the piano notes and the sound of the violins that seemed at odds with the generally well balanced sounds occurring below. When the music swelled up this sometimes resulted in a congested feeling; the midrange sounds were in balance with the bass, which had enough presence to be pleasantly big and satisfying. Soundstaging was impressively wide for a mono recording, filling the space between the cabinets, and extended well back with ease.

This became more apparent playing the Mamas and the Papas, where the stereo placement of the performers was good. However, despite this I remained curiously disengaged from the music, which surprised me because this recording is very 'human'. There was plenty of detail in the sound, but nothing that 'got under my skin' as it were, things sometimes sounding a tad detached despite the obvious quality of the loudspeakers.

Playing 'Big Calm', and the combination of the smooth and rich vocals and full bodied production of the instruments is, I usually find, the audio equivalent of settling down in front of a cosy log fire, yet the Focals didn't seduce. Still, the general tonal balance was pleasing, with a satisfyingly gentle lower and high frequency emphasis. Timing was quite energetic and lively too, but oddly this speaker still didn't quite get into the swing of things despite its good, strong bass.

An interesting and distinctive design then with power and space, but still potential purchasers should get an audition to see if the Focals are to their tastes.

FOCAL Chorus 705V Bookshelf speakers photo