The global success of the UTOPIA range has enabled the Focal to develop a new range of very high-end speakers at a more affordable price.
The Focal Sopra 3 speaker is the most successful model today.
FOCAL SOPRA 3: DESIGN
Visually, it offers an aesthetic very similar to the Utopia speakers. Indeed, we find this typical curve.
The finish, no matter the color, is superb. This model is offered in white, red, black or orange lacquered finish. A wood finish is also available.
The top of the Focal Sopra 3 speaker receives a black tinted silica plate of the most beautiful effect.
The baffle that features the speakers offers a thickness of 69mm!
The unit rests on a base cut from a 19 mm thick silica block that receives four height-adjustable stainless steel spikes.
Stainless steel tailstocks and elastomer pads are also supplied as standard. This quite large base ensures a perfect stability to the Focal SOPRA 3 tower speaker and allows for precision and details into the whole sound message.
FOCAL SOPRA 3: SPEAKERS
On this Focal Sopra 3, we find the famous layout of the manufacturer.
The high-frequency block is located between the woofers and the midrange driver, which is placed at the top of the speaker. This is a real 3-way with 4 speakers.
The bass register is entrusted to two pretty 21cm speakers with “W” cones. They are bass/reflex loaded with a laminar port opening on the front at the base of the SOPRA 3 speaker.
The motor is equipped with the NIC technology. It consists of the use of a Faraday ring whose dimensions, material and positioning have been optimized to make the magnetic field insensitive to the position of the coil following the intensity and frequency of the current flowing through it.
This solution allows for controlling the field to limit the effects of distortion and give the sound a very high definition and remarkable dynamics.
Above it is the enclosed "cabinet" receiving the midrange speaker. It is equipped with a 16.5 cm cone, also in W, with specific TMD suspension and a NIC motor. Focal is proud to announce that this speaker is certainly the best developed to date!
The filtering uses the best capacitors and coils possible.
The internal wiring is very careful and uses a well-known European speaker cable manufacturer known and recognized for its high-end products.
FOCAL SOPRA 3: TWEETER
Above the subwoofer, there is the module that receives the tweeter.
It is made of extremely strong and inert matt black one-piece polyurethane. It features the now famous 27mm pure beryllium inverted dome tweeter. In this charge, it has the peculiarity of functioning like a flat baffle.
Its rear wave is damped by an IHL horn that opens out at the back of the Focal SOPRA 3 speaker through a superb stainless steel grid known as "variable geometry".
Acoustically speaking, this part is fully independent from the speaker.
FOCAL SOPRA 3: TERMINAL BLOCK
The terminal block only accepts mono wiring, which is simpler and often more efficient!
It is of excellent quality and its oval shape allows optimum clamping of bare cables, forks or banana plugs.
FOCAL SOPRA 3: UNPACKING
When unpacking, we immediately see that Focal has done nothing for the economy. So this is a big tower speaker!
Its dimensions are impressive, almost 1.30m high with a weight of 70kg per unit! This gives an idea of the quality of manufacture and the care taken in the cabinet making.
FOCAL SOPRA 3: SET UP
The set up of the Focal Sopra 3 speaker is quite simple and does not require specific precautions.
Even if it is designed for spaces of at least 35 m², it is possible to operate it in smaller spaces if the electronics are up to scratch and the speakers can be mastered.
Big rooms do not scare it. It can express itself with surprise in very large spaces of more than 80 m²!
Depending on the size of the room and the wall behind the speaker, we place them at least 60cm away from the wall.
Its neutrality and reproduction make it quite versatile in terms of amplification. It requires good electronics from 45W tubes and 100W transistors.
FOCAL SOPRA 3: REVIEW AND LISTENING
We tested them seriously after 50 hours of running-in.
From the very first notes, as with the lower models in the Sopra range (Focal Sopra 1 and Focal Sopra 2 speakers), we were surprised by the openness of the auditory scene and the placement of the consoles!
If we take care to position and power them properly, Focal Sopra 3 offers remarkable holographic restitution. The instruments go far beyond the confines of the speaker. The depth is surprising. The vocals placement is outstanding. All this shows the quality of the pairing of the Focal SOPRA 3 speakers and the consistency of the manufacturing process.
The bass is much more wide than the Focal Sopra 2 speaker. It is also getting really low. But it remains remarkable in terms of articulation and handling. The impact of the bass drums is very realistic! It is like listen to a big 38cm speaker! Double bass slaps do not "twist" at all. They are fast, they "slap" while leaving total legibility to the body of the instrument.
The cabinetmaking quality enables neutrality in the lower spectrum, without parasitic coloration. Note that the quality of the filter and the precision of this one, does not make it possible to say if we are listening to a 2 or 3-way speaker. The consistency of the records is remarkable.
Like the other models of the Sopra range, the midrange/tweeter is beautiful by its opening, presence and neutrality. It is detailed, clear and very elegant without hardness or aggressiveness.
These Sopra 3 tower speakers also enjoy a quality of timbre and harmonic richness that seems to us to have been rarely achieved at Focal! These allow you to immerse yourself completely in music with emotion, and forget about electronics.
Note that the sound level obtained without distortion from its speakers is very important! It can reproduce orchestras, Blues, Rock or electronic music with an incredible level and realism.
This Focal SOPRA 3 tower speaker is a great success both in music and aesthetic. This Sopra range is the first one offered by the manufacturer from Saint-Etienne since the acquisition of the British brand, Naim Audio. We can think and legitimately affirm that the association of these two "know-how" has been totally successful.
The Sopra speakers are very high-end and FULLY manufactured in France (the only ones?!...). They do not have to blush at productions across the Atlantic.
The benchmark in this range! And also a French pride!
STEREO **** Franck
Type: 3-way tower
Frequency response at -3 dB: 33hz – 40 KHz
Frequency response at -6 dB: 26hz – 40 KHz
Output: 91.5 dB
Nominal impedance: 8 ohms
Minimum impedance: 3.1 ohms
Filtering frequency: 250/2 200 Hz
Bass: 2 x 21cm “W” speakers with “NIC” motor
Mid-range: 1 x 16.5cm “W” speaker with “TMD” suspension
Tweeter: 1 x 27mm beryllium inverted dome
Recommended amp power: 40-400 W
Dimensions: 1 264 x 402 x 540 mm
Weight per unit: 70 kg