Tasty high-end Focal speakers inspired by oysters and chocolate? Yes please. We take a set of each. We’ve been good all year…
French sound specialist Focal has launched two new finishes – officially named Black Ostrea and Brown Concrete – for its popular Sopra 2 speakers, inspired by two of our favorite festive treats.
Both finishes build on the concrete effect first seen on the Sopra 2 special editions in the Focal Naim 10th Anniversary system – arguably some of the best stereo speakers on the market. Have you read what Focal can do with headphones? The Focal Bathys, Focal Clear Mg, Celestee and Stellia are great places to start – and that’s before we even get to the outdoor-friendly, Frozen-esque Littora speakers or Utopia headphones, two Focal proposals we’ve yet to get to personally experienced.
Back to the Sopra 2 speakers, and Focal tells us that the Black Ostrea finish is inspired by the “pearl like appearance of an oyster, with an iridescent sheen on each side”, while Brown Concrete sports “warmer-toned, chocolate-colored side panels, combined with metallic bronze front panels”. Jamie indeed…
Ready to try and put up with the prices? The new Focal Sopra 2 Brown Concrete and Black Ostrea finishes are available to order now, with a suggested retail price of £14,999 per pair (that’s about $18,450 or AU$27,000, excluding shipping and duties, but we await official pricing for the US and Australia.)
What if you don’t feel like oysters or chocolate? The Sopra 2 will continue to be available in Carrara White, Electric Orange and Black Lacquer finishes, as well as Light Oak and Black Oak editions.
Opinion: Focal Sopra 2 speakers are the high-end audio choice I want for 2023
There is no doubt that the Focal Sopra 2 (opens in new tab) are designed to give modern interiors a modern look. And yes, they are expensive. But not scandalous so in terms of high-end audio – see Wilson Audio’s Alexia V option, which costs £79,888 per pair (about $90,000 or AU$135,000), for comparison.
Also, they are not physically intimidating and seemingly do not require a huge area to operate in. In fact, Focal says they’re perfectly comfortable in rooms up to 30 square feet, but they’re also ideal for rooms up to 750 square feet or 70 square feet.
And what about the delights beneath Focal’s ravishing new finishes? These are just as delicious. Sopra 2 is apparently equipped with “the best midrange drivers ever developed by Focal”, with Focal’s proprietary NIC (Neutral Inductance Circuit) magnets and TMD (Tuned Mass Damper) suspension.
Drivers? Naturally. Each Sopra 2 floorstanding loudspeaker consists of two 7-inch (18 cm) ‘W’ woofers, a 6.5-inch (16.5 cm) ‘W’ midrange driver and a 1-inch (27 mm) IHL Beryllium inverted dome tweeter (in case you were wondering, IHL stands for Infinite Horn Loading), all developed and manufactured by Focal, in France.
But it’s the design I find most fascinating (not to mention beautiful), with the midrange driver tilted slightly down, positioned above the tweeter (which itself sits on top of the two woofers, both tilted slightly upwards). I saw a similar idea, with the tweeter wrapped around it, in Monitor Audio’s Concept 50 at High End Munich – and those speakers sounded incredible during my limited time with them.
Want something similarly beautiful (and passive) but smaller? We can push you to Cabasse’s Rialto for similar build quality – and please follow our guide on how to set up stereo speakers for the best sound. If you’re serious about spending money on speakers, you might as well make them sound as good as possible.
For now, we make a list – we check it twice. And at the very top are the words ‘Focal Sopra 2 in Black Ostrea’.