Review: Focal Chora 826-D Floorstanding Speakers
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Combining exquisite French manufacturing and design, the Focal Chora 826-D floorstanding speakers are designed with total immersion in mind. A member of the Chora Series, the 826-D speakers come equipped with Dolby Atmos modules built into the top of the speakers, which creates sound effects as though you had loudspeakers in the ceiling.
Another important feature of the 826-D is the Slatefiber cone. This technology is exclusive to Focal Audio and is a product of several years of R&D. The engineers at Focal mixed ultra-lightweight, recycled, non-woven, carbon fibers (a first in the world of audio) with a thermoplastic polymer. Pair this with the TNF Tweeter, another Focal exclusive, and you have a rich, dynamic, and balanced sound with no shortage of sound harmony and precision.
If you're a movie buff looking for a system that will immerse you in your favorite films without the need for in-ceiling installations, the Focal Chora 826-D speakers are an excellent choice.
"Hi, everyone. It's Adam with World Wide Stereo. This is the Focal Chora 826-D. It is a Dolby Atmos-enabled floor-standing speaker. Before I dig into this, I'm going to remind you please subscribe to our YouTube channel. There's lots of links to our other videos on YouTube that we've done but I can't wait to show you this video so let's get started. The Focal 826-D is a Dolby Atmos-enabled floor-standing speaker.
So up here behind this grille, there's actually a speaker that fires up towards the ceiling. This could be a great alternative to actually cutting in speakers into a dry-walled ceiling or even a drop ceiling because sometimes that can be hard to do to get the wiring there. With this speaker, you don't have to do that.
You actually just wire right to it and you can get that Dolby Atmos effect on your ceiling right from this guy. The grille on the front is magnetic and when I take that off and remove it you'll see what we have here. This is a four-way speaker starting with you have the Dolby Atmos speaker, you have two woofers, a mid-range driver and then the tweeter on top.
So that gives you a four-way design with your base port on the front which I think is great because then when you're setting up the speaker, you can actually put it closer to the wall than you can most speakers because the base is firing forward and not at the rear wall so very helpful to get more bass response. The other awesome thing you see with the Chora line, this is a new driver for them called a slate fiber driver. Now it follows suit with Focal and how they make their other speakers kind of a think of an ice cream sandwich.
We have the vanilla layer and the two chocolate layers, it's a sandwich how they design these speakers and the vanilla layer here is made of a recycled non-woven carbon fiber. And then on the top and bottom, you have a thermoplastic polymer, that kind of a gel that kind of holds everything together on top and bottom. So that's the new driver design that they have here. I love the bluish kind of gray color. Really great looking but very fast.
I love these drivers, they're very accurate. On top here, the tweeter. This tweeter is their typical blend of aluminum and magnesium. It's an inverted dome tweeter. It's actually the same tweeter that they use or the same tweeter design that they use in their step-up model from here, the Area line. The Chora is represented as their entry-level line, but it's certainly far from entry-level in performance.
This is a great speaker. So let me give you a kind of an extreme close up here of the Atmos-enabled speaker on the top. Here's the grille and it is magnetic and it only goes on in one way. This grille was made to help enhance the performance so they want to make sure it's on the right way. If it's not, it will not sit right, it'll just slide right off. So that way you know you have it on right. If you look here on the inside, you'll see there's the full range, Atmos-enabled driver, and then this waveguide that they've designed to help really elevate that sound and get it out of this cavity and up towards the ceiling at a very specific angle here and you have different hole sizes here too which seem to make an impact on how this overall sound is.
So really awesome design. Great, great job here from Focal. When you look at the speaker from the side, you'll notice it sits on this plinth down here and the plinth is angled back. They do that specifically to help out with the performance of the speaker. High frequencies, mid-range frequencies, and bass frequencies all travel at different speeds.
So by actually angling the speaker back they can make sure that all of these frequencies arrive to the listening position at the same time, giving you an overall better experience for more musicality or more accuracy. So if we look at the back of the speaker, you'll find your two sets of terminals. On the bottom here are actually your hookups for the front speaker. So the woofers, the mid-range, and the top tweeter.
So your front left and your front right speaker up top here is the Atmos speaker hookup and right in the middle there is a nice Dolby Atmos logo, so very easy to call to make sure that you know that you're hooking it up to the Atmos speaker. Make sure you check your particular receiver because your receiver will call out the Dolby Atmos channel differently. Some call them extra speaker, HYF channel, presence, lots of different names so just consult your manual to make sure you're hooking it up to the right amplifier channel.
The Focal Chora line speakers are all made in France by hand. I did have the pleasure of going over there and seeing their facility. It's a phenomenal facility, all the workers are great and everything is made by hand. So great quality craftsmanship in these speakers. They are available in three finishes. Black and the black on the front is a piano kind of finish. On the side, it's kind of a... it feels like a wrap and has some texture to it though too, so not as glossy, more of a satin finish on the side and a nice gloss finish on the front.
You have a dark wood and also a light wood option. The dark wood option has a nice dark-colored wood on the side and the front is really close to this. It's like a gray color, really close to the driver color. And the light wood is a white cream gloss front and the side is a nice almost like maple kind of light maple looking. Really beautiful.
All of them do have though the grille that covers the front and the grille that goes on top of the Atmos speaker. I'll go over some of the key specs of this speaker here. My favorite specification is sensitivity. This is 91 dB sensitive. It does have a bottom frequency range of 48 hertz and it goes up to about 28,000 hertz. Also, the recommended amplifier power for this speaker is anywhere from 40 Watts to 250 Watts.
But given that it is a 91 dB sensitive speaker, you can be sure that even with modest equipment, this speaker is going to sound really good because it doesn't need a whole lot of power to produce a ton of sound. I personally tested this with the Yamaha RXA-3080 receiver. If you'd like to learn more about that product experience, I have another video that I did on an entire 7.2.4 Focal Chora surround pack but why don't you go check that out, it'll be in the product links below.
Some helpful tips I would give you for setting this speaker up. Dolby recommends that you want to be around 11-feet away from a Dolby Atmos-enabled floor-standing speaker. In my test, when I did it, I was as close as four feet and as far back as 18 and that seemed to work at all times. I got a nice Dolby Atmos effect coming from the ceiling, but right around that 10 to 12-foot mark, I did notice kind of a sweet spot engaging with it so that seems to be accurate.
The break-in time when you first buy these speakers, just play music continuously through them for about 20 hours and after that you'll notice that the speaker is kind of settling in and the bass response will get better and things will get nice and richer and warmer. So 20 continuous hours of music and you're ready to rock and roll in the speaker. This is the Focal 826-D Dolby Atmos-enabled floor-standing speaker. If you'd like to learn more about it, you can click on our product link below, or call us at our Ardmore or Montgomeryville, Pennsylvania showrooms.
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