FOCAL Sopra N°1


Stand mount monitors

The Sopra N°1 is anything but ordinary and everything but a small standmount. If I let it play for you in a dark room you would swear that you are listening to quite a big loudspeaker. And you would not guess it is Focal as the N°1 is voiced to survive in fierce competition. Some elements of its sound exceed even what I heard from the Diablo Utopia, first generation.

Funkce a forma


The Sopra N°1 is built around the very same principles like its sibling, the Sopra N°2, that we have reviewed earlier this year. Please refer to this review for details. The main differences: cabinet size, a slot shaped reflex port that fires to rear of the speaker, and just two drivers - a 27mm beryllium tweeter and 16.5cm midrange driver.

The Sopra N°1 is not exactly a budget speaker but it provides two things to justify the price: it is a rather sensitive speaker (89dB with impedance minimum at 4 ohms) that makes finding a right amplifier piece of cake, and it is supplied with luxurious stands. The stands are not just welded pieces of steel, rather they are a composite of metal and glass, heavy as hell, and properly damped. I also liked the channel that connects the stand's base with its top and is a great hide away for speaker cables of any thickness. The speakers are bolted to the stands - please see the image in picture gallery below.

Designers of Focal know their job well, I would just drop overusing the brand and the logo - it appears not less than five times from the sitting listener's  point of view. Good for shows, unnecessary at homes.

Nízké frekvence


The Sopra N°1's internal volume is big enough to deliver impressive bass. During the burn-in period I had to stuff their bassreflex ports with pieces of foam to prevent the speakers breaking down the house. The N°1's lowest point is specified  as 45Hz (-3dB) and indeed, the really deep frequencies do not live inside, but for most bass fundamentals the Sopra is a capable speaker and it makes for what it lacks in the depth with the bass weight.

Forget about pushing these speakers in the corner of a small apartment - the Sopra N°1 can deliver an acoustic piano or a double bass with convincing fidelity (Club de Sol, David Chesky), perhaps just the real 'size' of sound is missing and a bit of punch too. It would be very interesting to hear what the bass would be like if the N°1 were closed speakers - would they benefit from more articulate low frequencies?

Čistota rozlišení


The Sopra N°1's sound is open and expressive. The sound pours out of the drivers with ease, rather than being pushed out. Despite that the beryllium tweeter is very revealing, the N°1s do not try to pierce the listener with laserlike highs - their highs are very natural, clean and clear. Though I know more brilliant speakers, very often they become to be fatiguing for ears. This is not the case here: with the Sopra N°1 I would end late at night and would be looking for the next morning's session. They are actually very friendly speakers to live with.

The beryllium tweeters need long and proper burn-in. My experience with other similar Focals, Diablo and Scala Utopia, says that minimum 150 or more hours are needed for the tweeters to start singing. The review pair sounded great after around 90 hrs, but I am convinced that their maximum potential remained hidden from me.

Tonální věrnost


The tonal fidelity of the N°1 cannot be compared to that of the Utopia Be range. The Sopra N°1's sound is simply less sophisticated. Still, when I listened to  Brazilian native instruments in Ana Caram's cut Rio After Dark, the Sopra were readily sorting out the playing instruments by size, material they were made of, and tonality. I wish the N°1 had more relaxing dynamics, like the Diablo Utopia, but that is why Focal has the flagship range, does it? On the other hand the sound of the N°1 was rich and full and it could challenge the best floorstanding speakers in 10ths euro category.


Šířka scény
Hloubka scény

Like the new Sopra N°2, the N°1's soundstage width is not limited by the walls or by speakers' positions. The lateral soundstage is recreated according to what was recorded on a medium and if the walls are far enough (like when I positioned the N°1s along the length of the room) the imaging is pinpoint precise. The stage was truly holographical, with tangible images of musicians and a you-are-there feeling. Well done, Focal!

Cena v době recenze:218 000,- Kč

Doporučení prodejci

CZ: Horn Distribution, Praha, +420 272 656 485

Připojené komponenty

  • Sources: Audiolab 8300 CD, Accuphase DP-720 SACD, Accuphase DG-58
  • Amplifiers: Audiolab 8300 MB monoblocks, Accuphase A-70 power amplifier
  • Interconnects and speaker cables: AudioQuest Wild, QED Reference XLR 40, AudioQuest Vodka, AudioQuest Redwood
  • Power conditioning: Nordost Thor (modified), Nordost Valhalla (Furutech modified), Block Audio Snakeblock


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