The Aria range encompasses, stand-mount, floor-standing, centre and rear speakers. There are a couple of matching sub-woofers too. This was the first Focal range to be designed since the merger with Naim Audio. It shows too.
Across the range, bass is well controlled but, on the floor-standers, definitely powerful. Placement is surprisingly easy and refinement high.
These are unexpectedly easy to drive and great fun too. A Naim Uniti 2 can achieve great things with a pair of 926s. In fact, good as the 906 and 905 stand-mounts are, it’s the 926 that has made the biggest impression on us for its combination of price, size and performance. The floor-standers 926, 936 and 948 are all proper three way designs. The moderately chunky 948 is pictured here.
A ‘proper’ three way speaker, where the midrange is covered by its own dedicated driver, has some serious advantages and the Aria floor-standers demonstrate this principle admirably.
The latest range, Sopra, sits above the Electra be series, itself one notch up on Aria, and draws heavily from the top-of-the-tree Utopia range. To our ears, it sounds like neither. The range encompases the No.1 stand-mount along with Nos.2 and 3 floor-standers.
These are striking designs and certainly suit the colours on offer. Being dead boring, we went for the monochrome versions.
Sonically, and as it laboured elsewhere, these are very Naim-compatible, hardly surprising, given that they were developed with these electronics. They are not limited to working with Naim kit, though.
To fully appreciate them, you will need to book a demonstration.
Actual products here