Focal Sopra N°3
Following the success of its N°1 and N°2 loudspeakers, leading French audio brand Focal is expanding its Sopra range with the flagship N°3 floorstander. The three-way Sopra N°3 floostanding loudspeaker is the biggest and most powerful in the Sopra range. Perfectly combining spatial and harmonic richness, this loudspeaker, along with its smaller stablemate the Sopra N°2, join the centre loudspeaker, effect loudspeaker and subwoofer to form 5.1 or 7.1 home cinema surround sound setups.
At Focal, the ultimate goal has always been to achieve optimal acoustic reproduction. Sopra N°1 and N°2 loudspeakers are perfect examples of this. Now, with Sopra N°3, the French brand has pushed the limits of sound reproduction even further. In their quest for high audio performance, Focal's engineers have completely redesigned the loudspeaker's internal structure in order to increase the volume by 60% and accommodate the larger two 8.5-inch bass transducers. The result is the Sopra N°3 delivers dynamic, musicality and generous but controlled bass.
Designed by the Parisian design agency Pineau & Le Porcher, Sopra N°3 is, despite the new improvements, only just 35% larger than Sopra N°2, retaining the the range's elegant, desirable and refined signature design - all the characteristics which have forged Sopra's success. Sopra N°3 also integrates the three major acoustic innovations which characterise the line's acoustic DNA. Thanks to Focal's patented IHL technology (Infinite Horn Loading), the Beryllium inverted dome tweeter no longer requires large volumes to prevent the rear sound waves from bouncing back. The tweeter has been given a horn to avoid any boomerang effect which creates distortion and colours the audio. The surround connecting the mobile part of the cone to the fixed part can cause distortion at certain frequencies. When applied to Sopra's 6" (16.5 cm) woofer, Focal's patented TMD technology (Tuned Mass Damping) counterbalances the resonance of this oscillating system and gives the sound incomparable transparency. This has been made possible thanks to the power of numerical analysis carried out by Focal. TMD ensures that the sound stays pure and that very high definition is achieved.
The magnetic field surrounding the voice coil is unstable - no speaker driver is spared this issue. Variations in current from the amplifier in the voice coil, and the voice coil's varying position blur the sound significantly, and this changes the quality of sound reproduction. The result of specially developed powerful simulation software, Focal's new innovation NIC (Neutral Inductance Circuit) has finally made it possible to stabilise the magnetic field. This has paved the way for unsurpassed high-definition sound. Thanks to these audio innovations, the Sopra N°3 is a striking premium loudspeaker capable of unrivalled acoustic performances in a compact enclosure. It also brings the listener one step closer to the ultimate performance of the ultra high-end loudspeakers in the company's Utopia III range, which are still to this day, the most extraordinary loudspeakers ever designed by Focal. Sopra N°3 will be available from June 2016 at a suggested retail price of €18000 per pair. Info and photos by Focal.