Thoroughly enjoyable in most circumstances, but the Chorus 706Vs aren’t quite the all-rounders they need to be
Fast, upfront and open sound
intriguing looks and specification
Tricky rhythms trip them up
The Focal Chorus 700 range is far from being brand new (we reviewed the smaller, more affordable Chorus 705Vs in December 2008), so it’s high time we got to the rest. Enter the imposing 706V standmounters – we liked the 705s back then, so we have high hopes for these.
Exciting in style and soundWe don’t think the light walnut finish does the 706Vs any favours (fortunately, wenge and black ash are also available), but otherwise the Focals are visually quite arresting.
The cabinet’s a stealth bomber-style combination of angles, with the tweeter sitting in an extruded metal plate – even the speaker grilles are excitingly shaped.
There are some technical highlights, too. The most obvious is Focal’s trademark inverted dome tweeter, an aluminium and magnesium confection promising response up to 28kHz (a full 8kHz above the upper limit of human hearing).
Below that is a 165mm polyglass mid/bass driver, and beneath that a substantial bass reflex port that makes the speaker look like it’s breathing through its mouth.
More after the break
In action the 706Vs sound just as bold and assertive as they look. Retribution Gospel Choir’s Hide It Away enjoys nicely controlled attack, and integration across the frequency range is smooth, with an open and convincing soundstage.
Best for classical musicThe bottom end hits hard and delves deep, the mids are detailed enough to allow vocalists full expression, and treble is crisp and textured.
Add to the mix unshakeable dynamic poise and punchy upper ferquencies, and the 706Vs seem set fair.
In fact, they have only one significant flaw: their reluctance to properly describe and organise any kind of rhythmical complexity holds them back somewhat.
For all their drive and rapidity, the 706Vs aren’t able to time a testing rhythm convincingly – and that’s enough to deny them a place at the top table.