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Focal Profile 908 review

The Focals are good for the money, but if you can spend more, do so Tested at £1399.00

Our Verdict

These are good speakers, but their blend of talents aren’t enough to worry the class leaders, despite a hefty price advantage

For

  • Fine midrange performance
  • refinement
  • styling
  • competitive price

Against

  • Lacks low-end authority
  • timing could be crisper

What you make of these Focals depends on your priorities. If style and a certain amount of understated elegance are key then they're in with a big shout. Little else looks as unobtrusive, particularly when you listen with the grilles on. That's right, these are that rarest of thing: speakers engineered to sound best fully clothed. The 908s are also fairly small speakers, helping to reinforce domestic acceptability.

While style is certainly central to the Profile range, so is performance. High-class engineering highlights include an inverted metal-dome tweeter, a glass/foam composite mid/bass and a curved cabinet.

In many ways the 908s succeed. Give Bonnie Prince Billie's I See a Darkness a spin and you'll be impressed by the refinement, midrange fluidity and articulation on offer. Superb integration between the drive units helps, as does the speakers' speed in this area.

Lacks a little welly
Once properly positioned – a little from a rear wall and with a slight degree of toe-in – these standmounts deliver a fine stereo image. It's precise and deep, though a little lacking in scale compared with some. These Focals don't have much bass welly, either – take size into account that's no surprise – so fans of dance or hip-hop should look elsewhere. Timing could be a little more surefooted, too.

Let's leave it at this: the Focals are good for the money, but if you can spend more, do so.

What Hi-Fi?

What Hi-Fi?, founded in 1976, is the world's leading independent guide to buying and owning hi-fi and home entertainment products. Our comprehensive tests help you buy the very best for your money, with our advice sections giving you step-by-step information on how to get even more from your music and movies. Everything is tested by our dedicated team of in-house reviewers in our custom-built test rooms in London, New York and Bath. Our coveted five-star rating and Awards are recognised all over the world as the ultimate seal of approval, so you can buy with absolute confidence.


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