Focal introduces Kanta No.2 floorstanders and Clear headphones

Focal’s latest speaker mission: to design compact floorstanders that utilise (and develop) existing technology in its high-end ranges. The upshot: the Kanta No.2s.

The 3-way floorstanders, which slot between the French brand’s mid-range Aria and high-end Sopra series, mark the first time the brand has combined its Flax cone driver system (which sandwiches flax fibre between two layers of glass fibre) with its Beryllium tweeter in a speaker.

A new version of the latter has been specially designed for the Kanta, combining principles of the IAL (Infinite Acoustic Loading) and IHL (Infinite Horn Loading) tweeters developed for Focal’s flagship Utopia range. Below the tweeter there's a 16.5cm midrange driver and twin 16.5cm bass drivers - all of which have removable magnetic grilles.

There’s a newly designed cabinet, too. In order to keep the design as compact as possible, the reduced volume of the bass cabinet means using a new material for the baffle.

By utilising high-density polymer – denser and more rigid than MDF – Focal claims the Kanta’s cabinet has the same rigidity as those used in Sopra but is 35% thinner.

The explanation of the sloped front predictable. As in Focal’s Sopra and Utopia models, the Kantas employ ‘Focus Time’ driver alignment, designed so all the frequency information arrives at the listening position at the same time.

The finish options are far from limited to the two you can see here. With a black gloss cabinet, the baffle colour choices are white, black, yellow and blue. With a wood veneer cabinet, the choice is between white, black, blue and taupe.

The Kanta No.2 will be available this month for £7000, with Focal looking to expand the range next spring with a larger 3-way No.3 floorstander, No.1 standmounter and Kanta Center [sic] speaker.

Whether the Kanta range will eventually usurp the Electra range (which also currently sits between Aria and Sopra) is yet to be confirmed, but we can be reasonably confident it will.

Following the launch of its Elear (£900) and Utopia (£3250) headphones last year, Focal is now introducing its third high-end headphone: the Clear ($1500).

Sitting between the existing models in the line-up, the open-back over-ear design features a new generation of the ‘M’-shaped dome introduced on the Elears and Utopias, as well as a further developed copper voice-coil. There’s also an upgraded open-back design and new perforated ear pads.

In the box are 1.2m and 3m cables with 3.5mm plugs, a 3m cable with XLR connector, a hard-shell carry case and a 6.3mm jack adapter.


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Becky Roberts

Becky is the managing editor of What Hi-Fi? and, since her recent move to Melbourne, also the editor of Australian Hi-Fi magazine. During her 10 years in the hi-fi industry, she has been fortunate enough to travel the world to report on the biggest and most exciting brands in hi-fi and consumer tech (and has had the jetlag and hangovers to remember them by). In her spare time, Becky can often be found running, watching Liverpool FC and horror movies, and hunting for gluten-free cake.