French audio manufacturer Focal has announced a new line of speakers at CES 2024: the Aria Evo X, a successor to the Aria 900 line originally released a decade ago.
Conceived for both hi-fi stereo performance and to complement a surround sound home cinema set-up, the new Focal Aria Evo X collection consists of five new models: the No.1 standmounts, the No.2, No.3 and No.4 floorstanders and the Evo X Center speaker.
The two-way No.1 bookshelf features a 16.5cm midrange/bass driver alongside Focal's magnesium/aluminium inverted dome tweeter with waveguide. The very same tweeter is featured across all speakers in the Aria Evo X line. The three-way No.2 floorstander offers dual 16cm bass drivers alongside a 16.5cm midrange and that same inverted tweeter. It's a similar story for the No.3, except this whopping floorstander has an additional 16.cm bass driver, making it five drive units in total. The No.4 floorstander is the largest model and features two bass drivers, a midrange and a tweeter (all the same sizes as above), while the Evo X Center speaker packs in two of those bass/midrange drivers alongside an inverted dome tweeter in between them.
All speakers (bar the Center) are front-ported, while the floorstanding models use an additional port that fires downward into the plinth for "more depth".
What further binds the line together is the fact that they share much of the same advanced DNA, including new technologies and design principles, which help to offer what Focal promises will be "sensational listening pleasure with the brand's signature immersive experience".
The new line’s midrange and bass speaker drivers, for instance, are constructed using Focal’s signature flax cone for a reportedly more natural, immersive sound. The loudspeakers all feature proprietary tech, including that ‘M’-shaped inverted dome tweeter which claims to reproduce frequencies up to 30kHz.
The midrange driver, meanwhile, comes fitted with Focal's "Tuned Mass Damper" technology, which aims to deliver better stability to the surround and further reduce distortion. Finally, the woofers have been redesigned for a punchier, more impactful bass, all coming together for what Focal hopes will be a significant upgrade in performance over the former Aria 900 range.
Focal announced its Vestia range of speakers last January at CES 2023, with the Vestia No.1 bookshelf model earning a four-star rating when we tested them. We found the Vestia No.1 to be refined and large-scale but a little lacking in excitement, and we're hoping that the new Aria Evo X family can bring the fun in pursuit of the full five-star haul in this step-up range.
The Focal Aria Evo X speaker range is available from January 2024, with speakers available in Black High Gloss, Prime Walnut or the new Moss Green High Gloss finish. Prices are as follows:
• Aria Evo X No.1 - £1,299 / $2,398 per pair
• Aria Evo X No.2 - £2,999 $4,798 per pair
• Aria Evo X No.3 - £3,499 / $5,198 per pair
• Aria Evo X No.4 - £3,999 / $5,998 per pair
• Aria Evo X Center - £699 / $999
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