Last year, Focal released the long-anticipated follow-up to their acclaimed Alpha series of active monitors. When we reviewed the first in the new Alpha Evo range, we were so impressed we awarded it a 2021 Gear Of The Year gong. Now Focal have fleshed out the range with two larger siblings, and a new active subwoofer.The new Alpha 80 Evo is to the original Alpha 80 what the Alpha 65 Evo was to the Alpha 65. In short, it’s a two-way monitor much like the Alpha 65 Evo, but based around a larger 8-inch woofer. The bass unit employs the same SlateFibre cone material as its smaller counterpart, and the tweeter is the same 25mm, inverted-dome aluminium unit. New to the Alpha 80 Evo (and also to the Alpha Twin Evo; more below) is a TRS jack input for increased installation flexibility, a power-saving auto-standby option (which can be disabled if desired), and cabinet inserts to facilitate wall and ceiling mounting — making them suitable for Dolby Atmos arrays.
At the top of the range, the new Alpha Twin Evo employs the same 25mm tweeter, but here it’s flanked by dual 6.5-inch woofers in an MTM (Mid-Tweeter-Mid). The placement of woofers either side of the tweeter means that, when used in ‘landscape’ mode, the speaker’s dispersion should be greater in the vertical plane then the horizontal, whereas the opposite will be the case with the speaker positioned in ‘portrait’ orientation. This allows you to negate strong reflections either from nearby walls, or a desk and the ceiling, as required by your setup. The use of twin drivers, rather than a single large one, should also see a significant reduction in thermal compression effects.
Finally, the new Sub One employs a brace of 8-inch bass drivers, again employing Focal’s SlateFibre cones construction but this time in dual layers, housed in a ported enclosure and powered by a 200W RMS amp. Focal say this configuration offers improved cone rigidity compared to traditional single-driver subs, and that the Sub One also boasts extremely low distortion. Integration options are comprehensive, including a variable crossover frequency (45-120 Hz), fully adjustable phase (0-180 degrees), a polarity invert option, and enough I/O to cater to stereo and surround configurations (including for use as a dedicated LFE speaker), and Dolby Atmos setups.
Focal’s new Alpha Evo monitors are attractively priced, at just $549 for the Alpha 80 Evo, $659 for the Alpha Twin Evo, and $999 for the Sub One (prices are per speaker). The newcomers are due to go on sale in February, and we look forward to putting them through their paces in an in-depth SOS review!