Focal Chora 826 Review
Focal’s Chora 826 is their latest series of speakers. In appearance, Chora 826 is not only more concise and neat than in the past, but Focal also configures its own newly developed Slatefiber diaphragm for it and decentralizes the brand-new single technology to a relatively entry-level product series. From all angles, Chora 826 has a very comprehensive integrated technology to reach the charm of Focal to more possible audio potential customers.
Any speaker company that encounters a strong opponent like Focal will definitely find it challenging to deal with. What kind of special skills are needed to take the driver unit design as such a matter seriously?
You can find it from the early signature yellow Kevlar diaphragm monomer to the W Cone diaphragm, which is currently listed as the leading technology of the entire series, from the beryllium tweeter diaphragm that established the status of the top metal monomer to the brand new F Cone diaphragm.
The Focal Chora series is an upgrade replacement for the Chorus series, so Focal Chora 826 will replace Focal Chorus 826V speakers. In the Focal Chora series, the Chora 826 floor standing speakers are the flagship models. The series also includes the Focal Chora 816 floor standing speakers and the Focal Chora 806 bookshelf speakers.
The Chora series currently has a pair of bookshelf speakers and two pairs of floor standing speakers. The Chora 826 is the largest in the series.
The new Slatefiber Diaphragm
What surprised me the most when seeing the Chora series speakers this time? That’s right. Focal has introduced a new monomer technology. And the diaphragm is a diaphragm material that has never been seen in the past, called Slatefiber.
The single diaphragm used by Chora is also composed of a standard sandwich structure. The centre layer of non-woven carbon fibre is used as the core, and thermoplastic plastics sandwich the front and back layers of the diaphragm to achieve excellent hardness and rigidity.
The carbon fibre used in the core of the diaphragm is arranged in a specific and consistent direction. According to Focal, this arrangement can achieve better rigidity and damping characteristics for the diaphragm. And this is why at the beginning of the diaphragm production, Focal emphasized that it must be made of “non-woven” carbon fibre.
Because these carbon fibres are heated and sandwiched with the thermoplastics on the front and rear sides, they will show a rock-like texture on the surface of the diaphragm, which looks very beautiful, so Focal directly named the diaphragm material as Slatefiber.
The Slatefiber’s technology took Focal four years of research and development, and it also added a customized diaphragm fabricating machine to its factory, which is wholly aimed at the “rigidity”, “quality”, and “damping” that the monomer should have. The comprehensive optimization of the three core focuses on a significant breakthrough in the performance of Focal in recent years.
Other Design Features
Focal Chora 826 floor-standing speaker is a pair of floor-standing speakers with three sound channels and four monomers. The upper of the speaker also has a concave aluminium-magnesium alloy diaphragm tweeter. The high-frequency response can reach up to 28kHz.
Chora 826 uses Poron memory foam of the same grade as the Utopia Beryllium tweeter on the outer part of the tweeter as a suspension. That can moderately reduce the 2kHz-3kHz distortion rate, which is the most sensitive to human’s listening, and provide a smoother and more natural listening performance.
As for the midrange and two woofers, the Slatefiber monomer is responsible for this, which helps to achieve consistent sound quality and tone performance. If you like neat and straightforward styles for speaker design, Focal Chora 826 can meet your audio preference.
With a square box and a slightly backwards-tilted elevation design, Chora 826 pulls out the different sound positions of the monomer to achieve the consistency of sound waves to the ears. In addition to acoustic considerations, this also has aesthetic effects.
Chora 826 speaker uses a brand new Slatefiber diaphragm material this time. Does this sound different from the W Cone or F Cone diaphragms in the past? I played a simple violin and piano chamber music for testing. I found that Focal is really one of the few companies that can play chamber music delicately and touchingly, regardless of the price of the speakers.
The lines of the violin have a slightly elastic texture. The sound of the piano can be clearly contrasted with the dark background. In terms of sound details, Chora 826 is also an outstanding performer in the same price range. Including the details of grazing, I can hear the reproduction of natural and precise details in a clear sound field.
Finally, this pair of speakers is also compelling. That is when the violin is played. The subtle dynamics are brilliant. Even though I was limited by the amplifier’s output of only 50 watts per channel, I did not turn the volume up particularly loud. I still heard the beautiful string performance on the pair of speakers.
The lines of the piano are soft, and the expression is delicate. That alone is enough to prove that Focal already has its characteristics in tuning technology. Being able to replay the violin so fascinatingly, I believe that it can be competent when it is playing other types of music.
This time Focal Chora 826 uses Focal’s signature aluminium-magnesium alloy tweeter, so it is relatively lively in terms of sound interpretation.
When paired with Moon, the high-frequency energy is relatively prominent. The sound appears open and lively, just like a passionate person willing to show the vitality of music and can’t be idle for a moment.
For example, when I listened to “Schumann The Great Piano Works”, the combination of Moon and Focal allowed me to hear the most transparent and detailed piano texture, clearly reproducing the moving and delicate appearance of sound particles.
Moreover, the transparency of the sound field is bright, and the tone changes between different scales are clearly expressed. But the sound quality will not appear cold and challenging because of this, and people can fully feel the charming tone brought by the metal tweeter when the design delivers good performance.
In addition to the performance of the piano and the violin, Chora 826 has a slightly sweet sound, which can also make me hear again and again when performing female voices. The mid-frequency sounds full and fleshy, the high-frequency is gentle and relatively introverted, and the female singer’s voice expression is so sincere and moving.
Focal Chora 826 is one of the beautiful demonstrations. What do you want for a good pair of speakers? Isn’t it about letting the listener fully engaged in the fun of listening to music?
To sum up my feelings from listening to the Focal Chora 826 floor-standing speaker this time, it is a pair of French speakers with a distinctive musical style. Any of the advantages that you would like Focal in the past is not missing.
Under the brand-new modern appearance, even if it uses the latest single technology to return to the essence, it seeks to remind the listener repeatedly that listening to music is such a beautiful thing. I can hear Focal’s 40 years of tuning technology in this price range, which may have made competition in the same price range challenging to match.
Focal Chora 826 Specs
- Type: 3-way bass-reflex floorstanding loudspeaker
- Drivers: 2 x 61/2″ (16.5cm) Slatefiber Woofer, 61/2″ (16.5cm) Slatefiber Midrange,1″ (25mm) TNF Al/Mg inverted dome tweeter
- Sensitivity: (2,83V/1m) 91dB
- Frequency response (±3 dB): 48Hz-28kHz
- Low frequency point (-6 dB): 39Hz
- Nominal impedance: 8Ω
- Minimum impedance: 2.9Ω
- Recommanded amplifier power: 40/250W
- Crossover frequency: 270Hz – 2.700Hz
- Dimensions (HxWxD): 411/2×117/8×151/4″ (105.3×30.3×38.8cm)
- Net weight (unit with grille): 46.6lbs (21.15kg)
- Packaging dimensions (HxWxD): 441/2×133/8×187/8″ (113x34x48cm)
- Net weight (with packaging): 52.9lbs (24kg)