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Monitors are always a big deal in any studio situation, but more importantly, how they work in your space. The idea is the monitor won’t interpret the sounds in a way that makes the mix sound bad on other devices. With more options available to help refine a mix, Focal’s Solo6 are a high-quality set of monitors that can help dial in better mixes.
The build quality on the front ported cabinet is quite impressive, and beefy. A beryllium inverted 1” dome tweeter is super light and amazingly rigid, meaning the high end is as stable as stone. With a unique baffle design, the dispersion is enhanced as well. Woofer wise, a 6.5” driver sports a “W” profile and is made out of a 3mm composite open cell foam woofer, sandwiched between glass fiber outer layers. Going into deeper design nuances, a tuned mass damper incorporated into the woofer greatly reduces oscillation and resulting distortions. Tuning can be adjusted on the rear with adjustable Hi pass filter, low frequency shelving, Low Mid frequency EQ and high frequency shelving. With a frequency response from 40Khz to 54Hz, it’s going well past what the human ear can actually handle. Oh, and it’s all analog, no DSP processing or algorithms running anything. Auto Standby is also selectable for situations where the power switches might be tough to reach, with a snappy and quick wake up. To cap it off, threaded inserts are available and allow for wall or ceiling mounting.▼ Article continues below ▼
Setting these up and running through several different kinds of mixes, these were beyond impressive — it’s easy to list advanced technical specs, but the Solo6’s went beyond expectations in delivery. High end was easy to max out while maintaining clarity and no distortion, even at high volume levels. Clear definition of the lows without getting muddy or thumpy even with mega bass drops, while the mids were punchy and not grainy or spiky, even running a mess of mid-range instruments through them, like multiple lead guitar tracks. At higher volume levels these speakers seemed to say, “is that all you got?”
This is where all the extra design features add up to help enhance what’s going on, and in a few cases, some sections of a certain mix that had some high-end frequencies that have always been an issue were able to be resolved, and not overcompensated with EQ plug-ins or other tweaks.
To help ensure what’s being heard will translate to other listening devices, a footswitchable “focus” mode is available. Connect a footswitch, our tester used a Boss one from a pedalboard, and the signal to the tweeter is disabled, turning the woofer into a full range mode, allowing for a response that’s closer to a speaker on a consumer piece of audio equipment, such as a computer speaker or a television. This option alone can easily clean up a studio desk or space, as with this, the need for additional speakers to switch to for reference totally goes away.
Accurate is the best description of what these bring to the table. It’s always amazing to listen to what a different set of speakers enhances or reduces, and these helped refine some older mixes that made our tester try to figure out how to re-release an older recording project.
These are serious pieces of audio kit, and worth every cent for a serious home studio build or commercial situation.
Accurate, clarity definition, focus feature is no joke.