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Our tester’s studio desk is cramped already, so when new monitors come in for review, there was a bit of nail biting on space concerns, but these fit in nicely. The five-inch low frequency driver of the new Focal Alpha 50 Evo is made of a material called Slatefiber, a composite made of recycled non-woven carbon fibers, along with a thermoplastic polymer. The result is lightweight and provides dampening and rigidity. A one-inch aluminum tweeter with an inverted dome covers the high-end responses. With a 5/8” MDF cabinet sporting a font port, a textured finish and molded side pieces, the overall construction feels top-notch. Protective speaker grilles are also provided.
The business-end is on the back though; balanced XLR, TRS, and unbalanced RCA inputs can allow for a variety of gear to be connected. There’s also an automatic standby mode that engages after 15 minutes of inactivity, saving power. However, some people apparently don’t like their speakers to go to sleep, so this function is now selectable to the user. To allow for optimum tuning of these to your space and application, there are HF and LF shelving controls located on the rear panel, along with two threaded inserts, allowing these to be wall mounted, as well. What you don’t see are the internal dual amplifiers, 25w for the high frequency side, and 35w for the low frequency end. The max SPL is 101dB, with a frequency response of 45Hz–22kHz (+/- 3dB)
Calling up a mix, we were quite impressed with the very present low frequency availability. To be clear, these aren’t one-trick-ponies meant for mixing tunes for your Honda’s subwoofer; it’s present where you want it, along with clarity and definition in the top-end as you’d expect. For mid-focused instruments like guitars, there’s a nice musical presence there that’s really helpful in isolating that area, which between vocals, snare and guitar can tend to get cluttered or muddied.▼ Article continues below ▼
The high-end tweeter, even though it’s an aluminum driver, sat nicely with plenty of clear top end that isn’t harsh. Smaller speakers like these have come a long way, but this was a noticeable jump. Even at lower output volumes we retained a good balance of low to high frequencies — this is a great practice to see what’s “jumping” frequency wise. And getting a full effect of a mix at varying volumes really makes a difference in the final results.
While we didn’t wall mount these, just the option of doing so is a great feature. Our tester got thinking about clearing off his desk space for a set of these considering the tunability and positioning in his small-ish recording space.
With a great overall sound, practical tunability to a room, and the size to response ratio being quite impressive for mixing, a set of these might be a bit of a jump to some entry-level home level systems, but might be worth it, considering the quality, sound integrity and the wall mounting option.
great low-end response, wall mounting option, tunable to a space