The Chora’s shapely fabricate and styling is outmatched ultimate by its sonic punch.

Focal Chora 806 in darkwood veneer


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French audio maker Focal is one among the storied manufacturers in excessive-quit audio. The corporate’s products range from loudspeakers costing upwards of $200,000, to headphones, and automotive audio audio system. Focal’s Chora 806 bookshelf audio system ($990 per pair) is fragment of Focal’s latest speaker lineup that seems to merge well-liked styling with extra down-to-earth prices.

To that quit, the company is joining its sibling label—Naim Audio—to present a chain of bundle deals from November 1 to December 31, 2020 (whereas supplies remaining). Steal the Chora 806 collectively with a Naim Uniti Atom built-in amplifier for $3,290 and you’ll also get a 4-meter pair of Naim’s NAC A5 speaker cables and an prolonged guarantee for 5 years. That’s love getting the audio system, the cables, and the prolonged guarantee completely free.

Unparalleled Match and discontinue

The Chora 806 bookshelf speaker is fragment of the Chora family that comprises two tower speaker devices, a surround speaker, a heart channel, and a subwoofer. The Chora line targets two-channel purists as effectively as audiophiles in quest of full-blown home theater setups.

focal veneer detail Theo Nicolakis/IDG

A detail look for of the Chora’s comely veneer discontinue.

Unpacking the Chora 806, I couldn’t relief but secret agent their tough fabricate quality and styling. The Chora’s satin discontinue wood-grain veneer is unbelievable. The Chora 806 is accessible in three finishes to suit your tastes and decor: Gentle wood (a maple-love discontinue), darkish wood (a walnut-love discontinue), and unlit. My review sample came in darkish wood. The baffle’s coloration varies with each veneer.

On my darkish-wood review sample, the speaker’s slightly modern, slate-colored entrance baffle stands out as a notorious feature. You’d greater like the baffle coloration because no longer like most loudspeakers, the Chora 806 grille doesn’t duvet the baffle. Instead, Focal takes a different construct elegant with the Chora 806.

The inverted dome tweeter sits in the succor of an exposed, perforated metal duvet and the entrance-firing port is visible at all times. Absolute top the 6.5-trail driver will get a magnetic grille. The query a conversation starter that puts company on secret agent that you’re armed with a excessive-performance loudspeaker you’re itching to advise off.

The spherical magnetic grille is finicky, nonetheless; will doubtlessly be exactly dialed in to defend the baffle. In exclaim to get the grille to sit down down effectively, I needed to rotate it love a steering wheel till I felt the magnets align.

The Chora 806 is a two-contrivance construct. Focal makes exhaust of beryllium—arguably the suitable tweeter self-discipline matter on hand nowadays—on its flagship audio system. However that ingredient is extremely costly to work with, so Focal opted for a extra economical aluminum/magnesium tweeter in the Chora 806. The motive force is a Slatefiber cone. Slatefiber is a composite of recycled, non-woven carbon fibers and thermoplastic polymer. Focal says its the foremost audio label to make exhaust of recycled carbon fibers in drivers, and that the combo of those two materials ends in shapely acoustic performance as effectively as tension and damping.

Exercise excessive-quality amplification

Focal advertises the Chora 806 as an 8-ohm speaker with a sensitivity of 89dB, but the Chora’s impedance can dip down to 4.6 ohms, presenting a extra advanced load for an amplifier. While the Chora will must be straightforward to force, you ought to mate them to a excessive-quality A/V receiver or a dedicated vitality amplifier that can address low-impedance loads.

chora806 unitiatom Focal/Naim

While that it is probably you’ll act rapidly, that it is probably you’ll rob up the Chora 806 audio system, a Naim Uniti Atom built-in amplifer, NAC A5 speaker cables, and a 5-year prolonged guarantee for the price of the amplifier by myself.

I problem up the Chora 806 in my basement theater and problem them on high of 33-trail tough wood stands. Focal sells a pair of stands particularly designed for the Chora 806 that sell for $290 a pair; alas, Focal didn’t present me with a review sample. Focal’s stands are 21 5/8-inches big and are fabricated from MDF (medium density fiberboard). The stands are slightly tilted for time alignment and to bid the tweeters toward your ears. The bottom of the Chora 806 arrive with threaded screw holes that establish to the stands’ high plate for security.

While I like to recommend the utilization of stands, Focal comprises two items of silicone dots for tabletop placement.

Comely, but perplexing binding posts

The Focal Chora’s binding posts deserve some reward and some criticism. The binding posts sit down in a beautifully gentle and curvaceous cavity on the succor of the speaker, and they sport rounded fins that make them extremely straightforward to tighten and loosen.

focal binding post Theo Nicolakis/IDG

The Focal’s binding post construct makes it straightforward to tighten and loosen.

The binding posts are also perplexing. The e book reveals they’ll accommodate spades, bare wire, or banana connectors. However actual luck making an are attempting to make exhaust of banana connectors. The binding posts arrive with caps over the inclined banana connector channel. For the lifestyles of me I couldn’t figure out pop the caps off. I ended fast for grief of harmful the connectors.

Detail view of the Focal’s binding post plugs that wouldn’t allow me to connet banana plugs easily. Theo Nicolakis/IDG

A detail look for of the Chora 806’s binding post plugs that wouldn’t enable me to connet banana plugs without bid.


I paired the $990 Focal Chora 806 with a $3,290 Naim Uniti Atom, a excessive-performance, excessive-powered network streamer and built-in amplifier in a slick, ultra-compact footprint. It’s a Roon-curious tool, so I served up supply self-discipline matter from my Roon Nucleus server consisting of each hi-res audio files and Tidal streams.

The Chora 806 had been unusually finicky to dial into my room—a ways extra finicky than any speaker in latest memory. When you don’t have the wherewithal for this activity, have your native Focal dealer problem up the audio system for you. You’ll be duly rewarded.

focal tweeter Theo Nicolakis/IDG

The Focal’s inverted dome aluminum/magnesium tweeter

When effectively dialed in, the Chora 806 are magical for audio system in this mark range; they fully disappeared in my room, rising a coherent wall of sound. On the Indigo Ladies’ music “Welcome Me,” the Focals painted sonic photos of Amy Ray’s and Emily Saliers’ guitar strokes and vocals in home and time.

The Focal 806 conjured up a ridiculously big sound stage that consistently prolonged past the audio system edges. A shrimp sound stage is normally a drawback of video display audio system—that turned into no longer right here.

The Chora 806 did yeoman’s work rendering piano notes on Billy Joel’s “Piano Man” and Lana Del Rey’s “Mariners Dwelling Advanced.” Though if I’m allowed to nitpick, the Chora couldn’t rather invent a if truth be told perfect rating reproducing the piano’s definition and body.

focal driver Theo Nicolakis/IDG

A detail look for of the Chora 806’s Slatefiber cone composite woofer.

Bass response turned into very actual for the driver dimension and frequency response. Focal’s designers clearly centered on the usual and never quantity of bass. The Chora’s frequency range is rated at 58Hz to 28kHz, and it delivered nice bass lines on Lourdes “Royals,” pressurizing my listening home with effectively-controlled, chest-thumping bass. Bass lines on Ingrid Michaelson’s “That is War” and “Great Unknown” had been taut, crisp, and effectively controlled, though audibly curtailed on the lowest frequencies.

On James Blake’s “Restrict to your Like” the Chora 806’s bottom-quit limits on the tune’s home-shaking bass lines had been abundantly decided. When you essentially make a selection deep bass with the Chora 806, pair them with a excessive-quality subwoofer.

The Chora 806 captivated me on occasion on songs such as Sarah McLachlan’s “Like Come [piano version]” and Diana Krall’s “I Remember You,” from her album The Peep of Like.

On the plan back, the Chora 806 can’t rather transcend a slightly boxy sound—that’s the sonic tradeoff with audio system and monitors at this mark point. While, sound stage, timbre, and dynamics are essentially actual, the feel of notes and the devices that play them lack the masterful refinement and finesse that you’ll abilities with reference audio system.

For instance, switching between the Focals and my RBH Sound SVTR Signature Tower Audio system (priced at $11,000, that’s an unfair match to make certain), the RBH SVTR Signatures eradicated the feeling of bloat and smearing on vocals and devices. Natalie Merchant’s vocals on “San Andreas Fault” snapped into on the spot focal point in a solidly constructed sense of home and time. Build apart one other contrivance, it’s the variation between optical and digital zoom at 5x magnification.

A taste of the excessive quit

The Focal’s Chora 806 bookshelf audio system are beautifully built, tough performers. The Chora’s fabricate and performance clearly conveys their excessive-quit pedigree and are a robust strategy to anybody who needs to commit themselves to a vital audio hobby.

With out breaking the financial institution, the Chora 806 serve up a taste of what excessive-performance audio can elevate. Excellent make obvious to pair them with excessive-quality electronics and amplification. While that it is probably you’ll swing the Focal-Naim promotion running by December 31, you’ll get a unbelievable-sounding, excessive-tech equipment in a vital other-pleasant footprint for a shapely mark.

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  • These bookshelf audio system make a pleasing introduction to excessive-quit audio at a essentially affordable mark.


    • A real taste of excessive-quit audio
    • Unparalleled fabricate quality and discontinue
    • Mountainous sonic sound stage
    • Graceful styling


    • A shrimp boxy sound
    • Needs to be paired with subwoofer to raise deepest bass
    • Mission the utilization of banana plugs with its binding posts

Theo Nicolakis is a C-Level technologist and digital communications loyal. He will be a passionate audiophile and home theater aficionado.