Catalog
SOPRA
N°1 - N°2
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Focal®, Focal The Spirit of Sound®, Utopia®, Electra®, Sopra®, Chorus®, Easya®, Aria®, Dôme®, Bird®, Sib&Co, XS Book, XS 2.1, Spirit One S, Spirit Classic, CMS, SM6, SM9, Spirit Professional,
DFS®, Elite, K2 Power, Utopia Be, Intégration, Plug&Play, Universal, Performance, Access, Expert, DSA 500 RT, "W", Gamma Structure, Focus Time, Power Flower, Be Tweeter, IAL2, IHL, NIC, TMD,
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Images may not conform exactly to specific product - Photos L’Atelier Sylvain Madelon.
SOPRA
N°1 - N°2
Sopra incorporates a 20-year
heritage of Utopia technology
in an attractive compact design
Sopra
At Focal, innovation doesn’t stop at technology.
We’re obsessed with the comprehensive result:
a harmonically rich, lush sound; a transparent
and precise reproduction of the musical work.
Still, we’ve never lost track of our core expertise,
loudspeaker drivers, the very stepping stones along
the path to great sound.
The original Grande Utopia was designed in
1995 as a prototype to apply and validate new
speaker technologies. Twenty years later, Utopia
is undeniably a worldwide reference, praised for
its incredible musicality.
We continue to learn and to progress by systematically
putting our research into development, to evaluate
distinct contributions by listening to them in practice.
Every innovation – from cone materials ("W"
Composite Sandwich Cone and Inverted-Dome
Beryllium), to magnets (multi-ferrite magnet, EM
woofer, and IAL-2 tweeter), to crossovers (OCP+
circuit), and even to cabinets (Gamma Structure) –
"W" sandwich cone
Sopra N°2 "Dogato Walnut" finish
Pure Beryllium
plays a role in our technological legacy. Fittingly, we
may draw on this legacy whenever it is feasible to
improve our technology and to set new benchmarks.
We most recently reaped its rewards with the
Sopra project, a reasonably compact and elegant
incarnation of many of the innovations that, until
now, had only been realized in the uncompromising
Utopia. As you shall discover in these pages,
Sopra incorporates several major technological
breakthroughs.
It’s still possible to advance the state of the art
of speaker driver technology with digital analysis
capable of revealing the subtlest performance
aspects, and enabling us to improve the
transparency, precision, and harmonic richness of
sound reproduction…
"The Spirit of Sound"
OCP Crossover
Gamma Structure
Focal was recognized as a
Living Heritage Company for
its unique expertise in the field
of loudspeakers
Loudspeaker Legacy
Made in France
Loudspeaker technology remains the focus of our
craft. The mechanics of sophisticated materials
run in our blood. Thanks to the unique expertise
of our team, the Focal story is constantly evolving
and advancing the state of the art of sound
reproduction. We proudly maintain our own
manufacturing facilities in France. It is the only
viable means by which to advance our R&D, and
earned the classification "Entreprise du Patrimoine
Vivant (Living Heritage Company)".
Fine-tuning the transducers for Sopra would not
have been possible without our own production
facility. There, we could manufacture the hundreds
of prototypes necessary to confirm the results of
new simulation software, which was eventually
used to optimize magnetic circuits and suspension.
Assembling the new Sopra midrange driver on our Ariane production line. Based on the principle of lean manufacturing, we employ highly-qualified
workers who have completely mastered every step of the procedure from start to finish.
NIC Neutral Inductance Circuit
Stabilizing the magnetic field
The accuracy and detail
of audio reproduction
relies on the stability of
the magnetic field
We have always been
interested in magnetic
circuits, an essential element in speaker drivers.
Having developed the
electro-magnetic technology
for the Grande Utopia EM
and the Stella Utopia EM, we came to appreciate an attribute of magnetic fields that had yet
been ignored.
Besides the uniformity and intensity of the field was
a dynamic aspect over which we had no control.
Regardless of its intensity, the magnetic field
destabilizes due to additional factors: the movement
of the voice coil (Lenz’s Law) and the eddy current
passing through it, and the frequency. Consequently,
the moving part – the voice coil – moves into the
magnetic field and disturbs it, causing a variation
that results in a loss of precision. This presents a
significant obstacle to high resolution, like a shaky
hand holding a camera.
We developed new simulation software over the
course of three years, enabling us to visualize
these complex interactions, and paving the way for
the development of an extremely stable magnetic
circuit. Applying modern tools to an old solution, a
Faraday Ring, we calculated its ideal dimensions,
composition, and positioning with a recently
inconceivable precision. This effectively renders
the magnetic field immune to the position of the
voice coil, as well as to the intensity and frequency
of its current, and represents a new benchmark of
extreme definition.
1,0
0,9
0,8
0,7
Visual analogy of magnetic disturbances
0,6
0,5
0,4
0,3
0,2
0,1
0,0
In red, the Faraday ring on a Sopra N°2 woofer. Its composition,
dimensions, and positioning were optimized with computer
simulations. The impressive result achieves the best possible bass
performance and control, regardless of the voice coil’s excursion.
-4
-2
0
2
4
Response of a 6” midrange driver measured with the Klippel analyzer: blue curve represents the new NIC (red ring in this
cross section); red curve represents the conventional 6” midrange driver with a ferrite magnet.
Above: The variation of inductance in relation to current passing through the voice coil, varying according to the audio signal.
The NIC is perfectly stable.
Below: The variation of inductance in relation to the excursion of the voice coil. The result is spectacular.
Without Faraday ring
Variations due to the position of the voice
coil and to the current passing through it in
a conventional circuit result in blurring.
With typical Faraday ring
The Faraday ring is known to improve
definition, usually at the cost of dynamics
and contrast.
With Focal Faraday ring
Our new simulation software enables us
to model a Faraday ring that combines the
best of both worlds: extreme definition with
dynamics and contrast.
TMD Tuned Mass Damper
Midrange obsession
Our tuned mass damper (TMD) incorporates two bulges molded into the surround.
This simple solution, adapted with our new software, stabilizes the surround from
adverse resonances, which avoids cone deformation without disturbing its dynamics.
Midrange drivers are without a doubt the most
difficult to master in an acoustic system. Timbral
consistency and imaging depend on an even
transition of energy from the bass woofer to the
midrange, and its subsequent coherence with
the acceleration and dispersion of the tweeter.
A substantial 6" (15cm) midrange satisfies the
first requirement, which in turn complicates its
coherence with the tweeter.
Over the past 20 years, we
refined the "break up" (the
frequency at which a cone
deforms and generates distortion) of our 3rd-generation "W"
Composite Sandwich Cone and
drastically reduced resonance
in the IAL-2 tweeter.
Sopra’s midrange
driver produces
astounding realism
thanks to its new
magnetic circuit and
TMD suspension
Now, we can go one step further
thanks to finite element limit
analysis (FELA). Our team
developed simulation software to visualize the
dynamic behavior of the surround that binds the
cone to the basket, thus exposing suspension
performance issues that required closer attention.
One common solution consists of increasing
the mass of the surround, which unfortunately
decreases definition. Our solution derives from
The graph on the left demonstrates the principle of the tuned mass damper. In red, an m1-k1 mass-suspension system displays a pronounced resonance. Adding an m2-k2 device (upper
section of the diagram on the right), generates two resonance spikes (represented by the blue curve on the graph). The anti-resonance dip associated with the resonance of the main
system produces the green curve. Finally, by tuning the damper, we obtain the purple curve, practically quashing the resonance entirely.
technology used for passive seismic
vibration control and racecar
suspensions: a Tuned Mass Damper
(TMD), controlling resonance
by counteracting it. Applied to
speaker drivers, our patented TMD
suspension incorporates two bulges
molded into the surround, the
dimensions and positions of which
are calculated to counter balance
each other.
Having eliminated distortion issues at their source,
we could then create a hyperbolic cone to increase
frequency response – and correspondingly, impulse
response – to further increase definition.
IHL Infinite Horn Loading
Getting the most out of the Beryllium tweeter
Our Beryllium tweeter dome is incredibly light
and extremely rigid. It is essentially only limited
by the air compressed in the cavity behind it.
Ideally, a practically infinite volume would void
that constraint. To keep Sopra compact requires
devoting the cabinet to the bass, forcing us to
explore other options for loading the tweeter.
The requirement for
Sopra to be compact
meant rethinking
tweeter loading
We developed and
patented the Infinite
Horn Loading system
(IHL). The tweeter
is lodged in a monocoque of injected
polyurethane for ideal
mass and damping in
a reduced space.
is negligible, inhibiting resistance that would
otherwise alter the movement of the dome and
enhancing definition.
The advantage of this design is that it not only
isolates the tweeter from invasive vibrations, but
barely reduces the cabinet’s internal volume. We
could therefore retain the majority of the cabinet
for optimal bass performance from the woofers
and ideally position the tweeter, all in a reasonablyproportioned cabinet.
A small cavity conveys air from the rear of the
tweeter through a horn that extends out the back of
the cabinet. The horn is reinforced with a damping
material that gradually and delicately absorbs
the tweeter’s rear wave. Its acoustic impedance
The rear wave from the Beryllium tweeter is gradually absorbed in the first chamber, which
in turn transmits to a damped horn that opens onto the rear of the loudspeaker, preventing
any feedback from obscuring the incredible definition of the Beryllium tweeter.
"The Sopra line is meant for the most
passionate audiophiles. When expectations are this
high, the design must provide solutions that go far
beyond aesthetics and shape. It’s quite the challenge
of industrial design; serving acoustic experts and
favoring performance, while marrying the qualities
expected of an object that will be integrated into very
elegant interiors and decors.
With the very first sketches, we wanted to
emphasize the brand image of Focal loudspeakers:
a trapezoid section, the recognized signature of
the tweeter housing; angled cabinets for acoustic
coherence (Focus Time), etc. All these strengths
that are inherent to the brand image had to be
emphasized, all while updating conventions and
even daring to reinvent new ones, and applying the
latest technological advances in R&D.
In this sense, Sopra represents an exemplary
collaboration between Focal’s engineers and designers
over the course of three years...
Design
The primary goal of the compact Sopra design was
to ensure that its proportions would nonetheless
satisfy the minimum volume requirement to yield
extended bass.
The height of the tweeter is crucial to imaging and
must reach the ears of a seated listener, no more
than one meter high. This situates the tweeter
beneath the midrange, requiring Focus Time
(physical time alignment to normalize the distances
of each transducer from the listener), particularly
significant in the largest model.
With its modest footprint however, Sopra lacked the
necessary volume in its lower section to generate
sufficient bass energy, which forced our engineers
to cross through the tweeter section to exploit
superfluous volume in the upper section.
The IHL system presented an ideal solution,
allowing two large canals to splice the upper and
lower sections together, and reclaiming the unused
space behind the midrange driver.
The well-damped polyurethane tweeter mount
sufficiently isolates the tweeter from the bass
vibrations and protects the midrange. This improves
the overall rigidity of the structure and prevents any
loss of precision. Of course, it also adorns Sopra
with its signature look.
..."Sopra’s very architecture was assembled around the intermediate section, which, besides giving the line a very strong identity, is a
structural element that solves several technical issues. This injected
polyurethane component enables the inclinations of the upper and
lower cabinets in "Focus Time" (acoustic convergence of the voices).
It also provides the necessary freedom for the acousticians to achieve
the desired enhancements of the high frequencies (decompression,
isolation…). Finally, it optimizes the volume allotted to the midrange,
whilst maintaining a compact design and contributing to the very high
rigidity of the structure as a whole.
Needless to say, the compactness and proportional harmony of
this line are the results of tireless research. How would it be possible to reconcile the volume requirements established by acoustics
research with acceptable dimensions for contemporary interiors?
Besides 3D models, many full-scale models and prototypes made it
possible to balance the finely-tuned robust volumes we desired with
ease of integration. Drawing on work from the Aria line, particular
attention was paid to the tidiness of the front baffle, especially around
the speaker drivers. We wanted to celebrate and highlight the core
Focal expertise, while smoothing over any rough edges that could
upset the acoustics or the appearance. Lacquered finishes, flush
against the cabinet, allow for uniform treatment all around.
From the start of the project, we intended to offer various combinations of colors and materials, a real manufacturing challenge for our
cabinet factory in Bourbon Lancy.
Mineral black, brushed steel, and textured charcoal-gray tones
all perfectly compliment wood and lacquered finishes.
The entire range of Sopra is deliberately minimalist, yet still offers
connoisseurs a wealth of details to discover. The mesh-like grille
protects and brands the Beryllium tweeter, a pattern that repeats
over the opening in the curved back panel of the middle section. The
terminal board, the thumbnuts, and the adjustable spikes were all
designed specifically for Sopra. The few visible screws were also
designed specifically for Sopra, manufactured by expert watchmakers.
As with Utopia and all Focal loudspeakers, the design of Sopra
is the fruit of a very close collaboration between designers and
engineers; a passionate mission to reconcile complex constraints and
experiences with sophisticated and innovative solutions. Ultimately,
all of this work should go unnoticed, exposing something much more
obvious, the simple pleasure and purity of an unforgettable listening
experience."
Sopra N°2 "Carrara White" finish
With Alain Pineau
in charge of the
design, the Sopra
signature quickly
became obvious:
a compact fusion
of strength and
modernity.
Mastering the Cabinet
The front baffle is machined from a
2¾" (69mm) sandwich of MDF using
the "Gamma Structure" principle. Its
density is substantial enough to exploit
the mechanically inert structure for
maximum definition.
The absence of parallel internal walls
and small Helmholtz resonators in
the lower section prevent vertical
standing waves. The glass bass of the
loudspeaker quickly transmits energy to
the ground through spikes to eliminate
any halo effects in the bass.
Our cabinetry factory in Bourbon-Lancy
manufactures Sopra cabinets employing
the same manufacturing processes
developed for Utopia.
Sopra n°1
Compact and brawny, Sopra N°1 is crammed with
technological innovation. Featuring a Neutral
Inductance Circuit (NIC) magnet, a Tuned Mass
Damper (TMD) midrange suspension, and an
Infinite Horn Loading (IHL) tweeter system, this
model is a testament to their contribution to the
overall sound quality.
Its custom stand was designed to expedite parasitic
vibrations from the cabinet to the floor, avoiding
any coloration. Steel bracing throughout the shaft,
coupled through a glass base ¾" (19mm) thick to
four adjustable stainless steel spikes, provides very
high transmission speeds and guarantees reliable
reproduction.
Immediately, listeners are seduced by the precise
imaging they’ve come to expect of bookshelf
loudspeakers. Sopra N°1 translates its low distortion
into resolution and transparency, conjuring a
spectacular soundstage. Captivated by that first
impression, listeners come to discern the texture
and smoothness of the sound, its fleshy midrange
and articulate bass. This precision, coherence, and
harmonic richness are by no means superficial
or products of mere treble, yet are essential the
listener’s appreciation of the musical program.
Ideal for small rooms under than 25m2 (270sq-ft),
Sopra N°1 could even fill a space up to 50m 2
(540sq-ft). Thanks to its high sensitivity and
excellent power handling, Sopra N°1 is a formidable
little monitor for the home.
Sopra N°1 & Sopra N°2 "Carrara White" finish
Sopra N°1 "Carrara White" finish
Sopra n°2
Sopra N°2 clearly inaugurates a new era for the
premium high end and stipulates new performance
criteria. Hitting all the right notes to coalesce
seamlessly within any contemporary space, the
design is at once compact, modern, and minimalist
with a unique character. This philosophy naturally
imposed new challenges on our transducer
technology and inspired the major innovations
described in the previous pages.
Employing NIC and TMD technologies, Sopra N°2 is
equipped with best midrange driver ever developed
by Focal, a new benchmark for transparency in
a compact enclosure. Indeed, contrary to the
uncompromising Utopia, Sopra is compact by
design to ensure its integration into realistic
listening environments.
Sopra N°2 is easy to integrate with most systems
thanks to its remarkable bass control. Perfectly at
ease in rooms under 30m2 (325sq-ft), its design is
ideal for larger spaces, filling rooms up to 70m2
(750sq-ft). The attention to amplifier quality and to
precise room positioning is the key in resolving their
deep soundstage.
Consolidating state-of-the-art innovations in
a resolutely modern looking compact speaker,
Sopra N°2 clearly defines a new standard in
premium loudspeakers.
Two 7" (18cm) woofers with NIC magnets generate
the bass frequencies, taking advantage of every
cubic centimeter of the cabinet’s volume, including the additional space gained by accessing the
upper structure through the IHL tweeter enclosure.
Moreover, the cabinet’s Gamma Structure, with its
2¾" (69mm) front baffle, provides astonishing inertia
for its size. Weighing 55kg (120lbs), Sopra N°2 has
nothing to envy of its larger competitors, balancing
impressive bass weight and articulation in its
densely compact cabinet.
Sopra N°2 "Carrara White" finish
Sopra N°2 "Electric Orange" finish
Innovations Abound
1
New Structure
6
1
> Circumventing the tweeter to creatively consolidate internal volumes to improve
bass quality in a compact design
Patented transducer innovations
1
6
5
2
2
4
3
> IHL*: novel compact configuration for loading the tweeter
> NIC & TMD*: enhancements to the midrange driver, in the DNA of the Focal sound
> NIC: impressive bass weight and control
Exceptional speaker drivers
5
4
5
4
An ongoing 35-year legacy “Made in France”:
> W Composite Sandwich Cones for the bass and midrange
> Inverted-Dome Beryllium tweeter
Implementing Focal’s most recent exclusive NIC & TMD* innovations
2
Contemporary premium quality
3
4
1
6
A choice of materials and finishes:
> Matte black polyurethane monocoque tweeter module
> Integrated mesh-like grille
> Glass top and base
> Lacquered cabinets
Brand image
3
4
1
>"Focus Time" aligns the audio sources around the IHL tweeter system
*Patents Pending
A monument of modernity
Technology is seamlessly implemented in a compact and minimalist design
that would naturally be at home in any current space.
6
6
Type
Speakers
Sopra N°2
Sopra N°1
Three-way Bass-reflex
floor standing loudspeaker
Two 7" (18cm) "W" woofer
61/2" (16.5cm) "W" midrange with
"TMD" suspension, with "NIC" motor
1" (25mm) "IHL" Beryllium
inverted dome tweeter
Two-way Bass-reflex
bookshelf loudspeaker
61/2" (16.5cm) "W" bass midrange
with "TMD" suspension, "NIC" motor
1" (25mm) "IHL"Beryllium
inverted dome tweeter
Frequency response
(±3dB)
34Hz - 40kHz
45Hz - 40kHz
Low frequency point -6dB
28Hz
41Hz
Sensitivity (2.83V/1m)
91dB
89dB
Nominal impedance
8 Ohms
8 Ohms
Minimum impedance
3.1 Ohms
3.9 Ohms
Crossover frequency
250Hz / 2 200Hz
2 200Hz
Recommanded
amplifier power
40 - 300W
25 - 150W
Dimensions (HxWxD)
Weight (unit)
46
x14 x21
27⁄32
3⁄32
"
17⁄64
1647⁄64x1063⁄64x1519⁄32"
(1 190x358x540mm)
(425x279x396mm)
121.25lbs - (55kg)
41.89lbs - (19kg)
(stand: 40.78lbs (18.5kg))
Lacquered standard finishes (face + side panels)
Carrara White
Black Lacquer
Imperial Red
Standard wood veneer finish
Electric Orange
Graphite Black (face)
Dogato Walnut
(side panels)
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