Focal Grande Utopia EM Floor Standing Speakers

Expert Review

Focal is well known throughout the high end audio industry as the producer of the world's finest speaker components, which are featured in many of the world's best setups for homes and studios alike. Their own flagship speaker, the Grande Utopia EM, is a standard against which all other speakers can be compared, and often are: their penchant for pure tonal neutrality makes them an ideal reference point for audio equipment of any kind. The level of transparency and accuracy achieved by the EM is simply unmatched, capable of betraying faults in even the best professionally produced music. However, unlike so many analytically oriented speakers, they achieve this without accentuating treble response, which allows them to retain a level of musicality and listenability that is lost on many studio-bound monitors.

The soundstage produced by two Grande Utopias is a wonder to behold. They generate a wide, spacious sonic image, within which instruments are clearly separated and independently audible, down to the finest string pluck and echo. An independent subwoofer is unnecessary; each Utopia has a 16-inch electromagnetic driver, Focal's latest innovation and the source of this Grande Utopia's EM branding, which delivers ample bass in a full, taut fashion that clearly defines the subtleties of every reverberation. This gives them a noticeably fuller sound than traditional floor standing speakers, which typically sport woofers no larger than 8 inches. The Grande Utopia will easily reproduce explosions, gunshots, helicopter blades, and any other bass-oriented effect with ease. The midrange of the EMs is similarly full, but never aggressive or overly forward, and is as close to tonal neutrality as is humanly possible. Their treble is articulate and infinitely detailed, while remaining smooth and inoffensive so long as sibilance is not present in the recording.

The Grande Utopia series has one more feature that helps propel it to the very top of all home listening devices: it is adjustable. Depending on where you want your sweet spot to be, the Grande Utopia EM can be "aimed" to help ensure that sound is being fired right at your chair or couch.

The Grande Utopia EM is very possibly the most accurate and technically capable floor speaker ever built. If you have the money to spend, and a true appreciation for reference quality audio regardless of cost, Focal's flagship will deliver everything you ask, and likely more, provided it is properly powered and fed with the highest quality source material.Rating: 5/5

Leave a Question or Comment