NAMM 2018: Focal Introduces Shape Twin Speakers and Reference Headphones


A year after the launch of the monitors Shape 40, 50, and 65, Focal reinforces its core-range monitoring with the arrival of the flagship model of the line: Shape Twin. In addition, Focal affirms its position as an innovative manufacturer with the arrival of its first open-back circumaural headphones—the Listen Professional—and the new Clear Professional closed-back reference headphones.

The standard bearer of the Shape series integrates two passive radiators, new Flax membranes on the woofers, and the newest inverted “M” profile dome tweeter in aluminum/magnesium. Shape Twin is characterized by natural readability throughout the audio spectrum, combined with a frequency response extended in the low-and high-SPL range. Its 2.5-way D'Appolito design offers better control when monitoring in small spaces.

Several innovations on Shape Twin are the basis for the acoustic performance of this work tool. The 2.5-way design makes the most of two 5" speakers. The woofer, located at the bottom of the cabinet, covers the range 40-180 Hz, while the second transducer covers frequencies between 40 Hz and 2.5 kHz. Thus, the emitting surface dedicated to low frequencies is equivalent to an 8" speaker, but is more compact in size. At the same time, the use of a 5" speaker excels in the mid and upper-mid frequencies beyond the capabilities of larger diameter transducers. This physical advantage is also enriched with Flax membrane technology, equipped with damping that contributes to honest frequency reproduction.

Furthermore, the MDF cabinet is covered on the top and the front of the monitor with a walnut veneer material. The radius on the top of the enclosure is sized to ensure a linear frequency response in the treble. Echoing the finish of the Twin6 speaker, the natural wood finish matches with the new membrane in flax. This membrane on the woofers combines two materials: glass and flax. Fiberglass, also used on the “W” composite membranes, was chosen for its high rigidity under its small mass. However, flax fiber is twice as light as fiberglass because it is hollow and has a very low elasticity. These characteristics ensure proper operation into the lower frequencies.

Finally, the stereo image is tuned and extremely precise, delivering trustworthy positioning of different tracks. The 2.5-way D'Appolito design of Shape Twin offers precise control of low and mid-bass frequencies ensuring easy integration, thanks to its small footprint.

Two other new products from Focal are the Clear Professional open-back headphones and the Listen Professional circumaural closed-back headphones for music production.

In 2016, Focal's major innovation was the first completely open-back, full range, electrodynamic transducer (Elear and Utopia headphones). This meant that is was possible to eliminate the distortion generated by the vents, guaranteeing an absence of dynamic compression related to them. Two years on, Focal reveals Clear Professional. These headphones incorporate an extremely open design, aiming to make the headphones disappear, to the benefit of the sound. Clear Professional headphones are so comfortable you forget you are wearing them. The listening experience is equal to the best monitor speakers.

Also, Listen Professional headphones are the ideal companion for music production. They are designed with tonal balance and the capacity to reproduce the entire audio spectrum with acute precision, which makes them the essential ally for monitoring during production applications. These headphones won't fail to amaze users through their high-quality audio and dynamics. The comfort they provide and the accessories supplied make them even more appealing to those working during a business trip. Finally, for six years now, the French manufacturer's historic expertise in designing high-performance transducers has been directed at a new specialty: headphones.

Reveal fresh detail in your mixes with the Focal Shape Twin monitors and Listen and Clear headphones. Visit the B&H website to check them out!