Whereas KEF’s speakers are ‘eggs’, each Focal Dome satellite speaker is more like half a small bowling ball. Finished in gloss ‘Diamond’ black they present a round face to the world. Their integrated desktop stands slide backwards so that, with the removal of the rubber cover and the addition of the supplied mounting plate, these satellites can be screwed to a wall.
All five are identical, and each gets a full 25mm metal dome tweeter. This is ‘inverted’ (ie. concave rather than convex), as is Focal’s practice. The enclosures are sealed, yet Focal claims an average sensitivity figure of 88dB. To my ears that sounded about right, which was quite impressive.
The subwoofer is also dome-like, with a 210 mm downwards firing driver and a bass-reflex port alongside, the top looks like an extremely small astronomical observatory. No one will ever put a pot plant on this subwoofer.
It has driven by a 100 watt ‘BASH’ amplifier. These save a lot of energy by varying their internal power supply to provide just enough voltage for that required at any moment for the signal. Clever stuff, it is an economical way of providing high performance.
Installation was struggle primarily because of the fiddly Allen-key operated terminals in the bass of each satellite.
Once done, though, the satellites made the effort well worthwhile. They produced truly high fidelity levels of detail and startlingly good imaging, both in stereo and surround. The results were highly tuneful with music, but with plenty of impact for movies, including with high resolution sound from Blu-ray.
The subwoofer was solid and loud, but just a little uneven in its frequency response, emphasising the mid-bass rather more than the extremes.
Want even more style? Consider the 850 mm tall colour matched stands at $499 a pair. If this still isn’t enough, you can purchase optional colour grilles for the Dome speakers in blue, yellow or red at $25 each. The grilles are removable. But don’t pull them: rotate them slightly anticlockwise.