Gadgets for humans

Focal brings Dolby Atmos to its excellent Chora speakers

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Price $ $1000 ProductChora by Focal

Focal’s Chora 806 was one of my favorite pairs of speakers last year, but its utility was mostly limited to stereo listening. If you’re into home theater, making sure your center and surround speakers are acoustically matched to your left and right units is crucial. Good news then: Focal is expanding the Chora line with a full suite of speakers, including center and surround speakers, a subwoofer, and Dolby Atmos compatible towers.

The highlight of the new setup is the Chora 826-D, which is basically the existing 826 tower with an extra driver at the top to bounce sound off the ceiling and give you that enveloping Atmos effect.

Granted, having separate speakers mounted in or near the ceiling almost always provides a better effect – especially if your ceilings are uneven – but the ceiling bounce method is certainly most convenient. Still, I wish Focal offered a separate Atmos unit that could be placed atop the existing Chora speakers or mounted onto your ceiling, as some other brands do.

The Chora Center replicates the line’s other speakers in a horizontal arrangement. That allows it to fit on or in your TV unit, or on its own dedicated stand which angles the speaker slightly up towards the listening position.

Center speakers are arguably the most important part of a home theater setup. They make dialogue intelligible in a way that’s difficult to do with a stereo setup, but you shouldn’t just buy any center. You want one that closely matches the timbre of your stereo speakers.

It’s a similar story for surround speakers, which Focal has designed with a unique flattish design that can be easily mounted on a wall. Both the center and surround speakers use the same fancy carbon-fiber woofers introduced with the original Chora speakers, helping ensure timbral consistency. The new Sub 600P, meanwhile, isn’t specifically part of the Chora family, but can be used for both hi-fi and home theater purposes with a claimed bass extension down to 26 Hz from a 12-inch woofer in a roughly 16-inch cubed box.

The new Chora speakers will be available starting February, while the sub arrives in the Spring. No pricing is available yet, but we’ll update this post when we find out. For more on the Chora line, you can check out my review of the 806 here.


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Published January 6, 2020 — 17:08 UTC

Price $ $1000 ProductChora by Focal