Focal Chora 5.1.2 speaker system Page 2

There's a lightness of touch to these speakers that rendered all the high-frequency detail in the recording, while the system worked as a single cohesive unit, giving the music a frenetic energy and bubbly sensibility. The surrounds jumped in as the camera weaved between the cars and honking horns punctuated the music, while a band in the back of a van provided some up-tempo drums that the floorstanders and sub delivered with a strong percussive beat.

As enjoyable as La La Land is, the film doesn't offer much in the way of overhead attack. If that's what you're after, the opening of John Wick: Chapter 3 (UHD BD) is sure to please. The New York streets are pounded by a powerful storm, and as thunder rolled overhead and rainfall drenched everything, I felt as cold and wet as Wick himself. With identical drivers all around, the soundfield enjoyed a nice tonal balance.


The 826-D's upward-firing drivers proved capable of creating the illusion of overhead channels, but the effectiveness will depend on the type of ceiling in your room. The lower, flatter and more reflective, the better. This technology is a compromise, but it's considerably less intrusive than cutting holes in your ceiling, and the built-in nature of the upfiring driver is an elegant solution.

The climactic showdown at The Continental let this 5.1.2 package strut its stuff, and with good amp power behind it, it really started to open up. Bullets ricocheted around the room, a clear echo came from the expansive hotel lobby above, and the subwoofer dug deep, giving shotgun blasts a physical impact. The scene is a joyous paean to ballistic carnage, and the enthusiastic, energetic delivery of the Chora system is sure to put a smile on your face.

The 4K Blu-ray of Zombieland: Double Tap comes with a suitably amped-up 'IMAX Enhanced' soundtrack that doesn't spare the LFE channel. This was well demonstrated during the opening credits, as our heroes dispatched swarms of undead to the strains of Metallica's thrash-classic Master of Puppets. The mix syncs its action to the music, revealing a tight and controlled performance from Focal's muscular sealed sub.

This scene revealed the only fault I can really level at this system, which is that it comes alive at higher volumes. If you turn the dial too low, the sense of space and detail can diminish slightly. But any excuse to bring the noise...


At the end of the movie, the hippy enclave of Babylon is besieged by an army of (relatively) intelligent zombies nicknamed 'T-800s'. The 826-D's integrated height channels extended the soundstage above the listening position, particularly when defenders dropped appliances from the roof of a tower block. The overheads also blended well with the surrounds as an oil tank explodes, engulfing our heroes in flames. However, a 5.1.2 system has its limitations, which is the front-heavy nature of the top channels. If I was putting together a package, and had the necessary budget, a second pair of 826-Ds on surround duties would add two more Atmos drivers at the rear and further balance out the overall bass response.

All-Round Appeal
The Chora series sits towards the lower end of Focal's speaker range, but you wouldn't think that from looking at and listening to these cabinets. They balance technical prowess with an elegant charm, producing an outstanding multichannel performance that adds impactful overhead effects to a cohesive, balanced and enveloping soundstage with high-frequency sweetness and impressive lows. The result is an accomplished all-round cinema setup.

HCC Verdict

Focal Chora 5.1.2

Price: £4,100

We say: This elegant and accomplished set of speakers adds Gallic style, Atmos immersion and a barnstorming performance to any aspiring home cinema.

Overall: 4.5/5


Focal Chora 826-D
DRIVE UNITS: 2 x 6.5in woofer; 1 x 6.5in midbass; 1 x 1in tweeter; 1 x 6in
full-range Atmos driver ENCLOSURE: Ported (Main); Sealed (Atmos)
FREQUENCY RESPONSE (CLAIMED): 48Hz-28kHz (Main); 100Hz-20kHz (Atmos)
DIMENSIONS: 303(w) x 1,053(h) x 388(d)mm WEIGHT: 22.2kg

Focal Chora CC800
DRIVE UNITS: 2 x 6.5in midbass; 1 x 1in tweeter ENCLOSURE: Sealed
POWER HANDLING (CLAIMED): 200W DIMENSIONS: 530(w) x 210(h) x 250(d)mm
WEIGHT: 8.9kg

Focal Chora SR800
DRIVE UNITS: 1 x 6.5in midbass; 1 x 1in tweeter ENCLOSURE: Sealed
POWER HANDLING (CLAIMED): 100W DIMENSIONS: 320(w) x 445(h) x 100(d)mm
WEIGHT: 5.45kg

Focal SUB 1000F (subwoofer)
DRIVE UNITS: 1 x 12in Flax woofer ENCLOSURE: Sealed FREQUENCY RESPONSE (CLAIMED): 24Hz-200Hz ONBOARD POWER (CLAIMED): 1,000W REMOTE CONTROL: No DIMENSIONS: 400(w) x 420(h) x 420(d)mm WEIGHT: 21.5kg FEATURES: LFE and stereo phono inputs; volume and crossover controls; 0/180-degree phase inverter switch; auto power mode