Focal is a name rarely associated with affordable speakers. However, when they do decide to dwell into this territory, the results are beyond impressive. Today we are going to look at Focal Alpha 65, and see why they are among the top rated monitor speakers under $1000 at the moment.
Focal Alpha 65’s design is a little deceiving. In order to reduce the costs and make the speaker affordable, Focal had to outsource production to China. However, leaving naked, gray MDF cabinets is simply not their style. Instead, they have added hard panels on each side of the cabinet, which considerably improve the aesthetics of these speakers. Even though aesthetics were never the primary concern, this was definitely a nice touch. Build quality is on point. Everything feels and looks solid as one would expect.
Front panel features two elliptical front firing ports sitting right under the low frequency driver. Overall, Alpha 65 are compact but heavier than expected. This brings into question those side panels and whether or not they were necessary. If you are wondering if a set of these is going to aesthetically fit in your studio’s interior design, you have nothing to worry about.
The core of Alpha 65 are its 1″ aluminum inverted dome tweeter and a 6.5″ polyglass low frequency driver. Each of these transducers has a dedicated Class AB amp, producing a combined output of 105 Watts. This in turn results in 106dB max SPL at 1 meter. Not too shabby for such a compact set. Looking at the back panel, we see several standard and not so standard features. You have LF and HF trim, as well as an active XLR and RCA set of inputs.
What is definitely cool is the automatic standby mode. This way you don’t have to worry about these speakers drawing power when they are not in use. A simple standby mode is unfortunately a rare sight unless you are ready to spend a lot more money on your monitoring setup.
Where Focal Alpha 65 really come to shine is the performance. The moment you flip that power switch to ON position, you will learn what first class transparency sounds like. Focal may have had to cut a few corners here and there in order to keep the cost of Alpha 65 down, but the sound was ultimately unaffected by those decisions. There is plenty of low end girth, that is tight and very well articulated. Mids are precise and trebles clinically accurate. No matter how subtle the imperfections in your mix are, Focal Alpha 65 will make them stand out clear as day.
On top of that, you are looking at a dynamic sweet spot which allows you to move considerably off axis and retain the quality of sound. Focal’s design, attention to detail and choice of hardware makes Alpha 65 a truly awesome set of monitors.
Focal Alpha 65 has proven to be extremely capable despite their size. The level of transparency you get and overall quality of sound out of these speakers will give any competition a good run for their money. If size is a factor, Focal Alpha 65 is definitely worth looking into.