Worth the extra money
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
I replaced my front Blaupunkt speakers with Focal ISN 100 4" speakers. I left the 5 1/2" Blaupunkts in the rear. The Focals filled the front with awesome sound. Could hear things I never heard before. I then put the Focal ISN 130 5 1/2" speakers in the rear. Huge difference - and I was initially skeptical that replacing the rear speakers would make a difference - hence the wait. I do have these speakers connected to a Focal FD 4.350 amp. Just to be sure, I reconnected the 4 Blaupunkts to the amp, then the 4 Focals again. No question that the Focals are much better. Connecting the Focals to the head unit (Pioneer AVIC 8000NEX) without the amp reduced the quality of the sound - they were marginally better than the Blaupunkt's. (i.e. I do not feel they are worth the extra money without using a separate amp - no matter how good you think your head unit is). The amp combined with the Focals makes a huge difference compared to the Blaupunkts connected the the amp. These are the entry level Focals! After using the Focal speakers for a few days (about 5 hours of play time) I found that they sounded even better and that the sound was consistent. At first I thought it was the radio station or my Bluetooth connection. Reading the fine print on the Focal site, there is a 'burn in period' for their speakers. The sound is now consistently rich, deep and so much, much better than with my old speakers that I have gotten past the cost of buying them.
Pros: Superior sound
Cons: Expensive & definitely recommend that they be connected to an amp.