Focal Aria SR 900
Bipole surround speaker
Our take on the Focal Aria SR 900 by Crutchfield's Steve Kindig
Atmospheric surround effects for your Aria system
I'm a big fan of the series Better Call Saul, and one reason is the producers' attention to detail with the soundtrack. The mix of primary and ambient sounds changes from scene to scene, but always feels spot on. Like other high-performance surround speakers, Focal's Aria SR 900 rarely draws attention to itself while creating a seamless sonic bubble that keeps you riveted to the onscreen action.
The SR 900 is a bipole design, with dual woofers and tweeters firing in different directions to spread sound far and wide. The drivers share the acoustic characteristics of the other speakers in Focal's Aria lineup.
The woofer cones are made of a composite of flax and fiberglass.
Cone material combines old and new
Speaker makers continuously search for new and better materials for drivers. An ideal driver material has three qualities:
- lightweight, so it can accelerate quickly
- rigid, so that it moves like a piston, without bending
- well-damped, so that unwanted vibrations don't color the sound
In their pursuit of sonic excellence, Focal made a surprising discovery — right in their own backyard. Woven flax can form the core of a very rigid yet lightweight speaker cone. Some of the world's finest flax grows in fields near Focal's headquarters.
Focal creates this unique cone by sandwiching a layer of hollow flax fibers between two thin layers of fiberglass. The Aria SR 900's dual 5" woofers are made of this composite.
Inverted dome tweeter looks different, sounds terrific
The Aria SR 900 also features two of Focal's 1" aluminum/magnesium inverted dome tweeters. Inverting the dome brings more of its surface area closer to the voice coil. That means the voice coil can be smaller and lower in mass. Focal has found that this reduced mass allows the dome to move faster than a conventional dome, for better high-frequency response.
And the tweeter's lightweight Poron "memory foam" suspension improves damping, which reduces distortion in the critical 2-3kHz range by a factor of three, compared to a typical suspension.
Built in-house for better quality and value
The speaker drivers in every Aria speaker are built in-house at Focal's facilities in Saint-Etienne, France. Why is that important? Because it gives Focal complete control over every aspect of design, manufacture, and quality control, resulting in a consistently superior, high-value speaker.
- 2-way bipole speaker for home theater surround sound effects
- dual 1" TNF aluminum/magnesium inverted dome tweeters with waveguides
- tweeters fire sound in different directions for wraparound sound effects
- dual 5" woofers with flax/fiberglass sandwich cones
- frequency response: 85-28,000 Hz (±3dB)
- recommended amplifier power: 25-120 watts
- sensitivity: 90 dB
- impedance: 8 ohms
- acoustic suspension (sealed) design
- binding posts accept pins, spade lugs, banana connectors, or bare wire
- removable magnetic cloth grille
- wall mount included
- designed and built in France
- 15-3/4"W x 11-5/8"H x 6-13/16"D
- weight: 12 lbs.
- warranty: 5 years
- Our 60-day money-back guarantee
What's in the Box:
- Bipolar surround loudspeaker
- Speaker bracket
- Wall bracket
- 2 Rubber bumpers
- User Manual
Features and Specs
|Bipole or Dipole||Bipole|
|Midrange size (inches)||N/A|
|Woofer size (inches)||5|
|Connector Type||5-way post|
|Frequency Response||85-28k Hz|
|Height (inches)||11 5/8|
|Width (inches)||15 3/4|
|Depth (inches)||6 13/16|
|Mounting Bracket Included||Yes|
|Parts Warranty||5 Years|
|Labor Warranty||5 Years|
Bipolar Surround Loudspeaker: The Aria SR900 is a two-way bipolar surround loudspeaker with the same acoustic characteristics as the other loudspeakers in Focal's Aria line-up. Combine the Aria SR900 bipolar surround speakers with a pair of Aria series floorstanding speakers (926/936/948) or Aria 906 bookshelf speakers for the fronts, the Aria CC900 center speaker, and Focal's SUB300P powered subwoofer (all sold separately) for a reference 5.1ch home theater system. Use two pair of SR900 bipolar speakers for surround and surround back speakers to create a 7.1ch home theater.
Dual 1" TNF Inverted Tweeters: The Aria SR900 houses two 1" TNF aluminum/magnesium inverted dome tweeters with Poron suspension and Urethane waveguide for smoother sound. The tweeter developed for the Aria 900 series uses Focal exclusive inverted dome technology, for optimal energy transfer and limited directivity. The dome's aluminum/ magnesium alloy guarantees outstanding stiffness and damping.
- Poron Suspension: The suspension between the dome and its bracket uses Poron, a material with shape memory. This suspension method is directly derived from the famous Utopia Beryllium tweeter, making it possible to reduce distortion by a factor of three in the 2-3kHz range, where the human ear has very great sensitivity. The mechanical properties of the new suspension system using Poron, an open cell polyurethane microcellular foam, provides numerous benefits - including excellent dimensional stability and no degradation over time. The advantages of the use of Poron in this tweeter are obvious in terms of linearity and distortion reduction. This leads to a silkier, more precise sound with greater harmonic richness.
- Urethane Waveguide: The tweeter mounting has an integral waveguide which maximizes horizontal directivity and minimizes diffraction. The Urethane waveguide improves horizontal directivity and provides a more precise sound image with an incredibly stable sound stage, making the listening position much less critical.
Note: The TNF tweeter uses a relatively flexible aluminum/magnesium alloy, with a "shape memory" enabling it to withstand the majority of small impacts in the home. Nevertheless, Focal recommends leaving the included grilles in place to protect the dome. If the dome surface is marked this could have an impact on the tweeter.
Two 5" Flax Cone Woofers: The Aria 900 series benefits from Focal's Flax sandwich driver cones with injected zamak baskets, making voices more intelligible. Flax is an eco-textile with astounding structural properties - it is light, stiff and well damped for greater neutrality of timbres and better definition. The Aria SR900 is composed of two 5" woofers with Flax sandwich cones that provide natural midrange, rich bass, and high definition sound.
Slim Cabinet w/ Removable Grille: Thanks to its slim cabinet design the SR900 loudspeaker is compact. Excellent internal damping inside the cabinet provides sustained, deeper bass. The carefully designed cabinet exudes style and quality, blending in perfectly with traditional or more contemporary interiors. A removable cloth grille is included to protect the drivers and finish off the look of the speaker.
Binding Post Speaker Terminals: The Focal Aria SR900 bipolar loudspeaker is equipped with a set of 5-way binding post terminals that will accept bare wire (up to 10AWG), pin-connectors, spade-lugs, and banana plugs (single or dual).
Mounting Options: The SR900 bipolar loudspeaker can be simply placed on a speaker stand (sold separately - see Accessories Tab) or wall-mounted using the included Polyfix wall-mount bracket. The SR900 is not compatible with other 3rd party wall brackets.
Note: Do not place surround speakers too far behind the listening point, as this will lead to degraded sound perception from them. Aim for placement along the side walls for more enveloping sound effects.
Made In France: The Aria 900 series of loudspeakers are developed and manufactured in France by Focal.
Break-In Period: The Aria 900 loudspeakers are complex mechanical assemblies which need a period of adaptation ("break-in") to operate at their best and to become acclimated to the temperature and humidity conditions of your environment. This break-in period varies depending on the conditions in question and may last for some weeks. To facilitate break-in, Focal recommends operating their speakers for approximately twenty hours consecutively. Once the loudspeakers' characteristics totally stabilize, you will be able to enjoy the Aria 900's performance to the fullest.
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