Focal Aria 906
Bookshelf speakers (Prime Walnut Veneer)
Our take on the Focal Aria 906 by Crutchfield's Steve Kindig
These highly musical speakers sound bigger than they look
French audio manufacturer Focal builds a wide range of world-class speakers, and bookshelf models are one of their specialties. The Aria series borrows advanced driver technologies originally developed for Focal's acclaimed Utopia speakers, giving you high-end sound without the sticker shock. The Aria 906s sound bigger than you might expect from such compact speakers, with potent bass, smooth, detailed highs, and a big three-dimensional soundstage.
Woofer cone material is 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 906's 6-1/2" woofer is made of this composite.
Inverted dome tweeter looks different, sounds terrific
The Aria series also features Focal's 1" aluminum/magnesium inverted dome tweeter. 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.
The inverted dome's spatial characteristics and wide dispersion are further enhanced by the waveguide plate it's mounted on. In the horizontal plane, the tweeter's frequency response varies by only ±0.5dB. The result is an incredibly stable soundstage, even for listeners not seated in the central sweet spot.
Stylish, vibration-resistant cabinets
All Aria speakers feature ultra-rigid MDF cabinets with sturdy internal bracing and non-parallel sides. Focal takes these steps to eliminate the unwanted vibrations that lead to "boxy" colorations in the sound. The handsome cabinets have a traditional look, but with an unexpected touch — a leatherette finish on the front and back.
These speakers will sound their best when placed on high-quality speaker stands, like Focal's Aria S 900 stands.
Build a complete Focal Aria system
A pair of Aria 906s will fill your small to medium-sized room with rich, articulate sound. If you're interested in a voice-matched surround sound system, check out these other Focal models:
Center channel: Aria CC 900
Surround speaker: Aria SR 900
Floor-standing speaker: Aria 926, Aria 936, or Aria 948
Powered subwoofer: Sub 300 P
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.
Product Highlights (each):
- 2-way design
- 1" TNF aluminum/magnesium inverted dome tweeter with waveguide
- 6-1/2" woofer with flax/fiberglass sandwich cone
- frequency response: 55-28,000 Hz (±3dB)
- recommended amplifier power: 25-120 watts
- sensitivity: 89.5 dB
- impedance: 8 ohms
- bass-reflex design with front-firing port
- binding posts accept pins, spade lugs, banana connectors, or bare wire
- removable magnetic cloth grille
- designed and built in France
- 8-15/16"W x 15-3/8"H x 11-5/16"D
- weight: 19 lbs.
- warranty: 5 years
- Our 60-day money-back guarantee
What's in the Box:
- 2 Bookshelf loudspeakers
- 2 Grilles
- User Manual
Features and Specs
|Tweeter Type||Inverted Dome|
|Tweeter Size (inches)||1|
|Midrange Size (inches)||N/A|
|Woofer Size (inches)||6.5|
|Frequency Response||55-28k Hz|
|Mounting Bracket Included||No|
|Recommended Stand Height (inches)||24-28|
|Parts Warranty||5 Years|
|Labor Warranty||5 Years|
Two-Way Bookshelf Loudspeaker: The Aria 906 is a two-way bookshelf loudspeaker that utilizes Focal's TNF inverted dome tweeter and Flax cone woofer for a smooth, natural sound with no coloration. You'll hear delicate highs, rich midrange, and tight bass. The Focal Aria 906 bookshelf loudspeaker is designed to faithfully reproduce music and movie soundtracks in a dedicated stereo configuration or home theater application.
1" TNF Inverted Tweeter: The Aria 906 houses one TNF aluminum/magnesium inverted dome 1" tweeter with a 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.
6.5" Flax Cone Woofer: The Aria 900 series benefits from Focal's Flax sandwich driver cones with injected zamak baskets, making voices more intelligible with more depth. 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 906 is composed of one 6.5" woofer with a Flax sandwich cone that provides natural midrange, rich bass, and high definition sound. This sandwich cone is made of high quality flax fiber enclosed by two thin layers of glass fiber. The lightness of the fiber satisfies the criteria of high internal damping, high velocity, and high flexural rigidity. Flax is twice as light as fiberglass, because the fiber is hollow. It also has very low elasticity which makes it ideal to increase the flexural rigidity of a sandwich structure.
Ultra-Rigid MDF Enclosures: The speaker cabinet features ultra-rigid MDF construction, internal bracing, and non-parallel side panels for a neutral sound with very little vibration or distortion. The cabinet highlights a glass top-surface for added strength and a leather-finished front panel for its absorbent and acoustic diffraction qualities. The cabinet has no visible fixings; only a solid brushed metal ring surrounding the cone drivers and a matte-black urethane waveguide around the tweeter. The included fabric grille attaches magnetically. This carefully designed cabinet exudes style and quality, blending in perfectly with traditional or more contemporary interiors.
Note: The cabinets of this Aria 900 line are available in Walnut, Black High Gloss and White High Gloss finishes.
Front-Firing Aerodynamic Port: The Aria 906 bookshelf speaker utilizes a front-firing aerodynamic port for greater efficiency and bigger, deeper bass performance with low distortion.
Binding Post Speaker Terminals: The Focal Aria 906 bookshelf speaker is equipped with a set of heavy-dut binding post terminals that will accept bare wire (up to 10AWG), pin-connectors, spade-lugs, and banana plugs (single only). Two plastic inserts will need to be removed to use banana plugs.
Mounting & Placement Options: The Aria 906 bookshelf speaker can be simply placed on a speaker stand (sold separately - see Accessories Tab), shelf, or table-top. The PinPoint side-clamping bracket (sold separately - see Accessories Tab) can be used to wall-mount the speaker. Follow these simple placement guidelines to optimize the Aria 900 series speaker's performance and to guarantee good tonal balance and a realistic sound stage.
- The loudspeakers should be positioned symmetrically, facing the listening area, ideally forming an equilateral triangle with it. It is, however, possible to vary these distances to arrive at the ideal compromise for any particular conditions.
- The loudspeakers should be positioned at the same height, in the same horizontal plane. Ideally, the tweeter should be positioned at the same height as the listener's ear when listening normally.
- Do not position your loudspeakers too close to a corner of the room and do not place them too close to a wall. If they are positioned close to a wall or a corner this has the effect of exciting certain resonances within the room and artificially increasing the bass. Conversely, if the bass level is judged to be insufficient, you could try moving the loudspeakers nearer a wall to re-balance the bass level.
Note: The Aria 906 bookshelf loudspeaker is recommended for rooms measuring from 160ft2 and from a listening distance of 8ft.
Aria 900 Series: Focal's Aria series consists of three pair of floorstanding loudspeakers (926/936/948), a pair of bookshelf loudspeakers (906), a center channel speaker (CC900), and a pair of bipolar surround speakers (SR900) - all sold separately. The Aria series delivers Focal's classic sound with a modern design.
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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Refined sound [ P May 30, 2018 ]