Focal Grande Utopia EM Evo loudspeaker Lab Report

Focal claims 94dB sensitivity for the Utopia EM Evo which would make it one of the highest-sensitivity direct radiating loudspeakers we have measured. But our pink noise figure of exactly 91dB is well short of that. This was obtained by measuring at 2m distance (not our usual 1m), the cabinet 'curl' maximised and adding 6dB to compensate. A further measurement at 1m affirmed this compensation and also that the responses at 1m and 2m were little different. Although 91dB is not 94dB, it's still a high sensitivity which, despite the Utopia's imposing dimensions, has required the use of low impedance. Focal's 8ohm nominal figure doesn't sit well with its claimed 3ohm minimum, and we measured a low of 1.9ohm. LF phase angles are quite well controlled but, with the low modulus, drops the EPDR to a minimum of 1.1ohm at 187Hz, with further dips to 1.2ohm at 130Hz and 1.4ohm at 88Hz – so the latest Utopia presents an extremely challenging load.


Forward response is a little uneven despite a flat overall trend. Mid/treble modes also seen below


Cabinet resonances are dwarfed by a series of modes above 3kHz, presumably from the mid drivers

Ignore the hump and roll-off below 700Hz which are artefacts on the forward frequency responses, measured on the tweeter axis at 2m [see Graph 1]. The overall trend is flat but low-treble irregularities and a rise towards 20kHz increase the response errors to ±4.3dB and ±3.9dB, respectively. Pair matching error over the same 500Hz-20kHz was also less than outstanding at ±1.3dB. Using the jumpers, treble output can be reduced by about 2dB or boosted by about 0.8dB and midrange can be cut or boosted by about 1dB. Diffraction-corrected nearfield measurement showed the bass extension (nominal setting) to be 39Hz (–6dB re. 200Hz). The CSD waterfall [Graph 2] is cluttered with low-treble resonances. KH

Sensitivity (SPL/1m/2.83V – Mean/IEC/Music): 91.2dB / 91.0dB / 90.7dB
Impedance modulus: minimum & maximum (20Hz–20kHz): 1.9ohm @ 107Hz / 17.0ohm @ 2.4kHz
Impedance phase: minimum & maximum (20Hz–20kHz): –32° @ 3.3kHz / 52° @ 226Hz
Pair matching/Resp. error (500Hz–20kHz): ±1.3dB / ±4.3dB/±3.9dB
LF/HF extension (–6dB ref 200Hz/10kHz): 39Hz / >40kHz / >40kHz
THD 100Hz/1kHz/10kHz (for 90dB SPL/1m): 0.2% / 0.6% / 0.1%
Dimensions (HWD) / Weight (each): 2012x654x880mm / 265kg
Price: £159,999

Supplied by: Focal-JMlab UK Ltd, Salisbury
0845 660 2680