Surround Sound Speaker Systems
- Written by Chris Eberle
- Published on 05 October 2009
Design and Setup
The first thing that impressed me about the Focal Domes was that the entire system came in a box roughly big enough to hold one average-size tower speaker; and that includes the sub!Â The sub and five accompanying satellites are packed in styrofoam and include wall-mounting hardware and rubber bases if youâ€™re putting them on a shelf or entertainment center.Â Itâ€™s obvious just looking at the speakers that they are designed, engineered and manufactured with the same care and quality as Focalâ€™s more expensive models.
The satellites enclosure is sealed and made from light-weight aluminum with a high-gloss black lacquer finish.Â They are protected by fabric bags in the packaging.Â The five-inch mid-bass driver is made from polyglass and is the same one used in Focalâ€™s upscale Chorus series.Â The tweeter is an aluminum/magnesium alloy inverted-dome design similar to the one used in the more expensive Profile and Electra S models.Â The base rotates through nearly 90 degrees to allow adjustment of the speakersâ€™ vertical angle.Â The grill is made from perforated and fabric-covered plastic and is easily removed with a small twist.Â When I set them up in my theater I simply placed them on top of my Axiom towers and center channel stand with a small amount of toe-in for the mains.Â The center was angled upward slightly to fire directly at my seat.Â The surrounds were wall mounted using the included brackets.Â Thanks to the available angle adjustment I was able to aim the surrounds at the listening position easily.
Wiring was a somewhat unique experience.Â The Domes donâ€™t have traditional binding posts or spring clips.Â Instead there are small screw terminals in the base that allow the wire to stay flush or hidden.Â I was able to get 12-gauge bare wire into them.Â If your speaker cable is 10-gauge or larger it wonâ€™t fit.Â The wire is held in place with small set screws.Â In a brilliant touch, Focal includes the necessary allen wrench in the rubber base of each speaker.
The sub is a down-firing ported design with an eight-inch polyglass driver.Â The port is right next to the driver so it is not visible when the sub is installed.Â My wife couldnâ€™t resist a Star Wars reference when she first saw it.Â It does look a bit like a small black R2D2.Â Amplification is provided by a 100-watt Bash unit with a gain control, crossover range of 50 to 200 Hz, phase switch (0 & 180 degrees) and auto power-on.Â The only input is an RCA line-level LFE.Â I placed the sub between my right main and center channel positions near the wall but not near a corner.