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Focal Shape 65

Test & Review

Do you want to equip your studio with an active acoustic speaker to ensure satisfactory results for your mixes? Opt for the Focal Shape 65 monitoring speaker. It is an active acoustic speaker designed for close listening. This allows you complete control of your mix. You don't need any other amplifiers to make it work. Discover through this guide our complete test on this monitoring speaker.

Focal Shape 65

🎤 by Kevin Jung

Summary of the Test 👇

For your listening or mixing sessions , it is important to choose the right speaker . The range of active speakers from the French brand Focal offers several types of hi-fi speakers to the delight of music enthusiasts. The Focal Shape 65 Subwoofer is part of this wide range . Find out everything about it in this article.

Overview of the Focal Shape 65 speaker

The Focal Shape 65 is an active acoustic speaker that offers a wide range of frequencies. In fact, you have total control of your mix, from the lowest to the highest frequencies. Designed for close listening , you can appreciate the high-precision performance of this speaker from a meter away.

As it is an monitoring speaker , you do not need to connect it to multiple amplifiers to make it work.

Focal Shape 65
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It is one of the new generations of sound speakers , which makes it a reference speaker for listening sessions in a small space with other advantages:

  • A wide and precise stereo picture
  • A serious outfit
  • Neutral mediums
  • A wide and precise sound system

In this sense, the Focal Shape 65 monitor has the 5 innovations intended for acoustic transparency : a well-articulated and sustained bass register, neutral midrange frequencies, sound system without masking effect, etc.

The new 25mm M profile tweeter ensures a high quality sound spectrum to the Focal Shape 65 baffle, reducing the effects of distortion and directivity to sounds. The speaker membrane is specially designed for a rigid dome and thus improves the distortion rate.

With a Poron suspension for the tweeter, the linearization of the response curve is less than 6 kHz for a natural and completely neutral . This tweeter is also integrated into a horn driver to provide horizontal and vertical directivity that you can control as you wish.

The active subwoofer of Focal Shape 65 is also made of a new Kapton voice coil . This allows it to reduce eddy currents and thus reduce the distortion rate .

Focal Shape 65


Focus on Focal Shape 65 sound quality

The speaker formed by a sandwich structure membrane (a very good quality flax fiber membrane between two layers of fiberglass) provides the mid and bass register of the woofer. Thanks to this sandwich structure, the membrane is very light and ensures good restitution and great rigidity of the sound signal.

The sandwich structure of the membrane allows for good bass reproduction , and thus very low distortion.

As for sound quality, the Focal Shape 65 can easily reproduce 8 human voices like all other subwoofers. From low voice to Soprano, this subwoofer knows how to distinguish each type of voice for musical listening of interest and readability . This is the advantage of a loudspeaker where the amplifier module is intended for a single speaker.

Focal Shape 65 speaker
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Other review guide : KRK Rokit 5 G4 . Discover in this guide the complete test of this two-way active speaker, the effectiveness of its dimensions, its sound quality, its technical characteristics, as well as our opinion.

Focal Shape 65 technical characteristics

If this great innovation from the French brand Focal is proving itself to users, it is mainly thanks to its technical characteristics which offer you perfect listening experiences.

  • Maximum power bi-amplification class AB 80 watts and 25 watts in RMS
  • Input impedance: 10 kOhms ,
  • Frequency response: plus or minus 6 dB , between 40 Hz and 35 kHz ,
  • Maximum peak SPL or musical signal: 109 dB ,
  • Passive double membrane in sandwich structure: 6.5 inches
  • 6.5-inch linen woofer
  • 25mm aluminum-magnesium M-shaped tweeter
  • 16.5 cm bass and midrange driver with linen membrane
  • Bass equalization: plus or minus 6 dB from 0 to 250 Hz ,
  • Mid and bass equalization: plus or minus 3 dB at 160 Hz ,
  • Treble equalization: plus or minus 3 dB from 4.5 kHz to 35 kHz ,
  • High pass filtering: 45, 60 and 90 Hz
  • An unbalanced 10 kOhm
  • A balanced 10 kOhm
  • Dimensions: 218 x 355 x 285 mm
  • Weight: 8.5 kg
  • Housing: 12mm MDF with two color options (vinyl and black)
  • Two-way bass reflex
  • An integrated Bluetooth system
Focal Shape 65


In addition to these features, the Focal Shape 65 subwoofer also has other features. Among other things, it comes without a rear bass port, which allows it to easily move in front of a wall. It also has a threaded connector for ceiling and wall mounts.

Focal Shape 65 active monitors also have switches and an automatic sleep function to save electricity.

The amplified subwoofer comes with several contents: a user manual, a power cord, four rubber pads, a remote control and a warranty card.

The small drawback of this active speaker is that it requires at least 10 hours of preheating before it can operate normally. But what makes you forget this little flaw is the clear and precise sound that the woofer produces. It does not need to be amplified to perceive mids and highs.

Focal Shape monitoring speaker
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Choosing a monitoring speaker: why is Focal Shape 65 one of the best choices?

If the Focal Shape 65 sound speaker is one of the best monitoring speakers , it is because it meets several criteria. Here they are :

Frequency range

A monitoring speaker must be flat across all audible frequency spectrums ranging from 20 to 20,000 Hz . This is intended to make mixing easier with speakers that do not modify the sound. This is therefore one of the first criteria that you must check when you choose your sound speaker. The sound must be as neutral as possible , with a frequency interval where the speaker must be flat.

For the Focal Shape 65 monitoring speaker, this frequency range is between 40 to 35,000 Hz . An ideal frequency range for mixing .

On the other hand, if the low frequency range is large enough, it is essential to add a subwoofer . If you use your sound speaker in a homo studio, it is also possible to use a DSP to produce the acoustic effects .

Focal Shape 65


By the way, you can also discover our test and review of the Behringer ADA8200 Ultragain . This guide presents the complete perception of the converter, the addition of a Midas microphone preamp on the converter to optimize the sound quality, its sound quality, and its technical characteristics.

The size of boomers

First of all, you should know that an active speaker is made up of a tweeter which regulates the high frequencies and a woofer which equalizes the low frequencies .

The regularization of the speaker frequencies depends on the diameter of the woofer . The larger the diameter, the more important the low frequency will be. A detail that must be taken into account to enjoy good listening. The best known sizes of a woofer are:

  • 5 inches: a fairly limited size that is only suitable for a really small room
  • 6.5 and 7 inches: an ideal size for home studios and gives satisfactory results for mixing,
  • 8 inches: a very large dimension that meets all your bass frequency needs.

6.5 inch diameter woofer . Although sellers recommend a 5-inch speaker for small rooms, the ideal size is still 6.5 inches.

active acoustic speaker Focal Shape 65
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The type of speaker

There are mainly three types of monitoring speakers: the - field speaker , the mid -field speaker and the main or main monitors . In a professional studio, it is advisable to use all three types of speakers at the same time to ensure precision work.

If you are buying the monitoring speaker for a home studio, you will only need a nearfield speaker, like Focal Shape 65. The other speakers will just be an additional expense.

The distortion rate

The distortion rate is a criterion that characterizes each brand of monitoring speaker. But what is distortion rate? For an easy explanation, when an initial signal is sent to the speakers, that signal experiences distortion, either because of the amplifier circuit or because of the speaker design.

This distortion rate is quite low in all monitoring speakers. But it is always better to check it before choosing the right sound speaker.

Focal Shape 65


Tweeter technology

The tweeters, drivers, treble and high mids are all unique in design and technology for each brand of powered speaker. Although it is not very common to compare tweeters according to the manufacturing materials, we can still classify them into two main types: dome tweeters and ribbon tweeters .

A dome tweeter delivers sound described as lively , with a heightened feel. The ribbon tweeter gives a more precise and analytical sound , but quite boring.

If you use the speaker for your little listening moments, the dome tweeter is ideal. A ribbon tweeter is best used if you are looking for precision sound. This is the case for a recording studio.

The Focal Shape 65 powered speaker has a dome tweeter with an M-shaped structure .

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Additionally, check out our guide to the Manley Voxbox channel strip . It is an entirely tube channel strip that delivers unique sound quality and clarity. Discover in this guide our complete test, as well as our opinion on this console strip.

A passive speaker or an active speaker

You are often told that a passive speaker is very different from an active speaker. But what exactly is the difference between these two monitor speakers?

the signal sent to it by a power amplifier must be . For an active speaker, this amplifier is already integrated into the hi-fi speaker. Whereas for the passive speaker, you have to buy a power amplifier.

An active monitoring speaker is more practical and less bulky than a passive monitoring speaker. It is therefore better to spend money on a good active speaker than to share the money dedicated to this for several pieces of equipment.

Focal Shape 65


Front or rear vents or no vent

Vents are openings in a monitoring enclosure to allow air to circulate . This is intended to control the pressure inside the enclosure and avoid high air compression .

Whether or not to add ports to a monitoring speaker is a matter of debate among audiophiles, but it's up to you to choose the best one. However, for a small room where the speaker will be stuck to the wall, rear vents are not the most recommended.

Besides that, there isn't really a best location for vents. This is because of the low frequencies which are not very directional and which diffuse at 360°.

The majority of monitoring speakers, such as the Focal Shape 65, do not have ports. But this type of speaker is significantly more expensive.

Connections and settings

All monitoring speakers have at least one input connector on the back, such as XLR , TRS jack or mini-Jack .

speaker of the Focal Shape 65 speaker
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For cheaper monitoring speaker models, there are very few settings. On the other hand, for the most expensive ones like the Focal Shape 65, several other settings are integrated to adjust the sound . These settings are usually accompanied by a specific DSP .

The price

One of the most important criteria is the price of the monitoring speaker. A good monitoring speaker costs at least €300 per pair . In addition, you must consider a unit price for an active speaker.

Below this price, you will be entitled to low-end and poor quality monitoring speakers. There are also used speakers that are cheaper, but still work just as well.


Bandwidth concerns the frequencies that a speaker manages to reproduce. The lower it is, the worse your treble and bass sounds. The bandwidth of a speaker is around 20 to 20,000 Hz .

Focal Shape 65 monitoring speaker
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Our Overall Opinion

Overall Sound Quality

4,9 /5

Value for money

4,7 /5

Global mark

4,8 /5

Our opinion on the Focal Shape 65 active speaker

The Focal Shape 65 active speaker is one of those compact speakers that includes a tweeter and a driver at the same time to reduce connections. Being a subwoofer that is part of the professional range, Focal Shape can completely compete with passive speakers.

The Focal Shape 65 is an ideal high-fidelity system for those who love listening to music. With a built-in volume DAC, the €2,000 budget is quite fair for your Focal Shape 65.

Where to use this hi-fi speaker? It can prove itself very well in small listening rooms of 25 m² for listening to music or simply your favorite radio channel like RCF or in your home cinema.

Focal Shape 65 demo

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Focal Shape 65