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Focal Professional - CMS 50

Focal CMS 50

4.15 4.15 out of 5, based on 5 Reviews

A wonderfully neutral studio montor for those on a low ot mid budget


3rd December 2011

Focal CMS 50 by mdme_sadie

  • Sound Quality 4 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 4 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.25
Focal Professional - CMS 50

I've had these monitors now for a little under a year and they've really preformed wonderfully in that time. If you value a very neutral tone that isn't hyped and you're on a mid range home studio budget then it's hard to go wrong with these.

There's precision and definition in the sound across the frequency range and you can listen to them for hours without feeling fatigued which is a significant plus when mixing.

There are two downsides with regards sound quality, the first must be that should you make use of the phono inputs for whatever reason you will encounter some amplifier hiss that you wouldn't otherwise, it's not annoyingly loud, but it is there. So it goes without saying, stick to the XLR connections if you value noise floor.

The second is that while the response is very neutral this being the smaller speaker cone if you're into more bass heavy production and want to really feel it on playback then you may wish to add a sub bass woofer, or go for the more expensive bigger brothers the CMS 60's.

For the size these have a lot of poke too, so be careful of your ears as always when using monitor.

In terms of features, setup and ease of use they're as simple as you'd expect. Once you've decided where to place your speakers you have a number of controls on the back to adjust the speaker's response curves to compensate for being placed in proximity to the wall, on a resonant surface such as a desk and so on via the Hi-Pass, High shelving, Low shelving and Desk controls (adjusted with a screwdriver on the back). Apart from that it's just plug in, switch on and enjoy. Each unit is powered with it's separate volume control dial and standby/power button and light inconspicuously on the front.

How worthwhile these are depends very much on you and your budget. If you're starting out and just need a set of monitors for your home studio then these are very likely overkill. If you're serious about practicing mixing, are graduating from your first studio monitors, desire a compact setup, are working in a small master room or just love the sound of Focals then these are great.

1st January 2012

Focal CMS 50 by K. Osborne

  • Sound Quality 4 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.5
Focal Professional - CMS 50

Simply put, there is nothing in this price point that competes with these little monitors. They sound great, have beautiful imaging and a tight low end, and they work in small spaces. I can take them to the studio with me and they're not ridiculously heavy. They sound basically identical to the CMS65 other than not as much low end response.

They look great, and they sound great. I know it doesn't seem that important but I love having the standby button on the front of the monitors. I HATE having to reach behind the monitors to turn them on and off. Comes with a weird little rubber plate and these standoff feet to lift it up and angle it a bit if needed. A bit weird, but works.

I love the sound of Focal monitors and particularly how unhyped they are. So many monitors in the $400-1000/each price range try to sound "too good" and they end up sounding overly boomy, overly bright, or overly present in the upper mids. These are not that way at all. Not fatiguing, very flat, and I can honestly say I trust these monitors. I find these monitors VERY translation friendly. Easy to learn. Makes your life much easier and kicks the pants off of Mackie, JBL, many ADAMs, KRK, Yamaha, and so many more. Do yourself a favor and get some with Primacoustic Recoil Stabilizers. You will be glad you did.

5th January 2012

Focal CMS 50 by Jomox

  • Sound Quality 2 out of 5
  • Ease of use 3 out of 5
  • Features 5 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 3 out of 5
  • Overall: 3.25
Focal Professional - CMS 50

I did allot of research on the CMS 50 I was considering also A7X, HR8240MKII, CMS65, V8XT8, 120A. Based on all the positive reviews, hearsay and great marketing about the CMS, I bit the bullet and got the CMS 50. A mistake I know I did now but personal experience can often be the best.

The packaging from Focal is very good, as good as you can get, all safely and nicely packed and speakers are easy to get out. Though the grill on the tweeter is quite difficult to get of, so you need to be-careful.

When I got the CMS 50, I knew they would need at least 50/60 hours burn in time before reaching their optimal performance so was not going to judge them till past the 50 hour mark. The burn in time was quite long as at first they were quite distorted in the low end etc.. But as time went on they opened up more and started sounding how they should.

One of the first things I noticed was the build quality and design, this was mighty impressive, they are built like little tanks and it would be very hard to damage them with marks etc, the acoustic design was also very good, as the sound was pointed directly at you without traveling around the room to much in a poorly treated room (I tested in an treated and none treated room) overall the acoustic design meant they are not very sensitive to room's compared to its rival's.

So after slowing breaking them in, being careful not to push them to hard, it was getting past the 50/60 hour mark as I left them running over most nights, so I could finally start to judge and use them properly.

Stereo image was simply amazing, but I found them to be quite dull in their sound, you could say very flat but for me they lacked presence and was very boxy. For example I found it hard to hear enough detail in the top end to make fine critical fixes to hi hats and other high frequency noises, especially in electronic music. So I was overall surprised at the lack of cleanness and openness at the top end as to me it sounded too dull / boxy.

I was hoping to have this open clean top end, but I was interested in the low end considering their size. The low end was smooth and natural and sounded good but lacked overall presence and it was clearly not enough for bass heavy electronic music, though it would work fine for some acoustic stuff.

The mid range was probably their main strength, very clean and natural, and vocal’s sounded very natural on them. If anything I would say the Focal’s main strength was more acoustic minimal music, such as solo piano or word music, they seemed to be more at home here and sounded very natural, but if I played more heavy stuff, like bass heavy electronic music with nice clear top end they just sounded far too dull and made it hard for me personally to work with them or listen to them.

The CMS50’s lacked overall output also they did not go very loud compared to some of its rivals, again this I was surprised about considering their specs, though the amps sounded very warm,

I also got fatigue after 4+ hour sessions with the CMS 50’s and with me not getting on with the above I decided to trade them for A7X, which for me personally are much better (This again is a personal thing)

I still think the build quality and acoustic design is the best in its class with both the CMS models, this is still something I loved and wished was integrated into other monitors, as while the build quality on others is very good, it's not like the CMS which Focal seemed to have spent allot of time / effort into designing a very sturdy box and good design.

While my experience with the CMS 50 is not good and they did not fit me personally, I still think they are a good monitor and with monitors being very personal it's about what works for you, so it's important to test a few monitors in your space and make your own conclusions, not get on hearsay / reviews only.

As a side note, at a later date I also tested the CMS 65 in a treated room as I was really interested to see how they compared , but again I had a similar experience, only they had more low end and a bit more output / slightly better stereo image (But the overall output was still quite weak compared to some of its rival's)

20th January 2012

Focal CMS 50 by robinjonsson

  • Sound Quality 4 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 4 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.25
Focal Professional - CMS 50

These little monitors are really great. I first did some research on cheaper monitors, like KRK's and RCF's. I googled for weeks, went to stores, asked around, listened to monitors in Sweden and in Belgium, asked on forums. Then I came across the CMS 50, and then I read that they won a MIPA award, (mipa award 2009 - Nominees and Winner), which did sound like quite a heavy award to win, so finally I decided to wait and save up for the CMS 50's. I am soo happy I did. They sound very clean, but you can still adjust them well, they are easy to carry and VERY easy to install. I've got them working in a small studio of mine with a Focusrite Saffire Pro 24 DSP, and it's such a joy. It's so simple, which I appreciate, being a beginner. They also give a very good impression in terms of packing, appearance, durability etc. and get them with the small bag if you're planning on moving them around, it helps
I bought them as an investment, I am sure that I’ll keep them around for long, and that they’ll be able to fulfill any future sound needs of mine.

11th March 2012

Focal CMS 50 by BobCooper

  • Sound Quality 4 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 5 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 4 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.5
Focal Professional - CMS 50

These monitors are fantastic. I upgraded from KRK Rokit 5s, and the difference is night and day. I can finally pin-point exactly where I want to make adjustments.

The build quality is great, and the stereo image is brilliant.

I usually work with rock - metal, and they suit my needs.

 
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