I bought my Focal CMS 65’s without hearing them first; basing my decision purely on hearsay and forum suggestions on Greaslutz. After 80 hours burn-in time, I found out that my old mixes were sounding very different, these monitors revealed stuff that I wasn’t able to hear on my other monitors. They are flat and transparent -no hype, I can hear each sound separated from another, the mid and the low mids have a wonderful clarity, crisp well defined and balanced with great stereo image. The low frequencies are not boomy but full, accurate, clear and punchy.
The cabinets are built from cast aluminum and impressively solid. On the rear-panel the parametric equalization, high-pass filter, and shelving controls are extensive, allowing you to customize the speaker's acoustic response to match your room environment, any changes are instantly noticeable. I was able to leave them in a flat neutral setting.
The CMS 65’s work well with a wide range of music, from jazz and classical to dance pumping sounds, not to forget that they do translate very well. They do make you work just a bit harder, rather than making your mixes sound great in your room but than you’ll get surprised when played on other systems. The tonal balance is extremely stable, even at very loud volumes, ensuring accurate reproduction when mixing and mastering. I can honestly say that I found nothing about their performance to dislike. I had very high levels of expectation for the CMS65, and I was not disappointed.
I traded up from a pair of Mackie 824's and haven't looked back. They have remarkable low end for such a small speaker, and just keep sounding better as they are breaking in. My mixes translate really well now. I'm not keen on the adjustment dials in the back, I just leave them at the flat / default settings. I had to replace a driver at one point, Focal customer support was terrific.
Best compliment came from an engineer buddy with VERY picky ears and he's going to be getting a pair after listening to mine.