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Focal Alpha 65

Focal Alpha 65

4.8 4.8 out of 5, based on 4 Reviews

The Focal Alpha 65, An affordable line of studio monitors from the highly respected Focal team, How do they compare?


7th October 2014

Focal Alpha 65 by micheck123

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.75
Focal Alpha 65

A little back story, Before deciding to pull the trigger on these I had to make a choice between, Eve Audio SC205's (with TS107 sub), Dynaudio BM5A MKII's, Yamaha HS8's and Focal CMS65's.

Ill say right now that im an owner of Focal Spirit Pro's, HD650's and Bayerdynamic DT880 Pro's, until I got these speakers Ive always preferred using headphones to produce and mix, The Alphas changed my perception of just how good studio monitors can be. I now prefer using these beauties over my headphones as I hear better separation and detail.

So why did I end up with the Alpha 65's?
It was a hard decision but after taking a little trip to my local production shop and having a listen to the Adam A7X, CMS65, Equator D5's and Alpha 65's, I was genuinely impressed at how the Alphas performed.

Out of the list of monitors listed above the CMS65's were the best, very detailed, open balanced sound. The A7X seemed ok, I dont see why people love these so much compared to the focals these seemed muddy and no where near as open, They didn't reveal he detail that the Focal CMS or Alpha's did. The Equator D5's had a top very comparable to the Focals, Open detailed sound.

I had the Alpha 65's and CMS65 next to each other when testing, The only difference I could really hear when the monitors were switched was the deeper low end on the Alpha's and slithy less mids, The mids were still fantastic on the Alphas. The top end is almost identical on the Alphas, super separated, open and detailed. As an electronic music producer the Alphas were the BEST option there.

The sound of the Alpha 65:

I loaded up Discovery by Daft punk as im VERY familiar with this album and the sound.

Highs:
Super detailed, you can hear the slightest of reverbs behind a million other elements, you can the ambience, you can hear all the minor imperfections. Everything is very well separated and dimensional.

Mids:
Im not an expert in this but listening to vocals and guitars sections in records Ill say that they're all very clear and placeable. I can tell where they are and something new for me is being able to hear super detailed vocal reverb...

Lows:
This is why I think these monitors were geared towards the electronic music producer, The low end is punchy, well controlled but theres a LOT of it, If you have a small room without any acoustic treatment then stay away unless you want to use to the shelving controls on the back. I can easily heard the deepest of bass with these the Kick and bass separation is amazing here...

Overall im blown away with these monitors, its exactly what I wanted and with a little bit more of acoustic treatment ill be even happier. My previous KRK RP6 G3, Yamaha HS80M's are no no match for these.

12th January 2015

Focal Alpha 65 by nofuture

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.75
Focal Alpha 65

I buy these to replace my KRK RP6 G2 that were not flat enough to my taste.
I'm not an A/B specialist, but there's no possible comparison between these and the KRK RP6.

Sound Quality:

Highs:
Clarity, not Harsh, Detailed.

Lows:
Punchy, Deep, Perfect for EDM production in my opinion

General:
I don't make some fancy test as some of you here do but for the price they seems pretty flat.
For me, who works in a non treated home studio this quality is way enough.
I have to invest in some bass trap because even in a "as perfect as possible" symmetric configuration of the room where everything a part what can't move (doors of the room / bathroom) is set in a symmetric way there a side of the room where is some really nasty SUB issue,
Well I would highly recommend these to anyone running an home studio. In non trated room smaller than 20m2 I would recommend the Focal Alpha 50 over the 65.

Ease of use

Well, ...just plug them and don't forget that if you output a +4dBu signal into these, it's recommended to run them without the +6dB switch engaged.

Features

Focal, anxious about the planet included a features that automatically put the monitors in standby after 30 minutes if there's no signal going trough them.
It's so cute
Well, it's nice for your electric bill, but if I don't put 5/5 it's because of this features that annoy me a bit the evening because at the level where I work (I mean watch movies ) when my family is sleeping they automatically go into standby after 30 minutes and I have to make a little +12dB to put they back into work.

Then instead of having those knob for the +/- 3dB shelve on the High/Low I would prefer to have locked position on +-1 / 2 / 3 dB. But well, like I said, a part if you make sound in a "perfect" room, a 0.05 dB of gain on one channel isn't going to make that much difference on your stereo image.

Well not a big deal, but you know, you have to find something that isn't perfect with a product to be able to justify yourself when you're going to buy some expensive, not so better monitors

Bang for buck

Build quality is great, the look is neat, perfect fit for my all black and white studio ( Well, now that I've received my RME I have to paint it in black I think because it's the only thing that isn't black grey or white )


Conclusion

I highly recommend this pair of monitor of their little/big brother depending on the size / treatment of your room.
In this price range, you won't find anything comparable, a least to my taste.

14th December 2015

Focal Alpha 65 by romfordaudio

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 5 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 5
Focal Alpha 65

Like so many others before me, I will always take to this forum in search of user reviews to help me decide which product I might invest in. However, sometimes these reviews seem to focus more on the writers diverse taste in music than the actual product itself. I too was once that person who googled "best monitors for producing house music" - only to find reviews about image separation on Beethoven's latest beat (which Google tells me was in 1824), followed by "I could hear the breath in between each vocal" - from some artist nobody has ever even heard of.

So here's the premise; I only buy products that help me produce house music. For me, the product must serve this purpose alone. So this particular review is genre and function specific. What authority do I have over other reviewers? None. But, if you produce bass heavy club music and want help with choosing monitors, then read on.

So, are the Focal Alpha 65's good for producing house music?

Simple answer: yes.

Bass:
Confident - lets you know when it's there and where it's not.
Revealing - tells you when something isn't sitting right in the mix.
Punchy - lets you know when your track is too sterile and lacks vibe.
Deep - let's you hear those small cuts you make down the bottom.

Mids:
3D - know when your track is sitting muddy in the middle or when it's open and moving around you.
Definition - have the upper mids clearly presented so you know where that bite needs to come from.
Forward - stops you from feeling fatigued by being upfront about what's going on, especially in upper mids again.

Highs:
Wide - know where that sparkle across the top needs to be sitting.
Clarity - tells you when the right amount of sizzle is achieved.

Size:
These things are much bigger than I expected! My desk is compact and these dominate any left over space I had alongside my laptop. I actually had to turn them upside down so that my ear is inline with the tweeter (manual recommends this when necessary).

EQ and room:
Like the average joe, I don't have the luxury of a dedicated studio space. Instead, I'm tucked away in the corner of an untreated room. However, my first mix-down on the Focal's was clean, balanced and unproblematic. Choosing the right samples was easier and meant I hardly had to use any EQ or compression. I also haven't had to touch the EQ parameters on the back of the monitors. As I always like to mix at very moderate levels anyway, it's no surprise that I haven't run into any room issues.

Overall:
Very good, both accurate and revealing. Most importantly, productions translate very well onto other systems. Those small mixing decisions I've been making are amplified on the Focal's, like I'm now mixing through a magnifying glass.

Comparisons:
If you haven't heard the Focal's before then you might find my comparisons as a useful way to gauge where I'm coming from. I've had 3 monitors so far, the first being...

Adam A5X:
For me, the bass is not deep enough to produce house music. It took me a long time to learn the Adam's, and even then my tracks were still in danger of having booming kick drums and timid bass lines. The problem was I just couldn't say for certain if the low end was going to transfer well on other systems. Also, these were fatiguing as I always found myself trying too hard to listen to what's happening at the back of the track.

I didn't see the point of owning these, as I wasn't getting the full potential from them. Instead, I sold them for a much cheaper monitor and invested the leftover money into other studio gear. My next purchase was...

Tannoy Reveal 402:
Don't laugh. Why would I complain about Adam's lack of bass then purchase a smaller monitor? Because I now owned Sennheiser HD 650 and thought I could make low end mix decisions in those and use the monitors to get the general vibe going.

These Tannoy's are surprisingly good. For a monitor of this size and price it's insane how transferable your mixes actually are. They're not as detailed as the Adam's, but are still clean and balanced enough to make sound levelling possible. The problem with having a large proportion of the low end missing meant my mixes lacked life and were too sterile and flat. I realised I needed more power and depth - and that's when I chose the Focal's.

  • 2
25th August 2018

Focal Alpha 65 by samsistema

  • Sound Quality 5 out of 5
  • Ease of use 5 out of 5
  • Features 4 out of 5
  • Bang for buck 5 out of 5
  • Overall: 4.75
Focal Alpha 65

The Focal Alpha 65 are the best studio monitors I have listened to in this price range and I still feel the same after 2 years of using.

I made quiet a long research for new studio monitors. I was checking many different monitors like Yamaha HS7/8, Adam AX5/F5, Dynaudio BM5MK3, JBL LSR 305, KRK, Presonus Elis E5, Genelec. Some are cheaper some are more expansive, some I can listen to for a long time like Dynaudio, Adam, KRK and JBL because my friends have them.

After almost every shop was also recommending the Focal Alphas I made a research. Also a friend told me they are very good and produce their own products in France, like almost every part of it and also producing the drivers for Neumann KHs, which he has, but I never listened to them.

Important to know is, the Alpha 65 are way more better than the Alpha 80s or 50s. They can reproduce the frequencys in the entire range the best.

I already built alot of thick aborbers. Since I was working as a constructer it was easy for me. So my studio has 8 very big absorbers and two bass traps from floor to ceiling. The absorbers make the biggest difference when I talk about neutrality of sound reproduction.

The day I bought the Focal Alpha 65 I was amazed how good they sound compared to previous monitors (ESI Claasic 8). Since then I'm super happy with the sound. I can hear every detail and producing became much easier for me. Some of my friends come to my studio to mix their music.

HIGHS:
Very detailed.
Very clear.
Not too loud.
Not scratchy and annoying.

MIDS
Very clear
very neutral and as loud as they supposed to be.
Not in the background like with other models.

LOWS
Very clear and very dry
Very responsive
(Sounds like a hammer)

When I looked as this monitors I never expected them to sound that good.
My friend with the Dynaudio BM5 MK3 wanted to exchange them with mine, even if the Dynaudio more expansive.

My last upgrade was the Audient iD14, which was also is a day and night difference to the Steinberg UR22. I'm very happy with the Audient iD14 as well.
Very clear and they are a big improvement.

I would always recommend the Focal Alpha 65 even today. For me they are the best monitors below 1000$ (pair).

Sorry for my English.

  • 2
 
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