Focal’s been around for nearly 35 years and is well known in audio circles. Their high-end components are featured in everything from high-performance speakers some luxury car stereo systems. When we heard that Focal was going to make a DOLBY Atmos speaker package. We couldn’t wait to check it out. Speaker packages like this have been around for a long time and can be hit or miss depending on the manufacturer done properly this type of design has some distinct advantages. When engineers can account for all the speakers in the system they can be designed to work perfectly together. Covering a wide frequency range by focusing on what each speaker does best.
The Focal Sib Evo comes with a 58-pound box so we suggest you lift with your knees. Inside you will find a nice powered subwoofer, three small speakers and two larger speakers. All come with tabletop stands and you also get two speaker wall mounts as well. The design of the speakers themselves is pretty slick. The housing has lots of contours and is constructed of heavy-duty ABS plastic. They are far from pain and boxy like the speakers you will find in a lot of other packages.
This is a seriously good sounding home theater package. You’ll be immersed in great surround sound!
The speakers all use a push connection and accept 12-gauge speaker wire. It’s worth noting that we did have a little trouble getting it in properly but considering this will be a rare event it’s not a deal breaker. The five satellite speakers each have a 5-inch poly flex woofer and a ¾-inch soft dome tweeter. You will notice the main left and right satellites are larger than the other three. This is because they also have 4-inch full range DOLBY Atoms speaker in the top of the cabinet that fires up at an angle. The Cub subwoofer included in the package is almost a perfect 12-inch cube. It has an 8-inch poly flex driver connected up to a 200W class D amplifier. The drivers downward firing with a front firing port, connections on the rear include a right and left input. The left is used for LFE (Low-frequency Extension) channel and there are a level and crossover control along with a phase switch. If you had to put the sub behind you, you want to flip the phase switch to 180. The sub box itself is made out of a pretty dense MDF material and has a really solid feel to it with virtually no resonance. You will also notice that the feet of the Sub are largely designed to minimize vibrations.
To test the Focal Sib Evo we have paired it with one of the new Sony ES receivers. When you set these up just be sure to specify in the settings that you are using upward firing Atmos speakers in the front. Once everything configured it was time to test them out. While the system is made for home theaters were audio geeks so we wanted to start by listening to music in two channel stereo. Overall we are very impressed, the speakers are clean sounding with no trace of harshness.
Many home theater speaker packages fall short when it comes to listening to music. Not so with the Focal Sib 5.1.2. You’ll be able to enjoy your music at a new level!
If the speakers are properly positioned, you can also get some great stereo imaging with the main vocals floating dead center. The subwoofer took over the lower frequencies and we were thoroughly impressed with how seamlessly the sound blended with the Sub to the satellites. To test the home theater performance, we always like to see how well a system can handle challenging dialogue. If your center channel is weak you will really notice. The Focal SIB Evo handled very well. The actors came through clearly and you could even sense the subtle nuances in their performances.
We found that the SIB Evo works best with flat ceilings that are 10 feet higher less. You can actually tilt the Front’s 5 degrees to help position how the Atmos feed bounces off the ceiling and arrives at your listening position.
If you are looking to take the leap from a TV’s internal speakers, a soundbar or a 3.1 system to a full surround sound system without breaking the bank you’d be hard-pressed to beat the Focal SIB Evo 5.1.2. Couple it with a modest Dolby Atmos home theater receiver and you will have everything you need to enjoy movies, TV, and sports for years to come.