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Classic subwoofer vs extra-flat active subwoofer for my vehicle

The subwoofers produced by FOCAL come in two types of technology: The extra-flat active subwoofer is a very compact subwoofer, incorporating an amplifier and a small subwoofer. It considerably improves bass reproduction, but cannot compete with a subwoofer using a larger subwoofer. Its main advantages are ease of installation and space-saving integration in the vehicle (under a seat, for example).  The classic subwoofer is a rectangular or trapezoidal subwoofer using a larger diameter subwoofer (usually 25 or 30 cm).  With a larger diaphragm surface area, this type of subwoofer produces a more powerful and deeper bass at the lower end of the sound spectrum. Depending on your vehicle, you may need to choose a specific amplifier for the bass channel. The disadvantage is that it takes up less space than an extra-flat subwoofer.  Suggestions related to this article : - What is the purpose of a subwoofer in a vehicle ? - Can two subwoofers be used in one vehicle ?
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Open-back headphones vs closed headphones : what are the differences ?

In the world of FOCAL headphones, there are two very different technologies. These differences are identifiable in the design and listening impact of the audio system. 1- Open Back So-called “open” headphones have headphones surrounded by grilles allowing sound to pass through. This audio system offers better perception of sound and wider spatialization. These headphones are popular during long listening sessions at home. 2 - Closed Back So-called “closed” back headphones are equipped with headphones that isolate external noise. Thus, this audio system offers better sound insulation and a more immersive sound experience. These headsets are particularly appreciated in situations where sound insulation is necessary. Some closed headphones may include the ANC (Active Noise Cancellation) technique, i.e. active noise reduction to reduce ambient noise. This is the case with the Focal Bathys headphones. To sum up : Features Listening environment Sound isolation Spatialisation Open headphones Quiet, without noise pollution No Wide Closed headphones Moderate noise level Passive Analytical Enclosed headphones with active noise reduction (ANC) Noisy environment Active (ANC) Focused
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Passive headphones vs active headphones, what are the differences ?

There are two types of headphones, the main difference being in their operating mode and power supply.  "Passive" headphones : These have no electrical components, and are therefore wired. This solution is connected by a cable to an audio solution, which transmits the signal to it.  "Active" headphones : These have electrical components such as an amplifier or integrated digital-to-analog converter (DAC). This solution is battery-powered and can be equipped with active noise reduction (ANC) technology. This is the case with our Focal Bathys headphones. Suggestions related to this article : - How do i choose headphones ? - Open vs closed headphones
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Choosing an amplifier for my HI-FI system

To choose the right amplifier for your hi-fi system, it's essential to consider the power of the amplifier. Make sure that the power is not too low. This consideration is all the more important for multi-channel amplifiers for a home cinema system.  Contrary to popular belief, it is not excess power that can damage speakers and loudspeakers, but rather a lack of power. If the volume is pushed to its maximum, the amplifier can saturate and generate parasitic signals likely to cause damage to the loudspeakers, particularly the tweeters. It is therefore necessary to provide a power reserve for listening at high volume.  It is important to stress that it is small amplifiers pushed beyond their limits that risk damaging a loudspeaker. For an optimum combination, we recommend an RMS amplification power of around 50 to 75% of the maximum power of the loudspeaker.  The choice of amplifier is also subjective, and the dynamic capacity and high definition of Focal loudspeakers highlight the qualities and shortcomings of the amplifiers. It is advisable to listen to different speaker/amplifier combinations at your dealer's. Finally, pay particular attention to the choice of cables. Choose quality cables adapted to the distance between the amplifier and the speakers, and to the power required to power them.
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How do I set the gain on my amplifier ?

All amplifiers or powered subwoofers have a gain control.  Contrary to popular belief, the gain control is not a volume control.  It is used to match the output voltage of a car radio to the input voltage of an amplifier. For the amplifier to work optimally with your system, it must be adjusted. Here's how to adjust the gain :  1.    To begin with, set the gain to zero. 2.    Play a CD or USB stick with quality music (ideally avoid MP3 files). 3.    Set the volume of your amplifier to three quarters.                       4.    Slowly increase the gain until distortion appears. 5.    Lower the gain slightly until the distortion disappears. 6.    The amplifier will now be tuned to your system. To listen louder or softer, use the volume control on your car radio.
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How do I choose the right speakers for a home cinema system ?

Choosing the right speakers for your home cinema system will give you an immersive, high-quality audio experience. Most of our speakers can operate in hi-fi stereo as well as in home cinema configuration. Don't hesitate to consult our product guide via this shortcut : Product guide to help you choose your speakers. Here are a few steps to follow when choosing your home cinema speakers : 1 - It's essential to take into account the size of the room where you want to install your audio system. For a large living room, we recommend a powerful and complete system. For a small room, a smaller system will be more suitable. 2 - You need to consider the configuration of the audio system. Common installations include 5 speakers and 1 subwoofer (5.1), but each installation can be adapted to suit your space and your needs. 3 - Make sure that all the speakers are sized to match the power of your amplifier. 
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How do I install built-in speakers ?

Focal offers a range of hi-fi loudspeakers designed to be integrated into walls or ceilings, enabling discreet, high-definition listening in every room of the house (living room, kitchen, bedroom, bathroom...).  Choosing the location for in-wall speakers Focal has designed these built-in Hi-Fi speakers to faithfully reproduce all forms of music or Home Cinema programmes. It is essential to follow a few simple rules to optimise their performance: 1 - The speakers must be placed symmetrically facing the listening area, ideally forming an equilateral triangle.  2 - In-wall speakers should be placed at the same height, on the same horizontal plane, with the tweeter ideally level with the listener's ears at the usual listening point.  Installing hi-fi speakers - Connections The connectors provide reliable contacts for stripped cables (up to 4 mm in diameter). It is essential to respect the polarity of each hi-fi speaker :  The connector marked "+" must be connected to the corresponding output on the amplifier.  The connector marked "-" must be connected to the negative terminal. If this condition is not respected, the stereo image and bass perception will deteriorate considerably.  Choose quality cables with the appropriate cross-section for the length : your Focal dealer will be able to advise you.  Speaker installation The speakers can only be installed once the cables have been laid. Cut out the partition using the template supplied. Before you start cutting, make sure the template is level. Before any drilling, consult the room plans to make sure that no pipes, electrical ducts or other specific installations pass through the wall.  About the tweeter Once the speaker has been wired and secured, adjust the level of the tweeter using the switch on the front of the speaker. The tweeter is hinged to face the listening area, improving treble accuracy and stereo imaging.
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How do I install my floorstanding speakers ?

Focal loudspeakers have been meticulously designed to reproduce music and home cinema programmes with the utmost fidelity. However, a few simple rules should be observed to optimise their performance, guarantee good tonal balance and a realistic sound image.  Placement and positioning of speakers : Speakers should be positioned symmetrically in front of the listening area, forming an ideal equilateral triangle with the listening area, although distances can be adjusted to suit the particular layout.  It is imperative that the speakers are positioned at the same height on a horizontal plane. Ideally, the tweeter should be level with the listener's ears, at the usual listening point.  Avoid placing the speakers too close to the corners of the room and limit their proximity to the walls, as this could excite resonances in the room and artificially increase the bass. On the other hand, if the bass level is deemed insufficient, move the speakers closer to the walls to rebalance the sound.  Here are a few tips for use : Adjust the position of the speakers and their orientation to correct inaccurate stereophonic perception. If the sound is harsh and aggressive, consider using absorbent and reflective materials to control room reverberation. If the sound is 'flat' and muffled, find a better balance between absorbing and reflecting materials in your home.  It is generally recommended that the wall behind the speakers should be reflective for optimum sound development, while the wall behind the listening area should ideally be absorbent to prevent the stereo image being altered by rear reflections. A clever arrangement of furniture on the side walls can also help to diffuse sound waves and avoid frequency problems, particularly in the midrange, by eliminating "echo flutter".
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How do I install my hi-fi speakers for stereo use ?

Here are the steps to follow when installing your Hi-Fi speakers for stereo use :  The speakers should be placed symmetrically facing the listening area, forming an equilateral triangle.  The speakers, and more particularly the tweeters, should be placed at ear level when you are sitting down. The speakers should not be placed too close to the walls, which would increase the bass level.  If you opt to use a subwoofer, its placement is flexible. To optimise your installation, pay attention to the quality of your cabling system.
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How do I install my home cinema speakers ?

Here's some advice on how to install your home cinema speakers and get the best out of their sound performance.  The centre speaker With a standard screen, the centre speaker should be placed close to the screen for realistic sound reproduction. Ideally, it should be placed at ear level when you are seated.  When a projection screen is used, the centre speaker should be placed at the foot of the screen for uncompromising results. When a microperforated screen is used, the speaker can be positioned behind the screen. As with any other loudspeaker, we strongly advise against placing the centre speaker in a piece of furniture or in a resonant cavity.   Front speakers Front speakers should be placed on either side of your screen, at ear level when you are seated. To avoid obstructing the audio quality, avoid placing furniture in front of your speakers.  Surround speakers Surround speakers should not be set back from the listening area. To achieve a realistic result, they should be positioned above the listener's head.  Subwoofer The subwoofer should be placed in a corner of the room to increase the perception of bass.
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How to install your bookshelf speakers ?

To guarantee the best possible sound experience from your bookshelf speakers, it's crucial to consider their installation. These speakers have been designed to deliver faithful reproduction of all musical genres and home cinema programs. Skid-mounted installation : Bookshelf speakers are supplied with glides. When placing them on a shelf or cabinet, be sure to install the glides before proceeding with the installation. The role of the pads is to ensure the stability of your speakers and to mechanically decouple them from their supports. The pads provide insulation between the speaker and the surface on which it is placed, reducing unwanted vibrations that could affect sound quality. They help to stabilize the speaker and prevent undesirable movements that might occur as a result of vibrations or accidental displacement. What's more, the pads protect both the speakers and the surfaces on which they are placed. Stand installation : When installing your bookshelf speakers, we recommend positioning them on stands at an appropriate listening height. Using stands ensures better sound dispersion. In fact, by raising the speakers to an appropriate listening height, stands help to spread sound more evenly across the room, improving listening quality. Other advantages of using stands for your sound installation include vibration reduction, acoustic insulation and speaker stability.  If you wish to install optional stands to support your bookshelf speakers, please refer to the mounting instructions supplied with the stand.  Advantages of having bookshelf speakers on stands   Disavantages of not having floor-standing speakers   Better sound dispersion in the room   Less balanced sound in the room   Optimum positioning at listening height   Sound less focused on the listener    Reduced vibrations and resonances    Risk of low-frequency disturbance   Improved aesthetics   Risk of speaker damage or dropping   Less interference with furniture and decor    Less flexibility in speaker placement    Better integration into a home cinema system   Less sound immersion in films
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How do I take care of my speakers ?

To preserve your speakers, it is essential to follow these recommendations:  Make sure that your speakers are not exposed to humidity or extreme temperatures, as this could affect the internal components. When cleaning your speakers, use a soft, dry cloth to remove dust from the surface. If necessary, you can use a microfibre cloth slightly dampened with water. We recommend that you do not use harsh chemicals. If your speakers are used occasionally, we recommend that you cover them with protective covers to protect them from external factors.  

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