Focal and Alpine are two renowned and well respected brands in the audio industry and produce high quality speakers, soundbars, headphones and subwoofers.
In this article, we will cover a general overview of both brands, looking specifically at sound quality, durability, price and so on.
Of course, each brand has different devices at different price points, however we will compare them as closely as we can.
Focal is known for its high-quality speakers and headphones, while Alpine is a well-known brand in the car audio industry known for its high-quality in-car entertainment systems.
Pros and Cons of Focal:
- Pros: Known for producing high-quality speakers and headphones with excellent sound quality and build quality. Many of their products are well-regarded by audiophiles and have received positive reviews.
- Cons: Some of their products can be expensive.
Pros and Cons of Alpine:
- Pros: Known for producing high-quality car audio products, including speakers, amplifiers, and subwoofers. Many of their products are well-regarded for their sound quality and value for money.
- Cons: Some users have reported issues with durability and reliability of some of their products.
Focal Quick History
Focal is a renowned French speaker brand that is well known for its quality and performance. Focal has been creating and manufacturing home audio loudspeakers, automobile audio speaker drivers and amplifiers, recording monitoring loudspeakers, and headphones since 1979. The Focal brand, based in Saint-Étienne, France, has earned its place among the audio industry’s leaders by producing constant innovative technology.
Every new generation combines existing advancements and inventions, allowing them to continually add new products to their collections. The Focal goal is to create a faithful replica of its original work while preserving its reputation.
Alpine Quick History
Alpine Electronics, Inc. was established in 1967 as Alpine Motorola. This was a joint venture between the Alps Electric Company and Motorola. In 1978, the company name changed to Alpine Electronics, Inc. when the Alps bought all the Motorola shares.
It is headquartered in Iwaki, Fukushima Prefecture, Japan. The company makes amplifiers, speakers, subwoofers, and car tweeters.
Focal Sound Quality
The Focal brand has been working on producing high-quality sound that is rich and precise in order to set itself apart from other companies. When you listen to music on low-quality equipment, you lose the richness of the sound.
The final presentation is heavily influenced by the sound production equipment type and quality of the initial recording and the file type (MP3, CD, etc.). Focal acoustic professionals specialize in sound precision and know how to bring out the richness of recorded sound samples.
Focal sound qualities include good dynamics (the contrast between bass and treble) and sound neutrality (the absence of coloration or frills which lead to distortion).
Alpine Sound Quality
Alpine produces a good professional range of speakers. Though the cheaper end may occasionally lack clarity and suffer from minor distortion, most speakers from Alpine have a very low level of distortion.
The bass is however not as much and those who need thumping bass may need to add a subwoofer.
Focal designs every component to work together to deliver the highest possible musical quality. Some of the features of the Focal brand that make them one of the best are listed below:
- Magnetic grille for woofers
- Aluminum/magnesium inverted dome tweeter
- Slatefiber midrange
- Bass reflex design (front-firing port)
- Lean-back design ensures precise sound at the listening position
- Bluetooth, HEOS, Wi-Fi, and AirPlay 2 streaming support.
- Multiple input and output ports
- Up to 5 years warranty on their product
- Innovative technology
- Sensitivity 92.5 dB
- High power handling
- Low distortion
- Bi-amp system
- Accurate and natural sound output
- Reliable construction material
The speakers bear varied features. These are:
- Hybrid carbon fiber
- Aluminum-Magnesium alloy tweeter unit
- Corrosion-resistant gold-plated terminals
- High Amplitude Multi-Roll (HAMR) surround
- CFRP Cone (Carbon Fiber reinforced Plastic)
Here are the main features of Alpine amplifiers
- T.A.R circuitry
- Thermal management control
- Compact design
- Adjustable gain control
- Variable subsonic filter
- Speaker level input
Focal Build Quality
Most Focal products you buy will have a solid build. Focal has maintained a consistent level of product build quality over the years. If you desire a high level of build quality in your devices, Focal is among the best you can get out there.
Their products are often compared to more reputable brands such as Yamaha and lots more.
Alpine Build Quality
Alpine speakers have a premium and rugged build.
They use high-density polymers for speaker casing, and the cones are made from premium fiber instead of regular paper.
Their car stereos are also used in some of the most popular and well-respected car brands across the world including Audi, BMW, Mercedes, Skoda and VW.
Ease Of Use
Focal Ease of Use
Focal products are very simple to use and come with a guidebook that explains how to set up and use the equipment.
You’ll love the Focal brand speaker base because it makes speaker positioning and alignment (and, if necessary, re-positioning) very easy.
Unlike most other speaker designs, which require reaching beneath a cabinet with one or more spanners to adjust the spikes fitted to the base, the focal speaker base lets you simply reach below and make changes quickly, easily, and without the use of any equipment.
Alpine Ease of Use
Alpine speakers are generally small in size and easy to install. The SPR-60C, for instance, focuses a lot on improving performance in a compact size. As a result, they are built with neodymium magnets that are much smaller than regular magnets and deliver better sound quality.
Focal products are significantly less expensive than some of the other audio system manufacturers in the same league.
This does not imply that they are inferior to other brands, and, of course, some other manufacturers’ products are less expensive, while some are more expensive than Focal.
The price range for different focal devices is listed below:
Home speakers: $150 – $1500
Headphones: $50 – $300
subwoofers: $150 – $2000
Car speaker: $100 – $500
Focal produces sound systems that include a variety of high-quality characteristics, such as a durable design and a powerful sound, and they are all reasonably priced. No matter how inexpensive a focal product is, it will still provide an adequate output for the purpose for which it was created.
Alpine speakers fall into the mid-range and the expensive category, with very few Alpine products falling within the bottom prices. While you can easily get a cheap speaker with offers well under $50, even under $20 from JVC and Sony, Alpine speakers generally cost around $40 or higher.
Focal Space Requirements
Focal offers numerous products that are ideal for use practically anywhere and offer excellent portability. These include loudspeakers, soundbars, car audio, Bluetooth speakers, and lots more.
However, it’s important to remember that the size of these products isn’t the only aspect to consider when deciding where to put them; ventilation requirements are also to be considered.
Insufficient space may cause the device to overheat, resulting in a sudden shutdown. It is ideal to leave a few inches of free space around a Focal device, especially those that must be installed in a confined space.
Alpine Space Requirements
As we mentioned already, Alpine speakers are compact and easily fit in small spaces. You can therefore enjoy music from Alpine even in small rooms without worrying about speaker placement.
Focal Remote Control
Focal provides easy access to their devices as well as the ability to control them. With the use of remote control, users can listen to music on the gadget from any room. The FSP-8 remote control is an example of this. This LCD remote control enhances the DSP FSP-8 user experience.
You may simply make a change in the primary settings, and also significantly, remember up to four saved presets thanks to the easy control.
Alpine Remote Control
Remote controls make listening to music a fantastic experience. Alpine remote controls such as Alpine’s compact RUE-4360 remote control give you wireless command of your Alpine stereo system from any position and distance.
Some of the actions you can perform with the remote control include:
- Audio processor adjustments
- Track repeat and random playback of audio files from USB
- Subwoofer level up/down
- Defeat on/off to be able to apply tone controls using a separate EQ
- Phone functions; include hanging up, picking up, or rejecting calls from paired smartphones
Alpine Connectivity Options
The speakers are built with various connectivity options that support different use scenarios. For instance, some speakers accept RCA wiring with older brands, while others, such as the Bluetooth Alpine speakers, can easily connect through Bluetooth pairing. The other connectivity options available include USB.
Focal Power Range
The amount of power consumed by Focal devices differs from one gadget to the next. For example, an entry-level Focal receiver’s power range is roughly 120 watts for one channel and 60 watts for two channels. However, the average soundbar’s power range/consumption is around 74 watts.
It is advisable to look through the user manuals to understand the power range of your focal device in order to get the most out of it.
Alpine Power Range
The speakers have a significant power handling ability for the price. The power output on the high-end Alpine speakers is 300 watts or 100 watts RMS. The low and mid range speakers deliver up to 150 watts RMS.
Focal Frequency Response
We will make a few comparisons to give an overall idea. Focal Chora 826-D floor-standing loudspeaker has a frequency response of about 48Hz-28kHz while Focal Sopra SW 1000 BE Subwoofer has a frequency response of about (+/- 3dB) 20 Hz–150 Hz.
You can do your research on Focal Audio products to know about each device’s frequency response when you need to get one.
Alpine Frequency Response
The type-S speakers operate within the frequencies of 80 Hz to 22 kHz while the R-Series respond well between 65 Hz to 29 kHz.
If you need a good sound system in the future, you can put your faith in Focal. Decades of experience have made the organization into a market-leading brand. Try Focal for your next sound upgrade if you’re looking for great sound quality and high-fidelity sound. Alpine makes great stereos and a force to beat when it comes to mind-blowing head units. Its speakers offer quality and reliability even in the cheaper range. Also, the subwoofers have a good frequency response, good power handling, and are easy to install.
Norvan Martin is the founder of BoomSpeaker.com. He is a professional Electronics Engineer and is passionate about home theater systems and AV electronics. BoomSpeaker was created as an online hub to share his knowledge and experiences as it relates to home theaters and home audio electronics.