Focal and JL audio are two renowned and well respected brands in the audio industry that Focal produces high quality speakers, soundbars, headphones, and subwoofers. JL Audio also produces, electronics such as amplifiers and receivers.
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 a well-regarded brand in the audio industry known for its high-quality speakers and headphones, while JL Audio is a highly respected brand in the car audio industry known for its high-performance speakers and amplifiers.
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 JL Audio:
- 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 JL audio amps may experience signal issues and wiring problems.
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.
JL Audio Quick History
James Birch and Lucio Proni started out making home speakers and components, the company they founded in 1975 was named JL Audio —from their initials.
They produce home, marine, and mobile audio products (they are one of the earliest mobile audio pioneers), but are best recognized for their subwoofers. The company headquarters is located in Miramar, Florida, and they have several award-winning designs and innovative technologies to their name
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).
JL Audio Sound Quality
JL Audio’s commitment to excellent quality is evident in all aspects of their products, especially the sound quality.
They produce products that have cool midtones, crisp highs, and heavy-hitting bass for bass lovers. The expertly engineered drivers and on-board DSP ensure a balanced and natural sound production.
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
JL Audio Features
Here are some unique and enriching features that make using JL Audio devices a pleasant experience:
- Digital Automatic Room Optimization (D.A.R.O.) flawlessly optimizes the sound to match the room’s acoustics
- Advanced Digital Signal Processing for balanced audio reproduction
- App support for iOS and Android
- Up to 8-channel on the amplifiers
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.
JL Audio Build Quality
They make use of materials such as fiberglass-composite, aluminium and wooden cabinets to ensure enough rigidity to avoid audio distortion and ensure lasting use.
JL Audio’s trademark handcrafted glossy and texture-coated finish only enhances the quality materials used above.
The premium drivers used in their devices are carefully produced for the excellent performance these devices display.
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.
JL Audio Ease Of Use
JL Audio fits their device with several user-friendly features such as large backlit controls, bright LCD display with day/night modes on some devices. The installation is easy and brisk, especially with the use of their mobile app.
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.
JL Audio Cost
JL Audio devices deliver quality performance at affordable prices as listed below:
- Amplifiers: $100 – $1800
- Subwoofers: $70 – $2600
- Speakers: $200 – $1600
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.
JL Audio Space Requirements
The largest of JL audio devices are their floorstanders and hefty amplifiers. They have devices in both size extremes, and their products occupy just enough space as required for that device category.
The Gotham g213v2 subwoofer measures 867 x 546 x 610 mm and weighs a massive 168 kg while the relatively smaller Fathom IWSv2 in-wall subwoofer measures 89 x 442 x 455 mm and weighs 15.9 kg.
Focal Remote Controls
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
JL Audio Remote Controls
JL Audio Connectivity Options
There are several connection options when it comes to a JL device. Some of the several options available are XLR, RCA, USB, optical, coaxial and auxiliary input, and Bluetooth and Wifi.
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.
JL Audio Power Range
JL Audio devices can produce large amounts of raw power, which makes them the product of choice for outdoor use.
Compare the mind-numbing 4500W peak power of the Gotham g213v2 subwoofer and the equally exciting 2000W of the Fathom IWSv2-SYS-213 in-wall subwoofer. Most JL Audio devices lie within the 60W–4500W power range.
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.
JL Audio Frequency Response
JL Audio devices effortlessly cover a wide frequency range. Most of their devices tend to be bassy which is not a big issue, especially for the bass enthusiasts.
The Gotham g213v2 subwoofer has a frequency response from 19Hz -112 Hz. The more balanced M3-650 VEX speakers cover 100Hz – 25KHz. The frequency response spectrum for JL Audio devices is from 10Hz to 25KHz.
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.
JL Audio manufactures devices that fit into many use scenarios, and their world-class subwoofers are a great addition to any existing sound system. But most importantly, all these come at reasonable prices.
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.