Focal On Wall 301 Speaker Review - HomeTheaterHifi.com (2023)

The Focal On Wall 301 Speakers are designed to be a discreet, premium sound solution for both stereo and home theater enthusiasts. Made in France, their exclusively designed flax drivers offer a detailed presentation that adds a high degree of realism to your movie night and livens up the dance tracks at your in-home party nights.

The Focal On Wall 301 Speakers are part of the Custom Install 300 series which includes a larger version called the 302 that pairs up with TVs that are 65 inches and up. When I first got the 301s and stands delivered to my home, I placed them on either side of my Vizio P55-C1 flat panel TV. A week later, I upgraded to an LG C1 77-inch OLED. Though the larger display dwarfed the 301s, it did not diminish their sound quality. For esthetic reasons, I would say moving up to the 302s might be justified. My photos for this review will only show you the size comparison with my 55-inch Vizio.

Highlights

Focal On Wall 301 Speaker

  • Comes in gloss white or satin black colors to match the décor of your living room or home theater
  • Perfect for mounting with TVs up to 60 inches
  • Stands (in black or white) can be purchased separately for more flexible placement options
  • Two-way bass reflex design can be played with or without a subwoofer

Introduction

The Focal On Wall 301s are part of the 300 series speaker line and can also be linked withDôme Flax as well as Chora, Aria and Kanta products, without compromise. The speakers can be set on the wall on either side of your TV screen with a single speaker placed horizontally underneath as a center channel. The Focal logo on the front baffle can be spun to match the orientation of the mounted speaker. With the woofer-tweeter-woofer array, they sound good whether mounted vertically or horizontally. The sound dispersion was identical to my ears from the listening position.

The speakers incorporate two 4-inch flax fiber mid-range woofer drivers and a single 1-inch aluminum/magnesium tweeter. All mounting hardware (and a mounting template) are included. If you mount them on a wall, you will have to snake the speaker cables through the walls to obtain a clean, professional look, but it will be worth the extra time and effort. If you mount them on the stands, the speaker wires can be snaked inside the supports, then into the back of the speakers. Adding stands into the mix allowed me to position the speakers in a few other ways, which I will discuss further in my review.

FOCAL ON WALL 301 SPEAKER SPECIFICATIONS

Type:

2-way ported loudspeaker

Drivers:

2x 4″ (100mm) Flax MidBass, 1x 1″ (25mm) Tweeter TNF

Sensitivity (2.83V/1m):

87dB

Low frequency point (-6dB):

44Hz

Nominal impedance:

Minimum impedance:

5.5Ω

Recommended amplifier power:

25 – 130W

Crossover frequency:

2,500Hz

Dimensions (H x W x D):

31 1/2 x 6 1/8 x 3 9/16″ (80 x 15.5 x 9cm)

Net weight (unit with grille):

13lbs (5.9kg)

Color:

Gloss white or satin black finishes available

Focal On Wall 301 Speaker Price:

$999 each

Company:

Focal

SECRETS Tags:

focal, on wall 301, 301, speaker, on wall speaker

Linkbacks

  • Focal Aria K2 936 Limited Edition Loudspeaker Review
  • Focal Chora 826 Speaker Review

Design and Setup

When I was asked to review the On Wall 301s, I knew that I was not interested in putting holes in the wall next to my TV. When I found out that they could be mounted on stands, I heartily agreed to getting them into my media room. I have reviewed Focal (Chora 826) speakers in the past and was already familiar with their sound quality and anxious to see and hear what the 300 series sounded like.

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The 301’s long slim cabinets are ported on the ends, and because of their design, can be placed horizontally or vertically without any lobing effect. The bass output was good enough that should you prefer to keep it simple, no subwoofer is needed. Of course, if you are a serious home theater buff, adding one can be easily accomplished, as in my case, two of them. The high gloss white cabinets are seamless and easy to clean with a damp cloth. The grilles are magnetically attached, and they look and sound great with or without them. Though I did not physically mount them on the wall, I estimate that it can be done in under a half-hour by a minimally skilled handyman.

The stands came in a large flat box with easy-to-follow instructions. All screws and wrenches are supplied and assembling them took less than 15 minutes. They come with small rubber shock mounts to keep the speaker acoustically inert from vibrations. Attaching the speaker was as easy as sliding the slot mounts together. I did notice that it was easier to attach the speaker cable onto the binding post first. If you don’t, the stand pole will prevent you from accessing the posts as it overlaps them. The bases are weighted just enough to keep the 301s from being easily toppled, but not too heavy to discourage experimental placement options. The stands without the extension will bring the tweeters to ear level for most seating positions (about 40 inches high). The extension will add about another 8 inches to that height. All in all, I found the stand-mounted speakers to be slick and unobtrusive.

I used the Focal On Wall 301s in a stereo configuration around my TV and as side mounted speakers for a 7.2 configuration. There is no reason why you could not use them in the back corners of your room as surrounds, too. On the floor, they were at just the right height for the tweeters to be at ear level. It answers the age-old question of, “Is it worth it to go from 5.1 to 7.1?” Yes, it is! For one thing, it allowed me to access Atmos both in movie soundtracks and Atmos-enabled music as well. This was the first time my Marantz SR 6015 receiver notified me that Atmos was enabled. Sweet!

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In Use

Once I had the On Wall 301s set up on their stands, I was anxious to see if they suffered from the usual wall-mounted Achilles heels of staging. You cannot toe-in wall-mounted speakers. You also cannot move them forward or back like bookshelf or tower speakers. Once they are on the wall, they had better sound good because you cannot compensate for boundaries. Here, I was pleasantly surprised. The imaging was excellent for TV viewing and listening to stereo music. Their dispersion pattern was wide and because they were close to the wall, the bass had some pretty good heft. Dialog from the TV was clear and crisp, with male voices sounding natural without any cupping or nasal quality to the sound. Dynamically, they were able to keep up with the cacophony of Godzilla vs. King Kong or the challenging soundtrack from Dune. Visually, I did not notice any distracting reflections from the gloss finish, so I assume the black satin option would be the same.

I played the 301s at high volumes, and they never sounded strained or distressed. I have heard many lower-quality speakers come apart and rattle or distort when pushed too hard. My personal tastes would take me to these speakers over even a good soundbar, if for no other reason than the provide a more realistic soundstage.

Focal On Wall 301 Speaker Review - HomeTheaterHifi.com (7)

Godzilla vs King Kong – This is a silly movie that is mostly battles and carnage punctuated by occasional scenes of bad acting. With the stereo pair, I heard a wide soundstage with crisp dialog and enough bass to make me smile. Sure, a subwoofer will get you all the way there, but the Focal 301s made the experience enjoyable. The tweeter had some real air around it and the tinkling of broken glass had the sharp transient that you would expect it to have. The dual mid-woofers were outputting impressively for being only four inches across.

Focal On Wall 301 Speaker Review - HomeTheaterHifi.com (8)

Dune – In this movie, the soundtrack is a character unto itself. It delivers the battles, the explosions, the screams of the dying and it sets the atmosphere for the entire film. Hans Zimmer is a bass-aholic and this soundtrack is no different. Listening to this movie with Atmos engaged was almost mind-melting! I listened to this with the Focal 301s positioned in the front and on the sides. As side speakers, they enhanced the action more than I could have imagined. They blended well with my Sonus faber Sonetto Vs and my Revel center channel and rear surrounds. The envelopment was almost complete as I have no ceiling speakers installed (yet). On the sides of my room, the 301s on their stands were easy to place and adjust and they looked good, too.

Their slim design made them appear visually smaller than they really were. I could envision a theater room with these mounted all around the listener, front, rear and sides.

Music wise, I listened to a lot of jazz and classical and found the sound from the 301s to be more than adequate for listening. I would not endorse them for serious, critical listening as they are not a substitute for a high-quality tower or bookshelf speaker, but they would work well for general music playing in a living room where you may need a speaker for a TV at night and some music by day. They blend easily into a room and don’t call attention to themselves until they are called upon to provide sound.

Conclusions

The FOCAL 301 WALL-MOUNTED SPEAKERS deliver premium home theater sound and music when you don’t have the room for larger speakers. They are gems for TV watching or music without taking up floor space.

Likes

  • Sounds and looks great next to your TV
  • Magnetic grilles
  • Undistorted sound even at high volumes
  • Stands provide flexible placement
  • Easy installation on-wall or on stands

It’s nice to know that you don’t have to settle for a generic soundbar to watch movies and listen to music. The Focal On Wall 301 Speakers are well made and sound great, not just as wall-mounted speakers, but as speakers in general. With the stand-mount option, you can turn them into surround or Atmos speakers high up on a wall as well. They are easy to mount and blend into your décor, whether that be in a darkened theater environment or in a well-lit living room. You don’t have to sacrifice sound quality or floor space to get a decent speaker system that can play both roles. The Focal on Wall 301s hit all the right notes for me.

As a closing note, Focal is currently running a sale on the On-Wall 300 series of speakers. Sale prices have been extended until June 30th.

  • On Wall 301 – $799 each (reg. $999 each)
  • On Wall 302 – $1199 each (reg. $1499 each)
  • On Wall stands – $399 pair (reg. $499 each)

FAQs

Are on wall speakers any good? ›

Performance-wise, on-wall speakers produce high sound quality like their in-wall counterparts because they are usually angled to create a realistic sound. Therefore, all you need to do to create a home theatre experience is, install one or two speakers of different sizes based on your needs.

Is Focal speaker good? ›

The highs of these are so incredibly precise that you would swear they are component; and the clarity is real life without being shrill. The mids and bass are very accurate and their detail level is spot on. Keep in mind these are not bass speakers but they can and do produce some very good and hard hitting 60hz notes.

Are Focal speakers made in China? ›

100% of our hi-fi loudspeakers, monitoring loudspeakers and high-end products - including our Headphone and Car Audio collections - are made in France. We are particularly proud to have maintained production in France.

What are the best focal speakers? ›

TESTING THE FOCALS - best AMPLIFiERS for focal speakers
  • Audiolab 6000A Play.
  • Bluesound Powernode.
  • Canor Audio AI 1.10 (BEST MATCH)
  • Parasound Hint 6.
  • Onkyo RZ50 (BEST RECEIVER FOR FOCAL HOME THEATER)
  • Yamaha A8A.
  • SVS Subwoofer.
  • Dual CS 618Q Turntable.
9 Jul 2022

Which is the No 1 brand in speaker? ›

When it comes to the best portable Bluetooth speakers or the best sound system brands, JBL has always been at the top of the market. JBL speakers make the bass warmer, the vocals cleaner and the sound is better balanced.

How long do in-wall speakers last? ›

Depending on the materials they're made of and the environmental conditions of where the equipment is used, high-quality speakers typically last up to 40-50 years before showing any signs of damage.

Is Focal a high end brand? ›

The Grande Utopia is the brand's emblematic loudspeaker, which earned the company its worldwide reputation. It is considered one of the best high-fidelity loudspeakers in the world.
...
Focal-JMLab.
IndustryConsumer electronics
ParentVervent Audio Group
Websitewww.focal.com
10 more rows

Is Focal high end? ›

high end hifi design Focal

In order to make their way into contemporary interiors, our high-end hi-fi loudspeakers had to be lifestyle objects. A lesson in how to channel sound through aesthetics... At Focal, design isn't just about the beauty of the form: it also serves to improve the acoustics.

Which is better KEF or Focal? ›

The KEF R700 is a very good speaker, but I would give the edge to the Focals.

How can you tell a fake Focal speaker? ›

One way to check is to look for a serial number on the product. All Focal products have serial numbers. If the serial number cannot be found or looks like it was tampered with, the product you are looking at is most likely a fake. You should also check the packaging and logos.

Who owns Focal audio? ›

Vervent Audio Group

Which company makes the best speakers in the world? ›

The 9 Best Speaker Brands - Black Friday 2022 Reviews
  • Amazon. Amazon Echo Studio. SEE PRICE. ...
  • Anker. Anker Soundcore Motion+ SEE PRICE. ...
  • Apple. Apple HomePod mini. SEARCH. ...
  • Bose. Bose Portable Smart Speaker. SEE PRICE. ...
  • Google. Google Nest Audio. SEARCH. ...
  • JBL. JBL PartyBox 310. SEE PRICE. ...
  • Sonos. Sonos Move. SEE PRICE. ...
  • Sony. Sony XP700. SEE PRICE.
22 Nov 2022

Which Focal speakers are made in France? ›

A DEDICATED

Based in Bourbon-Lancy in Burgundy, our cabinet-making facility is composed of a team of cabinet-makers who make the loudspeaker enclosures for our high-end hi-fi and professional loudspeakers: Electra, Sopra, Utopia.

What is the best sounding speaker on the market? ›

What Are the Best Speakers In The World?
  • Definitive Technology BP9080X (Our Pick)
  • Salk Silk Monitors (Best Bookshelf Speakers)
  • KEF Q950 Floorstanding Speaker (Best Floorstanding Speakers)
  • JBL M2 Master Reference Monitor.
  • Klipsch R-28PF Surround Sound Floor Standing Speaker.
  • Gershman Acoustics Grand Avant-Garde.
5 Sept 2022

Do in-wall speakers add value to home? ›

Increase Your Home's Resale Value

With sleek in-wall or in-ceiling speakers, buyers will believe they're getting an extra perk. If you host a showing, play gentle music throughout the house so that buyers can envision entertaining with their own families.

Are on wall speakers better than in-wall speakers? ›

On-wall speakers have a slight advantage in terms of sound because their bass response isn't compromised by in-wall absorption. Both in-wall and on-wall speakers save considerable space and offer a sleeker look than box and bookshelf models.

Do wall speakers vibrate the wall? ›

Audio signals traveling out of speakers can vibrate the walls they touch or are close to. The sound waves fed through the speaker travel in every direction; however, these signals can be dampened and redirected through the type of casing that surrounds the internal speaker hardware.

Is Focal better than Sennheiser? ›

Our Verdict. The Sennheiser HD 800 S are better headphones for neutral sound than the Focal Clear Mg. While both headphones are very comfortable, the Sennheiser have a more neutral sound profile, and a larger, more spacious soundstage. However, the Focal have a better build quality.

Are high end brands better quality? ›

While the fabrics and construction of luxury brands are generally better than fast fashion – you're still paying a premium for prestige, expensive retail locations, wholesale margins and big marketing budgets.

What are the most expensive Focal speakers? ›

Behold the most expensive speakers in the world - Focal Grande Utopia EM Evo Floorstanding Speakers worth a whopping $590,000 a pair. The sound architecture of Utopia III has been preserved, to reduce harmonic distortion in the fragile mid-range register, which is so very crucial for revealing the artist's emotions.

Are Focal speakers neutral? ›

This speaker has a neutral enough response that it could easily be used as a studio monitor if you wanted to record music and be sure that your loudspeakers are giving a faithful reproduction of the recording.

Are Focal speakers waterproof? ›

A: The speakers are made from waterproof materials, so they can resist moisture and splashing…

Is KEF made in China? ›

The site is home to the manufacture of the Reference models and best premium Blade 2's and statement Muon speakers. The Q and R series are made in China, in KEF's own manufacturing facility there and no doubt for reasons of cost.

Is KEF a Chinese company? ›

KEF is a British company specialising in the design and production of a range of high-end audio products, including HiFi speakers, subwoofers, architecture speakers, wireless speakers, and headphones.

Do Focal speakers need to be broken? ›

The loudspeakers used in speakers are complex mechanical parts which require a running in period in order to work to the best of their ability and adapt to the temperature and humidity conditions of your environment. The mount will still be rigid and restrict the expression of medium and basses in particular.

Who made Focal speakers? ›

The brand embodies the prestige and workmanship of speaker drivers and loudspeakers Made in France. Focal was approached by British company Naim Audio, and this encounter gave rise to a merger in 2011. Three years later, in 2014, the Vervent Audio group was created. The group became a European leader in high-end sound.

How can you tell how powerful a speaker is? ›

The easy way to tell how loud a speaker is, is by using a loudness meter when audio is being played through the speakers to measure the decibel level.

Is Naim owned by Focal? ›

Following a 2011 merger with French loudspeaker manufacturer Focal, Naim is owned by VerVent Audio Group, a French company.

Does Focal make their own drivers? ›

Focal is one of the rare loudspeaker brands to manufacture its own speaker drivers: our expertise is unique in this field. The hi-fi speaker driver has always been at the very heart of our company.

Where is Focal audio from? ›

Made in France in the Focal workshops, the patented aluminium/magnesium “M”-dome speaker drivers deliver detailed, dynamic pure high-fidelity sound.

What is the highest quality sound system? ›

The best surround sound systems in 2022: tried and tested by us
  • Sony HT-A9 Home Theater System. ...
  • Monoprice SB-600. ...
  • LG S95QR Surround Soundbar. ...
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  • JBL 9.1-Channel Soundbar System. ...
  • Klipsch Black Reference Theater Pack Surround Sound System.
26 Nov 2022

Which company speaker is best for bass? ›

  • F&D F5060X 135W 5.1 Bluetooth Multimedia Speaker. ...
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  • JBL Charge 5. ...
  • Bose SoundLink Revolve+ ...
  • Sony SRS-XB23 Wireless Extra Bass Bluetooth Speaker. ...
  • Marshall Emberton 20 Watt. ...
  • JBL Flip 4. ...
  • Sony SRS-XB23.

What speakers are best for loud music? ›

  1. Amazon Echo Studio. The best smart Bluetooth speaker for overall sound quality. ...
  2. SoundBoks (Gen. One of the loudest Bluetooth speakers gets a thunderous upgrade. ...
  3. JBL Boombox 2. JBL give their much-loved audio monster a makeover. ...
  4. Anker Soundcore Rave. ...
  5. Marshall Woburn II. ...
  6. Sony SRS-XB33. ...
  7. Sonos Move.
19 Oct 2022

Do higher watt speakers sound better? ›

Yes, it's true that the higher the power (watts), the louder and cleaner the speakers will play. Small differences in power, however, don't make much of an audible change. In order to perceptively hear a difference (a 3dB increase), the power would have to double.

What speakers are made in Italy? ›

  • AQUAELITE. Gavirate / Italy.
  • DAVIDE GROPPI. Piacenza / Italy.
  • Essenze di Luce. San Giovanni al Natisone / Italy.
  • Garvan Acoustic. Faenza / Italy.
  • Gruppo Treesse. Nepi / Italy.
  • In Stock. / Italy.
  • K-array. San Piero a Sieve / Italy.
  • Kaldewei. Conegliano / Italy.

What speakers are made in France? ›

This result can appreciated today, thanks to the different brands of high-end speakers "made in France" selected by the website « Grand Art Acoustique »: ASA, AUDIONEC, AUDIO DIPTYQUE, EVEREST, KELINAC, MOCA, OCELLIA, OVA ACOUSTIC or RECITAL-AUDIO.

How much should I spend on good speakers? ›

There is not a one-size-fits-all answer. If you are in an average sized, untreated room and listening to music for entertainment, your best bet will be in the $300-$1,200 range. The higher you get within that range, you will generally find better results, but a higher price doesn't guarantee quality.

Are on wall speakers better than in wall speakers? ›

On-wall speakers have a slight advantage in terms of sound because their bass response isn't compromised by in-wall absorption. Both in-wall and on-wall speakers save considerable space and offer a sleeker look than box and bookshelf models.

Do in wall speakers add value to home? ›

Increase Your Home's Resale Value

With sleek in-wall or in-ceiling speakers, buyers will believe they're getting an extra perk. If you host a showing, play gentle music throughout the house so that buyers can envision entertaining with their own families.

Are Sonos in wall speakers worth it? ›

The Sonos in wall speaker isn't the most budget-friendly option, but with the increased price tag comes increased quality across the board. These speakers have excellent build quality, great sound, and are also relatively easy to install.

Are in wall speakers as good as floor speakers? ›

Applications of the speaker are the most important thing when buying the speakers. In wall speakers are suited for low bass and loud sound while floor standing is for the powerful bass and loud sound. Floor standing is suitable for the come cinema and parties while in-wall are for the closed enclosure small rooms.

How far should in wall speakers be from TV? ›

The distance between the stereo speakers should match the distance that you are sitting from the television. For example, if you are sitting 6 feet from the television, then each stereo speaker needs to be 3 feet away from the television. The center speaker should be aligned with the center of your television.

What is the best height for in wall speakers? ›

While it's true that many in-walls offer pivoting tweeters that can help compensate for high-on-the-wall installations, you'll get the best sound if you place the speakers at the same height you'd place a freestanding speaker: within about 2 feet of ear level.

How many watts speaker is good for living room? ›

If you like loud uncompressed music and your speakers are 90dB efficient, 200 Watts is likely plenty of power for you. If you only listen to light classical, jazz and don't expect them to rock the house, 50 Watts is adequate. Higher efficiency speakers, like horns, take very few Watts.

Is it better to have speakers higher or lower? ›

Whether you have your speakers on stands, on a shelf or wall-mounted, remember that speakers are generally designed so that they sound best when they are level with your ears when you are listening to them.

What brings down home value? ›

Some factors, such as property maintenance and improvements, are in your control. Other times, factors outside your control, such as the property market, natural disasters, and changes in your neighborhood, might be bringing down the value of your home.

Is Sonos as good as Bose? ›

Should you get a Bose or Sonos speaker? Sonos has a more streamlined approach to its home speakers, so they're your best bet if you want a seamless listening experience. However, Bose offers plenty of other products in addition to soundbars and home speakers, so Bose gives you more options.

Does Bose or Sonos sound better? ›

The Bose soundbar is a little better, producing a surround-sound effect, while the Sonos soundbar is tuned by Oscar-winning sound engineers to enhance human voice and speech. Both of these soundbars are great and either one is better than your TV speakers. But keep these sound differences in mind when choosing.

Is Harman Kardon better than Sonos? ›

The Sonos has a more neutral sound profile out-of-the-box with a more extended low-bass. It also supports Dolby Atmos, unlike the Harman/Kardon. That said, the Harman/Kardon offers more wireless playback options and comes with three Full HDMI In ports, and it also supports high-quality passthrough.

Should I put insulation behind my in wall speakers? ›

Consider installing some insulation (R-13) in the wall cavity behind the speakers to improve sound quality. The width of the insulation is usually pre-cut, so you only need to cut it to length and insert it in the opening behind the speakers.

Are in wall speakers a fire hazard? ›

The heat generated from a speaker is considered far too insignificant to cause a fire.

Can you use in wall speakers for surround sound? ›

Good in-walls are especially well-suited for use as surround speakers.

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