Focal Sopra N1



by Focal
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Compact and powerful, Sopra N°1 is a concentration of technological innovation. It features 'NIC' magnetic circuit, 'TMD' surrounds for the midrange woofer and Infinite Horn Loading (IHL) of the tweeter. It is a true 'demonstrator', corroborating the contribution of the new technologies implemented on Sopra. First, the very low distortion gives it incredible clarity and very high definition combined with the spectacular spatialisation typical of bookshelf loudspeakers...

Beyond this attractive first impression, what's astonishing is the texture and smoothness of its sound. It provides a solid, 'fleshy' sound with full and articulated bass. Precious is by no means artificial, nor is the limited to the treble. The overall coherence and harmonic richness gives the listener a surprising understanding of the music.

Sopra clearly inaugurates a new era for the 'Premium High-End' by taking into account new performance criteria. Compact, modern, a pure design, character... all these are essential factors to ensure perfect integration into your interior.


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Compact and powerful, Sopra N°1 is a concentration of technological innovation. It features Neutral Inductance Circuits "NIC", Tuned Mass Damping surrounds "TMD" for the midrange woofer, and Infinite Horn Loading "IHL" of the tweeter. It is a true demonstration of the contribution of the new technologies implemented on Sopra. Its special stand has been designed to ground interfering vibrations from the enclosure to the floor to avoid any colouration. Ideal for small rooms up to 270ft2 (25m2) and medium sized spaces up to 550ft2 (50m2). Providing high sensitivity and excellent power handling, Sopra N°1 is a true small monitor for the home.

Focal Sopra N1 Review


The Focal Sopra N1 is a two-way bookshelf speaker that promises high performance and a captivating audio experience. With its innovative woofer and tweeter design, this speaker aims to deliver lower distortion and high efficiency. Handcrafted with meticulous attention to detail, the Sopra N1 is available in various finishes, making it visually stunning and attractive in any home theater setup. In this review, we will explore the design, audio performance, music and home theater experience, connectivity and compatibility, as well as the price and value of the Focal Sopra N1.

Design and Build Quality

In terms of design and build quality, the Focal Sopra N1 truly stands out. The speaker is handcrafted with precision, showcasing the manufacturer's commitment to producing high-quality audio equipment. The attention to detail is evident in every aspect of the speaker, from the choice of materials to the seamless construction. Additionally, the Sopra N1 features a visually appealing and sophisticated design that adds a touch of elegance to any room. The speaker is available in a range of finishes, allowing users to choose the one that best suits their aesthetic preferences.

One notable design feature of the Sopra N1 is its easily adjustable spikes, which allow for optimal performance and stability. These spikes can be adjusted to ensure that the speaker is perfectly positioned for optimal sound quality. Furthermore, the speaker's stands feature large adjustment knobs, which enable fine-tuning of the speaker's positioning. This level of adjustability ensures that users can achieve the best possible sound reproduction.

However, it is worth noting that the Sopra N1 requires a stand for optimal performance. While this may not be an issue for those who already have stands or are willing to invest in them, it is an additional consideration for potential buyers. Additionally, some users have reported that the fit of the glass plates on the speaker is not perfect, with visible seams in the cabinet. Furthermore, the glass surface of the speaker is prone to fingerprints, requiring regular cleaning to maintain its pristine appearance.

Audio Performance

When it comes to audio performance, the Focal Sopra N1 lives up to its reputation as a premium offering from a renowned manufacturer. Despite its compact size, this speaker delivers impressive sound quality with deep stereo imaging and excellent dispersion characteristics. The Sopra N1 offers a wide soundstage, allowing listeners to experience a truly immersive audio experience.

One of the standout features of the Sopra N1 is its ability to produce impressive bass energy despite its small size. The speaker's innovative woofer design enables it to reproduce low frequencies with accuracy and impact. While the Sopra N1 offers solid bass performance, some users may find that it lacks the deep bass extension that larger speakers or additional subwoofers provide. It is worth considering whether the addition of a subwoofer is necessary to achieve the desired low-frequency response.

In terms of overall sound quality, the Sopra N1 delivers a fatigue and distortion-free listening experience. The speaker's tweeter and woofer combination ensures that the sound remains transparent and detailed, even at higher volumes. However, some users have reported challenges with dialogue comprehension in certain movie scenes. While the Sopra N1 excels in reproducing music, it may require additional attention to achieve optimal dialogue reproduction in a home theater setup.

Furthermore, integrating a subwoofer with the Sopra N1 may affect the speaker's sonic coherence. Achieving seamless integration between the subwoofer and the Sopra N1 can be challenging, and it may require careful tuning to maintain a cohesive and balanced sound signature. This is an important consideration for users who prioritize a seamless audio experience across the entire frequency range.

Music and Home Theater Experience

The Focal Sopra N1 offers an exceptional music and home theater experience. With its ability to reveal small details in recordings, this speaker allows listeners to fully immerse themselves in the music. The Sopra N1 delivers a balanced tonal balance with a lifelike presence, making every instrument and vocal performance come to life. Whether it's classical, jazz, rock, or any other genre, the Sopra N1 faithfully reproduces the intended sound with remarkable accuracy.

The speaker's transparent and dynamic sound adds a new dimension to the listening experience. The Sopra N1 excels in capturing the nuances and intricacies of the music, ensuring that every note is conveyed with clarity and precision. Additionally, the speaker provides excellent control of distortion and resonances, resulting in a high-resolution and detailed sound reproduction.

The Focal Sopra N1 is equally suited for home theater use. With its deep stereo imaging and excellent dispersion characteristics, this speaker creates a truly immersive audio environment. Whether you're watching movies, TV shows, or playing video games, the Sopra N1 enhances the overall viewing experience by delivering captivating sound that complements the on-screen action.

Connectivity and Compatibility

The Focal Sopra N1 is designed to be compatible with a range of amplifiers, both solid-state and vacuum tube options. This versatility allows users to pair the speaker with their preferred amplifier, ensuring optimal performance for their specific setup. However, some users have reported challenges with banana plug compatibility on the speaker's binding posts. This may limit the options for connecting the speaker to certain amplifiers, requiring alternative connection methods.

It is worth noting that the Sopra N1 has limited bi-amping or bi-wiring options. While this may not be a concern for most users, those seeking advanced customization and optimization options may find this limitation disappointing. However, for the majority of users, the Sopra N1's compatibility with a wide range of amplifiers and its overall performance will more than meet their expectations.

Price and Value

The Focal Sopra N1 is considered a premium offering from a renowned manufacturer, and as such, it comes with a relatively high price point. This may be a significant factor for some potential buyers, especially when considering the availability of other high-quality speakers at a lower price range. However, it is important to consider the exceptional craftsmanship, attention to detail, and audio performance that the Sopra N1 offers. For those who prioritize top-notch sound quality and are willing to invest in a premium speaker, the Sopra N1 provides excellent value.

When comparing the Sopra N1 to other speakers in the same price range, it is important to consider personal preferences and priorities. While there are other options available, the Sopra N1's unique combination of design, audio performance, and compatibility may make it a standout choice for discerning audiophiles and home theater enthusiasts.


In conclusion, the Focal Sopra N1 is a remarkable bookshelf speaker that delivers high-quality audio performance and a visually stunning design. With its handcrafted construction and attention to detail, this speaker is a testament to Focal's commitment to producing exceptional audio equipment. The Sopra N1 offers deep stereo imaging, impressive bass energy, and a fatigue and distortion-free sound that enhances both music and home theater experiences.

While the relatively high price point may be a deterrent for some, the Sopra N1 provides excellent value for those who prioritize superior sound quality and aesthetic appeal. The speaker's compatibility with a range of amplifiers, its immersive soundstage, and its ability to reveal small details in recordings make it a worthy investment for audiophiles and home theater enthusiasts alike.

In summary, the Focal Sopra N1 is a premium offering that combines craftsmanship, design, and audio performance to deliver a truly exceptional listening experience.


  • Speaker drivers: 61/2" (16.5cm) "W" bass midrange with "TMD" suspension, "NIC" motor 11/16" (27mm) "IHL" Beryllium inverted dome tweeter
  • Frequency response (+/- 3dB): 45Hz - 40kHz
  • Sensitivity (2.83V/1m): 89dB
  • Crossover frequency: 2 200Hz

Additional Info

Infinite Horn Loading

Our Beryllium tweeter features an incredibly light and extremely rigid dome, that deliver a transparent and dynamic sound. Its main limitation comes from the compression of air in the cavity behind it. But the requirement for Sopra to be compact meant that as much of the cabinet as possible had to be used for the bass. We had to explore other options for loading the tweeter, which led us to come up with the IHL system. The "IHL" system enables to load the Beryllium tweeter respecting the compactness demand of the speaker. The rear wave of the tweeter is delicately and gradually absorbed to avoid any distortion. The treble definition is pushed to the maximum

Tuned Mass Dumper

Our teams have revealed resonances which alter definition in the suspension which connects the cone to the basket. The solutions already known for increasing the damping properties of the suspension all result in an increase of the mass which consequently alters definition. The answer came from a technology used in earthquake-resistant skyscrapers and which is also used for the suspension on racing cars. "TMD" technology consists of optimising the suspension profile which controls the resonance in order to drastically reduce distortion and increase the definition of bass and midrange.

Mastering the Cabinet and Choice of Materials

Made in France Sopra’s cabinet was designed in our cabinet-making facility in Bourbon-Lancy (Burgundy, France) using the same manufacturing process as for Utopia The 69mm sandwich-machined front panel uses the same principle as ‘Gamma Structure’ to provide inertia and damping. Its density gives it the inertia necessary to provide a stable mechanical reference for optimal definition. The inside of the cabinet has no parallel side panels, and small Helmholtz resonators have been added to the lower section to prevent vertical standing waves. We chose glass as the material for the base of the loudspeaker to provide floor coupling, using spikes, which enabled the fastest propagation time possible, thus eliminating all halo effects in the bass.