Focal took the occasion of Rocky Mountain Audio Fest to debut its newest loudspeaker, the Kanta N°2. Priced at $10,000/pair, the Kanta N°2 is a three-way floorstanding speaker that incorporates technologies from higher-end lines like Utopia Evo and Sopra into a more compact form factor. This is the first speaker in Focal's line to combine the company's Beryllium tweeter with its Flax cone driver technology, first introduced a few years back in the Aria line. The driver configuration consists of an IAL 3 pure Beryllium tweeter combined with a 6.5-inch Flax cone midrange driver and two 6.5-inch Flax cone woofers. The Kanta N°2 has a rated frequency response of 35 Hz to 40 kHz and a sensitivity of 91 dB. The dual-ported cabinet measures about 44 inches high by 18.75 wide by 12.65 deep and weighs 77.2 pounds.
I had a chance to see and hear this brand new speaker in action at the show, and I was very impressed. U.S. distributor Audio Plus Services mated the Kanta with one of Naim's Uniti all-in-one wireless music player/amps (stay tuned for our upcoming review of the Uniti Atom), and the demo filled the large room with a spacious, airy, crystal-clear sound and impressively deep bass. I loved the speaker's aesthetic: it's a bit more traditional-looking than the Sopra but with a lot of gorgeous little touches that set it apart. The cabinet itself is available in either a lacquered high-gloss (and I do mean high-gloss) finish or a walnut veneer, and you can choose between different front-panel colors for each cabinet finish--so there's a lot of flexibility to tailor the speaker to a variety of tastes and room decors.
The Kanta N°2 will be available this month.
With Kanta N°2, Focal is once again making headlines with the introduction of a truly unique product featuring yet more innovations for even better sounding acoustics. Kanta is completely dedicated to performance. It represents acoustic efficiency in every detail.
Kanta is destined for music lovers who, above all, are searching for a loudspeaker with exceptional and crystal clear sound in a compact design. Size was an essential criterion which guided the conception of Kanta: compactness was a key aspect which Focal's engineers had to constantly bear in mind during their research. Every detail of the design is related to performance. True music lovers who are connected and technophiles will be thrilled to find that Kanta is a loudspeaker which reflects their personality and which will blend in perfectly with their interior.
MUSIC'S ENEMY: DISTORTION
Kanta represents the continuation of the innovations launched with Utopia Evo and Sopra. Focal's R&D engineers are always set on reducing distortion, as this is the sworn enemy of music's emotion.
The treble is reproduced by this loudspeaker's new pure Beryllium tweeter. The IAL 3 tweeter combines the principles of the IAL (Infinite Acoustic Loading) and the IHL (Infinite Horn Loading) tweeters, which both improve the absorption of sound waves to reduce the resonance frequency of the tweeter.
THE UNIQUE COMBINATION OF BERYLLIUM AND FLAX
For the first time, Focal has developed a loudspeaker combining a Flax sandwich cone speaker driver and a Beryllium tweeter! Flax meets the requirements for obtaining low mass, high rigidity and excellent damping, ensuring crystal clear and precise sound. Made in France and patented, the Flax cone has already proved its worth in several of Focal's speaker drivers in the Home Audio and Car Audio product universes. This unique combination of Flax and Beryllium gives music incredible warmth and musicality. With Kanta, Flax will reveal its full capabilities to an even greater extent. The midrange speaker driver is equipped with a technology which has become a must for Focal: TMD suspension (Tuned Mass Damping). All Kanta's speaker drivers are also equipped with NIC motors (Neutral Inductance Circuit), which stabilize the magnetic field to provide perfect definition and better-controlled bass.
A KEY POINT FOR KANTA: ITS CABINET
At first sight, you'll immediately notice how Kanta breaks with design codes. It has a very distinctive design, with every detail serving the acoustics, as is always the case with Focal. Everything has been done to offer smooth and warm sound: the density and rigidity of the materials used for the front panel and housing, the smooth edges and the dual port.
RESEARCH INTO THE BEST MATERIALS TO OPTIMIZE PERFORMANCE
When it comes to innovation, constraints call for technology ... The goal was to give the bass section a reduced volume to meet the criteria for a compact design. Focal's engineers first focused on the loudspeaker's front panel. This led them to choose a new material which is favorable to the acoustic conditions. Thus, the front panel is made out of a moulded mono-bloc high-density polymer (HDP): a material which is capable of higher performance compared to the MDF cabinets which were used until now. It is 70 percent denser than MDF, 15 percent more rigid, and damping is increased by 25 percent. What's more, a mono-bloc front panel was also designed to avoid any diffraction of the sound.
EXCELLENCE LIES IN THE DETAILS
The engineers once again opted for "Focus Time": a technology which has now become very dear to Focal, and which allows the speaker drivers to be aligned so that they're situated at the same distance from the listener's ears. The rear housing of the cabinet has been made out of a unique piece of moulded wood to provide even greater rigidity. Kanta also features Power Flow technology, with two ports on the front panel and at the rear which limit any dynamic compression of the bass.
The Zamac base doesn't go unnoticed either, with lots of character and a shape which emphasises the loudspeaker's style. Thanks to the spikes and counter spikes, the stand provides greater overall stability and, most of all, a smaller footprint.
The last finishing touches include a very elegant glass plate on the top of the loudspeaker, and the magnetic, beret-type grilles. Once removed, they reveal the speaker drivers' flax cone, the ultimate design feature which gives Kanta its unique style!
OBVIOUSLY MADE IN FRANCE
Kanta meets the criteria for Focal's core values in every aspect. The new loudspeaker is made in France. The flax cone sandwich and the speaker drivers are manufactured in Focal's workshop in Saint-Etienne. And they aren't the only components made in France. Kanta is packed with technology and it has a strong identity. It's perfectly in line with Focal's Classic Home Audio collection, along with Utopia and Sopra on the one hand, and Electra, Aria and Chorus on the other.
A GREAT SELECTION OF FINISHES
The finishes for Kanta N°2 allow for numerous combinations to ensure that they perfectly integrate your interior, and that they meet the demands for all different tastes.
The housing is available in a lacquered black High Gloss finish or with a Walnut veneer. The front panel is available in four different colors for each of the two finishes.
With the black High Gloss housing: Four High Gloss finishes for the front panel: Carrara White, Gauloise Blue, Solar Yellow, Black Lacquer.
With the wood veneer housing: Four matte finishes for the front panel: Ivory, Warm Taupe, Gauloise Blue, Dark Grey.