Focal Sib and Co Pack Cinema Pro £1150
31st Mar 2005 | 23:00
Focal puts style to the fore
The French fashionistas at Focal have obviously come to the conclusion that style plays a large part in the decision-making process when people buy a surround sound speaker system. There's no denying this Sib & Co package looks like nothing else on the market, however, I'll leave it up to you to decide whether or not you like the styling.
The Pack Cinéma Pro reviewed here is made up from five Sib XL satellite speakers and the new Cub 2 subwoofer. Other systems in the range include either the smaller Sib speakers, or the floorstanding Sib XLs - or some combination of the three.
The versatile speakers can be either wall-mounted or placed on the attractive Hop stands, which cost an additional £115 each; wall-mounted, these speakers are clearly designed to partner a plasma or LCD screen.
The system is relatively living room friendly - not quite up to some of its smaller contemporaries on that score, but not too dominating considering its size. It may look large compared to some of its rivals, but only a modicum of tweaking is required to ensure it doesn't dominate a modest listening environment.
This Sib pack sounds full and detailed, with lots of mid-range information shining through. The sound stage across the front three speakers is enveloping and offers real body with dialogue. Meanwhile the rear speakers do a great job of enveloping you in the action.
A major improvement over previous Sib and Cub systems is the Cub2 subwoofer. It makes for an enhanced lower-end performance, with plenty of controlled bang emanating from the new 250W amplifier. It never sounds fluffy, and is impressively agile, even with musical sources.
Pushing the envelope on what has become acceptable for a sub/sat system, this larger Focal option benefits from a refined mid-bass performance and this helps it to achieve a fuller sound than most other systems.