Focal CHORA 826-D Review: Focal hero

A question often asked is whether a speaker can excel at both music and movies. The real question is how well a loudspeaker handles all types of content.

Today, we’re reviewing the Focal Chora 826-D, a Dolby Atmos-enabled tower speaker. Sit back, relax, and let’s dive in.

focal chora 826-D in front, both speakers
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Focal Chora 826 D vs Focal Chora 826

The Focal Chora 826 D is a Dolby Atmos-enabled tower speaker based on the Focal Chora 826. The two models are nearly identical, sharing the same forward-facing drivers, specs, and finishes. The key difference is the Dolby Atmos speaker on top, which is a big deal for home theater enthusiasts. This Atmos feature is delivered via an internal five-inch full-range upward-firing driver.

The rest of the speaker is a three-way bass reflex tower with a one-inch inverted dome tweeter, a six-and-a-half-inch mid-range driver, and two six-and-a-half-inch woofers. It has a frequency response of 48Hz to 28kHz and a sensitivity of 91dB into 8 ohms. However, it can dip as low as 2.9 ohms when pushed. The Atmos driver has a frequency response of 100Hz to 20kHz with a sensitivity of 91dB into 6 ohms. The front-ported design should make placement easier, and it comes with magnetic grills, all made in France.

Focal CHORA 826-D TECH SPECS

ORIGINFrance
TYPE3-way floorstanding loudspeaker with built-in Dolby Atmos
WEIGHT21kg
DIMENSIONS (WxHxD)303 x 1,053 x 388mm
FEATURES• 1x 25mm TNF Al/Mg inverted dome tweeter
• 1x 165mm slate fiber midrange driver
• 2x 165mm slate fiber bass drivers
•  Quoted sensitivity: 91dB/1W/1m
DISTRIBUTORFocal-JMlab UK Ltd.
TELEPHONE0845 6602680
WEBSITE focal.com/uk

We paired the 826-D with the matching Chora center and Sub 600P subwoofer. For surround sound, you could use the Chora 806 bookshelf speakers or the wall-mountable Chora surrounds. For our review, we powered these speakers with various electronics, including the Naim Uniti Atom, Yamaha AS3200, and Technics R1000. For home theater use, we relied on our Yamaha V6A receiver and the newly announced Emotiva BasX amplifiers, connected to a recently discontinued MC700 processor.

Sound Quality

Starting with music, the 826-D, based on the Chora 826, performed admirably. It sounds like a grown-up, almost full-range version of the 806, which is a good thing. The Focal signature sound, favoring detail, separation, and speed, is present. These speakers aren’t entirely neutral, as they have a house curve, but you might hear details in recordings that other speakers miss. The upper mid-range and treble are incredibly resolute, slightly lean or forward but never fatiguing. The mid-range is articulate but not too weighty. Vocals and instruments have great detail and nuance, though they may sound light compared to the Klipsch 8000F or B&W. The bass focuses on speed and impact. Focal claims bass extension down to 39Hz, though it felt a bit light. Nevertheless, the bass was deep enough for music and responsive. Improvements in bass extension were noticed when using the BasX amplifiers, though expensive electronics weren’t necessary to get the best from these speakers.

The soundstage of the 826-D is incredible. Like the 806 bookshelf speakers, the imaging is so good that you might check if the center speaker is on. The speakers disappear within the soundstage for a holographic experience, best demonstrated with the track “Seville” from the Mission Impossible 2 soundtrack.

For movies, the Atmos speakers work well, adding notable dimension to blockbuster films. Our ceilings fall within the recommended height for upward-firing Atmos speakers, and the effect was impressive. For those with higher or vaulted ceilings, the experience may differ, but for ceilings between 8 and 12 feet, the Atmos drivers add significant dimension to the soundstage.

As for the drawbacks, the grills are weak and protrude rather than recess. The glossy plastic surrounds the drivers, which don’t sit flush with the matte front baffle, can be an eyesore. Focal might need to offer an 806D to be competitive, allowing customers to build a 5.1.4 or 7.1.4 setup.

The front-facing bass port helps the focal chora 826 achieve impressively low frequencies
The front-facing bass port helps the Chora achieve impressively low frequencies

The 826-D faces stiff competition. The Klipsch 8000F, which is cheaper, offers more bass and detail. However, the 826-D is more articulate. The Bowers & Wilkins 703 and 704 S2 speakers and the Monitor Audio 500 are also competitors. The 826-D sits in the middle in terms of sound quality but offers more bang for your buck for home theater enthusiasts, especially since B&W doesn’t offer an all-in-one Dolby Atmos speaker, and Monitor Audio’s optional Atmos speaker doesn’t match the look of its silver line.

Compared to the KLH Model 5, both speakers image well and have great detail, but the Model 5 is better balanced. However, for Atmos content, the 826-D is the clear winner.

focal chora 826 Review

Is the Focal Chora 826 D good for both music and movies? Yes. While the Chora 826 might be better for those not interested in home theater, the 826 D is a fantastic do-it-all loudspeaker for systems that need to handle both.

Focal CHORA 826 Review
Slatefiber is named after its color, not its properties

INSIGHT

  1. 25mm TNF Al/Mg tweeter
  2. Single-wire binding posts
  3. Forward-facing bass port
  4. 2x 165mm slate fiber bass drivers
  5. 165mm slate fiber midrange driver

In summary, the Focal Chora 826-D is a solid speaker with excellent detail, imaging, and responsiveness, making it a great choice for both music and movies. Despite a few subjective design drawbacks, it’s a competitive option in its price range.

Verdict

Focal CHORA 826 Review
10 Total Score
Recommended Focal CHORA 826-D Review

This is Focal right on top of its game. The Chora 826 isn't just fine value, but a great speaker full stop

PROS
  • Exceptional sound
  • style
  • unfussy about placement and partnering equipment
CONS
  • Nothing at the price
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Focal CHORA 826-D: Price Comparison

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Focal Chora 826-D 3-Way bass Reflex floorstanding Loudspeaker Light Wood,...
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Focal Chora 826-D Floorstanding Speakers - Pair (Dark Wood)
1 new from £1,299.00
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Amazon.co.uk
Last Amazon price update was: June 17, 2024 9:30 am
× Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon.com (Amazon.in, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.de, etc) at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

Author

  • 7Review

    Founded in July 2014, 7Review is a free audio resource for beginners, and we're dedicated to helping you create the ultimate movie-watching experience right at home. We pull insights from top audio magazines and trusted industry sources to bring you well-researched, reliable reviews and tips. Whether you're a home cinema pro or just starting out, we aim to give you the info you need to make the best choices for your setup.

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Review: Focal Chora 826-D Floorstanding Speakers

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4 Comments
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  1. hello! i have the opportunity to buy the CHORA 826 or the BW 603 what would be your choice or they are really close?
    thank you!

  2. I listened the Aria 906 with Naim uniti Atom and i really loved the sound, I am looking to buy a new system and I am wondering if the chora 826 are better than Aria 906?
    I also wonder if Naim uniti Atom really worth the price in comparison with Marantz PM7000N, I dont have the opportynity to listen Marantz PM7000N.

  3. Just got my Chora 826 …Chora center,
    hooked up to the Denon 8500… awesome speakers for music and movies,no regrets! ????

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