Focal Alpha 80 — 2-Way Studio Monitor (Single)
Affordable, powerful, high-quality bi-amped monitor with 8" woofer, dual bal/unbal connectivity, and Focal’s patented inverted-dome tweeter and Polyglass LF driver
The most powerful of the Focal Alpha series, the affordable Alpha 80 studio monitor brings Focal professional’s unique brand of high-performance audio reproduction to anyone who desires it. The Alpha 80 is specifically designed for home studio recordists, producers of electronica, and DJs with medium to large rigs that want plenty of power and bass. Among the unique features of the Alpha 80 powered monitor are simultaneous XLR and RCA inputs that allow you to use up to two sound sources at once, thereby eliminating the need for a monitor controller. Along with high- and low-frequency shelving EQ, the Alpha 80 has an easy-to-reach, rear-panel Sensitivity switch for higher SPL from low-output sources, plus automatic +4dBv or -10dBu operation or both, depending on input connector(s) used. The Focal Alpha 80 also has a power-saving auto-standby mode that puts the monitor to sleep after 30 minutes of no signal. Most importantly, the Alpha 80 gives you uncolored neutral response across the entire frequency range, plus the accuracy and spatial detail that Focal monitors are famous for.
Focal Alpha 80 unique features:
- Inverted dome tweeter for width, depth, and soundstage accuracy
- Proprietary Polyglass driver offers neutral sound, prevents distortion
- Connect up to 2 simultaneous audio sources
- Simultaneous balanced and unbalanced input operation
- Automatic standby saves power
- 0dB to +6dB sensitivity switch adds SPL to low-output devices
Focal Alpha 80 key features:
- Low directivity: keeps the same sound throughout the room
- Damping and rigidity: neutrality, no distortion
- Tonal balance is identical at low and high volumes
- Front-facing bass ports allow placement close to wall
- Optimal acoustic integration via LF and HF shelving EQ
- Reduced power consumption
- Balanced XLR and unbalanced RCA inputs
- HF boost/cut: ±6dB; LF boost/cut: ±3dB
- 40W HF, 100W LF Class AB bi-amplification
- 8" woofer
OUTSIDE THE BOX — Focal Alpha 80
Housed in an MDF cabinet, which out-performs the molded plastic commonly found on budget and mid-level powered studio monitors, the Alpha 80’s unique inverted dome tweeter provides more dispersion than standard designs, which makes speaker placement less critical. As a result, the Alpha 80’s exceptionally wide sweet spot enables you to move around your mixing desk without losing spatial reference and balance. For placement in small rooms, the Alpha 80 cabinet has dual front-facing bass ports, which allows you to place the Alpha 80s close to a wall without unwanted bass boost or cancellation. Another thoughtful feature of the Alpha 80 is its power-saving, automatic standby. After 30 minutes of no signal, the Alpha 80 goes to sleep. To wake it up, all you have to do is run signal through it and you’re ready to resume mixing.
On the rear panel of the Alpha 80 are low-frequency shelving EQ with the ability to boost or cut ±6dB, and high-frequency shelving EQ with ±3dB cut/boost. There are also rear-panel balanced XLR input and unbalanced RCA inputs, Both inputs function simultaneously, with the XLR set for +4dBv operation and RCA set at -10dBu, which means you can play two sound sources without a monitor controller; simply switch on and off at the source. There is also a Sensitivity switch that toggles between 0dB and +6dB for additional SPL—in case your D/A interface or other connected sound source doesn’t output the desired level. This feature enables you to increase headroom without overdriving and clipping your D/A converters, keeping your sound clean. The Sensitivity switch is also placed high up on the rear panel so you can easily reach behind the Alpha 80 and changes settings without disturbing speaker placement.
INSIDE THE BOX — Focal Alpha 80
Rather than using DSP or Class D amplification found in most budget monitors, the Alpha 80 uses Class AB amplifiers with large power supplies for increased dynamic performance and better sound overall. The Alpha 80’s bi-amplification sends 40 watts power to its inverted-dome tweeter and 100 watts to the low-frequency driver. Offering more power and a larger woofer than its smaller siblings the Focal
Alpha 50, and 6.5", 30W/70W Alpha 65.
What makes the Focal Alpha 80 sound so good?
It’s been said that if you’re not manufacturing your own LF and HF drivers, then you’re simply in the packing industry, not speaker manufacture. Focal Professional employs several proprietary and patented technologies to ensure world-class performance in each of its monitor lines.
Focal’s unique inverted-dome tweeter
Two of the most difficult things to hear in a mix are compression and reverb tails, but Focal’s proprietary technologies make it easier. The Alpha 80’s innovative inverted-dome tweeter offers unparalleled dynamics, enabling very precise control of compression, while its outstanding spatial precision facilitates accurate assessment of reverb tails and stereo imaging.
The inverted dome accomplishes this by mechanical coupling of voice coil and dome. The voice coil is fixed mid-height on the dome and uniformly moves the entire surface of the cone. The positive dome is only joined at its edge for a flexible surface. The inverted dome directly radiates into the air with maximum efficiency, which results in an extremely precise soundstage. The dome’s response curve is far more linear than that of any positive dome, thus providing better dispersion and very low directivity.
Combining the excellent damping qualities of magnesium with the superior rigidity of aluminum, this unique marriage of metals offers several advantages. To begin with, it greatly reduces distortion, which combats ear fatigue in long mixing sessions. The impulse response of this alloy is incredibly fast with a very short reset time. Those factors combined with excellent damping capability, enabling a frequency response beyond 28kHz (-3dB).
The Focal Alpha 80 tweeter’s ultra-wide and linear frequency response provides greater phase coherency in the audible range, thus producing a more realistic sound; extremely wide soundstage; balanced, neutral sound reproduction; and dynamic, detailed high frequencies. Focal’s aluminum/magnesium inverted dome tweeter combines perfectly with their proprietary Polyglass woofer in perfect tonal synergy.
Focal’s patented Polyglass cone
Focal Professional’s exclusive Polyglass technology found in the Alpha 80, comprises molten glass microballs applied to a cellulose pulp cone. This unique process combines the excellent damping quality of paper with the rigidity of glass. Polyglass’ rigidity index exceeds that of single-skin Kevlar®, and approximately ten times superior to that of polypropylene.
The superior mass/rigidity/damping ratio of Polyglass results in outstanding linearity in frequency response. This linearity provides greatly increased definition in the midrange, resulting in transparent, uncolored sound.
Who’s using Focal Professional Monitors:
Numerous professionals are using Focal monitors for music production, video post, and mastering. Among them are RSPE friends including, musician-producer Dweezil Zappa; renowned Hollywood sound-recording mixer Ron Bartlett (A Good Day to Die Hard, Life of Pi, Prometheus, This Means War, We Bought a Zoo, Pearl Jam Twenty, and many more), and premier Hollywood mixer, Gary Lux (The Jacksons, Frank Sinatra, Rob Thomas, Janet Jackson, Usher, Sting, Norah Jones, Keith Urban, and Rod Stewart).
Dweezil, Ron, and Gary share their views on Focal monitors: Focal Monitors Owner Experiences
About Focal Professional
Since 1979, Focal-JMlab has been a world leader in high-end acoustic loudspeakers. While maintaining production in France for over 30 years, Focal has never deviated from its core values of innovation, tradition, and designs reflecting “luxury "à la française.” Focal strives to be the world's best in everything they create, and their award-winning lines of professional studio monitors reflect that philosophy. “Focal: The Spirit of Sound.”
If you’re looking for maximum power and bass, the very affordable Alpha 80 brings professional-level monitoring to the most important link in your signal chain. For more information, call or chat with an RSPE representative today.