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NEW Focal Aria Evo X N° 3 Impressions

February 22, 2024



Today we will be looking at the new Focal Aria Evo X: the newest development of the Aria series by Focal

If you are familiar with Focal’s Aria series, this speaker is going to resemble its predecessor in both appearance and sound, with some key improvements. We’re going to examine what changes were made in the design and how that has affected the sound. 

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the Arias or Focal, this will be an opportunity for us to get a glimpse of one of the most popular speaker designs from one of the most globally recognized speaker manufacturers. 

Focal Aria Series

Now if you own a pair of the original Arias, congratulations, you have an incredible speaker. What makes the Arias so attractive is their ability to inherit so many qualities from Focal’s highest performing speakers like the Kantas or Sopras but at a more approachable price point—It may be Focal’s best lineup in terms of performance to price ratio. And with all the improvements, it’s even harder to argue the value of the Arias. 

New Aria EVO X

Focal has also updated the nomenclature for their speaker lineup, in a way that makes it easier to understand: 

No. 1: This is a two-way design, in a bookshelf/compact monitor cabinet, with ONE mid-bass driver

No. 2: A 3-way, floor standing design; TWO 6 1/2” bass drivers

No. 3 THREE 6 1/2” bass drivers.

No. 4: bending the rules a bit here - TWO 8” bass drivers

I should point out that the numbers refer to the speaker design, rather than performance. Each of these speakers is designed with the same materials and must meet certain performance levels. Deciding which one is right for you will depend on a number of things, including the size of your space, listening distance, and the other components in the system. 

The Arias series also features a center channel and bi-polar surrounds for a complete home theater system. 

Aria EVO X Build

Let’s take a look at the parts and pieces of the speaker. Focal speakers can be very identifiable from their appearances. But many of the components of the speaker that make it attractive are also contributing to the sound of the speaker quite a bit. 

The cabinets are made of ultra-rigid MDF, which is a very common material used for speakers for its rigidity and consistency. But you will notice that the sides of the speaker are NOT parallel. This is to avoid standing waves and unwanted resonance in the cabinet. The model we have here is an example of their Prime Walnut finish. There is also high-gloss black. And the newest finish is the high-gloss moss green. Not every manufacturer has the “confidence” to come out with a green speaker. But I really like it

On the floor-standing speakers, the attachable bass is made of an aluminum alloy, to decouple the speaker from the floor. The floor spikes are adjustable and can be used to level and angle the speaker if needed. And it features a waveguide for the bottom port.

And since we’re down here with the ports, let’s talk about them. The 3-way speakers are both front-ported and bottom-ported. This is going to give us more impact in the bass as well as even bass dispersion in the room. This also can help the speaker be more forgiving of less-than-ideal placement, like up against a wall. 

Side note: a lot about these speakers’ design offers an excellent sound, even if they’re not in the perfect spot. But if you can bring these out into the room and get good placement, you will hear just how well these speakers perform.  

Let’s take a look at the drivers in these speakers:

They all feature the signature TAM tweeter. Made of an aluminum-magnesium alloy, these tweeters are very rigid and very light for excellent transients. The “inverted-M” shape is something you will see in every Focal speaker. This design helps the tweeter keep its shape at high volumes and frequencies and helps with widening the sweet spot. The waveguide used also opens up the horizontal listening plane. Again, proper positioning will give you the most out of these speakers, but the loss of detail is so much less when you do move from the best listening position. 

The midrange and bass drivers are using Focal’s well-known flax-sandwich cones. These drivers have very natural damping qualities. This is one of the biggest contributors to the near-warmth and fullness that these speakers are known for. The midrange drivers are also using Focal’s Tuned Mass Damper, keeping the midrange moving in a predictable, piston-like motion. This driver handles a lot of the frequencies with the most information for human ears, making the speakers very pronounced and intelligible. 

Lastly, the speaker is finished with a leather effect on the front and back. It looks great and it helps the baffle to be less reflective. 

Aria EVO X No 3 Specs

These are 8-ohm speakers. Specs for each speaker can be found on the Focal website, but they are all relatively efficient—92dB. It doesn’t take much for these speakers to make it into the room. That being said, they are a revealing speaker; if you give these quality amplification, you WILL hear the performance reflected in the speakers. We will talk a bit about voicing these speakers with different amps later. 

They feature two speaker binding posts on the back. So there is no ability to bi-amp or bi-wire these speakers. The crossover components in the speaker is what you get. And that is certainly not a bad thing. The engineers at Focal did an excellent job of maintaining a consistent performance in the frequency handoff between each of the drivers. 

If you have to cover the drivers, the magnetic grille gives this speaker a more minimal look while still maintaining its overall aesthetic. 

Aria EVO X No 3 Listening Impressions

These speakers are just too easy to listen to. If you’ve been experiencing harshness in the speakers you’ve listened to, this speaker addresses this. However, to call it “warm” would be to oversimplify. The “warmth” we experience in other speakers is often a result of resonance in the cabinet or a roll-off from the tweeter. This is not happening in the Aria Evo X.The tweeter more than exceeds the limit of human hearing. If there’s audio information up there, these speakers are playing it. But these speakers are very fast, which is why we hear so much detail that might have been hidden before, without the consequences of dominating high-frequencies OR bass notes masking the mid- and upper-ranges. In a word: dry. They do not embellish the upper frequencies and they do not over-push the lows.This adds up to an ease-of-listening, because the fatigue we can experience with bright speakers is simply not there. We’re also not cranking the system to get more intelligibility out of them. 

Again, because of the forgiving nature, listening from different points in the room was always pleasant. That and the wider sweet-spot make these such a great design for a home theater, where not everyone will be in the best position. In a 2-channel setup, it also offers the ability to play with the toe-in. Focal has recommendations for ideal speaker positioning, but you do you. 

As far as music selection, the performance was uniform through multiple genres and types of productions. One thing I absolutely loved about these speakers is how well they represented high-quality recordings. But even the music that is not considered “hifi” music sounded SO good and SO present. I definitely blasted some heavy music on these and, YES, they rocked the house. 

Vocals were so natural and so clear, the cymbals and transients were precise and easily placed in the recordings. Bass, ever-present and smooth. Without a subwoofer, these sound fantastic. But there’s not many speakers I wouldn’t recommend adding a subwoofer to. But these speakers certainly push the point where a subwoofer is needed much lower. If you do add a subwoofer, you will need one that reaches very low with excellent power in order to keep up with the performance of these speakers. 

Aria EVO X No 3 Amplifier Pairings

We also put these speakers on different amps to see what the best pairing would be. On a tube system, we doubled-down on the richness and immersiveness that these speakers offer. It was an incredibly musical sound. I felt like I could just keep listening until I ran out of things to play. 

However, when placed on an excellent solid-state amp, there was so much precision and edge-detail. This was where we found just how transparent these speakers are. 

Traditionally, you will see these paired with 120W - 200W solid state amps. But, again, these will give you whatever you put in front of them, so take your taste where you will. And as always, talk to your Focal dealer if you’re unsure of what combination is going to give you the best of what you’re looking for.


In summation, Focal has once again produced an excellent speaker that is really outperforming its price point. It is so approachable sonically and is so satisfying to listen to and look at. They’ve kept our favorite aspects and taken them to the next level. 

If you’d like to get more information on these speakers or would like to see about getting these in your system, reach out to one of our ListenUp consultants either online or in any of our showrooms.