If you were to ask us to compile a list of possible products that Focal could conceptualize, research, create and launch next, stone-shaped and stone-colored outdoor speakers wouldn’t show up anywhere – but that doesn’t mean we’re not on board.
The French high-end audio specialist (see the latest Focal Bathys and Focal Utopia – aka some of the best looking headphones I’ve ever seen) has just released the Littora – which we assume is a play on ‘coastline’, or that is, relating to or situated on the shore of the sea or a lake.
What you have is a comprehensive range of water and weather resistant speakers, made to look like garden stones and other naturally occurring objects.
And in addition to speakers suitable for sitting in gardens, pool areas and outdoor entertainment areas, Focal also tells us customers can consider the range as an installation option for a yacht. (If only we hadn’t just redone the guest yacht’s sound system.)
Every speaker in the range has the innovation and performance you’ve come to expect from Focal, but the visual star of the show is the OD Stone 8 – an egg-shaped speaker available in textured limestone, basalt and sand finishes.
To me, it looks to everyone like Grand Pabbie, the wise old rock troll who rolls around to bestow magic on Anna and Elsa, in Frozen.
Want the trolls’ Valley of the Living house mushroom to go with it? Do you remember, they all live in a small hole with a tangle of branches and mushrooms arching over them! Focal understands: the OD Sub 12 is a semi-buried subwoofer that promises to add superb bass to your outdoor sound.
The OD range is completed by the OD Sat 5 loudspeakers: versatile designs that can be wall mounted or even ‘planted’ in the ground to complete the otherworldly Arundelle aesthetic (and sound system too).
Opinion: Focal is serving Frozen lovers an audio treat ahead of the festive season – and I say rock!
I firmly believe that audio should be fun like this sonically gifted (see the vaguely terrifying Wilson Audio stereo speakers, even the adorable Gravastar Mars Pro, the impressive McIntosh RS150 Bluetooth speaker, sonic clothespin structures, and of course the Bang & Olufsen soundbars that mimic graceful sailboats) and I here, I trust Focal’s proven commitment to getting the job done right.
I’ve never known a Naim or Focal product (the two companies merged in 2011) that didn’t sound exceptional.
Back in the products, all three Littora speakers use Focal’s proprietary IRIS IP cone speaker drivers, developed by Focal for all-weather use without loss of sound quality.
The speakers also have anti-UV treatment and certified protection against dust and water: the OD Stone 8 and Sub 12 are IP45 certified; the OD Sat 5 is IP55 certified.
And Littora speakers have a power transformer that allows them to be plugged into a 100V system, which also allows for individual volume management for each speaker within the system.
prices? It is clear. All products in the range will be available from January 2023.
The Focal Littora OD Sat 5 will cost $679 / £499 / $799 CAD. My favorite OD Stone 8 has an MSRP of $799 / £599 / $899 CAD, while the OD Sub 12 ‘mushroom’ will cost $1,999 / £1,599 / $2,499 CAD – and this particular speaker sounds very similar to the that I’ve seen pumping out themed music at Disney’s own theme parks, which only makes me want more.
And there’s a 4.1 package too! That includes four OD Sat 5 speakers and an OD Sub 12 for $3,999 / £2,999 / $4,499 CAD. We’re waiting for Australian pricing, but that should mean prices start at around AU$1,270 for this Pabbie model.
I’m fighting the urge to buy a Stone 8 right now for the new year, but I should probably cut back on my spending. It’s probably one of the best party speakers I’ve ever heard, but as my favorite Disney magic troll said in 2013, “the heart is not so easily changed…but the head can be persuaded”.