The famous French brand Focal JMlab has grown literally from scratch, embodying the success story of its founder, Jacques Maule, who became interested in Hi-Fi at the age of 15 and decided to devote his whole life to high-quality sound. At one time, Jacques Maule worked as chief engineer at Audax (a well-known manufacturer of dynamic heads). In this position, he was involved in the creation of his own original developments, one of which was the first tweeter in Europe with a fabric dome. However, Maul subsequently left Audax to start his own business.

Focal JMlab 2.jpg

As a result, in 1979, Focal JMlab was created in the small town of Saint-Etienne. The second part of the brand name JMLAB means “Jacques Maule Laboratory”, which literally reflected practical reality. The new company consisted of only two people, including Maul himself, and was based in the precision mechanics laboratory owned by his father. Here Jacques began by creating loudspeakers for radio equipment and televisions. Over time, Focal JMlab has grown to become a global brand. Today it is a company with an annual turnover of approximately 100 million euros, producing a wide range of products. However, the name of the company remained unchanged. Now the word “laboratory” in it reflects the innovative nature of the brand, which pays key attention to new developments. The company owns the Focal trademark. It is under this brand that all its products are produced.

Jacques Mahul 1979

Initially, the new company’s activities were focused on creating speakers, which were supplied to the largest manufacturers of speaker systems as components. However, Jacques Maule did not intend to limit himself to creating a product for third-party manufacturers, but sought to develop the production of his own speaker systems. The first product in this direction was the DB 13 system, which, despite its small size, had an impressive low-frequency range thanks to an innovative double voice coil. In 1980, this system was awarded an award at the Hi-Fi Products Exhibition held in Paris. After this premiere, the company gained worldwide fame. True fame came to Focal JMlab in 1992 after two speaker systems in Japan, VEGA and ALCOR, received the title of “best component of the year”, which became the first success of this level for French manufacturers

DB 13.jpg
Focal JMlab DB 13 (1979) 

A significant year for Focal JMlab was 1995, when the legendary Grande Utopia system was created. This model incorporated advanced developments at that time, which made it possible to achieve excellent sound quality. As a result, Grand Utopia has become one of the world’s best loudspeaker systems. These speakers gave rise to the still-in-production Utopia premium series, which embodies the best of Focal JMlab technology. Another important area of ​​activity for Focal JMlab was the production of car acoustics. Here the company has also achieved impressive success. The developments of the French brand have received numerous professional awards. Today, Focal car acoustics are also one of the best in the world and are very popular among car audio enthusiasts. The company also produces excellent examples of professional studio acoustics, home theaters, wireless systems and other types of products. Focal JMlab places great emphasis on business development. So in August 2011, the company merged with the famous British brand NAIM, which produces high-precision electronic components for H-Fi and Hi-End equipment. As a result of the merger, Focal&Co was created. The roles in this tandem are distributed with maximum efficiency: Focal is developing the acoustic direction, and NAIM is completely focused on electronics.

 Gerard Chretien

Gerard Chretien, managing director of Focal-JMlab and member of the board of directors of Focal & Co: “There are more and more people who enjoy good-sounding music. This is not only great news, it creates a huge opportunity for our two brands. The new partnership will help both Focal and Naim make the most of these opportunities.” The company’s advanced developments are embodied, first of all, in the Utopia line of speaker systems. This series fully implements the key principle of Focal JMlab, which is to combine the highest acoustic sensitivity and neutrality, allowing you to enjoy pure sound. One of the key features of the Utopia series systems is the unique beryllium concave tweeter. It is significantly superior to titanium and aluminum tweeters in the speed of propagation of sound waves and has higher strength compared to them. The beryllium dome allows you to achieve almost flat amplitude-frequency response up to 40 kHz. In addition, to complete the high-frequency heads of the system, Focus Ring technology is used, which consists of using two types of magnets: along with neodymium, a samarium-cobalt magnet is used, which remains operational at a temperature of 800 degrees.

Focal JMlab Grand Utopia BE (1995) 

Another proprietary development used in the Utopia line of speaker systems is the special Power Flower magnetic structure. It provides for the arrangement of six ferrite rings of mid-range speakers in the form of flower petals. This allows for optimal concentration of magnetic energy, while creating the necessary conditions for effective heat removal. Of course, these systems also use core Focal JMlab technologies such as Sandwich W and dome membranes, which have proven to be extremely effective. The use of high-tech components is combined with a special approach to the build quality of the speaker systems in this series. Focal JMlab abandoned the conveyor principle. Each column is assembled entirely by hand. For the assembly of Utopia series systems, a special workshop has been allocated, which creates the special conditions necessary for the manufacture of a product of the highest level of quality. Today, many manufacturers of high-end acoustics supplement their product list with headphones, which has already allowed us to obtain a number of excellent audiophile models. Until recently, headphones were not present in the Focal JMlab model range. But not so long ago, the manufacturer introduced a line of excellent Spirit headphones, which have already received a number of high ratings and won the love of fans.

Focal JMlab Spirit One 

The line of headphones from Focal JMlab includes models of different price categories, each of which offers the user signature sound quality. The most affordable model is the Focal JMlab Spirit One portable headphones, made in a lightweight aluminum case. They are compatible with mobile devices and have an additional cable with a built-in microphone and remote control for iPhone, iPod and iPad. This is a very convenient model for everyday use that can offer excellent sound quality. A continuation of this model is the Spirit One S headphones in a closed case. Here, thanks to the enlarged ear pads, the quality of noise insulation has significantly increased, which allows you to enjoy excellent sound in any environment. Additionally, the sound characteristics at mid and high frequencies have been improved, and the design of the headphones has been improved. There is also a professional model in the Focal JMlab headphone line. These are Spirit Professional headphones designed specifically for studios and concert performances. The special membrane material made it possible to achieve optimal performance and natural sound. The distortion typical of most closed-back headphones has been eliminated.

Jacques Mahul 2013

Finally, the top model is the Spirit Classic headphones. Their sound is comparable to the best Focal JMlab speakers. In addition, they have a chic design and construction. The main type of Focal JMlab products remains speaker systems. Today the company offers the following product lines for home use: Flagship line of acoustics Utopia III. Electra 1000 Be 2 speaker line. Aria 900 speaker line. Chorus 700 line . Easya wireless speakers. Residential series of built-in acoustics. Line of multimedia products (Bird, XS, Dome). Hotel line of subwoofers. Spirit headphone line.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *