Focal Sib Evo 5.1.2 speaker package makes Dolby Atmos a lifestyle option

posted on Friday, 6th October 2017 by Steve May

Dolby Atmos  Loudspeakers  home cinema 

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French audio specialist Focal has introduced a Dolby Atmos-enabled Sib/Cub speaker system - and it rocks. 

Until now, if you wanted a Dolby Atmos sound system, the speaker choice has been limited to either a pro-style in-wall/in-ceiling installation, high-end premium package, bolt-on upgrades or an Atmos soundbar. With its Sib Evo 5.1.2 package, Focal has put a lifestyle option on the table.

The 5.1.2 set comprises two Sib Evo Dolby Atmos speakers, which feature integrated Dolby Enabled upfiring drivers as well as front-firing speakers (pictured below), three Sib Evo Satellites (two take up rear duty, the third is horizontally aligned as a centre speaker) and a Cub Evo Subwoofer (floating below).

The Atmos drivers are angled, and bounce Atmos channel information off the ceiling for an overhead effect. The system can be stand mounted, wall-mounted or positioned on AV furniture.

At first glance, you’d never guess this was an Atmos system - it simply doesn’t look large enough. But in full flight, it sounds reassuringly enveloping.

Lié À Sib _Evo _Atmos _crop

Inside CI experienced the system at Dolby’s European HQ in Central London. We heard it with multichannel music, Dolby’s familiar Amaze Atmos trailer and the opening sequence from Mad Max Fury Road.

Despite the use of small cabinets, the Focal Atmos package creates an expansive sound; the sense of spatial movement around and overhead the listening position is convincing. When Max’s pursuers roar into shot, their trajectory is over the shoulder. The sub does most of the heavy lifting but seems perfectly integrated. Bass is profound. And as all the front-facing drivers are uniform, there are no issues with timbre matching. Sound panning is smooth around the room.

Significantly, the system isn’t just about sonic steerage, it’s musical too. We found it tonally rich and detailed.

Lié À Evo _Cub _ Crop

The Focal Sib Evo Dolby Atmos 5.1.2 speaker package sells for £1099, which puts it in the same ballpark as an Atmos soundbar (obviously you need to factor in the cost of an AVR too). It’s exclusively available through Sevenoaks Sound and Vision until the end of the year. A Sib Evo Dolby Atmos 2.0 option is available for system upgraders, priced at £449.

Steve May

Steve is a veteran of the UK consumer electronics industry, having covered it for
various media outlets for more than 20 years.

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