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Focal 100 & 300 ICW Series Brings Audiophile to Architecture Speakers

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300ICW6

300ICW6

Summary

  • Product Name: 100ICW5, 300ICW4, 300ICW6
  • Manufacturer: Focal
  • Review Date: November 18, 2020 09:00
  • MSRP: $199/ea - 100 ICW5, $490/ea - 300 ICW4, $590/ea - 300 ICW6
  • First Impression: Gotta Have It!
  • *For your convenience, we've included a link to Amazon.com to buy this product. As an Amazon Associate, Audioholics.com benefits from qualifying purchases.

100 ICW5

  • Patented polyflass cones
  • Inverted 1" aluminum dome tweeter
  • New ODC (Optimum Directivity Crossover) to improve Off-Axis listening to avoid "showering effect".
  • Thermal protection Switch Incorporated
  • Ideal for humid conditions
  • Compact product with shallow mounting depth
  • For in-ceiling or in-wall loudspeakers (1 product, 2 uses)
  • Possible to connect two loudspeakers to the same amplifier output
  • Ready-to-paint grille square or circular
  • 2-way coaxial speaker with 5" polyglass driver
  • Sensitivity: 88 dB (2.83v/ 1 meter)
  • Frequency Response: 65Hz - 23kHz (+-3dB)
  • Impedance: 8 ohms (7.13 ohm min)
  • Recommended Power: 15 to 100 watts

300 series

  • Patented FLAX Sandwich cones
  • 1" Tweeter is an Inverted Aluminum / Magnesium dome
  • Magnetic frameless grilles
  • Delivered with ready-to-paint square and circular front grilles and painting protective mask
  • Utilizes our patented EQI (Easy Quick Install) installation methods

300 ICW4

  • 2-way 4" FLAX driver (found in Utopia III, Sopra and Electra 1000 BE 2 lines)
  • Sensitivity: 88 dB (2.83v/ 1 meter)
  • Frequency Response: 80Hz - 28kHz (+-3dB)
  • Impedance: 8 ohms (4.5 ohms min)
  • Recommended Power: 25 to 100 watts

300 ICW6

  • Off-axis response control (Tweeter rotation and gain adjustment)
  • Most versatile model in line to produce all the characteristics of Focal sound
  • 2-way coaxial speaker with 6 1/2" FLAX driver
  • Sensitivity: 89 dB (2.83v/ 1 meter)
  • Frequency Response: 65Hz - 28kHz (+-3dB)
  • Impedance: 8 ohms (4.8 ohms min)
  • Recommended Power: 25 to 130 watts

Executive Overview

Last year Audioholics contributing writer Theo Nicolakis installed a 7.0.4 immersive home theater with architectural speakers from Focal. He chronicles the whole experience in our review of the Focal 300 Series In-Wall Speakers. We found the tool-less design made installation a literal snap, speeding up installation times significantly. The unique clamping design also made it super-easy to pull out the speakers to adjust horizontal or vertical alignment.

If you've been boxed into an aesthetic battlefield and feared that turning to architectural speakers would mean compromising that audio experience you love, than fear not. You can indeed have reference-grade sound from an in-wall speaker. Focal's 300 series architectural speakers are worthy of Focal's legendary brand. For my part, I'll be using the 300 Series as my new reference for an in-wall and in-ceiling system.

--Theo Nicolakis

All Focal products are made in France and have been creating benchmark acoustic equipment since 1979 for various high fidelity markets such as home audio loudspeakers, headphones, car speaker drivers and monitoring loudspeakers.

Our historic core values are based on the union of technology, mechanics, noble materials and design. We are constantly pushing the limits of sound to offer you a truly unique listening experience.

  --Focal

Focal ICW 100/300 ICW Series In-Ceiling Speakers YouTube Unboxing Overview

300ICW4 and 300 ICW6

300 ICW6.jpg 

The goal of Focal's 100ICW and 300ICW is to have a performance quality speaker system for two channel and immersive audio that disappears into the room. Unlike the 300IW6LCR, which is a three-way in-wall loudspeaker, the 300ICW4 is a two-way in-wall/in-ceiling component loudspeaker designed around a 4″ woofer with a Flax cone and an aluminum/magnesium alloy inverted dome tweeter. Focal’s Flax technology is based on a flax-based eco-textile. The cone is a flax structure sandwiched between two sheets of glass fibers which Focal says gives it high rigidity for its weight. The 300ICW4 In-wall/In-ceiling loudspeaker is the most compact model in the 300 Series line. This small 4" speaker can easily be incorporated in a discreet home theater system where the same speaker model can be used in multiple locations whether it be as a left / center / right, or as in ceiling or in wall applications. For systems not incorporating a powered subwoofer, Focal has 5" (ICW5), 6" (ICW6) and 8" (ICW8) versions of this series of speakers which offer more output and deeper bass extension. We will be integrating 3 pairs of 300 series ICW5 speakers in the new Audioholics Smarthome.

 

100ICW5

100ICW5.jpg 
 

At $199/ea, the 100ICW5 is designed to bring sound to areas all over your home. The compact design is aimed at small to medium sized rooms. Hide them in hallways, kitchens, bathrooms, and small bedrooms for whole home audio. Focal states that the 100ICW5 is suitable for humid environment such as bathrooms and can be used as a in-wall or in-ceiling.speaker.

This coaxial loudspeaker has a new aluminum inverted dome adjustable tweeter, more compact, improving sound dispersion. It is also equipped with a new 5 1/8" Polyglass cone. A new crossover should improve the off-axis listening and avoids the “shower effect”. The compact form of the 100ICW5 should make it easy to install just about anywhere thanks to a new redesigned speaker driver basket and chassis manufactured as a single piece.

The 100 series are weather resistant making them an ideal speaker for humid environments. We will be deploying 100 ICW6 speakers in our kitchen of the new Audioholics Smarthome. Another cool feature about the 100 series since their impedance doesn't dip below 7 ohms, you can parallel connect two speakers to a single amplifier without causing stability issues. Thus if you need an area of the house with greater audio coverage, simply connect 2 pairs of 100 series speakers to a 2CH amplifier and you're good to go.

What we think

If the performance of the 100ICW loudspeakers from Focal are anywhere near as good as their in-wall speakers we installed and previously reviewed, then Focal will have done a tremendous job in creating a whole home audio system with a WAF (wife acceptance factor) of close to perfection. Besides the sound quality, another key component of these new loudspeakers is the ease of installation. All three speakers come with the patented EQI system (Easy Quick Install). No tools are needed! We are stoked to getting the Focal sound in the kitchen, dining room and main office of the Audioholics Smarthome so stay tuned for our full report.

About the author:

Tony is our resident expert for lifestyle and wireless products including soundbars. He does most of the reviews for wireless and streaming loudspeakers and often compares soundbars in round ups and helps us cover the trade shows.

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