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Focal Trio11 Be

Three-way Active Monitors
By Bob Thomas

Focal Trio11 Be

Focal's new flagship monitor combines pioneering technology from their previous models with newly designed drivers. The result? A classy, powerful and revealing monitor worthy of any studio control room.

With the release of their new Trio11 Be three-way active reference studio monitor, Focal Professional have taken another step in a high-end monitor‑development journey that I think of as beginning back in 2013, with the launch of the SM9. That stunning monitor was the first to feature Focal's switchable two-way/three-way operation, alongside an auxiliary bass radiator. In 2015, the Trio6 Be arrived, becoming the first model in the company's well-established SM6 monitor line with two/three-way operation. The Trio6 Be also debuted a self-contained, ported assembly that housed the unit's mid‑range and treble drivers, and which could be rotated to allow for both portrait and landscape cabinet positions. Now, Focal Professional have launched the Trio11 Be, an SM6‑series loudspeaker of epic size and weight that is intended for operation in both nearfield and midfield positions. At first glance, the Trio11 (we'll take the Be suffix, denoting a beryllium tweeter, as read from here on in) looks much like a super‑sized version of the Trio6. However, Focal being Focal, appearances can be deceptive...

Trio Grand

Physically, the Trio11 is close to being twice the size and weight of the Trio6; conversely, although approximately 33 percent larger in volume than the SM9, it is a mere 2.3kg heavier than its older stablemate. This slight differential is due both to the weight of the SM9's additional passive radiator, and that of its massive rear-panel heatsink, both of which are conspicuously absent in the Trio11.

The Trio11's heavily braced, foam-damped, front-ported MDF cabinet comes in the familiar Focal colour combination, and features red-stained side veneers of burl ash, rather than plain wood. The drivers are all front-mounted, with Focal's signature one-inch inverted‑dome beryllium tweeter (now protected by a new metal grille and voiced to compensate) sitting alongside an all-new five‑inch mid‑range driver mounted in the circular, ported, cab-within-a-cab module first seen in the Trio6. As in the Trio6, this module can be rotated through 90 degrees to allow the Trio11 to be positioned either vertically or horizontally whilst maintaining an ideal alignment with the listener. This module's front plate carries two bi-colour LEDs, one of which glows green when the monitor is active and red when the limiter is operating, whilst the other is green when the footswitchable two-way Focus mode has been engaged and red when heat protection has been activated. The reflex-ported 10‑inch woofer is another all-new unit, and it sits next to a rectangular port exit that has been made as large as possible in...

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Published June 2019