Focal Cobalt 816 S Floorstanding Speakers

4.56/5 (9 Reviews) MSRP : $2495.00


Product Description

  • 2-1/2 way bass
  • Two 6-1/2" W cone mid-bass with 1" coil
  • 1" Tioxid 5 inverted dome tweeter with 3/4" coil
  • Frequency Response 43 Hz - 22 kHz
  • Nominal Impedance 8 ohms
  • Dimensions 980 x 220 x 308 mm


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Reviews 1 - 5 (9 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Trailrunnerx a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: March 14, 2016

Bottom Line:   
They say never meet your heroes. Well in this case, they are wrong. I got to audition these along with their little brothers the 806s when I was a starving college student that couldn't possibly afford the $1995 the dealer was asking. At the time I had about a $200 budget for speakers. Since then I have had speakers by ProAc, NHT, PSB, B&W, Paradigm etc. I also owned two earlier models from the JM (now Focal) range, the Cobalt 807 bookshelf and Profil-77 floorstander. Both are a generation or two before these, and the difference is audible. The W cone drivers are amazing. Guitar, vocals and other midrange centric frequencies sound absolutely amazing, and the later gen titanium inverted dome tweeters sound tremendous, with more smoothness and spaciousness compared to the earlier models. I'm driving these with a Rotella RA1520 integrated and some JPS Labs Superconductor cables, and the sound is fantastic. I honestly don't see how these could be seen as bass shy as when I play anything electronic with deep bass like Kraftwerk Minimal/Maximal I can feel the bass. These are truly excellent speakers and due to Focal/JM Lab being not as prominent as some of the other manufacturers, these can be had for an absolute bargain. If you have a chance to own these and don't feel as if Beats by Dre have the "balanced" sound you are looking for, I highly recommend giving them a listen.

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Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2007



Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by troygarren a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: March 6, 2011

Bottom Line:   
I paid $300.00 on craigslist (like new), so I will not be as critical as some. I agree they are bright, but I like metal tweeters. They are also bass shy, but any speaker without two 8 inch woofers or one 10 inch woofer in my opinion needs a powered sub. I use a powered sub. If you can get a pair for under $600.00 (use a good sub) then I think you will be happy.

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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2005



Overall Rating:3
Value Rating:3
Submitted by HighTech RedNeck a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: January 4, 2010

Bottom Line:   
A bright articulate and bass shy speaker that desperately needs a good subwoofer like a REL or a good Paradigm model such as the PS1000, which blends with the JMLab easily. I have owned both the 816 and 826 JMLab speakers. The 826 is only slightly better in IMO. It has a better midrange and slightly better bass. If you have bright or harsh electronics, look out! This speaker will make it sound twice as harsh. However, if used with the right equipment it can give good results.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2002



Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by stryker a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: June 11, 2007

Bottom Line:   
I want to post a review now although these still need some breaking in. According to another audiophile whose opinion I repsect, they need like 300 hours of playing time to really open up and lose some of their brightness. However, their "brighter" presentation is their signature sound and, from what I've heard, common of French-made speakers.

What I haven't seen written about the Focals is how fast these speakers are. They are fast! They give an effortlessness to the flow of sound and give reasonably-powered amplification total control over themn. Although I can see how someone with less than great digital gear would find them too lean. I don't see that. I see them as very revealing due to their speed and ability to reveal the flaws of your amplification or your source. If your digital source is not up to task and has a poor output stage, you will hear the grit. The stock opamps in a lot of players will come through these speakers as sounding too harsh.

I would imagine that a vinyl rig would sound wonderful through these as they will definitely show off the smoothness and musicality of a vinyl rig. The bass is a little lean and room treatment would be critical to getting the most out of them but, then again, room treatment should be something that anyone spending thousands of dollars on a stereo should be doing anyway. Currently, I find the bass accurate and not straining to reproduce anything it cannot.

I will have another review/update when they open up a bit more and I get a higher-end digital source. Right now, they are bi-amped with an Arcam Alpha 10 and an Alpha 8. However, I suspect I will grow to love thier sound and to apprecaite the ability to match them with good ss amplification or tube amplification.

Either way, if you treat these speakers with good equipment, you will be more than satisfied with thier detail, speed, and definitely with their imaging. I do not come from lots of experience with speakers, but I did hear them demo'd at Tweeter against the Polk LSi15 and the JM Lab Profile speakers. I found the Profiles to be too polite for me, and the Polks didn't have nearly the same resolution of the 816S. This was the speaker that came out on top for me against these other two. They had a sound I thought would mate well with rock and jazz. So far, they haven't disappointed.

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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2005

Price Paid:    $750.00

Purchased At:   ebay



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by shark777 a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: October 20, 2006

Bottom Line:   
I purchased these speakers as a DEMO special for $800.00 pair in the classic/light cherry style.I am extremely pleased with my purchase.They look as great as they sound.My prior speakers were the JBL E-80 (that i love) and have been moved to my basement system.I read all the reviews on here before I purchased and they were very helpfull.I run a NAD T-753 and it's a great combo.You don't need seperates to run these like others have suggested.The NAD moves these with plenty of gas.I would agree that they may sound bright with a Onkyo/Yammy ect..The Bass is excellent and super clear.Some reported or complained about Bass on these but I had no such issues.The bootom line >grab these speakers at these silly low prices.5 Stars.

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Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2005

Price Paid:    $800.00

Purchased At:   Sound By Singer




Reviews 1 - 5 (9 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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