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Focal CMS 40 4" Powered Studio Monitor Reviews

5.0 stars based on 17 customer reviews
Questions about the Focal CMS 40 4" Powered Studio Monitor?

Questions about the Focal CMS 40 4" Powered Studio Monitor?

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Sweetwater Advice

  • Nick Schenkel

    I've heard many impressive monitors before, but have never been so completely blown away as I have been by these little wonders. I don't know how Focal manages to coax such balanced levels, and such low frequencies, out of a 4" driver powered by a scant 25W RMS, but I'm a believer - I just ordered a pair for myself!

  • Ryan Thorpe

    These are the most impressive small speakers I've had in my home studio. Despite their surprisingly compact form, they are uncompromised and professional. For a 4 woofer, they have excellent clarity in both the low end and mid-high range. This has made them must-haves for me for post-production and as a second reference.

  • from March 31, 2016Music Background:
    Guitarist, Home Studio fanatic, Music Lover

    Wonderful They Are

    Thanks to Danielle at Sweetwater for recommending the Focal CMS 40's. I simply said what I was looking for and what brands I was considering and she nailed it. These represent a shift in how I view nearrfield monitoring now. Everything I've listened to while breaking these in today sound phenomenal. Yes just day one. I'm hearing things I hadn't noticed before in songs. I'm done buying monitors now.

  • from Canada, ON March 23, 2015Music Background:
    Keyboardist, Drummer, Bassist, Producer

    These are the bomb

    I bought these monitors a few years ago, and they have taken getting used to. Don't be deceived by the 4' cone, it actually has just enough low end to mix any style of music. Even though I think the low end is sufficient. I think I could use a bit more lows. Once I started using them, I started hearing various flaws in mixes that I had not envisioned earlier.

    These monitors provide extreme detail in every range of the frequency spectrum. Initially, they were really hard to mix on, since they tend to expose the nakedness of the music. However, through steady use and consistent listening through them, I am now achieving some great mixes.

    I did a head to head comparison with my friends JBL lsr monitors, and we both quickly realized that these were totally worth the money. The JBL's merely sounded like hifi speakers, while the focals were glowing with detail.

    I will highly recommend these to anyone looking for very mobile monitors and/or monitors with a small footprint.

  • from Laguna Niguel, CA June 14, 2014Music Background:
    Hobbyist and retired geezer.

    Oh Yeah!

    I had been using a pair of rather large, high-end, desk-top monitor speakers with a NAD amp driving them for many, many years. It was time to upgrade and 'rightsize'. All I can say is that these self-powered mighty-mites blow my other speakers away. So glad to have more desk space now and a far superior sound than before. These speakers are not all that small but the right size for close range. And they are heavy for their size. But the sound! Wow; who needs a sub-woofer. Clean, pure sound. Joy.

  • from United States February 22, 2014Music Background:
    Composer, Engineer


    Might be the best purchase I have ever made for my studio.

    When I first sat down to try them out I thought something was wrong because it was almost impossible to hear the speakers were on (a testament to the Scarlett 2i2 as well). I started messing with my interface to see what was going on, something had to be disconnected or not on. I hit a note and there they were, the clearest most detailed speaker I may have ever heard. The imaging is so incredible it is like I can reach out and point to individual instruments in a mix. And believe me, when people say you can 'hear' reverb detail on these speakers it is not marketing hype. I feel like for the first time I can actually hear the detail on reverb and eq while I mix. It is actually a joy to mix again! I am remixing some old tracks and it so much quicker and easier than before. All this in an untreated bedroom. These speakers are amazing.

  • from FL September 11, 2013


    A joy to work with.

    If you are interested in supreme clarity and want to stop cutting corners with you gear, then these are for you.

    Spring for a pair of these monitors and hear more.

    Simple as that.

  • from Springfield, OR USA September 10, 2013Music Background:
    Recording Engineer, Drummer


    I've worked on a few different sets of good monitors but these are in a level all there own. they are clear, clean and very nutral. No hype and more bass then I had expected. The bass is very tight and right were it should be, definitely hits the 60hz mark. If your working on bass heavy material then you might want a sub but for music that doesn't have mass low end the bass out of these is sufficent. The stereo image and detail is incredible, with a wide sound stage. The speakers come with these little rubber pads they stand on with round adjustable spikes. I should have bought these speakers a long time ago, but now I have great mixes that truly translate and mix out fast. Thank you Sweetwater for a great purchase.

  • from United States August 30, 2013Music Background:
    Seasoned Bassist, Recording Enthusiast

    You'll hear the difference...

    Yeah... My Sales Engineer started gently pushing these on me, and I'm glad he did. You hear everything you need, and the mixes I create with these translate very well to other sources. If it sounds good in my studio, it sounds good in my car, it sounds good in my kitchen...

    That said, I believe that you will need a subwoofer with these. The bass just isn't there... That's my experience, you may disagree...

  • from jameswtown new york . July 31, 2013Music Background:
    hobbyist, electronics engineer

    best speakers i have every herd . for there size perfect .

    for the size a connot beleave the sound quaity and detail. the bass it tight perfect,plenty of bass,the mid and highs are stuning. well worth the money an d then some. you can hear into the mix ,you hear thing at different level ,andtones that to me are so so pleasing to my ears.thankyou ben porter you guy are the best. i will be buying more focal products!!!

  • from NYC May 7, 2013Music Background:
    Recording Engineer, Live Sound Engineer, Musician

    Save Yourself Some Time and Therefore, $

    Everyone pretty much has it covered in the reviews below. I'd just like to emphasize how much less time I spend trying to get my mixes to translate. What you do in the studio with these (assuming a decent room) will translate quite well on other systems. I used to spend hours of running back and forth from system to system when I was using my M-Audio Bx5a. These are a huge improvement and worth the money. They're perfect for small desk setups like mine.

  • from Pittsburgh, PA February 15, 2013Music Background:
    Drummer, Recording Engineer

    Was Skeptical. Now a believer!

    This has changed not only improved my time-to-completion 10 fold, but also, my whole mixing process. I never thought that better speakers could make THAT much of a difference. How wrong I was... Believe the phrase "You can't mix what you can't hear". It's 100% true. I was skeptical, especially because these are a serious investment. But now, I'm a believer. These things rock.

  • from New York November 30, 2012Music Background:
    Music Producer

    Focal CMS-40's Are Awsome!

    Well I finally got these Focal studio monitors to complete the my reference set in my studio. They needed to be burned in so they still haven't reached their full clarity yet. Out the box, for their size, they sound amazing! The bottom frequencies coming out of these are surprising. Focal wasn't lying when they stated that these monitors sound bigger than they are. I purchased some nice 12 inch table top speaker stands for them. The build quality is excellent and the ability to adjust the sound to your room with the switches on the back is a plus.The perfect small footprint studio monitor if you have the budget. You can't go wrong with these puppies! Thanks Sweetwater for your help and customer service.

  • from Orlando, FL July 8, 2012Music Background:
    Music Producer/(Recording Academy) Engineer/Arranger & Composer

    Great Flat reference monitors...these are my primary monitors

    The CMS 40's are amazingly great, I run them strictly flat and they give a true & acculturate mix every time. I suggest a 100hr. burn-in period, before actually using these for mixing, but after that, you're good to go. There's NO-FASLE highs/mid's or lows, what you hear from these, is what others will hear...you can trust your final mixes. I use these in conduction w/ my DynAudio BM-5A's...routed through Dangerous Music-ST.

    I highly recommend these...

  • from Chicago, IL February 6, 2012Music Background:
    Musician/Video Producer

    CMS 450

    What a terrific little speaker! I own a pair of it's bigger brother, The CMS-65 and love those too. I must say that the 40s are just amazing on the low end for as box this size. They image really well and I feel the best word to describe them is "silky"!

  • from Medical Lake, WA, USA November 13, 2011Music Background:

    An audiophile-grade professional studio monitor

    These studio monitors have exceeded my expectations. They are replacing a high end consumer power amplifier and midrange audiophile speakers combo, and have surpassed the quality of my prior speaker/amp combo by a large degree. The sound is very detailed, neutral, three-dimensional and the CMS 40 has this wonderful capability (when used with good source music) of presenting the sound as if the speakers were not the source, but as if the music was live in the room right before you. However, cabling quality is very important with these monitors, and I would urge whomever purchases these speakers to budget for a high quality, teflon-insulated, balanced interconnect to feed the XLR inputs on the speakers from your converter/preamp, or recording interface, etc., as lower quality cabling will impede the three-dimensional sound attributes and reduce the level of detail as well. Also, a vibration isolation product also benefits this pair, and tightens up the already well-defined bass even further. Highly Recommended!

  • from Daytona Beach, FL October 7, 2011Music Background:
    Audio Engineer.

    Not the size of the dog in the fight.....

    These monitors are extremely natural sounding and have a huge openness in the high end that other monitors do not have. These monitors don't "hype" certain frequencies like others in the price range do (the bm5a's hype lows) Some may say they don't good but little do they know these monitors play back what you put in accurately. If they don't sound good its not the speaker. Don't hesitate on the size or the price these monitors are worth their weight in gold. My suggestion is get the sub to match as they lack some of the "moving" frequencies other than that they are amazing!!!

  • from Merritt Island, USA June 25, 2011Music Background:
    Record Label/Everything lol

    The best little Monitor Speaker that I ever heard

    I received these Monitor speakers about two weeks ago and I'm blown away by the quality and the definition that it has. Everything that I mix here in comes out the same in the radio and other devices. Is incredible what the speaker do. Great entry level speaker and you will just need a Subwoofer if you want bass. Will recommend for anyone looking for a good speaker to your ears (When you don't have a lot of ears to find the right frequencies lol) Great job Focal

  • from San Jose, CA January 22, 2011Music Background:
    Old bar band pro.

    Very nice!

    How great it is to hear sounds and samples as they really are- each frequency represented equally. The volume knobs on front bottom right are notched so it is easy to get left and right speakers identical. I think I am going to get hooked on quality with these Focals.

Questions about the Focal CMS 40 4" Powered Studio Monitor?

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