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Microphone Month 5

Focal CMS 65 6.5" Powered Studio Monitor Reviews

4.5 stars based on 15 customer reviews
Questions about the Focal CMS 65 6.5" Powered Studio Monitor?

Questions about the Focal CMS 65 6.5" Powered Studio Monitor?

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  • from Tampa Bay, FL November 2, 2016

    Beautiful Monitors!!!

    Excellent stereo image, nice clarity with a pleasant amount of warmth and color that rounds off the edges of its balanced/neutral voicing...I'm not a pro monitor critic; nonetheless, as an enthusiastic musician who trusts their ears before their brains when it comes to sound, these monitors simply sound beautiful! The mid-range definition of the Focal CMS 6.5" is where I feel the monitors really excel. The "muddy" middle is clear as a bell without sounding sterile. For this price point, these monitors seems to be near the head of the class.

  • from Tucson November 16, 2015


    I've spent the past few months reading monitor reviews and trying to find the best bang for the buck without compromising excellent sound. I've been able to demo various brands at various price points and was fortunate to be able to demo the cms 65's. These speakers have such great detail and what, to me, feels like a very neutral character.

    It's hard not to smile when listening to well recorded material through them. That experience alone is worth the 5 stars.

  • from Brooklyn, NY May 13, 2014Music Background:
    Cinema Audio Post

    Just Fantastic

    I've been using these as my mains in my home studio for about 2.5 years, it's about time I sung their praises. Very natural, open, balanced sound. I mix primarily films, as well as some music, and I find these are great for both applications. The reach on the low end is great, even without the sub, and there is just a ton of clarity in the highs. I bought mine used, and wanted to get the phase plugs - customer service was excellent, and hooked me up immediately without charge.

  • from Los Angeles, CA USA April 18, 2014Music Background:
    Producer, Mixing Engineer

    Its officially been 3 months and WOW

    Just like the title... it has officially been 3 months since I've had the pleasure of owning these amazing monitors. I've always been an owner of KRK's, Adam's, Tannoy's and anything else my circle of budget musicians have been able to supply. Finally one day I told myself I was going to step up to Focal's; Especially after hearing so many good things about them on Gearslutz.com and from the Sweetwater Rep. Now my mixes are 95 percent accurate on my first print. I couldn't be happier now having a sound haven I can confide in for the truth when it comes to translation. I mainly work with electronic and experimental music, and I can tell you the bass translation is accurate. Although these speakers are rated to go down to only 45 hz they feel as tho they reach even lower. If you've been making music / working in this field for a while , or you're new to the world of recording.... please do yourself a favor and get a pair of CMS 65's . You'll soon understand why everyone tells you to go Focal.


  • from Nyc February 10, 2014Music Background:
    Audio engineer

    Why did I waited so long

    Wow is right just be frank about it your not such a terrible engineer.
    So why are you up so late loosing sleep because your mixes don't translate ?

    Do your self & your spouse a favor, spend the money and buy these, you will say to your self, " it was my daaaammm monitors all along".

    These tell the truth and nothing but the truth even in a none treated room.
    Ask Leslie Brathwaite platinum ears about his focals.

    Thank you Focal can't imagine what the higher price monitor reveals, it's reggae time JA stand up.

  • from United States January 14, 2014Music Background:
    Broadcast Engineer, Musician, recording engineer

    Wonderful Monitors

    Admittedly the first real serious Monitors I've own.. Had KRK Rokit 6's to get started and was able to work with them, but always was checking mixes on various our speakers to see how well they translate... These Focal's give me a very accurate representation of what's recorded and it really helps with the EQ'ing and mixing and so far my mixes are sounding so much Better.. Thanks to Patrick S. for pointing me to these.

  • from Slidell, LA December 27, 2013Music Background:
    Allaround sound perciever.


    Do not mix without these!,It will save you months of wasted time.When I referenced these around different systems,the sound was 95% correct!The other 5% was is converting from 24 bit to 16 bit. I had to rethink(remix) my old mix.It sounded too processed,too distorted,too compressed...Now...a much more natural and appealing mix with no fatigue!! Remember if you want to get your point across use the >Focal Point <.

  • from United States December 16, 2013Music Background:
    Pro Musician


    These are simply amazing. I have had these for several days now. I have never heard a $900 speaker that sounds this good. The frequency definition in the mids and highs rivals the best I've heard and I suspect that Focal is using the same parts and designs as are in much of their higher priced speakers. Plenty of bass in these as well. Tight bass with no unwanted flutter.

    The break in period is very long and as much as you are going to want to pump these to hear what they do, it's worth the wait. They say the break in is 20-30 hours. I would say it was probably near the 40 hour mark that they really opened up. The instructions say to go fairly easy on them during that period and of course you want to do that. Boy do they shine once they break in!

    I had a couple of minor issues with my set most notably that one of the logo emblems was installed poorly. Called my Sweetwater rep, Mike Arango and as usual got the professional treatment. They are sending a new pair asap with a ticket to send back these so that I won't be without monitors as I am deeply immersed in a project with deadlines. This is why I only shop here now...

    If you're trying to decide between anything else in this price range, there really is no comparison. Nothing from Event, Dynaudio and certainly not Mackie, JBL or KRK is going to compare to these.

  • from Central NJ December 7, 2015Music Background:
    Jack of all trades master of none

    Focused on Focal

    After a year and a half I am still enamored with these speakers. Surprisingly, they did improve during the break in period. I didn't think that was possible since they sounded so good right out of the box. If you can swing it, buy these, you won't regret it. No buyers remorse here. Wonderfully flat and transparent, everything seems more focused on the Focals.

  • from Greetings From Asbury Park March 21, 2014Music Background:
    Jack of all trades, master of none.

    Focal is now the focal point of my studio.

    I have been using the same monitors for twenty years and I thought they were very good monitors. A lot has changed since I bought my JBL's. I forget what I paid for them but if you adjust for inflation I would bet the Focal's are a better deal. One thing is certain, the Focal's are far and away superior monitors. I was contemplating a pair of monitor from a highly regarded manufacturer. I asked my sales rep which he thought would be a better choice and after a fairly lengthy discussion, I conceded to his recommendation. I have to say that he was spot on. These things are fantasmagorical. I can't imagine that the "Holy Grail" manufacturer of monitors can impart any more magic than these puppies. I am one happy camper thanks to Chris Carter. There is a reason why Sweetwater has grown large, Thanks!!

  • from Cleveland OH USA March 19, 2014Music Background:
    audio OCD semi pro musician - still have a day job :-(

    Making me work harder

    I would not say these speakers are for everyone. However they will work well for me for quite a while. Break them in properly! After about 30-40 hours of break-in time (yes 24x7 once they were in place) the low end really tightened up. They do not have totally flat frequency response (in a 20'x15' mostly untreated room), but it's not so uneven that details are hard to hear. Not fatiguing to listen to. A fairly large sweet spot. No incredible chest thumping low end (dude, buy a sub woofer!), but enough detail to hear what is going on. Good stereo image and depth. Enough power to not sound thin/quiet. To rephrase - they sound pretty good. They revealed a number of issues with my previous mixes. While my mixes translated well before, my remixes through the CMS 65's seem to be quite a bit more natural sounding on pretty much every other system I have checked them out on (OK I like a lot of low end - I have now adjusted some mixes to be a LITTLE bit more even :-). As with any monitors, listen to a variety of different styles of music you think you already know well to get a feel for the speaker's sound, then listen to your own mixes. I heard a number of things I never quite heard before in other commercial releases, not necessarily to their benefit. I was most happy with the fact I was not most happy with some of MY previous mixes! Great job Focal!

  • from CT February 19, 2014

    Very impressive at their price point!

    These are just wonderful. After much research I picked up a pair of these for a long overdue monitor upgrade for my studio. Fair warning, you will instantly hear details a nuances in your projects (and your favorite other recordings) that you have never heard or noticed before -- that's wonderful, but the side effect is you may want to junk all your mixes and start fresh, as this level of detail can be very revealing!! The truth hurts!! Big props to Focal on these - wonderful monitor at a still-reasonable price.

  • from July 28, 2015

    Great monitors

    So revealing, without being etched, and good bass down to 50 hz or so. Will integrate with my DefTech Supercube at some point for the bottom octave, which is truly needed for near-infrasonic intrusions into live recordings from HVAC, etc.

    Highly recommended.

  • from June 2, 2015

    Great Little Monitors

    I purchased a pair to be used for jazz guitar only, the connection made via a Kemper Profiler Power Head. The tone from this combination is exactly what I had been searching for, although I wish that its amps had a tad more oomph in order to provide a more powerful output.

  • from Boston, MA February 26, 2014Music Background:
    Mixing Engineer and Producer

    They sound ok...

    If you are like me, you heard the Focal Solo6 somewhere and fell in love with them.

    Well, these Focal CMS 65's are nothing like the Solo6's. While the lows and low-mids are deep and precise, the mids and high-mids lack detail in the CMS 65's. In my humble opinion, you can find much better monitors by looking elsewhere for less money.

    I finally sold my pair of CMS 65's after 13 months, and ordered a pair of Solo6's.

Questions about the Focal CMS 65 6.5" Powered Studio Monitor?

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