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Focal Aria 905 Bookshelf Speakers Review


Every music lover understands the importance of high-quality speakers. Focal Aria 905 Bookshelf Speakers have wowed my musical senses with their fantastic audio output and affordability. It is no exaggeration to state that these are the best speakers I’ve ever owned. This review is based on my personal use of these speakers, and though I’ll be highlighting many of their advantages, I aim to give a balanced and unbiased opinion.

Mounting, Pairing, and Powering the Speakers

I initially mounted these speakers in a corner of my room. Given their minute build, I anticipated slight limitations given their small stature, but to my astonishment, they exceeded my expectations. For listeners who prefer a two-channel setup, Focal Aria 905 Bookshelf Speakers won’t disappoint either. I, therefore, recommend these speakers not only for their remarkable sound output but also for their versatile placement options.

The performance of these speakers is significantly enhanced when coupled with quality equipment. Upon hooking them up with an Onkyo preamp and Outlaw Audio amp, a Nakamichi AV-1 plus equalizer, and an SVS subwoofer, they produced an astounding result. That’s not to say they can’t stand on their own. They undoubtedly do a competent job without any additional enhancements but coupling them with a good subwoofer once in a while is an absolute ear treat.

Sound Quality

The crisply clear mids and highs from the Focal Aria 905 Bookshelf Speakers are genuinely worth lauding. I was also pleasantly surprised by the substantial low-end that they provide. Although they initially sounded a bit muffled right out of the box, they quickly opened up after a few hours, displaying their true audio potential. When paired with high-quality sound recordings, these speakers genuinely sing!

Additionally, these speakers are well-balanced, neither too bright nor too dull, and offer a considerable soundstage. They might lean a bit towards the brighter side with a solid-state amp, though don’t mistake it for harshness. After a few listening hours, they warm up and smooth out, providing a fantastic listening experience.

Moreover, their significance with a decent subwoofer attachment cannot be overstressed. While they are capable of providing a satisfactory low end on their own, a good subwoofer rounds out their sound beautifully. Hence, for those inclined towards a fuller sound, you might want to invest in one.

Aesthetics and Craftsmanship

In terms of looks and build quality, Focal Aria 905 Bookshelf Speakers is top-notch. The attention to detail and the finishing speak volumes about the pride Focal takes in crafting these speakers. Made in France, all components are manufactured in-house, which perhaps explains their excellence in sound and build quality.

Hardware Compatibility

I experimented using different amps, from an Outlaw Audio amp and an Onkyo preamp to a solid-state amp, and found that while using a tube setup and vinyl amplifies the quality of sound, a solid-state amp offers a relatively brighter sound. The speakers have been designed thoughtfully to accommodate wall mounting and work flawlessly even when placed in corners of the room. Keep in mind, that pairing them with good speaker cables and interconnects can enhance the overall performance of these speakers, allowing you to extract the best out of them.

Price Worthiness

Apart from their robust performance, what truly sets the Focal Aria 905 apart in my opinion is its price point. Considering the sound quality, craftsmanship, and performance, these speakers offer excellent value for money. I’d even go as far as to label them a true audiophile bargain. Despite their affordable price, these speakers do not compromise on quality and have often exceeded my expectations.

Pros and Cons


    • Remarkable sound quality
    • High-quality build
    • Compatible with quality equipment
    • Value for money


    • A bit bright with solid-state amps
    • Greater sound depth is achievable with a subwoofer, which is an additional cost


All in all, from their quality build and sound to their versatility in positioning and pairing, the Focal Aria 905 never fails to impress. They handle music of all genres, be it jazz, classical, or voices, with absolute brilliance and finesse. A splendid audio experience indeed!

Bass Response
The bass response of the Focal Aria 905 surpassed our initial expectations. Though it doesn't go extremely low, it's balanced and decent, and it certainly does justice on the low-end. Paired with a good subwoofer, you are in for a treat!
Treble Detail
The high-frequency response from these speakers is superb. They tend to sound a little bright right out of the box but eventually smooth out and get warmer with a few hours of playback. Excellent detail on the highs!
Midrange Clarity
Where the Focal Aria 905 genuinely shines is with its midrange clarity. It's crisp, clear and highly precise. From jazz and classical music to voices, everything just sparkles through these speakers.
Look-wise, Focal Aria 905 is a real stunner. Its fit and finish quality is top-notch, reiterating its French origin. The speakers are perfect for wall-mounting at any corner of the room.
Sound Quality
The overall sound quality of the Focal Aria 905 is beyond impressive. It provides an incredible listening experience, revealing the best parts of a recording, and sometimes the worst if the recording is flawed.
Value for Money
Certain enough, the Focal Aria 905 offers great value for money. We were satisfied with the excellent sound quality out and the solid build, which enhances its durability. Definitely in the league of the audiophile bargain bracket.
Total Score
Rating Summary
We got our hands on the Focal Aria 905, and boy did it impress us! Initially running a bit on the bright side, the speakers warmed up to give a smooth, clean output. Sound is intricate across all ranges, with surprising bass for their size and stunningly clear midranges, where every element of music feels alive. Coupled with a reputable sub, the depth expands dramatically. The high-end detail is exemplary and coupled with its excellent sound reproduction, enhances the overall listening experience. Design integration has been taken care of very well, showcasing its high-quality French make. With a level of clarity normally found in much higher price brackets, Focal Aria 905 generates great value for money. So strap in, take them for a spin, and uncover details in your favourite tracks you never knew existed!