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Focal’s Kanta No.3 Speakers

Unboxing a new pair of Focal speakers is always special.

It’s like getting handed the keys to a new car, a great car. That feeling. Their new Kanta No.3 has the same level of attention to detail that their Grande Utopia EM does. The execution of mechanical assembly, cabinet finish and signature glass top is flawless. These are speakers you will be proud to own.

We are pleased to introduce the Kanta No.3, the top of Focal’s Kanta lineup, with their unveling at CEDIA today. Daniel Jacques and his team at Audio Plus Services will have them on display, along with some other goodies that you shouldn’t miss if you are attending the show.

Fleshing out the Kanta lineup, and because of their $11,999/pair suggested retail price, there is definitely some overlap with the award winning Sopra. Yet Kanta is a completely different product. In the last generation of Focal speakers, technology from their flagship Grande Utopia EM filtered down the range, while the Kanta range has plenty of new technology that is fresh for Focal.

Primarily, their new IAL Beryllium tweeter and the current midrange using their latest flax cone material, which is lighter, stiffer, and even more natural sounding than their previous W cone material. Combining these new materials and Focal’s recent crossover updates, the Kanta range that feels slightly warmer than that of the Sopra range. The new Kantas are not intended to replace the Sopras, but as an alternative.

Kanta no.3 builds upon the success of the smaller Kanta No.2, which we reviewed nearly a year ago here. Everything we said about the Kanta No.2 is here in full effect with the No.3, but thanks to a pair of larger 8-inch woofers (where the No.2s have a pair of 6.5-inch units) and a more voluminous cabinet, No.3 goes deeper in the lowest bass notes and plays somewhat louder.

Are they for you?

Having used Sopra no.3s for over two years now as my personal reference, even in comparison to some speakers costing nearly five times as much, I’m still more than happy with them. When reviewing the Kanta No.2s, I enjoyed their slightly warmer tonal balance, but that is a personal bias. Serious side by side comparison between my Sopra No.3s and the Kanta No.2s, I was thrilled with the available resolution, but the Sopra’s ability to play louder and deeper in my 16 x 25 foot room, still leaves the Sopras the winner in my system, yet what Focal has achieved with a $10,000 pair of speakers leaves a major impression, as does the Sopras at $20,000/pair.

Where the Kanta no.2s took the lead, mainly in part to their front and rear firing ports, was their ability to deliver top performance in a smaller room than the Sopra no.3s. Again the Kanta no.3s build on this strength. While the Kanta No.3s extra dynamic ability makes for a speaker that plays bigger than the Kanta no.2s, they are also (as were the Kanta No.2s) slightly easier to optimize in the room than the Sopras are. I know we are splitting hairs here, and again, this is a great reason to visit your Focal dealer and let them help guide you through the process.

The Kanta No.3s deliver fantastic results even when not perfectly optimized, sounding great when merely plopped in the room, yet become spellbinding when a given an hour or two of concentrated effort.

Exquisite construction

Like every Focal speaker, the Kanta No.3s are simply beautiful to behold, and while you can get them in standard black and white, Focal also offers a fun palette of colors that will be at home in any environment. While I love the bright colors, the white finish on our review samples is very tastefully understated and will blend in to any environment. (Perhaps a little easier than my bright orange Sopras, but that’s me!)

Where the Focal speakers in the higher range have a monochromatic cabinet, the Kanta is a two piece design, with your choice of black or a wood finish, with eight color choices for the front baffle. This helps keep manufacturing cost down and provides more decor options. A definite win win.

Rounding out the package, there are black, magnetically attached grilles, but considering that the Kantas have no exposed screws, bolts, or fasteners, why not enjoy their industrial design sans grilles? (The grilles are always good for party time!)

The short answer

Being that this is a sneak peek at the Kanta No.3, we are listening intently and there will be an in-depth review shortly. For now, think of the Kanta No.3 as a bigger, better No.2 Everything we loved about the Kanta No.2s applies here as well and if you feel so inclined, please read our review on the Kanta No.2 here.

You can also read more about the Kanta line here on the Focal website.


Yet even after a day of listening, these are impressive speakers and go a long way to redefine what is possible in a $11,999 pair of speakers. As we felt with the Sopras and the Kanta No.2, for all but the most well-heeled audiophiles with the largest of rooms, you could buy a pair of Kanta No.3s, a few pieces of great electronics, and a source or two and be set for life. These are not speakers you will tire of.

However to make a long story short, if you are having trouble deciding between Kanta No.2 and Kanta No.3, I would distill it down to: how loud do you listen, how big is your room, and what is the overall bass character of the majority of your music collection? I think it’s very cool that Focal gives you the choice.

Please stay tuned and we will have further insights soon.