The solution to high quality sound from your TV has traditionally followed two routes: either you invest in a AV amplifier with 186 sockets and five speakers the size of school-age infants or you opt for a stick-on ‘soundbar’ solution which kills any style your TV bezel may have been proud about.
The audiophile AV amplifier route is naturally brilliant but getting such technology past the other half is about as likely as successfully booking Spearmint Rhino as a venue for your wedding anniversary celebrations. The new Bird sound systems from French audio wizards Focal are all about squeezing quality sound out of a (small) amplifier and two beautiful speakers. The traditional oversized subwoofer speaker is housed within the amplifier – very clever.
Three new systems are all based around the desktop sized Power Bird amplifier, nice enough to display under your TV and small enough to slip inside a storage cabinet. There’s a digital optical input which can take a pure signal from your Sky HD box, Blu-ray player, PS3 or directly from your TV for simplicity. Available in black and white, the Focal Bird range varies in price, depending on the speakers you choose.
System 2.1 Little Bird costs £700, System 2.1 Bird is £800 and the System 2.1 Super Bird is £900. A wireless adaptor for uncompressed audio from iPhone or iPad costs £80 and all wireless options (Kleer, aptX) work without the need for a Wi-Fi connection. The System 2.1 Super Bird comes with wall mounts for the stunning oval speakers while the System 2.1 Little Bird and System 2.1 Bird systems come with desktop mounts which double as wall mounts.
All three Focal Bird systems go on sale from today.
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