Four Decades of Passion

It all started in 1979 in Saint-Étienne, when Focal’s talent took root in the workshop of a family-run SME specialising in precision mechanics. Back then, just two men worked on the manufacture of speaker drivers, one of whom was founder Jacques Mahul. The creations of this hi-fi enthusiast and Pink Floyd fan would soon go on to seduce music lovers and audiophiles worldwide.

The Focal brand commercialised speaker drivers for loudspeaker manufacturers. A second brand, JM‑lab, specialised in high-fidelity loudspeakers. The flagship of this first range of loudspeakers was the DB 13. Equipped with a double voice coil speaker driver, it revolutionised the world of small bookshelf loudspeakers, by producing volumes comparable to those of much larger models of loudspeakers.

The company was soon very successful, and started developing its activities in the fields of classic loudspeakers and high-end kits.


The year everything began for the SME from Saint-Étienne… France Filières, a precision mechanics company, established the first workshop for manufacturing speaker drivers. The company went on to influence the global acoustics market for the next four decades.


Focal’s DB 13 revolutionised the world of bookshelf loudspeakers. They proved to be a remarkable innovation, particularly among the Polyglass and Polykevlar® speaker driver cones. Focal’s loudspeakers moved significantly towards the high-end market.


First steps abroad. Having become a leader in the French acoustics market, the company began to focus on the international market. Over the years, numerous awards maintained this reputation; sadly, they were often a first for French products.


The Grande Utopia was praised by the international press. Technologically challenging and with extravagantly aesthetics, they asserted the brand’s leadership in the eyes of audiophiles worldwide.


Focal won the world final of the Car Audio IASCA competition in the Expert category in the USA. After ten years of manufacturing car audio, Focal finally earned its stripes in the Car Audio sector.


The ‘Focal Professional’ department was born, launching its first studio monitors. Innovation and the conquest for new fields in acoustics are the company’s watchwords.


Focal’s Utopia headphones were launched. Thus was the world’s smallest speaker driver introduced with Utopia open-backed headphones ‘Made in France’, and were praised by the international press.