Focal takes its Dôme Flax speakers to new heights with an Atmos upgrade

With Dolby Atmos and DTS:X object-based surround sound increasingly infiltrating home theater gear, finding a place to put all those speakers has become a commonplace conundrum — especially those pesky overhead speakers. Many audio companies have turned to speakers mounted on top of traditional towers to bounce sound off the ceiling, but the audiophile experts at Focal have presented a more refined solution — the new 5.1.2 Dôme Flax speaker system — as long as you aren’t averse to making a few holes in the ceiling, that is.

Calling the speakers the “new flagship in the Home Cinema range,” Focal’s system is aptly named. The primary speakers feature five miniature domes of sound, each of which uses a cone made from flax grown in France and manufactured in Focal’s factory in Saint-Etienne. Focal uses flax for its light nature as well as its rigidity, claiming it allows the speakers to deliver high-quality sound in a small package, especially when it comes to dampening and sound propagation, which Focal says help improve dynamics and high-frequency precision.

The new 300 series ICW-4 ceiling-mountable speakers share the same tweeter and the same four-inch flax woofer as the original Dôme Flax 5.1 setup, matching all seven speakers for fluidity of movement throughout the seven Atmos/DTS:X primary channels. The ceiling speakers have also been specifically tuned for use in an open baffle (i.e. your ceiling), meaning they won’t lose their acoustic qualities outside of those little globes.

All of the primary Dôme speakers are adjustable thanks to the swiveling heads, and are easy to mount or set on a shelf or TV stand. The system as a whole offers both a gorgeous aesthetic and a highly minimalist profile, perfect for those averse to the clutter of most traditional systems.

Focal is also hoping to make those without much carpentry competency comfortable with mounting the new speakers, thanks to the company’s new Easy Quick Install (EQI) design. Once you’ve got your hole cut and your wires run (admittedly, the toughest part), the 300 series ICW-4 speakers can be installed without tools. The mounting frame fixes to the hole in your ceiling via small mounting brackets on the sides, and the speakers are designed to pop in with nothing more than a quarter turn.

You can also add additional Dôme Flax components to expand the system to 5.1.4 (four overhead speakers), or a 7.2.4 system for even more surround accuracy, depending on your Atmos/DTS:X receiver’s available channels — and your budget. Additional speakers cost a whopping $399 a piece, and the full 5.1.2 system carries an MSRP of $2,499.

That’s a whole lot of folding cash for such a tiny system, but Focal’s mini system is well known for its precision, clarity, and musicality. If you’ve got the dough, this is an elegant way to satisfy your desire for accurate, immersive audio that won’t cover your living space in clutter.

Focal’s new 5.1.2 Dôme Flax speaker system is available now in black and white at the company’s website.

Home Theater

Say goodbye to the box: The future of home theater has no use for receivers

One of the most intriguing new trends to come out of CES 2019 this year comes from a technology that has been around for years. WiSA, now in new LG TVs, has the potential to cut the wires and change the home theater landscape forever.
Home Theater

Still listening on tinny TV speakers? Try one of our favorite soundbars

You no longer have to sacrifice sound for size when selecting home audio equipment. Check out our picks for the best soundbars, whether you're looking for budget options, pure power, smarts, or tons of features.
Home Theater

From Atmos to WiSA: These are the coolest soundbars of CES 2019

While some companies chose not to play this year, CES 2019 still had a ton of impressive soundbars at the show. From Klipsch to Vizio, we've rounded up the coolest soundbars we saw at the show.
Home Theater

Panasonic shows off first 4K OLED with Dolby Vision and HDR10+ at CES 2019

Panasonic has been mostly absent from the American TV market for some time now, but it hasn't been ignoring TVs altogether. Its latest 4K OLED TV is world's first to support both Dolby Vision and HDR10+.
Home Theater

Throw away those EarPods -- we dug up the best headphones in every style

Trolling the internet for hours to find headphones is no way to live. Instead, leverage our expertise and experience to find the best headphones for you. Here are our 10 favorites.

Tidal faces legal jeopardy over fake stream numbers accusation

In another challenging chapter for music subscription service Tidal, Norwegian authorities have begun a formal investigation into charges that the company faked millions of streams for artists such as Kanye West and Beyoncé.
Home Theater

Sony’s 360 Reality Audio is the epic sound revolution you didn’t know you needed

After Sony’s utterly bizarre press conference, I almost missed what was perhaps the most impactful sonic experience at the show. Luckily, I went back to Sony’s booth on the last day of the show, only to have my mind blown.
Home Theater

Need to get rid of an unused Netflix profile? Just follow these simple steps

Need to delete an unwanted profile from your Netflix account? It's easy to do, no matter what kind of equipment you've got. Check out our handy how-to guide for step-by-step instructions.
Home Theater

The seven best TVs you can buy right now, from budget to big screen

Looking for a new television? In an oversaturated market, buying power is at an all-time high, but you'll need to cut through the rough to find a diamond. We're here to help with our picks for the best TVs of 2019.

Beam up the videos: AirPlay support is coming to VLC player

At CES 2019, the developers of VLC player announced they are adding support for Apple's Airplay feature, allowing consumers to beam video and other content from their iPhone and Android devices to an Apple TV. 
Home Theater

Not chill: Netflix is hiking prices across all its tiers

Netflix has to get the billions of dollars it's spending on new content from somewhere. The streaming giant announced price hikes across the board, raising its monthly rates between $1 and $2 per tier in the next few months.
Home Theater

Here’s why you’re not getting Netflix in HD or 4K, and how to fix it

Are you having trouble watching your favorite movies or TV shows on Netflix in HD or 4K? We explain why loading takes so long, why the picture quality fluctuates, and what you can do about it.
Home Theater

From the Roku Ultra to the Fire TV Cube, these are the best streaming devices

There are more options for media streamers than ever, so it’s more difficult to pick the best option. But that’s why we're here. Our curated list of the best streaming devices will get you online in no time.
Home Theater

Polk Audio’s Command Bar joins Alexa’s multiroom music party

Polk's Command Bar is a home theater soundbar with Alexa built in. But with a new update, it can also be grouped with Amazon's Echo products and other third-party speakers for a multi-room experience.