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Focal Theva No.1 Loudspeaker: Editor’s Choice 2023

Looking for one of the best bookshelf loudspeakers you can buy? The Focal Theva No.1 offers top end sparkle, accurate timbre, and superb imaging for $999 USD.

Focal Theva No.1 Loudspeakers in Light Wood

2023 was an excellent year for bookshelf or stand-mounted loudspeakers and there were few that impressed us in the same manner as the Focal Theva No.1 Loudspeakers.

The Q Acoustics 5020 and Focal Theva No.1 stood out in a very big way.

You can read William Jenning’s detailed review here.

The Theva No.1 is the entry-level model in Focal’s lineup which also includes 3 floor standing models, a center channel loudspeaker, surround loudspeakers, and two different stands for home cinema users who may wish to mix and match models to create the multi-channel configuration that is ideal for them. 

Focal allowed us to test the Theva No.1 for an entire month and that opened the door for some experimentation with a wider range of amplification. The new bookshelf loudspeakers have become the new point of entry in the Focal lineup, replacing the now discontinued Chora line.

Focal Theva No.1 (left) vs. Focal Vestia No.1 (right)
Focal Theva No.1 (left) vs. Focal Vestia No.1 (right)

The next step up the line is the Vestia No.1 bookshelf speaker for $200 more ($1,198/pair at Crutchfield).

The two available loudspeakers are similar in size, utilize similar cabinets, and use 1-inch inverted dome tweeters and 6.5-inch slatefiber midrange/woofers. 

The most obvious external difference is the placement of the bass port; the Vestia No.1 are a front ported design whilst the Theva No.1 exhales from the rear of the cabinet. 

Focal Theva No.1 Speakers on a Bookshelf in all finishes
Focal Theva No.1 (all available finishes)

For those looking to actually place these somewhat heavy loudspeakers on a bookshelf, the front-ported Vestia ($1,198/pair at Crutchfield) might prove to be more appropriate; the Theva No.1 require some space from the wall behind them to really open up.

They possess the clarity and detail in the treble that make Focal’s speakers special, the fluidity of the larger Kanta models, and the tonal balance of the Chora 806 that charmed the pants off our esteemed EIC Ian White. 

Combine all of those positive attributes and you have an extremely good pair of loudspeakers that are engaging, colorful, and lively in the best possible way.

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Focal Theva No.1 Loudspeakers in Dark Wood on Stands
Focal Theva No.1 Loudspeakers in Dark Wood ($998/pair) on optional stands ($249/pair)

We were concerned that the demise of the Chora lineup would leave a hole, but products like the Theva No.1 prove that Focal understand how to make affordable loudspeakers just as well as their cost-no-object models.

A tremendous value below $1,000 USD.

Where to buy: $998/pair at Amazon | Crutchfield (optional stands are $249/pair at Crutchfield)

Continue reading more Editor’s Choice Awards for 2023.

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