AXPONA 2016: Micromega and Focal squeeze out fresh sound

Focal Sopra 2 sounding as delicious as they look.

axponaAudio Plus Services had one of the prettiest rooms at AXPONA, with its luscious orange Focal Sopra 2 loudspeakers ($13,999 USD), and matching Micromega M1 integrated amplifier/DAC/Streamer ($3,999 USD), cabling was supplied by Crystal Cable ($1,500 USD approx.). The simplicity of the set-up, and suffused glow emanating from the paper wall diffusers was hypnotic, and added to the dreamy atmosphere of the electronic music that was playing while I was listening. This was an intriguing system for me because of it’s simplicity, and powerful sound; I couldn’t help but think of the Devialet 200. The biggest difference I can see between the two at this point is price, with the M1 coming in at half the cost of a 200.

Simple, and extremely musical.
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Micromega has stuffed an astonishing amount of cutting-edge technology into the M1. From their website:

Our engineers have managed to incorporate all the latest connections – Bluetooth aptX, LAN-Network 24bit /384kHz Asynchronous, SPDIF Coax-Opto-AES 24bit / 768kHz USB asynchronous passing DXD, DSD, DOP…, Phono MM / MC, Analog balanced and unbalanced inputs, and DSP with automatic room correction (M.A.R.S). All in an amazingly compact module, whose cabinet is cut in the mass of a single block of aluminum.

M.A.R.S is a ground-breaking electro-acoustic research program which has been developed by our engineers to integrate all the parameters of your listening space with your M-One. Several options will be available and a revolutionary “Binaural” system has been engineered to further enhance the performance of your headphones.

To enable a customer to integrate the M-One products into their home decor or indulge their own individual style, M-One products can be uniquely cosmetically customized in leather, carbon or aluminum by French craftsmen to provide an almost endless choice of finishes and colors.

Rear connections on M1
The M1 incorporates DSD, DOP, DXD… and DSP. To name just a few, all for $3,999 USD.

There was a rightness to the sound that this pairing produced, and once again I found myself impressed at the organic quality to what I was hearing – even with 16/44 files playing over USB – lots of bloom, and decay on notes, plenty of air around instruments – yes, all those audiophile touchstones we look for in the technical presentation of a system – but with all sorts of punch, and grunt on the bottom end that I usually associate with better analog rigs. The M1 is due to be shipping in the next few months, and I’m hopeful I can persuade Micromega to part with one unit for a review.

About Rafe Arnott 389 Articles
Editor of InnerFidelity and AudioStream


  1. Will be very interesting when these are released and we hear comparisons to LIO, Devialet, and separates.

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