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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I decided to put this in it's own thread so it doesn't get lost in the other one here: http://www.peugeotforums.com/forums/3008-2017-138/focal-audio-276818/

So I've recently taken delivery of my 3008 with Focal and I can give my experiences as a directly comparison to a 3008 without Focal (I had a demo vehicle to drive for a month).

To test and compare, I moved between each vehicle while parked on my driveway, playing the same content in both to make a direct comparison between the two.

First Impressions:
-Physical appearance of the speakers are much nicer, with the metal grills and Focal branding
-The front windows look the same in appearance, apart from what you can see in the attached photos.
-The door bins where you keep items such as water bottle are coated in a soft felt, a nice touch. - Edit: As per "208GTi" post below, this is GT Line and above, not related to focal.
-The floor for the rear seats are 1.5" higher and flat
-As the radio comes on first, their is no immediate improvement to the sound.

After further use:
-The audio menu has the focal branding
-You can independently change the centre speaker and sub-woofer level
-Playing music content from both Flac and Spotify using the cable via Apple CarPlay:
-Bass is VASTLY improved. This will be the main this you will notice with regards to sound quality. You can now feel it in your seat and you hear all the real low frequencies which you can't with the normal sound system​
-The sound volume is louder, and once you start going past "20"
is starts getting very loud indeed​
-Listening to Podcasts voices are a bit clearer and fuller, there is a small improvement​
-The highs i haven't noticed a huge difference, but it is there. The sound is more refined overall with the Focal​
-Noise inside the cabin while driving doesn't seem to be noticeably any different​

I will attach some photos of the windows, as I was curious to see if there was any way to see they had been laminated. The only physical difference I can see is what I have attached. When you wind the window down, the top of the glass has a difference shape to it. "Photo.jpg" attached is the one with Focal, and has an indent to the glass, where as the one without (Photo_1.jpg) is your traditional curved top to it.

With regards to any symbols or codes on the windows, there is nothing I can see that signifies they are laminated like you can see elsewhere on the internet. The codes are a bit different, but I don't know if they are referencing the laminate? I don't think so. So the difference in the 'lip' of the window is the only physical difference I can find.

After 1 week of use

The more I have listened to the system the more I am enjoying it!

-I have noticed that initially when you turn the radio on, the sound quality isn't the best, possibly it's in mono and then later switches to stereo? So after a minute or so it sorts itself out, and the sound quality is improved.
-I have also noticed FM seems to be much better quality than DAB? This is also the case in both 3008's (with and without Focal) and a 308 I demo'd.
-Listening to BBC Radio 1 dance anthems on the Friday night I heard a huge benefit of the increased bass.
-Listened to an "Easy 90's" playlist on Spotify and I was actually blown away. In particular when U2 - With or without you came on. Played at sound level 21 it sounded incredible with such a wide sound stage. The best I've probably heard this track.

Summary
I am someone who appreciates good audio, and I have some rather expensive equipment, so sound quality is important to me. So for me the Focal system is worth it. The extra bass is huge and will be the main thing you'll notice.

When you have both vehicles side by side, and move between each one, as I say the main difference is the BASS. But what I think is important to get across is, you only really get to appreciate the finer points of the system the more you listen to it while you're actually driving daily. Parts of songs you notice a lot more, and can hear the wider soundstage. So it is important not to write the system off straight away. What I am finding is, the more I listen to music through it, the more I am enjoying it. It's the type of system where you'll find yourself listening to tracks that you don't particularly like, but because they sound much better you don't want to turn them off, haha.

If you are someone that mainly just casually listens to the radio, you won't really see much benefit. But if you're using music from your phone from streaming services such as Spotify and enjoy cranking it up a bit, you will definitely benefit, and it is definitely worth the extra money.

Edit: Unfortunately the forum has decided to rotate some of those photos I've attached.
 

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The front windows have different part/reference numbers with or without Focal:
- Left front window, 98 114 138 80 and 98 114 142 80;
- Right front window, 98 114 125 80 and 98 114 136 80.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
The front windows have different part/reference numbers with or without Focal:
- Left front window, 98 114 138 80 and 98 114 142 80;
- Right front window, 98 114 125 80 and 98 114 136 80.
Here's a photo of the window WITH focal.

Comparing to some of the photos here: Automotive window glass codes - Team-BHP we don't seem to have the same symbols and labels as them.
 

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-Noise inside the cabin while driving doesn't seem to be noticeably any different.[/I]
Firstly, thanks for the really useful, honest, and informative review that covers a lot of the points several of us want to know about.

Secondly, I'm pleased to hear someone say that they don't notice a significant difference in cabin noise. I know that others have said that they do, but I guess it's rather subjective as it's a comparison based on the perception of the human ear, rather than using a decibel metre.

I'd even reached the rather weird stage of trying to compare cabin noise between Focal and non-Focal 3008s via YouTube videos... Jesus, I even surprise myself with my own quirks sometimes.
 

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Firstly, thanks for the really useful, honest, and informative review that covers a lot of the points several of us want to know about.

Secondly, I'm pleased to hear someone say that they don't notice a significant difference in cabin noise. I know that others have said that they do, but I guess it's rather subjective as it's a comparison based on the perception of the human ear, rather than using a decibel metre.

I'd even reached the rather weird stage of trying to compare cabin noise between Focal and non-Focal 3008s via YouTube videos... Jesus, I even surprise myself with my own quirks sometimes.
You need to get out more - hopefully in the 3008!;)
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Firstly, thanks for the really useful, honest, and informative review that covers a lot of the points several of us want to know about.

Secondly, I'm pleased to hear someone say that they don't notice a significant difference in cabin noise. I know that others have said that they do, but I guess it's rather subjective as it's a comparison based on the perception of the human ear, rather than using a decibel metre.

I'd even reached the rather weird stage of trying to compare cabin noise between Focal and non-Focal 3008s via YouTube videos... Jesus, I even surprise myself with my own quirks sometimes.
Haha, did you go for the Focal option?

I would say you;d be hard pushed to notice any difference with the cabin noise, especially when there are other difference between the 2 car i tested: Panoramic roof, 19" vs 18" wheels. In other words, cabin noise should not be a factor at all in deciding if you want the Focal option.
 

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Firstly, thanks for the really useful, honest, and informative review that covers a lot of the points several of us want to know about.

Secondly, I'm pleased to hear someone say that they don't notice a significant difference in cabin noise. I know that others have said that they do, but I guess it's rather subjective as it's a comparison based on the perception of the human ear, rather than using a decibel metre.

I'd even reached the rather weird stage of trying to compare cabin noise between Focal and non-Focal 3008s via YouTube videos... Jesus, I even surprise myself with my own quirks sometimes.
Haha, did you go for the Focal option?

I would say you;d be hard pushed to notice any difference with the cabin noise, especially when there are other difference between the 2 car i tested: Panoramic roof, 19" vs 18" wheels. In other words, cabin noise should not be a factor at all in deciding if you want the Focal option.
No, I didn't go for it. The car I test drove didn't have it and I was happy enough with that.

I don't listen to much music as I find it too distracting and find myself tuning in to Radio 4 in an attempt to stave off my chronic road rage.

The potential cabin noise advantage only became relevant to me recently due to some sudden but permanent hearing loss in one ear (great at the age of 30, right?!) which has been replaced by tinnitus which, oddly, seems to be aggravated by road noise and traffic.

Christ, I must come across as a total odd ball.

I'm not.

Promise.
 

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Could the indent in the top edge of the 'Focal' glass maybe locate onto a rubber bead within the top of the window frame to help seal out a bit more wind noise? Just a thought. :shrug2:
 

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The front windows are laminated. The front doors, roofing around the panoramic window and floor leading up to the console are insulated for sound dampening.

I definately have found a difference in sound escape between my Focal 3008 and two others (one being a fellow member who owns a non-Focal 3008 which I have travelled in on numerous occasions and the other during a test drive early last year).
 

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Discussion Starter #12
The front windows are laminated. The front doors, roofing around the panoramic window and floor leading up to the console are insulated for sound dampening.

I definately have found a difference in sound escape between my Focal 3008 and two others (one being a fellow member who owns a non-Focal 3008 which I have travelled in on numerous occasions and the other during a test drive early last year).
Hi Beards, just out of interest, on your car are there any labels/symbols on the windows to indicate they are laminated?
 

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Hi Beards, just out of interest, on your car are there any labels/symbols on the windows to indicate they are laminated?
Sorry No.
Unlike certain manufacturers like Range Rover, Peugeot do not mark neither the front windscreen or side windows with laminated wording.
Even the coding is difficult to decipher:-
The front windscreen carries E2 which denotes manufactured in France, whereas the side window carries E6 for a Belgium manufacturer.
Both also carry the Transparency of 70% minimum.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Sorry No.
Unlike certain manufacturers like Range Rover, Peugeot do not mark neither the front windscreen or side windows with laminated wording.
Even the coding is difficult to decipher:-
The front windscreen carries E2 which denotes manufactured in France, whereas the side window carries E6 for a Belgium manufacturer.
Both also carry the Transparency of 70% minimum.
ok great, same as mine then :) Thanks
 

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The front windows are laminated. The front doors, roofing around the panoramic window and floor leading up to the console are insulated for sound dampening.

I definately have found a difference in sound escape between my Focal 3008 and two others (one being a fellow member who owns a non-Focal 3008 which I have travelled in on numerous occasions and the other during a test drive early last year).
It seems that the read doors are also insulated (item 11):

It's in portuguese, but there are 2 different types of insulation for the rear doors - 4, if you count the door sides (esquerda=left, direita=right).
 

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Discussion Starter #16
It seems that the read doors are also insulated (item 11):

It's in portuguese, but there are 2 different types of insulation for the rear doors - 4, if you count the door sides (esquerda=left, direita=right).
Interesting, so the focal gives extra insulation too. To be honest, I think that must be the case due to the strength of the bass, it needs extra security there. I did notice on the standard audio some vibrations in the panels, which hopefully wont develop on the focal.
 

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It seems that the read doors are also insulated (item 11):

It's in portuguese, but there are 2 different types of insulation for the rear doors - 4, if you count the door sides (esquerda=left, direita=right).
Good find.
That would make perfect sense seeing as the insulation runs around the back of the panoramic roof and down to the window top. It then continues down into the back doors.
Interesting, so the focal gives extra insulation too. To be honest, I think that must be the case due to the strength of the bass, it needs extra security there. I did notice on the standard audio some vibrations in the panels, which hopefully wont develop on the focal.
This is what I have been saying all along; having Focal fitted also comes with sound insulation (dampening).
 

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Discussion Starter #18
This is what I have been saying all along; having Focal fitted also comes with sound insulation (dampening).
Yeah, I didn't know how to word it while still re-assuring it had been spoken about before.

We all know they have said it gives sound insulation, but I've not seen any technical details until now about what that insulation is exactly and where it is.

If there are other diagrams etc.. on any of this stuff it would be great to see :)
 

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Of course an audio review will always be subjective, but a couple of things about your review is either biased or just... Incorrect.

-The front windows look the same in appearance
Maybe they do - but they're not, as it has now been confirmed by both Peugeot, Focal and people on this very forum having found spare parts used.

-As the radio comes on first, their is no immediate improvement to the sound.
I don't understand this comment. If you keep the audio off, there is no immediate improvement to the sound either - but why on earth buy Focal if you're going to leave the audio off - or only listen to radio.

-Listening to Podcasts voices are a bit clearer and fuller, there is a small improvement
But listening to radio is not? From my personal experience (based on test drives only, as i have yet to receive my car), sound is severely improved on both the high and low end of the spectrum whereas the highs really makes listening to both podcasts AND radio-chatter a lot more enjoyable.

-Noise inside the cabin while driving doesn't seem to be noticeably any different
Subjective, of course. I do wish there was a DB test, since - to me - hitting the highway in test cars with and without Focal seemed noticeably different to me (with Audio off, of course). There's still cabin noise, but sound levels are deeper and hence way less intrusive when having a normal conversation for instance.

If you are someone that mainly just listens to the radio, you won't really see much benefit. But if you're using music from your phone from the likes of Spotify etc... and enjoy cranking it up a bit, you will benefit.
This seems like stating the obvious ;-)

If you're someone who uses the car stereo, you will benefit. If you're not you won't see much benefit.
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
Of course an audio review will always be subjective, but a couple of things about your review is either biased or just... Incorrect.

Maybe they do - but they're not, as it has now been confirmed by both Peugeot, Focal and people on this very forum having found spare parts used.

I don't understand this comment. If you keep the audio off, there is no immediate improvement to the sound either - but why on earth buy Focal if you're going to leave the audio off - or only listen to radio.

But listening to radio is not? From my personal experience (based on test drives only, as i have yet to receive my car), sound is severely improved on both the high and low end of the spectrum whereas the highs really makes listening to both podcasts AND radio-chatter a lot more enjoyable.

Subjective, of course. I do wish there was a DB test, since - to me - hitting the highway in test cars with and without Focal seemed noticeably different to me (with Audio off, of course). There's still cabin noise, but sound levels are deeper and hence way less intrusive when having a normal conversation for instance.

This seems like stating the obvious ;-)

If you're someone who uses the car stereo, you will benefit. If you're not you won't see much benefit.
This review cannot be wrong, as they are my opinions :confused:. Honestly, it really does amaze me when you take the time to write things out online, and people still manage to jump on it and turn it into something negative. I have NOTHING to gain from writing this, it was simple to help others with their decision in choosing the Focal option and try to answer some of the burning questions. With regards to bias? bias towards what? Usually people are biased towards the product they have spent the money on, which is why you get heated debates over Apple vs Android for example. You seem to be doing the same here? :rolleyes:

So lets try to address some of this stuff:

The windows - Did you even look at the photos I posted? You can clearly see there's a difference at the top of the window, but there is no other visual evidence that they are actually laminated like you get on other cars. That's not to say they aren't since my photo proves there is a difference.

The radio - Under the section First Impressions. So this is around comments I've seen elsewhere online that people are saying there is not much difference in the sound with the Focal. This is to make people realise the radio is not where you will see the main improvements, and don;t judge the system as soon as you turn the car on. I have noticed on the 3008 when you first turn the car on the radio is possibly in 'mono' and the sound quality seems to get better over the first few minutes, possibly switching to stereo. Also that FM seems far better quality than DAB, which is very odd since I was expecting it to be the other way around. I don't know the technicalities, but I assume that FM and maybe DAB? Has some kind of frequency cut off/compression in order to broadcast it over the air, resulting in missed low end and high end. In comparison to using a direct cable with media such as FLAC where you get the full range.

My intention has been to update the review as I go along and listen more. But, I was listening to Radio 1 on Friday night, Dance Anthems, and the sound was definitely improved.

Oh, and your comment on "leaving the audio off" who said anything about leaving it off? why would you do that :confused:

Podcasts/radio - As previously stated, with the radio I believe you are getting cut off/compression so Podcasts via a cable on a phone should technically be better sound quality.

Noise inside the cabin - This is an interesting one. So as I say I've driven a non focal for the past month, and getting into the new car with focal there is no immediate night and day difference to cabin noise. There are other factors in the mix which means it's not a direct comparison to me - Panoramic roof and larger wheels which can also add more noise. My main point here is, cabin noise should not be the reason for choosing the Focal option since the benefit is very small if anything in real terms.

Stating the obvious - Thank you for those polite words, but I'm hitting the point home that the radio is not where you will see the true benefit with the Focal option (as confirmed in the new Focal manual). But if you love your audio, the Focal is an amazing buy, I don't regret it one bit. In fact I waiting an extra 3 months to have Focal as well since initially they got my order wrong!

I think you need to change how you approach online forums, and stop being a keyboard warrior. Can we move the discussion back more constructive please. If anyone has any questions or ideas you want me to test or answer, happy to help :)
 
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