B&W 802D compared to Focal Kanta 3

Hi everyone -

Although I’m not comparing equivalent models between B&W and Focal, which speaker would you choose.

The B&W 802D is the first of their diamond series, up to D3 now. Seems like the equivalent Focal speaker would be the Sopra 3. Where the equivalent Focal Kanta 3 speaker would be the 803D3.

Also, I’m a bit confused between the difference of the Focal Kanta 3 and their Sopra 2.

What are your thoughts on this discussion?

Please, lets keep it to just these speakers, and not go off on any tangents

Thanks in advance.


Welcome, @onehorsepony!

Here’s my experience comparing Sopra N°2, which I purchased after comparing to 803D3.

I was convinced I wanted B&W 803 D3’s & invested considerable time over several listening sessions through Audio Research GS150 & Ref 6, Esoteric K-01X SACD player & Nordost Odin2 cables. Something about the midrange didn’t sound quite right. Heard the Focal Sopra N°2s at another dealer (Audio Research VT80 & LS28 with Nordost Purple Flare XLR & White Lightening speaker cable) and bought them after an hour of listening. Sounded much better across the board & (at the time) retailed for $3,000 less. Sopra N°2 has been in system 28 months (almost 4,000 listening hours) & I haven’t been disappointed yet.

802D3 midrange (6-inch) is one inch larger than the 803D3 (5-inch) which may make a difference.

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The Kanta 3s use flax for their mids and woofers…are closed in the back




Kanta N°3 is the reference product for the line: this Hi-Fi loudspeaker superbly combines depth, impact and articulation of the bass register. The definition and neutrality of the midrange are incredible. The next generation IAL tweeter reproduces the tiniest details with clinical precision. The result? A precise, detailed sound, brimming with warmth and musicality. It is the start of a new era for those who love sound…This acoustic masterpiece performs at its best in large rooms, from 430 to 860 ft² (40 to 80 m²).

Entirely dedicated to acoustic performance and with an incredibly original look: that, in a nutshell, is the Kanta DNA! After three years of research, Focal offers a new combination of exclusive Hi-Fi technologies: the marriage of Beryllium, in the next generation IAL3 tweeter , and Flax , for the midrange and bass speaker drivers.

Another strong point of the line is its bold look that puts the finishing touch on this acoustic masterpiece with a resolutely modern and bewitching design! With its front panel finishes, gloss or matt, there are several possible combinations. Different styles, each one so different from the next, means there’s something for everyone. Kanta has become a ultra stylish, designer object that will become the star of your interior.

While the Sopra 3 is open behind the tweeter…giving a dipole
effect …and employ a slate composite on their mid and woofers




The longest standing loudspeaker of the line, Sopra N°3 perfectly combines dynamics, space optimisation and harmonic richness.

With its two 8¼" (21cm) woofers, this loudspeaker offers solid, rich and perfectly defined bass for music lovers looking for optimum performance. Despite its reasonable size, it will reveal its full potential in rooms measuring up to 860 ft2 (80 m2).

Sopra clearly inaugurates a new era for the “Premium High End” by taking into account new performance criteria. Compact, modern, a pure design, character… all these are essential factors to ensure perfect integration into your interior.

Equipped with best midrange drivers ever developed by Focal, with the NIC and TMD technologies, Sopra pushes back the limits of sound reproduction in terms of transparency in a very compact enclosure. Indeed, unlike Utopia, which is extravagant by essence and where size is by no means a constraint, Sopra aims for maximal compactness to ensure easy integration into reasonably sized rooms.

Sopra No3 - Top High End - 2017 - Top High End

Highlight - Sopra N°3 - 02/2017 - STEREOPLAY

Sopra 3 - Highly Commended - Hi-fi News - HI-FI NEWS

Both Kanta and Sopra employ be tweeters.

Hope this helps answer your question regarding the differences
between the Kanta 3 and the Sopra 3

Best wishes

Welcome to the community! I have heard both the B&W and Focal speakers. They both sound fantastic! Speakers are the most personal component of a system in my opinion so you have your work cut out for you! Good news is you can’t go wrong either way. Good luck!

Sopra 2 & 3 also closed in back; both use bottom firing ports.

The lower bass part of the Sopra 3 is enclosed in the
back but not the tweeter element it is open to the back.

The open back of the tweeter section isn’t a port in the same sense as a bass driver; the tweeter is loaded by a progressively damped, tapered horn-shaped duct filled with dampening material so that the sound waves created from the back of the tweeter are delicately and gradually absorbed. Output from the rear radiation of the tweeter doesn’t exit the structure which, according to Focal, is open to maximize the internal volume available to the bass driver with the goal of maintaining a compact cabinet.

I do not know about the Focal’s, but the B&W’s like lots of power. Stereophile has a thorough review that mentions careful consideration should be given to the electronics driving them, although pre & power amp to speaker synergy matters for every speaker system. Ultimately, you’ll have to listen to both speakers to see if either of these fits YOU. (Here comes a tangent, sorry in advance) I would also listen to Martin Logan ESL series speakers, Legacy Audio and Sonus Faber just to make sure that B&W or Focal is right for you.

Hi all -

Interested in purchasing a pair of Focal Sopra 3’s.

Can anyone give me their opinion of them along with any information?

I will be driving them with a pair of Classe CAM-200’s

Also, how do they compare to the B&W 802 D3’s?

I have no experience with the focal but I will say the b&w 802d2 was the only speaker I have heard by b&w that I have liked. I don’t say that to disparage other b&w speakers but to make the point that these are pretty swell. I own Maggie 20.7 for reference.

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