Focal micro utopia be VS Dynaudio C1

It seems that in the 3k-4k used range, the focal and dyns seems to be solid contenders and Ive pretty much focused my choice on those two.

I listen mainly to electronica and jazz.

I have a small room (10 x 11) fully treated with HUGE 14 inch thick, floor to ceiling, bass traps. First reflection point fully treated as well as back wall.

I will mainly listen to about 7 feet away from the speakers.

I also really like to be able to listen at low volume late at night.

I NEVER listen past 95 DB, and normally listen to avarage of 80 db.

I will get a amp once I know which speaker to get!

I value musicality more then anything else. I want to be drawn into the music and the resolution must be well integrated into the sound.
Coherent, musicality and the two attributes I value the most. And non fatiguing!

i am in a similiar situation with a small room...I had Micro BE speakers and felt unltimately they lacked coherence maybe because the close listening..I cannot commnet on the C1 although they are rear ported which could result in problems if close to the rear wall. I will say my current speaker Vivid v1.5 is excellent and the best speaker I have ever had.(have had also wilson benesch arc, and proac 1.5, thiel 1.5, B&W C1) .I have had them since 2011. They are not picky in room placement...they are extremely coherent but the same time engaging and detailed...the other neat thing is they do not require a stand...I have seen them pop up and in your price range...
hi rello, the lack of coherence from focal surprise me a lot and got me concerned a bit.

Do you think it was because of the distance between you and the speaker or the inherent design of the speaker?

anyone can comment on the focal performance when listening at around 7 feet from the focal?
Can't comment on the Focal but after owning both the DYn C1 and C1 Signature I have to say MKII/Sig sound better at lower listening levels. I would also say the original will get louder. So if you can find the MKII I think they would be better they would be better for your listening requirements.
My impression of the Micro BE is in my space so I cannot say for sure....for sure though the Vivid is much more coherent and overall a better speaker and certainly in my space.
Do not buy the C1's if your going to play them at low volume all the time. They really need to open up to sound best and they do that with a lot of clean power! You should look into some low watt tube amps with high sensitive speakers like 92db or better. That kind of system would sound awesome in the room you described above.IMO.
My only thought is that you say you listen to electronica. The dyns will have far more powerful and deep bass.
My choice of speakers now include the vivid v1.5.

I dont know much, but I know I love tube amp, and likely want a relatively easy to drive speaker, which the dyn's are not.

I think my choice will have to be between Vivid and focal.
My top three speakers in my price range is:
harbeth shl5
focal micro utopia be
Vivid v1.5

Anyone has experience with those three and could compare?

I would be tempted with the harbeth because of the 8 inch woofer which I know is sufficient for bass, where as a 6.5 inch may be a bit limited...
I dont know much, but I know I love tube amp, and likely want a relatively easy to drive speaker, which the dyn's are not.
I had no problems driving either the C1 or the C1Sig's with an Octave V70SE tube integrated.
Hi Murphythecat, I hope it is ok if I will answer here the pm you have sent me yesterday.

My experience with the Dynaudio C1 is that they sound a bit nasal when played below 70-75 dB, but open up complete when played between 75-80 dB. In smaller rooms, the bass can be problematic with them, i.e. too little at low volumes and too much at higher volumes. However, if one is able to overcame these bass issues, the C1s will sound with most types of music more intimate and fuller than the MicroBe and will also image better.

Regarding the Focal MicroBe speakers, IMO in smaller rooms they are a safer bet than the Dyns. If one is willing to take the time to position them properly (requires rather exact measurements) they will yield a stereo image almost as good as the C1. They are easier to integrate with a subwoofer, and I would certainly recommend to anyone to complement them with a subwoofer, viz. not because they lack bass but because by doing so one can get world class full range sound out of them. I did not find they lack coherence (I was sitting at around 7 feet from them.)

The Vivid Audio V1.5 speakers are indeed very good speakers. IMO they are significantly better than Dynaudio C1 and Focal MicroBe. They have better timber, are faster, more coherent and more detailed than the C1 and the MicroBes. They have decent bass and, because of the horn loaded tweeter play wonderful music even at low volumes. I would go so far and say that the V1.5s are in the same league with the likes of Raidho D1. They would certainly be my pick.

Finally, I should say that when compared to my current Avantgarde Uno speakers, the Dynaudio C1 and also the MicroBes speakers sounded boxy and extremely slow. That experience really made me reluctant to recommend anymore the Dynaudio C1s and the Focal MicroBes speakers (even though I have had wonderful times with both speakers.) Vivid audio speakers, on the other hand, do not sound like “drives-in-a-box”. IMO they are among the very few speakers that do not exhibit this weakness. In fact they are the only speakers I have heard so far that did not sounded like “drives-in-a-box”, and this include speakers like TAD Evolution, Raidho D2 and Focal Grande Utopia 3 EM.


p.s. I did not have the V1.5 in my room (only the Giya G3). However, I have spent 3-4 hours all by myself and with my music in a dealer room with a pair of V1.5s (which I was told were well burned-in).
wow, okay thanks for that write up

My choice is now between the

vivid v1.5
harbeth shl5
AN-E I'm curious about the audio note speaker

Anyone can comment on those three speakers...
Nvp-Great post!
Hi Nvp - Paul you are right about Raidho. I know I argued with you in the past but that was because I never heard them. Just want you to know I traded the C1 Sig's for D1's.
Hi Paul - NVP,

I have a question for you not related to this thread. Could you email me at michaelkingdom at gmail com ? Thanks.

Murphy, It was nice talking to you last night! Good luck on your choice.
Hi guys I am happy to read you have found my post useful. I should apologies for the typos though. I typed it in hurry, plus English is not my first language. :)

Xti16, I do not recall the two of us having any disagreements. On the contrary, I have always felt your reports about Dynaudio C1 and C1 mk2 were very much in line with my experience with those speakers. I know you have replaced the C1 signatures with the Raidho D1. Nice upgrade, enjoy them!

Murphythecat, congratulation for the Audio Note speakers!