The concept is known as “Focal Powered by Naim”. The shops will be a fusion of offerings from these two iconic brands and will allow customers to experience and evaluate a full range of products and turnkey systems.
The driving force behind the roll-out is VerVent Audio which is the holding company of Focal and Naim. Through this partnership, the Focal Powered by Naim concept has seen successful launches in places like South Korea, France, the Czech Republic, China, Australia, and Germany.
I love this new/old concept, especially when more and more brands appear to be shifting to a virtual sales infrastructure. Meanwhile, Focal and Naim are building cutting-edge retail shops that let you get quality hands-on experience with real products. The customers will be able to listen to the systems in person while having a knowledgeable sales staff available to answer questions and discuss the underlying technologies and design philosophies. The customer will be able to make better decisions when assembling their systems with the added bonus of doing this between two brands that synergize as well as these products do.
So let me tell you a little more about the shop in Houston. The shop is located at 6362 Alder Dr. Houston, TX 77081. This location is in a slightly older, upscale part of Houston not far from the beautiful Rice University campus. The shop’s space is a little over 1,600 square feet. That seems small but they have a total of four dedicated listening rooms, one of which is dedicated to the Grande Utopias in a cost-no-object display of greatness all the way down to a headphone lounge with several headphone models and Naim’s newest headphone/amp streamer, the Naim Uniti Atom Headphone Edition.
I was invited to attend the soft opening on May 26, 2021. Due to scheduling issues, I had to be there earlier in the day, so I was the first reviewer to get a peek inside. My early access was so early, there were still workers milling about putting in the final touches. My tour guide that day was Mr. Robert Bruce with Focal Naim America. Mr. Bruce was so very generous with his time, spending over two hours walking me through the shop and sharing his vast knowledge of all things Focal and Naim. I learned a lot about the brands, their histories, and their current product offerings.
We started in the headphone lounge where they had all the Focal headphones available to audition along with the aforementioned Naim Uniti Atom Headphone Edition. Even with the hullabaloo of active work going on around me, this was one of the most fabulous sounding headphone auditions I can remember. I was especially blown away by a little Tom Waits over the Focal Stellia Headphones.
I was naturally drawn to the room with the most expensive products on display, the Grande Utopia Room. This is another excellent idea. Allowing your customers to experience the best system possible provides a point of reference in their musical journey. They can start with a modest system and then upgrade over time with the goal of achieving the kind of incredible performance you get from these amazing products. This is possible because Naim has always provided upgrade paths for all its products. Each product is like a platform and the customer can upgrade and mod their Naim electronics to their heart’s content.
During my visit, Mr. Bruce and I enjoyed a little Bob Marley in the Grande Utopia Room, mon. The Naim Statement NAP-S1 monoblock amps are done in mirrored pairs and retail for $90k each while producing one horsepower (746 watts) per channel! (I called my banker later that day to ask about a $500k loan so I could buy most of the stuff in that room.)
My interest in home cinema continues to grow and expand every year. Unfortunately, the home cinema room pictured above was out of commission during my visit. The workers doing the last-minute finish out must have affected something that needed to be restored. The team was able to get the system up and running soon after I left. Well, I’ll tell you what, I’m going to get back there one day soon to check out this room that was loaded to bear with all the best that Focal and Naim have on offer for a home cinema application.
This was what the team was calling the “Classic System Room” and it represented probably the main core of the Naim and Focal product lines. These are more affordable components, albeit ones that provide the lion’s share of the performance you get from the top line products but at real-world prices for the working stiff out there (like me).
I was thoroughly impressed by this shop and all the people behind it. There are plans for more and more of these on a worldwide scale. It’s almost the perfect spot to shop for audio products. You really can purchase a turnkey system there, including analog options because Naim just announced they will be producing turntables now!
This link will take you to the Houston shop’s web page.
For more information on Focal Powered by Naim stores globally, visit
Below is a breakdown of the equipment in each of the showrooms:
Grande Utopia Room, Back of Room
|Focal Maestro Utopia EVO in black lacquer||$73,990 per pair|
Grande Utopia Room, active system
|Focal Grande Utopia EM EVO||$260,000 per pair|
|Naim ND555 Reference Streamer||$19,990|
|Naim PS555DR Power Supply for ND555||$11,990|
|Naim Statement NAC-S1 Preamplifier||$90,000|
|Naim Statement NAP-S1L Left channel Amplifier||$90,000|
|Naim Statement NAP-S1R Right channel Amplifier||$90,000|
|Naim Fraim Equipment stand for ND555, PS555DR||$3529|
|Naim SuperLumina Interconnect, Speaker Cable||$9480|
|Naim Powerline Power Cables (4 each at $990)||$3960|
Utopia Theater Room
Equipment for this room in rack located behind wood slat wall.
|Focal Astral 16 Audio-Video Processor and Amplifier||$19,990|
|Naim NAP-500DR Amplifier for Left Front channel||$29,900|
|Naim NAP-500DR Amplifier for Right Front channel||$29,990|
|Focal 1000 IWLCR Utopia (each $7499)||$52,493|
- Left, Center, Right, Left Side, Left Back, Right Side, Right Back surround speakers- all built into walls.
|Focal 1000 IWSUB Utopia (each $2799)||$22,392|
- 2 each Left, Center, Right, 1 each Left Side, Left Back, Right Side, Right Back Subwoofers-all built into walls.
|Focal 1000 ICA6 Overhead Speakers (4 each @$1099)||$4396|
Photo shows all the below.
Room 3 Classic System Room
|Focal Scala EVO Utopia in Natural Walnut||$51,990 pair|
|Focal 300 IWLCR 6 In wall speakers shown behind ($1190 each)||$3570|
|Naim NDX2 Streamer||$7690|
|Naim NAC-282 Preamplifier||$7490|
|Naim SuperCap Power Supply connected to NAC-282||$7490|
|Naim NAP-300 Amplifier with NAP-300PS Power Supply||$13,990|
|Naim HiLine Interconnect (3 each at $1590)||$4770|
|Naim Uniti Atom Headphone Edition (2 each)||$3290 each|
|Focal Celestee Headphones||$990|
|Focal Clear Mg Pro Headphones||$1490|
|Focal Stellia Headphones||$2990|
|Focal Clear Mg Headphones||$1490|
Equipment in center Naim Fraim stand
|Naim Uniti Nova Streaming Amplifier||$5990|
|Naim SuperNait 3 Integrated Amplifier||$4990|
|Naim HiCap DR Power Supply to Upgrade SuperNait 3||$2490|
|Naim Fraim Lite Equipment Stand||$2180|
|Focal Kanta No 3 in Black High Gloss, Black Lacquer||$13,990 pair|
|Speakers adjacent, not hooked up.||TEXT|
|Focal Aria 926 in Black||$4390 pair|
|Focal Kanta No1 in High Gloss Walnut||$6590 pair|
|Focal Kanta Stands No1 Black||$1490 per pair|
|Focal Sopra No1 in black||$9990 pair|
|Focal Sopra Stands Black||$1980 per pair|
|Naim Mu-so 2nd Generation||$1690|
|Focal Sopra No3 in red||$23,990 pair|
|Focal Chora 826 in black||$2190 pair|