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!

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...