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Focal P 20 FSE Shallow Mount Subwoofer Detailed Review

Are you looking for a reliable set of wheels to take on the open road? Have you heard about the Focal P 20 FSE shallow mount subwoofer and wondered if it may be worth your investment?

As a car driver who loves high-end sound quality, I know how important it is to find something that meets your driving needs.

The Focal P 20 FSE is considered a high-quality subwoofer built with unique materials to deliver premium bass. It features a shallow-mount design and has a top-mount depth of only 3 inches, making it easy to fit in many smaller vehicles. 

The cone is made from a layer of flax fiber sandwiched between two layers of glass fiber, a material developed originally for Focal’s home speakers that have trickled down to their car speakers and subs.

This material and other technologies were developed to create their Flax Evo Series speakers and subs, for which they spent five years developing a super-lightweight, extra-rigid cone material.

Tip: If you want this sub installed in the enclosure, I recommend TR8P Sealed Box with 0.3 cubic feet volume (link to Amazon).

It works perfectly in such a small space. The bass may be slightly deeper in the larger ones, but the SPL will be reduced.

In the article below, I will provide you with an in-depth review based on my own experience using this small sub so that you can make an informed decision when considering whether or not it is right for you.

Design

The Focal P 20 FSE (link to Amazon) has a sleek and modern design. It is built at Focal’s workshop in France and features a glass fiber/flax/glass fiber laminate cone with a rubber surround.

The cone is super-lightweight and extra-rigid, providing the warmth of natural fiber combined with the supreme accuracy of a more rigid cone material.

Focal Sub P20FSE 8" Expert Flax Shallow-Mount 4-Ohm Subwoofer

The shallow-mount design allows it to fit in a compact sealed enclosure, making it easier to fit even into small vehicles.

It has a top-mount depth of only 3 inches, and the sealed box volume is 0.21-0.38 cubic feet, making it perfect for those with limited car space.

If you are looking for the deepest bass, Focal does not recommend using this sub with the ported enclosures. It is designed specifically for sealed enclosures with a volume between 0.21 and 0.38 cubic feet.

Functionality

The Focal P 20 FSE subwoofer handles up to 200 watts RMS and has a frequency response of 35-400 Hz, with a sensitivity of 86 dB.

It is an 8-inch 4-ohm component subwoofer, which makes it an ideal choice for everyone who wants to upgrade their car audio system, and 8″ also allows it to be mounted in many factory locations, but mounting spots should be sealed.

Features

The subwoofer is wired at 4 ohms and can handle 200 watts RMS (400 watts peak). It also has a shallow-mount design and a glass fiber/flax/glass fiber laminate cone with a rubber surround.

It also has a frequency response of 35-400 Hz, a sensitivity of 86 dB, and a top-mount depth of only 3 inches.

Focal Sub P20FSE 8" Expert Flax Shallow-Mount 4-Ohm Subwoofer

The frequency may not seem extremely low, but it gives a fantastic feeling to any bass lover.

The sealed box volume is 0.21-0.38 cubic feet. It is not the smallest one. 

For example, the same size Pioneer TS-A2000LD2 can play amazingly with just 0.15 cubic feet, but with such low volume, the bass may not be as deep due to the internal build-up of the sound pressure.

I have found the best effect for both in the boxes size 0.3 cubic feet, which is still excellent to fit into the smaller car. At this volume, Focal P 20 FSE has to be tuned to 49Hz at the amplifier.

Ease of use

The installation and connection are straightforward, but this Focal has a unique type of connection for the wires, which requires you to push the sub’s button in and insert the wire.

The wire is held in its place by a tension spring, which may raise concerns about vibration with this type of connection.

This connection is secure and easy to use, and I have not experienced any issues with vibration.

Pros

  • High-quality materials and construction
  • Shallow-mount design allows it to fit in a compact sealed enclosure.
  • Excellent sound quality with a clean and tight bass
  • Can handle up to 200 watts RMS

Cons

  • A unique type of connection for the wires that some users have concerns about vibration.

Conclusion

The Focal P 20 FSE is a high-quality subwoofer with premium bass and great sound quality.

It has a unique cone material made from a layer of flax fiber sandwiched between two layers of glass fiber, which provides the warmth of natural fiber combined with the supreme accuracy of a more rigid cone material.

The shallow-mount design allows it to fit in a compact sealed enclosure, making it a perfect option for those with smaller vehicles.

Focal Sub P20FSE 8" Expert Flax Shallow-Mount 4-Ohm Subwoofer

From a personal experience, I had the pleasure of testing the Focal P20 FSE for some time, and the sound is phenomenal to say the least.

The bass is clean and tight. No matter the amount of signal I push through the gain, it can handle a lot.

The only concern I had was the type of connection they use for the wires, but after using it for some time, the connection is secure, and the springs hold so much load that is no way they can become loose.

It is a different design, but it functions in the same quality as more common screws or blase connectors.

Overall, the Focal P 20 FSE (link to Amazon) is a great choice for those looking for top-notch quality materials, excellent build, and perfect sound. 

With this sub, Focal ticks all boxes delivering premium bass and excellent sound quality.

Its unique cone material, shallow-mount design, and inclusion in the best shallow-mount car subwoofers make it stand out from other models.

I recommend it to anyone looking for a subwoofer that can deliver superb sound quality and to those who have limited space in their cars. It is definitely a bang for your buck if installed and used appropriately.

FAQ

How Do I Properly Install the Focal P 20 FSE?

Installing the Focal P 20 FSE is relatively easy, but it’s always best to consult the manual for specific instructions for your vehicle.

In general, you’ll need to choose the correct location for the subwoofer, which should be in a sealed enclosure that’s the appropriate size for the sub.

This sub has to be installed in the sealed enclosure. It is not designed to work in open spaces or vented boxes.

You’ll then need to connect the subwoofer to your amplifier using the appropriate cables and ensure all connections are secure.

Can the Focal P 20 FSE Fit in a Smaller Vehicle?

The Focal P 20 FSE is designed to fit in smaller vehicles, as it has a shallow-mount design and a top-mount depth of only 3 inches.

This makes it easier to fit into tight spaces and still be able to deliver premium sound quality.

Why Is There a Unique Type of Connection for the Wires, and How to Use It?

The unique type of connection for the wires is a push-button terminal that is held in place by tension with a spring.

This type of connection is secure, easy to use, and designed to minimize the risk of vibration.

To use it, simply push the button in and insert the wire. The wire will then be held in place by the tension of the spring.

How Do I Know if the Focal P 20 FSE Is Compatible With My Vehicle?

The Focal P 20 FSE is compatible with most vehicles, but it’s always best to consult the manual for specific instructions for your car.

Additionally, you can check the specifications of your vehicle’s audio system and compare it to the specifications of the subwoofer to ensure compatibility.

What Is the Warranty on the Focal P 20 FSE?

The Focal P 20 FSE comes with a manufacturer’s warranty, which typically covers any defects in materials or workmanship for a specified time.

It’s important to read the warranty information carefully and to register your product with the manufacturer to ensure that you’re covered.

How to Clean and Maintain My Focal P 20 FSE Subwoofer?

Cleaning and maintaining your Focal P 20 FSE is relatively easy.

You should wipe it down with a dry cloth to remove dust or debris. You can also use a damp cloth to gently wipe the cone and surrounds.

Avoid using any harsh chemicals or abrasive materials to clean the subwoofer. Also, make sure that the subwoofer is installed in a dry, well-ventilated area to prevent any moisture damage.