Meet the Funktion One F5 - compact in size, big in every other way
The British manufacturer of professional sound systems released its smallest speaker to date - the Funktion One F5. Tony Andrews and his team launched the compact product in February at ISE 2020. Besides, they revealed the long-anticipated Funktion One SB8 subwoofer.
There was a lot of curiosity around the two new models. However, the public got distracted by another event that took over the world just a few weeks later - the Covid-19 pandemic. Therefore, not much has been said or written about what in our opinion is one of the most exciting Funktion One products to date.
The Funktion One F5 continues a long tradition of delivering exceptional audio to commercial applications such as bars and restaurants. At the same time, the ultra-compact speaker has all the necessary qualities to become a valuable asset to any advanced home entertainment system. The F5 builds upon a truly unique combination of usability, quality and value for money.
The F5 comprises of a bespoke high impedance 5" driver, manufactured to Funktion One’s specifications. In fact, this is the same transducer the company is using in its wide dispersion F55. Like every product from the audio veterans, there is no need for additional EQ correction.
"It's all about the tuning of the driver and cabinet parameters to provide a natural, exciting speaker," explains design engineer Mike Igglesden, "Simplicity and sensitivity are the keywords."
As a result, we have a highly efficient loudspeaker with phenomenal audio quality, housed in a plywood enclosure. As standard, the Funktion One F5 comes in black, white and the brand’s classic purple finish. However, the speakers are also available in custom RAL colours upon request.
"It's all about the tuning of the driver and cabinet parameters to provide a natural, exciting speaker"
The smart design allows the speaker to be used as a desktop DJ monitor. The angled cabinet enables the driver to be directed towards the listener's ears.
The Funktion One F5 has an integrated 3/8" microphone stand mount - making it an extremely versatile product. An excellent accessory is the cast-iron round base stand by König & Meyer, which helps with positioning and adjusting the speaker to the right hight. Furthermore, the pole extends up to 156 cm.
There is a multitude of aspects to consider when designing a loudspeaker. In the first place, it is virtually impossible to have a compact product delivering deep bass and exceptional mid-range clarity with high sensitivity. Therefore, Funktion One decided to have a dedicated low-frequency enclosure. The astonishing Funktion One SB8 bass-reflex subwoofer completes this system by effortlessly covering the 50Hz-150Hz range.
"Simplicity and sensitivity are the keywords"
Why a single driver?
It may look on the surface that single-driver loudspeakers are as simple as the name suggest - a transducer and an enclosure. The reality, however, shows that such a design sets a challenging task. Still, there are many benefits when the project is executed correctly.
The F5 produces a full range of frequencies from one voice coil, ensuring excellent time coherency. A single cone speaker eliminates the need for a compression driver and covers pretty much the entire vocal spectrum.
Which amplifier to use with the Funktion One F5?
Choosing the right amplifier for the system is crucial. The amplifier should be sufficient to power the F5 loudspeakers, but also a Funktion One SB8 subwoofer while providing adequate protection, crossover settings, gain adjustment and possibly time alignment.
To begin with, most HiFi amplifiers lack the necessary power, DSP (Digital Signal Processing) and a sufficient number of channels to drive all 3 (potentially more) speakers. In the meantime, professional multichannel amplifiers are expensive and bulky. More often than not, they have noisy fans, making them unsuitable for domestic applications or a studio.
We did continuous testing and market research, and we found out that the Linea Research XiB4 is an excellent match to the Funktion One SB8 and F5 system. The amplifier has enough muscle to drive clean power to the bass. The integrated DSP allows full control over the limiter settings and fine-tuning of the sound system. Besides, the amplifier weighs under 10KG and is very quiet. The Linea Research XiB4 offers outstanding audio performance at a very competitive price.
Update December 2021
We are adding two completely silent amplifiers to our list.
Powersoft Mezzo 604 - The Italian manufacturer offers an ultra-compact fanless amplifier with a built-in DSP
Funktion One F20QHD - the OEM version of the Full Fat Audio FFA 2004HD - designed for use in premium home cinemas the amplifier features a new silent cooling system. (pictured below is the FFA 8004HD
Recently Funktion One announced that an active version of the Funktion One SB8 subwoofer will see the light of day - the Funktion One SB8A. The powered bass cabinet will also be able to provide the amplification for the Funktion One F5 loudspeakers
It comes as no surprise that the F5 could form a generous DJ monitor system when coupled with one of the bass speakers from the compact range. After all, Funktion One is one of the most respected club sound brands. On another note, the speaker really stands out as a domestic HiFi system. We tested the F5’s with a broad spectrum of music - from Lou Reed and Boz Scaggs to Donatto Dozzy and Akufen. As long as the source material is of high quality, you can expect a compelling and involving audio experience.
Team up seven F5's with a Funktion One SB8 subwoofer, surround sound processor and an eight-channel Linea Research amplifier, and the result is a truly immersive home cinema experience.
Because of its unique characteristics, we have successfully installed the Funktion One F5 in cafes, yoga studios and private homes. One of our recent projects even saw the F5 at London's Ravensbourne University for a multichannel spatial audio project.
Funktion One F5 Demo and Purchase
Sova Audio is a UK based Funktion-One specialist. Our demo room is in East London. We stock the full range of Funktion-One and Linea Research products - for sale, hire, demo and also provide an install and aftersale service for our clients.
Published by Sova Audio Systems LTD on (modified )