Funktion One speakers: a guide to choosing the best system for your needs
When the first Funktion One speakers were released to the world at the start of the millennium, there was already a substantial history behind the brand. It all began beside the pool of the Sunset Marquis in 1976. Tony Andrews was in town working on loudspeaker designs with a manufacturer there and John Newsham happened to be passing through on a day’s rest from FOH duties for the Steve Hillage Band. Almost immediately after being introduced, the duo dived headfirst into a conversation about how sound behaves underwater. Their next meeting set the course for a decade-spanning partnership at the forefront of audio - founding both Turbosound and Funktion One. Tony the restless inventor and John his trusty sidekick.
Early Glastonbury days with the Festival System
Naturally engineered sound across the entire range
Through Turbosound as the number one for concert audio through the 1980s, to Funktion One as pioneers of loudspeaker innovation ever since, the ethos has been consistent. Make the best, naturally engineered sound and create the most expansive soundstage possible. Maximum headroom.
Right at the core of the Funktion One ethos is a belief in point source loudspeaker technology. Some would say audio in its purest, most honest form - direct and potentially mind blowing in the right hands.
It has taken until quite recently for Funktion One’s speaker range to reach a point of full maturity. With the introduction of the F5 and SB8, the full spectrum of listening environments – stopping short of headphones – is covered. Vero and Evo stealing the headlines as the large format systems but with back up from Resolution and the Compact Range. From large to small, Funktion-One speakers carry the same sonic DNA and performance characteristics.
Bass reflex and horn-loaded bass technology options
For many people, their appreciation of Funktion One moment comes from experiencing its unmistakable low-end for the first time. Funktion One bass comes in two varieties: horn-loaded (F-Series) or bass reflex (BR Range). Both are very capable but there are some performance differences. The vented bass reflex models give a bigger ‘hit’ of bass at close range and have a smaller footprint, whereas the horn-loaded options typically have smoother output, extended depth and transient response.
Custom Dance Stack including the largest Funktion One bass reflex speaker - the BR132
Understanding different types of Funktion One loudspeakers
Before we delve deeper into the speaker range, it’s important to understand the options available and the terminology that goes with them. Let’s take Evo 6 as an example to help explain. With the Evo 6 family of products, the Evo 6E is the complete enclosure, Evo 6EH is the mid/high section in an enclosure and the Evo 6SH is the mid/high section as a lightweight skeletal speaker that features the same componentry but with no enclosure/housing. This key can be applied across the board, so if you see an SH product, you know it’s the skeletal variant.
Whether it’s for your living room, nightclub or festival, when it comes to choosing the right Funktion One speakers, there are some important things to think about. How the system will be used should be your primary consideration. It makes very little sense from either an audio or budget point of view to over spec your system.
Funktion One speakers for small applications
If you want Funktion One sound for a home DJ/producer or studio setup or small party, the options start with the F5. Despite standing at less than 25cm, the F5 offers incredible performance. The same can be said for the rest of the Compact Range, which scale up in terms of output. Check out F81, F101 and F1201 for larger home environments and smaller events. These speakers are also suited to smaller installation environments and for creating zoned audio. The addition of compact bass, such as the SB8 or Minibass, extends the frequency range down 50 or 60Hz for a full range system.
Discrete wide dispersion Funktion One F55 speaker at a store launch.
The active Funktion One SB210 forms a simple to use compact system. The bass is capable of powering two tops (F5, F55, F81-pictured and F101)
Funktion One speakers for medium applications
As the spaces get larger so do the loudspeakers. The Resolution 1 and 2, after all these years, continue to offer market-leading intelligibility and coverage for medium size applications. This includes small clubs and live music venues. These systems are particularly effective when partnered with F115 or F215 bass - which are also great low/mid reinforcement for the large-scale systems. The BR118, BR218, F118 and F218 are also impressive options.
Custom compact dance stack including 4 x BR118, 2 x F115 and 2 x Resolution 2 SH
Funktion One speakers for large applications
When it comes to large-scale applications, such as large clubs, live music venues and festivals, it’s all about the Evolution Series. Launched in 2015, the Evo Series has become a comprehensive collection of full-range enclosures, skeletal SH models, mid/high and mid/low reinforcement, as well as touring options.
The Evo 6 family with its 50°horizontal dispersion offers wider coverage than the Evo 7, which has a longer throw because of its narrower 40° horizontal dispersion. Taking a live concert environment as an example, Evo 6 will provide coverage for the front of the audience, while Evo 7 takes care of the back of the audience area. Both are fully horn loaded with 15in mid bass, 10in Funktion-One signature midrange and a 1.4in compression driver solely for high frequencies above 4kHz.
Bass reinforcement for Evo systems typically comes from BR121, BR221, F121, F221 and the critically acclaimed F124. Adding F132 or BR132 to these setups extends the low-end and delivers lots of power and definition in the sub frequency range.
Music On 2017 - Electric Brixton. Main system: 8 x Evo6, 6 x F215, 8 x F121, 8 x BR121(center monoblock); Resolution 3SH as Infills.
The Evolution of the famous Funktion One Dance Stack
The arrival of the Evolution Series led to the infamous Funktion One Dance Stack being re-imagined with Evo 6EH (mid/high) and Evo 6SH (mid/high skeletal) speakers. They are partnered with specially designed Dance Stack enclosures, such as the DS210 (double 10in mid high) and the DS15 (upper bass / lower mid horn). The latest generation Dance Stack typically stands on a low-end foundation of F-Series or Infrabass.
Next level sound for concert touring and large-scale events
You can’t talk about Funktion-One in large-scale environments without mentioning Vero and Vero VX. While both systems might look like line-array, the technology within the cabinets is firmly based in point source. If you haven’t had an opportunity to experience Vero sound yet, hopefully you’ll have a chance this summer.
What can we expect from Funktion One in the future?
The Funktion One speaker range will soon grow again with the addition of Evo X and BR124. Evo X has evolved from the configuration of the popular Funktion-One Resolution 2 and is a significant development of the three-way, fully horn-loaded loudspeaker design. The BR124 is the bass reflex equivalent of the much-loved F124.
At Funktion-One, innovation never stops. We can expect plenty of exciting developments over the coming months and years.
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 )