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For the characterization of high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) fields, hydrophone measurements should be performed in water in the whole range of the radiated power; however, cavitation occurs at high output, leading to the destruction of the hydrophone. To avoid this problem, a new hydrophone with additional protective layers covering the electrodes was developed and tested in the experiments. A single-element 1-MHz focusing ultrasound source was used for detailed measurements of the acoustic field in the axial and lateral planes. Measurements were performed with a new membrane hydrophone up to the focal peak compressional and rarefactional pressures of 55.6 and of 12.8 MPa, respectively, when the shock front had already formed in the waveform. Numerical modeling for the beams of periodic waves with an initially uniform amplitude distribution was performed, based on the Khokhlov-Zabolotskaya-Kuznetsov equation. Numerical solutions were compared with the experimental data and found to be in good agreement (within 10%). The influences of the limited bandwidth and the spatial averaging effect of the hydrophone on the accurate measurements of the acoustic field parameters were also investigated.