Focal Headphone - Discussion

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adydula

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Focal Headphone - Discussion
« on: 29 May 2019, 10:20 pm »
Ok folks, I know there are several of you that have these headphones..so heres a place to discuss the attributes for these neat headphones...

Again, please be positive and include the good and the not so good, but please no disparagement.  :D

I have never had the chance to listen to these but hope to someday!

Alex

toocool4

Re: Focal Headphone - Discussion
« Reply #1 on: 29 May 2019, 10:30 pm »
Check out the Utopia and Clear, they will blow your mind. The Utopia has the better clarity but the Clear has the fuller bass either way they both sound amazing. If you are after closed back try the Stellia.
 

adydula

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Re: Focal Headphone - Discussion
« Reply #2 on: 30 May 2019, 01:24 am »
I have read a few write-ups on these cans and they seem exceptional to say the least.

Do you own any of these?

Does your mustang amp work well with them?

Alex

toocool4

Re: Focal Headphone - Discussion
« Reply #3 on: 30 May 2019, 04:17 pm »
No I don’t own any Focal headphones, but I have listened to them on many occasions.

It’s funny I did not think I would like them as I don’t like Focal speakers. Focal speakers are always very shouty & in your face, so it came as a big surprise that the headphones I mentioned are not the same.
The Focal Elea are good too but if you are planning in listening to the once I mentioned above, don’t listen to the Elea after as the ones above will make is sound like it’s broken.
The Elea is very very good but the other ones just out class it.   

JohnR

Re: Focal Headphone - Discussion
« Reply #4 on: 31 May 2019, 03:03 pm »
I used to think I was a planar guy...

adydula

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Re: Focal Headphone - Discussion
« Reply #5 on: 18 Sep 2019, 12:03 am »
Well seeing how this is a Focal discussion group!

I just bought a pair of Clears, be here in a few days!!

Stay tuned.

Alex

Freo-1

Re: Focal Headphone - Discussion
« Reply #6 on: 18 Sep 2019, 12:27 am »
Well seeing how this is a Focal discussion group!

I just bought a pair of Clears, be here in a few days!!

Stay tuned.

Alex



Congratulations on your purchase.  Looking forward to your observations.


Based on your other thread, I looked into Focal phones, and wound up getting a pair of Elears to go with a recently purchased Dynalo Headphone amp from Mjolnir Audio.  The price was too good to pass up. 


If they are as good as I think they will be, will likely move up the line down the track. 

adydula

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Re: Focal Headphone - Discussion
« Reply #7 on: 18 Sep 2019, 12:43 am »
Did you watch Tyll?
Never saw him in such a 'emotional' display towards a headphone!!

Alex

AKLegal

Re: Focal Headphone - Discussion
« Reply #8 on: 18 Sep 2019, 01:31 am »
Did you watch Tyll?
Never saw him in such a 'emotional' display towards a headphone!!

Alex

Tyll walked that enthusiasm back a bit.  See here and scroll down to the Utopia - https://www.innerfidelity.com/content/innerfidelitys-wall-fame-over-ear-open

I think the Massdrop Elex and the Clear are the best bets in the Focal line.

adydula

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Re: Focal Headphone - Discussion
« Reply #9 on: 18 Sep 2019, 02:29 am »
I read that as well...its pretty much in line with the video...bottom line :

For the first time I can unreservedly recommend a $1000+ headphone. If you've cautiously made the headphone enthusiast approved treck from a Koss Porta Pro to the Sennheiser HD 600/650, and have found your carefully protected wallet stuck there without a sure fire step up, now you have it. Even if it's a financial stretch, the Focal Clear is worth the struggle for an end-game headphone. That's not a recommendation I make lightly.
Read more at https://www.innerfidelity.com/content/innerfidelitys-wall-fame-over-ear-open#iYx3vGfIOM4Yy2qY.99

For Tyll and his opinions on spending $1000 or more this is a great testimonial...

Nothing is perfect, but what I heard today is pretty dang close with this technology....

Alex

brooklyn

Re: Focal Headphone - Discussion
« Reply #10 on: 18 Sep 2019, 04:53 am »
Well done Alex and congratulations..

I’ve read a lot of good things about Focal.. I think it’s great you got to listen to them before your
purchase.. Focal was in the running with me before I came across the HD800S headphones..
Please let us know how the listening sessions go……..

Oh yeah, this is getting good..  :bounce:

Jerry

adydula

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Re: Focal Headphone - Discussion
« Reply #11 on: 19 Sep 2019, 05:16 pm »
Well,

They just arrived!

Listening right now with the Bottlehead Mainline, balanced.....

Will post my first impressions later....want to go thru all my demo material.

Alex

 :D


Freo-1

Re: Focal Headphone - Discussion
« Reply #12 on: 19 Sep 2019, 05:48 pm »
Well,

They just arrived!

Listening right now with the Bottlehead Mainline, balanced.....

Will post my first impressions later....want to go thru all my demo material.

Alex

 :D


Excellent.  We can compare notes, as the Elear cans also showed up today.  Using a Mjolnir Dynalo amp to drive them.  So far, so good.

adydula

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Re: Focal Headphone - Discussion
« Reply #13 on: 19 Sep 2019, 06:19 pm »
Great,

Just ran thru my tube amps and going thru my SS amps....there is a night and day difference so far between amps...

Alex

adydula

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Re: Focal Headphone - Discussion
« Reply #14 on: 19 Sep 2019, 07:40 pm »
Well only a few hours of playing here...but so far the first impression is good.

The Clears are indeed 'clear" but very musical to me....over a wide variety of amps, they seem really easy to drive.

55 ohms, and a high sensitivity....I am having a hard time deciding on which amp pairs best they all are great but different.

From the Burson Fun Class A amp to my Bottlehead Mainline.....such a difference in presentation....

I hate it but they seem more clear with my SS amps than the tube amps....but the Mainlne has an entirely different magical presentation....

Its like there is no perfect answer!

The one thing so far I see as a "neagative" is there so revealing that poor stuff really come thru as mediocre!

The timbre, tonality is really the best I have experienced....that said the HD600's abnd T1's are no slouch here....

PLay some Brian Bromberg, his Wood Cd, Fredom Jazz Dance and the tone of the bass strings is soooo real....and at the end he slides his fingers over them and you can
close your eyes and visualize them.

Also they sound pretty goodand balanced at low volume levels...

I have one neat little amp designed by a friend over in France that has TI's OPA 1622 in it...
https://www.diyaudio.com/forums/headphone-systems/304684-ampcasq-opa1622-integrated-headamp-project.html

This little amp really plays with these Clears nicely...

So much has been said about these headphones already,,,for $1499 I thought they were abit pricey and my budget was $1500...but when the price dropped
to $999, these became a very good deal for me...

I will post more, but just want to listen for a few days!

Hats off to Focal they hit the mark!
Alex

Note: The Burson Fun sound the best to me with their Classic Op Amps.....the Vivids and Sparkos are just too trebly or sharp to my ears.
THe Classics makes the amp sound "Lucious and Alive".


Freo-1

Re: Focal Headphone - Discussion
« Reply #15 on: 19 Sep 2019, 08:13 pm »
Well only a few hours of playing here...but so far the first impression is good.

The Clears are indeed 'clear" but very musical to me....over a wide variety of amps, they seem really easy to drive.

55 ohms, and a high sensitivity....I am having a hard time deciding on which amp pairs best they all are great but different.

From the Burson Fun Class A amp to my Bottlehead Mainline.....such a difference in presentation....

I hate it but they seem more clear with my SS amps than the tube amps....but the Mainlne has an entirely different magical presentation....

Its like there is no perfect answer!

The one thing so far I see as a "neagative" is there so revealing that poor stuff really come thru as mediocre!

The timbre, tonality is really the best I have experienced....that said the HD600's abnd T1's are no slouch here....

PLay some Brian Bromberg, his Wood Cd, Fredom Jazz Dance and the tone of the bass strings is soooo real....and at the end he slides his fingers over them and you can
close your eyes and visualize them.

Also they sound pretty goodand balanced at low volume levels...

I have one neat little amp designed by a friend over in France that has TI's OPA 1622 in it...
https://www.diyaudio.com/forums/headphone-systems/304684-ampcasq-opa1622-integrated-headamp-project.html

This little amp really plays with these Clears nicely...

So much has been said about these headphones already,,,for $1499 I thought they were abit pricey and my budget was $1500...but when the price dropped
to $999, these became a very good deal for me...

I will post more, but just want to listen for a few days!

Hats off to Focal they hit the mark!
Alex

Note: The Burson Fun sound the best to me with their Classic Op Amps.....the Vivids and Sparkos are just too trebly or sharp to my ears.
THe Classics makes the amp sound "Lucious and Alive".


Not surprised that the SS amp is a good match for the Clears.  The phones are very revealing, and any noise from the amp will likely be heard during the playback. 


Looking forward to your observations as you get to know them better.

adydula

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Re: Focal Headphone - Discussion
« Reply #16 on: 19 Sep 2019, 09:00 pm »
Open and balanced..wonderful absolutely wonderful tonality....

I find myself really listening....they are light saber articulate...

Make sure you register them!

Alex

Freo-1

Re: Focal Headphone - Discussion
« Reply #17 on: 20 Sep 2019, 02:16 am »
Found these reviews of the Focal Elear and the Focal Clear from sonarworks:


https://www.sonarworks.com/blog/reviews/focal-elear-studio-headphone-review/#cons


https://www.sonarworks.com/blog/reviews/focal-clear-and-clear-professional-studio-headphone-review/


This set of reviews actually rated the Elear slightly higher than the Clear (The Elear is rated as more accurate sounding).  I've noticed that with headphones, there is more diversity of opinions than any other piece of audio equipment.


The sonarworks software seems interesting.  Anyone here familiar with it?

adydula

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Re: Focal Headphone - Discussion
« Reply #18 on: 20 Sep 2019, 11:38 am »
I have tried it several times with no real impact here...but there are lots of folks who really like it....and use it.

To me its paying someone to equalize your headphones to suit your liking, age taste etc...

Coming from a purist 2 ch set up for years, I never believed in tone controls, wanting everything "flat" and positioning the speakers etc, placement etc...

I wanted to hear what the actual recording had in it...

So I have stayed away from equalization and software.

One of the things I notced with this software when I tried it was they ask you what your age is, guessing here they boost the treble based on some analysis
of hearing loss at certain frequencies...or the loudness associated with them?

I tired with several cans here and never really thought that it was a real discernable difference...

YMMV for sure...

If you test let us know how it goes, want to keep an open mind here....

One thought here is if you use this and it "helps" then when each song you place is recorded differently then you would want to have a profile for each song?

It gets crazy to me, like changing the bass and treble controls on a pre-amp all the time...its bad enough that I change the volume all the time unless you
use replay gain stuff...

Hey!!

Good Morning!
Alex


Freo-1

Re: Focal Headphone - Discussion
« Reply #19 on: 20 Sep 2019, 11:58 am »

I always eschewed tone controls as well for legacy two channel audio. 


Having said that, equipment such as Devialet provide speaker active matching (SAM) in the digital domain does in fact often improve the overall frequency response from the speakers.  Many folks report improvement with in room equalization gear as part of the playback system.


The sonarworks application that smooths out headphone response looks like it is for pro mixing/mastering.  It would be interesting to evaluate the effects of the application.