HD 800s or Focal Clears?

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adydula

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HD 800s or Focal Clears?
« on: 14 Sep 2019, 12:33 pm »
Ok Christmas is a few months away and I am thinking of getting a new set of headphones!

Having the Beyer T1's, and Senn HD 600's I am familiar with their house sound and have gone thru a dozen other headphones over the years.
Audeze, Audio Technica , Grado etc..

So I really like the sound of the 600's but at times the T1's really shine for me....

So I am leaning towards the 800s at the time....

Any opinions out there?

Of course Black friday is coming and a good sale could influence my decision!

Alex

Sam-fi

Re: HD 800s or Focal Clears?
« Reply #1 on: 14 Sep 2019, 02:04 pm »
Alex, if you haven't tried them yet you should also put Mr. Speakers Ether 2 to the front of the list to audition, the HD600 was one of my favorites too, and could finally relax knowing that something could finally live up to the over all balance and involving character of the HD600. I ultimately choose the Aeon flow open because they are 90% of the performance at a steal of a price point but, you really need to give them a try with a decent amp pairing.

Sam

Freo-1

Re: HD 800s or Focal Clears?
« Reply #2 on: 14 Sep 2019, 05:40 pm »

Interesting question.  After looking into this a bit, if it were me, I would choose the Focal Clear set.  It seems that he majority of folks who have listened to both preferred the Focal.


Having said that, don't think you can go wrong either way.

santacore

Re: HD 800s or Focal Clears?
« Reply #3 on: 14 Sep 2019, 06:27 pm »
2 different sounds, but both great. I own both. The 800's are very open sounding and fast, but lack body and low end grunt. At times the sound stage is a little too large sounding. The Focal's are very dynamic, but have more body. I find them very musical, where as the 800's are more clinical. For my taste the Focal's win every time, but they do need a good amp match to sound their best.

Wind Chaser

Re: HD 800s or Focal Clears?
« Reply #4 on: 14 Sep 2019, 06:41 pm »
Interesting question.  After looking into this a bit, if it were me, I would choose the Focal Clear set.  It seems that he majority of folks who have listened to both preferred the Focal.

Funny, that’s not what I found.

Personally I’d go for the bigger more spacious presentation.

Here’s a review comparing the two head on... https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=au5QDPEGAQU

adydula

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Re: HD 800s or Focal Clears?
« Reply #5 on: 14 Sep 2019, 08:43 pm »
What I am afraid is once I pick one my brain will tell me illogically I screwed up and got the wrong ones for me!!

Ha!!!

LMAO!

Anyhow...The bass on the 600's for me is not boomy or light ....its just right so I think the bass on the 800s would not make me unhappy...

Having a great soundstage to me means more...and the Clears just will never have that attribute...

Sounds like I have made a decison...well maybe yes, and maybe no....

I did watch the video Wind Chaser referenced and I think I am in agreement with his analysis...

Decisions, decisions....

Alex

Still seveal months away!


timind

Re: HD 800s or Focal Clears?
« Reply #6 on: 14 Sep 2019, 09:45 pm »
I auditioned the HD800s a while ago and did not like them at all. My impression was very similar to Santacor's, the Senns were clinical and not a lot of fun to listen to. I think I was using the HD650 at the time I listened to the 800s. I also had a pair of the T1s  for a short while and found them a little clinical as well.

Never heard the Focals.

adydula

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Re: HD 800s or Focal Clears?
« Reply #7 on: 14 Sep 2019, 10:11 pm »
Hi timind....

Wow I have had my Beyers for three years pretty much since they came out...and I would never call them clinical at all....

Its interesting on how we all hear thihngs differently and have different perspectives....this is good!

Depending on who you talke to about this stuff you have to make sure your on the same page for sure.

So what do you consider a really great headphon in this price range....+/- $1500.

Alex

timind

Re: HD 800s or Focal Clears?
« Reply #8 on: 14 Sep 2019, 11:57 pm »
A couple years ago a fellow A/C member sent me his T1s as a trial when ai was looking to replace my HD650s. My initial reaction when I put them on was wow, these are revealing things I never would hear with the Senns. I normally listen with headphones for 30-45 minutes before bedtime so I used them daily that way for nearly two weeks. I did not buy them because they became TOO much of a good thing during that time. For me, they became overly revealing which I guess I translate to clinical.
Although I had loved the HD650s for a good two years, that experience convinced me to look for something more revealing. I found a pair of Beyerdynamic DT-990s (premium, NOT pro version) to fit me perfectly. It's been more than two years with them with them and while I have tried a few other headphones, nothing has tempted me. I haven't listened to anything over $1K.

Sam-fi

Re: HD 800s or Focal Clears?
« Reply #9 on: 15 Sep 2019, 03:21 am »
... deleted

gefski

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Re: HD 800s or Focal Clears?
« Reply #10 on: 15 Sep 2019, 07:55 am »
The entire presentation of my 600 and 650 is more forward than the 800 S. I would call it a "row A" presentation, a characteristic that I found in both the Elear and Clear when I auditioned them in my system.

The 800 S has, for me, more of a "row M" presentation. This more graceful delivery "draws me in", where I experience truer timbre and superb micro detail, top to bottom (Just a couple of its advantages). I find this also is the case with the Utopia, another can that doesn't need to be pushy or forward to render incredible detail.

dB Cooper

Re: HD 800s or Focal Clears?
« Reply #11 on: 15 Sep 2019, 12:08 pm »
The HD660 has been mentioned. FWIW Tyll gave it a 'meh' report in one of his last Innerfi reviews. As always, YMMV.

The Beyer Amiron Home is a great open can at a great price. Never plugged in my trusty 650's again after getting them +/- a year and a half ago.

Freo-1

Re: HD 800s or Focal Clears?
« Reply #12 on: 15 Sep 2019, 01:11 pm »
The HD660 has been mentioned. FWIW Tyll gave it a 'meh' report in one of his last Innerfi reviews. As always, YMMV.

The Beyer Amiron Home is a great open can at a great price. Never plugged in my trusty 650's again after getting them +/- a year and a half ago.


The Amiron gets good reviews from the various sites.  It was one of the phones I was considering to mate with my Dynalo headphone amp.

Wind Chaser

Re: HD 800s or Focal Clears?
« Reply #13 on: 15 Sep 2019, 02:36 pm »
Its interesting on how we all hear thihngs differently and have different perspectives.....

From what I’ve read, much of the “hearing differently” and “different perspectives” phenomena can be traced back to the synergy, or lack there of between the cans and the amp. IMO these things are better understood as a system rather than separate entities.

Having said that I’d still go for the cans that deliver the bigger more spacious presentation and look for an amp the mates accordingly. Presentation is everything, that’s why some people can never entertain closed back cans. The less headphones sound like headphones, the better!  :thumb:

Letitroll98

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Re: HD 800s or Focal Clears?
« Reply #14 on: 15 Sep 2019, 02:54 pm »
+1^

The amp used makes a world of difference.  My evaluation criteria for phones goes detail, tone, bass, headstage.  If there's mudding of detail I'm done, can't stand bright and hard treble, I needs ma bass head, and without a good soundstage I'm out.

Freo-1

Re: HD 800s or Focal Clears?
« Reply #15 on: 15 Sep 2019, 03:23 pm »

I think the amp used with the phones does make a huge difference.  Since I picked up a Dynalo head amp from Mjolnir Audio. the Sony MDR Z7 cans sound like a completely different headphone (for the better).  The cans now have a deeper and wider sound stage, there is better clarity with low level detail without sounding analytical.   


I learned this lesson with Stax headphones, as most amps for Stax simply do not have sufficient power to drive them to their full potential.  When you do finally hear Stax phones with a proper amp, it is very noticeable. 


Seems the same lesson can be applied to dynamic cans as well.  Guess that may be why one has to take headphone reviews with a grain of salt.

Steven Stone

Re: HD 800s or Focal Clears?
« Reply #16 on: 15 Sep 2019, 04:12 pm »
The answer is easy - spend 15 minutes wearing each one - you will soon find one feels better, pick that one since you will use it more if it is a comfortable fit. In my world that is more important than sonic considerations when comparing two similarly-performing earphones. 

santacore

Re: HD 800s or Focal Clears?
« Reply #17 on: 15 Sep 2019, 05:24 pm »
Good point Steven, comfort should be at the top of the list as well. I find both the 800's and the Focals to be very comfortable, with a slight not do the 800's.

I never use the 2 pairs of Audeze I own because they do something weird to my ear. They make my inner ear itchy and uncomfortable. I feel like it's something to do with the bass presentation, because at lower volumes I don't feel it as much.

adydula

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Re: HD 800s or Focal Clears?
« Reply #18 on: 15 Sep 2019, 06:00 pm »
My budget has been established at $1500.

This is the max I can shell out on this end...

That said I am sitting here reading all your posts with a $25 dollar pair of Koss KPH30i's and listening to Jake Shimabukuru and Emmylou Harris and Mark Knopfler's All the Roadrunning and
wondering why I am going to spend $1500!! These little puppies are really stellar!!

So, back the search, I will as usual spend a hundred hours reading and wathcing review and posts, just like always....

I guess its half the fun...the hunt....

The first part was getting the sale in the budget, being retired it has to fit in with all the stuff we are obligated to do at this age!!

LOL!!

Life is good..

Alex

JohnR