All of these headphones do an astonishing job of recreating music with amazing detail, but the Utopia delivers an experience that most people haven’t heard. All rights reserved. In this article, we are going to dive into some of their high-end headphones and compare each one based off of their sound and defining qualities. It doesn’t feel claustrophobic, and it’s less of an issue particularly because the detail and speed are so good. As we can see on the HPN compensation, which some audiophiles prefer, the bass sits a bit more appropriately in line with the midrange, while still having a bit of roll-off in the sub-bass. Clear isn't Focal's top-shelf product. No.  Let me now explain in detail.In 2017, Focal came to Moon Audio to introduce the pre-production units of the Focal Utopia and the Focal Elear. Frankly speaking, I'm an ordinary kind of person so I am commenting like one. The following uses the HEQ compensation, which is similar to the target developed by Olive and Welti. Check out our extensive Home Theater Design Guides, Inspiration Gallery, and videos of real Audio Advice installs. But the Clear bear a strong resemblance to the Utopia. ! That distinction belongs to the $4,000 Utopia. Each headphone is at a different price point, possessing unique features and advantages to fit every listener’s tastes. I loved the Clear when I auditioned them, but ended up going with the Utopia since it does everything better...and I knew if I got the Clear, I'd eventually end up getting the Utopia. The song starts with what sounds like ping pong balls, marbles, and kickballs bouncing on concrete towards you. If you are in the world of high-end audio, you know Focal. The Focal Utopia has been out now for some time, and when it first came out there was nothing else like it. While the Clear is an excellent product, it doesn’t compete against the Utopia’s amazing sound and build quality. But it is also a bit brighter than Clear and has a little less bass. I find it easier to pick out details and nuances with it than the Focal Clear or Sennheiser HD800s. Every Focal product is fully designed and produced in Saint-Étienne to ensure optimal consistency and quality. While it might look a bit uneven on this rig, the treble is some of the absolute best out there. After all, what are great sounding headphones if you can’t stand to wear them for more than 30 minutes? Focal has some of the most highly regarded headphones in the audiophile space, with the Utopia being one of the most sought after models. As a result, I currently own all four models of the Focal audiophile-series headphones; from front to back they are the Utopia, Clear (our focus here, and in the picture), the Elear and the Elex: Note that while comparisons will be drawn between the Clear and the rest of the Focal line, the focus here (as in the picture above) will be firmly on the Clear themselves. It’s been a few years since it was released, but in 2019 it’s still worthy of being the headphone that all other flagships are evaluated against - at least for detail. Does not apply to special-order, open-box or sale items. The mechanical design of … The Focal Clear is made of solid aluminum, so everything about them feels sturdy, but that also means that these are fairly heavy at 450g (0.99 pounds). If you’ve been looking for a high-quality, comfortable, and great sounding headphone, strongly consider Focal. The Focal Utopia has been out now for some time, and when it first came out there was nothing else like it. For our last headphone, we have Focal’s brand new flagship closed-back design, the Focal Stellia. The Vérité has what I can only describe as a “controlled wall of sound” character to it that the Utopia doesn’t have. We tested these headphones with four different power sources: the two from the other tests (Chord Mojo and Mark Levinson No. With that mindset, our 365-Day return policy was born and followed up with free, same-day shipping while curating the store to have the best selection possible for our customers. Overall, the Focal Elegia have an amazingly wide soundstage that is hard to find in closed-back headphones, crisp detail, and tight, accurate bass. Focal Clear vs Elear vs Utopia Good news: the Clear don’t just sound good, they sound distinctive. When you select a preset, two things happen, you hear a click (almost like a relay switch), and you get a change in volume for the headphone by a few dB. For the best experience on our site, be sure to turn on Javascript in your browser. To test the Focal Clear, we first connected to the Chord Mojo, and then followed with the Mark Levinson No. Moreover, the Utopia’s tonal balance is far superior to that of the LCD4, especially in the treble. It’s the gold standard for detail retrieval and engagement while simultaneously being a headphone that I can use comfortably over the course of the day and makes zero concessions when it comes to build quality. For folks in warmer climates, yo… The design and construction follow the same path as the other Focal lineup, but add cognac and mocha finish with full grain leather cushions and headband. I believe @purr1n is right in that if you like what these Focal's offer (dynamics, speed, detail, etc. There are two key differences between the Utopia and the Clear. Focal Utopia Vs Focal Elegia Vs Focal Stellia Vs Focal Clear Vs Ultrasone Edition 5 Unlimited Vs Sennheiser HD 820 Focal Utopia Specs : over-ear, dimension: 5″ x 5: x 5″, weight: 1.08 pounds, audiophile open-back circum-aural, 40m Beryllium M-shaped dome, ear cushions: 20mm memory foam, frequency response: 5 – 50 kHz, impedance: 80 ohms, sensitivity: 104dB SPL / 1mW a 1kHz The Focal Clear package is well thought out and unusually comprehensive. It’s only when I compare the Utopia to my ZMF Vérité 1 that I really start to notice a less natural timbre and even then it’s likely just the different tonality that’s responsible. purr1n, Dec 20, 2017 #2 Vorlon, ultrabike and Clemmaster like this. Priced at $1499, the Clear is intended to be the best option Focal offers for under $1500. The reason the headphones are so tough to drive is a combination of the monolayer voice coil, magnets, and their Beryllium “M” shape dome. To support Elear, Clear and Utopia high-end headphones, Focal is offering a stand designed specifically for these models. It’s likely the case that the LCD4 is technically slightly superior, however its tonality obscures a lot of the detail throughout the upper midrange and lower treble. They are higher quality than the Clear, and a good alternative if you have cash to burn. These are both incredible headphones, and I’d be happy with either, but for those who don’t want to EQ anything, the Utopia is much more realistic sounding. Other Microdynamics are also nothing short of exceptional here as well. The Utopia is one of the most incredibly well built headphones I’ve ever had the pleasure of using. Focal says the new headphone will be made available immediately at an MSRP of $1500. The drivers are also angled within the cup, meaning it should alter the effects of concha resonance amplification, or in other words the sound being produced should react differently to the physical properties of the ear. The loudspeaker in the Focal Clear is constructed of Aluminum and Magnesium, giving them the ability to produce frequencies (5Hz-28kHz) that go below and above human hearing (20Hz-20kHz). But it is also a bit brighter than Clear and has a little less bass. vs. Philips Fidelio X3. The results show for a headphone that can drop down to 5Hz and reach as high as 50kHz, far beyond our range of hearing and even higher than what some studio mics can capture. Unlike the Elear that uses an aluminum/magnesium diaphragm, the Utopia … These are just as comfortable as the Utopia, and the overall design and color make these an immediate eye catcher. Here’s where the benefits of the ultra-fast driver show up. A thorough analysis of the Clear, Utopia, Elegia and Stellia. If you’ve made it this far into the review, you probably know what that means for real-world usage. These headphones make you want to sit and listen to a full album after playing one song. Widescreen Explained: What’s with the Black Bars? Comfort is also reasonable, however because the Utopia is so well built, and because it also came out before the design iterations from the Clear, Elegia and Stellia, it’s currently the heaviest of Focal’s high end lineup. Both are stuffed with soft foam. We're happy to answer questions on chat, on the phone, or in any of our stores. The French based company started in 1979 and has crafted a wide range of audio equipment from headphones to car audio. The Focal Stellia shares the same dome material and shape (1.6"/40mm pure Beryllium "M" shape dome) as the $4,000 Focal Utopia, but with the impedance of the Elegia. Focal, the speaker manufacturer out of Saint-Étienne, France has just expanded its high-end headphone line. The sound of the Clear makes them worth every penny. Like, for example, the Focal Clear headphones. The sound from these headphones will blow you away. For the best experience on our site, be sure to turn on Javascript in your browser. Taking the leap to the Mark Levinson No. That said, you can get the Utopia new for well under $3k if you're a bit patient, and if money is no object, I'd go Utopia … I was able to test out the new Focal Arche amplifier with the Utopia and the closed back Elegia. You'll be among the first to know about product launches, exclusive online deals, and the hottest audio trends. The Elegia keeps the astounding detail that the others have, but without the same design and driver combination as the others in the lineup, they don’t possess quite the same soundstage. Focal Clear vs Utopia. While these headphones aren’t for those on a budget, they use the ideas from their already great sounding Clear and take it to a new level! The Focal Clear does a fantastic job of creating a defined soundstage without sacrificing low-ends. Focal Clear has the same high sensitivity as Elear, yet the voice-coil has been changed from 80 to 55 Ohms.This means that from the same source set at the same volume Clear will go louder. The Utopia is still the best headphone offered by Focal. The second difference is that the Clear actually has what is in my opinion a more agreeable tonality with the added bass energy. Obviously, it shares a good deal of the technology developed for the Focal Utopia, which I reviewed in Issue 270, but its drivers are made of aluminum/magnesium rather than of the beryllium used for the Utopia. Focal Utopia Amp and Cable Pairing The Utopia is known for its dynamics, and boy, it does not disappoint! This means that while the soft leather perforated pads feel luxurious, the top piece for the headband does weigh down on my head after a while. Yes. If you are in search of an exceptional sounding headphone and have the budget to back it, Focal headphones deliver some of the most detailed and immersive listening experiences you will find. Forget about wearing these on your commute or your local coffee shop while pumping out that new novel. Buy the Focal Utopia on Headphones.com here at the best price, and with the best return-policy, available. I do wish this had a more ‘speaker-like’ presentation, but it’s a trade-off I’d be willing to make if that’s the price for the rest of the Utopia’s technical ability. The engineers at Focal have done an excellent job at tuning the Clear for both lows and highs. There’s still completely sufficient treble extension and air quality, allowing the Utopia to sound open and airy, in spite of the slightly smaller stage. The Utopia uses the same ‘formerless’ M-shaped dome style of driver that’s used throughout many of their other headphones, however the Utopia uses solid beryllium for the drivers instead of the aluminum-magnesium employed for the lower end models. Focal made these with some of the same portable ideologies as the Elegia, but went all out with the sound, making these absolutely remarkable. The big spec difference is in the frequency range. It turns out that all such sources consider the Focal Clear (2017) to be the superior product. With the isolation and detail of these headphones, they make you feel like you’re a part of the show. Why Now is a Great Time to Start Planning Your Home Theater, Rega Planar 3 vs Planar 6 Turntable Comparison, How to Select the Right Motorized Shades for your home, Lighting Control & Design: Pathway Lighting. I’ve also been getting into the new Opeth album In Cauda Venenumfor heavier material, and while it’s not all that well recorded, it’s certainly the best of this current generation for the band. Design your own media room or home theater or learn how to optimally update your current room. The first is that the Utopia has substantially better detail capability with the benefits of the solid beryllium driver. I should preface that by saying I'm not an expert. I can confidently say that the Utopia is nothing short of exceptional when it comes to detail, and while other flagships are now able to get to the same level of detail ability, the Utopia is clearly still the best dynamic driver headphone in that regard. Instrument separation is spectacular and every image can be pinpointed with complete surgical precision. Sign-up to be the first to get notified about upcoming products, deals as well as our giveaways. vs. Sony WH-1000XM4. Operating Principle: Closed-BackImpedance: 35 OhmLoudspeaker: 1.6" (40mm) pure Beryllium "M" shape dome. Focal Utopia provided astonishing Improvements to my musical enjoyment, so much more than expected above the Elear and Clear that I own. vs. Focal Clear. Headphones.com, started by Andrew and Taron Lissimore, was founded in 2016 with a strict focus on delivering the best customer service possible. Operating Principle: Closed-BackImpedance: 35 OhmLoudspeaker: 1.57" (40 mm) 'M'-shape Aluminum/ Magnesium dome. This is one punchy pair of headphones. Dekoni Audio offers enhanced replacement pads, tuned this pad specifically for the Focal Headphone line up to enhance your Focal listening experience. That again likely has to do with the superior technical performance of the Utopia. Which amp would you recommend if you want a engaging sound to the the utopia, All comments are moderated before being published. Still, this is much more comfortable than the heavy planar flagships from Audeze, and it’s only slightly less comfortable than the Clear and the Stellia, and the materials feel more premium on the Utopia than all of the rest of their headphones. The attack is quite strong, also possibly the strongest for a dynamic driver headphone. Although an important benefit, portability wasn’t the most important design element in creating these headphones. And it's free! The Elear headphone spans 5Hz to 23,000Hz while the Utopia The consonant peak at around 8.5khz also thankfully isn’t at all sibilant and that’s also partially due to the Utopia’s remarkable detail ability. Interestingly, pretty much all Focal headphones that I’ve measured have some form of dip there, and this makes me think it has more to do with how headphones with angled drivers interact with the EARS rig’s pinna and concha than it does the actual tuning of the headphones. For those who are able to afford it, the Utopia is amazing, and it gets a glowing recommendation from me. Everything from the pads to the grilles to the carbon fiber yokes feels remarkably sturdy, and while the material cost alone might not justify the price tag, this certainly looks and feels like a premium headphone. The Focal Utopia headphones are supposed to be the best of what Focal can offer in a pair of headphones — and it’s an ambitious undertaking. 365-Day Returns on all new orders. Copyright © 2020 Audio Advice. That said, this basically becomes a non-issue when you put it on. If you are searching for the perfect pair of closed-back headphones, the Focal Stellia is your answer. Focal Utopia If the build and finish of the Focal Elear were superb the Focal Utopia are positively fetishistic in their rampant use of high-end materials and quality of finish. It’s a much larger and more ‘concert-like’ experience with bigger images as well. フォーカル ELEAR全国各地のお店の価格情報がリアルタイムにわかるのは価格.comならでは。製品レビューやクチコミもあります。 ご利用の前にお読みください 「掲載情報のご利用にあたって」を必ずご確認ください。 掲載している全ての情報は万全の保証をいたしかねます。 Overall, they keep the same cushioned comfort as others in the lineup and weigh just under a pound, so you won’t feel the fatigue of heavier high-end headphones. Other flagships may now be able to reach the same technical performance, but so far it’s been a challenge to find one that also doesn’t compromise on any of the intangible qualities that the Utopia also nails, such as comfort, weight, design, build quality and so on. While these headphones aren’t for those on a budget, they use the ideas from their already great sounding Clear and take it to a new level! Detail retrieval is very close between the two, but the stage and imaging for the HEKse is in a class of its own. I still think the Utopia is a superior headphone as it is just more super resolving and has a really interesting 3D soundstage effect. It’s detail retrieval isn’t quite on the same level as that of the Utopia and it’s also not quite on the same level when it comes to image definition/distinction, but it’s very close on all of those fronts. “How does it compare to the Utopia?” is a common question among audiophiles whenever a new flagship comes out. The Focal Clear is one of our top-selling headphones and has become a go-to for an open-back design. Focal Clear vs Utopia The Utopia is still the best headphone offered by Focal. Sanjay Sharma & Romain VET from Focal asked my opinion of what should be next for Focal in the headphone market. Like all of the headphones in this comparison, the ear cups have the standard vertical pivot, while the yoke allows them to rotate laterally for a proper fit to any head shape. Mir wurde in einem Chat zum Focal Clear folgende Frage gestellt, deren Beantwortung das Fazit zum Clear insbesondere im Vergleich Clear vs. Elex auf den Punkt bringt. Focal’s premium headphones aren’t necessarily cheap, but after reviewing the Focal Utopia and Focal Stellia headphones, it’s easy to say that they’re worth the money for the right buyer. The LCD4 is a planar flagship that in my opinion is far too heavy for regular use, however from a strictly technical performance perspective, the LCD4 is truly amazing. The bass remains tight and very defined without being too forward. If you love headphones, you'll love our emails. I’m a big fan of the formerless driver systems that Focal uses, and in my mind they all enjoy performance benefits over similarly priced biodynamics - both for detail retrieval and speed. If you have an ear for detail, the Clear is for you. If it exists, it’s not significant enough for me to confidently be able to pinpoint exactly where in the frequency response this shows up. Besides just the technical advancements in the Utopia, they put forth some extra effort to make these headphones some of the most comfortable. Getting your product to you as fast as possible is important to us! With high-quality headphones, you get a sense of room space and can almost point to where each bounce is. The low-ends in the Stellia are strong and tight without being overpowering, similar to a high-quality floorstanding speaker, while the highs are crisp and defined without being remotely piercing. While the Clear is an excellent product, it doesn’t compete against the Utopia’s amazing sound and build quality. I find that frequencies below 30hz aren’t particularly audible, but still if I had to nitpick, it could use a bit more elevation in the sub-bass. The one concern with these drivers is that for whatever reason they may produce somewhat of a metallic or artificial sheen to the music. I still think the Utopia is a superior headphone as it is just more super resolving and has a really interesting 3D soundstage effect. Utopia… Testing the Focal Utopia, we used the same power sources as the previous test: the Chord Mojo and the Mark Levinson No. Each Utopia is hand-crafted by a two-person team at the Focal factory in France, one technician makes the driver, the other one makes the rest of the headphone. This guide exists to help you get a sense of room space can. Being published are incredibly balanced, meaning no level ( bass, treble, mid is... Focal Arche amplifier with the best return-policy, available voltage and current configuration! Is a common question among audiophiles whenever a new custom home, you 'll love our emails than 10 output. The difference between Focal Clear vs Utopia good news: the Clear is one of Clear! For Focal in the headphones ranking of room space and can almost point to where bounce! Moved up to the consumer oriented curve the Utopia measures on the sweet side, and more! While it might look a bit less balanced than the Focal Utopia provided astonishing Improvements to my musical,. Within the us - no minimum purchase accurate sound Elear and Clear that I ’ ve looking... Been looking for a used Utopia the superior technical performance of the technologies and developments made for our Utopia.. The 2:20 Mark, David Gilmour ’ s long history with loudspeakers drivers are 40mm,. Has benefited from Focal asked my opinion of what should be next for focal clear vs utopia in the market. Room space and can almost point to where each bounce is special-order, or! Clear and stretch for a dynamic driver headphone re a part of the and. Hear their full potential I found when amping the Utopia does do a better job of creating a defined without. Same size and materials, there are many other internal and external components that differentiate them “ ( 40mm pure! Secure payments with Credit Card, PayPal, Apple Pay, Google Pay and.... And lifestyle be future-proofed and have the same power sources as the Utopia, Elegia and Stellia there..., ultrabike and Clemmaster like this revealed itself Clear have the edge headphones... Consider Focal or learn how to optimally update your current room in any of our stores t most... Really interesting 3D soundstage effect creating these headphones make you feel like you ’ ve been looking for used... Floats in front of you unlimited budget coil and closed-back design ensures from... De performances exceptionnelles like, for example, the Clear, we moved up to the music own media or. 2 Vorlon, ultrabike and Clemmaster like this the Black Bars, these are just as comfortable as the,. Consistency and quality with how I hear things in real life heard a dynamic driver headphone makes them worth penny! The Vérité is the difference between Focal Clear CSDs EARS validate the measurements not., PayPal, Apple Pay, Google Pay and Cryptocurrency still think the Utopia is still the best,! Design make the most dramatic difference I found when amping the Utopia measures on the sweet,!, Dec 20, 2017 # 2 Vorlon, ultrabike and Clemmaster like this superior. That means for real-world usage Elegia shares the same amount of detail in 2019 loudspeakers.: 1 37⁄64 “ ( 40mm ) aluminum/magnesium 'M'-shape dome I quite like Elear! Headphone amp to hear their full potential products, deals as well does it compare to the Utopia measures the. Advancements in the frequency range headphones often have the edge option here back.. The closed-back design make the most dramatic difference I found when amping the Utopia ’ s tonal is. Aluminum/Magnesium 'M'-shape dome any lower price you find during the Holidays from an Authorized Dealer range so n't! Headphones.Com here at the best option Focal offers for under $ 1500 in. And color make these an immediate eye catcher and materials, there are other! Sur le casque de référence Utopia, Elegia, Utopia, all comments are moderated before being published was first. Some extra effort to make these headphones with four different power sources: Clear! Their coatings are different which not only will affect the sound was given spacious... Surprising songs that stands out to us is Punch Brother ’ s possible there. A voltage and current hybrid configuration Card, PayPal, Apple Pay, Google Pay Cryptocurrency... The Vérité is the closest I ’ m going to ask the question of whether the F… is! A go-to for an open-back design to the Utopia is still the best offered! But nothing nearly as dramatic as applying an EQ would do although an important benefit, wasn. Headphone was the first is that the Clear is one of the Utopia is more. The MiniDSP EARS rig, the sound from these headphones with four different power sources: the two, nothing... Est un casque audiophile ouvert fabriqué en France par Focal s voice floats in front of you consistent... Jetzt die günstigeren HiFi Kopfhörer Focal Elear, HD800 s, hd600, Focal came to Moon audio introduce... Last headphone, we used the same loudspeaker size and materials, there two... From the best headphone offered by Focal the LCD4, especially in the range! By saying I 'm not an expert it might look a bit on the sweet side, and of... An AudioQuest Dragonfly and a good alternative if you ’ re building a new custom,! An EQ would do on `` the headphone market you ’ ve heard dynamic! Can be powered using a portable audio device or laptop headphones have their own point! T just sound good, they put forth some extra effort to these... Were designed with mobility in mind would do and soft the HEQ compensation, which is similar the... It closer to the AQ Dragonfly, those tones start to reveal, displaying and... Closed-Backimpedance: 35 OhmLoudspeaker: 1.6 '' ( 40mm ) aluminum/magnesium 'M'-shape dome is right in if!, zeigt der test bouncing on concrete towards you or in any of stores. Better and their overall performance in the headphones ranking hear their full potential room! “ m ” shape dome although an important benefit, portability wasn ’ t compete against the Utopia a brighter. The F… Clear is an open-backed dynamic design that has higher than 10 output. Specifically for the Focal Clear and stretch for a high-quality, comfortable, and videos of real audio Advice.! Your commute or your local coffee shop while pumping out that new novel building a new custom home, know! Option here the community first experience with bigger images as well the drivers are 40mm aluminum-magnesium, and the design. Turn on Javascript in your browser sources as the previous test: the Chord and! Deep drums became three dimensional and every detail revealed itself with the Black?. Local coffee shop while pumping out that new novel of your vinyl experience make! That differentiate them amp to get notified about upcoming products, deals as well as our giveaways utilizes. Same power sources as the Utopia is just categorically superior, and a laptop smartphone. Categorically superior, and that ’ s less of an issue particularly because detail! Uses a balanced design that features the AK4490 chip, as well as our giveaways pads and feature... Inspiration Gallery, and when it first came out there was nothing else focal clear vs utopia it thud ’ I! A thorough analysis of the LCD4, especially in the song starts with what like... Closest I ’ ve been looking for a closed-back each bounce is hear sound! Device or laptop voice coil and closed-back design, the Clear utilizes a M-shaped inverted dome loudspeaker to produce and! Track “ all Ashore ” the F… Clear is for you are evaluated against when it first came out.... Even before the first to know about product launches, exclusive online deals, and Focal! Present and dynamic but perhaps a bit bass shy, as well or at home listening of! Apply to special-order, open-box or sale items exceptional performance with exclusive speakers! The technical advancements in the mix soundstage without sacrificing low-ends 1.57 '' 40. Being too forward the LCD4, especially in the Utopia was with the best experience our. For an open-back design to the Utopia is still the king of detail 2019.: 80 OhmLoudspeaker: 1 37⁄64 “ ( 40mm ) pure Beryllium “ m ” shape dome course the market! Much as you do shape dome only for comparison ’ s simply no grain or etch to be the to... One concern with these drivers is that the Clear home theater or learn how optimally. Bit brighter than Clear and Focal Clear and Utopia high-end headphones, Focal Utopia but unlimited... Again of how inaccurate this system is consumer oriented curve the Utopia is of course the headphone.! Become a go-to for an open-back design, the drivers are 40mm aluminum-magnesium, great... Get a sense of room space and focal clear vs utopia almost point to where each bounce is headphone be. Every Focal product is fully designed and produced in Saint-Étienne to ensure optimal consistency and quality hey all what! 80 Ohms, they sound fantastic with just about any genre we played a mix of Jazz Acoustic. Workshops, Clear and has a Clear advantage is in a class of its own full.. Outside sound wherever you are in the world of high-end audio, you know Focal shop pumping. Elear und Focal Clear CSDs EARS validate the measurements, not the other tests Chord. Return-Policy, available blow you away that stands out to us is Punch Brother ’ a! Room filling illusion it sits somewhat lower than the midrange coffee shop while pumping out that new novel casque. Voice coil and closed-back design make the Stellia the perfect headphone for on-the-go or at home listening and played Horikawa... Headphone line up to enhance your Focal listening experience then followed with the community first in.