or Connect
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphones (full-size) › Focal Elear and Utopia Review / Preview With Measurements - Head-Fi TV
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Focal Elear and Utopia Review / Preview With Measurements - Head-Fi TV

post #1 of 4024
Thread Starter 

NOTE:  If you can't see the embedded video above, please CLICK HERE to see the video.

 

 



(Above) Frequency response: Focal Utopia (solid line) and Sennheiser HD 800 (dotted line). (Click on image to see full size.)

 

(Above) Total harmonic distortion (THD): Focal Utopia (solid line) and Sennheiser HD 800 (dotted line). (Click on image to see full size.)

(Above) Frequency response: Focal Utopia (solid line) and Focal Elear (dotted line). (Click on image to see full size.)

 

(Above) Total harmonic distortion (THD): Focal Utopia (solid line) and Focal Elear (dotted line). (Click on image to see full size.)

 

(Above) Impedance: Focal Utopia (purple) and Focal Elear (brown). (Click on image to see full size.)

 

 

 

NOTE: The measurements reflect diffuse field correction applied via the APx555's input EQ.


 

EDIT August 10, 2016: We posted measurements and first impressions of the Focal Utopia and Focal Elear with their earpads swapped. You can see that by clicking on the following link: Focal Utopia and Focal Elear Earpad Swap Measurements and Impressions.

 


 

Audio measurements were made using:

  • Audio Precision APx555 audio analyzer
  • G.R.A.S. 45CA Headphone/Hearing-protector Test Fixture
    • G.R.A.S. KB0072/KB0073 small pinnae; G.R.A.S. RA0045 IEC 60318-4 ear simulators including G.R.A.S. 40AG microphones; G.R.A.S. 26AS 1/4" microphone preamplifier; G.R.A.S. 12AP microphone power module
  • Audio Precision APx1701 Transducer Test Interface (pre-production)
  • Rupert Neve Designs RNHP headphone amplifier
  • Herzan acoustic enclosure (custom)

 


 

Produced by Joseph Cwik and Jude Mansilla

 

In this episode of Head-Fi TV, we sat down and talked with Nicolas Debard of Focal about two new flagship headphones from Focal -- the Elear and the Utopia -- and learn about Focal's loudspeaker development approach to crafting high-end headphones.

 


 

Products mentioned in the video:

 

 



Audio measurements in this video were made using:

  • Audio Precision APx555 audio analyzer
  • G.R.A.S. 45CA Headphone/Hearing-protector Test Fixture
    • G.R.A.S. KB0072/KB0073 small pinnae; G.R.A.S. RA0045 IEC 60318-4 ear simulators including G.R.A.S. 40AG microphones; G.R.A.S. 26AS 1/4" microphone preamplifier; G.R.A.S. 12AP microphone power module
  • Audio Precision APx1701 Transducer Test Interface (pre-production)
  • Rupert Neve Designs RNHP headphone amplifier
  • Herzan acoustic enclosure (custom)
     

 

We will occasionally post Q&A episodes of Head-Fi TV.  If you want to submit any questions (or comments), you can do so via email to tv@head-fi.org.

post #2 of 4024

EXCITING!

 

I got to hear both of these already as I reviewed the Elear over at Audio Head.  I'm happy to answer any questions people may have.


Edited by Stillhart - 6/14/16 at 5:09am
post #3 of 4024

These sound fantastic!


Home of the Liquid Carbon, Liquid Crimson, Liquid Glass, Liquid Gold and
Liquid Lightning headphone amplifiers... and the upcoming Liquid Spark!

Reply
post #4 of 4024
OMG its here!!!!!!!!!!!
post #5 of 4024

Focal was not the brand I thought of.......but this seems GOOD.

post #6 of 4024
4000usd for the flagship....
post #7 of 4024

Finally a new flagship.

post #8 of 4024

I had the opportunity to audition these for hours on end, on my own rig, and I wholeheartedly concur with Jude... with the one exception that I find the Utopia to be far more exciting than the Elear.  :smile:  Yes, at $3,999, it's not what would typically be considered affordable, but I can tell you guys that I find it superior (by far) to another $4k flagship that comes to mind.


Home of the Liquid Carbon, Liquid Crimson, Liquid Glass, Liquid Gold and
Liquid Lightning headphone amplifiers... and the upcoming Liquid Spark!

Reply
post #9 of 4024

Very cool! Ready to try them sometime soon. Too bad I can't get to Jason's event at AVSource this weekend. Cheers

post #10 of 4024
These look awesome. So glad they use dynamic drivers.
post #11 of 4024
Quote:
Originally Posted by warrenpchi View Post

I had the opportunity to audition these for hours on end, on my own rig, and I wholeheartedly concur with Jude... with the one exception that I find the Utopia to be far more exciting than the Elear.  smile.gif   Yes, at $3,999, it's not what would typically be considered affordable, but I can tell you guys that I find it superior (by far) to another $4k flagship that comes to mind.

Sunday makes more sense now haha. wink.gif
post #12 of 4024
Hmm...
I was not expecting this redface.gif
post #13 of 4024
It will be very nice to see everyone who can make it to The Source AV in Torrance, CA on Saturday for the new Focal headphone lineup listening event!
post #14 of 4024
Quote:
Originally Posted by warrenpchi View Post
 

I had the opportunity to audition these for hours on end, on my own rig, and I wholeheartedly concur with Jude... with the one exception that I find the Utopia to be far more exciting than the Elear.  :smile:  Yes, at $3,999, it's not what would typically be considered affordable, but I can tell you guys that I find it superior (by far) to another $4k flagship that comes to mind.

 

I think Jude is spot on that HD800 folks looking for an upgrade will be interested in the Utopia.  I got an HD800 relatively recently and I've been completely enamored with it off my rig.  Listening to it off the Liquid Gold (or Liquid Tungsten) was a magical experience in transparency for me.  But damn if the Utopia doesn't sound even MORE transparent off the Liquid Gold!  I didn't think it would happen this quickly, but I am ready to upgrade from the HD800 to the Utopia.  Now, what to sell...

post #15 of 4024
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stillhart View Post
 

EXCITING!

 

I got to hear both of these already as I reviewed the Elear over at Audio Head.  I'm happy to answer any questions people may have.

 

...and for the rest of you that have heard them as well:

 

1) Difference between these two models besides the price?

2) How does the Elear compare in sound and comfort to HD800S and/or Ether?

3) For the Utopia, besides comparison to the only other 4k flagship I know of (Audeze), how would it compare to HD800S and HK1000?

4) Not sure I could ever get myself to the point of spending 4k on headphones... but I always assumed the best path beyond HD800S would be electrostatic headphones, especially with Mr. Speakers coming out with something that will probably price in between the SR007 and SR009... Do you feel the Utopia is a solid alternative to going the electrostat route? This seems fairly critical to me as a second dedicated amp is also involved which then adds much more cost to a home headphone rig overall.

 

Thanks for any and all feedback, always very interesting when the market sees new entries with serious cred and targeting the flagship ranks.

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Headphones (full-size)
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphones (full-size) › Focal Elear and Utopia Review / Preview With Measurements - Head-Fi TV