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Focal Clear headphones

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by mtoc, Oct 1, 2017.
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  1. darkinners
    I think, sound signature wise, Clear does not really sound like either of Utopia and Elear.
    I never really liked Utopia, I like neutral headphones but not over analytical one (say :HD800 and Utopia)
    They often time not very enjoyable to listen to, probably excel in certain genre, maybe Jazz or Symphony type of thing, just quieter music.
    When you listen to those louder and cymbal hammering type of music, analytical headphone always sounded lean and sometimes even painful to listen to.

    Clear definitely versatile in terms of handling different music genre, I listen to all types of music, except for Free Jazz and modern RAP(shxt) music.
    So far Clear handles all the genre I listen to very well. except for maybe Japanese pop/rock stuff. Japanese rock production has tendency to over compress everything and have high amount of presence
    to have that lively feel production, not playing well with edgey/bright headphones..had to turn down the volume.

    I feel Clear and LCD4 will compliment each other very well, one is balance and bright, one is lush and warm.
    Sound quality wise, I feel they are on the same level, maybe there are some headphones have even higher sound quality to them but I doubt the improvement will be any significant.
    I am pretty sure these two will be my end game.

    ps: I read thru this thread today and I saw someone mentioned "Clear is the first headphones I have that I want to build a system around them"
    This is exactly how I thought and what I am doing, I was pretty causal on headphones rigs, I didn't even have dedicated headphone amp, I always just plug in my audio interface's headphone out and listen, going out I was using iphone x with that lightning to 3.5 adapter
    plugged straight in with UERR.

    Now I bought the Sony WM1A after I got the Clear and just bought a 2nd hand Massdrop M9xx today.
    This weekend I will go out and get either Meier Corda Classic-ff or ifi iCan Pro for the Clear and incoming LCD-4
    Clear is really this good, it's the first time for me wanted to build a system around one headphones, just want to enjoy the last tiny bit of musical nuance.
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2018
    Matro5 likes this.
  2. snafu1
    OK, this is slightly off topic. But does anyone know where the serial number is located? I always like to make a note of this for insurance purposes. But, I can't find it on the phones or anywhere on the box.

    Never mind. A case of RTFM. The s/n was under the right ear pad
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2018
    boxster233 likes this.
  3. ZMG885
    I can tell from your listening impressions on same gear we respond to the music in similar fashion, so I appreciate your feedback. I've had the same impression from the HD800/Utopia camp (which also includes my Grado RS2es), and yet, for many kinds of music I like bright and articulate, but more balance and versatility. I'll try the Focal Clear. For balance, I've looked at smooth and warm, but most are too smooth and too warm (Aeon Flow), and concluded the LDC-4 was something special. Just not in the budget right now.
    darkinners likes this.
  4. SilverEars
    If I could make the perfect headphone, the headphone would be most importantly balanced in tonality, smooth treble, and have enough warmth, but not interfere with upper-mids coherency. Highly detailed, but also balanced in tonality, not only sound like treble boosted. Treble would not be emphasized, but also wouldn't sound dark either. I like sufficient bass, but I prefer clarity more than warmth. I think as time goes by I give higher weight to musicality, balanced tonality, than the analytical. I want to relax, enjoy the music in whatever genre I"m in the mood for, and be able to go from track to track without worrying about possible boosted treble energy, etc..

    When I cringe from boosted treble, that is my brain trying to protect me from damaging my ears. I have noticed some people have volume set pretty loud when it was my turn to listen at a meet. I don't want to get to that point.
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2018
  5. darkinners
    It's under the right side's ear pad.
    remove it and you will see the serial number.
  6. darkinners
    Yeah I agree, LCD4 is really special, it sounded smooth and warm without being too smooth and warm(like my LCD-2f)
    Please try the Clear, I think you will like it, if our listen is in the similar fashion.
  7. paul2qute
    I thought the LCD 2f and LCD 3f were to dark for me especially the LCD 3f,I preferred the LCD X and I owned the utopia and thought it was far to bright,I would sit down all excited to listen to it but I was fatigued in less than an hour of listening,I stopped listening to them and thought I need to sell them before I lose anymore money on them,yes I'm totally nuts buying the clear as its from the same company but reading the reviews it's not as bright apparently has more bass than the focal utopia so I'm hoping they will be just right for my ears
  8. darkinners
    Yup, LCD-2 and LCD-3 are very very dark headphones. I think LCD-X is the most neutralish headphones in all the LCD line but somehow, it lose a bit of the Audeze LCD house sound to them.
    LCD-4 however, still a dark/warm headphones but much much less than LCD-2 and LCD-3, you can actually hear the treble with LCD-4 and those treble are so smooth, the sound signature that you can listen to any type of music even in loud volume without fatiguing. (can't say the same on the build tho, LCD series gotta but the most uncomfortable headphones I've ever used)

    Clear, in my book it's just about perfect. Not as bright as Utopia but still plenty bright but I really love the bass on Clear, very textural, goes down to very deep and the quantity is very well controlled(think HD600 but actually has sub bass extension) I wouldn't call Clear a flat headphones but in a way it felt very neutral and balance without being boring and flat!
    Only thing I feel it can be improved would the stereo imaging.
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2018
  9. musicmaker
    The imaging is one of the strengths of the clear. Not sure why you feel its lacking. Perhaps you're confusing soundstage with imaging ?
  10. darkinners
    Damn, I used the wrong word...I actually mean sound stage.
    Thank you for the correction.
  11. ahmedie
    I tried clear today here is my impression, impressive tone and balance across the frequency response, extremely good imaginng, small sound stage almost like closed headpone, but good depth hight width, poor dynamics, good bass but not punchy, playing them loud was not enjoyable shouty sound ! You want analytical very true headphone get them, want analytical but more fun more dynamics more soundstage louder bass l700 is better but maybe fatique depend on person, but clear sound is much correct to the recording, I think i agree to everyone said they are a better hd800 actually much better have stax smoothness , they are much smoother than my l700
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2018
    Pokemonn likes this.
  12. SilverEars
    Same here. LCD2, pre-fazor was a bit recessed in the upper-mids, the area for the female vocal presence. Didn't sound right due to female vocals sounding distant, and this was pushed by the general warmth to reduce clarity, creating a buried female vocal and incoherency(or reduction in clarity) effect. That region gets effected by lower mids to bass warmth. So, overall on the darker side with good air, where I heard good treble energy compared to the lower treble region where is a bit more cut than I wish. Utopia can have that impression, not as strong as HD800(s)

    A reason why Clear sounds clear with ample bass is, it's damped sounding(or not much decay response). It's not a lean response, but also not what you'd call warmth caused by prolonged decay of sounds. It's a fast dynamic.

    I generally consider warmth caused by significant enough decay.
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2018
  13. Paulo Abreu
    Hi, what headphone would you label as having "good dynamics" ? maybe I have a wrong definition of dynamics...?
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2018
  14. noplsestar
    Sounds like you would be describing the new Empire Ears Phantom IEM :wink:
  15. dontfeedphils
    I was thinking the same thing. "Dynamic" is the first word that comes to mind when discussing any of the top three Focal offerings.
    BunnyNamedCraig and swmtnbiker like this.
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