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Focal Clear headphones

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by mtoc, Oct 1, 2017.
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  1. ZMG885
    Yes. Exactly what I'm looking for too. Adding to that is a headphone able to present the full dynamics of music at low listing levels, not an easy feat. I was hoping for that from my Grado RS2es, and they're close, but loose too much low end as the volume is rolled down. Do you find the Clears are good at low listening levels?
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2018
  2. darkinners
    Clear is the best when listening at low level (still you will lose some low end resolve, it's just the way it is)
     
  3. ZMG885
    Understood, yet very encouraging feedback. The Clear just shot to the top of my must try list.
     
  4. darkinners
    yeah, go try one. Just put your credit cards in the drawers before you go though, you just in case.
     
    Wildcatsare1 and ZMG885 like this.
  5. kino lau
    I also find the imaging with the Clear very impressive. The comment about playing them loud is something that I'd like to hear more about from other members/owners. I noticed this the first night I spent listening to different genres and thought that it was due to my DAP. Running High Gain on my QP1R and wandering past the halfway point with the volume. Volume goes from 0 - 60 (1.08fw) and once I got around 38 - 40 things weren't so clear and distinct. Again, I'm thinking it's due to hitting the limitations of a portable player to drive a full-size HP. Not so much ability wise. But I've always been of the belief that using the highest gain setting on any type of amplifier is going to limit the amount of "quality sound" you can expect to obtain from it. So I've been researching which direction I want to take in a new DAC/AMP either portable or tabletop.
     
  6. SilverEars
    Interesting you mention that. Fletcher and Munson Equal Loudness Contour curve would agree.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fletcher–Munson_curves

    For me, it's treble peaks that can bring out harshness or sibilance from either in the recording or the headphones expresses it more than I prefer prevents me from raising the volume. I may not be getting enough volume in other parts of the spectrum as result. This is partially why balanced signature is important. Clear should be better at this than headphones that have a bit of treble emphasis.
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2018
  7. gb21011971
    Found a pair of Elear pads on eBay. After reading numerous discussions about Elex pads (similar to Clear pads) vs Elear pads, I expected a huge difference in tonal balance. While tonality gets somewhat darker, I found the difference not very big. Which means that the much talked about midrange suckout of the Elear is not really due to its pads, but the HP itself. I found the sound signature of the Clear with the Elear pads quite enjoyable, depending on the genre and recording quality. For bright recordings, I welcome the just slightly darker signature. Overall, I probably prefer the original pads, but it's nice to to have the option to change the sound signature ever so slightly.

    20180228_172038.jpg
     
    Wildcatsare1 likes this.
  8. dontfeedphils
    Pad swaps absolutely help with the mid suck-out of the Elear, you just have to use the right pads. There's a thread on the "site whole shall not be named" with measurements showing the difference between stock Elear pads and a couple different aftermarket pads.
     
  9. bidn
    Hi ahmedie,

    I do agree with you that the L700 is very airy and has a much bigger soundstage
    and also agree with you in that I prefer the Clear much over the HD 800.
    I too like the L700 quite much for their air, detail and clean (great SNR) sound.

    But I find your impressions re. bass and dynamics interesting as they seem quite strange to me.

    First, it is commonly accepted that bass and dynamics are not the strengths of electrostatic headphones (like the L700) compared to dynamics headphones.

    Second, I auditioned and tested the L700.
    OK the L700 had more bass than the Sonoma M1 (but that's not so impressive given that the Sonoma's bass was kind of non-existent when I tested it).
    Yet any dynamic headphone I own or auditioned has much more bass than the L700. This applies even more so to the Clear over the L700 with the strong, deep bass of the Clear.
    And re. dynamics, many of those headphones, and certainly the Clear, have more than the L700
    OK I would agree that a few dynamics headphones have stronger dynamics than the Clear (e.g. Utopia, Elear, K812, K872, Sonorous X, VIII -- some people find it too much)
    but the dynamics of my Clear are already quite strong, for me easily beating those of my HD 800 and of most planars, and definitely much more than the L700.

    What kind of music did you use for your comparative tests?

    bidn
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2018
  10. SilverEars
    I heard the Sonoma as well. Although it does excel in clarity, articulation, and cleanliness of it's treble, I also thought dynamics could have been greater. Perhaps it was the bass like you say.

    Perhaps he means less tight bass with more decay to bring out some warmth that particular dynamic drivers can express. Perhaps the tight response translates to such impression. Tight bass and not so peaky treble perhaps gives such impression of the range
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2018
  11. franz12
    Regarding lcd4, it suffers from bad unit to unit consistency. I a/bed lcd4 with hd800s listening to Janet Jackson’s unbreakable. With LCD4, I felt she was singing under a blanket. HD800S was more bright, but has a more natural tonal balanace for her vocal. Plus, I felt I combat with music wearing a military helmet.

    I didn’t find Clear was bright. Clear’s tonal balance is just natural, very life-like, and truthful to a real non-colored sound. Perfect balance somewhere between Hd800s and lcd4.
     
    bidn likes this.
  12. paul2qute
    I'm getting proper excited now,god knows when Nintronics will get back to me to say they have arrived at the shop,for some reason I always think they listening to my headphones at home before they pass them on to me
     
  13. kino lau
    I'm waiting for you to get your Pro's as well. There hasn't been a single conversation discussing the sonic differences between the gray and red ear pads and headband.

    :laughing:
     
    BunnyNamedCraig likes this.
  14. Wildcatsare1
    I und
     
  15. ahmedie
    please refer here too as someone also said L700 is more dynamic than the clear,
    https://www.head-fi.org/threads/focal-clear-headphones.861727/page-88#post-13943535
    i agree with you that the clear bass should go much deeper than the L700 and is more refined and they extends further, the L700 have known mid-bass rise that make them more or less sound more dynamic. L700 also have intimate sound with unnatural imaging on side of head which make instrument on the side of ear sound larger than they should be...I use the clear with luxman amp which is a very polite amp so that may effected my conclusion on bass punch. I used game of thrones tracks,
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2018
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