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Focal Clear headphones

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by mtoc, Oct 1, 2017.
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  1. PopZeus
    One can only compare apples to apples. And over time I’ve learn to generally trust the graphs provided by Tyll and head-fi/massdrop. The graphs say the Utopias (assuming all other conditions are the same) have less bass. It might be way better in terms of fidelity but we’re only talking about tuning, not quality. In that sense alone, the Clear/Elex have more bass. Elear even more than those.

    Besides, I can’t afford the Utopias, let alone the best cable for it. Tbh, I’ve never heard a cable alter the stock sound that much. (We’re talking around ~3db of additional bass.) All that adds up to the fact that they’re not meant for me.

    Now I think Tyll mentions that there is more sub-bass in the Clear than the Elear, but I think he meant there’s less sub-bass roll-off as you move to 20hz. Not sure if they intersect at some point though...
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2018
  2. up late
    i think you are referring to the bass amplitude or quantity rather than quality. frequency response measurements won't tell you that but your ears might. the utopia's beryllium driver may also have something to do with the quality of the bass produced than just the tuning alone. :slight_smile:
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2018
  3. Ekul61
    Yes it’s well known. Except within the Utopia thread. The Utopia, much more clear and detailed. The Clears, a little easier on the ears and the bass just sounds a little better.
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2018
  4. MrPanda
    No problems so far with Tidal->Mojo_>Clear Pro, standard cable
  5. up late
    i'm not sure what you mean by that. what is "well known" "except within the utopia thread" exactly? i've not heard the clear but i've read tyll's glowing review of it and looked at the measurements. the difference in bass presence between the utopia and the clear is measurably small. the clear has slightly more mid-bass and sub-bass. whether that makes the clear's bass "better" than the utopia's is a matter of opinion rather than fact. if the utopia renders bass with more definition and texture than the clear does, then some folks may consider the utopia's bass presentation as "better", while others may think that a little more bass quantity is preferable, thereby making the clear's bass "better" for them. comparing bass performance based on fr measurements alone is misguided imo.
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2018
    dontfeedphils likes this.
  6. Ekul61
    They are all good. Just seams when u get into the ultra detailing headphone. They have to sacrifice a little bass to achieve the clarity.
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2018
  7. up late
    that ain't necessarily so :slight_smile:
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2018
  8. catscratch Contributor
    A couple of comments:

    First, let's not talk in detail about the sound of headphones that we haven't heard, and let's not pass off our assumptions about them as certain truth.

    Second, if your drivers rattle, check your listening levels and make sure they're not too loud. Also check your EQ and make sure you're not overboosting the lows. It has been said elsewhere that Focal headphones have a tendency to run out of driver excursion at high SPL. So if you're listening at 100db or so and using bass boost besides, then I suspect the drivers may rattle and you could damage them.

    I don't think the Clear sounds like the HD650. The FR looks similar to the HD650 up until about 3.5khz, but past that there are big differences that definitely affect the sound. The HD650 sounds warm and polite, a bit laid back but quite resolving, while the Clear is more forward, sharper, clearer, and with snappier dynamics, though maybe not more resolution overall. I'd say that final point - the Clear's slight lack of resolution - is its biggest downfall for me. Well that, and the 6khz treble spike that makes it sound a bit sibilant. $1500 is electrostat money, and when you start comparing the Clear to various 'stats, it doesn't quite measure up. However, taken in isolation, it's an excellent headphone, though maybe more suited for people that generally like crisper highs.
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2018
    Hedonism and up late like this.
  9. BunnyNamedCraig
    The Clear doesn’t sound like the 650 to me at all. The 650 is darker and way more chill. The Clear is tonally neutral, or compared to the 650 bright for that matter.

    The Clear’s transients are faster and the bass is tighter
  10. NickedWicked
    Sadly had to send in the Clear for repair/replacement today, had some production issues, lose emblem on the right, squeaky headband, lose copper coil (or something else) in the left driver. Hopefully it won't take long.
  11. BunnyNamedCraig
    Wow!! sorry to hear that... we haven’t had any problems with ours yet (knock on wood).

    The only headphone I ever dropped at the store was the Clear... my heart dropped with it. but thankfully nothing was wrong with it! I don’t advise ever dropping it to find out it’s durability but thankfully it seems like it can keep on ticking from a lick like that.
  12. DavidW
    I am in the unfortunate position of having left my Focal headphone case on a plane (and on my second outing with the Clears). Some lucky passenger on the DC to Norfolk flight is now the proud owner of my case (and my name and contact info were included...)

    My local dealer reports a mid April delivery of Focal cases. Any dealers on this thread have the headphone case in stock?
  13. noplsestar
    Not so cool reading again and again about crackling clears. Do they have a production problem? For this price there shouldn’t be so many complaints.
  14. NickedWicked
    They aren't really big issues as they didn't affect the sound, well maybe the copper coil but I didn't notice anything out of the ordinary. As for crackling, I didn't notice any, well maybe I did but that were the tracks that were clipping (which I never heard before) even with really big bass boosts (+12Db!) the Clear does it just fine without crackle but I tend to stick to 60-70Db for sound. But yeah in the end a bit unacceptable for headphones that cost $1500.
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2018
    noplsestar likes this.
  15. TSAVJason
    I know, reading about those 3 units that had a problem one of which was a hair getting in the transducer chamber causing a crackling sound was just awful. The nerve of Focal putting out 3 units making that sound out of the 2000 they made .....such shotty craftsmanship ...right?
    The Source AV TSAVJason Stay updated on The Source AV at their sponsor page on Head-Fi.
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    opienor likes this.
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