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Focal Clear headphones

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by mtoc, Oct 1, 2017.
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  1. herrsmith
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2018
  2. nanaholic
    In today's balance audio amp circuit the negative is not ground, but is cold/pull, if you tie the headphone cable left/right negative contacts to the same point you short the negatives of the balance amp.

  3. herrsmith
    A single ended output only has a ground, no differential output. My diagram acknowledges that the balanced cable is supposed to be a differential (though, a lot of "balanced" amps do not actually have a differential output), but can be just as easily tied to a ground. The headphones don't supply any voltage, so you don't have to worry about tying their grounds together, because that's exactly what happens when you use a single ended cable with a single ended output. Also, that diagram clearly shows the negative half of the two channels tied together in a three pole TRS plug, which is weird. I can't understand any of the writing, so maybe this is saying that's not how it should be done, which is definitely true.
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2018
  4. dontfeedphils
    When running a balanced amp, you cannot use a SE terminated cable with a SE to balanced adapter to connect that headphone to that amp.
  5. herrsmith
    I agree with that. Is that what people meant when they said "You can't go SE to balanced"? I was thinking in terms of signal path, I guess. It shouldn't be too hard to find a ground in the amplifier to allow for a single ended connection, but a direct adapter would short R- to L-.
  6. dontfeedphils
    Yep, looks like you misunderstood what they were trying to convey.
  7. herrsmith
    Welp, my bad, everyone. Just so it's clear to anyone looking back on this:

    Single ended amp -> TRS (or other single ended) plug -> Single ended to balanced adapter -> Headphones = Simple, easy, and a decent first soldering project if you're looking into doing things yourself

    Truly balanced (i.e. differential) amp -> Balanced connector -> Balanced to single ended adapter -> Headphones = Your L- and R- (or L+ and R+, but it really doesn't matter) will be connected together and any voltage differences will be have a very small impedance (assuming it's a competently designed amp) and thus a good amount of current flow from one channel to the other of your amp, which is bad.
  8. snafu1
    So while we're talking SE vs Balanced. Has anyone done any testing with the Clears on a balanced setup? Was there any noticeable improvement?

    The only test I was able to make was using my Onkyo DP-X1's 2.5mm TRRS connector to which I connected a Sukira 4 pin XLR adapter, which I then used to plug in the Focal XLR balanced cable. I was unable to discern any improvement at all on this setup.
  9. Dr. Robert
    The Clear with the Oppo HA-1 in balanced sounds OUSTANDING. Really, compared with the Utopia (in non-balanced) sounds more dynamic, more enjoyable, more FULL. But at last in all ways te Utopia are above the Clear. Both are terrific headphones.
  10. snafu1
    Oh, you would have to say that - especially with the Oppo HA-1.

    As it happens, I just ordered an amp. It was a tough decision and it was down to the HA-1 or the Woo WA7. Since my test with balanced audio on the clears was a resounding "meh", and since I wanted to try out a tube amp, I went for the WA7. Now, you have me second guessing my choice. Oh well, I guess this is forever the audiophile's dilemma.
  11. Dr. Robert
    The Oppo also soften the trebles and makes the clear sounds so sweet . This is my only experience with balanced. I use the Utopia in non balanced
  12. paul2qute
    Yes the coiled cable is terrible,so stiff and doesn't stretch easily and yanks my Hugo 2 everywhere when I'm body popping to the music, doing the windmill with the headphones on is a challenge though
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2018
    brianc0428 and opienor like this.
  13. devilboy
    Sorry if this was discussed already but is anyone using Moon Audio's Black Dragon cables with their Clears? I'm about to pull the trigger on a Clear and want some info on cable options.
  14. devilboy
    I sit far away from my amp so I'll need a cable longer than the stock 10 footer, otherwise I'd keep the stock cable.
    I'm looking at around 15'.
  15. ChasingDopamine
    Hi guys,

    i have recently tried auditioned these headphones and absolutely fell in love with them, they are my next upgrade for sure.
    I was wondering if we could expect the same price reduction we saw in the Elears and Utopia? they are currently going for £1399 in london shops (thats $1976). Do you think we could expect them to drop at all?

    Also do hifi products ever go on black friday type sales? so far from what ive read only low end consumer headphones get discounted much around that time of year?
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