Focal Clear headphones
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koiloco

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CTH & EL Dac. None of my other headphones do the same thing at high volumes. I've tried multiple usb ports & an optical out. All the same. On my Magni 3 at low gain they're fine but not quite loud enough.
Maybe, ask other Elex owners on HF to try cranking their cans up to see if they have the same distortion problem. During my research on the Elear, Elex, and Clear, I haven't come across much info regarding distortion problem at high volume with these cans. Here are some discussions:

https://www.head-fi.org/threads/focal-elear-impressions-thread.811961/page-94

My Clear is coming soon. I will test it out and let you know.
 
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Raphael DeLaGhetto

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Maybe, ask other Elex owners on HF to try cranking their cans up to see if they have the same distortion problem. During my research on the Elear, Elex, and Clear, I haven't come across much info regarding distortion problem at high volume with these cans. Here are some discussions:

https://www.head-fi.org/threads/focal-elear-impressions-thread.811961/page-94

My Clear is coming soon. I will test it out and let you know.
I have in the Elex thread. My first pair were completely shot so I got a replacement & there's several others who note crackling / pops too. This 2nd pair I received today & they don't have many of the same issues but again going too loud is a no go. I'm thinking it might just be me at this point. If I were a low volume listener they'd be fine, but alas I am not...

 
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koiloco

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I have in the Elex thread. My first pair were completely shot so I got a replacement & there's several others who note crackling / pops too. This 2nd pair I received today & they don't have many of the same issues but again going too loud is a no go. I'm thinking it might just be me at this point. If I were a low volume listener they'd be fine, but alas I am not...
Gluck and take care of your hearing while you still can. Extended listening at too high volume will damage your hearing. You may not notice the degradation immediately but it will sneak up on you over the years.
 
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gersh

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Had a chance to listen the Clears at Minidisc (Chatswood, Sydney) through Moon Neo 430. It feels more like a relaxed pair than anything but then again I only had 5 minutes with it. I was quite amazed with it but not something I thought was worth saving up for.

Gluck and take care of your hearing while you still can. Extended listening at too high volume will damage your hearing. You may not notice the degradation immediately but it will sneak up on you over the years.
A little ancedote, I have a friend who listens to music quite a bit louder than me using headphones and our level of hearing is night and day.
 
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Arniesb

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I'm listening to my Elex right now & that low impedance is starting to haunt me. I can't crank these without distortion. The Clears have an even lower impedance so I'm worried if saving up for the Clears is a mistake since I'm a high volume (between 70-80db) listener. Should I look elsewhere?
Wow that why i would never buy Focals, lot of poeple complaining thats none focals can handle high wolume and 70 to 80db is not really that much. Just very bad design!!!
 
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ubs28

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Wow that why i would never buy Focals, lot of poeple complaining thats none focals can handle high wolume and 70 to 80db is not really that much. Just very bad design!!!
The Focal Utopia and Clear I have are not distorting at all at high volumes.

If you got a defective pair, return it and get a new one that is fine?
 
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rutter

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I have in the Elex thread. My first pair were completely shot so I got a replacement & there's several others who note crackling / pops too. This 2nd pair I received today & they don't have many of the same issues but again going too loud is a no go. I'm thinking it might just be me at this point. If I were a low volume listener they'd be fine, but alas I am not...

If you're anything like me you'll find out that while the Clear might resolve some technical problem going loud isn't a great idea. Piercing headphones. I think low to moderate volume listeners particularly with genres that would benefit from heightened sound might find Focal headphones amazing, but I found them repulsive. I agree with the guy in the image.
 
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Arniesb

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The Focal Utopia and Clear I have are not distorting at all at high volumes.

If you got a defective pair, return it and get a new one that is fine?
Maybe you not listening bassy music or not very loud? That distortion problem is usually low fi headphones trait. Never had it On HD650, HD600, T1 or HD800S. Only on Dt990, Hd598.
 
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rutter

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How do you know it's distortion even with the Clear or Utopia?
 
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Blueshound24

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Maybe you not listening bassy music or not very loud? That distortion problem is usually low fi headphones trait. Never had it On HD650, HD600, T1 or HD800S. Only on Dt990, Hd598.
NO problem with either of two pair of Elears I have had. I think you will find the vast majority of Focal owners have no issues, but their is a vocal minority expressing frustration with them.
 
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malifact

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I had the chance to listen to the Clear and Utopia today. While they are both great headphones, I was surprised that I favoured the Clear. My immediate reaction was I preferred the Utopia, but I sound found it quite fatiguing after some time. I realised it would be ideal for short listening sessions, but the Clear suited me more for extended listening. My only criticism of the Clear is it could do with a touch more bass. Not at the same level as the Utopia but in between. Could anyone who owns the Clear tell me if it responds well to EQ for increasing the bass or maybe a different cable to stock?
 
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RobinTim

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I had the chance to listen to the Clear and Utopia today. While they are both great headphones, I was surprised that I favoured the Clear. My immediate reaction was I preferred the Utopia, but I sound found it quite fatiguing after some time. I realised it would be ideal for short listening sessions, but the Clear suited me more for extended listening. My only criticism of the Clear is it could do with a touch more bass. Not at the same level as the Utopia but in between. Could anyone who owns the Clear tell me if it responds well to EQ for increasing the bass or maybe a different cable to stock?
I was under the impression that the Utopia has less bass than the Clears.
 
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malifact

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I was under the impression that the Utopia has less bass than the Clears.
There was definitely more bass impact and "punch" with the Utopia when I listened today. I spent a lot of my listening time going back and forth with some EDM and Hip-Hop tracks between the Clear and Utopia to make sure I was hearing right.
 
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paul2qute

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There was definitely more bass impact and "punch" with the Utopia when I listened today. I spent a lot of my listening time going back and forth with some EDM and Hip-Hop tracks between the Clear and Utopia to make sure I was hearing right.
Must be the kit driving them, I thought the utopia had far less bass than the clear and I owned both, strange
 
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rutter

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I didn't think the Clear was lacking bass either and didn't pick up on the Utopia having more. Maybe really high bass expectations with some hip-hop? Try the Elear if you want more.
 
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