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Focal Clear headphones

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by mtoc, Oct 1, 2017.
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  1. rutter
    I'll be trying the Aeon Flow Open. If I don't like it enough, I'll probably rebuy the HEXv2 and be done. I've come to appreciate the separation and the sound is generally of a higher quality than the HE-400i I have. I wanted a somewhat livelier sound than the HEXv2, but I got something I didn't bargain for with Focal. Also listened to an Audeze LCD-3 at the store, worst sound of what I've tried (veiled with poor vocals), which says something considering my impression of Focal. You'll get impressive vocals with the Clear, by the way. But overall it's something you need to hear to determine whether it's appropriate for you.
  2. dontfeedphils
    You found the LCD-3s veiled and the Clears piercing.

    koiloco and gLer like this.
  3. gLer
    That’s the first time I’ve heard someone call the LCD-3 ‘veiled’. Made me chuckle :wink:
    koiloco and dontfeedphils like this.
  4. kino lau
    From these recent posts, I'm concerned that I may have damaged my hearing when I was younger. I thought that what I was listening to sounded exquisite. Apparently I was wrong.
    *walking away, head down kicking a stone...*
  5. rutter
    Honest impressions. Considerable time spent with the Clear so I'm inclined to be assertive there. Keep in mind I tried the LCD-3 right after the Clear so perhaps that has something to do with it, but I was also listening to an HE-400i for reference.

    You're not the only one, but I strongly suspect it depends on what you listen to. If you listen to music that doesn't get you moving around on its own, I could see how you'd find the Clear sound exquisite. I found it repulsive with my type of music though.
  6. gLer
    I guess the LCD-3 could sound a little ‘dark’ after a listen to the Clear (or Elear for that matter). But once the brain adjusts it’s just liquid and beautiful, probably the best headphone I’ve heard to date.

    Speaking of, what music do you prefer that so turns you off the Clear?
  7. rutter
    I thought vocals were crap with the LCD-3, to be perfectly frank. I was going through It Ain't Me by Selena Gomez, Frozen by Madonna, Sandstorm by Darude, and a little Tell Me Why by Supermode. Not something your average audiophile would indulge in, granted. With those songs I actually preferred the HE-400i through the Questyle CMA-600I over the Clear. Just unpleasant. As I said, I found the sound piercing, although I would differentiate it from harsh. Too heightened but retains its form, if that makes sense.
    Last edited: May 6, 2018
  8. dontfeedphils
    Just pop, not really eccentric.

    Doesn't really make sense to me, maybe others understand.
    bidn likes this.
  9. koiloco
    Smaller soundstage than HD800? Yes but congested? Heck no
    Piercing HPs? Nope. I do know what a 6k spike sounds like cuz I have HD800 :L3000: and the Clear's treble is way more polite than HD800, especially without the spike.
    Quality is confounded-it's hard to differentiate it from the heightened sound? You completely lost me here.
    Polarizing headphone? IMO, it's also going to be a no. Way more ppl will like the Clear than not.
    Beware if you listen to music that already has energy? Clear is a fast and punchy. It does inject a bit of its own energy and speed into your music but not to the overbearing point.

    To be honest, If you like HD800 more because of the above points, then your sound preference really confuses me and you sort of have some self-contradiction. We all have our personal preferences when it comes to sound signature. As HD800 and HE-6 owner, I have found the Clear reviews from major reviewers very accurate so far.
    I bought my Clear without auditioning. So I was ready for it to go back into the box and returned, or resold here on HF. I will not hesitate at all if I don't like what I hear. These are $$$$ after all. I don't waste my $ to jump onto any bandwagons.
    For now, the Clear will remain with me as well as the HD800. I know what HD800 has that Clear can't offer. HE-6 might go up for sale though.:ksc75smile:
    Last edited: May 6, 2018
    bluenight, bidn and dontfeedphils like this.
  10. rutter
    By the way, here's another hot take. A lot of you give Hifiman crap over the materials they use and by extension design to some extent, which is rather warranted. But, I was quite unimpressed by the build of the Clear and the Focal headphones in general. The materials are solid, but the headphones are less flexible. The headband is solid all the way through so it's all on the cups, and different sizes are limited to extending the headphone in a narrow path. Are you supposed to try to bend the headphone? Anyway, I found the fit to be short of ideal. Despite being somewhat questionable I came away with a better appreciation of the design of the Hifiman Edition X v2. I can see a fit intelligence that lacks with Focal. Durability is the crux.


    I have no experience with the HD800. Read what you're quoting. I just know it has an even wider soundstage than the HEXv2, which I do have experience with.
    Last edited: May 6, 2018
  11. koiloco
    Please don't take this personal but if you found vocal on LC3 "crap" and preferred HE-400i, here are my suggestions :
    1. Save yourself a lot of $ and just stick with HE-400i because obviously, you are oblivious to what you are hearing. This is totally fine as far as personal preference and subjectivity go. There's absolutely nothing with wrong with being self-aware of one's own preference.
    2. You seem to be new to this hobby. Take your time learning more about it. You might learn something and be surprised at what you don't know. I once went through the same learning experience with wine. A $5 dollar bottle will get you just as drunk as a $100 one, but like everything else, there's more in life to savor and enjoy than just getting drunk "fast"...and for the record, I never go past $100/bottle because I couldn't tell and appreciate the difference beyond that price point, but I would never call a $1000 bottle "crap".

    Enjoy your music. I still listen to CDs on my little boombox when working in my garage. The experience is just as enjoyable...because I am happy.:beerchug:
    Last edited: May 6, 2018
    RobinTim, bidn, Wildcatsare1 and 4 others like this.
  12. dcguy73
  13. koiloco
    You had way more control than I did. I spit out my coffee. Some got on my fav Tshirt, the "open" one with multi holes but so darn comfy. :deadhorse:
    dcguy73 likes this.
  14. koiloco
    Go have a short time-out and repent for your sins.
    dcguy73 likes this.
  15. kino lau
    Just came inside from enjoying a cigar and some Miles Davis through my Andromeda's.
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