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Focal Clear headphones

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by mtoc, Oct 1, 2017.
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  1. Paulo Abreu
    I agree 100%. For 90% of the music I listen, imaging is more important than soundstage - If I'm listening live to a jazz band, I don't want them all over the stage, I value coherence and separation between instruments and voices.
    And Clear is amaaaaaaziiiiiig doing this.

    Just my 2 cents
    Last edited: May 24, 2018
    jtinto and betula like this.
  2. rutter
    I was referring to separation. I thought it was synonymous with other words like soundstage. Separation was the word that came naturally to me rather than soundstage. I don't picture a soundstage, I just notice a separation between different sounds which is not a strong suit of the Clear. It does it to some extent certainly but I don't think it's notable among headphones. Reviewers tend to describe it as "intimate", which is a funny euphemism.
    Last edited: May 24, 2018
  3. tbollier
    I'm considering upgrading to the Clear from the Elear. I've become quite used to and comfortable with the Elears, and like the general sound signature and dynamics. I don't really notice the supposed mids issue either. Anyone have experience with this upgrade? Did it feel significant?
  4. up late
    separation is not synonymous with soundstage, but separation is also referred to as imaging. from describing sound - a glossary: imaging - the sense that a voice or instrument is in a particular place in the room. soundstage - the area between two speakers that appears to the listener to be occupied by sonic images. like a real stage, a soundstage should have width, depth, and height.

    a headphone can have excellent imaging within a small "soundstage"
    Last edited: May 24, 2018
  5. franz12
    I finally rebought Clear and am rejoining the club today. @MTMECraig was of great help to find this magic. I am impressed with their services of the highest quality!

    Although I am not a big classical fan, I listened to these two videos from Apple Music for burn-in purposes.

    Absolutely stunning

    Summer 1 (Live From Berlin) 3:52 Daniel Hope, L'arte del mondo, Max Richter & Werner Ehrhardt
    Spring 1 (Live From Berlin) 2:38 Daniel Hope, L'arte del mondo, Max Richter & Werner Ehrhardt
  6. rutter
    Seems a little like hair splitting to me. I suppose it can be argued that the Clear has excellent imaging with a smaller soundstage, but all I heard from both headphones is the HEXv2 having notable separation literally. Not so much sonic images in 3D space, literally separation, and there was nothing gigantic about it either. The Clear just sounded rather cluttered by comparison, like an ordinary headphone on steroids. I've also encountered width, depth, and height and was mystified.

    I think vocals, particularly female vocals, are significantly better on the Clear than the Elear. The Clear also has good bass without going as far as the Elear, if you find it too much at all. Not sure there is an upgrade otherwise but there might be.
    Last edited: May 24, 2018
  7. zephyrstar
    Has anyone tried the Utopia earpads on the Clear? Focal rep said they would fit. I find the leather Utopia pads to be more comfortable.
  8. up late
    make of it what you will. i find the difference between the two descriptors significant enough to be useful when i am trying to convey what i hear to others, which is what we often do here. and separation is more akin to imaging than soundstage in audiophile parlance - just sayin'.
    Last edited: May 25, 2018
    Turdski, koiloco and jtinto like this.
  9. LoryWiv
    Had a chance to audition the Clear at a local audio shop today, and they were immediately impressive with great detail retrieval and overall tonal balance. On some test tracks I did find the upper midrange / lower treble a bit sharp, with a "tizzy" quality. The frequency graphs do show some upslope around 1k then again 4-5k (Inner Fidelity, SABF), although I am not sure this corresponds to what I heard.

    The Clear had so much to like, great build quality, overall musical presentation and very comfortable, but I am worried about listening fatigue based on the above. Has anyone experienced something similar at 1st listen that subsequently equipment or "brain" burn in resolved?
    BunnyNamedCraig likes this.
  10. gb21011971
    Yes, I felt the same about it in the beginning. I thought there was a spike around 1k, even though I never measured this. Mids and upper mids were just too much in my experience. I would call it 'shouty'.

    I find it much better now after a few months. Not sure if that is due to actual or mental burn in, but now it is ok, or tolerable. I still find this to be a minor problem with the Clear, actually the only problem. Other than that, these HP are just phenomenal.
  11. gb21011971
    I currently use the Dekoni fenestrated sheepskin (Massdrop). They look pretty similar the the Utopia pads, but have never actually tried the Utopia pads. Anyway, these are great, they do not change the sound IMO, but I find them to be more comfortable indeed.
  12. franz12
    Just want to confirm. Does Focal provide a measurement for an individual unit? Sennheiser does that for hd800s. I believe Focal does not.
  13. doraymon
    They don't.
    They are very shy in sharing inform, in my case they didn't even reply my enquiries on their site. Two weeks and counting...
  14. gLer
    I asked them how to clean the pads and headband about 3 weeks ago already. Not even a courtesy reply. Audeze and Dekoni reply within a day. Audio-Gd same day. Love my Elear but Focal service is meh.
    doraymon likes this.
  15. devilboy
    Remember, Focal makes loudspeakers as well. The number of Focal customers around the world is very high. The larger a company is, the more unlikely it is you'll receive a response. The smaller, "one-man" operations will get back to you ASAP.
    It's like if you emailed Sony with a question, would they reply quickly or at all?
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