Focal Clear headphones
Jun 18, 2018 at 11:38 AM Post #3,991 of 10,323

up late

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i think that the z1r is a nice complement to the utopia and i assume that it would be for the clear as well
 
Jun 18, 2018 at 11:42 AM Post #3,992 of 10,323

Phronesis

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The Z1R could totally be a contender. I think it compliments the Clear really well! You get more of a fun sound with the bass, and not to mention the build quality...

like @Hoegaardener70 make sure you check the Z1R out. If you want cheaper and less detail the Meze99 is a good fit.

The Z1R signature seems to be hit or miss with people. The "miss" group I think comes from the fact that they were expecting a headphone to be over 2K to be dead neutral. I accept it for how they wanted to tune it and love it.

The Clear which is faster and all around tighter would be your "analyze" set(you can still enjoy the music out of it thankfully), and Z1R when you just want to jam but also want details.

Sounds like the Z1R could complement the Clear well. Where I find the Focals somewhat lacking is with rock, especially rock which isn't recorded well. To my ears:

- The resolution of the Focals reveals the lack of quality of some rock recordings (less of an issue with the Elear)

- Rock often requires more bass, or a different character of bass, than what the Focals offer, to give the music fullness and impact

- The intimate stage of the Focals doesn't always suit rock where a 'large' sound is preferable

The LCD-3 works better for me for rock, and the LCD-2 even more so, but I'm still looking for something which makes rock sound like rock.

Agreed that the Clear is more of a neutral reference sound, but with energy. The Clear literally sounds clear to me. Acoustic instruments sound like instruments, voices sound voices, nothing is really missing, nothing is really there in excess, etc.
 
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Jun 18, 2018 at 11:50 AM Post #3,993 of 10,323

BunnyNamedCraig

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Sounds like the Z1R could complement the Clear well. Where I find the Focals somewhat lacking is with rock, especially rock which isn't recorded well. To my ears:

- The resolution of the Focals reveals the lack of quality of some rock recordings (less of an issue with the Elear)

- Rock often requires more bass, or a different character of bass, than what the Focals offer, to give the music fullness and impact

- The intimate stage of the Focals doesn't always suit rock where a 'large' sound is preferable

The LCD-3 works better for me for rock, and the LCD-2 even more so, but I'm still looking for something which makes rock sound like rock.

Agreed that the Clear is more of a neutral reference sound, but with energy. The Clear literally sounds clear to me. Acoustic instruments sound like instruments, voices sound voices, etc.
I think the Z1R would be better to mask the poor recording, at least more then the Clear, but not as much as the LCD3. Just my opinion.

I think the Z1R definitely offers more bigger bass, but impact I can't say. I feel like the Clear does a good job of punch, but by no means does it mean the bass pounds... Makes me wonder if anyone here EQ'd the Clear to see what they could do with adding more bass?

Yes the Clear and Utopia for that matter are more intimate ( I would go nuts for a Utopia with HD800 soundstage btw... :heart_eyes:). The Z1R is really excellent width for a closed back, but off the top of my head I don't remember how close they are.

The Clear sounds clear to me to!! lol. It's such a fitting name. Very crisp, detailed, punchy and clean and neutral. I didn't want to talk it up in my youtube video but I think its still very engaging for how neutral it is. No easy feat.
 
Jun 18, 2018 at 12:07 PM Post #3,994 of 10,323

Phronesis

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I think the Z1R would be better to mask the poor recording, at least more then the Clear, but not as much as the LCD3. Just my opinion.

I think the Z1R definitely offers more bigger bass, but impact I can't say. I feel like the Clear does a good job of punch, but by no means does it mean the bass pounds... Makes me wonder if anyone here EQ'd the Clear to see what they could do with adding more bass?

Yes the Clear and Utopia for that matter are more intimate ( I would go nuts for a Utopia with HD800 soundstage btw... :heart_eyes:). The Z1R is really excellent width for a closed back, but off the top of my head I don't remember how close they are.

The Clear sounds clear to me to!! lol. It's such a fitting name. Very crisp, detailed, punchy and clean and neutral. I didn't want to talk it up in my youtube video but I think its still very engaging for how neutral it is. No easy feat.

Cool, just watched your Top 4 video, and wasn't aware the Clear is your topic pick!

I can see what you're saying about the LCD-3. To my ears, the smoothness of planar magnetics is a plus for dealing with poor recordings.

When comparing the Clear and Utopia, I found their bass to be kind of 'sneaky'. I'd have a moment where I'd think 'hmm, needs more bass' then a moment later bass would kick in and I'd think 'oh, I guess the bass is fine, if not plenty, any more bass would be too much'. I guess it's just a different character of bass, not really too much or too little overall. Maybe not the ideal bass for some rock, but works really well for jazz and a lot of other stuff.
 
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Jun 18, 2018 at 12:10 PM Post #3,995 of 10,323

BunnyNamedCraig

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Cool, just watched your Top 4 video, and wasn't aware the Clear is your topic pick!

I can see what you're saying about the LCD-3. To my ears, the smoothness of planar magnetics is a plus for dealing with poor recordings.

When comparing the Clear and Utopia, I found their bass to be kind of 'sneaky'. I'd have a moment where I'd think 'hmm, needs more bass' then a moment later bass would kick in and I'd think 'oh, I guess the bass is fine, if not plenty, any more bass would be too much'. I guess it's just a different character of bass, not really too much or too little overall. Maybe not the ideal bass for some rock, but works really well for jazz and a lot of other stuff.
cool you watched my video!

You are making me wonder now, do you just like the bass of planars more then the Clear, or dynamic drivers?

Switching back and forth between your LCD3 and the Clear might determine that. AKA you may always think something is off about the Clear bass, but never realized its because of liking the LCD3 more in that category?
 
Jun 18, 2018 at 12:19 PM Post #3,996 of 10,323

rutter

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I think you're forgetting Hifiman are also planar magnetic. I've heard the LCD-3 and am currently listening to the LCD-X. From what I recall of the Clear the bass punches as hard as any of these and is quite tight, maybe you just want it looser. Often people who bring up planar magnetic having a peculiar sound seem to be extrapolating rather than actually bringing up a peculiar planar magnetic quality. I think neither the LCD-3 nor the LCD-X are bass-head headphones, and I did not pick up on anything special about the LCD-3 bass.
 
Jun 18, 2018 at 12:39 PM Post #3,997 of 10,323

nanaholic

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You like and bought the Clear. Using the Clear as reference, IMO, you won't be happy with Z1R.

Nonsense. :D
20180221_171957575_iOS.jpg


I've owned the Z1R for over a year and the Clear for about 4 months now and I'm not getting rid of either one, in fact in terms of full size dynamic cans they are pretty much the opposite of each other in exactly the ways which makes them compliment each other. The Z1R is smooth, relaxing, and has a wider and deeper soundstage than the Clear, while the Clear is intimate, fast and energetic. If I want to sit back and relax and just listen to anything which comes up on the playlist I pick up the Z1R, if I want to be energised and excited I pick the Clear. Best of all neither are particularly hard to drive well unlike planers, they plug into virtually anything, I sometimes even just listen to them out of my Walkmans.
 
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Jun 18, 2018 at 12:41 PM Post #3,998 of 10,323

Phronesis

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You are making me wonder now, do you just like the bass of planars more then the Clear, or dynamic drivers?

Switching back and forth between your LCD3 and the Clear might determine that. AKA you may always think something is off about the Clear bass, but never realized its because of liking the LCD3 more in that category?

I like the bass of both and my preference tends to depend on the recording. As I mentioned in the other thread, quick switching to one after listening to the other for a while can be kind of shocking, but in an educational way. Switching to the Clear initially makes it seem a bit bright and thin, but that perception diminishes over time. Switching to LCD-3 makes it initially seem bass heavy and a bit muddy, but that perception also diminishes over time. With longer-term listening both sound good to me, but with a different personality.

Unfortunately, I find that this difference between initial vs long-term perception creates a problem for comparing headphones. While the quick switching may reveal differences most clearly and reliably, it's also less representative of the differences perceived with longer-term listening. On the other hand, trying to compare the perception of two headphones from longer-term listening is problematic because it relies so much on memory, and can be influenced a lot by expectation, variations in moods and attention, etc. When comparing the Clear vs Utopia, I tried to mitigate these problems somewhat by doing both the quick switching and listening to each longer-term on their own. The longer-term listening convinced me that I like both a lot, and the quick switching convinced me that the differences are relatively small (to my ears) and that maybe the tonality of the Clear suits me better.
 
Jun 18, 2018 at 12:46 PM Post #3,999 of 10,323

Phronesis

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I think you're forgetting Hifiman are also planar magnetic. I've heard the LCD-3 and am currently listening to the LCD-X. From what I recall of the Clear the bass punches as hard as any of these and is quite tight, maybe you just want it looser. Often people who bring up planar magnetic having a peculiar sound seem to be extrapolating rather than actually bringing up a peculiar planar magnetic quality. I think neither the LCD-3 nor the LCD-X are bass-head headphones, and I did not pick up on anything special about the LCD-3 bass.

I didn't spend a lot of time with the LCD-X, but felt that the bass was a bit lighter than the LCD-3. With the Clear, I hear the bass, with the LCD-3 the sensation is that I can feel it somewhat also, which gets me a bit closer to the sensation of listening to speakers.
 
Jun 18, 2018 at 1:44 PM Post #4,000 of 10,323

rutter

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The bass of the LCD-X is punchier and the headphone is overall more energetic. I've heard someone describe the LCD-3 as "liquidy" and it's more laid-back. Perhaps the LCD-3 bass has more quantity or occupies more space. Didn't strike me as a big deal though.

I agree that you get used to the sound of a headphone, but I also believe you can just as well get used to crap. Ideally you'd want to compare both short-term and long-term but in the absence of long-term you want to try hard to spot the differences and try to think critically about what you hear. Pick the best to your ear and get used to that. Like you stated in an earlier post, peace of mind is a rather crucial thing. It may not be complete but at least you're more confident about your relative selection.
 
Jun 18, 2018 at 4:07 PM Post #4,002 of 10,323

gLer

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With a closed back, I'm looking for something that complements the other gear I have, doesn't need to have a signature similar to others. Maybe something like the 99 Classics (which IMO is great for the price), but sound quality in the same league as the other more expensive stuff. I'd be interested in details of you comparison of the Z1R vs Clear.
If you want TOTL SQ in a closed back, also consider the ZMF pair (Atticus/Eikon). I love my Atticus as a warm, liquid, punchy complement to my Elear - which has a similar signature to the Clear. Don’t think the Meze or Fostex variants will get you there, but also curious to compare the Z1R to my Atticus one day.
 
Jun 18, 2018 at 5:04 PM Post #4,003 of 10,323

koiloco

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Would you mind refining this, and tell me why? I understand that the Z1R is far from neutral, but that this not necessarily a bad thing ....
If @Phronesis were looking for a pair to complement the Clear then Z1R could be a contender. My statement was purely based on his carefully auditioned preference of the Clear. Even if he's looking for a complement set, I believe there're other options as well. First came to mind was Fostex TH900 Mk2. Technicality might not superb but other traits are there to complement the Clear.
 
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Jun 18, 2018 at 5:11 PM Post #4,004 of 10,323

koiloco

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If you want TOTL SQ in a closed back, also consider the ZMF pair (Atticus/Eikon). I love my Atticus as a warm, liquid, punchy complement to my Elear - which has a similar signature to the Clear. Don’t think the Meze or Fostex variants will get you there, but also curious to compare the Z1R to my Atticus one day.
I second the Atticus recommendation as a complement set. I personally prefer Atticus over Z1R, especially for the $. The look and design also go well against the Clear.
 
Jun 18, 2018 at 5:52 PM Post #4,005 of 10,323

koiloco

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Nonsense. :D


I've owned the Z1R for over a year and the Clear for about 4 months now and I'm not getting rid of either one, in fact in terms of full size dynamic cans they are pretty much the opposite of each other in exactly the ways which makes them compliment each other. The Z1R is smooth, relaxing, and has a wider and deeper soundstage than the Clear, while the Clear is intimate, fast and energetic. If I want to sit back and relax and just listen to anything which comes up on the playlist I pick up the Z1R, if I want to be energised and excited I pick the Clear. Best of all neither are particularly hard to drive well unlike planers, they plug into virtually anything, I sometimes even just listen to them out of my Walkmans.
:L3000::L3000::L3000: That's how my head is like when listening to Z1R. I wasn't the one doing the shaking. Z1R did.
Anyhow, refer to my above response to Hoegaardener70.
 

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