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Focal Clear headphones

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by mtoc, Oct 1, 2017.
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  1. Daniel Johnston
    I wouldn’t say buying clears is giving up or settling.

    With all the hype surrounding the “next best thing”, buying a set of cans that handle pretty much any genre of music very well is very nice. I don’t have a 2 channel system for rock, one for jazz, or one for techno/dance. Why should I need to have separate headphones that are “good” for each of these genres? One headphone to rule it all.

  2. Roderick
    OK. I love Clears. I do. These might be the best headphones I've ever had on my head. However as in search for an so called "end game".

    1) On Clear I miss the soundstage of HD800 or Hifiman Ananda

    2) On HD800 I miss the perfect bass of Clears

    3) On Clear I miss the final transparency HD800 has over Clear

    4) On Clear and HD800 I miss the bass extension of Ananda and particularly LCD-3

    5) On LCD-3 I miss upper mids just in general :D

    On average Clear does most things best, or is atleast adequate. HD800 struggles with the treble peaks, hifimans have the bass impact off a feather and LCD-3 is just more focused on..well, don't know what they're supposed to focus on.

    @Daniel Johnston I agree with you not needing a different headphones for every genre. That is what I would like. Clear comes very close. It is obvious they fair well with rock, jazz, classical but my jaw hit the floor when I heard first notes of Cardi B's "Money" on Clears. I don't even listen to that kind of music but I like my headphones to have the ability to do every genre. It was allmost equal to closed back fostex th-x00. I actually think Clears propably have the best bass I've heard ever. It is effortless in a way that electrostats have effortless highs. I'ts not forced at all. Very pleasent to listen.
    Daniel Johnston likes this.
  3. catscratch Contributor
    You give up the last bit of soundstage and detail, at least compared to some of the TOTL stuff out there. On tracks that I've listened to with Stax for years, with the Clears I felt like something was missing, and the tracks had more to give with regards to both resolution and spatial presentation.

    But then other tracks were just fine, and others still sound like they are missing some punch and dynamics with Stax, or the tone was off in some way, or one of a myriad of other flaws.

    Everything is flawed. No piece of gear is perfect. Pick something that has the strengths you value and weaknesses you can live with. And then tune it and use whatever trickery you know to max out the performance. And if you're not happy with it, don't just sit on it, try something else.
    koover likes this.
  4. Enigma29

    I'm looking to maybe pick up a pair of Focal Clears, I have a Marantz HD-DAC1 and I used to own Beyer T90's (that I loved), Beyer DT 1990's (considered them a side-grade and a bit boring sounding) and then Beyer T1 2nd gens (like them but I cant deal with the sharpness).
    I honestly don't have anywhere to listen to these apart from a 2 week return policy that I have been forced to exploit in the past, but looking at opinions I think these would suit me well? Considering Beyer is also known for treble and such.

    My primary genres are rock/metal/trance and I'm pretty into female vocals.

    Appreciate any advice and/or tips.

  5. Tekunda
    Aside from classical music I am very much into Goatrance and enjoy my Clear tremendously with this type of music.
    I equalized my Clear to a certain degree, with the help of a Parametric Equalizer I dialed in about 4 dB subbase at 25Hz using a low shelf filter, around 4000 Hz I shaved off about 3dB and increased the 10kHz area about 4dB.
    My Clear have a hard hitting bass, a crystal clear performance and no sibbilance whatsoever.
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2019
  6. pbarach
    I have the Clears and they sound great with my Marantz HD-DAC1 on any music I listen to, which is mostly classical and jazz. They are not bass-head headphones, so look elsewhere if you want that kind of sound, but they are not bass-shy either. The Clears sound about the same with my other amp (not a DAC), Burson HA-160, which has a class A output stage.
  7. Enigma29
    Definitely not a bass head, I like the bass to be precise and present however, which I am told these have.
  8. Tekunda
    A very present and precise bass on my Clear. The Clear love lots of current.
    I run mine on a Questyle 12 CMA which is a current mode amplification with a balanced cable.
    Incredible bass if you ask me.
  9. Musiccc
    Focal Clear or Beyerdynamic T1 (2nd Gen)?

    Any Focal owners who also have the Beyer T1 2nd Gen could provide a general impression?

    I prefer neutral or close to neutral. Spacious sound-stage would be nice.

    I just purchase a used Focal Clear but turns out that the left side is defective with distortion, so I am not able to tell what the Focal Clear really sound like.
    Considering buying a brand new pair but also exploring other options with angled drivers. Look at those Beyer T1 drivers! Build like a tank.
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2019
  10. parimento1
    Listened to the T1s at CanJam. They will fry your ears. The treble is sizzling hot.
  11. Enigma29
    I just got off of a 2 week tryout with 2 different pairs of T1 2nd gens, one sub 40k and one above 50k serial number. The higher serial numbers are definitely the less sibilant ones...but...
    Honestly I've been a fan of Beyer most of my headphone times, I loved the T90 and thought the DT 1990 Pro was good if a little dull. But let me tell you that I can't recommend the T1's to anyone unless you're getting them half or lower off MSRP.
    Never have I experienced physical pain while listening to headphones, but the T1's - granted if you listen to opera or a very select few songs without sharp sounds, etc., you won't notice it, but the moment some sharp guitars or more aggressive singers take stage you will wince while listening to music.

    On some songs it's so bad you can't listen to it unless you bring the 7KHz band down -7db, and by that point you're losing a lot of the other details while trying to get rid of the T1 "signature" peak...
    If they were let's say 400$/Eur we could argue it reasonable to need to EQ or mod a pair to make it good, at 800 I believe a headphone shouldn't physically hurt you.

    I'm getting my Clears on Friday so if you want I can give you a more specific comparison when I get them, don't think I'll miss anything about the T1's tho.
    bidn likes this.
  12. LCMusicLover
    Second this. For me, T1g2 were ice-pick-in-the-ear painful.
  13. Musiccc
    Thanks for the overview about the Beyer. Looking forward to your thoughts on the Clears/Beyer.
    The Beyer T1.2 looks really well built tho. Oh, and the 5 year warranty.
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2019
  14. Enigma29
    I mean yes and no...the headband isn't user replaceable and it's not leather either, its this strange leatherette material that while is soft feels very prone to damage and this of course isn't covered under their 5 year warranty, only the drivers are.
    The points where the ear cup arms pivot are plastic, I've had the ones on the DT 1990 Pro's snap on me after 4 months. Same with the area where the ear cups themselves are held, both sides are plastic.
    The first T1 I bought came with a rattle in the left ear cup so yeah, it's a mixed bag I'm afraid.

    Also my Clear delivery got re-scheduled onto Monday so that's a bummer...
  15. Musiccc
    Bummer.. especially for a highly anticipated package. Always happen like that. Why?

    I was rushing home after work to receive my package (a used Clear) last week, got stuck in really bad traffic jam but eventual made it home around mail delivery time. Guess what? They decided to deliver early that day and I missed the delivery. Here I went, rushing down to the main post office to get my package before they close.
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