Focal Clear headphones
Nov 7, 2021 at 9:00 AM Post #10,081 of 10,321

alekc

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Also, suggest being mindful with your DAC with the Clears...anything hyper-analytical (like an RME-ADI 2 or D90), or ESS chip based, could potentially be an issue depending on your sound/texture preferences. Point being, the Clears are well balanced, but extremely detailed on their own, so you may benefit from considering a softer/musical upstream component in your chain.
@David222 I agree partially with your observation. In general more detailed with at least good instrument separation dacs/amps could potentially be too detailed for easy listening, especially for longer sessions. Anything above Mojo from Chord line (HTT2 is not that bad actually but I guess Qutest/Hugo 2 and Dave can be challenging for some) could be example here. Also Clears will sound tiring when paired with dac/amp with narrow sond stage.

As for ESS based dacs - there are some many details that have impact on final sound signature that I would not generalize that much (especially considering that RME-ADI 2 is now being sold with different chip). In case of Mytek Brooklyn just switch to analog volume sound and FRMP or SRMP filter and you may find Focal Clears nice pair of cans.
 
Nov 7, 2021 at 9:01 AM Post #10,082 of 10,321

Guidostrunk

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Mate, if I remember correctly...it was YOU that inspired me to try high gain on my H16 amp. I remember reading one of your earlier posts in this thread mentioning how you use high gain on your amp and I was like "what!!"? Hmmmmmm...lemme try something similar! :thinking:

Since then...I haven't looked back lol so just wanted to thank you for this buddy! :thumbsup:
:beerchug:
 
Nov 7, 2021 at 4:19 PM Post #10,083 of 10,321

B.inthe6ix

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These are some scary looking sound systems. :D
Keep in mind, that you are listening to a lossy codec (Opus) at a merely 152Kbits. Depending on whether your ears are trained or not, you might hear the compression artifacts.

Cool recordings though.
Anything online that you could recommend? I'm not familiar with how to find superior audiophile test stuff. How does one know which is acceptable codec or even if that is feasible online? Thanks Ifalna.
 
Nov 8, 2021 at 10:44 PM Post #10,084 of 10,321

Tassie Devil

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OK guys, to clear up a point raised earlier - why would Focal design the Clear Mg to be as good as the Utopia? My take is to increase sales as the Utopia is reaching saturation to those idiotes like me who bought into them.
Well not really idiotic as the Utopias are superb BUT, on first encounter the clear MG sound is very very similar. And I'm please because I was starting to luist after another pair of Utopias for the third system - but no more, the Clear MG look like filling the bill VERY satisfactorily. They are heavier and less comfortable than the Sennheiser HD800S BUT the music coming from them is much more alive to these ears. Well done Focal :smile::smile:
 
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Nov 9, 2021 at 9:28 PM Post #10,085 of 10,321

Tassie Devil

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OK guys, to clear up a point raised earlier - why would Focal design the Clear Mg to be as good as the Utopia? My take is to increase sales as the Utopia is reaching saturation to those idiotes like me who bought into them.
Well not really idiotic as the Utopias are superb BUT, on first encounter the clear MG sound is very very similar. And I'm please because I was starting to luist after another pair of Utopias for the third system - but no more, the Clear MG look like filling the bill VERY satisfactorily. They are heavier and less comfortable than the Sennheiser HD800S BUT the music coming from them is much more alive to these ears. Well done Focal :smile::smile:
OK. here is a more complete review:

It is interesting to compare these to the much admired Utopias, something I’m currently doing and finding little difference.

This might sound crazy but look at what is going on a little more closely. Focal have engineered a masterpiece of headphone technology using Beryllium, a rather nasty element to handle. But then Mg is in the same periodic table grouping II so has properties in common. It therefore makes sense for Focal to see if the lessons learned with Be can be applied to headphones using Mg and it appears that this is what has happened.

When acquiring a new toy there is the urge to eulogise on the brilliant new sound discovery it offers but I suspect that often this enthusiasm is misplaced as yes, the sound is different and yes, it was sounding a bit too familiar and that can generate contempt. But whether or not the AQ is in fact “better” is open to debate. But no argument if it sounds better to the owner, end of story as that is what is important.

But it can mislead others into thinking they would also find this new toy improved the AQ for them when in fact it might only lead to a disappointing reduction in the bank balance! I’m laboring this point because I do not want my enthusiasm for the new Focal Mg to mislead so what I’m penning is my personal experience and yours might differ, particularly if used with a different DAC and/or amplifier.

And this is a serious complication are there is subtle varying synergy between electronic components. None are perfect and all have imperfections that have been minimised to be hard to detect but sometimes the ying of one nicely counteracts the yang of another to produce a stunning result. Apologies for using terms like ying and yasng but they are the best way I can describe how well the Focal Mg sounds using a n SMPL SP400 headphone amplifier.

The amplifier is now well bedded in but to date I have not been over impressed with it. Nice music into a pair of Sennheiser HD800S headphone with Roon feed from this PC -< Auralic G1 streamer -< modded LGS DA004 DAC. But not nearly as impressive as the (mainly classical) music fed from the G1 to an Audio GD R8 DAC -> Audio gd Master 9 -> Focal Utopia headphones.

However, plug in the Focal Clear Mgs into the SP400 and it is a different story. To use a hackneyed phrase, it seems as if another of Salome’s veils has been lifted because the bass is more clearly defined as is the rest of the spectrum. Now a word of warning here as some consider excellent resolution is not very musical so what I like may be your cup of tea. But there is no harshness or digital edginess, just beautiful music. Up to now I’ve sort of looked down on the SP400 as a lightweight (literally because no massive power supply) amplifier not realy up to the task of high end music reproduction. So I now have more respect for it with the caveat it needs a good strong input from the DAC and its digital volume control is not great. And again, I stress the critical importance of having a good DAC. I’ve had many pass through here but only a few are worthy of a top system. That said you should not need to pay stratospheric prices as some of the latest units from China are first class and reasonably priced .

Bottom line, I strongly recommend the Focal Clear MG headphones – they are as good to these ears as the Focal Utopias so save your dollars. I’ll be interested to read in what other systems have found their home.
 

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Nov 13, 2021 at 2:44 AM Post #10,086 of 10,321

Flognuts

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I have reached end game ladies and gentlemen. Late to the party, but the OG Clear are incredible.
I put off for so long not picking a pair up because I have the R70x and Sundara....both fantastic. The r70x is a steal and one of my favourites, but these OG clears take everything good from them and make them that bit better. These are the best headphone I ever heard hands down, I preferred them to the Ayra, HD800s, LCD3, Clear MG etc

Focal performed magic when they designed these.
 
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Nov 13, 2021 at 8:02 AM Post #10,087 of 10,321

Coztomba

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I have reached end game ladies and gentlemen. Late to the party, but the OG Clear are incredible.
I put off for so long not picking a pair up because I have the R70x and Sundara....both fantastic. The r70x is a steal and one of my favourites, but these OG clears take everything good from them and make them that bit better. These are the best headphone I ever heard hands down, I preferred them to the Ayra, HD800s, LCD3, Clear MG etc

Focal performed magic when they designed these.
Agreed. I'm seriously considering getting another set of new (discounted) OG Pros just as backups. I just love clears. I haven't heard the MG though.
 
Nov 13, 2021 at 8:11 AM Post #10,088 of 10,321

GearMe

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Agreed. I'm seriously considering getting another set of new (discounted) OG Pros just as backups. I just love clears. I haven't heard the MG though.
Got the OG Pros when I cleaned house on my Hi-Z cans (Senns & Beyers) after I got rid of my OTL amp. They replaced OG HD800 and I definitely prefer them.
 
Nov 13, 2021 at 8:32 AM Post #10,089 of 10,321

NexusOne

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A question to the community. I actually use the AT R70x, Fostex TH-610 & Denon AH-D5000. I am very interested in the Focal Clear but I haven't got the chance to test it and i don't want to send a used model back to the dealer. So I ask you: Would you choose a dynamic headphone for rock / metal because it is more engaging in comparison to a magnetostat? Could the Clear be a big upgrade for rock, metal & movies and which of my headphones would you sell if i own the Clear? All of them? I know the grey verion looks bad after a few months or a year but I think for 999 € it is no deal-breaker?
 
Nov 14, 2021 at 7:34 PM Post #10,090 of 10,321

roskodan

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A question to the community. I actually use the AT R70x, Fostex TH-610 & Denon AH-D5000. I am very interested in the Focal Clear but I haven't got the chance to test it and i don't want to send a used model back to the dealer. So I ask you: Would you choose a dynamic headphone for rock / metal because it is more engaging in comparison to a magnetostat? Could the Clear be a big upgrade for rock, metal & movies and which of my headphones would you sell if i own the Clear? All of them? I know the grey verion looks bad after a few months or a year but I think for 999 € it is no deal-breaker?
Big upgrade in technicalities, but overall sound wise can be either better or worse, depending on taste, and also if using PEQ. Planar magnetic (magnetostats) in that pricerange are more laid back (Sundara is great budget, not laid back, planar tho). If not using PEQ, Clear are very likely to be way better in every aspect with most folks. I would keep the AH-D5000 and add the Clear. The old Denon AH-D series are a different kind of sound, in a league of its own, can't be really replaced, especially when corrected with PEQ. If looking for a more laid back, back row seat presentation, the new 2021 Audeze planars are great for that.
 
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Nov 19, 2021 at 4:14 AM Post #10,091 of 10,321

ScubaDrunk

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Hi there fellow Focalians

Just received a set of Clear MG Professional cans and paired it with my Fiio K9 Pro and WOW.

Managed to snag a brand new pair on eBay from a UK distributor for a bargain price (£400) under retail. Slight damage to the outer box and i mean slight but apart from that everything else is brand new perfect.

I was very hesitant purchasing these as I had previously purchased a set of OG Clear's and didn't like them as they were, well too clear :upside_down:BUT out of the box the Clear MG Professionals are a completely different story. Nice Bass, detailed mids and highs, punchy clean sound with a well balanced presentation.

Quick question - Do these cans require burn in and if so for how long should I run them and with what conditions should I burn in the drivers?

Thanks all and happy to be part of the focal family.
 
Nov 19, 2021 at 5:31 AM Post #10,092 of 10,321

Hubert481

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You need to burn in your brain for about 423 hours.
best practice is 57 minutes burn-in per day



Really? no
just sit, relax and enjoy NOW


often people are happy to get a big good deal, but they are not happy to get a good hp
 
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Nov 19, 2021 at 6:12 AM Post #10,093 of 10,321

adeadcrab

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Hi there fellow Focalians

Just received a set of Clear MG Professional cans and paired it with my Fiio K9 Pro and WOW.

Managed to snag a brand new pair on eBay from a UK distributor for a bargain price (£400) under retail. Slight damage to the outer box and i mean slight but apart from that everything else is brand new perfect.

I was very hesitant purchasing these as I had previously purchased a set of OG Clear's and didn't like them as they were, well too clear :upside_down:BUT out of the box the Clear MG Professionals are a completely different story. Nice Bass, detailed mids and highs, punchy clean sound with a well balanced presentation.

Quick question - Do these cans require burn in and if so for how long should I run them and with what conditions should I burn in the drivers?

Thanks all and happy to be part of the focal family.
You need to burn in your brain for about 423 hours.
best practice is 57 minutes burn-in per day



Really? no
just sit, relax and enjoy NOW


often people are happy to get a big good deal, but they are not happy to get a good hp
While this is true Focal themselves recommend a period of break-in time, same as their loudspeakers.. maybe up to 20 hours.

You can do this while using the headphones.
 
Nov 19, 2021 at 7:11 AM Post #10,094 of 10,321

ScubaDrunk

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You need to burn in your brain for about 423 hours.
best practice is 57 minutes burn-in per day



Really? no
just sit, relax and enjoy NOW


often people are happy to get a big good deal, but they are not happy to get a good hp

:beerchug:
 
Nov 19, 2021 at 7:16 PM Post #10,095 of 10,321

Tassie Devil

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POSTSCRIPT:
I've listened to these new toys for some time now and can detect a subtle difference between them and thr Utopias, and that subtlety might not be evident on all systems. It could esily be masked by the DAC, cabling, ...

The difference I can detect is in the sound stage. It is more open and involving with the Utopias. The only other difference I can detect is the Utopias are a bit more efficient.

So the poor audiophile has an unenviable headphone choice. Enjoy superb music reproduction and save several thousand dollars or be a fanatical audiophile nutter and go fot the "ultimate" regardless of what it does to the bank account. A few years ago I loved the beautiful music vis the Sennheiser HD800S headphohones but that from the Foal Clear Mgs is clearly far better. Yes the sound from the Utopias is marginally better but whether or njot it is worth it is the burning question.
 

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