Focal Clear Mg Review & Measurements
Mar 18, 2021 at 2:45 PM Post #31 of 1,231

227qed

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Do the clears distort, clip, pop etc. the same way the Elear/elex do when you crank up the subbass? I loved my Elear but had some nasty clipping (with the XBass on my ifi amp) that ultimately made me get rid of it. If this isn’t a problem with the clears, and if it’s been further improved with the Mg drivers, I’d love to get these.

I want to know if they clip at higher volume and bassy songs like the originals...
Oh funny, me too! I just posted about this before seeing your comment. Hopefully someone who isn’t afraid to EQ a healthy bass boost in will report back. At least one video I saw online said the clears aren’t as bad for this as the Elears/elex.
 
Mar 18, 2021 at 3:05 PM Post #32 of 1,231

ralphp@optonline

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Thank you Jude for yet another great review and video. You are somehow able to describe the sound the Clear Mg and the difference between the Clear and the Clear Mg in plain English without resorting to the meaningless blather of the typical high end audio review.

Seems like I have yet another headphone to add to my ever expanding wish list.
 
Mar 18, 2021 at 3:10 PM Post #33 of 1,231

ValentineLuke

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Interesting they choose to update the Clear before Elear or Utopia. Wonder if that means we should not be expecting a refresh of the older models, especially the Elear.

I have no doubt the new M shaped honeycomb grill in the cup and the new Mg driver do make an audible difference, however, their official presentation video felt too vague and insecure about what exactly was being "improved" with these changes.

Will be interesting to see if these are gonna be picky as the old ones, in terms of upstream matching, and how many will find these too forward sounding, as many felt was the case with the old model.
I feel they are even pickier than the Clear, but with a smoother tonality it may be less perceived by some.
 
Mar 18, 2021 at 6:55 PM Post #35 of 1,231

Shooter41

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I received mine today. Let them play for a few hours before I started listening. I'm definitely not ready to pass final judgement on them yet but I do find myself needing to turn the volume down to lower levels than I'm used to with both the Elear and the original Clear. They definitely don't sound bright or metallic, yet I do seem to be experiencing some ear fatigue. Not sure what exactly is going on, maybe they just need more break-in time.

They're certainly gorgeous. I always thought the originals were so classy looking but these easily surpass them in my book. I will say, however, that the cord (I only use the balanced one) is a bit of a letdown. The Clear's cord was covered in a striped textile material. This one literally looks exactly like brown lamp cord.

When I switch to the Elear there is definitely something missing. It's not bass, both have plenty but it does seem a bit less muddy with the Clear Mg. This is actually the first time that I haven't thought the Elear bass was really good. The difference in the bass with the original Clear is very slight and I can see it being entirely due to the different earcup/pad density. The new one is softer, with more "give" to it. I'm guessing this results in a better seal around the ear, but I'm not completely sure how that works on an open-back design. It would make total sense on a closed-back.

I read one of the professional reviews that said he actually preferred the originals, and I can definitely see that. The originals seem a little airier to me so far. These new Mg's seem to have more presence and warmth to them, traits I would've previously told you that I preferred, but now I'm not as sure about that.

Again, these are the first hours of listening so way too early to say anything definitive. I tend to listen for 2-4 hrs at a time, so if the ear fatigue issue doesn't dissipate I might not be able to keep the Mg's. I was listening to hi-res Fourplay and Mark Knopfler, so nothing hard-edged or congested.
 
Mar 18, 2021 at 7:50 PM Post #37 of 1,231

ValentineLuke

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I received mine today. Let them play for a few hours before I started listening. I'm definitely not ready to pass final judgement on them yet but I do find myself needing to turn the volume down to lower levels than I'm used to with both the Elear and the original Clear. They definitely don't sound bright or metallic, yet I do seem to be experiencing some ear fatigue. Not sure what exactly is going on, maybe they just need more break-in time.

They're certainly gorgeous. I always thought the originals were so classy looking but these easily surpass them in my book. I will say, however, that the cord (I only use the balanced one) is a bit of a letdown. The Clear's cord was covered in a striped textile material. This one literally looks exactly like brown lamp cord.

When I switch to the Elear there is definitely something missing. It's not bass, both have plenty but it does seem a bit less muddy with the Clear Mg. This is actually the first time that I haven't thought the Elear bass was really good. The difference in the bass with the original Clear is very slight and I can see it being entirely due to the different earcup/pad density. The new one is softer, with more "give" to it. I'm guessing this results in a better seal around the ear, but I'm not completely sure how that works on an open-back design. It would make total sense on a closed-back.

I read one of the professional reviews that said he actually preferred the originals, and I can definitely see that. The originals seem a little airier to me so far. These new Mg's seem to have more presence and warmth to them, traits I would've previously told you that I preferred, but now I'm not as sure about that.

Again, these are the first hours of listening so way too early to say anything definitive. I tend to listen for 2-4 hrs at a time, so if the ear fatigue issue doesn't dissipate I might not be able to keep the Mg's. I was listening to hi-res Fourplay and Mark Knopfler, so nothing hard-edged or congested.
Was it ear fatigue from the sound or the fit?

I notice that the shallower pad can provide discomfort after a couple of hours listening. This is due in my case to my large ears slightly touching the inside grill. Aside from that minor issue , I’m very happy with the sound.
 
Mar 18, 2021 at 8:33 PM Post #40 of 1,231

Whitigir

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In terms of their sound, the Clear Mg is identical to the Clear Mg Professional (as the Clear was to the Clear Professional).

Regarding the fuller sound: I do actually hear the Clear Mg as fuller sounding than the Clear. While I tried to explain why in the video, I'm not sure I did as well as I'd have liked, mostly because I'm not sure I know exactly why.

I have a feeling this is similar to the HD800 / H800S comparison -- there are few who'd argue the HD800S sounds more full-bodied than the HD800. Yet depending on which measurements you look at, I've seen some showing a touch more bass with the HD800S, and some showing a touch more with the HD800. Which is true? I think the bass is largely the same, and the measured differences in bass with the HD800 / H800S are likely unit-to-unit variation, measurement-to-measurement variation, etc. The one big difference we can see is in the treble, and it's not altogether massive. Here's a measurement comparing the HD800, HD800S and HD820 I posted some years back:

10161654.jpg
Fig.1 (above): Sennheiser HD800, HD800S, and HD820 frequency response comparison, measured on the GRAS 45CA (RA0401).

Focusing on just the HD800 and HD800S measurements in Fig.1, you'll see that the main difference between them is from 4k Hz to around 6.5 kHz (peaking at around 5.8 kHz), the HD800 measuring with more energy there. Is that the reason for the perceived difference between them, for the fuller-sounding signature of the HD800S? Maybe, yeah. It's certainly at least part of the explanation. (I strongly prefer the HD800S to the HD800, for whatever that's worth.)

I think that may be analogous to what's happening with the Clear and Clear Mg.

Is that the only reason for the perceived differences with either the HD800/HD800S comparison or the Clear/Clear Mg comparison -- why the successors in those pairings sound more full than their forebears? I don't think so.

Regarding the measured treble differences between the Clear and Clear Mg, I think they're significant. As with the HD800/HD800S, the smoothing of the treble is happening somewhere many of us are quite sensitive. Also, there's better extension above 10 kHz.



Thank you for the kind words, @DivineCurrent!

Yes, other than packaging and colorway, the Clear Mg and Clear Mg Professional are the same.
Honestly, I love 800/S and I was very excited for 820. However, listened to it at CanJamNYC Was a disaster... I couldn’t even look at it afterward, and this graph is so very well presented in what I have perceived.

If the 820 had such performances from the 800s ... or hell, don’t have that lower mid dip then it would have been hell of a closed back
 
Mar 18, 2021 at 8:35 PM Post #41 of 1,231

bonkers90

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Honestly, I love 800/S and I was very excited for 820. However, listened to it at CanJamNYC Was a disaster... I couldn’t even look at it afterward, and this graph is so very well presented in what I have perceived.

If the 820 had such performances from the 800s ... or hell, don’t have that lower mid dip then it would have been hell of a closed back
I honestly keep reading about how the 820's are absolutely terrible and sound like a dumpster but is that hyperbole?
I mean how bad can headphones from Sennies, not only that, a FLAGSHIP, be?
 
Mar 18, 2021 at 8:38 PM Post #42 of 1,231

Whitigir

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I honestly keep reading about how the 820's are absolutely terrible and sound like a dumpster but is that hyperbole?
I mean how bad can headphones from Sennies, not only that, a FLAGSHIP, be?
It is better to give it a listen personally. IMO. Music and headphones is an art, and there is no bad arts, just different preferences :wink:
 
Mar 19, 2021 at 2:19 AM Post #45 of 1,231

ufospls2

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I want to know if they clip at higher volume and bassy songs like the originals...

This is exactly what I want to know. I'd be interested in the celestee as well if they have gotten rid of this "feature."
 

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