Focal Clear Mg Review & Measurements
Oct 20, 2021 at 10:48 PM Post #721 of 1,123

Saturday

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I would love to try the Utopia someday, very cool!

Yep I got them through the HiFiMan official Amazon store a week after the stealth magnets came out. Even then support wouldn't help me.

Maybe someday in the distant future when I've forgiven them I'll try another pair. The sub bass was amazing and the upper mids were so sweet.
Jesus, that kind of lack of support is really unfortunate. The Utopia is similar to the Clear MG in a lot of ways and really different in some. First of all, it completely takes away that seriously warm, in your head, vocal that the MG has and slides the vocals to image just in front of your nose. I personally like this arrangement for the vocals a lot better. They aren't as wide as the 800s for example but they definitely expand the soundstage to a sphere around your head. Although in some tracks with a lot of space, they can image out into the room. I personally don't like soundstages that are *only* wide. Feels like there are a lot of holes that are never filled with music. One thing that keeps me listening to Focals is their interpretation of soundstage which is more like a sphere. As such their sound feels big and full. I guess they care about imaging more than soundstage is another way to put it. I share their priorities.
 
Oct 21, 2021 at 3:22 AM Post #722 of 1,123

LoryWiv

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Question for @Guidostrunk, @SoundJedi, @Silver Wolf and others using Dekoni Limited Edition Stellia pads on Clear MG: The graph at Dekoni product page indicates reduction in low end up to around 200 Hz and a substantial rise around 9 kHz, but this graph is likely specific to Stellia. I am enjoying Clear MG but would like a small bit less bass overall while retaining the great bass quality, and also would be happy with a bit more air and sparkle up top. Tempted to try these, and wondering if they impart similar changes to Clear MG as the graph might suggest, without disrupting the excellent imaging, staging, tone and signature of this great headphone. Thanks for any impressions..

 
Oct 21, 2021 at 6:48 AM Post #723 of 1,123

Guidostrunk

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Question for @Guidostrunk, @SoundJedi, @Silver Wolf and others using Dekoni Limited Edition Stellia pads on Clear MG: The graph at Dekoni product page indicates reduction in low end up to around 200 Hz and a substantial rise around 9 kHz, but this graph is likely specific to Stellia. I am enjoying Clear MG but would like a small bit less bass overall while retaining the great bass quality, and also would be happy with a bit more air and sparkle up top. Tempted to try these, and wondering if they impart similar changes to Clear MG as the graph might suggest, without disrupting the excellent imaging, staging, tone and signature of this great headphone. Thanks for any impressions..

Here's a previous post of mine.
Post in thread 'Focal Clear Mg Review & Measurements' https://www.head-fi.org/threads/focal-clear-mg-review-measurements.956702/post-16618241

And as far the graph goes with the Stellia pads, I've had 2 different people explain that graph to me and they we're on opposite ends of the spectrum in explaining said graph. Lol.

To add to my previous post. To my ears I would say that the impact , slam and dynamics of the bass has a slight increase in all areas. Could be due to the increase in a much clearer presentation. The bass actually fills the stage and is more dimensional in presence compared to the center sounding stock pads.

For me I lost nothing switching to the Stellia pads. I feel I've gained a better headphone overall.
 
Dec 3, 2021 at 6:47 AM Post #724 of 1,123

dududuckling

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Hi all,

I have just received the Focal Clear MG, having used Fiio FD-7, FA-9 iems and Sony WH-1000XM4 ANC in the past

I am driving the Clear MG with Fiio Q5s TC, connected to an iPhone 11 to play high-res Apple music and Tidal. Fiio DAC/AMP has a 3.5mm LO and 4.4mm BAL output. I am now using the stock Focal cable with 3.5mm jack.

Will I hear much differences if switching to a 4.4mm jack (i.e. Moon Audio Silver Dragon)? And will I hear much difference if switching to a desktop DAC/AMP in the future, like the Topping D90/A90? I am probably listening to 30-40% volume at the max.

I have tried pairing the Clear MG with the Shanling UA2. There was still sound coming out, although softer and full of noise. Is this a what to expect when the DAC/AMP is insufficient in driving the cans?

My overall experience so far is that the Clear MG is not as satisfying as listening to the Focal K2/PC130 speakers in my car. Maybe because these headphones have not been broken in yet, but the speakers seem to have much more details, throatier sound, etc.

Thank you in advance.

9C5CCAE8-A8F3-475F-9041-D1C2992B0E99.jpeg
 
Dec 3, 2021 at 9:53 AM Post #726 of 1,123

ralphp@optonline

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Will I hear much differences if switching to a 4.4mm jack (i.e. Moon Audio Silver Dragon)? And will I hear much difference if switching to a desktop DAC/AMP in the future, like the Topping D90/A90? I am probably listening to 30-40% volume at the max.
If I'm reading it correctly the Filo specs show slightly more power available when using the balanced output (220mW versus 560mW) so you might hear a difference. However you might also want to try the balanced output using one of these balanced adaptor before you buy a rather expensive cable.

As for using a desktop DAC/amp, that would depend on which DAC/amp and what source you are using. The good thing about the Focal Clear MG is that the better the source, DAC and amp the better the headphones will sound.
 
Dec 3, 2021 at 11:24 AM Post #727 of 1,123

Saturday

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Hi all,

I have just received the Focal Clear MG, having used Fiio FD-7, FA-9 iems and Sony WH-1000XM4 ANC in the past

I am driving the Clear MG with Fiio Q5s TC, connected to an iPhone 11 to play high-res Apple music and Tidal. Fiio DAC/AMP has a 3.5mm LO and 4.4mm BAL output. I am now using the stock Focal cable with 3.5mm jack.

Will I hear much differences if switching to a 4.4mm jack (i.e. Moon Audio Silver Dragon)? And will I hear much difference if switching to a desktop DAC/AMP in the future, like the Topping D90/A90? I am probably listening to 30-40% volume at the max.

I have tried pairing the Clear MG with the Shanling UA2. There was still sound coming out, although softer and full of noise. Is this a what to expect when the DAC/AMP is insufficient in driving the cans?

My overall experience so far is that the Clear MG is not as satisfying as listening to the Focal K2/PC130 speakers in my car. Maybe because these headphones have not been broken in yet, but the speakers seem to have much more details, throatier sound, etc.

Thank you in advance.

9C5CCAE8-A8F3-475F-9041-D1C2992B0E99.jpeg
You MUST burn these in first. Play a bassy playlist through them for 24 hours at moderately high volume. Read the directions that came with them.
 
Dec 3, 2021 at 12:25 PM Post #728 of 1,123

PeteJ

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After half a year of listening to music the Clear Mg, specifically looking for tracks that sound especially impressive on it in particular, I've landed on my winner.

The album Inner G by Zebbler Encanti Experience is the most amazing sounding technical marvel I've heard so far on these. The production on this album is seriously nuts.

Especially so, the last track of the album - Puzzle of Egos. The crescendo of the track, at 2:45, is a shining example of the Mg's technical capability.

Tidal Link:
https://tidal.com/browse/track/54284910

Spotify Link:


YouTube (Not recommended, compression really hits this track):


That final crescendo is the most technically demanding musical segment I've heard. Every other headphone and sound system I've listened to it on falls apart trying to hold the fast pulsing bass together while retaining the clarity and consistency of the highs. It sounds muffled or inconsistent on everything but the Mg's.

I recommend the whole album as each track is distinctly different yet impressive.

Just wanted to say thank you for this post.... this album is awesome... absolutely nuts (in a good way). Love it !:L3000:

:beerchug:
 
Dec 3, 2021 at 1:15 PM Post #729 of 1,123

Chris Kaoss

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Hi all,

I have just received the Focal Clear MG, having used Fiio FD-7, FA-9 iems and Sony WH-1000XM4 ANC in the past

I am driving the Clear MG with Fiio Q5s TC, connected to an iPhone 11 to play high-res Apple music and Tidal. Fiio DAC/AMP has a 3.5mm LO and 4.4mm BAL output. I am now using the stock Focal cable with 3.5mm jack.

Will I hear much differences if switching to a 4.4mm jack (i.e. Moon Audio Silver Dragon)? And will I hear much difference if switching to a desktop DAC/AMP in the future, like the Topping D90/A90? I am probably listening to 30-40% volume at the max.

I have tried pairing the Clear MG with the Shanling UA2. There was still sound coming out, although softer and full of noise. Is this a what to expect when the DAC/AMP is insufficient in driving the cans?

My overall experience so far is that the Clear MG is not as satisfying as listening to the Focal K2/PC130 speakers in my car. Maybe because these headphones have not been broken in yet, but the speakers seem to have much more details, throatier sound, etc.

Thank you in advance.

9C5CCAE8-A8F3-475F-9041-D1C2992B0E99.jpeg
It's a tough call to compare a single driver headspeaker to a myriad of speakers, which serves dedicated freq spectrums, isn't it?

Imo, no headphone is able to come close to the (splitted) layering of a proper car audio system.
Just different worlds, at least for me. :)

Don't judge them this way, pls. :wink:

Have fun with the MG, thou.
 
Dec 3, 2021 at 1:17 PM Post #730 of 1,123

LoryWiv

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If I'm reading it correctly the Filo specs show slightly more power available when using the balanced output (220mW versus 560mW) so you might hear a difference. However you might also want to try the balanced output using one of these balanced adaptor before you buy a rather expensive cable.
I have ordered the TRI TK-2 to test with my Clear MG. Looking forward to hearing how the Clear MG scales with that much power (up to1250mW). Reasonably priced in a small form factor for those of us with desktop space constraints. Will report back.
As for using a desktop DAC/amp, that would depend on which DAC/amp and what source you are using. The good thing about the Focal Clear MG is that the better the source, DAC and amp the better the headphones will sound.
Agree, with the caveat that some amp designs may not be optimal. I DO enjoy Clear MG with my Feliks-Audio Elise but it is an OTL with high output impedance (50Ω range) and may not be optimal with cans < 100 ohms or so. That's part of why I ordered the TK-2 which has 1Ω output impedance, to see what the impact of amp design is.
 
Dec 3, 2021 at 1:39 PM Post #731 of 1,123

Guidostrunk

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I'm throwing about 5 watts at the MG with a modded Mjolnir 2. Don't let the sensitivity fool you. They love the current.
To follow up on burn in. Yep ... I wouldn't judge them until you're past the 25 hour mark. That's if you burnt them in good. I let mine burn in with heavy bass tracks for the first day after my initial listening session. Big difference after.
 
Dec 3, 2021 at 1:54 PM Post #732 of 1,123

dududuckling

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It's a tough call to compare a single driver headspeaker to a myriad of speakers, which serves dedicated freq spectrums, isn't it?

Imo, no headphone is able to come close to the (splitted) layering of a proper car audio system.
Just different worlds, at least for me. :)

Don't judge them this way, pls. :wink:

Have fun with the MG, thou.
That is really true. I live in an apartment and the walls are rather thin. I have had bookshelf speakers and had to run it at 20-30% volume so as not to disturb the neighbors. At this level, I did not get a chance to let the speakers shine. Hence, I am trying out headphones this time. On the car speakers, I drive a small Jimny and am able to place my head almost dead center above the center console (such a tiny car) when driving, equidistant from all four speakers, and is almost perfect getting sound from front left/right speakers and tweeters, rear left/right full-range speakers, and underseat sub.
 
Dec 3, 2021 at 1:56 PM Post #733 of 1,123

dududuckling

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I'm throwing about 5 watts at the MG with a modded Mjolnir 2. Don't let the sensitivity fool you. They love the current.
To follow up on burn in. Yep ... I wouldn't judge them until you're past the 25 hour mark. That's if you burnt them in good. I let mine burn in with heavy bass tracks for the first day after my initial listening session. Big difference after.
Hi, any suggestion for volume and playlist when burning them in? I was thinking of running Tidal radio continuously at 30-40% volume?
 
Dec 3, 2021 at 2:01 PM Post #734 of 1,123

dududuckling

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You MUST burn these in first. Play a bassy playlist through them for 24 hours at moderately high volume. Read the directions that came with them.
Thanks - the Clear MG did not come with lots of stuff, just some warranty information. I’ll have a look again.

any advice on playlist/volume level when burning it in? I am getting conflicting info online.

I have checked the Focal website and it says to let it run in naturally overtime, or play loud, bassy music for 24 hours (trying not to fry the drivers)

“They will run themselves in naturally after several hours of listening time. If you want to speed up the process, we recommend playing very bassy music through them for at least 24 hours at a relatively high volume. This will stabilise the speaker drivers and allow you to get the very best out of your headphones.”
 
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Dec 3, 2021 at 2:07 PM Post #735 of 1,123

dududuckling

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If I'm reading it correctly the Filo specs show slightly more power available when using the balanced output (220mW versus 560mW) so you might hear a difference. However you might also want to try the balanced output using one of these balanced adaptor before you buy a rather expensive cable.

As for using a desktop DAC/amp, that would depend on which DAC/amp and what source you are using. The good thing about the Focal Clear MG is that the better the source, DAC and amp the better the headphones will sound.

Thanks - I am still on the fence about LO v Balanced Output. The Fiio Q5s TC has a low gain/high gain switch. I am currently listening at high gain at 40-50% volume.

Hence, I am not sure if at the end of the day, I end up just turning down the volume a notch vs using small DAC/AMP and turn up the volume slightly louder. (Sorry - am still new to the DAC/AMP and hifi scene).

On the horizon, I am looking at the Fiio M17 for portable DAC/AMP, or desktop DAC/AMP like the Technics SU-R1000 / Schiit Ragnarok / Topping D90/A90 setup.

I saw a YouTube review and he said there is no such thing as running too much power on headphones, just too little power. But I am just wondering - what is the point of diminishing return? Haha … do I get speaker amps like Schiit Ragnarok to run the Clear MG, then only be able to listen to it at 20% volume, or am thinking about the new Fiio M17 (because I like portable DAC/AMP) and run it slightly louder?
 
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