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Focal Elear - Impressions Thread

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by grizzlybeast, Jun 21, 2016.
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  1. Tagjazz

    Great thanks for that. Would you say that the Hawks have better mids? I have the Ether C's and am looking for something warmer to listen to vocals/more chilled music with. Wish I hadn't sold my Hawks now but they sounded a bit muddy when I went back to them after the Ethers - really miss having warmish headphones though. Thanks for your help[​IMG] 
  2. Mediahound
    I would. 
  3. Headphone4Life
    The Elear is just a better headphone than the Nighthawk and at almost twice as much it should be.  The warm darker sound of the Nighthawk was something I loved until I got the Elear because now it sounds to dark.  I'm sure if I just listened to the Nighthawk for awhile it would sound fine again but there's no need because I feel the Elear is that much better.  The upper mid lower treble dip doesn't bother me at all and to be honest I don't really notice it much at all, I don't know if its because I listen to a lot of electronic music or what.  If you have the money to spend I feel like the Elear is an endgame headphone for people not wanting to spend thousands on a headphone.  
  4. oqvist
    Spent some days with the Focal Elear. It´s certainly a good headphone. They feel so nice to hold you are biased even before starting to listen.
    Good headphones for sure. Tonality can get a bit odd though. Get better on my Trafomatic Audio Head One than my more neutral solid state amplifiers. It´s not the best for classical music but for pop the digital kind of metallic tone is not objectionable. Somebody mention the mid range reminds of the X00 and yes it has some of the same "liquid" qualities. But thank good not that booming bass to drown it all.
    That said it´s not like I want to put them off when listening to music ever but they don´t found as uniform ans solid as the LCD-2. I am impressed how it actually manages to follow the LCD-2s bass particularly on my tube amp. Not quite as controlled though so it does still loose out there a bit. 
    When hooking my elear up to my best amp. Trafomatic Audio Head One synergize way better with it then my goldpoint headphone pro and Audio GD C-2.1 solid state amps and comparing with my Audeze LCD-2 Rev 2 on my Yamaha RDS-440 receiver. Hooking up to speaker terminals for extra juice I must admit though the LCD-2 is the better headphone for me. Soundstaging is the only area where I find the Elear being better for classical instruments which I have an idea how they should sound. 
    Comfort as a given the lighter headphone always win for me. So the Elear is relatively bad versus my lighter dynamics but better then the LCD-2. Getting a nice lighter cable will help the elear some for sure. 
    Comfort is important of course question about it. 
  5. b3wannabe
    I've heard the Fostex at a meet and it sounded really good to my taste. Now the Elear is getting buzz and I don't have a way of listening to it (yet). I've heard about many headphones and then they turn out not to be my cup of tea. I do value the reviews from Head-Fi'ers. I'd like to buy one more pair of cans and have it be my Nirvana. Oh, and my musical tastes lean to classic rock, blues and jazz.
  6. DarktoreS
    Remember the Elear to the unbox is not 100%, but after 150/200 hours of burn it delivers a fantastic quality !
  7. oqvist
    Okay it has tonal difficulties with classic but Enigma OMFG. My neck is destroyed and if I had pins in my hand nothing would be left of the monitor. Had the chair not been bolted on with m8 bolts I would be laying on the floor!
  8. DarktoreS
    For me the Elear is very good for classic musique, with my Hugo TT his realy good !
    b3wannabe likes this.
  9. Mbeeching
    That's an enviable iFi stack, nice setup!
    I'm currently toying between a Forza Audioworks or Toxic cable for my Elears.  Have yours been re-terminated with the Beyer plugs or something different?
    Still utterly torn on copper or silver... my budget is around £150.
  10. oqvist
    Some more days and more 1:1s with my old trusty LCD-2 rev 2 pre Fazor.
    Spent some timed trying out the sound leakage. Some reviews suggested there would be less sound leakage then the HD 800 or LCD-2. That is a myth that needs to die. Audially I struggled to notice any difference. I did notice voice came out cleaner through the Elear when holding it in my lap versus the LCD-2. But overall SPL was almost identical on the wrong side of the driver against the grill and toward the driver at the inside of the cup. Cupping the inside of the phones don´t help much at all! muting them. You will hear it in another room just as much as a LCD-2 which seems reasonable seeing the super open design.
    Otherwise the LCD-2 do sound a bit more coherent and does have a bit more natural tone but I have absolutely no trouble acclimatizing to the Elears signature. Play so clean and it does sound great even if not natural at all times. The Ethereal qualities can be nice sometimes.
    Does have a bit more treble energy. LCD-2 can sound really tired on a lot of systems that is some of the magic of the RDS-440 it wakes it up but still relative to the Elear the latter have a bit more energy at the top while not quite managing to max LCD-2s bass energy. mid bass quantity is quite as much and it´s well controlled. There is none of horrid Fostex TH-X00 boom to find here but bass on the LCD-2 envelopes my hear where the Elears 40 mm driver tend to just shoot it into my ear more. Essentially I guess the LCD-2 have better sub bass quantity it just sound that bit more effortless.
    Overall same league for sure I hardly even know myself which I preferr. I wouldn´t call the Elear aggressive headphones they never punish my ears but I do like the energy. I spent quite some time with Ultrasones in the past. Hyper aggressive and hyper energy feel I get back a bit of that with the Elear :)
  11. Soundizer

    Hi Mediahound. Have you returned your Focal Elear? I was looking at your headphone list.
  12. Silent Xaxal
    How are these compared to the LCD 2 and 3?
  13. Mediahound

    I did. 
    Soundizer likes this.
  14. Wailing Fungus
    They are terminated with Rean plugs:
    Can't offer too much help with the Copper v Silver debate (or what about a Copper/Silver hybrid cable? sorry! [​IMG]), as this was primarily for better useability, any sonic improvements/differences were a secondary consideration.
    Good luck! 

    Mbeeching likes this.
  15. davehg
    So I stopped by a local dealer today and listened to the Elear and the Utopia. Just for fun I threw in a listen to the Audeze LCDX (I own the LCD3fs). The amp was a Rega, not my first choice but it's what the dealer had hooked up (I had hoped to use their Ayres Codex). 
    Build quality is excellent with both, but the carbon fiber in the Utopia is noticeably lighter and the phones felt comfier. I started with the Elear and the nice and firm bass stuck out immediately. Listening to several tracks showed the Elear to sound like an extended version of my HD650s. I was really liking them.... until I put on the Utopia.
    Just wow. So much more musical... everything was pumped up significantly. Bass was more extended and super detailed, mids were gorgeous, and highs were extended, airy, and sweet. I went back to the Elear, and what sounded fine on first listen now sounded flatter.
    I went to the Audeze and they were almost solidly between the two - better bass response and tonally sweeter, but the Utopia was the king, no doubt about it.
    Source was a Linn music server streaming Tidal. I hadn't experimented with Tidal much before this, and it finally got me off the fence. More on that in a second.
    Even though I have the perfect amps for the Utopia (Woo WA5 and WA22), I don't see myself dropping $4k. If these were $2k, I'd be walking home with them now, but at $4k, that's a seriously good pair of speakers. To my ears, the Elear's weren't 80% of the Utopias, as reported elsewhere - they were more like what the HD650 might sound like if it were updated and priced at $1k. Not bad at all, but if you hear the Utopia, there's no going back.
    I did go back to the LCD3's and I love what they do. I still rate the Utopia's as the best I've heard, however.
    I got completely interested in Tidal - the sound quality was decent. In my hifi closet, I have a highly modified Squeezebox with a massively overbuilt power supply, and a Musical fidelity TriVista 21 DAC that has sat unused for two years. I went home, read up on the net and learned I could stream Tidal through the Squeezebox, and output the stream into my TriVista DAC. It took a while to configure Tidal to work through the Squeezebox, but now I am enjoying really good digital streaming, and remembering why I loved the TriVista so much (its overbuilt power supply, nice DACs, and wonderful tube output stage).
    So it was a great day, all in all.
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