Focal Elegia - what do you think?
Jun 24, 2021 at 3:57 PM Post #2,762 of 4,838
One day is barely enough to get to know them. Have you tried EQ? I dislike them without but love them with
i did the EQ of Resolve from headphones.com youtube channel. but i still prefer the stock tune. i got this for my office use but there's nothing special about it. i do a'b test with my iem moondrop blessing dusk and beat it for soundstage and bass that's why i returned it
 
Jun 24, 2021 at 5:49 PM Post #2,763 of 4,838
One day is barely enough to get to know them. Have you tried EQ? I dislike them without but love them with
Elegia + Dakoni sheepskin = near perfect for me.

Stock Elegia requires lots of EQ for me, whereas sheepskin pads require none.
 
Jun 24, 2021 at 8:30 PM Post #2,764 of 4,838
Elegia + Dakoni sheepskin = near perfect for me.

Stock Elegia requires lots of EQ for me, whereas sheepskin pads require none.
I'm with you there. Bet the Elegia would have been a more popular headphone had they released it with leather pads.
 
Jun 25, 2021 at 5:25 AM Post #2,765 of 4,838
I'm with you there. Bet the Elegia would have been a more popular headphone had they released it with leather pads.
They kind of did 😋, but because they decided to release the "2nd version" under a completely new SKU, merely changing the pads wasn't going to be enough for a new model. So they decided to use leather pads and THAT (=leather pads) was the starting point for a new tuning... "taaaaadaaaaa ladies and gentlemen we present the new Focal Celestee".
In my opinion they went a bit overboard with the tuning for the new coupler sub-system and completely altered the character of the sound.
I didn't enjoy the Celestee, that was a disheartening surprise for me because I had been reading and following all the marketing and promotional efforts from Focal upon Celestee's release were they kept mentioning that "...we've got very positive feedback from the public on the Elegia, we took it on board and implemented many improvements...", so from what I understood at least, I was expecting to hear a much better Elegia. Unfortunately that wasn't the case, most of the character of what made me really like the Elegia was gone and no EQ could bring it back... so in my case the release of the Celestee convinced me that it was NOW or NEVER to pull the trigger on the Elegia as there definitely was space in my collection for something as unique as the Elegia but unfortunately no space for something like the Celestee.
As someone else that was at the store for the same reason as myself (to listen to the Celestee back to back with the Elegia and pick one or the other) put it "the best thing about the Celestee is that it made the Elegia a lot more affordable" 😆, of course not everyone prefers the Elegia over the Celestee or agrees with that comment but in my case that guy couldn't have phrased it more accurately.

It would be quite interesting to be able to see how many units each model sold within the same lifespan (let's say roughly 2 years) but I guess we'll never know... what many people fail to recognise in terms of the sequence of steps taken and their individual importance in an engineering project of developing a new headphone SYSTEM, is that the pad choice is an INTEGRAL part of the SYSTEM and part of the coupler SUB-SYSTEM.
You start by having a rough idea of what you want to achieve in terms of the sound characteristics of your system, next step is to pick what type of driver, dome and voice-coil you'll use and the positioning of the entire assembly within the cup, next comes the shape and dimensions of the cup, next step is designing the coupler SUB-SYSTEM(=pad materials, foam type shape thickness and dimensions, clamping force and articulation point and mechanism) and how you're going to diffuse and manage unwanted resonances, standing waves and air pressure (since you're designing a closed back system). You see what baseline you've achieved with all of the above and how close you've managed to come to your initial target and then you start tweaking the tuning...
In practice, for better or for worse in most engineering projects, the marketing department oftentimes "interrupts" the above sequence of steps by "throwing a spanner inside the turning cogs" in the form of a "novel idea"/"new requirement" which retrospectively causes the "update" of the goal of the entire endeavour mid-project and when many important choices have already been made and in simpler terms diverts the original endpoint from point A to point C that IS STILL close to A but not exactly A.
It just so happens that SOMETIMES and FOR SOME PEOPLE, point C is "a previously unexplored wonderland" while SOMETIMES and FOR A DIFFERENT GROUP OF PEOPLE point C is "a hellish arid place" 🤣
 
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Jun 26, 2021 at 12:46 AM Post #2,766 of 4,838
Elegia + Dakoni sheepskin = near perfect for me.

Stock Elegia requires lots of EQ for me, whereas sheepskin pads require none.

I am a fairly new elegia owner. I have had them for about 2 weeks and been listening to them daily. I just received the dakoni sheepskin pads today. I wanted to chime in for others reading this thread and wondering about these pads. I have to agree with TheRealDz on this one.

I will admit at first listen I was a bit taken back as the forward mids seemed more relaxed. Or perceived as relaxed because of the increase in bass response. I was thinking, crap I need to go back to stock pads, this killed the sweet sound of these headphones. But I gave it a couple of hours of listening. It really is a night and day difference. And now I put the stock pads back and I was like ewww, where did the bass slam go? These things are near perfect with the sheepskin pads. Though I would like a little more presence in the upper mids and the lower treble. But it is well balanced and the bass hits HARD now. These headphones are incredible. The only negative with the sheepskin is I feel like it pulled the sound in a bit closer. It lost a little air. Not much, but enough where I do notice a difference in that regard.

So if you want more bass from the elegia the sheepskins will do the job quite well. It is not a mild difference. It is a huge difference. I had no idea pads had this much effect on the sound of a headphone.
 
Jun 26, 2021 at 2:03 AM Post #2,767 of 4,838
I am a fairly new elegia owner. I have had them for about 2 weeks and been listening to them daily. I just received the dakoni sheepskin pads today. I wanted to chime in for others reading this thread and wondering about these pads. I have to agree with TheRealDz on this one.

I will admit at first listen I was a bit taken back as the forward mids seemed more relaxed. Or perceived as relaxed because of the increase in bass response. I was thinking, crap I need to go back to stock pads, this killed the sweet sound of these headphones. But I gave it a couple of hours of listening. It really is a night and day difference. And now I put the stock pads back and I was like ewww, where did the bass slam go? These things are near perfect with the sheepskin pads. Though I would like a little more presence in the upper mids and the lower treble. But it is well balanced and the bass hits HARD now. These headphones are incredible. The only negative with the sheepskin is I feel like it pulled the sound in a bit closer. It lost a little air. Not much, but enough where I do notice a difference in that regard.

So if you want more bass from the elegia the sheepskins will do the job quite well. It is not a mild difference. It is a huge difference. I had no idea pads had this much effect on the sound of a headphone.
For perspective, with sheepskins, the Elegia still sound more spacious than my HD650. But they do sound a smidgen more intimate now.

The bass kick is fantastic, but what impresses me most is the midrange resolution. It just keeps on scaling and scaling. I bought a Denafrips Ares 2. And a SingXer DDC. And Oyaide XLRs. And Oyaide power cables. And I could hear each one improve upon the midrange. Pretty amazing...
 
Jun 26, 2021 at 12:55 PM Post #2,768 of 4,838
For perspective, with sheepskins, the Elegia still sound more spacious than my HD650. But they do sound a smidgen more intimate now.

The bass kick is fantastic, but what impresses me most is the midrange resolution. It just keeps on scaling and scaling. I bought a Denafrips Ares 2. And a SingXer DDC. And Oyaide XLRs. And Oyaide power cables. And I could hear each one improve upon the midrange. Pretty amazing...
Agreed, they do sound more spacious than the HD650. Which, with it being a closed-back, makes that an incredible statement in itself.

Man, I been a registered member here for 7 years. Have done a lot of lurking, reading, and no posting. That is how much of an impact these headphones have had on me. I had to chime in with my first posts lol :)

At the current price, these can be had at, they are a no-brainer. Got mine used, like new, for $400. Add $70 for pads and $50 for a new cable and I am still way below what these sound like they are worth.
 
Jun 26, 2021 at 12:59 PM Post #2,769 of 4,838
At the current price, these can be had at, they are a no-brainer. Got mine used, like new, for $400. Add $70 for pads and $50 for a new cable and I am still way below what these sound like they are worth.
Exactly 😉
 
Jun 28, 2021 at 6:03 AM Post #2,770 of 4,838
Man, I been a registered member here for 7 years. Have done a lot of lurking, reading, and no posting. That is how much of an impact these headphones have had on me. I had to chime in with my first posts lol :)
Just out of curiosity, prior to you getting the Elegia, what was/were the pair/pairs you would mainly favor and if you don't mind me asking what types of music do you usually enjoy listening with headphones on?

I am solely interested in the above because i am kind of wondering why other people love the Elegia but mostly what circumstances make the Elegia sound so unique to them compared to other headphones.

For example, in my case, my music library is quite diverse, it ranges from:
classic rock and modern rock, hard rock and a tiny bit of classic metal (Black Sabbath and Metallica), French rock (Feu Chatterton), alternative rock
to
2-tone ska, electronica, ambient, deep house, alternative house, chill out house, lounge house, instrumental soundtracks, a bit of jazz, blues, live performances and Greek rebetika music.

In my headphone collection there are other pairs that their "magic"/appeal is firmly based on either detail retrieval, separation, bass response, soundstage, "airiness", transients/harmonics or treble response so let's just say I am not out of choices if I feel there is a track that requires a "specialist treatment"😅.

So I was surprised myself that although at first I believed that I would be reaching for the Elegia mainly for its somewhat "unique" tuning in vocals, I am actually instinctively grabbing it all the time and happily so.

I am starting to form the opinion that somehow it blends some of the individual distinctive characteristic traits that define completely different headphone "types" and rarely comes across as boring, noticeably lacking or fatiguing.

I'd be interested to hear the views of others that find themselves favouring them often from all the other headphones they have in their collection no matter how small or big.
 
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Jun 28, 2021 at 11:54 AM Post #2,771 of 4,838
Just out of curiosity, prior to you getting the Elegia, what was/were the pair/pairs you would mainly favor and if you don't mind me asking what types of music do you usually enjoy listening with headphones on?

I am solely interested in the above because i am kind of wondering why other people love the Elegia but mostly what circumstances make the Elegia sound so unique to them compared to other headphones.

For example, in my case, my music library is quite diverse, it ranges from:
classic rock and modern rock, hard rock and a tiny bit of classic metal (Black Sabbath and Metallica), French rock (Feu Chatterton), alternative rock
to
2-tone ska, electronica, ambient, deep house, alternative house, chill out house, lounge house, instrumental soundtracks, a bit of jazz, blues, live performances and Greek rebetika music.

In my headphone collection there are other pairs that their "magic"/appeal is firmly based on either detail retrieval, separation, bass response, soundstage, "airiness", transients/harmonics or treble response so let's just say I am not out of choices if I feel there is a track that requires a "specialist treatment"😅.

So I was surprised myself that although at first I believed that I would be reaching for the Elegia mainly for its somewhat "unique" tuning in vocals, I am actually instinctively grabbing it all the time and happily so.

I am starting to form the opinion that somehow it blends some of the individual distinctive characteristic traits that define completely different headphone "types" and rarely comes across as boring, noticeably lacking or fatiguing.

I'd be interested to hear the views of others that find themselves favouring them often from all the other headphones they have in their collection no matter how small or big.

Great question. And I should have elaborated further on what the elegias are being compared to. I have, or have had, the senn hd650, hd600, momentum wired (original and v2), v moda m100 and m100 master. Beyer t51p, dt770, T1, phillips x1, x2, x3, l2, drop Panda, senn hd25, akg 553 and 701, NAD HP50, Sony x1000m3 That is all I can think of right now and covers most of my experience. The senn hd650 and the momentum v2 for portable I would say got the most use up until now.

My current desktop hp stack is a Gustard X16 and Topping A90 being fed via a roon endpoint I built on a raspberry pi4. When mobile I am using a THX Onyx dongle off of my phone using UAPP.I mostly stream tidal though I do have over a TB of my own music locally at home. I am usually searching out new stuff. And I will get roasted for saying this, but I am a fan of the MQA tracks on tidal. I probably should have kept that to myself around here :wink:

My music tastes vary quite a bit. But the majority of the time I listen to these genres and sub-genres of them. Jazz, rock, fusion, metal, progressive, blues, funk, pop, techno, hardcore, EDM.

I too find myself reaching for elegrias pretty much every day. I do occasionally reach for my hd650 but I always have the same reaction that I am missing the elegia. And I think between those 2 it is mainly the sub bass I am missing when listening to the Senn's. The bass on the focals is really really good. Especially with the sheepskin dakoni pads. It's not a bass head can. But it is deep and the timbre is perfect. The senn mid range is addicting. But the focal mid range is really good too, albeit different. Not as smooth but more detailed and both cans have the mid range a bit forward. Or at least perceived as forward. Then the treble, the focals are nice up top, though the Senns have a nice smooth top end as well. It just starts dropping off sooner. The elegia's win out on details too. There is something about the hd650 that will make me still reach for it on occasion. But I do find myself preferring the elegia's.

I have only had the elegia's for a couple of weeks. So I am still in the so-called honeymoon phase. Which is definitely a thing for me. When I first got the x3 they dethroned the hd650 for a few weeks. But eventually, I found myself reaching for the senns again. That silky smooth mid range of the senn is soooo good. And I think since I have had the hd650 for so many years that my brain has been burnt into that sound signature. Something new excites the brain for a while but it eventually wants to go back to what is the baseline for lack of better terms. We shall see. The x3 sounds nothing like the elegia so it is not certain the elegia is destined for the same fate. I do not remember being this impressed with the x3's. The elegia has turned me into a bit of a focal fanboy.

I always thought I was a v-shaped eq guy. Until I got into this hobby and heard what really good mid range sounds like. Now that is probably the most important of the 3 areas of eq to me. If a can has lousy mid range, or a serious v shape to its sound signature, it is dead to me (v-moda m100). The elegias mid range is really good, then the great sub bass and sweet treble just make it a great listen. It did take me a few hours to warm up to the sound with the sheepskin pads, But I cannot go back to stock now that my brain has adjusted. It's ironic as the sheepskin made it a little more hd650 like. It has a slight bass lean to it now. But better bass than the 650 by a long shot.

I will add that I actually prefer listening to my speakers more than headphones. A really good speaker setup is hard to duplicate through headphones. Though I have been experimenting with DSP, and crossfeed, in Roon to try to get my hp listening closer to that of speakers. I have not gotten there yet. And I doubt I ever will. But that is a whole other debate. I mention that only because the elegia's have come the closest to satisfying that desire. Mainly because of the sub bass extension. It is still not as good as what I call "the real thing", but has come closer than anything else. Even the NAD HP50, which was marketed as having "room feel" to it, is not close IMO.

Those are my feelings about it. My next purchase will probably be an open back planar. I have the Panda, and I have to admit they are good but not great. Though I do not think they are the best example of planars. I am also tempted to get the focal elex from drop at the current $600 price. Assuming of course that it is a more open-sounding elegia. Need to research those some more.
 
Jun 28, 2021 at 12:43 PM Post #2,772 of 4,838
Great question. And I should have elaborated further on what the elegias are being compared to. I have, or have had, the senn hd650, hd600, momentum wired (original and v2), v moda m100 and m100 master. Beyer t51p, dt770, T1, phillips x1, x2, x3, l2, drop Panda, senn hd25, akg 553 and 701, NAD HP50, Sony x1000m3 That is all I can think of right now and covers most of my experience. The senn hd650 and the momentum v2 for portable I would say got the most use up until now.

My current desktop hp stack is a Gustard X16 and Topping A90 being fed via a roon endpoint I built on a raspberry pi4. When mobile I am using a THX Onyx dongle off of my phone using UAPP.I mostly stream tidal though I do have over a TB of my own music locally at home. I am usually searching out new stuff. And I will get roasted for saying this, but I am a fan of the MQA tracks on tidal. I probably should have kept that to myself around here :wink:

My music tastes vary quite a bit. But the majority of the time I listen to these genres and sub-genres of them. Jazz, rock, fusion, metal, progressive, blues, funk, pop, techno, hardcore, EDM.

I too find myself reaching for elegrias pretty much every day. I do occasionally reach for my hd650 but I always have the same reaction that I am missing the elegia. And I think between those 2 it is mainly the sub bass I am missing when listening to the Senn's. The bass on the focals is really really good. Especially with the sheepskin dakoni pads. It's not a bass head can. But it is deep and the timbre is perfect. The senn mid range is addicting. But the focal mid range is really good too, albeit different. Not as smooth but more detailed and both cans have the mid range a bit forward. Or at least perceived as forward. Then the treble, the focals are nice up top, though the Senns have a nice smooth top end as well. It just starts dropping off sooner. The elegia's win out on details too. There is something about the hd650 that will make me still reach for it on occasion. But I do find myself preferring the elegia's.

I have only had the elegia's for a couple of weeks. So I am still in the so-called honeymoon phase. Which is definitely a thing for me. When I first got the x3 they dethroned the hd650 for a few weeks. But eventually, I found myself reaching for the senns again. That silky smooth mid range of the senn is soooo good. And I think since I have had the hd650 for so many years that my brain has been burnt into that sound signature. Something new excites the brain for a while but it eventually wants to go back to what is the baseline for lack of better terms. We shall see. The x3 sounds nothing like the elegia so it is not certain the elegia is destined for the same fate. I do not remember being this impressed with the x3's. The elegia has turned me into a bit of a focal fanboy.

I always thought I was a v-shaped eq guy. Until I got into this hobby and heard what really good mid range sounds like. Now that is probably the most important of the 3 areas of eq to me. If a can has lousy mid range, or a serious v shape to its sound signature, it is dead to me (v-moda m100). The elegias mid range is really good, then the great sub bass and sweet treble just make it a great listen. It did take me a few hours to warm up to the sound with the sheepskin pads, But I cannot go back to stock now that my brain has adjusted. It's ironic as the sheepskin made it a little more hd650 like. It has a slight bass lean to it now. But better bass than the 650 by a long shot.

I will add that I actually prefer listening to my speakers more than headphones. A really good speaker setup is hard to duplicate through headphones. Though I have been experimenting with DSP, and crossfeed, in Roon to try to get my hp listening closer to that of speakers. I have not gotten there yet. And I doubt I ever will. But that is a whole other debate. I mention that only because the elegia's have come the closest to satisfying that desire. Mainly because of the sub bass extension. It is still not as good as what I call "the real thing", but has come closer than anything else. Even the NAD HP50, which was marketed as having "room feel" to it, is not close IMO.

Those are my feelings about it. My next purchase will probably be an open back planar. I have the Panda, and I have to admit they are good but not great. Though I do not think they are the best example of planars. I am also tempted to get the focal elex from drop at the current $600 price. Assuming of course that it is a more open-sounding elegia. Need to research those some more.
Got you 😉...
You brought back memories lol
I had the NAD HP50 too, I liked that pair, especially for the price I got it was at that time my favourite closed back alas I've moved on to better things since then.
Thanks man, I appreciate that you elaborated. I am well aware that personal taste is what it all boils down to eventually (and the fact of course that no two people have the same ears, head and brain) I just find it a bit mind boggling that these headphones get responses from all across the spectrum of possible ones
-from "the worst closed backs" (I.e. crinacle)
-to "good but I have tried other pairs that do exactly the same"
-or "nice headphones but very niche tuning"
-and all the way up to "best closed back I've heard close to €/£/$1000"


🤣
 
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Jun 28, 2021 at 12:49 PM Post #2,773 of 4,838
Elegia changes the most with amps compared to my other phones. It loves power to me. Cayin ha-6 makes me very happy with it.original LC is pretty good with it too. LH products stink with it. Too tizzy and thin.
Elegia is a great compliment to my zmf ori and hifiman he 560. All are so different.i was looking for a mid focused alternative and it foots the bill perfectly. On classic rock i tend to eq the bass up 1-2 db. Most of my music the presentation is perfect as is. Great hps at their price. Love the detail, tone and soundstage?
 
Jun 28, 2021 at 1:08 PM Post #2,774 of 4,838
Elegia changes the most with amps compared to my other phones. It loves power to me. Cayin ha-6 makes me very happy with it.original LC is pretty good with it too. LH products stink with it. Too tizzy and thin.
Elegia is a great compliment to my zmf ori and hifiman he 560. All are so different.i was looking for a mid focused alternative and it foots the bill perfectly. On classic rock i tend to eq the bass up 1-2 db. Most of my music the presentation is perfect as is. Great hps at their price. Love the detail, tone and soundstage?
Thanks for the input guys, keep it coming
 
Jun 28, 2021 at 4:04 PM Post #2,775 of 4,838
Elegia changes the most with amps compared to my other phones. It loves power to me. Cayin ha-6 makes me very happy with it.original LC is pretty good with it too. LH products stink with it. Too tizzy and thin.
Elegia is a great compliment to my zmf ori and hifiman he 560. All are so different.i was looking for a mid focused alternative and it foots the bill perfectly. On classic rock i tend to eq the bass up 1-2 db. Most of my music the presentation is perfect as is. Great hps at their price. Love the detail, tone and soundstage?
I am very happy with my Elegia with Dekoni sheepskin pads and Meze 4.4mm cable, driven by my Fiio M11Pro. I mostly listen to Tidal, so no EQ is available, but I do not seem to need it.

My take on MQA: it is an unnecessary cost passed on to the consumer. However I happily listen to Tidal Masters.
 
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