Focal Elex
Nov 15, 2020 at 9:20 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 16

vaduz488

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I received my Massdrop Focal Elex headphones a couple of days ago and I have some questions for those of you who are familiar with these. I am running them balanced through my Monoprice THX desktop DAC/Amp. First of all, is there a significant difference in the sound after a few hours of breakin? I have high hopes for these as they have received rave reviews from all the prominent youtube reviewers. I noticed at first listen how in your face they are. Some vocals and solo instruments are even offensive to my ears. I have read where some buyers said similar things but after they broke in, they were much better. How amp picky are they? I also have Hi Fi Man Aryas and Senn. 58x Jubilee and they both sound great through my DAC/Amp. Even though the Jubilee is $150 I prefer the sound of those to the Elex at this early stage. The bass is probably the best I have heard through headphones through the Elex but like I said they are so up front. Highs seems rolled off a bit and midrange is harsh as I mentioned earlier. Soundstage is not that impressive but detail is very good. Hopefully time and use will take care of these concerns. Anyway, I would appreciate any feedback any of you could give. Thanks!
 
Nov 15, 2020 at 9:48 AM Post #2 of 16

silent-circuit

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I personally don't really believe in "burn in" substantially changing the sound of a given headphone or speaker; more likely in these cases people are just getting used to a given sound signature. Perception changes more than the device. This is a divisive topic, though.

Rather than waiting for them to change, why not change them yourself? A little EQ will likely fix your main complaint; I certainly had to flatten out the Elegia a bit, and with EQ they've become one of my favorite sets.
 
Nov 15, 2020 at 10:17 AM Post #3 of 16

vaduz488

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I received my Massdrop Focal Elex headphones a couple of days ago and I have some questions for those of you who are familiar with these. I am running them balanced through my Monoprice THX desktop DAC/Amp. First of all, is there a significant difference in the sound after a few hours of breakin? I have high hopes for these as they have received rave reviews from all the prominent youtube reviewers. I noticed at first listen how in your face they are. Some vocals and solo instruments are even offensive to my ears. I have read where some buyers said similar things but after they broke in, they were much better. How amp picky are they? I also have Hi Fi Man Aryas and Senn. 58x Jubilee and they both sound great through my DAC/Amp. Even though the Jubilee is $150 I prefer the sound of those to the Elex at this early stage. The bass is probably the best I have heard through headphones through the Elex but like I said they are so up front. Highs seems rolled off a bit and midrange is harsh as I mentioned earlier. Soundstage is not that impressive but detail is very good. Hopefully time and use will take care of these concerns. Anyway, I would appreciate any feedback any of you could give. Thanks!
Thanks for your feedback! I’m new to this hobby and don’t know how to EQ my headphones? Is there an app that I can download? Thanks again for your help.
 
Nov 15, 2020 at 10:26 AM Post #4 of 16

silent-circuit

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Thanks for your feedback! I’m new to this hobby and don’t know how to EQ my headphones? Is there an app that I can download? Thanks again for your help.

What are you using as a source? PC? Phone?
 
Nov 15, 2020 at 10:48 AM Post #6 of 16

silent-circuit

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Nov 15, 2020 at 6:07 PM Post #9 of 16

cycloverid

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One quick question. When I click out of the EQ, it still stays on. What if I want to listen to something without EQ? How do I turn it off? The EQ has really helped. Thanks.

You obviously want your EQ to stay on even if you turn off your computer, because that'd be a hassle to have to have that app running all the time. If you're using the standard UI for Equalizer APO then there are just power buttons for each component. Make sure if you're adding gain you are offsetting that with pregain!

Try out the Peace plugin if you ever need more advanced filters.
 

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Nov 15, 2020 at 6:10 PM Post #10 of 16

vaduz488

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You obviously want your EQ to stay on even if you turn off your computer, because that'd be a hassle to have to have that app running all the time. If you're using the standard UI for Equalizer APO then there are just power buttons for each component. Make sure if you're adding gain you are offsetting that with pregain!

Try out the Peace plugin if you ever need more advanced filters.
Thank you!
 
Nov 15, 2020 at 11:10 PM Post #14 of 16

Mhog55

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This is why I decided to pass on the Elex. Hopefully you can get it sorted out with EQ. Should you decide to return them, have a look at the Ibasso SR2. These are what I chose between the Elex, Teaks, and SR2. Good luck
 
Nov 16, 2020 at 1:43 AM Post #15 of 16

surfgeorge

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I recently bought the focal Clears and had a similar experience.
Burning them in improved things, but still had some of that in your face characteristics.
I went to a headphone store last week to test and compare other HPs, described it here: https://www.head-fi.org/threads/chord-electronics-hugo-2-the-official-thread.831345/post-15974430

2 things to add - my Clears react quite srongly to the source I use with them
Arya was really nice, very smooth, clear detailed, I just felt that the bass response was very dark and somehow the bass and upper half of FR were quite different.
Really liked them but felt the Clears are better allrounders.
 

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