Focal Stellia Review, Measurements, Interview - Head-Fi TV
May 16, 2020 at 11:30 PM Post #1,997 of 3,709

NickMit

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Hey, guys. Thinking about buying Stellia. Could you give any feedback about its usability? Particularly, do ears sweat in them during long-time auditions? Or any issues with the headband? I am mainly listening to music on the go, and it's +25 standard with going up to 40 degrees here, in Australia. Although when it's 40 I am trying to stay inside as much as possible. Still quite hot overall. Thanks in advance.
 
May 16, 2020 at 11:41 PM Post #1,998 of 3,709

FenceFurniture

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I am mainly listening to music on the go, and it's +25 standard with going up to 40 degrees here, in Australia.
I'm in Katoomba, just west of Sydney, so similar latitude to Perth, but the altitude here is 1000m, so significantly cooler and much less humid than Sydney. Brisk walking for 20 minutes raises some sweat inside the cups (between the leather and skin), and that was just a week ago in cooler weather. However, it was nothing I couldn't handle, and WELL worth it for the superb sound quality.

Then again, it depends on your sweat levels, and mine are a bit more elevated from most (hence why I ran away from Sydney ten years ago).
 
May 17, 2020 at 1:56 AM Post #1,999 of 3,709

thecrow

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I'm in Katoomba, just west of Sydney, so similar latitude to Perth, but the altitude here is 1000m, so significantly cooler and much less humid than Sydney. Brisk walking for 20 minutes raises some sweat inside the cups (between the leather and skin), and that was just a week ago in cooler weather. However, it was nothing I couldn't handle, and WELL worth it for the superb sound quality.

Then again, it depends on your sweat levels, and mine are a bit more elevated from most (hence why I ran away from Sydney ten years ago).
But are they comfortable in the head when walking? I was looking at the prices with a2a here in sydney but when using the utopias I couldn’t imagine going for a walk with them
 
May 17, 2020 at 2:05 AM Post #2,000 of 3,709

FenceFurniture

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But are they comfortable in the head when walking? I was looking at the prices with a2a here in sydney but when using the utopias I couldn’t imagine going for a walk with them
They're very uncomfortable in the head regardless of activity, :ksc75smile: but for me they're fine for wearing on the head when walking.

I doubt they'd be suitable for jogging though - reckon they'd shake off because of the weight.

Yes, I got mine from a2a when they were on for a significant discount a few weeks ago. I'll give them a shout-out for good service too.
 
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May 17, 2020 at 2:12 AM Post #2,001 of 3,709

thecrow

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They're very uncomfortable in the head regardless of activity, :ksc75smile: but I for me they're fine for wearing on the head when walking.

I doubt they'd be suitable for jogging though - reckon they'd shake off because of the weight.

Yes, I got mine from a2a when they were on for a significant discount a few weeks ago. I'll give them a shout-out for good service too.
Fair call on the first point.

did you pick up the b stock?
i assume their b stock was (as good as) new.

I’ve heard a2a or minidisc don’t sell a lot of the utopias or stellias unless when they're on special at about $3500.
 
May 17, 2020 at 2:26 AM Post #2,002 of 3,709

FenceFurniture

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Fair call on the first point.

did you pick up the b stock?
i assume their b stock was (as good as) new.

I’ve heard a2a or minidisc don’t sell a lot of the utopias or stellias unless when they're on special at about $3500.
Yeah, sorry about that - too hard to resist. They were supposed to be B stock, but apparently mine were not. In this case the B stock meant that the box "had been opened" to check them for something - who cares if the box has been opened. I suspect that was just the face saving excuse. I think he said that there were some that had problems with the drivers and they had to sort through them to send some back to France. The price was $2999 - and still is.

Just a btw: I was considering the Clears or Utopias (can't remember which) at $1200 until I went on a learning curve and realised what open-back would mean for those around me. I simply can't imagine wanting other people to hear my head when I walk past them, and an absolute no-no on public transport. Nor do I want to hear traffic noise through them.
 
May 17, 2020 at 3:45 AM Post #2,003 of 3,709

emrelights1973

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You can do anything you like who am i to judge but i like to say few words
Stellia is far nice of a object to go around, like walking in a tuxedo, can be done but it will look odd and wont be practical at all, you will destroy them pretty quick....
How about nice pair of iems? Sony z1r?
 
May 17, 2020 at 4:05 AM Post #2,004 of 3,709

noplsestar

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You can do anything you like who am i to judge but i like to say few words
Stellia is far nice of a object to go around, like walking in a tuxedo, can be done but it will look odd and wont be practical at all, you will destroy them pretty quick....
How about nice pair of iems? Sony z1r?
I am walking around with them for a year now. It doesn’t look odd. It looks great. No one ever stared or looked at me strangely. And it is practical with the bag that came with the Stellia. Of course not as practical as with IEMs but for me it’s no problem at all.

Edit: and I also didn’t „destroy“ it. It looks like new!
 
May 17, 2020 at 4:15 AM Post #2,006 of 3,709

NickMit

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You can do anything you like who am i to judge but i like to say few words
Stellia is far nice of an object to go around, like walking in a tuxedo, can be done but it will look odd and wont be practical at all, you will destroy them pretty quick....
How about nice pair of iems? Sony z1r?
I see your point. And I was actually looking for IEMs at first. To be short, the problem is - I just couldn't find a pair I am satisfied with. I currently have SP1000 + Dunu DN200j. I have listened to Andromeda, Solaris, Z1R (both iem and headphones actually), Roxanne Aion, Noble Tux 5, A8000, lcd-i3 All of them have surprisingly unbalanced sound. Which is weird, as mine IEMs for 200$, I genuinely believe, are better. I more or less liked JH Layla and Earsonics EM6 (better than mine at least), and they were quite close to what I want. But I don’t want to pay several thousands to get “meh, good enough” sound. I will try lcdi4, layla aion, new andromeda and EM10. But this dissatisfaction gave me an idea, maybe I am looking in the wrong direction and should instead buy headphones. Not sure that I will be satisfied with them. I will listen to Stellia also in future. I also wanted to listen to Audio 64 and Dunu products, but unfortunately, a2a just don't have them. Still great store!
 
May 17, 2020 at 6:08 AM Post #2,007 of 3,709

Frozen Rat

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Hey, guys. Thinking about buying Stellia. Could you give any feedback about its usability? Particularly, do ears sweat in them during long-time auditions? Or any issues with the headband? I am mainly listening to music on the go, and it's +25 standard with going up to 40 degrees here, in Australia. Although when it's 40 I am trying to stay inside as much as possible. Still quite hot overall. Thanks in advance.

Usability is great. You can power these things right from your smartphone if you don't have, or forget, your dongle DAC (I use a Dragonfly Red with my Stellia and iPhone). They sound far, far better than any other closed back I've ever heard through my phone and DF DAC. Shoot, I think you could plug them into a potato in the hot sun and even that would be enough juice to power them.

They are lighter on the head than the Utopias (I also own Utopias). I can walk with them and they don't move, but I wouldn't jog or fast walk with these for fear a sudden movement would leave them injured on the pavement.

Someone said they are uncomfortable. I don't doubt this is true for that person—who am I to contradict them? I don't have their head, which I suspect must be quite large and square if the Stellia aren't comfortable for them. I can say for me though that they are 90% as comfy as Mr. Speakers Ether C headphones, and those are the most comfortable headphones I've encountered so far.

The cups are mainly leather so in hot weather I'm betting they'll elicit some sweat. If you're walking around in 40 Celsius weather though you shouldn't be outside with headphones, you should be indoors hugging the nearest A/C unit in order to stave off heatstroke and brain damage.

Unless you're walking around with a spitting cobra wrapped around your ears, no one is going to give a flying rat's bum about it. I once saw a guy in Starbucks in San Francisco wearing an Abyss AB1266, which made him look like he'd just got his stupid head caught in a beaver trap, and NO ONE was paying him any attention, except me, because I knew what they were and was suitably impressed. He was listening to some really bad R&B, which was bleeding out because they are open backs and he was at about 100 dB, and STILL no one cared. And if they do care and look, it will be either with admiration or an intent to mug you, both of which are flattering reactions. Just don't go into dark alleys where the criminals hang out and you'll be good.

The top headband will get dark over time I suppose. It'll look funky at first, like a fat dude with arm sweat, but once the patina has spread everywhere they will look like super cool; like the leather in my truck, which looked great the day I bought it, then looked like crap for the next five years—all splotchy and uneven, and now looks amazing, like an old saddle from the 1850s.
 
May 17, 2020 at 6:23 AM Post #2,008 of 3,709

FenceFurniture

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That's a very good answer Ratty. Is the "flying rat's bum" you refer to....yours?

As far as power required to drive them - they are very efficient. One device I run them out of is a Shanling M3s DAP and I have the volume at around 80. With the predecessors (Koss BT540i), I was running the DAP at 100 volume most of the time (and the headphones themselves were usually only zero to two presses down from max volume when on Bluetooth). If the Koss were on a 3.5mm lead then the volume would be at around 90, so the Stellias are certainly efficient.
 
May 17, 2020 at 7:58 AM Post #2,009 of 3,709

emrelights1973

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I am walking around with them for a year now. It doesn’t look odd. It looks great. No one ever stared or looked at me strangely. And it is practical with the bag that came with the Stellia. Of course not as practical as with IEMs but for me it’s no problem at all.

Edit: and I also didn’t „destroy“ it. It looks like new!

walking sweating is not ideal for the band, it is hard to carry, it is not the best of noise isolation for commuting like NC...

But as i said who am i to tell you what to do, enjoy it , just dont drop them and be carefull in rainy days:))
 
May 17, 2020 at 11:25 AM Post #2,010 of 3,709

TooFrank

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Hi guys
Since the arrival of the Stellia's, there has been many thoughts about the potential discoloration of the brown headband. I have also previously (maybe June last year) posted a picture, where you clearly could see this. Now, I decided long time ago to keep the Stellia's, don't think we will ever part:) However, I still wanted them to look nice like forever. I have read about various treatments and even "protectors" in terms of some clothing. I chose to see what would happen with time just using them. I should say that, I am almost bald, so they get the "real treat". I have used another trick, that is rubbing gently with my "nose-fat". We all have that at hand:k701smile:
Here are a few pics of the results. I may be difficult to see the details, but the color has changed evenly to a darker brown.
So for potentially concerned - don't be just enjoy the sound
Cheers:beerchug:




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