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Focal Stellia Review, Measurements, Interview - Head-Fi TV

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by jude, Feb 12, 2019.
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  1. JohnYang1997
    Then you need csd. But csd is also highly frequency response dependent so. But ringing will be shown. Fft doesn't work well with non periodic signal.
    DarginMahkum likes this.
  2. Beagle
    I noticed that as well. The Elegia has the perfect balance of bass for my taste. The Stellia looks a bit overcooked around 100hZ. But it also appears to have more energy in the 2-6khZ so it would likely compensate. That might mean a V-shape sound compared to the Elegia. But I'm just speculating. It probably sounds great. The Elegia got a lot of varying opinions, and I did like that one. But it was $899.
  3. up late
    it does look better but that's not how i heard it :relaxed:
    kid vic likes this.
  4. Whitigir
    I never was into this hobby with eyes :wink:. Stellia was very good IMO
  5. up late
    i did wonder about that but they were the only fr measurements that i could find here - thanks for clarifying.

    off-topic but will you be posting measurements of the diana and diana phi anytime soon? i've not seen any measurements for these two headphones on the interwebs.
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2019
    Hifiearspeakers likes this.
  6. JohnYang1997
    Take a look at harman target response curve. Tyll from innerfidelity also has some resources about frequency response of headphones.
    3k emphasis is needed for natural reproduction. Overall stellia looks much better than elegia.
  7. bidn
    Don't worry, Beagle,
    I auditioned and bought a Stellia (and an Arya also) this afternoon,
    I would have never done so if it had too much bass or was V-shaped (e.g. when I tested the Campfire Cascade in the spring 2018, I couldn't listen to it for more than something like 10 min..).
    The bass of the Stellia feels fuller than that of the Utopia, the treble may be a bit less strong,
    but for me it clearly remains a "neutral" headphone. There is no absolute definition nor scholarly agreement on what neutral maybe
    (e.g. the scholarly disagreements re. HRTF corrections), I see neutrality as a band, area in which the Frequency Responses should fit.
    (for comparison, I personally see the HD 800 as too bright to fit within the neutrality band, and the Ether C (non-flow) even further away with its excessive brightness;
    on the other hand I see Audeze headphones as too dark to fit within neutrality, even if I enjoy their sound a lot).
    In any case, voices are wonderful (typical Focal) with the Stellia, I don't feel the mids as being recessed.

    Re. the varying opinions for the bass of the Elegia, there were several cases where the pad were not well fixed.
    I find the Elegia definitively much better value for the SQ it achieves compared to the Stellia,
    I can afford the Stellia, so I bought it, but if people are short with money, I recommend the Elegia.
    Re. practical things, the Stellia seems safe re. the issue of the light grey tissue used in the headbands of the Elegia and Clear (and also the pads for the Clear),
    they slowly become darker with usage, catching bodily dirt and looking dirty. For me this is the main drawback of the Elegia and of the Clear, a drawback which the Elear (dark by design) and Utopia (leather + dark) don't have.
    (my lovely wife fixed this issue by knitting fabric around the headband of my Clear, and is doing this for my Elegia as well).
    The Stellia has leather (and dark at that), so we can expect that this issue shouldn't arise.

    My Stellia needs burn in, but I fear it will not catch up with the Utopia re. resolution and cleanliness of the sound,
    and I strongly suspect that the standard (I am using the XLR in balanced mode) cable is holding its performance back,
    I need to find a better cable. Suggestions are welcome...
    In any case Focal produced for me with the Stellia the same "miracle" as with the Elegia:
    at least at the very low volume levels at which I listen, it doesn't feel closed at all, but like an open headphone,
    I was testing today the Arya which I also purchased, and while the Arya has definitively a larger soundstage, the Stellia was not ashamed and cold hold its ground re. soundstage, I mean it didn't feel to me like open vs closed.
    By blocking the ambient noise (from my NAS or window when it is open) the Stellia allows me to listen at further lower volumes levels than the Utopia
    (I try to listen at the lowest level possible to save my ears...).
    BTW, I listen mainly to metal, and find the Stellia great for this. Nomax doesn't feel like this but I remember him writing that he listens at very loud levels, at 90 dB.

    OK for global bass quantities, but for more precision I would like to say that I hear differences between the bass of the Elegia and that of the Elear though,
    the Elear has a bass boost and less sub-bass, while the Elegia doesn't have a bass boost, yet has more sub-bass, i.e. its bass has a nicely flat FR, thus is neutral in the bass area unlike the Elear. I too find that the Elegia has much sub-bass than the Clear and Utopia (but for metal I still prefer the Utopia's bass to that of the Elegia because it is even faster...).

    all the best,
    raypin, xxx1313, noplsestar and 4 others like this.
  8. XERO1

    Yeah, but that large bump centered at 100Hz worries me.
    If it had a smooth transition from 60Hz into the low-mids, I'd be cautiously optimistic about them, but I think that they're going to have too much mid-bass for my taste.
    Plus, their color reminds me of overcooked carrots. :radioactive::carrot::see_no_evil:
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2019
    Hifiearspeakers and Beagle like this.
  9. Beagle
    Thank you for your articulation on the Stellia. It is greatly appreciated.
    Not everyone believes the harman response curve is the way to go.

    The color reminds me of when I had the flu last month..

    That bump at 100Hz area looks similar to the HD820, and I definitely heard a warm blob there.But the 820 had a weird inconsistent fit.
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2019
    bidn likes this.
  10. JohnYang1997
    Harman target is not the way to go but at least in the right direction and is a reference. There are many other target curves non of them would suggest elegia being better than stellia.
  11. Beagle
    I suppose it would depend on whether the manufacturer is trying to simulate the sound of speakers in a room, or just trying to come up with a balanced response that sounds unemphasized, in any one area, to most ears. A thankless task.
  12. up late
    i didn't hear the stellia's midrange as recessed or its sound signature as v-shaped either. lucky you btw. :relaxed:
    the mid-bass hump looks more pronounced than it sounded to my ears
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2019
    bidn likes this.
  13. mtoc
    asfar as we knew, we can't do far fetch comparison like this, measurement only valid with all cans under same circumstance, means need to bring them together and do it one more time
  14. mtoc
    maybe we need to measure a bunch of Focal all together, with Clear etc
  15. up late
    you asked for fr measurements for the stellia and utopia. they were taken by @jude on his sota headphone measuring equipment. @jude has advised that his equipment and methodology has changed since taking the utopia measurements, and that he intends to take new measurements, which is welcome. these are the current measurements available for the utopia, however. while i appreciate that this is not ideal, it will have to do until @jude updates them.
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2019
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