Focal Stellia Review, Measurements, Interview - Head-Fi TV
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Appreciate the input! Is the A90 a significant jump from the THX789?
They both do the job well and measure well. I don't have your ears nor am I familiar with your preferences, so can't really answer that, but "I" wouldn't call one a significant jump over the other. 789 has 3.5, 6.3, XLR, and A90 has 4.4, 6.3, XLR and a separate HP amp/pre-amp toggle. So go with whichever one with better features to suit your need, and the terminations on your HPs/IEMs. With your $500 budget, I would just go with the cheaper one. You won't be missing much.
 
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I bought a Lotoo S1 PAW USB-C DAC a few weeks ago. It cost only $165, which is way below your budget, and comes with all the USB cords you need unless you want to use it with an iPhone ($35 for a lightning cord). I plug it into my laptop and listen while working. The sound quality is surprisingly good with my Stellia playing Qobuz at all resolutions and through both the standard jack and the 4.4mm balanced jack.
 
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If you mean transportable, while I don't own it anymore so I can't comment on the pairing with Stellia, I'm still a big fan of the iFi iDSD Micro Black Label. Should be able to get ~$500 new and ~$400 used.
I agree with this. The Micro iDSD BL is a incredible sounding DAC/Amp and competes with the Hugo 2 for best sounding transportable honors. I only sold mine because I wasn't using the Hugo 2 at all because I actually preferred it over the Hugo 2 sound wise. It more musical, more powerful and the XBass and 3D features go a long way to improving sound of any headphone. The Hugo 2 is the better DAC but the iDSD BL has the better amp section with a very good DAC on board.
 
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They both do the job well and measure well. I don't have your ears nor am I familiar with your preferences, so can't really answer that, but "I" wouldn't call one a significant jump over the other. 789 has 3.5, 6.3, XLR, and A90 has 4.4, 6.3, XLR and a separate HP amp/pre-amp toggle. So go with whichever one with better features to suit your need, and the terminations on your HPs/IEMs. With your $500 budget, I would just go with the cheaper one. You won't be missing much.
Thank you so much!

Since I already have a 789, and don't necessarily need any additional features (it has 3.5 for my iems, and balanced for stellias if needed) would something like a shiit loki make sense? I tend to prefer a warmer sound, and I've heard hardware EQ tends to be better than software if needed.
 
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Thank you so much!

Since I already have a 789, and don't necessarily need any additional features (it has 3.5 for my iems, and balanced for stellias if needed) would something like a shiit loki make sense? I tend to prefer a warmer sound, and I've heard hardware EQ tends to be better than software if needed.
I don't use EQ, so can't answer that. If you prefer a warmer sound, why not just get a HP with warmer sound signature? Why get the Stellia and change something you know you wouldn't like in the first place? That just doesn't make sense to me. There are plenty of other good headphones out there, particularly in that price range. When you get to TOTL HPs, it's a matter of personal taste and preference. There's nothing earth shattering about the Stellias.
 
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I’ve tested the Stellia with Micro BL and Hugo 2.

The BL was only 10 minutes as it didn’t seem right to me. I was maxing out the volume and it wasn’t that high, even with gain set high. Hugo 2 has been amazing though. I was asking as I am hoping there is a cheaper solution that does a great job.

I might need to give the Micro BL another go before ruling it out. Perhaps the unit I was testing was low on battery power.
 
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I don't use EQ, so can't answer that. If you prefer a warmer sound, why not just get a HP with warmer sound signature? Why get the Stellia and change something you know you wouldn't like in the first place? That just doesn't make sense to me. There are plenty of other good headphones out there, particularly in that price range. When you get to TOTL HPs, it's a matter of personal taste and preference. There's nothing earth shattering about the Stellias.
Well I did try them out and loved them without eq. Its just all of the other headphones I've had so far sounded much better with it. Also some reviewers online said they preferred them more after eq.
 
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What a “stellar” video review, so much so that I just had to order a Focal Stellia for myself. It’s will be my first flagship level headphone. And my first Focal product. I’ve also had a keen eye on the Focal Sopra No 2 reviews as well. To have a proper first listening session with the Stellia I additionally ordered a Chord Hugo TT2 in silver. Which is also my first Chord product. So I did purchase both of these sight unseen without a demo. However, the near universal praise for both products made that decision easy. And my time is a bit precious lately.

I’m upgrading from Oppo PM-3 headphones, which are long sold, so I can only begin to imagine the sound improvements I will hear. I would have purchased the open-back Focal Utopia headphones for its open design but then the more useful closed-back Stellia had amazing reviews regardless. And I’d guess that by now the Utopia 2 headphones are close to being a reality. I’ll own both eventually.

Also, should I buy a Stellia cable upgrade like the ones from Kimber Kable? In any case, I’m so excited to hear my new Chord / Focal headphone system with my new Threadripper 3 music server, movie server, and gaming PC!! The Chord TT2’s powerful dual headphone out also makes me happy.
 
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What a “stellar” video review, so much so that I just had to order a Focal Stellia for myself. It’s will be my first flagship level headphone. And my first Focal product. I’ve also had a keen eye on the Focal Sopra No 2 reviews as well. To have a proper first listening session with the Stellia I additionally ordered a Chord Hugo TT2 in silver. Which is also my first Chord product. So I did purchase both of these sight unseen without a demo. And “it’s dangerous to go alone” outside. And we’re fresh out of wooden swords. I’m upgrading from Oppo PM-3 headphones, which are long sold, so I can only begin to imagine the sound improvements I will hear. I would have purchased the open-back Focal Utopia headphones for its open design but then the more useful closed-back Stellia had amazing reviews regardless. And I’d guess that by now the Utopia 2 headphones are close to being a reality. Also, should I buy a Stellia cable upgrade like the ones from Kimber Kable? In any case, I’m so excited to hear my new workstation and gaming PC headphone system!!
I too will be using them for gaming! Props to you for making such a huge investment. If it means anything, I trialed the MDR Z1R, Dt1990s, and the th 900s and liked the stellias the most by a longshot. I will be getting mine on Friday :)
 
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Haven't used stellia with gaming yet but have used focal clear with Xbox x ,they are pretty good,I think stellia will be same
Waiting for the next generation consoles like ps5 new 3d engine audio to test out with stellia :)
 
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I’ve tested the Stellia with Micro BL and Hugo 2.

The BL was only 10 minutes as it didn’t seem right to me. I was maxing out the volume and it wasn’t that high, even with gain set high. Hugo 2 has been amazing though. I was asking as I am hoping there is a cheaper solution that does a great job.

I might need to give the Micro BL another go before ruling it out. Perhaps the unit I was testing was low on battery power.
Had to be defective unit because I use to drive my LCD-4's with the iDSD BL with good results. I know it can easily power the Stellia's.
 
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I’ve tested the Stellia with Micro BL and Hugo 2.

The BL was only 10 minutes as it didn’t seem right to me. I was maxing out the volume and it wasn’t that high, even with gain set high. Hugo 2 has been amazing though. I was asking as I am hoping there is a cheaper solution that does a great job.

I might need to give the Micro BL another go before ruling it out. Perhaps the unit I was testing was low on battery power.

I own both the Hugo2 and the ifi micro BL. The Hugo2 is better, but only by a bit, definitely not a great difference when paired with an amp, and even on its own, the ifi holds its ground. In fact, I asked a (very non audiophile) test person to compare, and she prefered the ifi.
 
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I own both the Hugo2 and the ifi micro BL. The Hugo2 is better, but only by a bit, definitely not a great difference when paired with an amp, and even on its own, the ifi holds its ground. In fact, I asked a (very non audiophile) test person to compare, and she prefered the ifi.
Could you compare the ifi black label to the thx 789? I definitely won't be investing in a chord Hugo anytime soon haha.
 
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What a “stellar” video review, so much so that I just had to order a Focal Stellia for myself. It’s will be my first flagship level headphone. And my first Focal product. I’ve also had a keen eye on the Focal Sopra No 2 reviews as well. To have a proper first listening session with the Stellia I additionally ordered a Chord Hugo TT2 in silver. Which is also my first Chord product. So I did purchase both of these sight unseen without a demo. However, the near universal praise for both products made that decision easy. And my time is a bit precious lately.

I’m upgrading from Oppo PM-3 headphones, which are long sold, so I can only begin to imagine the sound improvements I will hear. I would have purchased the open-back Focal Utopia headphones for its open design but then the more useful closed-back Stellia had amazing reviews regardless. And I’d guess that by now the Utopia 2 headphones are close to being a reality. I’ll own both eventually.

Also, should I buy a Stellia cable upgrade like the ones from Kimber Kable? In any case, I’m so excited to hear my new Chord / Focal headphone system with my new Threadripper 3 music server, movie server, and gaming PC!! The Chord TT2’s powerful dual headphone out also makes me happy.
you seem to have too much money :)

concerning upgrade cables: you should probably buy an upgrade cable. At least the microphonics will be much better. Look out for Upocc silver cables (just search in this thread), you will find some different cables that might fit your needs. Never heard the Kimber cable. It isn‘t even Upocc BUT costs about 3k. Hey, since you have enough money, just buy the Kimber and another Upocc pure silver cable and please compare them for us. Thanks :wink:
 
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