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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. teknorob23
    of course and as soon as i find momentary respite believing i found my "endgame" headphones, then a new DAC, or cable is announced that might bring that missing 1% improvement over the thing i have which is already 99% perfect. I'm just glad i never found any joy in traditional forms of gambling and addiction. I've got this completely under control.. honestly :wink:
    TooFrank, Anaz, Beagle and 1 other person like this.
  2. guitardave
    I got my Stellia today, although I think I am going to call it Stella (I coulda been a contenda!). After just a couple of hours of burn-in here in my office, it is already sounding really good. Looks like the Z1r may be looking for a new home, and even the Utopia may be looking over its shoulder! It passes my Ella heart melting test easily already. Great tonal balance, plenty of detail, not harsh, not rolled off. It may be "just right".
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2019
    tekkster, Karlg, xxx1313 and 2 others like this.
  3. emrelights1973
    How is the isolation? 2 kids proof?
  4. teknorob23
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2019
  5. teknorob23
    not my kids, but i listen at fairly low volumes, so i can hear the printer behind me or conversation in the room. I'd say theyre about average from all the CBs i've listened to
    tekkster and emrelights1973 like this.
  6. skootb
    As for leaks, the girl next to me at work was just able to tell me I was listening to classic rock and I didn’t even have the volume anywhere near “loud”
    tekkster likes this.
  7. leftside
    Sold my LCD-3. Picking up the Stellia on Monday. Certainly looking forward to listening to these for extended periods.
    teknorob23 likes this.
  8. Zojokkeli
    Let us know how you think they compare. LCD-3 has been on my radar for the longest time because of its mids, but Stellia is closed-back so that would be more useful to me.
    asquare3376 likes this.
  9. leftside
    Will do. I'd argue the LCD-3 are the best value headphones on the used market today. They sound better than other used headphones costing far more.

    I also have the LCD-4, but wanted another TOTL headphone that was closed back for when in the same room as my wife, for travelling, for the office, and for portable use with a DAP. There's not many standalone amps out there that can properly drive the LCD-4, let alone any DAP :)
    Zojokkeli and tekkster like this.
  10. tekkster
    My only beef with the Stellia is an easy fix. The cables are great sounding...as long as i sit still. May need to get different ones due to cable microphonics when walking around the house. Not as bad as my venerable er4p, but not great.
    teknorob23 likes this.
  11. teknorob23
    totally agree. Its the same with Elegia, but for extra £2k you'd think they could have sorted this out
    tekkster likes this.
  12. Wooglish
    8E481327-C9F9-406E-83DE-2B6F7C1ED7B5.jpeg 00E23EA7-AC37-4321-B55D-AEADC440C98F.jpeg 326CD87C-45B1-4B14-9611-1849EA56CC64.jpeg Ok, great 30 second mod for those with Sony Z1R cables, which are too "fat" to fit in the Stellia housing: there is a small retaining clip on the 3.5mm plug that keeps the special locking sleeve on. Pop it off each side and you are good to go for Stellia. It is easy to put the retaining clips back on if you want to maintain cable originality at some point. The Sony Kimber Kables with 4.4 balanced termination are a great add for the Stellia and the cable color match is pretty nice as well. The Stellia are fantastic matched with the Sony 1Z.
  13. Automata
    How do you find the Sony player drives the Stellia? What is the volume setting if you listen it on high gain? I’m planing to use the same set up for Stellia tbh. :)
  14. DarginMahkum
    I couldn't hold myself and did some more Stellia listening today. Basically my idea was to sell the Ultrasone J25 and after setting up the HT system to buy a Stellia. Again I was quite impressed with Stellia. But, interestingly after a long listening session on my WM1Z and putting on the J25, Stellia's Focal character -mid-forwardness- hit me. Although not as much as Utopia, it is still there. There is a lot of Ultrasone bashing here and also at SBAF, but they did it right with the J25. I always let my wife do the blind tests, as she is a musician and initially she didn't like the highs, but was very impressed with the bass of her own studio recordings. After 2 months of using J25 with EQ, I decided to remove the equalizer and, wow, the highs were much better. Also confirmed by the wife that they are now milder and more listenable with treble rich music. Still I think there is more treble energy than neutral, but nothing you can't get used to very quickly or can't fix with a bit of EQ. When I compare the two J25 is easier to listen to for longer periods, both because it is lighter, has less clamping force and mids are more laid back and does not make you tired easily.

    I just have to accept the fact that the Stellia will not be able to replace my J25 "sonically". But J25 needs babying. It is simply too fragile to be taken to the office or put on the desk. This is where Focal's tank comes in. It is very robust and would survive a commuter's life.

    If I sell the J25, I guess I will miss it. I will sleep over it once more, but looks J25 stays, soon to be joined by Stellia: The second best closed back HP I have ever heard. But someone has to leave: WM1Z! To be replaced by DX220 (if it has Bluetooth receive mode, which I believe it will) later.
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2019
    teknorob23 and tekkster like this.
  15. tekkster
    There's Ultrasone bashing? While the ones I've tried didn't quite match the sound characteristics I chase enough to ever purchase a pair (yet), I also never felt the sound was bad.

    Though, I've listened to a lot of hi-fi headphones, and have always been surprised that the sound characteristics I sought were never there, hence my surprise at how good a sound fit the Stellias are for me.
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2019
    bidn and DarginMahkum like this.
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