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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. guitardave
    At least I sold my Stax!
    emrelights1973 likes this.
  2. DarginMahkum
    Never trust an audiophile that is too sure to keep his money in his pocket. I said I will wait, but couldn't. :)

    Last edited: Mar 11, 2019
    emrelights1973 likes this.
  3. Slim1970
    I have two of the three. The Stellia is on my radar. :o2smile:
    emrelights1973 likes this.
  4. emrelights1973
    İ am trying:)
  5. leftside
    Picked the Stellia up this morning. Had a chance to compare to the Utopia, and I slightly prefer these to the Utopia. The guys who I purchase these from looked at me in horror when I said that, as the Utopia's are their favorite headphones. But, with the music I was listening to - electronica and techno I was preferring the Stellia. The Utopia felt slightly lightweight in comparison.

    I've listened for an hour with an iPhone 8+ and was very impressed. Amazing that such a good headphone can be driven fairly well straight from an iPhone.

    My main listening has been all evening via a Lampizator Euforia DSD DAC and a Woo Audio WA22 headphone amp with maxed out tubes. These headphones really shine with a decent setup. I've also compared to an LCD-4. The Stellia are much more comfortable than the beasts of the LCD-4. They are also, much, much easier to drive. I don't even think the WA22 can properly drive the LCD-4 (more on that later). On this particular setup with acoustic music, I slightly preferred the Stellia which I found quite surprising - as I absolutely love the LCD-4. But, there was no mistaking I was picking out the instruments better and easier with the Stellia.

    With electronic music the Stellia still shone, but they don't quite have the holographic sound of the LCD-4. Probably due to closed back vs open back.

    The Stellia pick up a little more noise than the LCD-4 with a tube amp. I was ok with it, but it was slightly noticeable, especially compared to the dead silent LCD-4.

    I didn't purchase these to compete with or replace the LCD-4, but rather to compliment the LCD-4, and in that regards they have exceeded my expectations. I purchased these to listen on the couch at the same time my wife is in the living room (and the same is true for her, as she also listens on headphones - my wife much prefers these to the LCD-4 due to a better fit and less weight for her). I also purchased these for listening in the office, for traveling, and listening on portable DAC's/DAP's - all things that are challenging with the LCD-4. If you are looking for just one set of headphones, the Stellia could be it.

    Now I'm going to compare with my more powerful Glenn 300B amp, and Lampizator Atlantic DAC...

    IMG_3138-679x983.JPG IMG_3139-626x984.JPG IMG_3140-596x896.JPG
    xxx1313, rosgr63, bidn and 4 others like this.
  6. leftside
    Is there an after market 4 pin XLR cable people can recommend? The stock is microphonic with one of my tube amps.
  7. teknorob23
    Congrats and they’re only going to get better as they burn in. I listen to 75% electronica and at about 250hrs the bass now feels fully formed, better controlled and integrated into the rest of the stage adding body throughout. I noticed the biggest change at around the 100hrs mark :)
    leftside likes this.
  8. musicman59
    You are not alone!
    I own the Utopia with the Axios AG cable, the Z1R with the Dana Lazuli Reference cable, the D8000 and others and I am planing to buy the Stellia.

    I might sell my HE1000v1 and Edition 8EX due to too many headphones.
    Beagle and emrelights1973 like this.
  9. rosgr63
    Nice review.

    Enjoy your new headphones, they look beautiful.
    leftside likes this.
  10. JohnnyCakes
    well after receiving my Stellia's, i have officially drunk the Focal kool-aid and i simply have no desire for any other brand of headphone. my LCD-4 will soon be for sale, along with the Oppo. and i am done demo'ing the likes of HiFiMan, Denon, Sennheiser, Abyss, or anything else. the Stellia is so far ahead of the HD820 it is laughable.

    for my personal taste, music collection, and style... Focal has left everyone in the dust.

    first impression of the Stellia is, quite simply - this is a closed-back Utopia. which is a wonderful thing and exactly what i was hoping Focal achieved. having the Utopia for over two years now, i am intimately familiar with its sound signature and dynamics. and listening to the Stellia's now it is a seamless transition. bass is a little better in the Stellia. soundstage is a little better in the Utopia. but that beryllium driver is the heart and soul of these cans and nothing on the market comes close to what this driver is capable of.

    aesthetically, they are stunning. the leather they used here is extraordinary. the chocolate-cognac color scheme is so unique and so handsome.

    my Elegia and Clear both needed a few days of burn-in to open up and blossom, but i guess that's a trait of their aluminum-magnesium driver. the Stellia, however, sound perfect right out of the box. that said i'll continue to burn them in just to be safe. :grin:

    will have to post a pic of my Focal family soon.

    thanks for everyone's impressions so far in this thread. you made it nearly impossible not to buy these, yet they somehow surpassed the high expectations i had anyway.
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2019
  11. pietcux
    As much as the technical side of this headphone is appealing to me, as much I dislike the look of it. Typical French Design, I would prefer an all black version in a cheap cardboard box. The packaging looks like it is slightly more expensive than the headphone itself.... A reminder of the famous Ultrasone Edition 10. Whereas the Eligia hopefully sounds much better.
    arielext likes this.
  12. Beagle
    I sure hope so.

    But still way too expensive. Especially with the Canadian dollar at .74 US because our gas is worthless, thanks to our...never mind.

    I'll try and wait for a used one to come along....they always do. I have some reservations but there are a lot of glowing words of praise for them
  13. up late
    i'm not sure what you mean. are you hoping that the elegia sounds better than the edition 10 or the stellia?
  14. pietcux
    Better as the Ultrasone for sure. I just don't want to pay for a box and hope for an all black version.
  15. teknorob23
    You could be in for a long wait. I’m not a massive fan of the colour either but the good thing is you can’t see it when they’re on :wink:
    Jiffi32 and moemoney like this.
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