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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. Automata
    My Stellia is on its way now! Gonna drive it with my Sony WM1Z 4.4 balance output.
  2. arielext
    Ah another th900sb/Stellia user :)
    Automata likes this.
  3. teknorob23
    Likewise I’ve been buying from the same shop for nearly 25 years and i come on to shake if begin to total up what I’ve spent there. But yes your right bizarrely they are also still charging me too :wink:
    emrelights1973 likes this.
  4. Odin412
    I stopped by Upscale Audio yesterday to pick up a tube and they had a Stellia in their headphone section. This is the first headphone that to me really screams 'luxury product' - the carbon fiber on the Utopia notwithstanding. The pictures don't do this headphone justice - it's just gorgeous in person. The color, the design, the materials - all very nice indeed. The leather is very soft and feels like it was supplied from Louis Vuitton. (And maybe it was - Focal is a French company after all?)

    And the sound? To my ears it kind of sounds like the Utopia with a more meaty bass and midrange - in other words it sounds very good.
  5. leftside
    ^^^ Agreed.

    The downside to these headphones is I haven't been able to get them off my wife's head this evening! The upside - she never wants to look at the LCD-4 again. Much prefers the form/fit of the Stellia. Me - I like them both - but for different reasons.
    Misson07, teknorob23 and Odin412 like this.
  6. emrelights1973
    I liked the small leather tag on the side says it leather, I broke my heart to take it off:)

    They are very good if you are in a family house, very good sound blocking enough to block 2 kids running around! So far better from me than Utopias at the moment, I might even sell them
    teknorob23 likes this.
  7. Andrewteee
    The more time I spend with the Stellia the more I appreciate their industrial design. They're beautiful. And of course they sound dang good too!
    Odin412 likes this.
  8. Andrewteee
    True indeed. Nice to sink into them later at night to close out the world for a short bit.
    emrelights1973 likes this.
  9. tekkster
    Now that I have some weeks under my belt with the Stellia, I'm starting to lean towards certain types of music with it.

    I think it isn't blowing me away for orchestral symphonies compared to other headphones.

    For slightly more closed in scenarios, with fewer instruments, and with vocals, it's quickly become my favorite closed back headphone. Keiko Matsui (an old standby for me in any case), Missy Higgins, Sara Bareilles, John Coltrane's smaller ensemble work, Dave Brubeck, Tommy Flanagain, some electronica/dubstep type music like Jean-Michel and Lindsey Stirling, a number of Chesky albums, Stacy Kent, Nora Jones, Funk jazz, smaller classical ensembles and quintets down to solos. The largest stage is probably big band jazz, which seems to be the limit for my enjoyment.

    I enjoy these genres with the Utopia as well, of course.

    But for grand orchestral symphonies, the T1 and HD800 still have it for me. At least, to date. Maybe a future better amp may change that preference for my ears.
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2019
    teknorob23 and emrelights1973 like this.
  10. emrelights1973
    HD800 is the king with symphonies, i will never sell it
    tekkster likes this.
  11. zolkis
    Stellia vs D9200 vs D7200 vs TH900 is here; I copy the relevant bits here.

    bgbkt, teknorob23 and Automata like this.
  12. Automata
    A question: the carrying case that comes with the Stellia are too small and every time I have to plug the cable out and in all the time which for a $3000 headphone it’s pain in the ass lol

    Anyone knows any premium big headphone case that’s able to fit both the Stellia and the cable in without the need to removing the cable?
  13. teknorob23
    A really interesting post. I have not compared the 9200 directly to Stellias but i did have them for a week long home demo along with 7200, ZMFs and Elegia. I ended up going with the Elegia, because to me they were more tonally in line with what i was looking for compared to either of Denons, sounding more open and considerably more dynamic. The 9200 had a lot to admire, with plenty of detail and a closer to neutral tuning than the 7200, but i still found as you mention, the bass and top end to be north of neutral, with the top being too hot for my liking and the whole presentation a bit rich.

    That said the Stellias are considerable leap in pretty much every area of performance over the Elegia, and had me converted within just a few minutes of listening and the Elegias consigned to finding a new home on ebay. They out perform every CB ive heard by some distance and i'd suggest are now the reference by which all other closed backs can and will be measured.

    Speaking of which there was one range or headphones i've been keen to hear and compare: the Final Sonorous VIII and X. I really love the D8000, but for some reason in the 4 or so years that closed backs have been available there appears to have been only one or two proper reviews, both of which were very positive. I've managed to get hold of a pair of VIIIs. Physically they feel a lot heavier on the head, with more clamping pressure, the cables look/feel a bit cheap and the overall appearance is a bit bling. That said, once they are on andi dont have to look at them my initial impressions for their performance are really good, with a stage thats nearly as expansive as the stellia, more physical bass and a richer presentation. But AB'ing with Stellia i'm finding they sound a little cupped and lack the airiness/ top end extension, sounding veiled by comparison. Overall they dont sound far from neutral in tuning apart from the dip at the top. The rich slightly fuller sound does seem to make the presentation feel slightly more congested which blurs the fine details and layering compared to the Focals.

    They definitely seem to benefit from a considerable amount of running in, because they sound way more open and coherrent at 150hrs than they did out of the box so they may well improve further, so i'm definitely reserving judgement for now.

    Final Sonorous VIII v Stellia_1.JPG
  14. arielext
    I really like everything about this headphones except for the cables. They are so stiff and microphonic :frowning2: I am getting an aftermarket neotech occ cable as soon as I can.
    teknorob23 likes this.
  15. leftside
    Agreed - especially microphonic with tube amps. I've just purchased Audeze to Focal adapters, so I'll try that route first before purchasing more expensive cables.
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