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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. noplsestar
    I listened to the Stelloa and LCD-XC side by side. Don’t get me wrong, I liked that fat bottom end subbass Sound from the XC, it was a fun listen and put a smile on my face, but every song sounded the same with them, very „fat“, like listening in a car with a build in subwoofer that is always „on“. The Stellia on the other hand shows the music (more or less) as it is. I am coming from flat/neutral IEMs (ProPhile8) and am considering upgrading to the stellias because it is clearly a step up.
    So it depends what you want. XC is very fun and if I had the money I would listen to the one or other EDM album with them, but if you want to hear unspoiled mids you better save for the Stellias.
    Alas I don’t know about leakage of the Stellia. I was alone listening to them. But the clamping force is not really tight (very comfortable) so I guess there is leakage when listening with higher volumes.
    Ciggavelli likes this.
  2. teknorob23
    I 100% agree :) I owned the LCD XC for 3 or 4 months, but unfortunately sold them when i bought Elegias, so ive not directly compared them with the stellia. That said i did compare them at length to the Elegia. I also initially liked them for the same reasons, they sounded great with electronica, but the bass is enhanced and they're a long way from neutral and in the end i found them to be one trick pony and eventually that one trick got boring. I actually prefer both the Elegia and Stellia and if it comes to that the like of Final Sonorous VIII or Ether C Flows when it comes to listening to electronica, where i value dynamics, pace and detail over bass quantity and thump.
    Ciggavelli and noplsestar like this.
  3. Beagle
    I only use my higher end headphones in sterilized operating rooms at the hospital. I have to rent them out for an hour a day between procedures.
    teknorob23 and Tsukuyomi like this.
  4. Ciggavelli
    Nice...thanks for the info! I love move Utopias, so the Stellias are the logical choice. I think I'm going to pull the trigger on them from my audio guys. I just hope the leakage is not too bad (that's big for me, as I don't want to annoy people around me).

    Also, the aftermarket cable company I typically use (Dana Cables), has custom cables that fit the Stellia so that is big for me too.
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2019
    noplsestar likes this.
  5. arielext
    I think they hardly leak at all. The "flame" is a grill so that is where it leaks but it's way less then e.g. the TH900s
    Ciggavelli and xxx1313 like this.
  6. noplsestar
    Alas thinking doesn’t help in finding out if they leak :wink:

    Can a Stellia owner please tell us more about the leakage (especially when cranking up the volume)?
  7. xxx1313
    The Focal logo on the back of the cups is the venting hole, so there is little leakage, not much. This is real closed headphone, no semi-open headphone.
    bidn, Ciggavelli and noplsestar like this.
  8. Tsukuyomi
    my father who was sitting next to me at the show couldnt hear my music. And i was playing at 80 on my dap. 80/120
    Ciggavelli likes this.
  9. DarginMahkum
    I took it on a trip last week, both on a plane and open office environment. I don't listen loud but at least on the plane nothing could be heard if I closed the pads with my hands. In the office it was also very little that desks close to mine wouldn't be able to hear. It is not like TH900 or HD820. Isolation is pretty good. That is why I bought it: Ultimate isolating musical tickling device that no one notices. :)
    Ciggavelli, xxx1313 and noplsestar like this.
  10. noplsestar
    Yeah, but let us not forget that shows are quite loud. What about sitting in a room with someone (wife, kids) when they are reading a book?

    @ubs28 wrote in the utopia thread:
    „After doing some tests, people could hear what I was listening to (the point of a closed headphone is that other people don’t hear what you are listening to)“

    I guess it all depends on the listening volume (I am listening for shorter periods but rather loud, that’s why I wanted to know how much they leak)
    Ciggavelli likes this.
  11. Tsukuyomi
    you make a good point, however we were in a private booth to demo roughly 8 headphones and 2 daps and 1 desktop amp/dac solution. it was no louder than visiting a local starbucks.
    I will say this from my experience while wearing them, i couldn't hear much of the outside when music was playing. which leads me to believe the sound leakage may be minimal.
    as people have mention on the stellia (and elegia) the vent is the flame logo. its quite small, the size of a grape. you would have to be listening at significantly loud levels to actively bother a wife and child with music from your headphones. and at that volume i wouldn't suggest it because you may even encounter hearing damage from prolonged listening periods. :frowning2: think of your ears man!! lol.
    noplsestar likes this.
  12. emrelights1973
    I am using them with two young kids running around, it is as good as it can. I don't hear them they don't hear me.... and I listen in loud volumes, even classics are OK
    noplsestar likes this.
  13. bidn
    Hi noplsestar,

    a few days ago I let a colleague try out some of my headphones in my study, which is dead quiet ( acoustic fabric, etc.) when the NAS are turned off and the window closed (which was the case). He was testing with some tracks of Beethoven's string quartets he knows by heart (he has been playing cello as a hobby since being a teenager and often attends concerts) and he was pushing my RME ADI-2 Pro to the maximum loudness (way too loud for me when I have the headphones on my head) to the point of it often clipping (this wouldn't have happened if we had used an an external amp such as my ifi iCAN Pro, I avoided this because it degrades the SQ),
    I was about a meter away (reading stuff like Head-Fi :) on my smartphone) and the DAC-amp was set so loud that I think that I could hear everything from these string quartets when he was testing my Utopia, HD 800 and Arya.
    Then he tested my Stellia in this dead silent environment: I could hear ... absolutely nothing at all!

    BTW he found the Utopia definitely much superior to the other headphones he tested (he ranked the three remaining in close contest like this: Stellia >= Arya >= HD 800), he cared only about the highest fidelity, realism re. these classical tracks he used for testing..

    All the best,
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2019
    up late likes this.
  14. noplsestar
    Hi bidn,
    thanks for your insight and that's great to hear! :)
  15. teknorob23
    Im constantly being amazed by how much more performance the stellia have up their sleeve. I’ve recently swapped out my auralic Aries, as my favoured Roon endpoint replacing it with a Bryston bdp1. The extra weight and dynamism in the presentation was instantly audible via the stellia. I’ve also changed the tubes in my euforia to el38 powers & el11 drivers and wow the extra width and depth is incredible compared to the stock valves, all of which the stellia just take in their stride. I thought the stage was wide before but it’s wider still and now has much more holographic depth that i hadn’t heard before. Consequently separation and layering has also improved. Finally I’ve been experimenting with various power cables hoping to improve on the already very quiet euforia amp. With other headphones has been a far more hit and miss affair, but with the stellia I’m finding it very easy to pick extra darkness in soundfloor or added/ subtracted dynamism within just a couple of tracks. If anyone is interested in my cable findings the MCRU no.75 has really impressed and is incredible value for money at £100, easily out performs Isotek cable at double the price.

    The scary thing for my pocket or should
    I say credit card is how addictive the stellia makes trying different gear because they really are one of the best windows on a source that I’ve heard either in headphones or speaker form.
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