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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. doboo57
    Anyone tried the Cayin N6ii or the Hiby R6/R6 pro with the Stellia?
    I'm wondering how warmer DAPs sound with the Stellia... I'm looking for a natural timbre, but not overly warm...
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2019
  2. emptymt
    Just my opinion.

    Focal Stellia VS Focal Utopia impressions:

    Listening condition: About 5-8 people in the shop, the shop is fairly quiet.
    Listening duration: about 1 hour and 45 minutes
    Main genre tested: Metal, Rock, EDM
    Gears Used: Hiby R6(standard), 2.5mm balanced out.

    I have owned The Utopia for more than a year now, but, I can’t use it at work, so a closed-back is needed, hence why I tried the Stellia.
    This is not a full-blown review, and is just my opinion after listening to it for a short period of time.

    Impression / Comparison:

    Sound Signature

    Stellia is U shaped, Utopia is Neutral-bright

    Technical capability
    1. Detail is less than Utopia, but I think the differences are not big. Due to open back design, The details that came out of the Utopia feels more effortless, especially in micro details.

    2. Dynamic is still strong, same as Utopia.

    1. Bass more forward and has more body on Stellia.

    2. Stellia’s Bass Speed is similar but more bodied on each kick drum, so the individual hits are not as distinguishable compared to Utopia.

    3. Stellia’s bass extension is strong, but is more mid-bass focused. It is still really enjoyable for EDM.

    1. Electric Guitars still have the bites of Utopia but not as distinct/vivid.

    2. Electric Guitars are not as forward sounding as Utopia.

    3. Bass guitar can sound more textured than Utopia, also has more body and warmer tuning. But it actually expose less micro details.

    4. Some Electric guitar tuning that is on the higher pitch can be fatiguing, for example Cynic. This is similar to Utopia.

    5. For atmospheric stuff, the Stellia can sound more atmospheric due to the thicker Signature. It has this enveloping feel to it.

    1. Vocal can be slightly behind other frequencies, especially male vocals not so much for female.

    2. Stellia’s vocal can be perceived as slightly sweeter sounding imo.

    3. Sibilant tracks is less sibilant sounding than Utopia.

    4. Harsh vocals in metal music sounds more throaty than the Utopia, where it sounds more natural. These makes this type of vocal sound different for both headphone.

    1. Simmer from cymbals and hi hats are less than Utopia.

    2. Extensions is excellent, but not as natural sounding as the Utopia.

    3. Definitely less strident for most tracks.

    1. Soundstage is actually almost the same size.

    2. Stellia is not as airy sounding.

    3. Separation is comparable, but If the music is really dense, on most occasions, Utopia is better.

    4. The Utopia is still more open sounding, for obvious reasons.

    Other observations
    1. It is more forgiving than Utopia for poor recordings, but don’t get your hopes up, this is still a Focal.

    2. Comfort is a little bit better than Utopia, not sure why. I think the pads is more comfy.

    3. When music is not playing, sound blockage is not very good. When music is playing, I couldn't hear people talking in the room. I listen at mid to high volume.

    4. Sound isolation is not that great but not too bad, it's on the same level as Z1R. Don’t go crazy with your volume when using this at work.

    5. For maximum vividness, Utopia is still better.

    When to get Stellia instead of Utopia
    1. Get Stellia if some noise isolation matters a lot for you.

    2. Get Stellia if you want more elevated bass.

    3. Get Stellia if you want a bit more body in your sound.

    4. Get Stellia if you like the vocal effects on it.

    5. Get Stellia if you listen to EDM.

    6. Get Stellia if you like it’s sound coloration.

    7. Get Stellia if you think that you are brave enough to wear these headphones outside.

    The Utopia is still the best sounding headphone Focal made.

    However, The Stellia have a different flavor to it that could appeal to you.

    It is a great closed back headphone for sure.
    thread, thecrow, TooFrank and 10 others like this.
  3. GreenBow
    @emptymt Thank you for your detailed and full effort impressions.

    One aspect that I pick up from reviewers, e.g. Jude, is that they prefer the Stellia overall because of balance. Am not being critical in any way of your excellent post. Am just saying, because I have read more than Jude say that.

    I have been giving some time recently to thinking about Focals, and can audition the Utopia and Clear. The Stellia is very much in the mix too. However I can't help thinking I will end up with the Clear though.
  4. emrelights1973
    Anyone heard the new focal amp/dac with Stellia? There is nothing on the forum about this amp, usually is 300 pages before nobody listen the product...
  5. xxx1313
    Focal Arche? I heard it only at the High End trade fair in Munich for 20 minutes or so, so take my impressions with a grain of salt. In case you have only or mostly Focal headphones, it is a great headphone amp for sure, because of its presets for Focal headphones. Utopia profits most from the presets imo (more of that great bass), followed by the Stellia. It is a solid DAC/headamp, but in case you do not need/use the presets, there are cheaper options with similar overall sound quality.

    Btw, I only tried the unbalanced output, as far as I remember.
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2019
    bidn likes this.
  6. emrelights1973
    It is very low profile here, I guess nobody like it that much....
  7. arielext
    It's weird but I am curious,
    Before i heard the stellia I thought 3k was insane and just placebo for a pair of headphones.
    Right now i am interested in how focal tuned their arche to suit all their headphones, is it only eq or also hrtf?
  8. emptymt
    Haha, he likes warmer signatures dude. Which is the main differences between Stellia and Utopia.

    I didn't spend much time with the clears, when it came out, i've already owned The Utopia. Another open back Focal will be pointless, but i tried it a couple times.

    The clear also his different flavor to The Utopia, if you like it, go for it man.
  9. adcustom
    I'm getting my demo unit and first shipment of the Arche this week. Will report back with my findings!

    I'm fairly certain that the different Focal headphone presets just match impedance. Don't think it EQs anything.
  10. arielext
    The more reason i want know what it does.
  11. noplsestar
    3k still is insane!!
  12. mamsterla
    I just joined the Stellia club. I got a used pair and am getting used to them. Trying them on my Mac Book streaming CD Ripped FLACs through a Chord Mojo. So far so good. I will try them out on a THX AA 789 and SMSL VMV D1 soon.
  13. AppleheadMay
    How much do these go used?
  14. mamsterla
  15. AppleheadMay
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