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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
    just my 2 penneth but having flown with both stellia's and elegia, the elegia are definitely better at keeping the outside, outside.
    Imusicman likes this.
  2. adcustom
    It’s impossible not to get “looks” when wearing the Stellia. As they say in France, IDGAF! Worth it for the sound. :wink:
  3. ubs28
    Is the Focal Stellia unusable with these types of weather conditions?

    I assume ears will be sweating with the leather pads?
  4. joesuburb
    I don't find the pads hot, although I did see another post where a guy had sweat leak into the head band and it discolored the brown leather. I've since used the same leather treatment I use for my car leather to clean and protect the brown headband.
  5. mamsterla
    So far in an office setting, I don't find my ears getting hot. I probably would not travel with these since I prefer the portability of good IEMs like the Noble Kaiser 10s. Both have great sound quality, but IEMs win for isolation and portability. The Stellias have more slam and detail retrieval on my initial impression.
  6. teknorob23
    For me yes, anything above 25 in the living room and hifi time :wink:
  7. gto88
    Can someone own both Stellia and Elegia share your thought about
    If it is worth it to get Stellia over Elegia, price is >3 times difference now.
  8. doboo57
    You can check my post (#761) on this thread regarding the sound difference of both.
    As for the important price gap, it's quite personal...
    adcustom likes this.
  9. gto88
    Read it, thanks, that is informative.
  10. joesuburb
    So I’m really not a headphone hobbyist, but I love music and high quality audio, but mostly been a loudspeaker guy.

    These Stellias got me listening to my home system again which includes B&W 805s and an Anthem receiver. It sounds swell. Really. But they don’t sound as good as my stellias.

    I’m afraid these 3,000 headphones are going to cost me $20,000 upgrading my home system. Lol!
  11. teknorob23
    Its hard to give you an answer based on sound per dollar value, or to give you simple answer yes its 3 times better. Diminishing returns are an inevitable part of the upgrade journey in all areas of hifi, but i have occasionally found devices where the returns out perform expectations. And there we have another variable, personal expectations, so this giving you the short answer you want, is not going well. The only evaluation i can really offer you is to set cost to one side and base it purely on comparative performance. Things now become easier, because i feel confident saying that in pretty much all areas of technical performance the Stellia are a considerable step forward from the elegia, more detail, better seperation, wider/deeper stage, more extension at both ends and just focused controlled delivery. On to more subjective aspects of the performance such as tone and timbre, well thats down to you and what you like. in this aspect they are more similar than different, but they are different with Elegia arguably edging the stellia on naturalness of tone, but everything else the stellia does is better i cant think of any incidences except for travel where i'd pick the elegia. And this is more down to practical than it is performance. They leak and block sound better and they dont cost as much to replace.

    I'm in total agreement with @joesuburb, before recently converting to headfi i've spent 25 years and a disproportionate part of my income building a home system, which even at around 15-20K is considered barely mid-fi, and sadly as much as i love it, it cant compete with my 7-9k headfi set up. Suddenly all of the uncontollables such as room shape are controlled and i have system with the Stellia, hugo2, SoTMA network player, euphoria tube amp at the core which blows my hifi system out of the water and i know i'd have to spend 25K+ and jeopardise my marriage to get my hifi to the same level.

    So yes i can confidently say the Stellia are worth every penny of the £2,379 they cost me based on what else ive heard i would still be happy if they'd cost at least £1000 more, but maybe we share 1 out 10 of the same preferences in which case all of this is useless :wink:
    Caruryn, adcustom and bidn like this.
  12. Imusicman
    I currently own both but will be letting one go soon as I don’t need two closed back headphones especially ones that are so similar. Would I say the Stellia is better sure I would but as this is not going to be my daily driver there’s a strong argument to keep the Elegia and sell the Stellia esp when factoring cost vs performance value.
  13. gto88
    Thanks all for sharing your thoughts, that help.
  14. teknorob23
    I agree with this too. The Stellia is not the best HP ive heard. I'm tied to closed backs for practical reason and also thanks to years of abuse and working in production my right lug has annoying sensitivity so i have to listen at low to moderate volumes and a CB is the only way i can get a full presentation all of the the time. I auditioned pretty much every CB on the market both at home and in-shop, nearly driving my long suffering local hifi shop keeper mad in the process. The Stellia is streets ahead of anything IMO. That said its not the best HP i've heard and while it competes with TOTL open backs, if i had a constantly quiet listening environment and or young ears again, i'd probably go for the Empyreans and if i could afford to i'd have kept my utopia's too. As it is for me the Stellias offer the best sound for my practical needs and listening needs and Ive yet to find their limits in terms of scalability. Most importantly, after 6 months i'm still looking forward everyday to the moment i know the kids are definitely asleep, when i get to listen to whatever new or old album i'm into at the moment :)
    Imusicman likes this.
  15. Satir
    Clear followed Utopia. More affordable closed to follow Stellia? Affordable Stellia driver, oui. Stellia tuning, oui. Capacious ear cups, oui. More useful cables, oui. Vuitton-like styling, non. Black/Silver fingerprint-resistant finish highly desirable in any headphone. The Focal ad of couple wearing clothes, woman's hair, all matched to Stellia headphone - right down to fellows scarf. The French take marketing to a higher level, and that must be figured into the Stellia's price.
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2019
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