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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. jlbrach
    I couldnt resist, i got a great del on a stellia and decided to pull the trigger....wanted something very efficient to take with me when i travel....so far i am super impressed with the sound of these HF's and yes the stock cable is stiff and microphonic so i decided to buy a moon audio black dragon to replace it....to my chagrin and surprise the moon cable is at least as noisy as the stock perhaps even more so....is this due to the closed back design amplifying any cable noise because when i used moon cables with my open back HP's i never found them to be particularly microphonic....is there a different alternative cable that will eliminate the microsonics?....i never experienced anythingl ike this when i had the utopia with the moon cable or as i mentioned any other open back HP.....any help or advice would be appreciated...if there is no good answer i will just stick with the stock cable
    bidn and Misson07 like this.
  2. BiggieBig
    Have you considered making your own
    It’s not very difficult and can save you packet. Just need some practice with a soldering iron.

    You can make a cable that can out perform some top end cable manufacturers for a fraction of the price.

    My hold made cable has 0 microphonics
  3. jooonnn
    Anyone paired their stellia with a iFi micro idsd black label?
    adcustom likes this.
  4. doboo57
    It's not a bad pairing to my ears, sounds quite musical and dynamic. But it doesn't sound as transparent and good as with his big brother (Pro iDSD).
    jooonnn likes this.
  5. mixman
    How does your Eikon compare to your Stellia?
  6. doboo57
    Two different beasts there... The Eikon is warmer and more life-like in the mids (different driver and woodcup resonance effect), especially for male vocals. The Stellia is more resolving, thighter, have way more speed and is easier to drive (and less source-picky).

    If the Stellia could have the natural touch of the Eikon's mids, it could be the perfect closed-back headphone to my ears... Otherwise, the Stellia is superior in any aspect (including the selling price...).
    Misson07 and jooonnn like this.
  7. adcustom
    Yes, it's a very very good combo. I personally think the micro BL is the best price/performance DAC/amp in iFi's lineup. Significantly better than the xDSD and like 95% of the sound/performance of the much higher end Pro iDSD.
    jooonnn likes this.
  8. jlbrach
    i tend to agree, the Ifi isnt quite as good sounding as say a Hugo 2 but it is a fraction of the price...that said its power output is fantastic for a portable source...pretty much can drive absolutely anything one might take out portably
    adcustom likes this.
  9. eycheng
    Stellia owner here. My equipment chain is MacBook Pro -> Chord Dave -> LTA mz2 -> Focal Stellia. Cables and USB recovery, etc. are all chosen to optimize for neutral tonality.

    I'm using a pair of Headphone Lounge Ted Allen OCC silver HP cable. It's an improvement over the stock ones but to my ears they not an across the board improvements. I've lost my mind and order 3 pairs of high-end cables from Plussound, Double Helix, and Danacable. Anyone want to guess which will end up being the winner? :wink:
    Misson07 likes this.
  10. teknorob23
    As @BiggieBig says it’s fairly easy to make a cable which won’t suffer from microphonics and sound a lot.better. if you can’t be bothered I’ve made quite a few cables now for fellow stellia owners. For £60 i can make 2 metre 4 core from upocc neotech copper. DM if you’re interested :)
  11. Admiral Kolchak
    Hi all, received my Stellia a few days ago and have managed to listen to them 5-7 hours so far. I bought them blind - living in Brazil I can only try out equipment a couple times a year when I travel north.

    I love the build quality of the Stellia - the box in particular looks made by Louis Vuitton - absurdly luxurious (in a good way). Comfort is very good, although I'd prefer the grip to be a tiny bit tighter - when I tilt my head forward the HP slips forward a bit.

    WRT sound, I am still getting used to the signature. I'm impressed with the bass, which I thought would be less of, and of course the resolution. My other really good HP is an XC. Although I also struggle somewhat with the fit (need to swap the headband for the carbon), the XC has a warmer sound, which I absolutely love. In comparison the Stellia sounds a bit less natural and shallow. This is probably a matter of getting used to the signature, but other than that should I expect it to change as it burns in? I'm using a Hugo2 to drive them.

    Misson07 likes this.
  12. Misson07
    I found the sound of Stellia to be very fit dependent. Try fiddle with the headband and see if you can make it tighter on your head. With tight fit the sound is rather dark and full to me, though it won't be as rich sounding as the XC due to it generally more neutral (if warm tint) response.

    I'm not sure about burn-in but someone in this thread mentioned the sound became more mellow/softer after sometime of use.
    Admiral Kolchak likes this.
  13. Admiral Kolchak
    Got it, thanks. :ok_hand: I'll give it a try.

    Pity that the Focal headbands have this closed mechanism. I just replaced the original steel headband for the carbon and the fit is much tighter (I had noticed this when auditioning the 4z in Zurich last month). Less fancy than the Focal but easy to tinker with.
  14. Admiral Kolchak
    Misson07 likes this.
  15. Admiral Kolchak
    noplsestar and Misson07 like this.
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