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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. GreenBow

    Hi, I found the review of the beryllium headphones that I thought wasn't so good. However it turns out they are OK headphones and get an Outstanding Product label with HiFi News.

    Its not the ZMF that you are talking about. They are called KLH Ultimate One, £300.
  2. GreenBow
    You can't go wrong with the TT2, for driving speakers and headphones.

    Oddly I have seen the odd case where people have bought and sold their TT2 straight away. I wonder if they did not give it chance to get used to it. It's a lot more detailed than the Hugo 2. The power supply is better so it sounds more dynamic too. It can be a faceful when you start with it. (Some finding it dark and bright at the same time.) However over time as you start to hear the sounds as one, the inflections of extra detail join the instruments.

    I found the Hugo 2 did that, when coming from the Mojo. Like shards of detail all over the soundstage. Soon enough they became whole sounds with lots more detail, compared to the Mojo.

    The TT2 is in no way out of line with Chord DACs. It totally one of the family. Have no worries about buying one, if you go that way. Just be ready to give it a few days for you well known music to sound right. It's possibly it might sound right to you straight away with your music. It also tended to sound right straight away with new music that I did not own before buying TT2.
  3. teknorob23
    Sadly it’s a little out of price range at the moment, but one day! My local shop were kind/ cruel enough to let me borrow one and the mscaler for a weekend. You’re right even coming from the hugo it’s intially quite shocking to here so much detail, but like the h2 it manages to still sound incredibly focused and controlled. The mscaler was very impressive too, but for me the tt2 was a bigger leap and the mscaler just takes up another 10%. It also powered my pmc twenty5.21 fronts without any difficulty and sounded superb. Sad thing is, well for my 2 channel listening at least is that I have 3 and 4 year old boys, which means nothing precious can exist below about 5 feet, hence my recent conversion to headfi. Fingers crossed I should be able to have proper size speakers again, positioned where I want them by about 2030!!
  4. GreenBow
    To be honest I felt with the Hugo 2 that I had enough sound quality forever. Me buying the TT2 was for many other reasons; one reason being the Hugo 2 volumes are constant over headphone ports and RCA. I got annoyed with blowing my ears out when attaching my IEMs and forgetting to reduce volume. I mostly used the Hugo 2 in desktop mode for driving an amp and speakers. Plugging my IEMs in at that volume was point blank dangerous. (I really think any future version for the Hugo should have separate RCA/headphone volume settings.) The TT2 had a separate volume setting for headphones which it remembers, and I needed that. However for me the sound quality of the Hugo 2 was better than anything I ever owned in audio equipment. By a long way too. I had only ever owned a £300 CD player before. Then I got Mojo and that was way better. Hence I moved to Hugo 2.

    Going back on topic, the Hugo 2 and Stellia must be astonishing together. I am sure I would be content at that. I even have a Qutest as well which use for most audio work other than maybe critical music listening. I like the Hugo 2/Qutest signal that much. Hugo 2 is resigned to headphones only now, when I am away from TT2.

    With Headphones being more direct with the drivers being next to our ears, Stellia/Hugo 2 must be incredible. Although I think I may have made my decision, buying Focal headphones is not that easy either. The stores I use don't stock anything over the Clear.
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2019
  5. jmills8
    Bet you use yarn.
    GreenBow and jmpsmash like this.
  6. noplsestar
    Has anyone tested some Dekoni pads on the Stellia (maybe the „fenestrated sheepskin“ pad)?
  7. 441879
    I tried the Dekoni Fenestrated Sheepskin pads on a loaner Stellia I had for a week. It didn’t improve the sound. Mostly it made the prominent mids more prominent.
    noplsestar likes this.
  8. noplsestar
    thanks, that’s what I thought. Maybe the sheepskin only pads are worth a try. On the other hand: I don’t believe that the stock pads can really be improved upon.
  9. 441879
    I definitely thought they improved the sound on my Elex so I think they’re worth it for the Elear / Elex. Some of the other Dekoni pads which are similar to the OEM pads would probably work well for aftermarket replacements on the Clear / Utopia and possibly the Stellia.
    noplsestar likes this.
  10. GreenBow
    I read in one of the main review of the Stellia that it doesn't make ears hot. That would be a normal trait of closed back headphones.

    Please before I go ahead and push myself one step closer to buying, can I ask one more thing? Is there a slight sense of air pressure like you get with closed backs, with the Stellia?

    I am really on the brink of buying. Might even make inquiries before I get a reply. I just keep tussling with the fact that it's impossible to get a demo. It's hard to get a demo of any of the headphones I am interested in though. Since I have Chord DACs though, I know I can rely on neutrality from source, and no colouring the headphones. Meaning I can buy with the knowledge from reviews of the Stellia's signature.
  11. teknorob23
    I initially noticed my ears getting warm with Stellia, but then forgot all about it, so i either got used to it or its just not been an on-going issue. As for air-pressure, this hasnt been an issue at all and they feel no different on that front to any of the open backs i've tried or owned. As for the signature its definitely a tiny bit wamer than neutral, with maybe slightly forward mids, otherwise the presentation is consistent and coherent across the range. The big caveat to this is, as i'm sure you're aware, you're never going to get a definitive answers on their suitability for you wthout trying them, because at this price one expects so much and its impossible to say whether they'll completely match your expectations and preferences based on other educated but nonetheless subjective opnions. If you are buying online do you not get mandatory 14 or more days to return them?
    GreenBow likes this.
  12. LegionWolf
    Mine showing up today--- so excited to heard the difference
  13. GreenBow
    Yeh I don't think I would feel fair returning closed back headphones for being warm though. I am going to have to get this right. However I for sure read it in one review that the reviewer said they didn't have that caveat of closed backs. Looking for the review, but can't find it now. I thought it was HiFi Choice but it's not.

    As long as they don't get hot like closed backs do, I am all good! ......… Like … :beyersmile:.

    You're not the only person to say they don't get hot though.
  14. BiggieBig
    If it helps at all ....

    I would say i'm pretty sensitive to my ears getting hot and I don't feel my ears getting warm when using the stellia for at least 2 hours
    GreenBow likes this.
  15. GreenBow
    Ah - found it. It was HiFI choice. They say,

    "... and there's no 'hot ear' feeling that some closed-back designs have a tendency to cause."

    They didn't touch on the subject of an 'air-pressure sensation'. Or that sort of closed in feeling. That's why I was asking. However the Stellia are not totally sealed, so I am hedging all my bets on that.
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