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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. up late
    oh i think that you are. :wink: fwiw, the stellia sounded like a closed-back version of the utopia to me in that it was warmer with a touch more bass presence. the treble was shelved-down relative to the utopia. the utopia had noticeably more treble energy and seemed more incisive, whereas the stellia had a more relaxed presentation. while the stellia's bass seemed to be more elevated than the utopia's, it was also somewhat amorphous in comparison. if you are expecting the stellia to rival the utopia for clarity, then you should probably lower your expectations as it is a closed-back headphone after all. that said, the stellia reminded me of the utopia just as the hd820 reminded me of the hd800s. they don't sound the same (how could they? we're comparing open-back and closed-back models here) but they do bear more than a passing resemblance to my ears, and i suspect that they're supposed to, but you'd have to ask the headphone designers at focal and sennheiser about that.
    John2e, teknorob23 and xxx1313 like this.
  2. Caruryn
    Heyy,i know.I bought one to keep you guys company and spread the word outside.
    Misson07, teknorob23 and Topbanana like this.
  3. Caruryn
    Listening to them for the first 15 min they sound very neutral and coherent out of the SP1000M balanced but a bit too smooth.Imaging is spot on and soundstage decently wide to have each instrument occupy its own space with no overlap but depth is very good.Vocals are a bit pushed back, bass has good texture but seems a bit slow.Hopefully there will be improvement with 100+ hours but in terms of signature you wouldn't think these are $3000 when first hearing them,nothing jumps out,i was expecting crazy detail from impressions on web but not yet hearing it.
  4. turbomustang84
    I had always thought that Headphones had to be hard to drive to sound great.

    I was amazed that a cheap cmoy would make the Stellia's sing. .

    For the music I listen to nothing compares to the Stellia's.

    Glad to have had them the day Tool released fear Inoculum

    I never took them outside because they were trusted to me on the loaner tour but if they were mine I would have taken them everywhere
    John2e and Misson07 like this.
  5. Admiral Kolchak
    Several Head-Fiers (including myself) have been through the same. Being relatively new to the hobby I did not have an opinion on burn-in, but after the Stellia I am a believer.
    The only thing I can say is, give it time my friend. You should be positively surprised after 100/150 hours. :):):)
    boxster233 and Caruryn like this.
  6. teknorob23
    i can only echo this and add that both these and the utopia benefit more from 150hrs or more burn in than any other headphone I’ve owned and the ak should have more than enough juice to make them sing :)
  7. Admiral Kolchak
    This may (MAY) have to do with the Beryllium drivers. ZMF pre-burns their Be drivers, which I understand they do not do for their non-Be drivers. Somebody with technical expertise may confirm this please?
    teknorob23 likes this.
  8. up late
    the right driver in my utopia failed after a year of use. both drivers were replaced and i was relieved to find that it didn't sound any different.
    bfreedma and turbomustang84 like this.
  9. atahanuz
    Is Stellia bassier/ warmer/ darker/ smoother than Elegia? Apparently this is the general consensus.
  10. teknorob23
    yes to more bass, no to darker, difference in warmth is marginal and yes probably smoother. Levels of detail, separation and dynamics are what really set them apart for me
    xxx1313 likes this.
  11. atahanuz
    As far as I read most people drive Stellia/ Elegia with home setups. Anyone here drives them with portable gears like Mojo, ifi xDsd or similar bluetooth amps, smartphones, digital audio players ?
  12. Topbanana
    I have the Ifi x-dsd and runs the Stellia no issues at all.
  13. atahanuz
    Cool! You connect the xdsd via cable or bluetooth? And how good is the sound quality of the pairing?
  14. Topbanana
    Both using a note 9 as the source. The USB quality is much better than the Bluetooth, but less convenient! I'll go back and try in now I have a balanced cable but it was only something I was playing with while waiting for the SP2K as a better driver. Obviously not as good as that but for £400 v £3400 I'd say it was punching above it's weight! Soundstage and bass are a little muted but turned the x-bass and 3D options on and I think it's good enough. Give me a week to get home and I'll go back and try it again and let you know more
  15. noplsestar
    I am using the Stellia with my Calyx M DAP and since the amp section isn’t the strongest, I feed the signal into the VorzAMP Duo II. Great sound on the go!
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