Focal Utopia General Discussion
Jun 1, 2020 at 2:53 AM Post #11,881 of 16,559

up late

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Feb 19, 2013
Posts
6,426
Likes
2,210
I feel the same way, mostly. I'm still keeping my HD800 for the time being, mainly because I've grown attached to it, but also because I like it's soundstage and confort. Despite all of this, the french has been getting all my attention as of lately. As you've said, the way they sound so real, and for me, I'd add the word "effortless". It really can render sound out of nowhere with great speed and definition, something I'm yet to feel in another pair. Since we're still amidst a crazy pandemic time, I'll wait for things to settle down and get a better cable for it, just so I can use it more freely. Aside from that, well, I'm amazed by it.

i was listening to the utopia last night. i have a few top tier headphones on rotation and enjoy them all for their unique characteristics. truth be told, i think that i could part with them and be content with having the utopia as my sole headphone.
 
Jun 1, 2020 at 4:47 AM Post #11,882 of 16,559

Frozen Rat

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Oct 27, 2016
Posts
119
Likes
82
i was listening to the utopia last night. i have a few top tier headphones on rotation and enjoy them all for their unique characteristics. truth be told, i think that i could part with them and be content with having the utopia as my sole headphone.

I could almost do that, but not ideally. I also need(ed) a pair for when I'm out and about, whenever I'll be able to do that again; places are opening up slowly here in California, but I'm probably not going to go breathing other people's air again until there's a vaccine. However, I also like having something with isolation when California warms up (I live on the coast, and for those of you who aren't familiar, California isn't all that warm on the coast thanks to the arctic ocean current). But it does eventually get warmer and when I have to run my overhead fan the noise kills a lot of the advantage of the Utopia.

In those cases, the Stellia sound better. In a quiet environment the Utopia are best, but when it gets noisy, the Stellia take the lead.
 
Jun 1, 2020 at 5:24 AM Post #11,883 of 16,559

GreenBow

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Feb 6, 2015
Posts
4,129
Likes
1,537
After reading this review and a short discussion with Amirm (from ASR) , ordered the Matric Sabre X Pro for the second workstation/office at home.

AK SP2000 > Matrix SABRE X Pro > McIntosh MHA100 > Focal Utopia/FiR M5

Just arrived last week and the second workstation setup is complete.

I have foam blocks under my speakers which are mounted on a desk. Then on top of the foam blocks are softer foam sheets.

It isolates the cabinets from the desk which is like putting speakers on high grade speaker stands. It also stops the desk becoming a resonance chamber for the music, which would boom and only muddy sound.
 
Last edited:
Jun 1, 2020 at 8:18 AM Post #11,884 of 16,559

TheMiddleSky

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Mar 24, 2010
Posts
2,607
Likes
2,786
Location
Indonesia - Singapore
truth be told, i think that i could part with them and be content with having the utopia as my sole headphone.

Have to agree with this, and in my book this particular reason make Utopia the best dynamic driver headphones out there. Can do so many things in right way (in term of sound), comfort to use, elegant looks, not hard to drive, and definitely scale up really well with high end set up.

Not so forgiving when listen random songs at youtube or spotify, but of course that my fault, not the headphone.
 
Jun 1, 2020 at 9:17 AM Post #11,885 of 16,559

dontfeedphils

1000+ Head-Fier
Joined
Apr 6, 2017
Posts
1,392
Likes
1,613
Location
W MI
i was listening to the utopia last night. i have a few top tier headphones on rotation and enjoy them all for their unique characteristics. truth be told, i think that i could part with them and be content with having the utopia as my sole headphone.

Utopia have actually been my only pair for going on 3 years now. I had a number of mid-fi cans when I upgraded and it became apparent very quickly that I wouldn't be spending enough time with any of the others to justify them sitting around the house.

Even after extensive auditioning of almost all the other ToTL offerings I still haven't felt compelled to add anything else to my collection.
 
Jun 1, 2020 at 9:55 AM Post #11,886 of 16,559

Roasty

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Mar 13, 2005
Posts
2,488
Likes
3,747
Location
Singapore
Jun 1, 2020 at 10:32 AM Post #11,887 of 16,559

pataburd

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Jul 1, 2003
Posts
6,409
Likes
959
Location
Rural New York State
The Utopia definitely retain their [at-or-very near-]top-of-the-list status for me.

Have been hosting the HE1000se, ADX5000, Empyrean and HEDDphone, but upon my return to the Utopia I am always freshly re-smitten by their musical repleteness and technical competency. I am definitely biased toward dynamic drivers, and the Utopia remain at the top of their class.

Gorgeous to behold, too, which doesn't hurt!

Wanted to ask what the synergy is like between the HeadAmp GS-X Mk.II and the Utopia?

: )
 
Last edited:
Jun 2, 2020 at 9:37 PM Post #11,889 of 16,559

LCMusicLover

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Jan 25, 2012
Posts
2,822
Likes
2,213
Location
Oregon Coast
Hi guys, any recommendations for someone professionally offering services to change cable plugs (besides Moon Audio)? Thanks
Ted at headphonelounge.com has done good work for me.
 
Jun 5, 2020 at 12:31 AM Post #11,890 of 16,559

Satcher

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Oct 6, 2017
Posts
168
Likes
63
Location
Plano, TX
I received a secondhand pair of the Utopia from Upscale Audio's online store and I've been wary about over driving them. I'm listening to them via the RME ADI-2 DAC's 1/4" headphone output in hi-power mode at -30.0dB (which is approximately 85 dB, I believe? Someone correct me if I'm wrong as I understand the hi-power mode gives an extra 15 dB); is this the threshold where the drivers can fail? Let me know if this has already been talked about to death in this thread and I'll attempt to locate the specific page. Thanks.
 
Jun 5, 2020 at 10:46 AM Post #11,891 of 16,559

Mh996

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Nov 29, 2018
Posts
106
Likes
114
Location
Atlanta
I received a secondhand pair of the Utopia from Upscale Audio's online store and I've been wary about over driving them. I'm listening to them via the RME ADI-2 DAC's 1/4" headphone output in hi-power mode at -30.0dB (which is approximately 85 dB, I believe? Someone correct me if I'm wrong as I understand the hi-power mode gives an extra 15 dB); is this the threshold where the drivers can fail? Let me know if this has already been talked about to death in this thread and I'll attempt to locate the specific page. Thanks.
I also bought mine used from Upscale’s site. Since they’re an authorized dealer there is a 5-year warranty covering your Utopia, retroactive to when the original purchaser bought them.They confirmed this to me over the phone and in writing. I doubt Upscale resold you one more than a couple months old. So in the event of a driver failure you’re covered. Which is really unlikely to happen at 85dB, by the way. While there are a few reports of driver failures in recent production models, like yours, most of these failures were from old models or clear cases of overdriving. I say worry about hearing loss more than being out your $2,000 investment
 
Jun 5, 2020 at 10:58 AM Post #11,892 of 16,559

Satcher

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Oct 6, 2017
Posts
168
Likes
63
Location
Plano, TX
I also bought mine used from Upscale’s site. Since they’re an authorized dealer there is a 5-year warranty covering your Utopia, retroactive to when the original purchaser bought them.They confirmed this to me over the phone and in writing. I doubt Upscale resold you one more than a couple months old. So in the event of a driver failure you’re covered. Which is really unlikely to happen at 85dB, by the way. While there are a few reports of driver failures in recent production models, like yours, most of these failures were from old models or clear cases of overdriving. I say worry about hearing loss more than being out your $2,000 investment
Absolutely, I'll nudge it down. My large collection of classical music mixed with pop makes this a minefield for my eardrums. Thanks a lot for that information about Upscale Audio.
 
Jun 5, 2020 at 1:40 PM Post #11,893 of 16,559

Hoegaardener70

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Apr 1, 2018
Posts
1,573
Likes
1,500
Location
NYC
I also bought mine used from Upscale’s site. Since they’re an authorized dealer there is a 5-year warranty covering your Utopia, retroactive to when the original purchaser bought them.They confirmed this to me over the phone and in writing. I doubt Upscale resold you one more than a couple months old. So in the event of a driver failure you’re covered. Which is really unlikely to happen at 85dB, by the way. While there are a few reports of driver failures in recent production models, like yours, most of these failures were from old models or clear cases of overdriving. I say worry about hearing loss more than being out your $2,000 investment

So from your feedback, I assume you recommend Upscale. Are their descriptions accurate? Thanks
 
Jun 5, 2020 at 2:44 PM Post #11,894 of 16,559

koven

15 Hz + 150 dB = poopy pants
Joined
Mar 4, 2009
Posts
5,432
Likes
3,375
Location
Silicon Valley
Absolutely, I'll nudge it down. My large collection of classical music mixed with pop makes this a minefield for my eardrums. Thanks a lot for that information about Upscale Audio.

Most software e.g. Roon, Audirvana has some auto volume leveling feature which helps equalize gain/loudness variance in tracks. May be helpful to try.
 
Jun 5, 2020 at 3:19 PM Post #11,895 of 16,559

Recursion

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Apr 19, 2016
Posts
121
Likes
63
Most software e.g. Roon, Audirvana has some auto volume leveling feature which helps equalize gain/loudness variance in tracks. May be helpful to try.

That however shouldn't be used in any case, as it ruins the dynamic range of the audio, also as with any software processing, the output is no longer bitperfect.

The proper solution is simply not listening at insanely loud volume levels. For both your own sake and that of the headphones.
 
Last edited:

Users who are viewing this thread

Top