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Massdrop x Focal Elex Review & Measurements

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by jude, Dec 15, 2017.
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  1. hifiman33
    Sorry but I can´t believe focal , this headphone has a faulty behavior . With same volume and songs with more sub bass I don´t have this problem but in others with the same volume and less sub bass I have it .

    I never heard it before that a " mechanical clipping " is done by purpose . Could be if the headphones make a silence when the problem appears but make a crinkly noise ? Really ? Come on I never saw this kind of technology in any headphone before
    Last edited: May 10, 2018
  2. Jearly410
    Focal is covering their tushie with their response. That said, their USA support is phenomenal and will get you taken care of. My first Elear had the same clipping issue at normal listening levels and it was replaced no problem.
  3. jsmiller58
    I absolutely agree! I still have to my extensive testing of all my cans, but I am pretty confident that these will be up,there with my favorite headphones.

    Thank you Focal (I am now a customer for life) and Massdrop (well, I already have a direct deposit with you :) )
  4. straleno
    So far, knock wood, I’m counting myself among those with no issues. I know everyone's different, but I can't imagine being able to tolerate the volume levels some of you seem to listen at! On the Hugo 2, I'm generally in the green to aqua range on the volume marble, and the sound is amazing, getting better every day. Whether that's the headphones burning in, or my brain, who knows, but my impression is that the bass has gotten deeper, and the very upper mids poke me a little less (not that it bothered me before). And they're the most comfortable full-size cans I've used--I listened for about four hours straight last night without any thought about how they felt.

    Comparisons are so hard to articulate, but here's a short-take vs. my beloved Campfire Lyra II IEM's:
    On the Campfires, snare drums go "thwock." On the Focals, they go "thwack."

    Do with that what you will. :k701smile:
    jsmiller58 likes this.
  5. Boerd
    After a few days of critical listening to some of my favorite recordings I made a very disappointing discovery - Elex suffers from really high distortion even at moderate levels.
    I am not even turning them loud, I have a fairly sensitive hearing. Around half way on volume of my iPhone the sound turns to distortion.
    On my Chord Mojo - on red color.
    The Senny HD 650 sound much much better headphones.
    Too bad the Audeze clamped so badly as they did sound the best ever. Sigh.
    I can't even sell them in good faith - these headphones sound borderline deffective. I have to return them.
    Last edited: May 10, 2018
  6. dontfeedphils
    There shouldn't be distortion at "low levels" (you''ll need to quantify this with a DB reading). Request a return.
  7. SamusAran
    Have you considered that they might be a defective pair? If they're as "craptacular" and "pure, utter crap" as you say, your experience might speak more to Focal's quality control as opposed to quality, generally. It's good that you're returning them if you're not happy, but an exchange may make you just as happy. Cheers!
  8. Boerd
    Well - I toned down my post. The likelihood is (as you said) they might just be defective. Working on the return.
  9. jsmiller58
    I hope you will be as lucky with your second pair as many of us are with our first pair. I am thoroughly enjoying mine!

    To any Focal representative on this thread... You have a burgeoning PR problem on your hands... Your brand - which represents quality, fidelity, and yes luxury - is at risk. Please ensure that future drops are of higher quality than this one apparently was. A Focal Elex pair is priced similarly to Elear. Your target customer probably wants, over time, to upgrade from Elear/Elex to Clear and/or Utopia. This level of noise around your brand, at least for me, calls that upgrade path into question. Even though I have no problems with my Elex, I worry upgrading would be like playing roulette and the next pair will be terrible. This is a problem for you Focal, not for me - I can always go to your competitor... Senn HD 800s, anyone??
  10. cute
    After this disappointment, no more Massdrop purchases for me! Poor quality from trying to make the quick buck?
  11. gardibolt
    Yeah, I just had a similar reaction to a new pair of Beyerdynamic T1 headphones; excessive bass, shrill treble, no midrange to speak of. These are terrible terrible headphones I declared. I was going to return them as defective.Then someone suggested I check the adapter. I undid it, cleaned it, put it back together and.....voilà! Working just fine. Huh.

    That said, I've been disappointed by virtually every Massdrop product I've ever received (other than the 6XX), so I didn't bite on the Elex (plus I already have a set of Elear that I love just fine). I think they cut too many corners in general to get the price down.
  12. jsmiller58
    I can certainly understand! I have said, meant, and lived up to the same promise after similar disappointment.

    Having said that this is not Massdrop. These are manufactured by Focal in Focal's factory in France. The quality issues are with Focal, and if consequences are to be borne it should be by the offending party... I for one am glad to have Massdrop as a resource, and so far - knock on wood - I have had no problems with any of my purchases from them; Elex, 7XX, E-mu Teak, th-x00, O2 amp, CTH, Universal Plus IEM, EDC3 IEM, Sony WH1000XM2 headphones... the list goes on and on. I think I have a direct deposit set up with them for my paycheck!

    If MD is not helping you make this right, then clearly they share Focal's blame, and possibly more so!!

    Just my 0.02...
    Last edited: May 10, 2018
  13. SamusAran
    Good luck!
  14. chuzzlewitt
    It's disappointing to hear about people's issues. Mainly because these are, for me, exceptional headphones. I've spent the last year looking for a worthy upgrade to my HD600 and these are definitely the headphone. I like them better than the Amiron Home, DT 1990, HE-400i, and the HD650, all which I owned for while looking to unseat the HD600 as my preferred sub $1k headphone. They suit my tastes perfectly. I've auditioned the Clears and those are better, but not 2x price better. I am super happy with the Elex and they deserve a lot more praise then the hardware related issues are giving them credit for.
    IkSak and jsmiller58 like this.
  15. IkSak
    This might be true and I do believe it judging by the FR curves. But the thing I believe is absolutely wrong is that you can't have so many issues with a 700 cans. Simply not acceptable.

    Furthermore, that puts away potential clients like me. I've been considering the Elex but to get them in my country (Colombia) I have to use my bank courier service, pay some import fees and an international shipping. Would you risk your money to knowing you can end up with a faulty unit, and you'll have to pay twice the shipping and once the import fees to get a replacement?
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