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On 10/04/2020 at 1:57 PM, Zodiac-12 said:

Even Focal Elegia bundle from $799 now $1399 . Look like headphone is going pandemic...ūü§Ē

I bought some of them, they are my first closed back headphones and I don't really like them, but it may be just because I don't know what a good headphone sounds like. My ancient HD580s may not have been super accurate but I found them very enjoyable to listen to, I regret throwing them out instead of replacing the drivers and soft parts.

 

The Focals must be very old stock as the Free Dragonfly Red offer ended a long long time ago.

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The Elegias need break-in. Dixit Focal the surrounds are ultra stiff (not the case on Clear and Elear) and the headphone need 100h for full potential . I broke mine in comparing with my Hd650 and He40

Okay thought I'd join the little Focal Headphones Club here after I couldn't resist A2A B Stock sale...    Intended for a portable headphone system for my truck I am now the very happy owner

I haven’t yet opened the Stellia. I’ll do that for work tomorrow where they will her head time. For now, the Focal Utopia.  

2 hours ago, Noobtastic said:

I bought some of them, they are my first closed back headphones and I don't really like them, but it may be just because I don't know what a good headphone sounds like. My ancient HD580s may not have been super accurate but I found them very enjoyable to listen to, I regret throwing them out instead of replacing the drivers and soft parts.

 

The Focals must be very old stock as the Free Dragonfly Red offer ended a long long time ago.

You're not liking the Focal house sound. Neither do I, don't worry. Sounds artificial.

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35 minutes ago, Bengineer said:

You're not liking the Focal house sound. Neither do I, don't worry. Sounds artificial.

To my very untrained ear they sound somewhat thin and at times quite harsh, some bass notes seem to be there but others seem to be somewhat subdued, they are a very odd sounding headphone.

I just assumed it was because they are more a studio type headphone as other reviews seemed to be very positive. My in ear B&W Bluetooth headphones more enjoyable to listen for extended periods, they lack detail compared to the Elegia but that's to be expected.
Oh, I almost forgot the braided cable, God it is horrible!

If I were to have my time again I probably try the Beyer DT 1770 Pro, the Massdrop Senns in the FS section are tempting.

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2 hours ago, Bengineer said:

It's not a lot, none of the Focals have a lot.

 

If you want that deep subbass, for that price, look at a Fostex TH6XX Ebony. Or a used CA Cascade (smaller cups though).

 

It's dynamic and somewhat nuetral. Can always EQ the bass up. Solid headphone for sure.

I've got the thx00 purple hearts and love the bass and sound signature. Was wanting a more portable pair of bassy headphones. I'Il check out the ca cascade.

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3 minutes ago, Bengineer said:

Cascade your main option there.

Do you know how much they were before the virus? I'm geussing at $1599 they have jumped up a bit since this all began. 

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20 hours ago, Satirical said:

I've been deliberating on the Clear Pros the last few days and the HD800s that go for $1500. Ended up just buying the Clear Pros just now. I've certainly done my part in stimulating the economy in the last few weeks with my purchases.

But the Clear Pros does it come with full accessories like standard Clear caused it's didn't show full pictures like standard Clearūü§ĒūüĎÄ

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27 minutes ago, Johnny Golden said:

Elex pads are supposed to be the same as the Clear pads but you just have to wait for Drop to sell them.

Yup exactly, I think that's probably the go. IF they ever decide to or able to sell them again that is... Looking at the reviews for them on Drop looks like a bit of dodgy business went down though...

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Utopia use a perforated leather pad. Leathers wear a lot better.

 

The suede pads are hard to wash properly. And the proper cleaners can do weird things too. Good luck!

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The extra pad is probably worth more than the cable. Depends on whether you are fuss, some sort of XLR cable can be have for about $100 AUD, but the pad is pretty expensive.

 

Also the black pro version looks a lot better (my opinion), the pad will probably be a bit more dirt resistance (or less noticeable) than the light colour standard version.

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5 minutes ago, anandpkumar said:

Thanks for the heads up. I did see the b-stock special at $499. I was also looking for something similar to the red. The red retails for around $275, so the combined price for a new Elegia+red at $750 seems to be very good value. Any thoughts on the sound signature of the Elegia's?

I don't know Elegia sound. 
 

I had dragonfly red. It was a mix bag. Good in a lot of ways. In some ways boring. I am not sure that I would get it again if I was looking for something.

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Elegia sounds like most Focals, if you've heard any other?

 

Similar to Clear, albeit closed and not quite that level. But close.

 

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3 hours ago, gwurb said:

I don't know Elegia sound. 
 

I had dragonfly red. It was a mix bag. Good in a lot of ways. In some ways boring. I am not sure that I would get it again if I was looking for something.

 

1 hour ago, Bengineer said:

Elegia sounds like most Focals, if you've heard any other?

 

Similar to Clear, albeit closed and not quite that level. But close.

 

Yes, Bengineer is correct by saying the Elegia sounds like the other models in the line-up. They have their 'house sound' and don't deviate too much. I would describe the Elegia as being mid-forward and leaning on the bright-side of the spectrum. Clarity, detail, and overall resolution is very good for the price, phenomenally good based on the current price.  They have decent levels of bass, neither bass-light or bass-heavy although I usually EQ a little more bass for my preferences.

Not sure why ATA are brutally slashing the Focal models' prices, I'm guessing that they ordered too much stock pre-virus crash and don't want to carry excess inventory? I would snatch up one of the $500 b-stock pairs, I paid way more for mine. Anyway, people often criticise the Focal headphones for being too bright and some say they are tonally off with "fake detail" in the treble etc. I'm not sure if this is true or not, but they sound good to me, although can be fatiguing sometimes. The best part of them in my opinion is the attack/dynamics/slam they provide. Only the Fostex TH series can match them for the 'fun' factor and dynamics IMO, maybe ZMFs also? 

Edited by Monkey4054
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13 minutes ago, Bengineer said:

The Focals are very clear and very dynamic. Punchy AF.

 

To me, they sound robotic.

 

ZMF are very different. More my style 

The Focal sound is certainly intense. They are not sit-back and chill out easy-listening headphones. They force-feed your eardrums every note and detail.... Different strokes for different folks I guess!

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1 hour ago, Monkey4054 said:

Some people who strongly prefer the 'planar sound' may disagree, but I think the Hifiman sounds boring in comparison, although they will be less fatiguing for the same reason.

I may need to listen to the Focals! If it's 'more of the same' then it may be really good or maybe too much :) The Hifiman HE400i are not perfect at all but at their price they do enough good things for satisfaction. There is enough clarity and speed. I find so many dynamic headphones to be dull. Not warm, more of an edge of the strings missing in instruments, etc.
 

Cheers! I'll have a listen to the Focals.

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15 minutes ago, gwurb said:

I may need to listen to the Focals! If it's 'more of the same' then it may be really good or maybe too much :) The Hifiman HE400i are not perfect at all but at their price they do enough good things for satisfaction. There is enough clarity and speed. I find so many dynamic headphones to be dull. Not warm, more of an edge of the strings missing in instruments, etc.
 

Cheers! I'll have a listen to the Focals.

ZMF aren't the boring old dynamics ;)

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21 minutes ago, gwurb said:

I may need to listen to the Focals! If it's 'more of the same' then it may be really good or maybe too much :) The Hifiman HE400i are not perfect at all but at their price they do enough good things for satisfaction. There is enough clarity and speed. I find so many dynamic headphones to be dull. Not warm, more of an edge of the strings missing in instruments, etc.
 

Cheers! I'll have a listen to the Focals.

Yes, definitely give them a demo! I'm gonna guess those dull dynamics were Sennheisers?

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1 hour ago, Monkey4054 said:

Yes, definitely give them a demo! I'm gonna guess those dull dynamics were Sennheisers?

Owned: Sennheiser, Sony, KEF, Phillips, V-Moda, Bose (QC)

Demoed others including AKG and AT.

 

I sold my previous ones and have 2 headphones but want to replace the KEFs with another closed back.

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3 hours ago, gwurb said:

I may need to listen to the Focals! If it's 'more of the same' then it may be really good or maybe too much :) The Hifiman HE400i are not perfect at all but at their price they do enough good things for satisfaction. There is enough clarity and speed. I find so many dynamic headphones to be dull. Not warm, more of an edge of the strings missing in instruments, etc.
 

Cheers! I'll have a listen to the Focals.

I found the Hifiman 400 (which I owned) to offer a fun, lively sound that I enjoyed. I have since purchased the Focal Elear and Focal Clear, both of which I felt offered definite steps forward (and expense). I do agree with @Monkey4054's comments - which would definitely help me if I was looking to buy.

 

I haven't heard the Elegia, but if the house sound is present as James and @Bengineer indicate, the current pricing offers real value!

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As for the comments on the elegias odd bass, it is due to a midbass recession followed by very good sub-bass extension, so songs with deep bass sounds right but those with a lot of midbass might sound thinner. Personally I find the rest of the fr almost faultless along with detail that actually competes with sub 1k open backs, sennheisers are too subdued up top for me. 
A simple 2 band eq fixes this issue for me, I don't mind it even withou eq though.

Edited by gary chen
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49 minutes ago, gary chen said:

As for the comments on the elegias odd bass, it is due to a midbass recession followed by very good sub-bass extension, so songs with deep bass sounds right but those with a lot of midbass might sound thinner. Personally I find the rest of the fr almost faultless along with detail that actually competes with sub 1k open backs, sennheisers are too subdued up top for me. 
A simple 2 band eq fixes this issue for me, I don't mind it even withou eq though.

What EQ changes did you make?

I find that I almost get too much bass for my liking, which is not what I expected. I haven't broken it down to sub-bass or mid-bass.

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Apparently the Stella and the Elegia use the same frame but with different drivers. I like the Stella a lot just never brought one, but I found Elegia very slow and muddy.

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The Elegias need break-in. Dixit Focal the surrounds are ultra stiff (not the case on Clear and Elear) and the headphone need 100h for full potential . I broke mine in comparing with my Hd650 and He400i every 10h of play. The initial sound is indeed lacklustre while I was expecting punch. It is also a bit harsh altogether and the sound is below the other two pairs. 

After 20-30h it is game over for Hifimans and the Senns and after 50h the Elegia becomes indeed stellar with great dynamics while being super balanced.

I have witnessed significant break-in influence in the past for loudspeakers but it is the first time it is so obvious in a headphone. Patience is required for new purchasers.

Edited by pretender
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14 hours ago, pretender said:

The Elegias need break-in. Dixit Focal the surrounds are ultra stiff (not the case on Clear and Elear) and the headphone need 100h for full potential . I broke mine in comparing with my Hd650 and He400i every 10h of play. The initial sound is indeed lacklustre while I was expecting punch. It is also a bit harsh altogether and the sound is below the other two pairs. 

After 20-30h it is game over for Hifimans and the Senns and after 50h the Elegia becomes indeed stellar with great dynamics while being super balanced.

I have witnessed significant break-in influence in the past for loudspeakers but it is the first time it is so obvious in a headphone. Patience is required for new purchasers.

Good to hear that the Elegias need significant break-in. I have a pair of Elegias on the way from A2A. What DAC/headphone amp are you using with the Elegias?

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2 hours ago, anandpkumar said:

Good to hear that the Elegias need significant break-in. I have a pair of Elegias on the way from A2A. What DAC/headphone amp are you using with the Elegias?

I am using an Iphone on the go, otherwise a Centrance Dacmini at the desk, it does make a difference but the sound is already dynamic and enjoyable with the Iphone. I also tested using a better dac (Project S2) feeding the Centrance headphone amp and there is no doubt that the Elegia reacts well to been fed better.

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Is it a 5-year warranty or 2? I thought I read somewhere that Focal extended their warranty to 5 years due to various defects that they couldn't account for from the initial shipments. I know the Utopia and Elears are definitely 5 years but I was wondering about the Clear and Clear Pros.

 

EDIT:

Did some more digging. It's 5 years across the line it seems.

 

"All headphones from the Elear, Clear, Eligia, Stellia and Utopia groups are 5 year warranty qualified."


"Focal has made it clear the warranty is a uniform 5 year warranty from the date of original purchase by the original purchaser regardless of what territory it was purchased as long as the reseller is an authorized reseller for Focal products. That said, the warranty is good only in the territory it was purchased from. So for example if you bought it in say China but you’re in Germany, it must be resolved by the Chinese reseller/distributor."

 

 

Officially: 

"The warranty is transferable if you have the invoice of the very first owner  These headphones are under warranty during 5 years from the very first buyer. The After-Sales Service is ensured by the local dealer or distributor in your country. If you buy your headphones in the US, it will be repaired by Focal Naim America Team. Our distributor network has been trained to change headphones drivers.
Kind regards
Marine, Community Manager Focal"

Edited by Satirical
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Do you have recommendations for a 2.5mm balanced cable for Elegia? As in I need to plug in 2.5mm plug in to an amp and have the audio go in to Elegia. I am looking for simple. Probably on the budget scale for now.

 

All of the focal headphones have 2.5mm mono inputs per ear?

 

Thanks.

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Hmm, already replied in other thread with this one:

https://mezeaudio.com/products/99-series-2-5-balanced-cable

 

Found an eBay seller who custom makes some but pretty pricey and he said he's temporarily not making any outside of US/Canada...but seems to load fine (probably gotta ask):

https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/OCC-Silver-Plated-Cable-Hifiman-2-x-2-5mm-HE-350-HE400i-HE560-HE1000-Nighthawk/173389707344

 

The cheaper options on Amazon have all dried up.

Edited by Satirical
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5 hours ago, Satirical said:

Hmm, already replied in other thread with this one:

https://mezeaudio.com/products/99-series-2-5-balanced-cable

^

They're dual 3.5mm mono jacks, not 2.5mm.  Just unplug them and have a look, 2.5mm is noticeably smaller.

These are on sale at the moment but a bit short:

https://mezeaudio.com/products/99-series-2-5-balanced-cable

Thanks. Good length for me. It looks like they are definitely on the cheap end based on my googling, ebay checks and Amazon searches. The US$35 delivery fee seems a tad high ;) Otherwise it's a DIY I guess. I'll have a look a bit more but these may be the best for now.

 

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I just received my Focals from the A2D B-stock sale. It looks absolutely new, came in a sealed box, with plastic around different parts etc. No sign of any prior use or opening.

 

For those wondering if B-stock is 'opened' items, it does not seem to be the case for mine. As Marc mentioned, seems to be a case of further discounting by 'tagging' as B-stock

 

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On 04/05/2020 at 9:02 PM, pretender said:

The Elegias need break-in. Dixit Focal the surrounds are ultra stiff (not the case on Clear and Elear) and the headphone need 100h for full potential . I broke mine in comparing with my Hd650 and He400i every 10h of play. The initial sound is indeed lacklustre while I was expecting punch. It is also a bit harsh altogether and the sound is below the other two pairs. 

After 20-30h it is game over for Hifimans and the Senns and after 50h the Elegia becomes indeed stellar with great dynamics while being super balanced.

I have witnessed significant break-in influence in the past for loudspeakers but it is the first time it is so obvious in a headphone. Patience is required for new purchasers.

You are absolutely right on the break in part. I've been running in my Elegias which I got a couple of days ago. At first listen they sounded flat and shrilly. About 30 hrs in, they have opened up quite a bit - there is more detail, more air, more bass and the treble is smoother than earlier. Will run them in for a few more days.

 

Did you find much change in sound after the 100hr mark?

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22 hours ago, anandpkumar said:

I just received my Focals from the A2D B-stock sale. It looks absolutely new, came in a sealed box, with plastic around different parts etc. No sign of any prior use or opening.

 

For those wondering if B-stock is 'opened' items, it does not seem to be the case for mine. As Marc mentioned, seems to be a case of further discounting by 'tagging' as B-stock

 

I picked up a 'Demo' unit Astell&Kern se100 (RRP $2.5k) for $1000. It was perfectly new, sealed like yours, and had a little 'Demo' sticker on the side.

 

So I did the same thing this time round with the Elegia, and bless their hearts it is a fantastic deal.

 

I am very much coming to appreciate A2A. They even went out of their way to get me some unavailable-in-australia Campfire Audio merch over summer, just because I asked them too. Super service!

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On 05/05/2020 at 9:06 PM, gwurb said:

Do you have recommendations for a 2.5mm balanced cable for Elegia? As in I need to plug in 2.5mm plug in to an amp and have the audio go in to Elegia. I am looking for simple. Probably on the budget scale for now.

 

All of the focal headphones have 2.5mm mono inputs per ear?

 

Thanks.

I've been looking for just this cable lately.

 

I would not go with the Mezze cable, like you said, $35 shipping USD seems crazy, and I seem to remember that Mezze has a tapering of the jack toward the end that isn't necessarily compatible with Focal. If U look, it sort of steps down at the end.

 

I have a single ended cable from skyaudio cables on eBay in England, cost about $100 AUD incl postage and I friggin love it, I can show you a photo later. He has changed his postage setting on eBay but would probably entertain an offer still. There's also the similar looking Mi cables or wtv on eBay.

 

Anything to avoid buying from AliExpress! God I had a tough time trying to get a cable from them when I bought my Elegias a while ago, even though on the face of it there are lots of options.

 

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On 06/05/2020 at 2:46 AM, gwurb said:

Thanks. Good length for me. It looks like they are definitely on the cheap end based on my googling, ebay checks and Amazon searches. The US$35 delivery fee seems a tad high ;) Otherwise it's a DIY I guess. I'll have a look a bit more but these may be the best for now.

 

I just saw that Hifiman has an eBay shop, with the new 3.5mm connectors on a spare cable he sells.

 

Is the tip of the Hifiman connectors the hot wire? Are they compatible?I know the Sony mdr-z1 flips the signal on each connector, so to avoid those cables.. pretty sure Hifiman is compatible tho.

 

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I was looking for 2.5mm TRRS (balanced) connection at the amp to Focals. The single ended cable that came with the headphones is working fine. I wanted to use the balanced out of the amp so a 2.5mm TRRS is needed.

 

I really don't see a lot of alternatives to the Meze cable.

Edited by gwurb
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Sky Audio Cable

On 08/05/2020 at 1:03 PM, gwurb said:

I was looking for 2.5mm TRRS (balanced) connection at the amp to Focals. The single ended cable that came with the headphones is working fine. I wanted to use the balanced out of the amp so a 2.5mm TRRS is needed.

 

I really don't see a lot of alternatives to the Meze cable.

 

Yeah, I'm looking for the same cable.

 

I meant to say, the latest round of Hifiman headphones are using dual 3.5mm connectors like Focal does, though stereo plugs not mono, at the headphone end.

 

https://www.fishpond.com.au/Electronics/NewFantasia-HiFi-Cable-with-25mm-Trrs-Balanced-Male-Compatible-with-Denon-AH-D600-AH-D7200-AH-D7100-Meze-99-Classics-Focal-Elear-Headphones-Compatible-Astell-Kern-AK240-AK380-onkyo-AK320-FIIO/9999934205562

 

Cable architect will make you one in the USA, https://www.ebay.com/itm/113609004476

 

Here's one for $100 from Spain

https://www.ebay.com/itm/164082367644

 

Arctic cable are $200 and I've heard them praised around the forums

 

And with these guys you can use your iem cable, or at least have 50 options open up

https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B07G32HCKV/ref=cm_sw_r_sms_apa_i_HwJTEbY0RD24J

 

And of course, if you are careful, there is handmade Chinese stuff.

 

You won't find anything much cheaper than the Mezze, except on AliExpress (though you can get the Mezze cable $15 cheaper thru fishpond than thru Mezze themselves) but you might get something a bit nicer for the money.

 

I don't really have anything against the Mezze cable, just that it looks like a $5 cable for some reason, but I'm sure it's nice.

 

Edit: I should really really give a shout-out to the guy who made my single-ended cable for my Elegia

https://ebay.com.au/usr/skyaudiocables

Reece was really helpful, did a few experiments for me, and ended up providing exactly what I wanted, 3-day construction and a week in the mail from UK, delivered for about $100

 

Edited by mugwampjism
added another option, and accompanying photo
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