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Focal Headphones Owners & Discussion Thread


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1 minute ago, elisix_ said:

For Stellia and Utopia, I would just let the leather patina. I don’t see any need to ‘clean’ it other than maybe water alone. No chemicals or detergents should be used IMO.

 

As for Elegia, I’ve seen a manly A2A demo get cleaned up quite nicely. They said they used water, rubbed it, dried it and it looks like the above Elegia example. All the massive clumps of ‘lint’ are gone. 

I'll leave it and let it age as I do like the ageing look. The edges of the headband have darkened which I like but I just gave them to my dad to listen and now there's a dark spot right in the middle. It bugged me at first but it's something I can easily get over. 

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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

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.  

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

28 minutes ago, zxSwifty said:

Couldn't be happier with my work setup :)

thumbnail_20200625_085725.jpg

So, Utopia or Stellia? Which one wins?

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4 minutes ago, sly_bastard said:

You may want to consider a leather cleaner and conditioner if you want to extend the life of the leather.  Could just it from super cheap, the conditioner is helpful if the leather dries out or just buy another set of pads might be the better way to go. 

When you say set of pads do you mean ear pads? I'm not worried about those, it's more the headband. The ear pads have darkened a lot compared to stock and I really like that :)

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9 minutes ago, gwurb said:

So, Utopia or Stellia? Which one wins?

I like the Stellias for being more laid back. The Utopia definitely has more detail and feels more "open" as expected but as I mainly listen to EDM, the Stellias are the go for me. The Utopias are amazing headphone of course but they are more foward and in your face. You could potentially find this fatiguing after awhile especially if you listen at loud volumes like myself. EDM did sound superb on the Utopias too, I couldn't stop listening to Deadmau5 on them the other day. If you don't need the headphone to be closed back and have auditioned the Utopias and don't find them fatiguing go for the Utopias. If you need closed back and / or listen to exclusively edm / hip-hop the Stellias are probably the go. Both headphones are superb and I'd be happy with either. 

Edited by zxSwifty
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Use a comfort strap wrapped around the headband. Pads are replaceable at least. So dumb the headband isn't replaceable.

 

Literally can take the Verite apart, replace every component, and screw it all back together!

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6 minutes ago, Bengineer said:

Use a comfort strap wrapped around the headband. Pads are replaceable at least. So dumb the headband isn't replaceable.

 

Literally can take the Verite apart, replace every component, and screw it all back together!

Any comfort strap you recommend? 

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They have informed me that the beyerdynamic pad will not fit the Stellia. 

 

1 hour ago, Bengineer said:

Use a comfort strap wrapped around the headband. Pads are replaceable at least. So dumb the headband isn't replaceable.

 

Literally can take the Verite apart, replace every component, and screw it all back together!

found these guys, maybe one of these would work for the Stellias. 

 

https://turbulentlabs.com/category/leather-headbands/

Edited by zxSwifty
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Depends how dorky you want to look.

 

Those. ZMF make two kinds of leather ones.

 

eBay is has heaps of the wool/cotton type ones. It adds a bit of comfort but mostly is there to protect the suede, and the fabric ones are washable.

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Just now, Bengineer said:

Depends how dorky you want to look.

 

Those. ZMF make two kinds of leather ones.

 

eBay is has heaps of the wool/cotton type ones. It adds a bit of comfort but mostly is there to protect the suede, and the fabric ones are washable.

Hahaha would the leather look dorky or the wool? Feel like the cotton/wool would look weird. 

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10 minutes ago, Bengineer said:

They all look dorky. Just different levels of it.

 

 

Luckily I always look like a dork so it'll just add to the aesthetic 😄

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Ha.

 

To just protect against the head oils, just use whatever is the thinnest fabric.

 

To add comfort I'd go something like the ZMF pilot pad (note they recently released a new one, has more padding and two like hotspot relief thicker parts). Ain't cheap though.

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2 minutes ago, Bengineer said:

Ha.

 

To just protect against the head oils, just use whatever is the thinnest fabric.

 

To add comfort I'd go something like the ZMF pilot pad (note they recently released a new one, has more padding and two like hotspot relief thicker parts). Ain't cheap though.

I'll may just go with no extra cover, the comfort is already superb with the Stellia. If I was super concerned about not darkening or letting the leather age It would have been better to get a pilot pad or something from the start. Feels like it's too late to go back now 😄 Then again maybe it is better to just get the pad and avoid the Stellia headband from ageing or wearing anymore than it has 🤔

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1 hour ago, sly_bastard said:

You may want to consider a leather cleaner and conditioner if you want to extend the life of the leather.  Could just it from super cheap, the conditioner is helpful if the leather dries out or just buy another set of pads might be the better way to go. 

As a car guy, i've used a lot of products over the years, so i'm definitely aware of what's out there. I've also seen some bloody disasters if the wrong product is used. With a car the side or back of a seat gives you some space to 'try' a product first. The Stellia and Utopia won't and you could mess it up really quickly. So I will look into it for sure.

 

55 minutes ago, zxSwifty said:

I'm waiting to hear Elisix_'s impressions :)

I spent all night on the Utopia last night.

 

I'm home today so haven't taken the Stellia into work, but i'll crack open the box shortly. 

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46 minutes ago, zxSwifty said:

found these guys, maybe one of these would work for the Stellias. 

 

https://turbulentlabs.com/category/leather-headbands/

I'm not sure they will fit the Focal headband. They're certainly not made specifically for it.

 

I might ask my wife or MIL to make me something lol.

 

Edited by elisix_
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Just now, elisix_ said:

I'm not sure they will fit the Focal headband. They're certainly not made specifically for it.

I emailed them asking if it fits. I think I'll just stick with running it bear. 

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4 minutes ago, elisix_ said:

As a car guy, i've used a lot of products over the years, so i'm definitely aware of what's out there. I've also seen some bloody disasters if the wrong product is used. With a car the side or back of a seat gives you some space to 'try' a product first. The Stellia and Utopia won't and you could mess it up really quickly. So I will look into it for sure.

 

I spent all night on the Utopia last night.

 

I'm home today so haven't taken the Stellia into work, but i'll crack open the box shortly. 

The leather box is gorgeous. I've put mine on my shelf as a display piece. 

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My Uptopia came in the older style box, without the carry case. Resolve Reviews (The Headphone Show) on YT posted recently showing that Focal are now shipping the Utopia with the carry case. Not the end of the world to not have one as the Utopia for me is an at-home headphone, but with the Stellia coming with the case I could always use that if I did need to transport the Utopia. 

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2 minutes ago, elisix_ said:

My Uptopia came in the older style box, without the carry case. Resolve Reviews (The Headphone Show) on YT posted recently showing that Focal are now shipping the Utopia with the carry case. Not the end of the world to not have one as the Utopia for me is an at-home headphone, but with the Stellia coming with the case I could always use that if I did need to transport the Utopia. 

So did mine, bought the case though. 

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2 minutes ago, elisix_ said:

My Uptopia came in the older style box, without the carry case. Resolve Reviews (The Headphone Show) on YT posted recently showing that Focal are now shipping the Utopia with the carry case. Not the end of the world to not have one as the Utopia for me is an at-home headphone, but with the Stellia coming with the case I could always use that if I did need to transport the Utopia. 

Hehe I was worried too when I watched a video about the new Utopia - I had just bought mine and was afraid the new ones would be better.

But na, new ones = carry cases and different type of cables.

Still think the Utopia at 3k were the bargain of the year, even without carry case and with these annoying cables.

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Actually I might buy one too. I'm not sure I want to sit the Utopia on a stand all the time and have it collect dust.

 

I don't want to put it back into its box though, so the carry case is ideal. 

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13 minutes ago, JulesOz said:

Hehe I was worried too when I watched a video about the new Utopia - I had just bought mine and was afraid the new ones would be better.

But na, new ones = carry cases and different type of cables.

Still think the Utopia at 3k were the bargain of the year, even without carry case and with these annoying cables.

The Utopia stock cable is actually a god send compared to all their other headphones. It reminds me of the T1 gen 1 cable, thick and a little heavy. I'm eyeing that Nordost Heimdall 2 cable, used it in the shop while auditioning the Utopias and it was a nice looking a and feeling cable. 

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Yeah when I was testing the Utopia at A2A they had this Cardas cable which looks like the Elegia cable in that it's a braided black and while design, but it was stunning. So nice. I was thinking about buying one with the custom Lemo connectors for the Utopia but there's no point. Stock Utopia cable is awesome. Stock Elegia and Stellia cables are horrible. 

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Just now, elisix_ said:

Yeah when I was testing the Utopia at A2A they had this Cardas cable which looks like the Elegia cable in that it's a braided black and while design, but it was stunning. So nice. I was thinking about buying one with the custom Lemo connectors for the Utopia but there's no point. Stock Utopia cable is awesome. Stock Elegia and Stellia cables are horrible. 

2 separate cables cinched together? That's a Cardas Clear

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39 minutes ago, elisix_ said:

Actually I might buy one too. I'm not sure I want to sit the Utopia on a stand all the time and have it collect dust.

 

I don't want to put it back into its box though, so the carry case is ideal. 

That's what I did. Look on Gumtree, a lot of people went for the Elegia deal (elegia+dragonfly+case) and are selling the cases (and the dragonfly).

Same case for Elegia, Utopia and Stellia.

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26 minutes ago, zxSwifty said:

The Utopia stock cable is actually a god send compared to all their other headphones. It reminds me of the T1 gen 1 cable, thick and a little heavy. I'm eyeing that Nordost Heimdall 2 cable, used it in the shop while auditioning the Utopias and it was a nice looking a and feeling cable. 

Oh I'm not saying it's a "bad" cable. It's just not very flexible and can be annoying to use 😃

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30 minutes ago, Esoterica said:

Got some real high rollers in here 😎

 

3k for some headphones... no big deal 🤣

You probably haven't been to the other subforums - speakers or components. 3k is nothing...

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Yeah, basically. I almost bought that used, slightly frayed, $10,000 speaker cable the other day. Then thought to myself nah, rather buy Utopia, Stellia, TOTL Dac/Amp and then blow $1000 on the claw game at a local arcade trying to get that Toy Story 4 plushie.

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3 hours ago, Esoterica said:

Got some real high rollers in here 😎

 

3k for some headphones... no big deal 🤣

3k does seem like a lot but then you go to the speakers guys section and they spend that on a turntable easily or a cd player. 

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I think you guys misinterpreted my sentiment, which is always a chance on the Net.

 

If you’ve spent thousands on headphones and enjoy them and think it was worth the cost, more power to you. I’m just jealous I don’t have that sort of disposable cash 😩

 

Btw, I also think some of the asking prices on cables etc are crazy. I can’t even find a decent, reasonably priced replacement for the Elegia cable, other than Hart. They’re all hundreds.

 

Speaking of that, why is it so hard to find 2 into 1 - 3.5mm cables?! I was looking on minidisc and amazon and found nothing.

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11 minutes ago, Esoterica said:

I think you guys misinterpreted my sentiment, which is always a chance on the Net.

 

If you’ve spent thousands on headphones and enjoy them and think it was worth the cost, more power to you. I’m just jealous I don’t have that sort of disposable cash 😩

 

Btw, I also think some of the asking prices on cables etc are crazy. I can’t even find a decent, reasonably priced replacement for the Elegia cable, other than Hart. They’re all hundreds.

 

Speaking of that, why is it so hard to find 2 into 1 - 3.5mm cables?! I was looking on minidisc and amazon and found nothing.

I totally understood what you meant :) 3k on headphones is insane. Most people don't even know headphones that much exist. 

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12 minutes ago, Esoterica said:

I think you guys misinterpreted my sentiment, which is always a chance on the Net.

 

If you’ve spent thousands on headphones and enjoy them and think it was worth the cost, more power to you. I’m just jealous I don’t have that sort of disposable cash 😩

 

Btw, I also think some of the asking prices on cables etc are crazy. I can’t even find a decent, reasonably priced replacement for the Elegia cable, other than Hart. They’re all hundreds.

 

Speaking of that, why is it so hard to find 2 into 1 - 3.5mm cables?! I was looking on minidisc and amazon and found nothing.

What's a reasonable price for a cable to you? I got some cables from artic cables for my Stellia and they were about 90USD each. To me this is a fair price for a well made and lightweight cable. There should be cheaper options out there than that though if that is too high. I went with artic cables as they were the only ones I could find offering brown cables. 

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46 minutes ago, Esoterica said:

I think you guys misinterpreted my sentiment, which is always a chance on the Net.

 

If you’ve spent thousands on headphones and enjoy them and think it was worth the cost, more power to you. I’m just jealous I don’t have that sort of disposable cash 😩

 

Btw, I also think some of the asking prices on cables etc are crazy. I can’t even find a decent, reasonably priced replacement for the Elegia cable, other than Hart. They’re all hundreds.

 

Speaking of that, why is it so hard to find 2 into 1 - 3.5mm cables?! I was looking on minidisc and amazon and found nothing.

AliExpress. I'll PM you link when I get to a PC and find it.

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1 hour ago, zxSwifty said:

What's a reasonable price for a cable to you? I got some cables from artic cables for my Stellia and they were about 90USD each. To me this is a fair price for a well made and lightweight cable. There should be cheaper options out there than that though if that is too high. I went with artic cables as they were the only ones I could find offering brown cables. 

I suppose up to $100. I don’t expect to keep my headphones forever, so wouldn’t want to spend a lot, but while I’m still using them, I need a cable that not stiff as a board lol.

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Impressions on Stellia in comparison to Utopia.

  • Immediately you can detect more bass than Utopia
    • Needs a good seal but seems ok with my glasses
  • Seems to have a more cohesive sound than Utopia
    • No single element sticks out like Utopia
    • More musical than Utopia due to this
  • Not quite the same level of detail as Utopia
  • Feels 20%-30% lighter on the head than Utopia
    • Thank god, cause this is an all day headphone
  • To me, feels like sound signature more aligned to Clear
    • More detail and separation than clear
  • Sounds warmer than Utopia on acoustic music
  • Utopia is a scalpel - Stellia is a wooden mallet
  • Can tell that it's closed vs. open with Utopia
  • Less bright than Utopia (treble rolls off more)

I am so glad I have chosen this as my daily driver. 

 

The Stellia is so universal, covers everything, asks for nothing.

 

So much less temperamental than Utopia with treble.

 

This is impressive and definitely more commercial than Utopia.

 

If any of you are considering Utopia or Stellia, i'd say generally go Stellia.

 

If you are adding something as part of a collection (like I did), Utopia.

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In a general sense, the Stellia is better than the Utopia I would say.

 

If you want soundstage, micro detail, increased clarity, go with Utopia. 

 

Utopia seems to be more specific like 'I'm going to listen to x'.

 

Stellia is like 'I can listen to ANYTHING'.

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