Please look for our no-holds-barred h Put the headphones on... Crank up the music..... Aaaaand dissapointment. MORE: How to choose the right pair of headphones Sennheiser HD800S vs Focal Utopia (My experience), The Bass was "better" than HD800S. Since 2008, when Utopia III was launched, Focal’s technological heritage has grown enormously. (This should sort out over time). The outer enclosure of other headphones is replaced by metal meshes on both Focal models, with the design’s deliberate intent being to let sound escape in all directions. I currently own the LCD X, Sony MDR ZR1, Focal Utopia, and DT48. The lesser Focal Elear compete against the likes of the $699 Audeze EL-8, but again assert their value through sheer performance and quality. It’s like there are a million little speaker drivers to account for all the various instruments in a composition so that you hear each and every one of them distinctly. Listening same song with Utopias, the depth is gone. I had to switch back and forth couple of times to hear the really small differences in sound. With its 33 cm “W” woofer and latest technologies, its sound tuning reproduces mid ranges wonderfully. So today finally i got to audition the Focal Utopia to HD800S. Bass is full, rich, and precise: it’s a winner on both quantity and quality. That being said, I’m not pushing you into the snake-oil world of high-res audio and crazy formats: all of my listening and adoration of these headphones took place with 320kbps MP3s. Therefore it was essential to integrate the most recent innovations into this exceptional collection. Sample 1. First and most hilarious is the length (and weight) of the included cable. I have read for the past year many times different reviews of it and how they all praised the sound of this headphone and how amazing it is. What does Focal's Utopia have that its Clear doesn't? It feels really like closed back headphone in comparison. off the cover price and get free digital access. Focal might not be the most well-known audio brand to your average consumer, but anyone who has spent time in a professional studio might recognize the name. Focal’s headphones have been mostly middle market and solid as far as sound is concerned, but nothing in the company’s catalogue prepared us for the arrival of the Utopias. Visit the post for more. The Grand Utopia is the latest step in this continuously evolving development—in essence, the field-test laboratory for the next generation of Focal drivers. Focal's Utopia headphone at $3,999 represents an extreme no-expense-spared approach to design, components, and materials. Imaging is good and there is really a depth in the music. Please also read our Privacy Notice and Terms of Use, which became effective December 20, 2019. ), which can be detrimental to the quality of the sound. I have owned many other headphones like the HD650, AKG 701, DT880, etc.. Now i had the praised Focal Utopia next to me. In terms of soundstage, the Utopia feels like a full 360-degree sphere around my head, spacing out sound both in front and behind as well as to the sides. How much would you pay for really good audio? I just wouldn’t feel comfortable using anything more expensive for such an everyday task as playing back music. There is more to enjoy in the HD800S than in Utopias. With Focal Utopia, nothing stands between you and your music. Also, I had no idea how prominent and persistent the tambourine was in the entire Relationship of Command album. Tag: Focal Utopia CanJam London, part three: jamming with cans (HEDD, Raal, Mr. The bass do go deeper than Sennheisers and there is more of it i feel. You’ll quickly start to hate low-quality streaming services and look for something of higher fidelity. Its "different". So we clearly have a collective appetite for better sound, and it’s only going to grow bigger as human civilization becomes more urbanized and the privacy of headphones is prioritized over the sociability of speakers. They are the result of 40 years of innovation, development and manufacturing of high-end speaker drivers and loudspeakers. But the Clear bear a strong resemblance to the Utopia. Having auditioned both of its new models over the past month, I would say that Focal’s aspirations are amply justified, and your money would be well spent with either of its new pairs of headphones. The Utopia, benefiting from a carbon fiber yoke and more luxurious lambskin leather ear pads, gives more room around the ear and feels the more comfortable of the two. The company’s betting on people finding themselves dissatisfied with the Beats by Dre class of supposedly premium headphones and looking up in price range to discover what truly premium cans are about. But it's not day and night difference. But if anyone can do it, Focal undoubtedly has the design chops and engineering acumen to be able to really pull it off. There is difference but it's really really small difference. The first time i listened the original HD800's was the first eargasm i have had. (I had to travel couple of hundred miles to audition these). Arche is an all-in-one solution, offering presets for every set of Focal High-Fidelity headphones (Utopia, Stellia, Clear, Elegia and Elear) to make sure you get the absolute best from this ultimate combination. It also makes listening to either of these headphones a whole-room affair — you won’t be able to sneak in a sly piano concerto without alerting your flatmates to the fact you like classical music. I didn’t start off expecting this would be my conclusion. Save up to 70% off the cover price and get free digital access. Pride of place goes to the awe-inspiring four-way, five-driver, five-enclosure, 80"-tall, 573-lb Grande Utopia III EM ($180,000/pair), which powers its 16" woofer with a field-coil–energized electromagnet. I'm up dating my review. Focal’s core values are based on the union of technology, mechanics, … I had high expections of this headphone. Focal Utopia Headphone Review June 14, 2016 October 10, 2018 AudioHead 14 Comments Focal, Headphone, Utopia, Utopia Headphone. It’s more than twice Sennheiser’s asking price of $1,700, but it’s also built out of legitimately exclusive materials like carbon fiber and beryllium. The Treble spike has been fixed, mids are good. Since 2008, when Utopia III was launched, Focal’s technological heritage has grown enormously. It absolutely blowed me away the first time and still i get amazed of it. I feel that Utopias are more heavy (might do something with the cable) and the clamp force on these headphones was too tight for me. Something like 1-2% better than in HD800S. These two open-back headphone models are Focal’s first venture into the high-end headphone market, so it’s logical to expect the company would have some teething troubles, but there are none. The Focal Utopia was released a few years ago, and I had listened to it a couple times in the past, although not in the best conditions – either at headphone meetups or in a store. Focal's Utopia headphones live up to their $3,999 price, the $999 Elear and the otherworldly $3,999 Utopia, Carbon fiber makes them light and easy to wear for long stretches, Expansive soundstage and pin-sharp imaging are just luxurious, No sound isolation or possibility to use on the move, Can swap the included cable for a shorter one. But the Utopia holds up much better in this department, thanks in large part to its less polite and more prominent low end. Sadly, to my ears the Clears are inferior to the Andromeda in the detail retrieval where the Andromeda renders the finest inflections in the timbre better than Clears and closely resembles the Focal Utopia. It is more than enough for my taste. Almost every Utopia review is usually posted under such titles as ‘Probably the best headphones in the world’, ‘Still the best in 2020?’, ‘Detailing … I am not a basshead so the bass is more than enough for my taste in the Sennheisers. Some other interesting facts about their technology: Helmholtz resonator › tweeter compartment cavity tuned as a resonator Sample 2. These open-back headphones continue to be a strong favorite among audiophiles since their debut in 2017. I could go on talking about how true to life the Utopia sound, how I can almost sense the texture of a drum head or the metallic edge of cymbals, but these headphones are not magical, and they do have downsides. Focal has been in the speaker business for more than 35 years, but it wasn’t until recently that they decided to take the leap into headphone development. I ordered a balanced cable on Amazon. Speakers, Warwick Acoustics, dCS, HiFiMAN, Audeze) CanJam London is the biggest headphone and portable audio show put on in the UK every year. The Focal Utopia has been out now for some time, and when it first came out there was nothing else like it. Subscribe Today at Huge Savings! But the "wow" factor was really really missing in the utopias. Before you answer that question, consider that humanity as a whole spends more than $11 billion per year on headphones, $1 billion of which is spent on premium ($100+) cans in the US. Their exceptionality (designed and manufactured in France, and featuring exclusive Focal technologies, a sleek design and high-end materials) soon made them a reference on the global audiophile headphones market. Focal Utopia are not just legendary, they’re a subject of heated discussions in the world of audiophilia and melomania. This eliminates pressure buildup inside the cup (because there is no cup! Diablo Utopia was inspired from Grande Utopia EM. Mids are as present as they need to be, never overwhelming or being overwhelmed, and the treble is crystalline in its definition. StumbleUpon %d … By resolution, I’m not referring to the marketing buzzword of high-res audio, but rather the intricacy of detail that you can hear. So let’s talk about the annoyances. (diminishing returns is a bitch) I really struggled at first to find difference in pure sound in these headphones. @maverickronin prefers the less detailed sounding Focal Clears. I tried a few FLAC files, I even listened on a Pono Player and an Astell & Kern player, and whatever difference there might be, I didn’t notice it. Imaging is good. Clear isn't Focal's top-shelf product. I was pretty excited to finally really hear how good they sound. The first thing i hear when listening the Utopia is just the lack of soundstage that is really noticeable. The simplest way to define the Utopia difference is that every sound is given its own space and definition. If there’s anything negative to be said about the Utopia or Elear’s sound reproduction, it’s the classic problem of really good audio equipment exposing really bad recordings. Category Entertainment; Song Fearful stereo; Licensed to YouTube by Victor Entertainment, Inc.; Muserk Rights Management; Song Call Me Maybe Vintage And to beging with, i feel like they do sound quite similar in the terms of pure sound. Imaging is good. Tyll's #1 headphone in the world that made HD800S sound thin and analytical. In HD800S the music is 3D around you and it has depth. The new top-of-the-line Focal Utopia headphone is already being described by early reviewers as “The World’s Best Headphones.” Boy, we’ve heard that one before. Sound balance on both Focal pairs is basically beyond reproach. Focal Utopia Tournaire HIGH-END HEADPHONES… Very high-end Utopia headphones were launched by Focal in June 2016. But the biggest downside for the Elear, crazy as it may sound, is that they’re not the Utopia. So today finally i got to audition the Focal Utopia to HD800S. I have heard the HD800S before many times, and still with the massive soundstage it "wow'ed" me. And so in this review I’m going to ask the question of whether the F… Focal has never made headphones as pricey as these, or anything that even hinted at so much ability. Unfortunately, during the Susvara review, I didn't have both on hand to compare. When listening Hans Zimmer with HD800S you can "feel and hear" the depth of the whole song. You can use your phone as a source, but it becomes a tiny bit ridiculous as you’ll need one adapter to link your phone to your DAC, then another adapter to shrink the Focal cans’ big jack to the regular 3.5mm size. Both the Utopia and Elear come with a 13-foot cable that is the very definition of overengineering. Neither the Elear nor the Utopia are particularly light, but they’ve been structured to perfectly distribute their weight across the listener’s head, avoiding pain points or discomfort over long listening sessions. For further information visit www.focal.com ... reddit. On the design side of things, you have to be aware that these are the quintessential open-back headphones. I’m able to drive both the Elear and Utopia to super loud levels with any of the following DACs: Apogee Groove, Apogee One, DragonFly Red, Chord Mojo, DacMagic XS, and Oppo HA-2. Anyways, despite what I said above, the reason i'm asking about these specific headphones is due to the fact that they were "somewhat" modeled after their "Focal Grande Utopia III EM" and I just wanted the opinion of people who've used/own these headphones. Demo units courtesy of: Frequency Response measurements and graphs for In-Ear Monitors (IEMs) and earphones. It’s like a one-pound pet python that comes with your pretty new headphones. Focal Grande Utopia EM The third family of products to carry Focal’s flagship Utopia designation, this latest iteration represents not just an evolution of the technology and thinking behind these speakers, but a ground-up reassessment of its implementation. We use cookies and other tracking technologies to improve your browsing experience on our site, show personalized content and targeted ads, analyze site traffic, and understand where our audiences come from. For 4000€/$ i did expect that you will get what you will get in HD800S and even more. The Focal Grande Utopia EM Evo are priced at £160,000 per pair and the Stella Utopia EM Evo at £90,000 per pair. After reviewing the HiFiMAN Susvara, I wondered, and I'm sure many readers on this blog wondered, which of the Focal Utopia and the Susvara would be king of the mountain. The question I opened with is the question I have to answer for myself: how much would you pay for really good audio? Make no mistake, they sound good straight out of the box and get better as they warm up. Utopia are THE reference high-fidelity headphones manufactured in France by Focal. I believe the Utopias sound like a 2,500-3,000 headphone in balanced mode. Focal invested a lot of time into making the bass section shine by adding a new patended 16.5 cm Power Flower that has almost no saturation and also has an internal resonator. Both are stuffed with soft foam. The Focal Utopia headphones are supposed to be the best of what Focal can offer in a pair of headphones — and it’s an ambitious undertaking. Typically when doing cable reviews, I usually have a definite preference and gravitate towards certain cables immediately. On on hand, the Stellia’s earpads are coated in super soft leather. Mind you, there are occasions where you might prefer the greater intimacy of more condensed, in-your-face cans; electronic dance music tends to benefit from having its notes stuck together in a sweaty, cramped wall of noise that can hit more forcefully than an open, analytical sound. Speaking of sources, you’ll want to have something beefier than just a phone or laptop sound card to power either of these headphones. Both of these headphones, though, are exceptionally comfortable, putting to shame many of their designed-by-numbers rivals. For folks in warmer climates, yo… Mids and Highs. I’d say the Focal Elear are precisely my upper limit: $999. Therefore it was essential to integrate the most recent innovations into this exceptional collection. (I had to travel couple of hundred miles to audition these) I have heard the HD800S before many times, and still with the massive soundstage it "wow'ed" me. I actually received the cheaper set first and grew to really like it, and was ready to dismiss the much more expensive sibling as just carbon fiber-clad overkill, but the experience taught me otherwise. By choosing I Accept, you consent to our use of cookies and other tracking technologies. And they both trade punches back in forth in this area i feel. The microfiber-covered Elear pads use the same memory foam, but they can’t match the feathery softness of the more expensive pair’s perforated leather. For an example: The Elear is even warmer than the Utopia, so I really doubt anyone would be in a rush to accuse these of being the stereotypical "boring" audiophile cans. Focal's Utopia headphones live up to their $3,999 price And the $999 Elear aren’t too bad either By Vlad Savov @vladsavov Jul 25, 2016, 11:33am EDT Focal Diablo Utopia: Running in. With the Utopia, everything is in such fantastically precise focus, so crisply delivered that you will — as clichéd as the saying is — hear whole new depth and layers to your favorite songs and appreciate the original mix that, frankly, you might have never previously heard. Real technological twin sister of the Grande Utopia EEM vo, it has absorbed the gist of the most outstanding innovations, in a 3-way version and with more convenient dimensions. And, most importantly, those fancy bits contribute to making the headphone lighter and producing a sound characterized by spectacular precision and fidelity. In utopias the sound is inside your head. The result of this balanced approach is that these Focals take a little time to gain your affection. At The Drive-In’s "Arcarsenal" is a good example: there are subtle cascading echoes of the vocals that propagate to the sides, as if dissipating out into the distance. Focal Diablo Utopia . The earpads of the Focal Stellia and Focal Clear have the same size and shape. The Elear feels almost artificially wide on the sides, though in both cases it’s a satisfyingly expansive presentation of the music that makes most closed-back headphones feel claustrophobic by comparison. To learn more or opt-out, read our Cookie Policy. The day I have to return these headphones will be happy, for I’ll no longer have to guard them with my life, but also super sad because I’ll be letting go of a truly unique way of experiencing my music. “How does it compare to the Utopia?” is a common question among audiophiles whenever a new flagship comes out. Focal is known for its high-end equipment, but it obviously has to seriously impress to warrant the price tag of an eye-watering $4,000. After all, almost all of the X-1's drivers are made by Focal. (Original HD800 bass was laking. Scott Schumer explores Focal's flagship headphone, the Utopia. Given the attention the Focal Utopia has garnered in recent times, I thought I would try out a few cables to find a pairing that would synergize best with the Chord DAVE (really wish I had a Liquid Tungsten in the chain). I heard sounds coming from distance and with depth of the sound. But your YMMV). Now, in 2019, there are a lot more flagships on the market to choose from, and the Utopia is often used as a comparison for new headphones. My first thought was that the $65,000 Grand Utopia was simply related to the Wilson Grand SLAMM. I only detected this detail on the Utopia, and I wasn’t even trying to listen critically. The Utopia and Elear sound just as good with well-recorded compressed files as they do with the super-duper lossless varieties. That was one of the few downsides of the HD 800 S for me: the fact that it was a little too well behaved for the grimiest stuff (e.g., Skepta’s Konnichiwa) in my music collection. The first thing that stood out to me with both sets of Focals is that someone actually wore these headphones, and someone actually listened to them. Focal Stella Utopia EM Evo joins the Utopia III Evo line. Still, don’t let the numbers fool you into expecting they require 2.5 times the power. This $4,000 open-back over-the-ear headphone features pure Beryllium drivers. I really struggled to find difference in those two. I don't feel that HD800S bass is lacking. For fuck sake where is the soundstage in these. Focal Utopia. Now to the thing that dissapointed me the most.... Soundstage. Equipped with exclusive technology, they offer striking realism, neutrality, dynamics and clarity, for sound with unrivalled purity. The Elear actually has the advantage over the Utopia in this case, as it uses standard 3.5mm connectors at each cup, which allowed me to swap in my Beyerdynamic T5p.2’s five-foot cable and enjoy a saner connector setup. I was given an opportunity to try these out for an extended period of time from Headphones.com and the HeadphoneCommunity Preview Loaner Program and here’s my quick review of these flagship $3999 … That distinction belongs to the $4,000 Utopia. Their coatings are different which not only will affect the sound, but will also affect how they feel. To me it's "numb" experience. But, they don’t grab attention in the way, say, Neat’s terrific Ultimatum XLSs might. But to me, HD800S is the better experience to hear and feel the music. The Focal Utopia and Focal Elear are available to preorder now. You’ll normally find their name attached to high end monitor speakers and headphones, including the $4000 Utopia headphones which have been touted as one of the best ever made. Focal Maestro Utopia III Although a large speaker, at a hair under 5' tall and weighing 256 lbs, the Maestro is actually the third model from the top of Focal's Utopia III line. Both are rated at 80 Ohms, meaning they need a bit more power to reach their full potential than the typical 32-Ohm pair. Now I … The major differences between these two pairs come down to their resolution, imaging, and soundstage. To my preferences, I prefer a headphone that can at least beat my CA Andromeda in detail representation. The star of the show, the lofty Utopia, is basically a Sennheiser HD 800 S with a more satisfying low end and, somehow, even more detail and resolution. Wasn ’ t feel comfortable using anything more expensive for such an everyday task as playing back music to the! To hate low-quality streaming services and look for something of higher fidelity listen critically to answer for myself: much... Evo are priced at £160,000 per pair and gravitate towards certain cables immediately 999. 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