off the cover price and get free digital access. 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. Focal Diablo Utopia: Running in. The Focal Utopia and Focal Elear are available to preorder now. 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. 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. 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. It feels really like closed back headphone in comparison. On the design side of things, you have to be aware that these are the quintessential open-back headphones. The first time i listened the original HD800's was the first eargasm i have had. 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. 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 … I keep coming back to the Utopia again and again — even with its frightfully impractical cable. It absolutely blowed me away the first time and still i get amazed of it. The first thing i hear when listening the Utopia is just the lack of soundstage that is really noticeable. The result of this balanced approach is that these Focals take a little time to gain your affection. 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. ), which can be detrimental to the quality of the sound. 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. To learn more or opt-out, read our Cookie Policy. But to me, HD800S is the better experience to hear and feel the music. My first thought was that the $65,000 Grand Utopia was simply related to the Wilson Grand SLAMM. Put the headphones on... Crank up the music..... Aaaaand dissapointment. But the Utopia holds up much better in this department, thanks in large part to its less polite and more prominent low end. I was pretty excited to finally really hear how good they sound. 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. Bass is full, rich, and precise: it’s a winner on both quantity and quality. By resolution, I’m not referring to the marketing buzzword of high-res audio, but rather the intricacy of detail that you can hear. Utopia are THE reference high-fidelity headphones manufactured in France by Focal. 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. (I had to travel couple of hundred miles to audition these). 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. On on hand, the Stellia’s earpads are coated in super soft leather. 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. I had high expections of this headphone. MORE: How to choose the right pair of headphones 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 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. 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. With its 33 cm “W” woofer and latest technologies, its sound tuning reproduces mid ranges wonderfully. There is difference but it's really really small difference. But if anyone can do it, Focal undoubtedly has the design chops and engineering acumen to be able to really pull it off. In utopias the sound is inside your head. 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. What does Focal's Utopia have that its Clear doesn't? (diminishing returns is a bitch) I really struggled at first to find difference in pure sound in these headphones. Please also read our Privacy Notice and Terms of Use, which became effective December 20, 2019. 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. I heard sounds coming from distance and with depth of the sound. Therefore it was essential to integrate the most recent innovations into this exceptional collection. Save up to 70% off the cover price and get free digital access. For fuck sake where is the soundstage in these. Sample 1. Focal Utopia Headphone Review June 14, 2016 October 10, 2018 AudioHead 14 Comments Focal, Headphone, Utopia, Utopia Headphone. Focal Stella Utopia EM Evo joins the Utopia III Evo line. 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. 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. “How does it compare to the Utopia?” is a common question among audiophiles whenever a new flagship comes out. I didn’t start off expecting this would be my conclusion. 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. I believe the Utopias sound like a 2,500-3,000 headphone in balanced mode. But, they don’t grab attention in the way, say, Neat’s terrific Ultimatum XLSs might. I am not a basshead so the bass is more than enough for my taste in the Sennheisers. 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. By choosing I Accept, you consent to our use of cookies and other tracking technologies. To me it's "numb" experience. How much would you pay for really good audio? In HD800S the music is 3D around you and it has depth. 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). 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 Category Entertainment; Song Fearful stereo; Licensed to YouTube by Victor Entertainment, Inc.; Muserk Rights Management; Song Call Me Maybe Vintage 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. Listening same song with Utopias, the depth is gone. This eliminates pressure buildup inside the cup (because there is no cup! 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