Please also read our Privacy Notice and Terms of Use, which became effective December 20, 2019. Switching over to Sage Francis’ A Healthy Distrust, the soundstage collapses, the beats get dirty and less precise, and I can easily visualize the difference in production facilities between Sage and Halsey’s albums. Verge Score 9.4 out of 10. Israel has fought several wars with Arab states: defeating Egypt, Syria, Jordan and Iraq in different battles at various times since 1948. But that begs the question, is this devic The Stellia are closed-back in design, and their impedance has been reduced to 35 Ohms to make them friendly to portable audio sources. And the $999 Elear aren’t too bad either. Focal Clear; 97 Focal Utopia; 79 BeyerDynamic DT 240 Pro; Expert reviews and ratings. Focal lives up to the most exacting of standards with its Stellia: they’re dressed in full-grain leather, they have thick memory foam cushions that clamp your head into a vice of loveliness, and their aluminum yokes, woven cables, and contoured hard case just exude quality. However, the agency is hopeful that Joe Biden will reverse the decision. Focal calls these headphones reference-class, which signals the company’s aim for a purist sound that exaggerates or diminishes as little as possible. Here’s the problem: the absolute best-sounding headphones, to my preference and that of many others, don’t sound perfectly flavorless. Switching from the Focal Clear to the LCD2C felt like a drop in a grade or two in the sound quality but I could listen to it for long hours. Focal Clear Headphones - Review - HiFi and Music Source This is my review of the new Focal Clear open backed on ear headphones, retailing near £1,500 (UK, Jan ’18) these are a must listen if you are near this budget for a pair of high-end headphones. Another subtle but significant change from the Utopia: the cable connectors plugging into the Stellia have been simplified to standard 3.5mm plugs. I like them, for the most part, as they’re thick, durable, color-matched with the headphones, and just stiff enough to resist kinking and tangling. To a great extent, Focal has taken the big demanding beast that was the Utopia and refined it down to a more humane offering. Coupled with the fact that these headp… By What Hi-Fi? However, sensing those differences for yourself in such a direct and instant way is a big part of why people are willing to spend big on high-end audio gear. By comparison, anyone trying to enjoy the Focal Utopia without a beefy desktop amplifier was really not doing them justice, whereas you can get close to the Stellia’s best performance even when plugged directly into your portable audio device. Please also read our Privacy Notice and Terms of Use, which became effective December 20, 2019. The headphones are largely built from metal, and that makes for a very premium look. Never let the French be accused of abandoning their heritage of baroque ornamentalism. I can’t dictate to anyone what a particular gadget or product is worth, because each person’s budget and circumstances will differ. Let’s get away from the price thing for a moment. The finest headphones you can plug directly into your phone’s dongle. Focal actively encourages thinking of these as a more portable, more universal version of the Utopia — but that look of theirs, together with the sheer, irreducible bulk, makes for plenty of curious stares should you ever try to wear the Stellia out on a walk anywhere. By choosing I Accept, you consent to our use of cookies and other tracking technologies. The Times suggested that Liverpool were paying around £500,000 for Scanlon, with the 15-year-old’s family thinking over a move. Once you put them on, they’re also supremely comfortable. 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. Open-back headphones, on the other hand, are for people who are willing to compromise on versatility and noise isolation for the sake of the best sound. The Democratic candidates whose wins on Tuesday would help clear roadblocks for the new administration’s agenda awaited a campaign visit from Vice President-elect Kamala Harris. Audiophile Headphones In Ear Headphones Range Cookers Stove Ranges Range Cooker Pieces of a Woman arrived on Netflix on January 7th but the film’s ending and final scene have prompted questions and need to be explained. Her vocals are pure, beautiful, and taking center stage, just like they should, but it’s the absolute cornucopia of stuff going on in the background that I hadn’t previously appreciated. Though built on the same physical frame as the preceding Focal Utopia, Elear, and Clear, the Stellia are recognizably unique, thanks to their striking exterior, which features an overlay of perforated metal atop yet another layer of leather. The one thing that troubles me with the cables is that they produce microphonics from rubbing against my clothes when I’m wearing the headphones and not listening to anything. In spite of my bass-loving ways, I gave the Stellia a fair chance and, over time, I grew to really appreciate and enjoy them. We’re living in a time when luxury and tech brands keep flirting with each other’s products, whether it’s $2,000 iPhones or even pricier Tag Heuer watches running Wear OS. Focal's Utopia headphones live up to their $3,999 price. There’s even an awesome leather wallet for the paperwork, which I’d immediately adapt into a classy passport holder. With the Arche model, Focal offers you a premium device for stationary use. That gives you access to a huge range of affordable alternate cables, should Focal’s own not prove to your satisfaction. These do not influence editorial content, though Vox Media may earn commissions for products purchased via affiliate links. When you take the headphones out of the box, you’ll immediately be dazzled with the metallic look and great feel. Turning to the main attraction of the Focal Stellia, I have to confess that their sound did not sweep me up on a magic carpet joyride upon my first listen — because it’s not meant to. So yes, we may all have trouble digesting the huge lump sum of money that Focal asks, but the product itself goes a long way to justifying that expense. Well, the Focal Stellia are like those huge 8K TVs we see only at trade shows, exposing all the nuance you could want from any given song. Focal Stellia Review, Measurements, Interview - Head-Fi TV NOTE: If you can't see the embedded video above, please CLICK HERE to see the video. It is. They are what people think of when they think headphones: a way to take your music on the move, keep it private, and isolate yourself from a noisy surrounding. They are clear and open, but they do have more than a touch of that “things To learn more or opt-out, read our Cookie Policy. This resolution is achieved courtesy of the super-expensive beryllium speaker inside each ear cup, which minimizes distortion and deviation, and thus leaves room for every note, shuffle, and whisper in a recording to come through. The Focal Clear may not be a name you’ve heard of, but if it’s pure quality you’re after, it’s worth familiarizing yourself with.. A clear area of at least 1.0 metres width from 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. Nevertheless, reviewers from sites, such as Head-fi, SoundGuys, The Verge, and Headphone Review all gave it a spot on their list. That being said, it’s safe to assume that the Stellia at $3,000 is basically blowing whatever headphones budget you have for the next decade, if not the rest of your life, on one single pair of cognac-colored cans. Property owners may develop their verge areas, provided the type or form of development maintains the following; > Pedestrian access along the verge area in preference to walking on the roadway, regardless of whether a footpath has been constructed or not. I have both and the Utopia is stunning ... but different. The freshly announced Focal Stellia are the latest, and among the most successful, specimens of the luxury-tech hybrid. If you’re only going to listen to underground rap or grime, you’d probably be better served by a cheaper and bassier alternative like Focal’s own Elear, but if you want to genre-hop and truly feel the differences between various productions, the Stellia do that better than almost any other headphones. Rangers currently sit 19 points clear at the top of the Scottish Premiership ... but he currently stands on the verge of replicating that status at Rangers. I’m currently also testing the flagship Audeze LCD-4z, and their fantastically detailed and lifelike sound is underlined by a loving touch of extra bass that makes them nigh-on perfect. And when we spend such money, we have high expectations. But unfortunately after 15. Also the brown showing on the circles of the cups is apparently a layer of leather, also gleaned from the Verge article that @pwjazz posted in the Focal Elear deal chain.. Not sold on the color scheme…but I can appreciate the artistry of it, and the effort that went into making it a “luxury” item. Lastly, sound pressure stands at a strong 106 dB, allowing for excellent volume in all but the most demanding listening environments. Headphone enthusiast, Audeze LCD4, Schiit Yggdrasil, Violetric V281 AMP, Intona Galvanic USB separator , Nordost Heimdall2 2m, 0.6m both XLR … It’s one of the best headphones on the market and my current reference. . It is closely matched to Focal’s line of high-end headphones, and in fact has pre-set configuration options for each of them, intended to get the best match. On the few occasions that we buy things for ourselves that cost upward of $1,000, it’s usually an item of luxury or technology. The level of clarity and treble becomes too much. The Stellia are only really semi-closed. “All those invested in an equitable and peaceful solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict should see these projects as a clear declaration of Israel’s intent to further advance annexation, and the international community must intervene to halt such moves,” the report said. on December 11, 2017 60 So, while we wouldn't be so severe as Professor Yaffle, it … With dimensions of approximately 32 x 20 x 30cm, it looks like a high-quality hi-fi component and can actually be used as a preamplifier, thanks to the analogue outputs. The Focal Clear (2017) hasn't managed to earn a top spot in any roundups from sources that conduct trustworthy hands-on testing. I took my Aurium with my Focal Clear and Hugo 2 DAC to a shop where I spent almost 2h comparing it A/B against the Violectric V281. Without a closed enclosure that creates unwanted reverberations inside the ear cup, an open-back headphone design can be focused on improving the acoustics pointed at the ear instead of fixing the problems created by the shell around it. Focal Stellia review: the 8K TV of headphones, Exceptional clarity, dynamics, and soundstage for closed-back headphones, Low impedance lets you plug these into portable players or dongles, Price and size undermine ambitions for regular portable use, Microphonics from cables when no music playing. Seems like Focal has done a great product development on the Clear and for the price level its a winner! The first 15 minutes, were exactly as you claim. Nearly one year ago, Focal unveiled its first ever dedicated headphone amplifier, the Arche ( $2,500 ). The Russia-linked SolarWinds hack which targeted US government agencies and private corporations may be even worse than officials first realized, … That’s to say, while they have a number of different design elements than other Focal headphones, including color offerings, they carry that classic Focal headphones look, the beautiful mesh grills on each ear cup, and so on. Vox Media has affiliate partnerships. The pandemic didn’t slow Santa down or stop him from keeping his appointment with each HomeFront child who was waiting for him with a heart full of hope. Clear is Focal's next evolutionary step in the realm of high-end, open-back reference listening headphones. With the LCD-4z, and Audeze headphones in general, I feel the bass. I read somewhere that they are using the Utopia drivers, it might have been the Verge article. The Stellia give life to the bamboo flute in a wonderfully organic way, and the combo of that peaceful music and the headphones’ comfort and noise isolation has had me listening to the album on repeat for many hours at a time. If I only had one pair it would be the Utopia ... sorry ! Given the performance contained within those glamorous cognac walls, I’d say Focal has done an amazing job of reducing the need for additional equipment to get the most out of the Stellia. The production of that album is extremely elaborate, and the Stellia represent every layer with forensic precision, so it’s separable and distinguishable from the next. Picking them up when I get settled in for a day’s work, even taking them out on the move when I feel particularly ostentatious, I get a reliably exciting and insightful performance every time. HomeFront’s Heartfelt Thanks For Keeping A Sense of Wonder and Hope Alive This Christmas. The Focal Clear headphones are unmistakably Focal. This will be a “stream-of-consciousness” or “episodic” review of the Arche, which is on kind-loan from “The HEADPHONE Community” as part of their “Community Preview Prog… In the audio world, the notion of resolution means much the same as it does with visuals, referring to how much detail a certain device is able to reproduce. I was on the verge of sending of the Focal Clear back because it didn't make sense to own something that I can't really 'use'. UN aid agency for Palestine on the verge of collapse The UN aid agency for Palestinian refugees is on the verge of financial collapse after US President Donald Trump withdrew funding in 2018. I listened to the Utopias for 2 weeks. We interview Focal's Nicolas Debard who … Thanks to our wonderful community for donating OVER 2,600 specially chosen gifts to HomeFront’s annual Christmas Wishes Drive. By choosing I Accept, you consent to our use of cookies and other tracking technologies. Impedance remains low, however, and these headphone can make do with less amplification than other headphones in this price range. Are the Focal Stellia worth wanting? Take the similarly priced Focal Clear, for example. Pieces of a … As for the Focal Clear (2017), it wasn't able to earn a top spot in any roundups from trusted sources that conduct their own hands-on testing. Nevertheless, it managed to impress reviewers at Head-fi, SoundGuys, The Verge, and Headphone Review enough to make it onto their respective shortlists. The Arche is Focal’s first source and amplifier offering for the world of audiophile headphone listening. Putting a closed-back design around the beryllium speaker of the Focal Utopia, the Stellia are also sonically impressive and will wow music lovers whether they’re audiophiles or not. The general rule with headphones is that open-back designs get you the purest possible sound, while closed-back ones keep your music insulated from external noise. Whenever people say, “I heard things I never heard before in that song,” it’s a sign that they stepped up to a lower-distortion, higher-resolution pair of headphones. We take a look at Focal's new flagship closed-back over-ear headphone, the Focal Stellia. Powering the Stellia is remarkably easy, and I was able to crank them up to unadvisedly high volumes with an Astell & Kern Kann portable player as well as with Essential’s USB-C audio dongle plugged into my phone. Alas, I never quite fell in love with the Stellia to the degree where I could advocate doing that. It’s a techy solution for a familiar problem, Uber wants to patent a system that knows when you’re drunk. Last but not least, I have to mention Tadashi Tajima’s Shingetsu album of shakuhachi performances. Focal Clear Over-Ear Headphone Review Focal, the high-end speaker manufacturer out of Saint-Étienne, France has expanded its high-end headphone line with a new entrant, Clear. For more information, see our ethics policy. Frequency Range: 5-40,000 Hz Nominal Impedance: 35 ohms Sound Pressure Level (SPL): 106 dB As you can see from these specifications, the Focal Stellia claims a fairly wide frequency range. Priced at an unapologetic $3,000 and available to buy right away from Focal and Amazon, the Stellia satisfy the demands of both luxury and tech enthusiasts. Their comfort in use, though, earns no disapproval from me: they carry their weight well and have never caused me any pain or soreness. The vast majority of headphones on the market today are closed-back, including almost all earphones. For me, the album that really feels like a whole new experience through the Focal Stellia is Halsey’s Hopeless Fountain Kingdom. Their unsparing sonic transparency isn’t always to my tastes, but it is faithful to the music and technically impressive. A feature-packed design, this device was offered to be the perfect companion for their ever more impressive line of headphones. These headphones are sumptuous to the touch and the mere act of unboxing them is an experience worth paying for. With the Focal Stellia, much as was the case with the Focal Utopia before it, I hear rather than feel it. Absolutely. The best term I can use to describe it is flavorless: like water, these headphones adapt to and represent the character of the thing they’re interacting with more than any peculiarities of their own. To like these headphones, you’ll have to be a fan of the color brown — or “cognac and mocha,” in Focal’s words — because there’s no other option. The black device has a stylish metal housing with cooling fins and internal power supply. The best crossover between the two categories has always been headphones, which give manufacturers a lot of surface area to drape in premium leather and metal ornamentation while also raising the budget for exotic materials or production techniques. The Hugo 2 was feeding the V281 (RCA) and from there two XLR cables fed the untouched signal to the Aurium. Focal calls these headphones reference-class, which signals the company’s aim for a purist sound that exaggerates or diminishes as little as possible. I naturally did try, and after some crisscrossing of London’s streets, I felt like I’d been wearing a giant ginger afro wig. One is a meticulously perfected pop concoction while the other is a deliberately gritty affair, which is news to no one. Designed to sit in between Focal's Elear and Utopia models, Clear features the same aluminium magnesium alloy dome tweeter as featured in the Elear but supported by an innovative new frameless copper voice coil. The Verge was founded in 2011 in partnership with Vox Media, and covers the intersection of technology, science, art, and culture. To learn more or opt-out, read our Cookie Policy. 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Not influence editorial content, though Vox Media may earn commissions for products purchased via affiliate links the box you... You take the headphones out of the box, you ’ re also supremely.!