If only it was longer. It’s a beauty to behold, although I can’t say I preferred the brighter look of Clear over the darker Elear, they’re both … These don’t just feel like a simple reskinning of a core concept; rather, they offer definite improvements, and they act as a very effective bridge between the sub—$1,000 Elear and the $3,995 Utopia. I have favored planar … But if you’re going to make something look identical to its predecessor, and not even change the name beyond a single letter, it doesn’t really add to the illusion that you’ve put a lot of thought into it. Focal Elear Conclusion. Everything you need to know about headphone specs. The acoustic guitar on Oasis’ “Wonderwall” pulled me in with every strum, but it was the different string arrangements sprinkled throughout the recording that made the listen more enchanting. Look no further than the intro to Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” for confirmation. Headphone Impedance And Sensitivity Explained, WAV vs. FLAC vs. MP3: Audio File Formats Explained, breaks down all the common headphone specs we’ve just mentioned. At nearly a pound (15.8 ounces), the Clear is in the same weight class as the Elegia, but far heavier than most noise-cancelling headphones. Focal knows how to create attractive audio hardware. We’ll admit: when we first saw the Focal Clear, we were sceptical. It's a little difficult to say that either of these new models are better or worse than the Clear. As mentioned in our Focal Elear review, the French audio company has been innovating in headphone driver tech for some while now. I’ve always loved the WH-1000xM3’s strong bass performance on mobile devices, but the Clear wasn’t as overpowering on my ears and elevated vocal clarity on the Google Pixel 3 XL. I find myself turning my head sometimes when listening to music as I'm trying to locate an instrument. The Focal Clear is an exquisite-looking and brilliantly executed pair of headphones. But if money isn't an issue and you're looking to go big, the Focal Clear are among the best headphones in the premium price range. Up Next NAD VISO HP70 Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphone Review The Focal Clear headphones are a benchmark design that is one of the top performing headsets I’ve experienced. It shies away from the standard black-box-with-foam-inserts as seen with the Elear and the Utopia, going for more of a flower-like design that opens out into multiple sections. Like the Elear, the drivers are 40mm aluminum-magnesium, and are designed in an M shape. Up for discussion here are the new Clear Professional open-back, full-sized headphones aimed at mastering and recording engineers. One of the things that really set the Utopia apart from the competition was just how comfortable it was to wear for long periods. if it doesn’t involve any of the following, you probably don’t need to worry about it. If the Elear didn’t exist, these would be revolutionary. The Focal Utopia are the best headphones on the planet. I had an opportunity to take these home and demo them for several days. Because, again, they are incredibly similar. Since the release of the Clear, they have come out with multiple headphone models at a variety of prices. They have virtually identical design, similar specs, and at the base of it, a similar sound signature. For folks in warmer climates, you mig… To us, it seemed as if Focal were muddying the waters a little bit, succumbing to the iPhone malady of releasing incremental upgrades. They’re the elder statesman of the headphone world, with a classic sound that many still claim has yet to be bettered. We saw a similar setup with the PSB M4U-8 (full review here), and we rather liked it - it got the job done, without being overly flashy, or getting in the way. That’s not a problem that Focal has. If anything, there’s an embarrassment of riches here. A reskinned version of the Elear? Grado Labs PS2000e Headphones. The biggest question we have to answer when reviewing these is: are they worth the extra money when something like the Elear exists? I’m also fond of the circular cutouts that offer a generous amount of space for listeners with larger ear shapes. His ZMF series, which at the time of writing is about to get a new open-back planar model, is stellar. The ergonomic design of the Focal Clear … The earpads of the Focal Stellia and Focal Clear have the same size and shape. While I have a penchant for stealth black audio gear, I find the light gray/metallic silver of the Clear an immensely … However, the Clear has zero noise isolation and lacks extra features that help personalize your listening experience, which may sway you to consider other expensive models like the Audeze LCD-3. The yokes appear shorter as well to ensure a more secure fit. Read full InnerFidelity review here: https://www.innerfidelity.com/content/focal-clear-over-ear-open-headphones Focal absolutely had to pull out all the stops here, or the entire exercise would have been written off as nothing more than naked profiteering. You will receive a verification email shortly. Both models use the same micro-fiber material, but the Clear’s earcups have perforations to cool down overheated ears. Focal Listen Headphones Review. Released in 2017, the Clear … I will say that the quality is remarkable on all of these, primarily the case, which can hold extra EDC items, if necessary. The other main accessory is a terrific carry-case, with a hard, textured surface and a substantial zip running around it, as well as a useful carry handle. Obviously, having decent amplification always helped, but even when we listened to them off  simple smartphone, they performed well. Weirdly, the hinges are actually spring-loaded, meaning the cups drop back into a resting position after you push on them. Type: DynamicImpedance: 55ΩSensitivity: 104dBWhat We Like: Refined and classy sound, great build and accessories.What We Don't: Very similar to other Focal models, quite expensive.See the Focal Clear. It must be said that if you already own the Elear, you’re not going to get an absolutely enormous upgrade by buying these, and while there are definitely differences, they do share the same sound signature – as you might expect. My fiancée identified every Jay-Z song I played from about 25 feet away. To more established headphone companies like Sennheiser and AUDEZE, it must have felt like getting hit with a freight train. The Clear ups the ante, sharpening everything we liked about the sound while adding its own special flavour. The Clear is their first real test of longevity: a headphone that aims to bridge the gap between the company’s high-end models. Focal Clear Headphones Review. It must be said: Focal definitely don’t skimp on the accessories. Comparing these to the Elear, the audio specs don’t show a huge amount of difference. Yes, it works, and works well – and if we’re going to stick with an earlier metaphor, it’s not like the iPhone changed substantially between iterations. It makes things confusing, and difficult to tell the headphones apart. Not exactly. Of all the hundreds of headphone models available today, these are the best. The design is bold, and the large, industrial looking cans are unapologetic … We use affiliate links and may receive a small commission on purchases. The etched logo in the middle is a sweet finishing touch. At The Master Switch, we spend an awful lot of time thinking about audio. It is specifically designed to distribute the weight of the headphones across the entire head so that it feels … Sign Up For Our Weekly Newsletter! It was clear from the very start that these sounded like a different, newer pair of headphones, thanks no doubt to the tuning work that Focal’s engineers have put in. Fortunately, we're here to help, with our full guide to this audio topic. Audeze LCDi4 In-Ear Headphones Review. New York, For the record, we still prefer the Focal Utopia, but we would never say no to a listening session with these. For $500 more? It’s a consistent surprise just how well the HiFiMAN HE1000 V2 headphones have endured over the years. They don’t just look sort of the same; outside of a different colour scheme, they look exactly the same. The only thing worse than the noise isolation is the amount of sound these cans bleed. It’s just the truth. We’ve gathered some of the most exciting converters currently on the market. Future US, Inc. 11 West 42nd Street, 15th Floor, I preferred the LCD-3 and WH-1000xM3 for bass-heavy content, but I also appreciated how well balanced the low end was on these cans. Far from cheap, the Focal Clear sells you on beautiful sound and build quality for a higher-than-normal premium. The perforated earcups do nothing to block out ambient noise and bleed sound as loudly as some portable speakers. The Clear delivers refined and classy sound that stands with the best high-end headphones available. Clear & Clearer? Clear, Focal’s newest reference headphones, are one of the best I have ever reviewed. The group’s harmonies at the start of the record sound beautiful and crisp; the synthesized vocals have a naturalness to them. But we've tested more headphones from Focal than just about any other company, and that's the way we feel. However, not every song showed this level of performance. Damn, we're old. The Clear’s design is too similar to the Elear - the basic housing is virtually unchanged. Sheer sonic bliss housed in a luxury shell. Focal Clear review: headphones for the stylish audiophile These $1,500 headphones from France feel and sound divine By Vlad Savov @vladsavov Oct 23, 2017, 8:00am EDT The realism and space is just unreal. Priced at $1499, the Clear is intended to be the best option Focal offers for under $1500. Otherwise, look at other high-profile alternatives like the Sony WH-1000xM3 ($250) that can get the job done for a fraction of the cost, and has lots more features. And you can, of course, go for the Focal Elear. They are just different. France-based Focal is best known for pro and consumer audio speakers, but the company has, in recent years, moved into all aspects of the headphone market. The Clear is their first real test of longevity: a headphone that aims to bridge the gap between the company’s high-end models. The perforated earpads maximize comfort by ventilating sweaty ears. Honestly? The former costs $899 – significantly less than the Clear – and is marketed as an alternative to the sub-$1,000 open-back Elear headphones. One of the greatest pleasures we know is blocking out the world's distractions with good pair of headphones. Fine expect noise isolation. When you take the headphones out of the box, you’ll immediately be dazzled with the metallic look and great feel. It screams industrial, yet class, and upholds the refined appearance of top-tier studio speakers. The packaging for the Clear is good, if unspectacular. Its extremely well-balanced performance would provide long-term satisfaction for an overwhelming … The first detail that immediately caught my eye is the mesh grille on the exterior, which has become symbolic with the open-back circumaural category (thank you very much, Sennheiser). More importantly, we spend an awful lot of time thinking about how to improve it. Sometimes, you just need to break the bank. This includes a 3.5mm aux cable, gold-plated 3.5mm adapter, and a large, durable zippered case with molds on the inside to store everything nicely. If that’s the case, then the Focal Clear deserves your full attention. The latter is very much a high-end model that is second only to the groundbreaking Utopia: a closed-back, leather-wrapped, $2,999 monster but makes mincemeat of any song you put through it. Focal Clear review: FOCAL’S OPENNESS. You wouldn't expect headphones to need any special equipment to work. While we did occasionally wish that the mids were just a touch warmer and more forward, the clarity these presented was unmatched in this particular price range. The two most stand out in our minds are the closed-back Elegia and Stellia. FOCAL has said they want you to forget you're wearing hp and think you're … As with almost all their other models, the Clear feels terrific to wear. Both are stuffed with soft foam. The low-end isn’t as weighty as other models, but it feels tight and controlled, with enough thump to satisfy most people. The aux cable shouldn’t be overlooked either, wrapped in a heavy-duty woven fabric with a Velcro strap to conveniently wrap up when travelling. The Clear has a firmer headband than the Elegia, but it doesn’t apply the same unwanted pressure atop the head. While it is a little frustrating, it must be said that we don’t consider these points to detract from the overall package all that much. We disagree - they’re good, but advancements have been made since then, and they can sound just a touch thin now. Similar they may be, but there are definite differences. All the same, they’re a classic for a reason, and while we think the Clear is slightly better these headphones will satisfy all but the most demanding listeners. Improves on the original formula of the Elear, while making just enough key differences in audio quality to matter. These are not headphones designed to be worn outside, and if worn inside, you’ll want to be in a secluded area to fully enjoy them. laptops, smartphones, etc. In summary – the Focal … I’ve never noticed this when testing popular mid-luxury headphones like the Bose 700 and Sony WH-1000xM3. It has a clear vision of speaker drivers and loudspeakers which respect and honor the … As it comes to publish this review, Focal have just put their lineup on a sale/trade-in deal. When we first wrote this review, his lineup consisted of exclusively closed-back models, but that's changed. In this review, we break down the Clear’s sound, design, … Focal are nothing if not prolific. The headphones are largely built from met… They are packaged with a copper voice coil, and together, these two elements work together to control the dynamics and the bass. We got into a lot more detail about how these headphones differ to the Clear in the review above, but we can say that as the price continues to drop, they will continue to be one of the best pairs of headphones currently available. It changed the way we listen to music forever - and today, Apple is no longer the market leader. And really…that’s kind of it. The Clear has a flatter sound signature that reveals the purest details from the most complex recordings. At the same time, the recessed vocals and guitar riff diminished its boomy appeal. Focal clear comfort and fit At nearly a pound (15.8 ounces), the Clear is in the same weight class as the Elegia, but far heavier than most noise-cancelling headphones. Raising the headphone volume didn’t fix this issue. Please refresh the page and try again. Consider this the ultimate explainer. Clarity was so spot-on that I felt the vulnerability in Liam Gallagher’s voice on the somberly-crooned hook. It’s a shame too considering how much the Clear improves sound quality on music and video apps. Across the entire spectrum, things feel refined and clear – more so than in their predecessor, which was already pretty good. It must be said that if you own the former, you’ve got very little reason to buy these, but if you don’t, this could be a very classy entry into the high-end headphone world. Despite its massive … That’s not hyperbole. But: when it comes down to it, we think the Focal Clear sound more refined and slightly more elegant than their younger sibling, with quantifiable evidence that work has been done to improve the overall experience. Remember the very first iPod from seventeen years ago? Bass levels on the Clear are carefully balanced as well. But it’s the slate-gray finish that gives these headphones their charm. Focal is passionate about music, power and clarity, and develops audio equipment which brings out the best in music. Yes. The Elear already sounded spectacular. Hurry! They will your weigh you down during commutes. And by the way, if everything we just wrote is complete gobbledygook, we’ve got a full explainer article that breaks down all the common headphone specs we’ve just mentioned, and more. It will require a lot of force to bend. Focal Clear Review. These are open back headphones Alex. When playing bouncy selections like Notorious B.I.G.’s “Mo Money Mo Problems,” the drums and guitar licks had a striking presence that made vibing along to the record joyous. For the past 30-plus years, since I heard my first pair of Stax electrostatics. Like all of Focal’s high-end line, Clear is an example of headphone design elevated to art. Get instant access to breaking news, the hottest reviews, great deals and helpful tips. ​These headphones may be a little too expensive for some - even with a discount, they’re around $1,300 at the time of writing. It has an identical weight to the Elear (just under a pound), and the clamping pressure feels perfectly engineered – something to do, no doubt, with those spring-loaded hinges. These open-back circumaural headphones combine the brand’s prestigious craftsmanship and proprietary technologies to recreate the dynamic sound of its loudspeakers. Best Gear of November 2020. It’s one of the better carry cases we’ve seen, and is easy-to-use, flipping open in a clamshell design. Thank you for signing up to Tom's Guide. The headband feels just as comfy with premium leather wrapped around it. The Sennheiser HD800 is really the classic option here. It’s not that it’s an especially new concept – swappable ear cups have been around since the days of the old Bowers & Wilkins P7 headphones, which came out in 2016 (and which you can now buy for under $200, which you should, because they are awesome). Even the overdubs (the song apparently has over 180) like the “Galileo” repetitions and Chinese gongs at the end have more transparency to them. The Clear … I have those headphones and I have to say they are expensive. They offer a much wider range of accessories, all of which feel worth owning. Nintendo Switch bundle is back in stock at Walmart, The best portable chargers and power banks in 2020, Sound reproduction is stellar on all audio devices, Lack of accessories, controls, and extra features, Noise isolation is practically non-existent. In this review, we break down the Clear’s sound, design, comfort and fit, packaging and accessories, specs and more. You get not one but three different detachable cables, all of which a sheath in a vaguely chequerboard black-and-white pattern, and all of which come with solid metal connectors. ), but also eliminates the need of any extra hardware like a headphone amp to boost sound. They’ve hung in there, easily competing with headphones twice their price. Really good headphones got some really good headphones course, go for the Focal Elear you., flipping open in a private setting, hip-hop songs had more oomph to them off simple smartphone focal clear review. 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