After the international success of the Utopia range, Focal has now launched a new audiophile headphone range featuring products made entirely in France. The Focal ELEAR Hi-Fi headphones are the most ambitious model in the range, just a step above the sublime Focal UTOPIA headphones in quality. They were inspired by the very best acoustic technologies and innovations developed for the benchmark UTOPIA headphones.
Aesthetically, these Hi-Fi headphones are timeless. They are understated, but inspire complete confidence. The mechanical design is pure, minimalist and seamless, as the yokes have been crafted from a single piece of aluminium. Focal uses M-shaped dome transducers. These membranes are 40mm in diameter and made from an aluminium and magnesium sandwich. This material was selected for its lightweight and rigid structure. This design means that Focal has been able to offer its customers truly high-end features: high output (104 dB), low impedance (32 Ohms) and a remarkable bandwidth for just one full-range speaker driver (5-23000 Hz)! And this membrane is indeed a ‘full-range’, without any filtering.
At 500g, these Focal Elear headphones are very comfortable and not at all cumbersome. The ear pads are made of memory foam and covered with microfibre, offering exceptional support for long hours of listening.
The Elear headphones come as standard with an excellent 4m cable made of pure OFC copper. This cable is connected to the headset with two 3.5mm jack connectors, with a third 6.35mm stereo jack connector on the other end. It has one conductor for each voice, which makes it very easy to switch it for an XLR or two later on down the line!
Within seconds of listening, we were impressed by the realism and fidelity in the sound quality. The bass is full-bodied and deep, with excellent impact. Each and every bass line is extremely clear and articulated. Dynamic headphones delivering this level of bass without distortion or torque are hard to find. The mids are also superb, offering a level of realism that is very rare in headphones of this price range. The top end of the spectrum is also exemplary, demonstrating remarkable precision and elegance. The sound stage is essentially as good as it can get with a pair of dynamic headphones. They perfectly reproduce the ambience of the setting in which the music was recorded.
The Focal ELEAR Hi-Fi headphones are designed for music lovers in search of dynamism, vigour and neutrality. The sound quality is linear and free from colouration – really a benchmark standard in this price range. Also, unlike many of their Chinese-made competitors, they are 100% produced and assembled in France in Focal’s Saint-Etienne workshop.
Highly recommended! Franck
Principle: open-back circum-aural
Driver: 40mm full-range, aluminium/magnesium
Impedance: 32 Ohms
Sensitivity: 104 dB SPL/1mW at 1 Khz
Frequency response: 5-23 000 Hz
Cables: OFC, symmetrical, 4 metres
Connection: 1 x 6.35mm stereo jack/2 x 3.5mm mono jack
Travel case: rigid with magnetic fastening
Travel case dimensions: 200 x 300 x 390 mm