As mentioned in our Focal Elear review, the French audio company has been innovating in headphone driver tech for some while now. The Clear is … Reply June … To my ears, I can tell you they've succeeded admirably. Next article Review: The Basslet – Portable Bass. One of them ends in another 3.5mm connector so you can plug them into your average mobile media device and is roughly 4 feet long. Associated equipment included an AudioQuest DragonFly Red amp/DAC fed by a Windows 10 desktop PC for hi-res files and a Moon by Simaudio Neo 230HD amp/DAC fed by the analog output of an Oppo BDP-83 Special Edition universal disc player. It is specifically designed to distribute the weight of the headphones across the entire head so that it feels lighter and more balanced than in would otherwise. The softness of the earpads makes the Clears even more comfortable. If you couldn’t tell, I love these headphones. When you look at the Focal Utopia it jumps out at you. The Clear entertained and satisfied me, but the Utopia kept me in a constant state of surprise and amazement. These are open-backed headphones, hence the mesh, which allows unwanted soundwaves from the rear of the drivers to pass through the shell (and works in both directions, so you can also hear the doorbell ring). 14 Comments. Despite this bias, now served by Audeze LCD-Xs. Focal claims that the Clear Professionals offer “a listening experience very close to a pair of monitor speakers”, so that adds weight to the open-back theory. Obviously, it shares a good deal of the technology developed for the Focal Utopia, which I reviewed in Issue 270, but its drivers are made of aluminum/magnesium rather than of the beryllium used for the Utopia. The use of copper gives the voice coil an extremely strong magnetic eld, resulting in sound which fully respects the dynamics of the audio signal. 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. On the title track of Steely Dan’s Aja (SACD stereo), Wayne Shorter’s tenor sax solo floated atop Steve Gadd’s drum solo with the two in perfect balance. Household. It's a superior product for the discerning music lover who demands … As for a direct Sennheiser HD 800 S (2016) vs. Focal Clear (2017) comparison of their review performance, we examined sources that tested and rated both products, like Head-fi. Dave . Its latest offering, the Focal Clear, borrows technology developed for the Utopia and cuts the price by more than half. It excelled at delicately balancing complex and tricky textures like the stinging guitars in Led Zeppelin’s “Dancing Days” (24-bit/96kHz FLAC) and the strings in the opening movement of Beethoven’s Fifth with Carlos Kleiber leading the Vienna Philharmonic (24/88.2 FLAC). Forget about wearing these on your commute or your local coffee shop while pumping out that new novel. If it sounds like I’m gushing, that’s because I am. Everything benefits from the space you get with open-back headphones, but these somehow take that to another level in the same way that the Utopia did but for way less money. For casual break-in listening I streamed Spotify on a Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1. When you take the headphones out of the box, you’ll immediately be dazzled with the metallic look and great feel. Is $1,499 a lot to pay for headphones? Everything that comes in the box with the Focal Clear headphones. The Focal Clear headphones are a new $1500 open back offering designed and developed in France. These dynamic headphones scrupulously imaged the decays, though the familiar ambience of Concertgebouw Hall was not as spacious as either the real thing or the approximation I’d expect to hear with a good set of planar headphones. The Focal Clear headphones sitting on a desk. They are therefore designed mainly for indoor, not outdoor, use. Only you can make the definitive decision about what is a good buy and what would be an undue burden on your checking account. It is an unusual color choice and a great look. Clear, Focal’s newest reference headphones, are one of the best I have ever reviewed. Neil Young’s Harvest (DVD-Audio, MLP stereo) was completely fulfilling, with the Clear delivering believable acoustic guitar, crackling electric guitar, and a focused but highly natural approach to voice, including the delicious A-list backing vocals of Crosby, Stills, Nash, Ronstadt, and Taylor. Cooking Appliances. These are meant to be used at home; not on the bus. AT A GLANCE This foam is coated by perforated microfiber. You can really hear this in the song “Plants” by Crumb which features the drums prominently throughout the song. Priced at $1500, the Clear is the top end of Focal’s aluminum/magnesium driver consumer headphones lineup – with Focal’s flagship models, the Stellia and Utopia using beryllium drivers. Their open design makes them a poor choice for any other use cases as they don’t block any ambient noise and don't have a microphone or wireless technology. I have favored planar types over dynamic drivers. But besides that, you’ll also get two more cables, each 10 feet long. The company also claims that they ‘disappear’ when in use, possibly the greatest compliment you can pay a pair of phones when mixing. Impeccable construction The sound is just incredible. Balanced presentation I’ve come to terms with the fact that I’ll never be able to buy the $55,000 Sennheiser Orpheus that I got the chance to listen to at CES last year. Focal Clear. Its extremely well-balanced performance would provide long … (Balance was a word that came up repeatedly in my notes.) The 1-millimeter perforations in the earpads are said to further enhance openness to the outside world. The best part of these is that they’re almost attainable. That same level of detail extends all the way up throughout the vocals in the middle and the cymbals and hi-hats in the highs. I have a deep and abiding respect for a number of B&Ws. There is also a Clear Professional version, with black and red cosmetics but the same specs, for a couple of hundred dollars more. Both are equally comfortable on your head too. The review continues on Page 2, after the click HERE or the jump below / Pages: 1 2 3. The set of cables packed with the Clear actually improves on the Utopia, which came with only a sometimes awkward 13-foot cable. It perfectly suited the album’s mellow tonal balance, and conveyed its characteristic richness without any thickening. The Japanese SACD is a bit soft-edged, but luscious, and the Clear let it be that way. If you do have a headphone amp: power to you, but you probably don’t need one here unless you’re using a standalone DAC. The Focal Clear is an exquisite-looking and brilliantly executed pair of headphones. The headband of the Focal Clear Professional headphones is remarkably comfortable. ocal Clear Circum-aural Open Back High End Headphone CLEAR, a new circum-aural open-back headphone for audiophiles represents a new evolution of Focal’s nowfamous open-back, full-range speaker headphone family. Because these have an impedance of 55Ω (and a decent sensitivity), I had no problem playing them just straight from my Android phone. While I have a penchant for stealth black audio gear, I find the light gray/metallic silver of the Clear an immensely appealing design. When the song started it gave me a bit of a jump because the soundstage is just that good. A frameless copper voice coil with a diameter of 25.5mm, and a height of 5.5mm was also developed. If you want to take them anywhere, you’ll have to make space in your bag for the hardshell carrying case which is just as sturdy and finely designed as the headphones. Like all of Focal’s high-end line, Clear is an example of headphone design elevated to art. Focal Clear ($1499) The Focal Clear is an over-ear, open acoustic, dynamic driver headphone. 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 stunningly modern designs. Besides that you’ll get the quick start guide and instruction manual and that’s about it. The critics say the Clear gives you 95% of the Utopia sound quality, just as the Elear is said to bring 90-95% of the Clear's sq. I could wear them for a couple of hours before becoming aware of the weight (about a pound). You get what you pay for and if you shell out the $1500 required to get these, you'll get an amazing pair of cans for life. That said, this basically becomes a non-issue when you put it on. That is, unless you don’t care that everyone around you can hear what you’re listening to. These are built spectacularly well, though they’re not perfect. Now let’s get into the reason why you should buy these headphones. The Concerto for Oboe and Small Orchestra and other works for wind instruments by Richard Strauss featured soloist Alexei Ogrintchouk with Andris Nelsons conducting the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra (Bis SACD stereo). My only qualm with the build is that the headband is a bit squeaky at times, and though this isn’t a problem when you’re wearing them: if they’re fresh out the box, it could very well become an issue over time. Yes, if you’re the questing type and money is no object, you can spend more and get more—but a lot of folks with four figures to spend might want to stop right here. Like the Utopia, the Clear uses what Focal refers to as an “M-shaped inverted dome” diaphragm on the driver, though the material changes from expensive and difficult to process pure beryllium to magnesium-coated aluminum. Inside are 40mm drivers suspended in the open for all to see, though they’re thankfully protected by the aluminum grill. Its extremely well-balanced performance would provide long-term satisfaction for an overwhelming majority of listeners. Before listening I’d have guessed that my review would be about the Clear delivering a large percentage of the Utopia’s virtues at less than half the price. While the Clear was an excellent pair of cans, even for the price, the Utopia ended up being more compelling in a way that justified its higher price. Focal Clear. COPYRIGHT © 2021 SoundGuys, All Rights Reserved. Focal Clear. Great fit. This will reveal the journey I took … Though I should mention that if you’re wearing these in the summer that probably won’t be the case for you, They’re not that breathable. Hello / Greetings To Everyone, So Today I am going to put my true views on Focal Clear Review. Rather than a compiled retrospective review, I decided to present stream of consciousness impressions. Listening led me to change the emphasis. Amplifiers, Phono preamp, and Analog Audio Review: 12: Dec 4, 2020: FS: Focal Clear Professional: Audio Equipment For Sale: 2: Nov 17, 2020: SOLD: Focal Clear Headphones - Excellent: Audio Equipment For Sale: 4: Sep 12, 2020 Review written by @Chrono Review unit provided on loan by headphones.com Introduction The Clear is an open-back dynamic headphone designed by Focal that retails for $1,499, and it utilizes Focal’s full-range speaker driver with an ‘M’-shape Aluminum/Magnesium dome. THE VERDICT Until recently, however, Focal only made one pair of headphones targeted at studio use. Bass kicks also push a good amount of air making giving them just the right amount of power, so if you’re an intense bass head you won’t like these. It sounded like the plucks were coming from right next to me. I had an opportunity to take these home and demo them for several days. Close. The most startling moment I spent with the Clear came during Debussy’s Complete Music for Two Pianos, with Stephen Coombs and Christopher Scott (CD). The design is bold, and the large, industrial looking cans are unapologetic about the fact that they’re not portable headphones. In the box you’ll get a nice hardshell carrying case, with the headphones tucked away nicely inside. Alex Schiffer - December 10, 2020 5:58 pm. Because the Clear draws so much of its design ethos and feature set from the Utopia, comparisons are not only inevitable but necessary, despite the large gap in price. The Focal Clear is made of solid aluminum, so everything about them feels sturdy, but that also means that these are fairly heavy at 450g (0.99 pounds). My first experience with them was playing the song “In Us” by Lexie which starts with some guitar plucks descending into the main rhythm. The Clear is their first real test of longevity: a headphone that aims to bridge the gap between the company’s high-end models. Those features are not just sweetly cosmetic but functionally crucial. Conclusion These headphones are kind of large, but comfortable. The Focal Clear is an exquisite-looking and brilliantly executed pair of headphones. This same design has found its way into the Focal Clear headphones—which are just as sleek and bulky. That wasn’t the case with the Utopia, which demanded that I be seated and barely moving unless I wanted them to slip off. The ‘M’ –shape Aluminum/Magnesium dome isequipped with a revolutionary copper voice coil that provides remarkable dynamics across the audiospectrum, bass that is always controlled, even at high volumes, and exemplary linearity in the high-end. Focal Clear headphones review Focal’s Clear headphones don't just live up to their name, they define it By Ryan Waniata October 6, 2017 Previous Next 1 of 11. The memory foam cushions on the earpads and bottom of the headband keep these gently floating on your head, and have enough of a grip to them that I was able to walk around my apartment wearing these with no issues. If the black-and-silver Utopia is “like a rock star in a leather jacket,” as I wrote, the Clear is more like an aristocrat in a dove-gray Savile Row suit. The Focal Elear are good open-back critical listening headphones. Photography & Video. That’s exactly what I’d expect from a pair of headphones that cost this much, but it’s always nice to see a company actually care about the accessories that come along with the headphones. The leather-topped headband and solid aluminum yoke are designed to distribute weight evenly, with vertical earcup adjustment via an unseen mechanism inside the leather-topped headband. Price-wise, it’s actually in the middle of the Focal open back lineup, between the more expensive Focal Utopia and the … What I missed in comparison with the Utopia was the nth degree of refinement, the more intense tone color, the sense of barriers falling, and the kind of transparency that’s an emotional sucker-punch. Great sound Today's Deals: Home. Like the headphones, the cables are dressed to kill, with a denim-like cloth sheath that is pleasant to look at and even to touch. You need to find a spot for them in your house and leave them there. ifi xCan - iematch for Focal Clear / Tin T2? You may also like. The Clear do a great job at being heavy enough so that you’re aware that you’re wearing headphones, yet light enough that you’re okay with it. The headphones are largely built from met… I did do a little bit of listening via the ¼” jack plugged into my audio recorder for work, but that was about it. Clear is equipped with a new generation full-range speaker driver developed by Focal. The Focal Clear headphones are unmistakably Focal. And here’s why I think you should too. These aren’t an everyday pair of headphones for the average commuter; these are for the person who loves their audio setup and wants their listening sessions to be an experience. Focal Clear have plenty of padding for ultimate comfort. Last summer, a high-end speaker company out of France shocked the audiophile world with two of the best pairs of high-end headphones, the $1,000 Focal … The opening bars of “En Blanc et Noir” surprised me because they seemed to be coming from speakers, or perhaps even from pianos, but not from headphones. Listening Afresh Focal Clear Review. Like its older brother, Clear uses a 40mm aluminium-magnesium m-shaped dome driver. CLEAR completely envelopes the user in musical purity, as one of thebest headphones on the marketFocal Clear high-fidelity headphone made in France by Focal. Focal’s Clear is a departure from my preferred cans. The imaging of these dynamic headphones was scrupulously focused—perhaps not as gossamer and airy as a comparably priced planar model, but more dense and concentrated. Priced at $1499, the Clear is intended to be the best option Focal offers for under $1500. A hard-shell case is also included. 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. When it came to testing sound quality, I mainly used the cable that ended in a 3.5mm jack since that’s what most of my devices have. All three cables are covered in a beautiful, durable fabric, and they all get plugged into the bottom of each earcup via 3.5mm connectors. Bespoke Tailoring It’s both the name of one of Focal’s premium headphone models, a descriptor of those headphones, and possibly even a one word review of them. Now the French audio company is back with their newest pair of cans dubbed the Focal Clear. So whatever you’re going to be using to listen to your music Focal has you covered here with three high quality options. … These headphones will only run you $1,500—which is less than half the price of the Utopias—and also don’t slide off your head every time you look down. On its underside is a layer of soft foam. Now don’t get me wrong I know $1500 is a high price tag for anyone (high might even be an understatement), but I’m still going to be adding these to my wish list. But if you consider yourself more of a bass connoisseur then these are magnificent. Like the Utopia and the Elear before them, these are open-back headphones. In the 19-minute Yes epic “Close to the Edge” (Blu-ray, 24/96 LPCM stereo mix), the Clear got the bold strokes right (pipe organ not too sizzly) while delighting in the small details (Jon Anderson’s slight smoker’s rasp in the quiet passage of “I Get Up, I Get Down”). FOCAL has said they want you to forget you're wearing hp and think you're listening to loudspeakers. Clear. If you’ve made it this far into the review, you probably know what that means for real-world usage. The Focal Radiance has made quite the impression over here at MajorHiFi. My list of grail items isn’t very long, only consisting of a pilot watch, this gorgeous knife, a zoom lens that puts the “L” in luxury, and my recently acquired OP-1 synthesizer, and now I can add the Focal Clear headphones to that list. Less than spacious imaging. Focal’s Clear headphones are admirably well-balanced performers with irreproachable build quality and a gorgeous look. At $1500 most people probably won’t buy these. It turns out that all such sources consider the Focal Clear (2017) to be the superior product. Read full InnerFidelity review here: https://www.innerfidelity.com/content/focal-clear-over-ear-open-headphones Trickle Down Read our detailed review of the Focal Clear including comparison of features, user feedback and awards. Instead, they appear to be built from the ground up to deliver the best possible performance for the money. We use cookies and similar tools to enhance your shopping experience, to provide our services, understand how customers use our services so we can make improvements, and display ads. We’ve compared it to its closest counterpart, the Elegia, and paired it with the iFi IDSD Neo to see how much potential this headphone has, as well as grow our understanding of where it stands in Focals library. But there were some things that I didn’t like about them, mainly the loose fit and of course that $4,000 price tag that I could never afford. Select Your Cookie Preferences. For the past 30-plus years, since I heard my first pair of Stax electrostatics. January 3, 2021 . Bass was tight and disciplined. December 31, 2017 Luckbad 0. Well done on that front Focal, very well done. It took me a few seconds to adjust. 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. To be fair, it’s rare for one product’s listening sessions to be so heavily overshadowed by another’s, so the Clear deserved some fresh perspectives with different material. Go to Close. This formidable loudspeaker manufacturer gave its emergent headphone line its best shot in the Focal Utopia, a four-thousand-dollar product that we hailed with a five-star review. 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One of them ends in an XLR so you can plug into higher end equipment or interfaces, while the other ends in a ¼” jack. Reviewed back in SOS January 2014, the Spirit Professionals boast a clean, crisp sound, are easy to drive from low‑powered sources, and offer outstanding isolation. Still, had I never heard the Utopia, I’d have found the Clear as satisfying in its own way as any other headphones I’ve tried. In this review, we break down the Clear’s sound, design, comfort and fit, packaging and accessories, specs and more. Read honest and unbiased product reviews from our users. As if memory foam wasn’t comfortable enough, the padding is covered in a perforated microfiber fabric that keeps them from becoming too warm during long listening sessions. Well, how much is a lot? Previous article Wayback Wednesday: Victor/JVC HA-FX500. (You do get a spare set of the snazzy red earpads, and a different compliment of cables, though.). On the end of the cable is where you get the options. Hiby R6 2020 Review. Focal has found several ingenious ways of making these headphones easy on the head. By. It looks like you are browsing from . They are very well-built and very comfortable for long listening sessions thanks to well-padded ear cups and headband. Headphones. Find helpful customer reviews and review ratings for Focal Clear Open Back Headphones - Grey at Amazon.com. Compare the cheapest UK prices. Stated plainly, they have the most balanced tonality of any headphone I've In both models, the dome is placed as far from the ear as possible, and is attached to a copper voice coil, wound without a former to minimize moving mass. A few months back I got a chance to check out the Focal Utopia headphones, which are easily one of the top 3 best sounding cans I’ve ever used. The Clear is made in France and is intended to be used Focal Clear vs Radiance Comparison Review. To see how it stacks up, see our list of the best high-end headphones. Thenew generation of perforated microfiber ear cushions add to CLEAR’s open design, giving the headphones aweightless, almost invisible feeling. The cavity in the middle is also perfect for storing the three cables that it comes with, two of which are 10-feet long. They look absolutely stunning! Technology. Super comfortable The true, uncolored timbre of the oboe contrasted with the apparently more distant-miked orchestra, which emerged restrained but not softened. Aluminum/magnesium diaphragms The Clear includes two 10-foot cables, terminated in quarter-inch unbalanced or XLR balanced plugs, plus a 4-foot cable with unbalanced mini-plug. December 31, 2020. iFi Audio Micro iDSD Signature Review. Similarly, I don’t think I’ll ever be able to justify purchasing the Focal Utopia headphones unless I hit the lotto, but at $1500: the Focal Clear headphones are both amazing and decently priced for what you get. Shaking the earcups slightly when testing flexibility just reveals a soft squeaking coming from inside the headband, as if the adjustable headband is a little too loose in there. As I revisited test tracks I’d used for the Utopia, the Clear checked many of the same boxes. three cable options It’s my new grail pair of headphones. Focal Clear have plenty of padding for ultimate comfort When you look at the Focal Utopia it jumps out at you. Focal Clear Professional Open-Back Over-Ear Headphones (Red/Black) Buy on Amazon The Clear is far more than a dumbed-down version of the Utopia designed to hit a price point. Minus The design is bold, and the large, industrial looking cans are unapologetic about the fact that they’re not portable headphones. Its balance of frequencies, especially in the crucial midrange, was beyond reproach, free of gross flaws and even minor ones. Share on. CLEARPRO . Though these are certainly crazy expensive, they're also crazy good. As far as connections go, Focal made sure to provide almost every kind of connection in the box with three different kinds of cables. White Goods. Still, I want them. While most of earphone producers are dominating isodynamic producers or attempting to carry dynamic ones to mind, Focal designers have led a huge scope investigation of every accessible innovation and reached the resolution that none of them is fit for giving adequate sound … Focal Clear review: FOCAL’S OPENNESS. Plus You don’t have to look far to see why Focal named these Clear. TVs & Displays. The catch is that it’s sometimes 2 times … The most visually prominent features are the silver mesh that conceals the backsides of the drivers and the pale gray perforated microfiber earpads and headband pad. The Focal Clear headphones from the front. Focal Clear Review - Final Verdict. These are open-back so you get an amazing soundstage. They don’t have hinges on the headband, so there’s no folding them into a more compact size. Focal have down a great job of maintaining top quality build … Here’s how Focal thought through the problem. You need to find a …