Focal Celestee closed back headphones

Dear all,

At home most of the time I use Focal Elear open headphones in combination with my Naim Atom Headphone Edition. This sounds wonderfully beautiful. :smiling_face_with_three_hearts: However, if there are more family members in the room, they are bothered by the sound, because the Elears are open headphones. Now I’m looking at closed back headphones, preferably also Focal, because then I can continue to use the 5m long Custom Cans balanced cable. In terms of price range, the Focal Celestee seems to be a good option.

Do any of you have experience with these headphones, especially compared to the Elears, which I love so much?

In terms of wearing comfort, I suppose the Celestee is comparable to the Elear, but how do they compare sound wise?

BR,
Richard

Comfort wise just the same. Sound wise I prefer the Elears but not a lot in it, worth checking out comparison on RATINGS .com. Widely available at a good price just now, £750-£799.

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I haven’t tried the Elear, but I do have the Celestee, and they are quite nice.
Well-balanced, in my opinion.

One thing to note is that I do notice the ‘closed’ element of the Celestees, especially when comparing to open-back headphones.
But, overall, a very nice proposition.

You may also get some motivation or ideas from the headphone thread:

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Thanks for your feedback!
Do you know if this is less the case with the more higher-end Focal headphones like the Stellia?

BR,
Richard

Thanks! I will have a look.

You’ll definitely be able to find closed-back headphones with a less closed-in feel.
The Stellia are nice, but heavier and considerably more expensive. (They are on my wish list.)

I tried a friend’s DCA Stealth. Those were very nice, but not a good match for my Headline amp. The Atom HE should be able to handle them well, though.

*An earlier version of this post indicated the DCA Aeon 2 Noire. It has been corrected to DCA Stealth.

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Thanks for all the input. I am going down to a local store today to compare some closed headphones in de Celestee price range.

I have the Celestee. And also a set of Clear MG.

I really enjoy the Celestee and they sound great with the HE. They are good enough to be companion to the Clear MG IMHO.

In terms of comfort, they press harder than the Clear but I listen to them hours on end without any real discomfort.

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The Stellia sounds quite a bit better than the Celestee, but then it costs quite a bit more.

It’s no more comfortable, however, and doesn’t feel any less “closed“.

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Well, I have listened to the Stellia, Radiance and Celestee yesterday and compared them with my Elear. And I indeed noticed that listening to closed back headphones is a different experience compared to listening to open back headphones. I wasn’t sure after the listening session which one I preferred, except for the Elear which sounds exceptional. The Stellia for me is on par with the Elear - even though sounding more closed, duh - but I don’t think I can justify that price tag towards myself and the family.

To me the Radiance sounded more open than the Celestee, but it also sounded a bit bass heavy, which is not necessarily bad. I must however add that I listened with a Hifi Rose streamer and Sennheiser amplifier. So I would need to try them at home to hear how they sound with the Atom HE.

For comparison I also listened to the Denon AH-D9200, but that is not my cup of tea. The Sendy Audio Peacock sounded really good but that one is half-open, and they have to be fully closed back headphones.

To be continued. Thanks for the input so far!

BR,
Richard

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It’s perhaps worth bearing in mind that the shop phones may not have been fully burned in compared with your Elears

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If you like your Elears maybe worth considering the Elegias which are recently discontinued and can be picked up for a reasonable £430.

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Definitely. My dealer let me demo the headphones at home for a week to ensure that the sound quality and, equality important, wear quality was up to scratch.

I am surprised to hear that you found the Stellia to be on par with Elear. Considering that it is sort of a closed backed Utopia I was expecting a lot more from it.

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I’ve not heard the Elear, but I did extensively audition the Celestee and Stellia, finding the latter “quite a bit better” as posted. That’s what I bought for my closed-back duties. For some music I prefer them to my Utopias.

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That is a good idea! I have searched in The Netherlands but don’t find the Elegias at a good price unfortunately.

BR,
Richard

I didn’t realise where you were, just did a quick check on the river and price more than doubles when I change country to the Netherlands.
Several UK dealers are listing them at a good price but unfortunately after checking 4 of the stores delivery policy to the Netherlands it seems UK delivery only.

sg akustik in Germany has them. I think that’s a proper Naim Focal dealer.

Thank you for checking. I could have them sent to a member in my team located in the UK. Anyhow, I would need to make up my mind first.

Excellent tip, thanks!

BR,
Richard

After having listened to the several Focal closed back offerings and considering the prices (thanks again @Ardbeg10y for the SG Akustik suggestion as they have great store-move prices at the moment), I decided to go another route. I simply felt I had to spend too much to get close to the Elear performance which I am so satisfied with.

During the listening session earlier this week I also tried the Beyerdynamic DT770 Pro which for the price is an excellent set of headphones. It is a relatively small investment compared to the Focal and it will give me the closed back I need for living room listening. So I just ordered a pair of Beyerdynamic DT 770 PRO black edition 250Ohms.

Again, thank you all for your advice and input.

BR,
Richard

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