Focal Headphones Promotion

Hello
There is currently a promotion on Focal headphones including the Clear Mg, so it looks like a good time to audition them and the Celestee.
I know some members have them so I would like to hear their views. I have a Uniti Atom HE and a NSC 222 to power them.

I‘m also interested in the Hifiman Ananda which is almost 50% cheaper so the Clear Mg will have to be special….

I’m a bit worried that the Focal headphones could end up feeling ‘bright and fatiguing’ with extended listening. I’m sure the dealer won’t allow me to borrow them for a few days!

Thoughts welcome!! Thanks.

I own the Atom HE and i matched it with the Focal Stellia. You can read the review of the Duo i wrote. In short the Stellia’s are perfect for me and with the Atom HE.

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I originally had B&W P7’s driven by my SN3 and they were very good but upgraded them with Beyerdynamic T5 Gen3’s when they came out which was a good SQ improvement.
When I upgraded my SN3 I bought a Violectric V550 headphone amp and upgraded the T5 Gen3’s with a balanced cable, again with a good SQ improvement.
Then later I back to back demoed the T5 Gen3’s with Focal Stellia’s which had a bit more clarity, detail and better bass so bought the Stellia’s and using them with the balanced cable.
I don’t find the Stellia’s fatiguing during long listening sessions of a few hours at a time, they are excellent and if you can get them at a sale price I would stretch the budget to get them like I did in a sale, you won’t regret buying them.

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I was underwhelmed when I listened to the MG, lovely looking and great build quality for sure but sound wise they did very little for me.

I also tried Meze Empyrean but found them little bit dark, Sennheiser hd 820 (something odd about the bass), 800s good and my benchmark but settled for HIfiman xs edition - seemed to be the sweet spot in the range.

Demo is definitely king with headphones.

Enjoy the process of choosing
Gary

Now I use the empyreans with my Atom he. I understand the darkness comment but my ears seem to enjoy what I am going to call the luxurious silky-ness. Empyreans were purchased to remove the ‘glitter’ I found in the Clears. Still on the stand but never plugged in.

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Spent an hour at the dealer comparing the Mg against the Celestee.
Mg had another level of bass and overall had a fuller sound without being bright. In fact I found the Celestee to have a forward treble with a closed in sound.
Wasn’t a hard decision to choose the Mg as it comes with 2 cables and the Celestee would need an extension cable. Have to wait 2 weeks to get my order.
The only drawback was I found Mg to be warmer on my ears compared to the Celestee.

Thanks for those that contributed to this thread.

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Glad to see you sorted.

Did they have the Clear Og available to listen to? Some prefer those.

HFM Ananda is rather nice - very nice, in fact. Never heard Focals…

I have recently bought Grado Hemp headphones to use with my new NAIT 50, but I haven’t hooked it all up yet.

(A bit of an extravagance, but that ‘new’ headphone socket tempted me.)

I really wanted to love focal headphones as aesthetically they are beautiful but I never found the sound to my liking, just underwhelming every time I listened to them……I found the hifi man offering much more engaging sound wise.

Gary

Yet the clear og, utopia and stellia have rave reviews by users and the press… I myself have the Clear OG that I preferred to MG.

@Csi_basel - IIRC Focal headphones were used in the development of the Atom HE, though I’m not sure which model/s. Glad you found something that sounds good :slight_smile:

Found at least one mention, they were used as a reference:

I find that quest of better headphones tricky. I chose the Focal Stellia. At first i found that the Stellia were not inclined towards deep bass. After much hours of breakin’ and over a month of listening music with them i find that bass just opened up, as the rest of frequencies. The bass rendering is precise and full. I like them more and more. You get fuller bass at level over 24 than on lower level with the Atom Uniti HE. So its not only the headphones. I think the system you listen them with have sweetspots also. And obviously my perception and hearing of those frequencies.

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I had the same experience with my Stellias. At first, sub-bass was almost non-existent. Also, high frequencies were bright - almost harsh at times. I’d read that burn in period was long on this model, but was a bit pessimistic about the extent of the SQ improvement from that process. How wrong I was. Anyone buying these, be patient! It’s well worth the wait. Bass is now rich, deep and full. Significant improvement across all frequencies actually. Must have taken 50+ hours to get there, but absolutely stunning pair of headphones, and a great match with my Atom HE.

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I left my Focal Clears running for over a week with a spectrum of frequencies going through them. That freed mine up !

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Indeed, I didn’t enjoy many of the media darlings of headphones, just shows headphones are like speakers with personal preferences being very important.

The focals are a thing of beauty though, shame I was underwhelmed having tried them on three different occasions.

Gary

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