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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.