Focal Elear with Case plus choice of Utopia or Clear Pads for $699


You had me at purple and gold…



You can always just grab a Utopia Tournaire for relatively cheap and throw some purple pads on there…



I thought the Assassin’s Creed Utopia was expensive…



They may just go in an entirely different direction and put out a high end iem.:grin:

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Hi everyone,

I am new to this forum and I was about to buy the Focal Elex until I found this forum.

Now I am a bit more confused on what I should do going forward. The elex remains my first choice however there is a new compelling option which is grabbing the deal from on the elear with utopia pads and travel case for 50$ less

Seems like the sound of the elear with utopia pads would be slightly different from the sound of the elex.
Did any of you had a chance to compare them directly ?

On top of that, I am also wondering if I should wait to see what is announced at CanJam NYC



I’ve got the entire Focal line-up, “Clear Professional” excepted and have done all manner of comparisons and pad-swapping. The interesting FR plots for the Elex and Elear (with stock, Clear and Utopia pads) can be found in this post.

For me, this would be an easy choice.

The Elear + Utopia pads w/ Case bundle is cheaper than JUST the Elex headphones and still includes the original Elear pads as well (if you want more bass, a bit less top-end and don’t mind the dips in the mids).

I prefer the look of the Elear (though don’t care for it with grey pads) over the Elex, but that’s always going to be a personal thing. They look fantastic with the Utopia pads on and are more comfortable than regular Elear, Elex or Clear in that form to boot.

Adding Elex pads for another $60 via Massdrop gets you all three options, plus the case, for $10 more than just the Elex themselves … which to me makes for very easy math.

At the same time, with a new Focal can pending at CanJam, I’d personally wait and see - unless I thought this deal was going away by then (which would be a question for @andrew or @taronlissimore).



Thank you for the detailled answer.

Is there other difference on the tuning of the elex ?
I would have expected the measurement of the elear with Clear pads to match the measurement of the elex almost exactly, but it seems to be quite different on both extreme (60 hz and below and then above 11-12k Hz)

I have a pretty limited experience so far correlating FR plots with what I hear in the end. Therefore I am wondering if those are audible differences or if it would only show in measurements ?

I agree with you that the maths makes it a pretty simple choice, however human natures adds some complexity to the choice. I am not convinced I would carry that type of headphones outside of my home and therefore doubt the added value of the travel case (even if it’s probably the nicest travel case I’ve seen yet)

I personnaly do not like the look of the elear with grey pads and the overall design is somehow quite important to me. But the look with the utopia pads is quite nice and allows to switch back to elear pads to compare and train my ear a bit more to detect differences.

I think the only other difference not mentionned yet are the cables included. Original cable of the elear or revised cable from massdrop.

In both case, I am quite surprised there isn’t a cable with a 3.5mm connector, any recommendation for cheap 6.35 to 3.5mm jack adapter ?

I am planning to use them with Dragonfly black until I can go for a dedicated desktop setup



I have the Elex (and love it), but from everything I read you can make the Elear become an Elex with the pads. The deal that is offering is stellar and cheaper than getting an Elex and you’ll get it sooner with a full return policy. So, pretty much what @Torq said. :slight_smile:

I also think the Elear looks better than the Elex.



The differences in the plots under 60 Hz and above 11 kHz I would take with a grain of salt. Minor placement or environmental issues seem to have a more pronounced impact there. With the measurements I quoted, which are mine, there was some variation in pad age at work (especially with my Utopia pads, which would reduce the measured bass presence there very slightly … I really need to order some more).

I use the case for storage not transportation.

I think the cases sell for $150 each, and I imagine it would be very easy to quickly sell that piece off for $90-100 and just keep the savings. Better than even chance that I’d take it off your hands at that price. And it’s also be easy to swap it for actual Elex pads and some cash if you looked around a bit.

Cables and Focal headphones … none of them are ergonomically great. The stock Focal ones are flexible, and sound great, but are long and heavy. The other cables are either too stiff, just the wrong length, or have other issues.

As for an adapter, you probably want one that’s a cable rather than just a plug, to use with the Dragonfly Black, so there’s this one from Grado … and Sennheiser do one too. You can likely find one for under $5 if you look around a bit and don’t care who makes it.



A lot of good information in there, thank you again for taking the time to reply. Now I just need to make a final decision



Focal est prepare pour Mardi Gras



$3000 Focal Stellia Closed-Back?




DAC + AMP + Headphone Stand?!



Is it just a brown Egalia, or a different thing altogether?

Also… Headphone stand off my amp… BRILLIANT! I’m going to bust out the JB Weld and a bent coat hanger and go to town on my EC Black Widow 2!!!



Did you ever get the custom Deathstar backs for the Aeolus? Those would be dope!



Nope. I wish.

I wonder if I can get someone to print that…

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Given the price-tag, I’m guessing a brown, closed-back, cheaper Utopia or maybe something in-between.



This is too funny not to share it–Stellia ad on Reddit



Looks like you were right:

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That Reddit post though!!! @taronlissimore, @andrew, @Torq please click on @pwjazz link to Reddit… amazing lol

If I ever purchased these, I think I would be obligated to print this out and frame it!