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



Looks like the the bundle price has gone back up to $799. Was just about to bite on these. Still a solid deal when you consider the price of the pads/case.


I finally had a chance to look at the post and it’s been deleted. I guess that’s what I get for being so slow.


It was like an old 70s/80s car ad… pretty good, but I could see Focal asking for it to be taken down…apparently someone new a Focal rep and sent it to them…



I am extremely tempted by this deal but already own a pair of 650’s. Demo-ed the Elear last week and was mesmerised by how lifelike/dynamic/musical music sounded. However, i also tried the LCD3 as i’ve never listened to planars before. Very blown away by how resolving/detailed and fast planars are. Unfortunately they sounded sterile and nowhere near organic (perhaps cos i was running LCD3 from Mojo).

AFO/AFC are the contenders for me and i’m rather town between them and Elear. Should i go for a planar set since i alr have dynamics (650)…??? ideally a V shape sound sig with a tad of warmth (adds to realism) is what i enjoy most. Intend to buy the THX AAA789 when it drops on MD. I listen to mainly pop/rock of different langauges via Apple Music and flac files.

Much appreciated!


hi sorry, the link in OP shows Elear as 699 and the bundle at 799. Is the promotion over?


Having heard the Mojo driving the LCD-3, it does a decent job until there’s a lot of low-frequency content but then for me it ceases to be as convincing as when the LCD-3 has an abundance of power behind it.

The combination of LCD-3 and Mojo should be largely mid-centric, which if you’re looking for a V-shaped signature, as you say, is literally the opposite of what you want.

None of those headphones really have V-shaped signatures.

The Elear, with it’s stock pads, is bass-emphatic with a higher-end peak, but I wouldn’t call it V-shaped. The AFC is pretty much neutral, and the AFO is bass-emphasized with a downward sloping profile. You can find FR plots for all of them in this review of the AFC/AFO.

If it’s V-shaped you want, with excellent resolution, well textured and agile bass and some warmth, I’d personally be looking at some of the Fostex models with the biodynamic drivers, probably a TH900 Mk2 with TH610 pads (it’s too bright with the stock pads), though you’d have to catch that on a flash-sale or buy used for it to be in the same realm, price-wise, as the Elear or AFO/AFC.

Here are some additional comparative plots. All are calibrated at 84 dB @ 300 Hz. The plots are raw (no headphone compensation curve, just microphone calibration):

The first shows the Elear with the different pads on it, from the bundle. Note that the bass levels for the Elear shown in all of these plots here are 3-5 dB low due to pad wear (compression). Pay attention to the colors for each plot, they change between headphones in the successive plots.

Here’s how the Elear, with each of the bundle pads, stacks up against the AFC and AFO, both using the “default” 2-notch White Filter:

And then the same Elear comparison vs. the Massdrop x Fostex TR-X00 (Ebony) and the TH900 Mk2 (stock pads):

And finally the all-up comparison first aligned as above, and then a second plot with the traces separated to show their relative shape.


This is very informative, thank you very much. I had never considered the Fostex as my impressions of them from friends weren’t as good compared to say LCD series. I will go check them out!


Personally, I prefer the LCD-2.2c (pre-Fazor, circa 2012), LCD-X, LCD-3 and LCD-4 over the Fostex as well, provided they are suitable amped, but you said you wanted a V-shaped signature … which pretty-much discounts the LCD line.

Given the ability to do so, it will be easier to choose a headphone based on its raw technical abilities first, and then use EQ to get the signature/profile you want.


I EQ’ed my 650 to a more V shape as I felt that the Sennheiser veil was too prominent, my 1650CU I bought because that sounded most appealing to me considering price. Thus my own understanding is that V shape is my preferred sound signature? I also use ER4SR which is neutral but I do EQ it sometimes.

I will try to demo the Elear again and hopefully the Aeon and LCD MX4


If you can use EQ then the nominal profile of the headphone should be largely immaterial, in which case buy on technicalities, comfort and price.

It’s certainly easy enough to make an LCD series V-shaped with EQ.


I’d prefer not to EQ it u could tbh. I EQ’ed my 650’s because I felt the veil was way too much =\

A friend suggested I try the LCD X since open box is the same price as B stock and he sold his Clear for them too. How did u find the X if I may?


LCD-X are much easier to drive properly than the LCD-3, and have a more neutral signature. Way back in 2014, when I was looking for an upgrade to my LCD-2.2c, I had a hard time choosing between them - hard enough that I procrastinated so long that I wound up with LCD-4 instead.

Bass performance excepted, I wouldn’t trade the Focal Clears for the LCD-X. I might for the LCD-3, but it’d be specifically for the lush-mids for some specific genres.

Hard to go wrong with any of them, but still … none of these are V-shaped either.


Has the deal posted in the OP ended? I dont see 649$ but the price is 699$ now.



I would assume the price at check out is the correct one, but otherwise I’d just give them a call and ask.