Focal Elegia - Closed Back Headphones - Official Thread



Yes I have heard it’s a very active modding community.


Those were done on a miniDSP EARS, using the RAW compensation profiles w/ REW.

That unit sits in a circular acoustic-isolation enclosure intended to eliminate reflections from the backs of the headphone cups. And then that sits within a larger, rectangular, acoustic isolation cell intended to minimize any outside noise-intrusion. The ambient environment measures ~32 dB outside the cell, and <30 dB at the microphone entry inside it (which is at the lower limit of my type 2 SPL meter, A weighted).

The whole thing is then mounted on acoustic foam pads and Sorbothane sheets, with the miniDSP EARS decoupled from that platform but on a similar base of its own.

Which is a long winded way of saying there’s a lot more to the isolation setup than the mics/rig as it stands. That’s largely in anticipation of installing a more capable measurement rig/head at some point in the future.


Nice. I have been thinking of building a better isolation box for my EARS unit.


You, @DarthPool (and anyone else in the Seattle area) and I should get together here one afternoon/evening.

You can have a play with that setup and see if it actually improves anything for you, as well as seeing how it’s put together (I’ll post pictures at some point … kinda burned out on that doing product shots for reviews etc. - so likely a dedicated thread). I did it in a way that let me stow it in a very compact manner, since I don’t have a ton of space here.


Looks like I won’t be pad swapping when I eventually get these.
I would love to do a get together, I enjoy the social aspect of our very non-social hobby lol.


It would be great to meet up with you all one of these days!

I’m still curious how the Dekoni Elite pads do on the Elex and eventually the Elegia if I ever pick one of those up.


Just for a bit more fun … I compared the Elegia with its stock pads and with it wearing those from the Elear.

Purple trace is the stock Elegia again, and the green plot is the Elegia with Elear pads on it. Same caveats apply here … don’t compare to other plots/measurements from other rigs etc.

First normalized at 300 Hz:

And then at 1 kHz:

Given the fundamentally similar shape and high degree of coincidence between those plots, it would not surprise me if the differences were down to placement and/or the fact my Elear pads have hundreds of hours on them. I shall have to order a new pair and see how much that changes.

Note that is it NOT a comparison of Elegia to Elear!!


What is the difference between the Elear and the Elegia pads? Are the Elear “fenestrated” or vice versa?


I have only seen both/worn both I don’t own either, but I think the material might be slightly different if anything, they are almost identical pads. But @Torq can give a better break down of the difference.


Visually the only difference between the Elear and Elegia pads is that the Elegia ones have a gray inner ring rather than being all-black. Neither are vented or “fenestrated”.

It’s possible there are other differences, such as in the density of the internal foam, or that the materials differ in some other non-obvious way.

I ordered a new set of Elear pads, so I can compare new-to-new, as I suspect pad-wear/compression combined with minor differences in placement on the measurement rig (I’ll generally average over several placements because this is a definite factor) are the real difference.


It is worth noting that the miniDSP EARS seems to exhibit a pronounced peak around 4.5 kHz. At some point I will compensate this out (which will allow a simple re-render of the graph with that compensation applied, rather than new measurements).

Also, to re-iterate, these are raw plots - no headphone compensation only a microphone calibration profile (which doesn’t seem to take into account the “canal” resonance on the jig, which is where I think the above peak is coming from).

So, once again … these measurements are only relative to each other and are not “absolute”, “reference” or otherwise comparable to any other measurements.


No one reads the small print @Torq…lol I expect this to show up on Reddit or elsewhere. All the r/headphones towns people will be sharpening their pitchforks lol … sigh it’s not funny, but true…


Sad, but true enough.

But with the disclaimers already stated - those that don’t comprehend, don’t read or deliberately misinterpret things are really only hurting themselves.


ha, I agree, I just thought it was a funny point to make, that after making it, made me lose a lil faith in humanity… because it will probably become true.

Anyhow, how are the Elegia treating you? I’m probably going to start looking at a pair to buy next month or so, we’ll see how holiday travel and spending go though.


I’ve noticed that the MiniDSP does do weird things in that 4-5KHz region on my unit and really every graph produced by it. I would be interested in knowing how you will approach compensating that region.


The Elegia are doing very nicely.

They’re quite untypical for closed-back cans - Focal haven’t gone for the all-too-common U-shaped signature. And they aren’t particularly “closed” sounding either. And I’d still say they sound tonally extremely similar to the Clear/Elex, albeit perhaps with technical performance closer to the Elex.

My full review should be up this week - maybe even tomorrow.


Well, in terms of figuring out how much compensation to apply, and where, I’ll use a combination of measurements on other rigs, using well-known reference headphones, and figure out something reasonable from there.

After which it’ll just be a case of creating the appropriate compensation file, which once you know what you want is simply down to editing values in a text file. These can be retroactively applied in REW.

Now, this won’t be perfect, but as long as the peak is consistent enough it should give a better correlation to other measurement systems. Though at some point I will probably bite the bullet and invest in a more serious, reference, measurement head and “ear” simulators.

As it stands, I have another rig of my own build - but I figured using the miniDSP EARs for now would at least offer something that stands a chance of resulting in measurements that have some correlation to something easily available to others.


That’s what I kind of figured the answer would be. I used my HE560 as a linear bass reference for making my own compensation curve for EQing.


I’m looking at new pads for a couple of my Sennheiser headphones. A little off topic but I’m trying to understand how the various materials and design of the pads affect the sound. I suppose the experience will differ based on source and listener. Are there in fact some general assumptions?


Dekoni does a good breakdown of how the pads differ from each other and stock for their pads.
Just put the headphone brand and then look for their charts on changes. Then google the pads you want and specify reviews and you can get a pretty big resource for how different people have felt about them.

I’m particular to the Dekoni Hybrid Elites ( I have a set for HD800/HD700/HD58X/X00 Purplehearts). They definitely change the sound profile though and YMMV depending.