Now onto Ottawa! Tiny plane, short flight…not sure I want to dig the Elegia out of my bag and it’s case for this leg…
I think for me, its just different than other headphones I’ve had recently. I’ve been a planar guy up until these two Focals. They have a different sound. I think both the Focals sound quite good. Enjoying the Elex at home and the Elegia at work.
How did the Elegia do with airplane hum/drone?
Really well! you can hear it but it isn’t bad and the music covers most of the droning. I really enjoyed having them on the plane… very comfortable, and they covered up the noise enough to where I didn’t notice it unless I tried to focus in on it.
I remeasured the leakage on the Elegia, adding a couple more people to get a broader range of input as to what levels things became audible to others (since different people have different levels of hearing sensitivity*) … and even with the ambient noise level at 39 dB (3 dB down from my original measurement) got the same results as in my review:
At 75 dB/10 kHz it was necessary to sit shoulder-to-shoulder to hear anything coming from them at all. If someone sat that close to me in public, at least in an environment that didn’t have a much higher noise floor, I’d be expecting a proposition.
If I get a chance to spend some time with either @DarthPool or @antdroid in person in the near future, we can see about testing their units as well - just in case there’s some variation there (which if it were down to the vent, might be having other effects too).
I’ll have mine next week (and I’m also in Seattle). You’re welcome to use them for testing.
Maybe we should do a little group get-together then.
Might have to be after the 18th, just because I am super-busy until then, but would be good to get the local group together!
Would be interested in a meet-up!
For fun tonight, I took my spare Brainwavz Sheepskin Leather pads out and put it “on” the Elegia and measured. I find them to increase the bass a little bit and tame the upper mids/treble a bit. I dont have an adapter ring or anything so they were freely floating between the headphones and my ears and my EARS. So take that for what it’s worth.
Leather pads in Red. Measurements are compensated using the HEQ calibration file.
…and I ordered a 3D printed adapter ring from a design i found on reddit.
I’m up for a meetup after the 18th too.
A meet-up sounds great! I wonder if I could talk my wife into letting me go? SWA flies direct to Seattle from San Antonio…
I’m looking forward to seeing how that looks, please post pictures when you get it in. Very curious how it will sound also.
Yeah I will. I have a bunch of pads to mess around with so will do some experiments.
Nice, pad rolling is something I have yet to try. Having always been told that 3rd party pads will change the sound signature. However, with you guys and others dabbling it has piqued my interest. Thing is though I don’t feel that either comfort or style wise the need to change at the moment. I shall wait and see.
I demoed the following in a local store:
- Focal Elear
- Focal Clear
- Focal Elegia
- Focal Utopia
- MrSpeakers AEON Flow Open (AFO)
- MrSpeakers Ether Flow Open (EFO)
- Meze 99 Classics
Observations and opinions:
- The AEON Flow Closed (that I personally own/bought over the web) is a better product than the warmer and looser AFO. I concur with the Wall Of Fame and DIY Audio Heaven reviews.
- The EFO is nice all around, but the bass isn’t great and it’s costly for the quality.
- The Meze 99 Classics have nice tone, but are really fatiguing due to their small closed chambers. Pow Pow Pow to the ears!
Now, for a focus on Focal and this Elegia thread:
- As noted by others, the Elegia is in the ballpark of the Elex. It’s a great product if you need isolation. For me the Elegia is a toss up with the AFC–per mood and personal preference for dynamic vs. planar characteristics. I got the AFC for variety and have no regrets.
- The Elear is a bass monster, but I liked it far better than the Mezes due to the comfort of the open design.
- Using the Elex with a balanced DAC/amp moves their quality toward the Clear on a single-ended cable (not able to test the Clear on balanced).
- The Utopia are indeed better than all the others, but the law of diminishing returns definitely applies to the price.
This is the link to the reddit post with a photo I found: https://www.reddit.com/r/headphones/comments/71ntbr/focal_elear_aftermarket_pad_adapter/
The OP was kind enough to post his files for the adapter.
I’m coming from the Aeon Flow Closed. I like their sound signature, but I need to be able to wear my headphones for several hours at a time, and the size, shape and clamping force of the AFC make that impossible. Their appearance make me stand out like a sore thumb at work. I got my Elegias just today, but so far I’m finding them far more comfortable than the AFC. I’m going to reserve judgement on sound until I get to try them with a decent amp and DAC (the only portable gear I have is a Schiit Fulla 2, not exactly a powerhouse) but so far, I haven’t heard anything I don’t like.
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You guys know this is a headphone forum, right?
So over the weekend, I used the Elegia with my Schiit Fulla2. I wasn’t expecting much, but it was a pleasant enough experience. When I got home last night, I tried them with my Benchmark DAC1. Much better. This morning I brought them to work and hooked them up to my work system, which is a Massdrop X Grace SDAC connected to the Massdrop LCD-X. Damn! MUCH better. I’m surprised at how much better it sounds than the Benchmark. It sounds so nice it’s distracting me from my work Next step is to try the Benchmark connected to the LCD-X.
PS. The cable really is awful. What should I replace it with if I don’t want to spend tooooooo much?