Focal Elegia - Closed Back Headphones - Official Thread



If you want to spend ~$20, the New Fantasia cables on amazon are pretty good. Look for the one that’s made for Denon headphones. Another option is the Meze cables which are also about $20 on amazon.

I made my own balanced xlr and 2.5mm cables but I do have the New Fantasia one for using with 3.5 and 1/4 amps.


After goofing around with my amps and AEON Flow Closed, my intuition is that closed are more pleasant with more compression than is desirable with open headphones. I’m continuing to try things.


Compression as in using lossy sources?


No, compression as in reduced dynamic range – aka The Loudness Wars. When all the sounds have similar volume it seems to work better in closed headphones.


So closed headphones have a narrower dynamic range to you? Interesting. I haven’t tried that test yet.


My perception is that closed headphones fall apart faster with big dynamics. They work best when kept within their comfort zone – otherwise their artifacts include reflections, muddiness, and simple ear pain.


I received my 3D Printed Focal adapters today! They were 3D printed using ABS. I posted the link above where to download the files for it. These obviously will work on the Elear, Elex and Clear as well, but the Elegia is my new shiny toy of the moment so they are getting face time.

This is the Elegia with the adapter on and the Brainwavz Sheepskin Leather pads.

The 3DHubs printing guy must have broke a set of clips so he sent me a unbroken one (which is attached to the pads) and this spare set which is missing a clip on each adapter. It still clips on fine.

I have some other pads I may try to play with now. Not sure how angled velours will do, but I have them as well.


Man, listening to these right now and I’m still blown away how close they get to the Clears, while being closed back. I’ve been going back and forth with the Clears and Elegia over the past couple days and honestly it is a toss up for which one I pick. The Elegia are more comfortable but “just” I think they are lighter but I’m being lazy and don’t want to look it up…posting this while taking a break from Photoshop (lots of pictures . of my lil monster I’m turning into wallpapers, yeezus…I’m turning into that parent…and I don’t care back to making wallpapers of my lil beast).


I got my LCX back from my buddy, so I now have that hooked up at work with my Benchmark DAC1. The sound is the best I can remember hearing from headphones. It’s addictively good, and everything I’ve played through it sounds fantastic - lovely and airy, and very natural. The clamping force is a little more than I’d like, and I wish the earcups could swivel, even just a little to better conform to my head. I even managed to wear them comfortably for over an hour while I had a headache which was impossible with the Aeons. I’m going to need a new cable at some point - the stock cable is too short, too stiff and too microphonic - but that can wait a while. As long as these stay comfortable, I think I’ve found my headphones.


So how do we make this happen?


I will send you local types a private message and we’ll sort out a mutually agreeable date there. Given all the coming holiday activities, it’ll be something we can do sooner if it is during the week, but we’ll see who’s available and when.


Another Seattleite here and I’ve just ordered the Elegia. Let me know if you want another can to checkout and measure. I’d be happy to meetup with you fine folks. Cheers!


@DarthPool How’s the Elegia straight out of the ifi iDSD Nano BL?


I’ll test it now…

edit: I take that back I won’t be testing that now…I don’t have the proper adapter/cable for it on hand.


I’m looking forward to receiving the can. I know there have been some debates about the bass presence but I hope it’s more than adequate for my tastes. Historically, my headphones have been slanted towards bassy variants but I find my preferences evolving towards all rounder cans with a fairly linear frequency response. Mids have typically suffered on my previous headphones due to their ‘V’ shaped nature but I’m discovering how much I favor that aspect of the spectrum. There’s so much richness and musicality there.

The Elex or the Clear will likely be the open back I purchase in the near future. How do you feel the Elex jives in existence with the Elegia?

Intros: If you just joined the community this is the spot to introduce yourself

Have you read @Torq’s review on ? It sums up pretty well how I feel actually and has comparison data between the three. I think the Elex is more dynamic and detailed, but the Elegia is just a small step behind, which I find impressive for a closed can. It doesnt sound like other closed headphones I’ve tried - it has a little bit of “openness” sound to it which I really like. I think they compliment each other in that if you like the sound of the Elex, you can get a similar-enough sounding closed counterpart. The bass response is just right for me. It’s not super bassy and not missing sounding either. I like linear bass (planar style) responses and this is pretty close to that as a dynamic closed headphone.


The Elegia is my daily office driver. I listen to it every day for at least an hour or so (people and work get in the way all the time though SMH but what can you do, need to make money to fund further purchases of audio gear). So far I have zero complaints with mine, at the office I have the iFi Nano iDSD Black Label (NiBL) going into a JDS Labs Element.


I did read his review, a few times! :smile:

His in-depth review and others from Head-Fi were what did it for me. I’m hoping it’s a great closed back can that’s capable of responding to anything I throw at it. I mostly listen to indie, hip hop, post hardcore, punk, garage/grunge rock, classical, atmospheric/ambient, folk, pop, and live recordings/videos. My chain has mostly consisted of my Surface Book 2 > Roon > NAS/Tidal Hifi > Grace m9XX/DragonFly Red. But, I sold the m9xx and will be looking to replace it with something else soon. I’ve been thinking about the RME ADI-2 but something with a balanced option might be worth considering too. There’s also the ifi iDSD Micro BL. I don’t have much desktop space and like to keep things to a minimum, so that’s a consideration as well.


How’s the Elegia straight out of the NiBL?

Perhaps we should move this conversation over to the Elegia thread?


It works very well! It helps that the Elegia are easy to drive.

There are benefits to additional amplification - the NiBL is, I feel, biased towards its DAC section, but it’s still a satisfying listen and will play louder than is safe.