Specs (Copy pasted from Massdrop website)
- Massdrop x Focal
- Open-back circumaural design
- 40mm full-range dynamic driver with aluminum-magnesium “M”-shaped dome
- 20mm-thick perforated microfiber memory foam ear pads
- Perforated microfiber headband with length adjustment and cup rotation
- Aluminum yoke
- Impedance: 80 ohms
- Sensitivity: 104 dB SPL / 1 mW at 1 kHz
- THD: < 0.3% at 1 kHz / 100 dB SPL
- Frequency response: 5 Hz–23 kHz
- Cable length: 6 ft (1.8 m)
- Product weight: 15.9 oz (450 g)
- Storage box dimensions: 12.8 x 10.2 x 6.5 in (32.6 x 26 x 16.4 cm)
- Individually serialized on sticker under right ear pad
- Handmade in France
- 6 ft (1.8 m) cloth-wrapped single-ended cable with ¼ in (6.35 mm) plug
- 6 ft (1.8 m) cloth-wrapped balanced cable with 4-pin XLR plug
- Storage box with magnetic closure
- Manufacturer’s 2-year warranty
Very nice looking, and they “feel” solid in the hand for me these are an excellent build quality. All metal with minimal plastic.
Black on black finish is very clean and has a nice touch feel.
I have worn these for hours at a time and I personally have not had any hotspots with them. The upper material is faux leather it feels like and has a nice feel to it ( I worry it could tear easily though) and the lower part (contact with head) is the same velour material as the cups, a very soft supple material.
I actually like the detail that went into the yokes to allow them to pivot. That being said they are sturdy but can creak if moved a lot. I did not notice any creaking while they were on my head though.
They have a nice solid fit into the cups, and I’m not too worried about them breaking or that they are fragile in any way. They are also easy to pull out of the cups without feeling like I’m breaking something (I’m looking at you HD800). The only disappointing aspect is the quality is not premium feeling, they are plastic and I would have liked maybe an aluminum or some other metal, but that is not a detraction from their function more of their form .
I think the cable is a very good-looking cable and has a nice braid and feel to it. That being said I really don’t like the actual cable in practice, it is very “janky” and not very flexible. You can feel the two cables running side by side through the entire cable below the Y. This design does not allow for flexibility and the only way for the cable to sit is “folded” back and forth, I would not coil/loop this cable (not that you could).
These disappear on the head (not quite as good as the HD700) …I have zero complaints on the comfort department.
These have a very light clamp almost non-existent, I would not take these to the gym . But enough of a clamp to stay on the head comfortably and not slide off easily (for my head that is).
The pads are outstanding! Very plush feel and my ears don’t get hot in them over long periods of listening. The velour is very nice against the skin. The pads soft foam also allows me to wear my glasses without any issue.
15.9oz(450g) I don’t notice any neck fatigue while wearing these. I don’t mind the weight at all (they are no HD700 though).
I wouldn’t call it a case more of its packaging but it is nice. It has a magnetic clasp, and the internal foam has a nice studio foam look to it (cool detail but irrelevant).
Sound, and the rest of these are so very subjective (I’m new to this, so descriptions might seem off, and I’m not really a critical listener). Ok let’s dive in…I think of these as a more resolving and better sounding HD6XX and would put them in the relaxing and listening to music rather than critical listening swim lane. These have a melodiousness about them that I really enjoy, I’m not overly “wowed” by them but that could be because I’m spoiled by the HD800. I can sit and relax and sip whiskey and just let the music envelop me while listening with these, which is one of my favorite decompress things to do at the end of the day after the kiddo is asleep. Descriptors I would use: Crisp, accurate, warm.
Coherent and accurate. This is where I lack the skills and critical listening to describe headphones so bear with me . I will probably keep the next few topics short and to the point.
I think this is where people get the upgrade from HD6XX. These are similar but better in my opinion in color, tone color, tonality, and resonance to the HD6XX. Everything is just more present and less veiled. This is from memory as I sold off my HD6XX after getting these.
This is a tough one, they are definitely not bass cannons. Bass has a nice roll off, not overly precise. They have a nice solid thump that doesn’t intrude too much on the midrange.
Also, where I think people see this as an upgrade from the HD6XX, it is similar in quality, but just better, more resolving and present. Vocals shine and have a very nice presentation.
I would say for treble these are the easiest to listen to without getting into critical listening levels (not that I’m good at that yet), but it is precise and crisp without being piercing or overly fatiguing. I like hearing fingers snap and snares hit with these cans, it presents them for me with Goldilocks level of treble enjoyment, and I really like my HD800 and HD700 if that means anything to you, dear reader .
I have a hard time describing this topic and think that simple description is the best here. These have excellent separation and presentation with accuracy and detail.
Honestly, this is where these are lacking, from what I’m used to anyways (HD800/700) I would describe the soundstage as a more intimate, close, and around my head.
JDS Labs the Element/JDS Labs El DAC
Good for Genres:
I listen to an eclectic mix and I found these excellent for all of them, at least for me. I used my playlist I created for this forum Forum.Headphones playlist
Senn HD700: I have to say I am a fan of the Senn sound signature….and I think these overall for me beat the snot out of the FOCAL Elex on all fronts, they are crisper, more accurate, and much more transportive. I mean the Elex sound amazing, but the HD700 with the wider soundstage just do it for me. The Elex is an intimate set, they are warmer than the HD700, vocals are more intimate with less peaks, and female vocals come into the ear so very warm and intimate. I would say the Elex is veiled and warm in comparison. I was going to compare them to the HD800 also but just not really worth it for me because the HD700 is a mini HD800 so if they can’t compare to it….well =)
Frequency Response (snagged from Head-Fi/Massdrop)
THD(snagged from Head-Fi/Massdrop)
How my ears hear/feel with them:
I actually like these as a relaxing set of headphones, they feel comfortable and are easy to listen to. They have great response and clarity. The problem is I find myself grabbing my HD800 or my Purplehearts every time. They do fit that HD6XX upgrade path at least for me, but I think after writing this that these will have to be shuffled off to get another pair of cans on my want list, maybe the Campfire Cascade. But I will say this without A/B’ng these and I just sit back and listen to them they really are a joy to listen to, they are like sitting in front of a warm open fire, damn it now I want to keep them…this is my struggle with these, when I think where they fit for me I have a hard time placing them, but when I just let go and listen… Mmm, I want to keep them….son of a….
Hopefully you guys enjoyed my impressions/opinion, and I would love to hear what you think. Also any questions you have I’ll be more than happy to do my best to answer them.