Focal Utopia Open-Back Headphones - Official Thread

focal

#21

Have you listened to the Focal Elex? If so how would you compare them to those? I have the Elex and have been feeling mixed bag about it to some degree. I will probably do a review on them here soon"ish". I would love to A/B them with other Focals one day. So far my favorite sound signatures are Sennheiser and Fostex. The Elex I describe as being a more music “friendly” or sit and relax and listen sidegrade to my HD800.


#22

I compared the two super briefly. The Elex is a much more relaxed, warmer sound. It has an extra bit of thickness in the low midrange and bass that some people may miss in the Utopia. But the Utopia is a cleaner, more detailed sounding headphone with a more forward upper midrange. Utopia seemed a bit more treble-forward too. I liked the Elex a lot more than I expected to considering I didn’t have a very positive opinion of the Elear.


#23

I loved the Utopia a lot during it’s time with me. The presentation was right up my alley with that forward mid range that gives a lot of life to female vocals as well as pianos which coincide with my love for smooth jazz music.


#24

not having experience with the Elear or Utopia, I had to compare to my HD800 and I felt similar feelings to how you compare it to the Utopia. The Elex is a unique headphone and looks really good, I just don’t know where it fits in my stable of cans… I’m giving it some more time on my head before I fully evaluate it.


#25

Oh brother! I took the plunge to day and bought some from Jason at Source Audio. Great deal. I cannot say, but you won’t be disappointed.
Any thoughts and recommendations on Amp, Dac, or Amp/Dac combo. Jude said he loved them with Woo WA8 Eclipse.


#26

Anyone using utopia with sp1000?


#27

I love the Utopias with the SPL Phonitor X. You can get the Phonitor X with or without the DAC, I’d get it without the DAC to save a few hundred bucks.


#28

Funny you mention that. I was looking at that today. I’ll take a closer look now. As far as a Dac goes now, I’m getting down with the new Matrix X-Sabre Pro with the new ES Sabre 9038 Dacs . I used to have the older X Sabre and it had the 9018’s in it and it was cutting edge DSD decoding 4 years ago. Anyway the right amp and I think I’ll be there (or not) ?? :money_mouth_face:


#29

Hope it’s not too late but I’d skip all the woo stuff.


#30

Used it with the WM1Z. Not a fan of A&K purely due to prices.


#31

Wow! Can it be all that great. Fit in the palm of your hand and cost all that money? :scream:


#32

I’d recommend a DAP like the WM1A over the woo memes. If that’s what you’re asking.


#33

I’m always into learning. I always wondered how they got so much money for that unit, but apparently
they must be excellent because people are loving the. The only decent DAP I ever got was a Fiio X5 vs3 and I must say I’ve always enjoyed that. I will definitely do some research on the Sony. Thanks for the tip.


#34

The Focal’s aren’t that hard to drive so DAP’s do have enough power for the most part.


#35

1z is not cheap either


#36

Any utopia + ak sp1000 users out there?


#37

A few suggestions, further up in this thread.

Probably the best mid-point amp, budget wise, for them is the iFi Audio Pro iCAN. It’s suitably resolving, very flexible, will easily drive another headphones you may wind up throwing at it, and can run it’s input stage in either solid-state or one of two tube-modes - which can be a lot of fun with something as revealing as the Utopia.

With the right tubes and configuration, the EC Aficionado is also excellent.

I’ve also tried them with the SimAudio Moon 430HA and found that a bit slow sounding and a rather sterile. With the Audio-GD Master 9 which I found things a bit harsh and not really showing off how resolving the Utopia are. Headamp GS-X Mk2 was super-resolving and fast, but a bit on the bright side.


#38

Can personally vouch for the ifi pro ican. Had a long demo with it and was pleasantly surprising of its performance. While not the best thing for its price (can be had for around 1.1k usd used) it provides a clean experience and accentuates the good qualities of the Utopia with ease.


#39

I liked the Pro iCAN enough that, after having one on loan to review, I wound up buying it. And, unlike most of the amps that have come through my hands, it remains in my collection - having survived everything except my big-boy tube amps (and a few more modest units I keep around for other comparisons but don’t actually use that much).

It pairs well with every headphone (and, indeed, IEM) that I’ve ever tried pairing it with; here is with a few from my collection:


#40

After loads of research it’s nice to hear giving your experience. I was and am leaning toward it. I’m holding out for may a head-fi used one. Especially after the outlay this week for the Utopia