Jump to content

Focal Utopia headphones...with Beryllium driver


mtoc
 Share

Recommended Posts

2 hours ago, TMoney said:

Isn't that all stuff every headphone manufacturer's marketing department should be doing before the launch of a flagship product?

It sounds like good business to me. Manufacturers whose marketing departments don't do this kind of PR rollout are probably doing their product a disservice, don't you think?

I don't really see any ethical issues unless positive reviews were paid for. 

--

In any event, the high-end of the headphone world seems to be reasonably good at separating the wheat from the chaff once the initial buzz settles. The cream has generally risen to the top (Sennheiser, Schiit, Stax) while the mediocrity has Been sinking (Audeze, Ultrasone, Basically Every Custom Cable Maker).

As usual, early adopters put themselves at risk of falling for the buzz, but this is and will always be the case.

As a consumer in this niche market, I have my own criticisms about the industry and though it might not be in line with popular or mainstream perceptions, but I see this becoming a trend parallel to the mobile devices industry where the consumer has a short product memory. 

And currently if you are looking at the headphone market, from 2009 onwards every other manufacturer is releasing a new flagship in every couple of years, this also goes for the IEM and DAP market, where "THE ULTIMATE" digital audio player is released in every 6 months by South Asian Manufacturers at ridiculous prices with the premise that it is a "LUXURY" product, but it is clearly not, as it is poorly made, sound mundane at best and can't even do what an average smartphone does and few even have problems with oxidation, despite being worth more than 5 times a iPhone 6S. 

There are some benefits out of this hyper hyped market though, as a few manufacturers and DIY'ers do seem to come out with good stuff once in a while, but it is always a rare find and for me it takes time for gear to grow on you as you get more and more aware of the product from a holistic perspective , which is why I also don't trust these early reviews before the actual product launch. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, TMoney said:

Are you referring to something in particular?

There are no need to point to a specific company as there are several doing quite similar stuff, and only few exceptions.
But to be honest about this, it also seems to be some kind of its own ecological system; many consumers want to believe that the next thing is even closer to heaven, and manufacturers both full fill this desire and feed it as well.

25 minutes ago, xEcuToR said:

There are some benefits out of this hyper hyped market though, as a few manufacturers and DIY'ers do seem to come out with good stuff once in a while, but it is always a rare find and for me it takes time for gear to grow on you as you get more and more aware of the product from a holistic perspective , which is why I also don't trust these early reviews before the actual product launch.

..is actually limited to reviews before product launch? I'd say in general one has to  be vary careful not to put too much faith into any review

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Its a good thing its limited to the high end audio market. If it happened like that in the housing, phone, auto, and stock markets, we might have to worry about an unstable economic future. That would be scary.  ¬¬ 

Edited by robm321
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

The price still makes me sick to my stomach, but damn!

As of today this is the best dynamic headphone I've heard (non-stat division). The Utopia is exceptionally balanced and really seems to have no weakness.

Once these start making it out in to the wild I'll be interested to see what others think.

image.jpg

Edited by TMoney
Link to comment
Share on other sites

These have me interested. I've more or less stopped buying headphones, and don't really use the ones I have often enough. My ears are approaching 54 years old, so I don't know about the wisdom of another $4k pair of headphones?

That said, I was happy when I bit on the 009, and felt they were somewhat game changing. Maybe these have that upside as well, where they're not just another pair of headphones lying around but something special and worth listening to.

Edited by Wmcmanus
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 minutes ago, Wmcmanus said:

No BH, but they sound good on my Egmont (good ole Rudy) and ES1 (not so good ole Mikhail).

Then get the BHSE or KGSSHV Carbon and forget about the Utopia.  Speaking of the dynamic amp, I would recommend the ECP amp as a replacement to your SDS-XLR.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

12 minutes ago, purk said:

Then get the BHSE or KGSSHV Carbon and forget about the Utopia.  Speaking of the dynamic amp, I would recommend the ECP amp as a replacement to your SDS-XLR.

Ehh, I hear you. I'm sure there is new and improved and better. Always is. But I've always loved the SDS-XLR. Don't care what anyone else says, it's an incredible amp to my ears. I've never had any trouble with it either. The house hasn't burnt to the ground, etc. That, and I don't do a ton of headphone listening anymore. Would love to hear some of these amps though, don't get me wrong. I think there would be value in it for someone who listens to headphones as much as I did, say 10 years ago or so.

Edited by Wmcmanus
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 minutes ago, Wmcmanus said:

Ehh, I hear you. I'm sure there is new and improved and better. Always is. But I've always loved the SDS-XLR. Don't care what anyone else says, it's an incredible amp to my ears. I've never had any trouble with it either. The house hasn't burnt to the ground, etc. That, and I don't do a ton of headphone listening anymore. Would love to hear some of these amps though, don't get me wrong. I think there would be value in it for someone who listens to headphones as much as I did, say 10 years ago or so.

Wayne,

I just sold my SDS-XLR three months ago and it was definitely my best dynamic amp.    I wouldn't know what to do if it ever break down.   I do miss it dearly given the way it can drive my R10.  However, Doug's ECP amps (my DSHA-0) come close to it with less hassle to deal with. His ECP Copehagen either tube or solidstate should be almost as good sound wise or equal to it.  Sill get the BHSE or Carbon tho. :)

Edited by purk
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wow for a couple of pages here I thought I was back at HF... nice to see Wayne considering taking one for the team!! Given my memory of the Focal Be rooms at HiFi events I am considering selling most of my underused gear to get a pair in November or so or maybe just plug my JH13s into my iPhone and have a beer. 

 

  • Like 6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wow for a couple of pages here I thought I was back at HF... nice to see Wayne considering taking one for the team!! Given my memory of the Focal Be rooms at HiFi events I am considering selling most of my underused gear to get a pair in November or so or maybe just plug my JH13s into my iPhone and have a beer. 

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.