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mwl168

Focal Elear Headphone

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I got really tempted when the Focal Utopia and Elear price reduction was announced a week or so ago. I finally pulled the trigger and bought a pair of Elear after coming across the free headphone stand deal at headphones.com (their customer service is first rate so far by the way).   

Unfortunately my orders of headphone plugs and wire have not arrived so I am stuck with the 4m long, singe-ended Focal standard issue cable at the moment. My Dynalo is not cased yet so I had to make do with my DIYZONE Iris OTL headphone amp.

 

 

 

 

Elear.JPG

Elear and Iris.JPG

Edited by mwl168
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I have had a pair of HD650 and LCD 2 long before I started with the Stax electrostatics. 

It's too early for me to form opinions on the sound of the Elear. I can tell you that they feel solidly built and heavy, not as comfortable as the HD650 or the Stax 700/900. 

Just hooked them up with my Dynalo and I am reminded again how good the Dynalo is - it blows the doors off the Iris.

The distance between the input tubes is roughly 41mm measured from center of the socket. The actual gaps between the tubes is just over 20mm.

 

Edited by mwl168
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2 hours ago, nopants said:

does your pair creak a lot? specifically where the cups rotate, i think it's tensioned by a spring

Don't know exactly what you meant by "where the cups rotate". My pair has not made creaking noise to my knowledge and the cups pivots a little but they don't rotate. 

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yeah i was just referring to the yokes that held the cups in place. thanks for the replies, i guess i probably got a lemon in that regard. secondhand on hf is starting to get on my nerves haha

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The parts I was expecting arrived last night. I made a 4-pin XLR balanced cable so I can listen to the Elear with my SUSY Dynalo.

The wire is 22AWG OCC copper from Norne Audio. 

2017_09_12-EOS 5D Mark II-5370.JPG

2017_09_12-EOS 5D Mark II-5371.JPG

Edited by mwl168
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Cool! What did you use for the splitter? Curious as to why you went with the Focals instead of something like Mr. Speakers Aeons? Those seem more interesting to me personally...

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The splitter is also from Norne Audio, came with the wire I bought.

I've listened to the Focals a few months ago and always hoped to listen to them with my own gears. I know nothing about the Mr. Speakers headphones.

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Have been listening to the Elear every day for the past 10 days or so using both the original Dynalo and the SuSy Dynalo. Today I hooked up my HD650 for a contrast. 

I read many comments on the internet comparing these two phones to each other. I don't get it - these are two very different sounding headphones. The HD650 is very "polite" sounding, almost everything sounds good through it. The Elear on the other hand is a very intimate sounding, in-your-face kind of presentation. On some material it can be too much for me. The Elear also has more resolution and there is more substance behind the human voice and instrument. It's very dynamic. Now that I have a first hand experience in a familiar setting, I can understand some of Tyll's comment in his review. There is a quality of this headphone I have not experienced before which I still cannot quite wrap my head around it...

Both headphones feel comfortable to me. The Elear is noticeably heavier and cramps tighter.

I should mention that my HD650 is an older version with a Cardas cable which I re-terminated with a 4 pin XLR plug. It sounds warmer than my friend's 2 years old HD650 with stock cable. My Elear is used with my own DIY cable.

   

Edited by mwl168
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In my opinion the aggressive sound signature is mostly owed to an upper mid suckout which gives an impression that the headphone sounds quiet, while the actual SPL is pretty high. So you have to really crank it so it feels right. The upper mid suckout is the Fec...erm Focal house tuning. I don't mind it too much, but it can be dangerous as it makes you expose your ears to higher SPL's.

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Uh... no. Given a sample size of 2 (Elear vs Utopia), the Elear has a mid treble suckout and the Utopia has a horrid upper mid/lower treble peak. 

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If anyone was interested, taken from a youtube video which took me a while to wade through on mute. I don't know how good these measurements are compared to innerfidelity's, but I guess I don't care that much either:

image.thumb.png.d808cc915730fb6fc70a9df5b7486c72.png

The Elear was probably the worst "investment" I made in terms of headphones. It's not terrible-sounding but the purchase was poorly timed, all these random deals from retailers trying to liquidate their stock at the moment (to make room for the Clear) really hurts my butt. 

Edited by nopants

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