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Focal clear cracking/metallic sound from left driver with deep bass.

Tiranael

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hi, I just bought a focal clear used in really good condition but the problem that I noticed is when I play song with deep bass like Bad guy from Billie Ellish I can ear the left driver making a metallic sound. I went on audiosciencereview and saw that Amir spotted this issue and I played the song that Amir said that he could hear the crackling noise and I ear it too. Why I'm writing this is because sometime the left driver crack but other time I plug the headphone and listen to all the problematic song and absolutely NO crackeling noise. Why something it crackle and other time not ? Did there is an explanation ?
 

Jimbob54

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hi, I just bought a focal clear used in really good condition but the problem that I noticed is when I play song with deep bass like Bad guy from Billie Ellish I can ear the left driver making a metallic sound. I went on audiosciencereview and saw that Amir spotted this issue and I played the song that Amir said that he could hear the crackling noise and I ear it too. Why I'm writing this is because sometime the left driver crack but other time I plug the headphone and listen to all the problematic song and absolutely NO crackeling noise. Why something it crackle and other time not ? Did there is an explanation ?

Same volume each time?

Dont rule out silly little things like hairs stuck on/ near the driver. Unlikely if its the noise Amir got, but not all snaps and crackles are the same.
 
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Tiranael

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Hairs in the earcup can produce this vibration noise ?
 

Jimbob54

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Hairs in the earcup can produce this vibration noise ?

Amir ( and I have done it too) got the driver to over extend at pretty high volume with particularly bass heavy tracks. If its at "casual" listening levels , you have a broken driver, or something else causing it. A hair on the driver will cause a buzzing/ grating edge to some notes. The Amir issue is a "crack!" Very different noises
 
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Tiranael

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Oh ok I understand. Me it is more like a vibration noise inside the left earcups.
 
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Tiranael

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Like if something is loose inside and create some vibration.
 

Jimbob54

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Like if something is loose inside and create some vibration.

That is almost certainly the case. Give it the usual tapping and shaking, take the pad off , blow (not too hard) from back and front, see if that does anything, but if not, return it if you can.

Look up Grado "grattle" - obviously not a grado but both very very open designs with some of the perils that brings
 
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Tiranael

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Did a compressed air dusters is too much for the headphone driver ?
 

Jimbob54

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marten1337

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hi, I just bought a focal clear used in really good condition but the problem that I noticed is when I play song with deep bass like Bad guy from Billie Ellish I can ear the left driver making a metallic sound. I went on audiosciencereview and saw that Amir spotted this issue and I played the song that Amir said that he could hear the crackling noise and I ear it too. Why I'm writing this is because sometime the left driver crack but other time I plug the headphone and listen to all the problematic song and absolutely NO crackeling noise. Why something it crackle and other time not ? Did there is an explanation ?
I got my Clears in November of last year. Just recently i started noticing this exact crackling or metallic trickling noise coming from my left earcup at seemingly random times. Somtimes it is just appears out of nowhere when not even listening to songs, just talking to friends on discord.
@Tiranael Which song were you talking about that allowed you to reproduce the issue? I want to try it for myself before i send the Clears in for a healthcheck.
 
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Tiranael

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Exact thing as you but since I made this post it didn't make it again.

The song that I noticed it the most are :

- Bad guys (by billie eilish) > directly at the beginning there is heavy bass and I was clearly able to ear the noise of the driver each time.
- Burak Malçok - Toz Ruhu - YouTube > directly at the beggining there is really deep bass that really show the problem.
- Pascal Gaigne - Un espejo en el cielo (From "Kamandú, un espejo en el cielo") - YouTube > At 2:45 when the deep bass begin it started to make the metallic rattling noise in the left driver.
- As yours turns into mine (by VanWyck) > I'm not 100 % about this one but when there is deep sound from different instrument during this song I'm pretty sure that during a fraction of second something was wrong but now since I didn't here this metallic sound from the left driver this song sound fine from the begging to the end. In the 3 song before it is really easier to notice it.
 

peter321

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Welcome
I have the same problem with the Focal Elegia headphones - at very low frequencies you can hear a buzzing in one earpiece, something like knocking, if the transducer failed - how did your problem end? - he fixed you?
 
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Tiranael

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Maybe it was some hair that was stuck in the cup because I shaked gently the headphone and blowed a little bit in the cup and everything was fine after that. Now I didnt here the ratling noise in the left driver when there is heavy low frequency at all.
 

peter321

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Thanks for your answer
I found - https://www.head-fi.org/threads/mas...iew-measurements.867615/page-46#post-14228871
We read there an interesting response from Focal to cases of humming in spikes at very low frequencies


FocalOfficial

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Dear all,

As already mentionned several times on Head-Fi, the issue described is actually not a quality issue.
Indeed, we have made a clear design choice on Elear (and by consequence Elex) and Utopia. Our headphones have been designed to favor the respect of the dynamic contained within the audio signal versus dynamic compression that would offer a higher SPL capability but less respect of the original audio signal. To cut a long story short, the choice was audio quality oriented rather than SPL oriented. This allows our products to work with full performances until the mechanical clipping is activated. This means that you jump directly from a very low distortion to a sound which could be heard as rattling / cracking noise. On very special tracks with only very low frequencies at very high level, you can thus hear some noises - as you will do on classic loudspeakers.
If we change your pair of headphones, the new one will be designed similarly and it will also have a kind of cracking sound when you will be listening to music with high volume and a fair amount of bass.
The only solution we can recommend you is therefore to listen to your headphones at a lower volume.

Thank you for your understanding,
Best regards,
Marine, Community Manager Focal
 

KeithPhantom

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Thanks for your answer
I found - https://www.head-fi.org/threads/mas...iew-measurements.867615/page-46#post-14228871
We read there an interesting response from Focal to cases of humming in spikes at very low frequencies


FocalOfficial

Sponsor: Focal

JoinedSep 13, 2016Posts57Likes221
Dear all,

As already mentionned several times on Head-Fi, the issue described is actually not a quality issue.
Indeed, we have made a clear design choice on Elear (and by consequence Elex) and Utopia. Our headphones have been designed to favor the respect of the dynamic contained within the audio signal versus dynamic compression that would offer a higher SPL capability but less respect of the original audio signal. To cut a long story short, the choice was audio quality oriented rather than SPL oriented. This allows our products to work with full performances until the mechanical clipping is activated. This means that you jump directly from a very low distortion to a sound which could be heard as rattling / cracking noise. On very special tracks with only very low frequencies at very high level, you can thus hear some noises - as you will do on classic loudspeakers.
If we change your pair of headphones, the new one will be designed similarly and it will also have a kind of cracking sound when you will be listening to music with high volume and a fair amount of bass.
The only solution we can recommend you is therefore to listen to your headphones at a lower volume.

Thank you for your understanding,
Best regards,
Marine, Community Manager Focal
This answer does not make any sense. How do you 'respect the dynamic content' of a recording? It isn't like the group delay error/decay of most headphones is even audible, let alone bother the 'original dynamic content' of a recording.

I did own the Clear Pro at some point and they never sounded wrong or made them clip, but for the level that this error is usually present and the frequency range it is located, it is a complete malfunction of the transducer itself. Due to the equal-loudness contour, we need a lot more sound pressure level at the low frequencies compared to the high ones, and the inability of their transducers to deliver this in some of the cases is just an engineering limitation on the excursion the transducer can do. Turning up the level of a recording does not mean the absolute level of the dynamic range gets compressed, it just moves the absolute levels of the sound while maintaining the relative level, at least at a purely physical level.
 

Equelibrium

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Sorry for resurrecting an old thread, but I had this issue myself and was very sad to discover there was no solution..
That is until I bought a new amp!
I used to have a JDS LABS Elements II and experienced this issue in bass heavy music, but also games that relies heavily on sounds like Hellblade.
Long story short, I had plans to get a new amp, and my wallet agreed with the FiiO K9 Pro.
Now, I am no expert, but this amp has a balanced output, and using that I have so far not been able to reproduce the crackling.
AFAIK balanced will help with noise and such, and this might be the reason I cannot reproduce this.
Hopefully this can help others who struggle with the same, because these are most excellent headphones :)
 

Slichillax

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Sorry for resurrecting an old thread, but I had this issue myself and was very sad to discover there was no solution..
That is until I bought a new amp!
I used to have a JDS LABS Elements II and experienced this issue in bass heavy music, but also games that relies heavily on sounds like Hellblade.
Long story short, I had plans to get a new amp, and my wallet agreed with the FiiO K9 Pro.
Now, I am no expert, but this amp has a balanced output, and using that I have so far not been able to reproduce the crackling.
AFAIK balanced will help with noise and such, and this might be the reason I cannot reproduce this.
Hopefully this can help others who struggle with the same, because these are most excellent headphones :)
Hey I just bought the Clear Mg Pros and have the Element II also. I actually bought it for these headphones I have to get a new amp apparently, thanks for the info.
 
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