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Focal Elegia Review (Closed Back Headphone)

Rate this headphone:

  • 1. Poor (headless panther)

    Votes: 30 17.2%
  • 2. Not terrible (postman panther)

    Votes: 88 50.6%
  • 3. Fine (happy panther)

    Votes: 45 25.9%
  • 4. Great (golfing panther)

    Votes: 11 6.3%

  • Total voters
    174

wisechoice

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Jun 22, 2021
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Aha, there it is! Something to save my pennies for. My girlfriend will thank you for keeping my insane, desperate habit alive, I'm sure.
 

Duke650

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Mar 21, 2019
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The sturdy cable is annoying, but it can be replaced easily. Worse problem is a broken headband. Mine broke spontaneously, unexpectedly and without abuse 2 days ago - a few months after the warranty expired :-( And according Uncle Google I am one of many users who have the same problem...
 

theoblue80

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May 19, 2020
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My statement was rhetorical one as I could not understand why people fancy this headphone over another which is objectively superior for lesser price. i have no issue how you spend your money and find value in things for specific use case. $100 for a great amp and even less in used market. amp price would have been a good $ consideration a few years ago.
There is no such thing as objective superiority that can have practical use on headphones and speakers (except of course if we compare a 20 USD headphone with Utopia).

It's all based on everyone's personal taste for sound, music genres, even on the frequencies to which one's ears are more sensitive.

In a different case, there would be no need to listen to demo headphones/speakers before buying them and everyone would buy them blindly depending on the measurements.

Regarding the Elegia cable, whoever considers buying the headphone should keep in mind that the recent Elegia product line includes an elastic cable similar to the one of Clear MG and Celestee.
 

Rottmannash

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Fair enough. I wonder why nobody has made a tonally neutral headphone that also has great bass extension and volume, at whatever price. Maybe somebody here can explain it? In the pro video world, you can spend tens of thousands to get everything right according to the standard (although there will still be one or two tradeoffs between different technologies for illumination, e.g. OLED vs dual-layer LCD vs FALD). In the audio world, it really does seem to be the wild west.
Does the Stealth qualify?
 

GaryH

Senior Member
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May 12, 2021
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Or the HE-1:

Or pay 300 times less and just add a touch of EQ:

Harman 2018-Sennheiser HE1-Hifiman HE4XX.png
 

Helicopter

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Thanks Amir. I am always interested in Focal.

Focal headphones all have sensible connectors, and often have those stiff terrible cables. The best stock cable I have us the Celestee one, but still not even close to my DIY cables.

The 3.5mm TS is simple and widely available, and the LEMO connectors on the Utopia are marvelous.
 
Last edited:

Berwhale

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I was able to import 57 tracks out of 119 into Quboz. Spotify plus didn't recognize any of them. How are you all importing them and with what success?

I created the Spoitfy list manually (I have Spotify Family)...

 

wisechoice

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Jun 22, 2021
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Or the HE-1:

Now that I think about it, any headphone that can be EQ’ed properly meets the criteria. The HE-1 included, of course. Although a headphone with DSP where an EQ can be saved (or which already renders the sound perceptibly neutral) would probably be better, since it would be independent of any particular playback system.

I’ve almost purchased the Sonarworks software, but it crashes often on my M1 Mini. Until it’s optimized for Apple Silicon, I’ll probably pass on it. A headphone with built-in EQ would obviate the need. Perhaps there’s a technical or engineering reason not to do this, but if so, I haven’t come across it. And anyway, many headphones with ANC already do it.
 

MorningDew

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Apr 13, 2020
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Excellent headphones.
Hard to beat in this price range with Oratory's EQ Settings + Dekoni Stellia Pads...

View attachment 164497
Great photo. Would you mind sharing how the Dekoni pads affected the sound signature? I have owned these with their stock pads for about a month and really enjoy them with a little tweaking from a Schiit Loki. I use it to bring up both the low and high frequencies which I find make these quite a bit more engaging while still leaving the mids intact. However, I tend to find Harmon to be a little too V shaped for my liking. Do you think these pads can get me closer to what I'm looking for? Thanks for your time.
 

Bow_Wazoo

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Jan 3, 2021
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With the Dekoni Stellia Pads, the stage becomes larger, the bass is increased, and overall the Elegia sounds more "cultivated".
These pads take the Elegia to a higher level.
A must have!
 

theoblue80

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May 19, 2020
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With the Dekoni Stellia Pads, the stage becomes larger, the bass is increased, and overall the Elegia sounds more "cultivated".
These pads take the Elegia to a higher level.
A must have!
I bought the Elegia open-box at 350€.
The Dekoni pads cost 100$ without shipping costs/import duties :)
Thank you though for the advice anyway
What kind of pads can cost the price of a decent over ear headphone e.g. AKG k361?
 

Habbe

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Oct 12, 2021
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I've had these headphones for almost three years and used them a lot. I bought them for quiet home use and for music production; my requirements were decent isolation (closed back were a must) and as neutral sound as possible, although back then I didn't understand what that would mean for headphones.

I tried them and found out the following:
- very analytical and reveiling bass
- good isolation
- excellent transient response
- amazingly bad cable

(I don't know how to quantify the third in numerics)

So I bought them. Since then I still think the observations are correct, plus the following:
- low distortion
- mids sound glorious, because
- middle forward sound, a bit too flat frequency response, and so
- a bit dull sound

Because of the excellent bass accuracy and transient response, these headphones are good for adjusting compressor settings. Because of low distortion they can be used to check subtle saturation levels. But because of the mids my problem has been that e.g. guitars sound too good on these headphones and so those parts of my mixes don't translate well to other systems.

Lately I've been trying to figure out iem/headphones for maximum mix translability.
 

Anmol

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There is no such thing as objective superiority that can have practical use on headphones and speakers (except of course if we compare a 20 USD headphone with Utopia).

It's all based on everyone's personal taste for sound, music genres, even on the frequencies to which one's ears are more sensitive.

In a different case, there would be no need to listen to demo headphones/speakers before buying them and everyone would buy them blindly depending on the measurements.

Regarding the Elegia cable, whoever considers buying the headphone should keep in mind that the recent Elegia product line includes an elastic cable similar to the one of Clear MG and Celestee.
there are headphones reviewed on this website with clear distortion and at ridiculous prices. While it is buyer's money , one would hope objective data needs to form a decision ie next step of testing a headphone to one's liking or not. objectivist vs subjectvist debate has been beaten to death on this forum so i dont want to reopen that chat. I am suggesting an in between-ist method of checking data first and then testing headphone to one's preference.
 

theoblue80

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Joined
May 19, 2020
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These pads are worth it :)
Hope you are right :p
Just ordered a B-Stock pair at a total price of 76 EUR since I also own Clear MG and I could apply these pads to them as well (although color doesn't match :) )

Btw, I have tried to simulate Amir's EQ settings in my AK KANN dap.
  • 30Hz: +5dB , Q1.0
  • 45Hz: +1.5dB, Q1.0
  • 3kHz: +5dB , Q2.5
  • 6kHz: +5dB , Q3.0
Has anyone more expert than me any improvement to suggest? :)
 
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