Focal Elegia closed-back headphones were a somewhat poorly kept secret. I received a pair of Focal's new closed-back cans this morning at the Rocky Mountain Audio Festival and liked what I've heard so far. Standing in a booth at the RMAF is not optimal for listening to write a review, but Focal Clear with more bass would is my first Elegia haiku.
As an engineer and cable maker, I may understand why closed-back headphones are a current manufacturing trend. Closed-back headphones combine noise isolation, something many customers want these noisy days, with intimate high fidelity. There is never an audio manufacturer free lunch. Closing headphones require stronger drivers and may sacrifice depth of sound or "soundstage." It's easier to do the one - isolate - than the other - spacious sounding headphones.
Focal and Dragons
Focal Utopia, an open-back headphone, creates the most spacious, rich, and detailed soundstage. Our team listened for hours before developing a Black Dragon cable specifically for Focal's top of the line headphones. Customers use words such as "clarity," "detail," and "outstanding value" to describe Focal's "speakers on your head" approach to headphones. When customers describe spending $3,000 (now $4,000 then) on headphones an "outstanding value" we know we've got something.
Focal Clear headphones, also open-back, have a slightly different sound than Utopia. The same process happened when Clear arrived. The Dragon team listened, tested, and tweaked only to realize the Silver Dragon cables developed for Focal Elear provided the best clarity and detail boost for Clear.
Focal Elegia and Dragons
Standing in our Moon Audio booth at RMAF (booth #61-62 in CANJAM) is NOT the place to begin figuring out what Dragon cable will work best with Focal's new Elegias. Generally, Silver Dragon cables help with detail and clarity where Black Dragon cables support low-end (bass) warmth and fullness. If that last sentence sounds as if Silver Dragons are my first thought for Elegia you now know as much as I do. Look for my full Elegia closed-back headphones review and Dragon recommendation on my return from Denver.
|Focal Elegia||Utopia||Focal Clear|