Focal Headphones Rock
Utopia Review by Jason B
The Utopia’s head stage, imaging, frequency response, and dynamics was overwhelmingly good compared to the Elear and especially the Fostex TH900. In particular, a track from Chris Jones, “Roadhouses & Automobiles” – the Fostex only reproduced about 60% of Chris’s low, full, chesty vocals. The track clinched it for me.
At that point.....I was going to do 1 of 2 things.....either pull everything out of the car and sell it to get the $'s to buy the Utopia or 'save up' for about a year or so to get them. Getting the Elear + a good cable was a very viable option.....but my psychosis is......I would always wonder......would what I'm hearing sound much better on the Utopia's.
And, last but certainly not least, I had a wonderful buying experience with Drew, Nichole, and Martin. I want to thank Drew for answering questions via phone and email – for setting up a wonderful demo experience – for getting the cables done so quickly – and for making the exchange of the 5’ headphone cable for the 10’ cable so easy when I was knucklehead with my order. Moon Audio is an excellent company with wonderful people and top shelf products!
Elear Review by schroedk
I am now up to three separate headphone setups, each with different DACs and amps, due to my recent addition of the Focal Elear. I originally wanted to spring for the Utopia's, but the price tag prompted me to try out the Elear first, since I had never heard either, and was wanting to try one or the other based purely on glowing reviews.
The Elear's join my Sennheiser HD800's and my Oppo PM-1's. Differences between the three are fairly obvious, and I find myself gravitating to different cans depending on my mood. Now that my Elears are starting to break in a little bit (I purchased them with the upgraded Silver Dragon cable), I'm enjoying them more and more. The soundstage is much narrower than the HD800's, but the articulation of each instrument and voice, and the reasonably flat frequency response makes up for the narrower soundstage. I've paired the Elears with a Cambridge DacMagic 100 DAC for a warmer sound, and they're powered by a Beyerdynamic A20 amp.
Listen Review by Paul
If you are looking for a relatively neutral headphone that is easily portable and has excellent isolation that these should be on your short list. I honestly cannot think of many portable headphones that have a neutral sound signature and isolate this well for this price point, granted there are many headphones I have not listened to. I think the fact that it is not a bass cannon gives this headphone the niche to survive in its competitive price bracket. As far as value I would absolutely say it is worth the MSRP. I could honestly see this headphone selling for even 300 or 350 (although 350 would be a little excessive) in the current market. If you do get them, be sure to give it at least a week before passing final judgment. When I initially got them I did not care much for them, now they are one of my favorites and my go to mobile headphone!