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Stupendous detail & transparency with lots of top-end energy. More details
What does the Focal Utopia open-back headphone sound like? (Select all that apply)
C) Both A and B
Surprise! The answer is both. The Focal Utopia audiophile headphone sounds like nothing: Nothing between you and the music. Nothing you have yet experienced. The Utopias sound like everything: Everything on the recording as presented by everything upstream in the audio chain. Everything is revealed: layers of music, instrument separation, the tiniest of details. Nothing is hidden. Ahhhhh, Utopia! (Quiz courtesy of a Moon Audio customer)
Focal built on 35 years of high-end speaker designs to create a revolution in headphone sound, design, and comfort. As a world first, Utopia features the only full range and fully open back loudspeaker built within a pair of headphones, using pure beryllium formed in the brand-new "M" -shaped dome. The acoustic quality of the pure beryllium "M"-shaped dome achieves an outstanding frequency response from 5Hz to 50kHz, and allowed Focal to avoid the use of any crossover or passive filtering process.
You might think of the Utopia as two tiny loudspeakers over your ears.
The listening experience is outstanding in terms of realism, natural sound reproduction, dynamics, and clarity. When listening to the Utopia, the headphones virtually disappear and the audio signal is revealed with a level of precision never achieved until Utopia. Soundstage on the Focal Utopia is expansive, with a level of detail retrieval that is out of this world. If you want to hear every cymbal crash, every intake of your favorite singer's breath with lifelike precision, this is your headphone. The Utopia is simply one of the best dynamic headphones -- if not the best headphone, period -- that you will hear.
Please Note: The Utopia's higher impedance (80 Ohms) necessitates an external DAC and headphone amplifier. These headphones cannot be plugged into a portable device such as an iPhone or android smartphone. We recommend the Chord Hugo 2 DAC headphone amp with the Black Dragon Premium Cable or our original Black Dragon headphone cable. Our best-selling Black Dragon audio cable is the cable Drew developed for the Utopia. We’ve sold our Utopia Black Dragon cable around the world. If you want the best sound out of the best headphones, level up to Dragon audio cables. The Black Dragon Premium headphone cable offers the same quality construction as our standard Black Dragon cable, with enhancements like premium rhodium-plated Furutech connectors and Mundorf MSolder SUPREME Silver-Gold that lend an extra layer of clarity to your music. Known for warmth and fullness, the Black Dragon is neither laid back nor lush. It's a great way to add some body to a neutral/linear headphone, and it works well with vocals and a wide range of genres. This cable uses 4 x 21.5AWG Teflon-insulated stranded conductors using pure single crystallized UP-OCC pure copper with 7N purity 99.99998% that enhance depth and definition and smooth out the top end without sacrificing detail. You'll also get more weight in the lower end with a midrange that sounds more musical.
Leave it to a French speaker maker to change headphone design in epic ways. The Utopia's build quality is evident in its elegant, top-quality materials in addition to enhanced comfort due to the innovative mechanical design. From the constant bend of the headband and an even distribution of weight to the design of the carbon fiber yoke and the memory foam cushions. Removal from the conventional ear cup rotation included on the yoke and its integration into the headband creates a pure and pleasing design.
For a tweeter, the deciding factor is the mass of the dome. The lighter the dome, the better the acceleration of the dome. Resolution is directly proportional to acceleration, rigidity and damping!
The Focal Stellia is essentially a closed-back version of the Utopia, featuring the same beryllium driver. While the Utopia has a wide soundstage, the Stellia's soundstage tends to be more tall than wide. The Stellia is a bit more forward, and with a low impedance of 35 Ohms, is easier to drive than the Utopia.
The Clear Mg is Focal's other open-back headphone. With a price tag of $1,490 and a sound quality that gets you about 60 percent of the way to the Utopia, you might call it a "baby" Utopia. The Clear Mg, as its name says, presents with a boatload of clarity. Its magnesium driver gives it a slightly warm tonality, in contrast to the more neutral and analytical Utopia. The Utopia's treble extension surpasses that of the Clear Mg, lending more high-end presence. The Utopia also possesses more finesse and luxury detail than the Clear Mg.
The Utopia and the Empyrean are both known to have an amazingly wide soundstage. The difference is in the sound signature. The Utopia has a highly detailed and analytical sound, while the Empyrean's sound is more warm, lush, and organic.
The Sennheiser HD800 is known for its super-wide soundstage. Both the HD800 and the Utopia present a highly detailed and analytical sound, but the HD800 is the more analytical of the two and is more "bass lite" than the Utopia. The HD800 is also faster, meaning the bass sounds slightly tighter and quicker.
by Drew Baird
Guides & Advice
by Moon Audio
by Marty Smith
by Part Time Audiophile
by Nov. 2021
by Chris Martens
by Grover Neville
|Type||Circum-aural open back headphones||Loudspeaker||1 37⁄64" (40mm) pure Beryllium “M” shape dome|
|Impedance||80 Ohms||Weight||1.08lb (490g)|
|Sensitivity||104dB SPL / 1mW @ 1kHz||Cables||
|THD||<0,2% @ 1kHz / 100dB SPL||Connectors||2x Neutrik® 3/8-inch (9.5mm) Lemo® connectors with self-locking bayonet system|
|Frequency response||5Hz - 50kHz||Carrying case||12.8" x 10.2" x 6.5" (326mm x 260mm x 164mm)|