Focal Utopia, Elear & Listen headphones

News

Focal Utopia, Elear & Listen headphones
Thursday, June 30, 2016

Focal has unveiled three new headphones. They are said to combine “exclusive technology, remarkable audio performance” and the brand’s own design codes”. This month also sees the inauguration of Focal’s new production line at its site in Saint-Etienne, France which will be entirely dedicated to manufacturing Elear and Utopia headphones.
Great claims are being made for the new models: “When Utopia or Elear are being worn, the sensation is remarkable: there is no change in perception in terms of room size. This desire to not have an impact on the feeling of the room the user is in, clearly contributes to the realistic sound of these two headphones.” Focal’s mechanical engineers and designers also wanted to improve the comfort of the headphones and focused on designing a headband with a constant bend, regardless of the size of the user’s head size. This spreads the weight of the headphones evenly over the head to avoid the feeling of pressure on the head or ears.
The yoke doesn’t have traditional vertically rotating mechanics as this has been integrated into the headband. In addition to this, the asymmetry of the attachment points connecting the yoke to the ear-piece improves the distribution of clamping pressure and ensures excellent sealing and “great comfort”.
The ear-piece “avoids any mechanical compression of the transducers while preserving exceptionally realistic sound”. Equipped with high-density memory foam, the headphones” provide perfect sealing and adapt seamlessly to heads of all shapes and sizes”.


Utopia

Utopia is Focal’s flagship product. Beryllium “M” domes in open backed enclosure are hung from an articulated headband, lambskin leather is used for the ear cushions and headband. Utopia is supplied with a 4m OFC cable, including a Neutrik® 6.35mm (1/4“) stereo plug and two shielded Lemo® connectors with self-locking bayonet system. RRP is £3,250.

Elear

Elear are in essence the same as Utopia headphones when it comes to the loudspeaker design and the mechanics. With solid aluminium yokes and microfibre ear cushions. The key difference being an aluminium/magnesium alloy dome. Supplied with a 4m OFC cable, a 6.35mm (1/4“) stereo jack and two 3.5mm (0.14“) jacks with a self-locking system. RRP is £800.

Listen

Listen are folding mobile headphones that benefit from the research that went into designing Utopia and Elear headphones with the aim of keeping the shape of the headband constant, regardless of the size of the user’s head. Particular attention went into ensuring their ability to withstand the physical demands placed on portable headphones. RRP is £150

Technology

‘M’-shaped dome designed to achieve a plane wave in ultra-nearfield listening.

Driver surround in NBR a material that combines “softness, lightness and mechanical functioning linearity in a surround almost three times thinner than the competition.”

Monolayer voice coil without former measuring 25mm in diameter by 4.4mm in height that provides “excellent mechanical coupling to the dome considering its diameter and ensures the voice coil is always controlled by the magnet’s magnetic field regardless of excursion.”