Focal Utopia Reference Quality Open Back Headphones

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Focal Utopia Reference Quality Open Back Headphones

Focal Utopia Reference Quality Open Back Headphones

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Focal Utopia Reference Quality Open Back Headphones

$3,999.00 Free Shipping!

Free Shipping!
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  • Product Ratings (No Rating)

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    54321

    Choose How Many Stars (5 Being the best)

  • Description

    MY TAKE: Bursting onto the headphone scene with rave reviews, the Focal Utopia is considered as one of the very best headphones available. Focal suggests a headphone amplifier. – Galen Carol
     

    Utopia are THE reference high-fidelity headphones manufactured in France by Focal. They are the result of 35 years of innovation, development and manufacturing of high-end speaker drivers and loudspeakers. Equipped with exclusive technology, they offer striking realism, neutrality, dynamics and clarity, for sound with unrivaled purity. Utopia are unique they are the world’s first audiophile headphones to be equipped with totally open-backed full-range speaker drivers with pure Beryllium ’M’-shaped domes. They meet all the requirements expected of high-end headphones due to their sophisticated and elegant design and to purposeful materiality, such as the carbon fiber yoke and true lambskin leather ear cushions.


    Elear is an open back pair of headphones featuring numerous innovations from Focal, which are key to their outstanding acoustics performance.


    Elear offers the world’s first, full range and fully open back loudspeaker, built-in to a pair of headphones. Additionally, they are made from an Aluminum-Magnesium blend, in a formed shape, unique to Focal with the company’s brand new “M” shape dome. This new dome shape has originated from the research performed during the Utopia headphone project that will offer the highest quality sound, while avoiding potential avenues of distortion.


    The acoustic quality of this exclusive solution allowed Focal to avoid the use of any crossover or passive filtering process in order to achieve a frequency response from 5Hz to 23kHz. The result is thus impressively realistic, making the headphones virtually disappear and providing listeners with a truly unique high-fidelity audio experience. Elear also benefits from the R&D done on Utopia. With regards to mechanical design, the rotation traditionally included on the yoke has been moved into the headband to ensure the total purity of the design. The microfiber fabric, used on the cushions, offers a true comfort for all head shapes and sizes – a quality that is mandatory for long listening sessions.


    Utopia and Elear headphones are the result of a rather risky challenge: to offer an audio experience worthy of the brand’s high-fidelity loudspeakers through two new products. In order to achieve this, Focal approached the design of the various components in these headphones very differently to other players in the market.


    The first obvious aspect is the extent of the open design of these two products. When Utopia or Elear are being worn, the sensation is remarkable: there is absolutely no change in perception in terms of room size. This desire to not have an impact on the impedance of the room the user is in, clearly contributes to the realistic sound of these two headphones.


    The next step for Focal’s mechanical engineers and designers was to improve the comfort of the headphones. There are still many high-end headphones which no doubt offer excellent performance, but comfort is a difficult issue over long periods. So, Focal 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, which is all too often the case with other products.


    The yoke developed for these two projects is also very impressive, both in terms of purity of the design and in terms of comfort. Thus, 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 also deserves praise for its remarkable aesthetics and its impressive open design. This 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.


    A characteristic which really sets Focal apart is its ability to innovate and push back the limits in the field of speaker drivers, while managing its own industrial process at the production site based in Saint-Etienne, France. The challenge to reproduce experiences worthy of the brand’s best loudspeakers through two new headphones has resulted in a major innovation in the world of headphones (patent pending): the very first completely open back full-range loudspeaker. This world premiere is the result of four years of collaboration between the R&D and production methods teams.


    By refusing to accept the compromise of having ports, which would of course allow for numerous tuning possibilities, particularly in the low end, Focal’s priority was to get rid of the distortion typically experienced with this type of open design. The only limit with this concept is the necessity to conceive the headphones from the start around a loudspeaker with a perfect frequency response. The only possibility for sound tuning would come down to the choice of materials and their properties, for example the magnet, the voice coil, the surround or, of course, the dome. There was just one watchword: to have the lightest moving assembly possible in order to be able to reproduce the highest frequencies.


    Pure Beryllium ‘M’-Shaped Dome Speaker Driver -

    The Purity of sound at its apogee Utopia are equipped with totally open-backed full-range speaker drivers with pure Beryllium ‘M’-shaped domes. Once more, the engineers at Focal have pushed back the limits of acoustic innovation and have succeeded in providing a listening experience worthy of the best Focal loudspeakers. The result: a transducer with a frequency response ranging from 5Hz to more than 50kHz without any crossover or passive filtering! You’ll completely forget you are wearing these headphones, and the reproduction of the audio signal is of unrivaled purity.


    Remarkable Design and Comfort -

    Utopia are equipped with totally open-backed full-range speaker drivers with pure Beryllium ‘M’-shaped domes. Once more, the engineers at Focal have pushed back the limits of acoustic innovation and have succeeded in providing a listening experience worthy of the best Focal loudspeakers. The result: a transducer with a frequency response ranging from 5Hz to more than 50kHz without any crossover or passive filtering! You’ll completely forget you are wearing these headphones, and the reproduction of the audio signal is of unrivaled purity.


    High-fidelity cable –

    The cable supplied with Utopia was specifically selected for its capability to respect the original audio signal, such as its very low impedance (< 90 mΩ/meter). It is totally symmetrical in order to offer extremely low crosstalk (< 70 picofarads). The shielding protects it from electromagnetic interference and allows for a longer cable (4m/13 ft.). Finally, the 9.5mm Lemo connector and the 6.35mm Neutrik stereo jack enable easy customization.



    REVIEWS:

    “The Elear and Utopia are simply extraordinary. The sense of dynamism, tonal balance, and smooth clarity of both are, to put it mildly, disorientingly disruptive to my sense of where headphones are at today and in what way and by how much these are better. Similarly, the Ether Flow does not compute to my ears as a planar magnetic headphone—the super-clean transient response is shockingly good. The treble range is rendered with extraordinarily smooth speed.” – Tyll Read more here.

    Watch the (very comprehensive) video Review on HeadFi


    HiFi+: “On paper the Utopia appears to be made of the right stuff, but does its sonic performance live up to its promise? In a word, yes! In fact, Utopia is by far the best dynamic driver-equipped headphone I’ve yet heard and one of the three or four finest headphones of any type that I’ve had the pleasure of auditioning. Let me take a moment, then, to describe some of the qualities that set the Utopia apart.

    “First, the Utopia offers effortlessly neutral frequency response—the kind of response that is so consistently balanced and perfectly even-handed from top to bottom that you can’t help but notice that this headphone has taken freedom from tonal colourations to a whole new level. Bass, and especially mid- and low- bass is a particular area of strength, but the Utopia is actually good across the whole audio spectrum so that the longer you listen the more natural and inherently ‘right’ the headphone sounds.

    “Next, the Utopia comes tantalizingly close to matching the resolving powers and incredible transient speeds of today’s very best electrostatic headphone designs, though electrostats might still enjoy a very narrow edge in these departments. However, what tips the scales strongly in favour of the Utopia is its striking ability to deliver resolution, speed, and focus while simultaneously achieving almost complete freedom from unwanted resonances—a claim I think many electrostats cannot make without imposing some sonic caveats. The upshot is that the Utopia offers listeners breathtaking sonic purity while conveying an uncanny sense of musical completeness—completeness in the sense of delivering all the music, all the time. Try almost any track on Jamey Haddad, Lenny White, and Mark Sherman’s Explorations in Space and Time [Chesky, high-res] and notice how the Focals tease out even the smallest of transient, textural, and reverberant details, not to mention the reverberant spatial cues that make this album sound so very realistic.

    “Third, the Utopia consistently renders instrumental and human voices with disarming coherency and, for want of a better term, harmonic integrity. By this I mean that, through the Utopia, the fundamentals, partials, and upper harmonics you hear often sound as if they have emanated from real instruments or voices, rather than sounding like a well-intended but ultimately disjointed collection of hi-fi artifacts swept together in a neat pile. With the Utopia, more so than in almost any other headphone I could name, individual musical elements coalesce to form a cohesive whole that is greater than the sum of its parts.

    “Finally, Utopia offers flat out amazing dynamics. It can handle large-scale macrodynamic outbursts, small-scale moments of microdynamic expression so subtle and fleeting that most headphones gloze them over, and everything in between. But the thing that is absolutely riveting—and at times downright shocking (in a good way)—is the manner in which his headphone exposes dynamic contrasts within individual pieces of music. The effect can be almost unnerving at first, because in comparison to the Utopias almost all other transducers sound as if they are guilty of some form of dynamic compression. Through the Utopias, however, that compression is suddenly removed leaving you face-to-face with sheer dynamic power of the music. As an example, listen closely to Tomasi’s Fanfares Liturgiques for brass ensemble as performed by organist Mary Preston and the Dallas Wind Symphony conducted by Jerry Junkins on Crown Imperial [Reference Recordings, 24-bit HDCD]. The composition is revealing because it ranges all the way from almost monastery-quiet meditative passages on through, toward its conclusion, to moments of epic and uplifting grandeur. Through all these moods the Utopias not only remain unflappable, but are at once powerful, expressive, delicate, and nuanced—at any and all volume levels.

    “The Utopia is a headphone worthy of its name and one that shows what’s possible when a firm like Focal turns its engineers loose to create the finest headphone they possibly can. In fact, I consider this headphone a masterpiece—one that will probably still be considered a benchmark product long after would-be competitors have come and gone.”Chris Martens


    SPECIFICATIONS:

    • Type: Circum-aural open back headphones
    • Impedance: 32Ω
    • Sensitivity: 104dB SPL / 1mW @ 1kHz
    • THD: <0,2% @ 1kHz / 100dB SPL
    • Frequency response: 5Hz - 50kHz (+/- xx dB)
    • Transducer: 40mm (1.6“) pure Beryllium “M” shape dome
    • Weight: 490g (1.08lb)
    • Cable length: 4m (13.1ft)
    • Connectors: 1 x Jack 6.35mm stereo – 2 x Lemo xx mm
    • Carrying case: 220mm (8.6“) x 190mm (7.5“) x 100mm (3.9“)
    • Accessories Included - Leather Finished Case w/ Red Accents, 4m Straight Cable w/Neutrik Connectors, Owner’s Manual
    • Warranty - 2 Year Warranty

Product Ratings

Average Rating
54321

Choose How Many Stars (5 Being the best)

Focal Utopia Reference Quality Open Back Headphones

$3,999.00 Free Shipping!

Free Shipping!
Loading...

Description

MY TAKE: Bursting onto the headphone scene with rave reviews, the Focal Utopia is considered as one of the very best headphones available. Focal suggests a headphone amplifier. – Galen Carol
 

Utopia are THE reference high-fidelity headphones manufactured in France by Focal. They are the result of 35 years of innovation, development and manufacturing of high-end speaker drivers and loudspeakers. Equipped with exclusive technology, they offer striking realism, neutrality, dynamics and clarity, for sound with unrivaled purity. Utopia are unique they are the world’s first audiophile headphones to be equipped with totally open-backed full-range speaker drivers with pure Beryllium ’M’-shaped domes. They meet all the requirements expected of high-end headphones due to their sophisticated and elegant design and to purposeful materiality, such as the carbon fiber yoke and true lambskin leather ear cushions.


Elear is an open back pair of headphones featuring numerous innovations from Focal, which are key to their outstanding acoustics performance.


Elear offers the world’s first, full range and fully open back loudspeaker, built-in to a pair of headphones. Additionally, they are made from an Aluminum-Magnesium blend, in a formed shape, unique to Focal with the company’s brand new “M” shape dome. This new dome shape has originated from the research performed during the Utopia headphone project that will offer the highest quality sound, while avoiding potential avenues of distortion.


The acoustic quality of this exclusive solution allowed Focal to avoid the use of any crossover or passive filtering process in order to achieve a frequency response from 5Hz to 23kHz. The result is thus impressively realistic, making the headphones virtually disappear and providing listeners with a truly unique high-fidelity audio experience. Elear also benefits from the R&D done on Utopia. With regards to mechanical design, the rotation traditionally included on the yoke has been moved into the headband to ensure the total purity of the design. The microfiber fabric, used on the cushions, offers a true comfort for all head shapes and sizes – a quality that is mandatory for long listening sessions.


Utopia and Elear headphones are the result of a rather risky challenge: to offer an audio experience worthy of the brand’s high-fidelity loudspeakers through two new products. In order to achieve this, Focal approached the design of the various components in these headphones very differently to other players in the market.


The first obvious aspect is the extent of the open design of these two products. When Utopia or Elear are being worn, the sensation is remarkable: there is absolutely no change in perception in terms of room size. This desire to not have an impact on the impedance of the room the user is in, clearly contributes to the realistic sound of these two headphones.


The next step for Focal’s mechanical engineers and designers was to improve the comfort of the headphones. There are still many high-end headphones which no doubt offer excellent performance, but comfort is a difficult issue over long periods. So, Focal 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, which is all too often the case with other products.


The yoke developed for these two projects is also very impressive, both in terms of purity of the design and in terms of comfort. Thus, 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 also deserves praise for its remarkable aesthetics and its impressive open design. This 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.


A characteristic which really sets Focal apart is its ability to innovate and push back the limits in the field of speaker drivers, while managing its own industrial process at the production site based in Saint-Etienne, France. The challenge to reproduce experiences worthy of the brand’s best loudspeakers through two new headphones has resulted in a major innovation in the world of headphones (patent pending): the very first completely open back full-range loudspeaker. This world premiere is the result of four years of collaboration between the R&D and production methods teams.


By refusing to accept the compromise of having ports, which would of course allow for numerous tuning possibilities, particularly in the low end, Focal’s priority was to get rid of the distortion typically experienced with this type of open design. The only limit with this concept is the necessity to conceive the headphones from the start around a loudspeaker with a perfect frequency response. The only possibility for sound tuning would come down to the choice of materials and their properties, for example the magnet, the voice coil, the surround or, of course, the dome. There was just one watchword: to have the lightest moving assembly possible in order to be able to reproduce the highest frequencies.


Pure Beryllium ‘M’-Shaped Dome Speaker Driver -

The Purity of sound at its apogee Utopia are equipped with totally open-backed full-range speaker drivers with pure Beryllium ‘M’-shaped domes. Once more, the engineers at Focal have pushed back the limits of acoustic innovation and have succeeded in providing a listening experience worthy of the best Focal loudspeakers. The result: a transducer with a frequency response ranging from 5Hz to more than 50kHz without any crossover or passive filtering! You’ll completely forget you are wearing these headphones, and the reproduction of the audio signal is of unrivaled purity.


Remarkable Design and Comfort -

Utopia are equipped with totally open-backed full-range speaker drivers with pure Beryllium ‘M’-shaped domes. Once more, the engineers at Focal have pushed back the limits of acoustic innovation and have succeeded in providing a listening experience worthy of the best Focal loudspeakers. The result: a transducer with a frequency response ranging from 5Hz to more than 50kHz without any crossover or passive filtering! You’ll completely forget you are wearing these headphones, and the reproduction of the audio signal is of unrivaled purity.


High-fidelity cable –

The cable supplied with Utopia was specifically selected for its capability to respect the original audio signal, such as its very low impedance (< 90 mΩ/meter). It is totally symmetrical in order to offer extremely low crosstalk (< 70 picofarads). The shielding protects it from electromagnetic interference and allows for a longer cable (4m/13 ft.). Finally, the 9.5mm Lemo connector and the 6.35mm Neutrik stereo jack enable easy customization.



REVIEWS:

“The Elear and Utopia are simply extraordinary. The sense of dynamism, tonal balance, and smooth clarity of both are, to put it mildly, disorientingly disruptive to my sense of where headphones are at today and in what way and by how much these are better. Similarly, the Ether Flow does not compute to my ears as a planar magnetic headphone—the super-clean transient response is shockingly good. The treble range is rendered with extraordinarily smooth speed.” – Tyll Read more here.

Watch the (very comprehensive) video Review on HeadFi


HiFi+: “On paper the Utopia appears to be made of the right stuff, but does its sonic performance live up to its promise? In a word, yes! In fact, Utopia is by far the best dynamic driver-equipped headphone I’ve yet heard and one of the three or four finest headphones of any type that I’ve had the pleasure of auditioning. Let me take a moment, then, to describe some of the qualities that set the Utopia apart.

“First, the Utopia offers effortlessly neutral frequency response—the kind of response that is so consistently balanced and perfectly even-handed from top to bottom that you can’t help but notice that this headphone has taken freedom from tonal colourations to a whole new level. Bass, and especially mid- and low- bass is a particular area of strength, but the Utopia is actually good across the whole audio spectrum so that the longer you listen the more natural and inherently ‘right’ the headphone sounds.

“Next, the Utopia comes tantalizingly close to matching the resolving powers and incredible transient speeds of today’s very best electrostatic headphone designs, though electrostats might still enjoy a very narrow edge in these departments. However, what tips the scales strongly in favour of the Utopia is its striking ability to deliver resolution, speed, and focus while simultaneously achieving almost complete freedom from unwanted resonances—a claim I think many electrostats cannot make without imposing some sonic caveats. The upshot is that the Utopia offers listeners breathtaking sonic purity while conveying an uncanny sense of musical completeness—completeness in the sense of delivering all the music, all the time. Try almost any track on Jamey Haddad, Lenny White, and Mark Sherman’s Explorations in Space and Time [Chesky, high-res] and notice how the Focals tease out even the smallest of transient, textural, and reverberant details, not to mention the reverberant spatial cues that make this album sound so very realistic.

“Third, the Utopia consistently renders instrumental and human voices with disarming coherency and, for want of a better term, harmonic integrity. By this I mean that, through the Utopia, the fundamentals, partials, and upper harmonics you hear often sound as if they have emanated from real instruments or voices, rather than sounding like a well-intended but ultimately disjointed collection of hi-fi artifacts swept together in a neat pile. With the Utopia, more so than in almost any other headphone I could name, individual musical elements coalesce to form a cohesive whole that is greater than the sum of its parts.

“Finally, Utopia offers flat out amazing dynamics. It can handle large-scale macrodynamic outbursts, small-scale moments of microdynamic expression so subtle and fleeting that most headphones gloze them over, and everything in between. But the thing that is absolutely riveting—and at times downright shocking (in a good way)—is the manner in which his headphone exposes dynamic contrasts within individual pieces of music. The effect can be almost unnerving at first, because in comparison to the Utopias almost all other transducers sound as if they are guilty of some form of dynamic compression. Through the Utopias, however, that compression is suddenly removed leaving you face-to-face with sheer dynamic power of the music. As an example, listen closely to Tomasi’s Fanfares Liturgiques for brass ensemble as performed by organist Mary Preston and the Dallas Wind Symphony conducted by Jerry Junkins on Crown Imperial [Reference Recordings, 24-bit HDCD]. The composition is revealing because it ranges all the way from almost monastery-quiet meditative passages on through, toward its conclusion, to moments of epic and uplifting grandeur. Through all these moods the Utopias not only remain unflappable, but are at once powerful, expressive, delicate, and nuanced—at any and all volume levels.

“The Utopia is a headphone worthy of its name and one that shows what’s possible when a firm like Focal turns its engineers loose to create the finest headphone they possibly can. In fact, I consider this headphone a masterpiece—one that will probably still be considered a benchmark product long after would-be competitors have come and gone.”Chris Martens


SPECIFICATIONS:

  • Type: Circum-aural open back headphones
  • Impedance: 32Ω
  • Sensitivity: 104dB SPL / 1mW @ 1kHz
  • THD: <0,2% @ 1kHz / 100dB SPL
  • Frequency response: 5Hz - 50kHz (+/- xx dB)
  • Transducer: 40mm (1.6“) pure Beryllium “M” shape dome
  • Weight: 490g (1.08lb)
  • Cable length: 4m (13.1ft)
  • Connectors: 1 x Jack 6.35mm stereo – 2 x Lemo xx mm
  • Carrying case: 220mm (8.6“) x 190mm (7.5“) x 100mm (3.9“)
  • Accessories Included - Leather Finished Case w/ Red Accents, 4m Straight Cable w/Neutrik Connectors, Owner’s Manual
  • Warranty - 2 Year Warranty