Focal Clear Open-back Headphones - Official Thread

Compared to the original Clear, the Mg Pro definitely sounded a little congested to me.

100% down for a post-Covid headphone meet!

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Ugh, that’s too bad.

Good luck finding Utopia. It would be great to read your impressions!


Thanks for the review. That midbass hump sounds about right when others were saying that the Clear Mg sounded warmer. I personally love the sparkle that the Clears have in the treble so I might be inclined to keep the current ones.


Honestly, I have massive issues with fatigue on clears that I’m currious if the MG solves. That said, tbh, I would have rather they just smoothed trebble slightly and left the rest.


Nice review. :+1:t4:

What was your source chain used?

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This and the dirty pads were why I sold my Clears.

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What amps/DACs were you using? They don’t want/need a super technical amp.

Motu M2 → Schiit Heresy → Clear

I only had Schiit Vali and SMSL SU8 back then.

Micro BL and Honey H1 quell it a bit, but tbh, id rather just listen to other cans than avoid songs with piano or intense cymbals. My other sources are a L&P P6 Pro, Hugo 2, and a Qudelix 5k.

What I have learned is that we all here differently…and often have different chains and music tastes etc…

One thing really stood out in this review:

" You should keep in mind that I’ve been listening to the original Clear religiously for about a year. It’s entirely possible that I’ve spent so much time listening to music on the original Clear that my perception of neutral headphones is skewed, mirroring the Clear’s explicit tonality."

I too have listened with the OC Clears for hundreds of hours and just sold my Clears and have a set of the MG version on order.

Human beings being “creatures of habit” often dont like changes…so I too am anxiously waiting to listen with these new “studio” headphones.

When people ask my why I buy something I often state " I bought these for what they are not what they arent…and if I dont like them they will be sold.

These cans were designed for use in a recording studio, not casual listening.

They should be light saber efficient in telling a good recording from a bad or medicore one…like a surgical tool. Knowing this, these may not be acceptable to some.

Also there is that rumor that a consumer version is possible as well…?? Will it sound the same or just be a color and cable difference?

Time will tell…



Phantastic review. Thank you for that! I just bought my original Clears and am happy I did.
What you describe sounds like the original Clears will still suit me better sound wise than the new ones.


I agree that ‘Pandering’ may be too strong a word to use. Maybe I should have said “a nod towards a more consumer oriented sound”. Lol.


I agree with you so to me “pandering” or “catering” to the masses seems like an ok term to use.

I think it’s true that many manufacturers tend to
promote a certain sound signature nowadays that can be described as warmer and more bass heavy pleasing a certain (mostly younger) and less critical audience.

A while ago highend head- and earphone manufactures tended to define their own house sound and experimented a lot along the way.
Their products were different, some big hits, some controversial.

Now it seems they try to reduce risk by catering a more “public” target group. Hence products within one company tend to sound rather similar and between different companies get closer sound wise.

This is just my personal observation, of course.
Me personally, I like a good surprise once in a while rather than knowing what I will get.

I like a little sugar and spice in my life. :grin:


I’ve always put Detail,Clarity and Resolution at the forefront of my listening preferences but as of late I have developed a better tolerance for the ‘Consumer Sound’.

I’ve also grown to really like great bass too. This has no doubt come about with the acquisition of the EE Odin and EE Hero and their excellent use of Dynamic drivers.


It definitely feels like there’s been a gradual acceptance in audiophile circles of the Harman approach to bass, namely mild mid bass dip plus elevated sub bass, and more products tuned in that direction. I’m largely projecting based on my own preferences, but I think the traditional objection to “consumer bass” comes from the fact that it often involved massive mid and upper bass that bleeds into the midrange.


In the pre-electric folk, classical, acoustic era, all instruments generated sound per their physical materials. In the 20th century, electric instruments made new sounds and tonal balances possible. However, before 1964 and The Kinks You Really Got Me mainstream commercial music did not stray far from the traditional profile. Then all sorts of random intentional modifications happened. Some of those changes involve booming, bleeding, and boosted bass. Some people prefer to feel the music rather than hear it (or their hearing has already been destroyed).

While I have limited interest in boomy genres, I do like heavily distorted and noise-based music. So, who am I to judge?

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I guess what I’m saying boils down the the growing acceptance that with a well targeted sub-bass boost, you can both hear and feel the music. In practice, I’m finding that this is quite difficult to achieve in open backs.


As did I! Awesome! :slightly_smiling_face: Excited to hear how they sound with the idsd neo → schiit magnius balanced out (though only reason I have that set up is for the Sennheiser HD650’s…)


I only have Burson gear to pair with, but the synergy is great. I guess the Clears will play nice with a lot of gear👍

Can’t wait to get mine back … :pleading_face: