Focal Clear Open-back Headphones - Official Thread

boomy, or boomer? :slight_smile:

Looking forward to getting my my ears on a pair of the New Clear Pro!

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So I was asked earlier by a friend how I was liking the Clear MG and I thought it was a simple summation of my thoughts, that’s why I’m posting here.

“ Hey, I like it a lot.

They’re still neutral-bright, but they’re smoother now with a warmer/better bottom-end. They have a larger soundstage, and much better detail and speed, imo.”

When I stated speed I was referring to how the Clear MG recreate harmonics, and the transient decay. It’s extremely impressive. With the right solid state amp these will sing. Tubes almost do too much in the way of harmonics.

Anyhoot, I just wanted to elaborate on what I’ve already posted. I’m really looking forward to hearing others impressions.

Cheers

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@ValentineLuke and @reallyoldcob This is really interesting, I believe that the two of you are describing completely different reactions to the same sound. Which just goes to show that we all like different things. Or perhaps you were both looking for something different in a Clear version 2.

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Yeah, I noticed that too. It goes to show that we all hear things a little differently.

For me, the more impressions the better. I enjoy hearing people’s take on things, even when they differ from mine.

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It’s really good to have both your perspectives because it helps others, like me, triangulate your impressions. This is why it’s ideal for people posting impressions to tell us something of their preferences, which I get from both @ValentineLuke and @reallyoldcob. It also helps that both of you have heard the OG Clear, so we have a common frame of reference.

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To that end, I’m guessing the @reallyoldcob wants a quite bright tone, per use of the Schiit Heresy. I find the original Clear to be too bright on the THX 789.

Following prior discussion with @ValentineLuke, I’d likely have a similar impression. We previously compared notes on the Utopia; I seem to have a slightly greater tolerance for brightness. Just slightly.

Based on these impressions, it seems the Clear Mg is moving in the direction of the Utopia for bass and speed, but perhaps less tonal change on the top end.

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I posted my impressions of the Clear MG Pro on Head-Fi a few days ago, for those interested in another opinion: Focal Clear headphones | Page 599 | Headphone Reviews and Discussion - Head-Fi.org

My impressions have not changed much, I still prefer them over the original Clear. Keep in mind, I prefer a lower treble response, which is why I love the Sennheiser HD600 series so much.

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Its funny when i read your experience, which i did “like”!!

“It boils down to whether you prefer a more analytical flat sound, which would be the original Clear, or if you prefer a warmer smoother sound, the Clear MG. In my case, I prefer the MG”

What is kind of funny is these are designed and intended to be used by professional studio engineers in an analytical environment and yet you like the sound presentation for your non studio casual listening!

Awesome!

Cant wait to get mine!
Alex

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Yeah, I honestly am surprised. I was fully expecting a brighter and more neutral sound out the MG, but instead I got a warmer and fuller sound. Can’t complain, it’s pretty much exactly what I wanted from the Clears from the beginning. I think you will really enjoy them if you are into that warmer sound.

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If they retain there overall “near perfect” tonality and add some sub bass and just slightly re-tune that high treble this headphone should be a real winner!

Alex

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Thats exactly my take as well. The highs of the OG clears can be a bit fatiguing for me and there is a wierd dip somewhere in the bass that can sometimes mess with upper levels of bass guitar, and obviously the sub bass extension isnt quite big planar levels. Dead honest, the entire reason i still own clears is because on a warm amp they are the best cans for country I have ever heard. Hell, I would even go as far as to say clears suit country better than LCD-Xs suit EDM. If they fixed my problems with the clear (sounding like they did) and make the mids even lusher, idk if I would even have anything to complain about.

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Some have a hard time admitting they have found “their” TOTL cans…the OG Clears IMO for a dynamic headphone, open backed they are really close for me.

Yes I have other cans, because I like a variety…and some cost more and some cost less.

IMO its all about the total experience…and the Clears here really perform well across a wide variety of music and hardware!

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I have to agree with us being out of the game concering some US build equipment but Jusitin Weber told me about “shipito” which is worth checking out when planning on ordering from the USA.
For europeans interested in Focal and many other Dekoni pads, you can order from their german distributor: Dekoni Pads at WOD AUDIO

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Thank you!
Good to know

And welcome to the Community

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Thanks for that info!! Was looking for a replacement shop for dekoni as I used to buy from U.K., but with Brexit that is over.

I’m a CD spinner and my current setup is my trusty old Marantz CD5003 deck used as a transport, Modi multibit connected by coax, and a Asgard 3 for an amp. With this setup listening is never fatiguing using my Clear Pros. Everything sounds just right. I always regretted selling my first Modi multibit so this is my second one. Retired my Modius but it’s a nice DAC. I’ve also used a Modi 3, Bifrost multibit, Bifrost 4490, and topping D50s. I’ll resist the urge to try the MG model, for now anyway

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I have the same CD reader. My first decent CD player. Nice setup you have. Enjoy.

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A neophyte´s point of few.

A little more than one year ago I wanted to get a “better” headphone then my 5 years old HD 700/iBasso DX 50! or Smarthphone “set up”. No realistic chance of testing audio equipment for me. I got a discounted unit - Yesss!
Being really an unexperienced equipment user I put up with one damaged driver thinking I would somehow do something wrong plus the disturbing noise only showed up at a specific frequency. I finally sent it back to Jan Meier who tested it and forwarded it to Focal, dirvers changed, unit fixed.

Unfortunately due to some incredible listening sessions I found myself entering this rabbit hole which I intend to explore further. Sold the Ifi micro BL for a Questyle twelve, added a nice silver cable from Lavricables, power cables from Wilbrand acoustics, both maybe interesting for european customers, and a little Pro-Ject streamer and many more music files.

I am unable to write up a serious review of the Clear, which there anyways are probalbly enough around. I must say I actually bought the “right” cans and I am still overwhelmed how deep listening to music can be with “affordable” modern equipment!

Bought a HD6XX, sold it after two weeks, because I felt I couldn´t here “it”. Wow alomost everybody likes them…
Then got a Kennerton Magni which I enjoy as go to speakers for evaluating music to buy.

Would be interested in how someone likes the Celestee Pads on the Clear.

Now how to add to and deversify on my current set up? Tube amp? Maybe magnetostats on the same level as Clears? Saving for the right piece/combination for my preferences? Looking for great music of unknown genres should add quality listening time… Filters, Cables, Re-clockers and such?

Another difficult point is I don´t find many reviewers referring to what equipment suits the music I like to listen to. Is there the chance the Clear is not well suited for my musical preferences? Electronic music which is not even considerd music by many “audiophiles” nore is it hardly mentioned on the specific thread on this site. Ambient, Techno in it´s manifold styles, D&B, atmospheric types and alike… those lables.

Much of the equipment dicussed on this forum is hard to come by over here. Just look at shiit europe. Sold out on everything all of the time… import fees, how to get support if stuff breaks?

So how to make a qualified statement when I don´t have heard many different headphones and or set ups? So I´m happy to have made the right choice with the Clears!

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My partner just found a pic she took of me the first time I experienced a Focal Clear. We were in Paris at an amazing pro audio shop (that I dragged her to) called Univers Sons. I ended up buying a pair three months later :smile_cat:

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