Focal Radiance - Closed-Back Headphones - Official Thread

Did you ever get the pad issue resolved? my radiance has the same exact problem. it wasnt immediately noticeable when bought them (back in Jan) but the past couple months ive noticed that the left pad is significantly more squishy and compresses much more than the right. its bad enough that the leather on that side isnt nearly as smooth anymore and shows a lot more wrinkles. its almost as if there is not enough foam inside anymore as the leather is very loose.

i dont want to drop $100 on dekoni pads and find it alters the sound. I would be willing to shell out the money for “official” pads but i cant find them anywhere specifically for the radiance. ive seen a few options here and there for some (clear, stellia) but no radiance.

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Sorry to hear this. Before trying the Dekoni, it might be worth contacting your local dealer to inquire about replacement pads.

It’s astonishing that they can’t be purchased directly or easily from retailers.

Good luck - and welcome to the forum!

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I just want to say when I added $69 Dekoni pads to my OG Focal Clears, it made all the difference in the world. Money well spent.

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I tried 3 different Dakoni pads on Radiance. Not good for sound imo.

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This depends on your preferences. I have been reviewing all 3 side by side closed back from Focal. The Radiance is the bassy buddy of the bunch. So if you dig electronic music, pop, and other bass heavy music it might be a nice compliment. Personally my favorite is the Stellia. It still has a bit of lift in the bass but remains tight and well defined. However it’s significantly more expensive. Right now the Clear MG and the Stellia are two of my favorite Focal headphones.

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@deafenears I wanted to pull this conversation here vs the what’s in the box thread.

I don’t think it’s an all around downgrade. They both have their strengths and weaknesses. The radiance is a little more fun (bass​ :grin::metal:). The Stellia has better technical capabilities (faster, more detail, sometimes more texture but not always better texture imo). The radiance to me can come of a little more natural. It has better timbre imo and the mids are more consistent to me. And I really like the vocals and guitars on the radiance. The Stellias mids can be off at times. Not always and not on every track/recording but there are times when a guitar, vocals, or another instrument seems off. And its just a little but it can bother me at times. So when comparing mids I feel the radiance is more consistent, not always better. Basically, when the Stellia is good, it’s really good, but I find myself skipping less tracks with the radiance. And this is all nitpicking. I like the Stellia and if not comparing to the radiance I’d definitely keep it, but at double the price the Stellia isn’t that much better to me. But if someone wanted the Stellia or liked it more, I’d completely understand. I can see both sides.
And if I want really accurate, or better detail, I have other headphones for that. I like having a fun closed back as a portable option and the radiance fits that nicely.

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Question for all you Macrodynamics/Contrast/Punch/Slam additcs. This is the most important thing to me overal.

I have owned the radiance for over a year now together with other high end headphones.

CLOSED BACKS Owned PREVIOUSLY LCD-XC 2021: This have better detail and better bass but lacked the dynamics of the radiance. Also was a bit on the heavy side for me.

I personally love the Radiance and is my go to when sitting back and listening to mostly modern EDM music.

Dynamics are great but I find its lacking in detail.

I do have open backs but dont get as much time to listen to them so hence my question:

What is the best closed back for the sense of macrodynamics/Contrast punch and slam but also good/great detail compared to Radiance??

Considering I already have the Radiance???

Im happy to EQ.

Is Stelia my next step? Are dynamics/macro contrast better? is details better?

Or Would a Fostex TH-900(with EQ) be the next step? Or even the E-MU TEAK?

Or ZMF VC?

Taking in to account MACROCONTRAST/DYNAMICS and details is what I want??

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At the lower end of the spectrum, I have both an Elegia w/Dekoni non-perforated sheepskin and a Drop Fostex TH-X00 Mahogany.

There is no question that of these two the Fostex punches and slams harder and more satisfactorily to me. The Fostex isn’t a true closed back because it has ports for venting some energy.

With my Fostex I had to address some Fostex design choices, which the EMU may or may not share.

First was the baffled small ear pad opening. Got rid of that system in favor of straight-forward Brainwavz XL rounds. I also have this TH model modded to use MMCX removable cables. The EMU probably doesn’t have this issue.

I have owned the Elegia but it is so mid forward and lacking so much base and treble I have to EQ(like I do most headphones)
Radiance I rarely use EQ. I dont mind using EQ I actually enjoy EQ but much prefer the Radiance.
I really like to try the Fostex th900, th-x00 or the e-mu teak.
Wondering if the E-MU Teak has better detail than the Radiance and if the bass would go lower and have better contrast/dynamics?

I’d like to know that, too. Does the Radiance have a noticeably improved technicalities over the Elegia? I think the Elegia isn’t bad technically, it is just kind of sounds congested sometimes with certain genres.

I find the Fostex to be great sounding for just about anything. I think the TH900mk2 is probably summit-fi for Fostex, but I have yet to hear it.

My experience with closed back is limited to 99 Classic and Focal Stellia.
Stellia es the best sounding headphone of all the ones I had owned!!! Is the only one I do not feel the necessity to EQ at any musical genre.- and this statement include open back headphones-

I’m obsessed with details and in that department Stellia is at the same level of my HD800 but with better tuning.
All the things you are looking to master on your next closed back headphones(dynamics, slam , punch, contrast ,etc ), are way more impressive on my Stellia than my HD800,600,650,Focal Clear, Hifiman HE6se and they are all open back.
Sorry I can’t compare it with closed back headphones.

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Nice review, very well shot!

Thank you! I actually had to remove and am re-uploading it now. For some reason my final quality was much lower then intended. So I fixed the edit and sending it through again. I appreciate your comment!

Ok, here is my re-uploaded video review of the Focal Radiance!

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