Focal Stellia Closed-Back Headphones - Official Thread


Gee, think I’ll grab three pair; you know…just in case :roll_eyes:


Absolutely agree.


We do not have them yet. We should have a couple of demo units arriving soon though. Don’t have an exact date yet but we will have a couple in Canada and the US.

Same with the amp, although both will be on display at CanJam NYC this weekend so I imagine there will be quite a few impressions to filter through after the weekend.


There’s a looooong history in marketing of enhancing the street price and maintaining a higher price through special editions, luxury editions and trivial cosmetics. I could tell that even Bose was about to release something new when they released brown and gray editions of the boring black QC15s. Car manufacturers do it just before a major update…40th, 45th, 50th anniversary editions of the Mustang or Corvette. And don’t even get started on KA-Bar knives or Case pocket knives.

It clearly works. I’m (mostly) not a sucker, but sometimes the cosmetics are worth a little more to me.


Like this certain unit?


We see it on the bookshelf speaker side of things all the time too, especially in the sub $1000 range. Whenever colour options are available, Bamboo will always be the most expensive. Even though there are no differences in sound or performance, the bamboo change (sometimes it’s not even real wood) will generally cost an extra $100.

Personally I prefer one colour per SKU instead of multiple and special edition versions but that’s just the way it is.


Is there a discord?

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I don’t care for the colour scheme either. I much prefer the Focal Clears look.


Can’t decide on scheme yet. Kind of like a love hate thing to me.


I like that they’re doing something a little different from the usual colorless stuff. I’d have to see them in person to decide whether or not I like them.


I think it’s nice to see something other than the usual black, on black, maybe with some silver or carbon fiber thrown in. Not that such configurations don’t look good … they do … but it does get repetitive, especially when you have lots of cans around at the same time.

I’ll admit my first reaction was a bit “Really?!” … until I say the picture with them next to the gloves, and then it made a lot more sense, and they’ve been growing on me since. Very interested to see them in person.

I’m also interested to try the pads from these on the Utopia … though that’s probably going sound better than it looks!

One thing I found over years of trying to sell off old audio gear is that when there’s a choice of colors, and black is one of them, that black always sells fastest. So while I’m personally kind of tired of it … I churn through gear fast enough that it’s now my default choice for anything I’m not sure is going to be a long-term keeper.


Yes. That’s the love part I’m referring to in my previous post. Other than that, it more likely the old dog ting to teach new tricks too. It is pretty nice. I do agree with you about new color ideas.


Yep, Leica are famous for it … I lost count of how many special edition versions of just the digital-M bodies they’ve done, with and without special lens packages.

Fortunately for me, I seem to be completely immune to what they come up with in that realm (which is not to say that’s true in other areas) and prefer to go with their silver-chrome and black-leather bodies with all-black lenses. My trips off the reservation in terms of style with Leica are limited to the bags and half-cases I use with them …

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The marketing photos seem to signify a functional fashion accessory directed at the type of clientele luxury watch makers target, although a Patek Philippe or Jaeger-LeCoultre will cost you a lot more.


A little more? You live in a much different world than I do.
I pretty much left head-fi over their seeming growing obsession with multi-thousand dollar cans/gear.

I understand your point about other industries doing much the same and have also come to see that this forum is very much an offshoot of a company that’s in business to sell headohones.

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Focal has a history of targeting the non-audiophile crowd by placing ads in cigar aficionado magazines, Forbes and the like. Which is why most of their marketing photos feature a well-dressed man or woman in front of a fireplace or scotch with accessories.

Focal learned pretty early on that most manufacturer’s in the Head-Fi world are all targeting the exact same market, which is a fairly niche market already. And when you take the fact that that market is turning more and more to buying used off of each other than buying new gear you have to expand your marketing to new groups.


The Utopia came out at $4,000, so no apparent shift in target income. Collector cars go into the millions of dollars. Just observing.


We realize building a community of openness and trust when it seems like we have such an obvious conflict is a challenge. That’s why we take objectivity so seriously. The community drives the conversation here. Not the brands we sell in our store and not a group of sponsors who are given special treatment.

To those who spend time around here, it’s clear that our community is more important to us than selling a few more pairs of headphones. In fact, there are many threads on this forum that are against our business interests. Heck, we even publish negative reviews about products we sell on our main site.


I suppose that depends on which threads and sub-forums you frequented.

The structure here is different, with the most popular threads, regardless of what category they’re in, coming to the top. This means that hot topics get more consistent visibility, and that the latest threads will pop at the top of the list.

Taking a quick survey of the most popular topics, over time, here and it’s clear that that the vast majority of what is discussed here, and certainly the most active discussions, are a) for gear around or below $200 or so (and the next tier being not that much higher) and b) for stuff not sold at all by

Even in the run-up to CanJam, which is always a time full of new product announcements, that’s still the majority discussion.

But a thread for a $3,000 headphone is generally going to have more high-end/expensive references in it no matter where you are. If that’s not an area that you’re interested in such threads are probably just best avoided.


Sure, I get that but my point has noting to do with price or using other signifiers in the marketing photography that denote wealth or a certain lifestyle. I think these are the first of the Focal line of headphones, or any headphones, to be associated directly with other upscale fashion accessories and that colour coordinate with them - a pair of leather gloves, a camel hair coat, silk scarf, leather satchel, etc.


Maybe the upscale fashion crowd want to feel like spiderman too! :smiley: