Focal Stellia Closed-Back Headphones - Official Thread


Of all the headphone/audio forums I frequent, this one has the least amount of hype and marketing fluff. Even something “objectivist” like audiosciencereview has a fair amount of recommendations and people pushing this or that latest fad. Most of the content I find here involves people sharing their experiences and impressions, with no strong agenda.


It’s in the nature of these things that we obsess over increasingly expensive gear. Same thing happens in other hobbies like cars and computers.

I think this is a pretty objective forum and one that keeps things polite even with differences of opinion. I’d love to weigh in on tests of expensive gear, but that’s not in my budget. Instead I enjoy the reviews that are done here. It’s a place to compare my everyday kit with the high end and be sure I’m getting the best I can for the money.


Ahh yes I must have misunderstood your point. I had a couple Utopia, Elegia and Elear images queued up for their lifestyle marketing but I see what you are saying now. They actually do have quite a few images that they have but most images don’t get seen by the public as stores don’t use them.

This is definitely the most colour matching they have done with their lifestyle photography although they did something similar when they released the different coloured Focal Listen wireless. Completely different target though.

If the Stellia are a closed-back Utopia than I’m all for them and they would replace my Elegia for my daily commute. I’ve worn NightOwls, iSines, LCDi4, tia Fourte, Mobius and all sorts of other headphones for my transit rides so not too worried about sticking out! The only unfortunate thing about Vancouver is for 6 months of the year they are unusable outside due to the rain.


We are currently working with @Torq on our Community Preview Program to make it a little more accessible for trying out various gear and working up to the high-end stuff. We’re hoping to have the new guidelines posted soon so be sure to check them out!


Other than maybe east Van at 2 AM, I guess Vancouver is a fairly safe city to walk around in with a pair of $4000 (CAD) headphones on your head. But what about walking around with 435g on your head? I have the Clear, which are just as heavy and I can not see myself being comfortable moving around while wearing them. My Aeon Closed are much more comfortable for that. I would consider the Stellia to keep my wife, who has super sonic hearing, from complaining about leakage but considering how nice looking their are she would probably appropriate them.


I don’t see these as “walk around and wear on the skytrain” type cans. Portability means more than just wearing them out and about. I could see myself taking these with me to my work studio, or even on a break to a park bench with a decent DAP. Those gloves on the other hand… that’s a hard no from me haha.


I can see Taron pushing a cart with a portable power supply hooked up to a Phonitor Stack powering these, while commuting into work lol… makes the commute go by, so fast…so fast…“The Fast and the Cartophile”!

This now needs to be done…


From a marketing standpoint, black is the absolutely safest color for many products (or gray, or white, or silver). A huge percentage of cars are sold in these four color-neutral shades. These never go truly out of fashion, but conversely, they are never eye-catching (or particularly trendy).

Brown is associated with leather and clubs and old money. It’s probably the safest ‘adventurous’ color. Men can either wear black or brown shoes to work. Brown adds a wee bit of variety, but it’s still fundamentally a conservative and widely accepted color. No getting away from that. This is probably the biggest risk a style conscious buyer in the $3,000 headphone market is likely to take. And that’s even a big step beyond the leased Mercedes, BMW, and Lexus cars they own in black/gray/silver/white.

Years ago I bought these brown Bose headphones because I wanted airplane headphones and they were the same price as the standard/neutral product.


Why brown? Well, I’d recently purchased a scratched “factory second” leather laptop sleeve at 50% off. And to make it a brown world, I got a leather phone case too. The headphones are long dead and disposed, and my brown phase is over. It was fun while it lasted and certainly wasn’t an upscale move. Back to black mostly now.

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That’s why new home all have that beige paint. Nobody loves it but it’s also less likely to repulse people as a bolder color.


A couple of years ago, it’s probably not something I would have done. But after using so many headphones for various periods of time, especially the weighty ones (looking at you Audeze) my neck has become very sturdy.

Of course it all depends on how they actually sound and how they feel on my head.

Haha i saw a picture sometime last year of someone going to a meet and they put wheels on their rack along with a couple portable batteries as they didn’t want their amps to get cold. This hobby makes people do things, that’s for sure.


I was trying to find that exact picture lol!

Also this qoute:


Well, the cart would have to be big enough to also accommodate an electric fireplace plugged in to that power supply. And Taron would need a free hand for his glass of Bunnahabhain 25

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I pictured him more as a 46year Bunnahabhain… :partying_face:

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I need to provide you a review of some of my existing gear!


When first reading this topic, I realized that there is nothing, absolutely nothing substantive that I an add to the discussion. Now, 50 posts later that situation has not changed. However, the similarity in spelling the name. The name. All I can see is Brando’s Stanley . . .


exclusive leaked images of the upcoming luxurious Tin Hifi T3 IEM…


Hahahaha nice one. Seriously I’m still quite enjoying the T2 pro’s. Despite the hot treble.

With regards to the forum and it being an extension of You would on paper at least, think that it couldn’t work as independently as it seems to do. I haven’t experienced any products being pushed or promoted. It must be very difficult to have a customer base readily available and not push things their way. After all it is a business. I really commend the guys and all involved for standing back and letting the forum develop as independently from the business as much as they have done. :+1:


I I meant no disrespect. This forum is far more friendly and seems quite diverse l, especially for a small community.
Of course I realize many people have far more disposable income than I have and ate interested ih buying/reviewing the “top tier” stuff. It just seemed to me on the other forum, that regardless of the year being discussed, that a race to bigger,better and more developed more quickly as time went by and the forum grew.
In earlier days,it seemed that discussions of non-!uxury items (or what I considered to be such) was more common and more all-involving.
I realize this can easily come off as a “sour grapes” type comment. But I really don’t believe that is the case. I don’t see myself buying anything headphone gear or otherwise that costs as much as many are comfortable spending; especially these days when what one owns seems more and more to have come to define who one is.
I don’t have time at the moment to develop/explain this further but will do so a bit later.
For now, I think what I’m trying to say is that with something say like after-market cables; if a great headphone cable was developed at a fairly sane price l, it remained popular and often became ca “classic”. As things developed in that area, it seemed to me that in no time the perfectly good cable, that was truly an impressive upgrade in sound quality, became “nothing much” as thicker and “fancier” cables were developed and marketed as the “new best thing”.
Upgraditis became an unavoidable aspect of nearly every discussion and those discussing the topic became fewer and fewer as less people could relate to spending $400/$500 -> $1000 on a headphone cable, that truth be told, really didn’t add to your listening experience unless you were interacting with people who cared more about status symbols than sound quality.
I know that trickle-down benefits us all with real (and expensive) technological breakthroughs and development But I personally just don’t get the seeming obsession some people seem to have, in every area of life, with spending more just because they can.
I realize there are many reasons why people do this. I’m just saying that I don’t get it personally and in this hobby, for me at least, things used to be more about getting great sound quality for far less than one needed to spend on a similar sounding speaker rig.
Tmes change…and again, I certainly meant no offence and realize everyone is different, has different priorities and aspires to different things.
I hope to develop my thoughts on this better and more completely when I have more time to do so…(Please excuse any typos as I’m terrible at typing on a phone and don’t have time right now to proof/edit.)
Wow…just re-read this post and it was virtually unintelligible in parts. Sorry 'bout that…I tried to clean it up a bit. There’s likely still some mistakes but at least it now appears to be readable…(there’s also a few themes/statements that need to be developed or expressed more clearly).

Thanks for bearing with me.


Marketing insiders I know have informed me that O.J - The Juice - has agreed to model those IEMs while wearing the gloves. The tag line is purported to be “Sound to Kill For”


hah. I was anticipating some OJ jokes on this one. :slight_smile:

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