Lost left channel on my Utopias

What model are you having issues with?:Focal Utopia

Describe your issue with the most detail you can: I have no sound from the left channel. The cable is fine.

How long ago was it purchased?: Bought from first owner in Feb. 2020, not sure how long they owned them.

Does anyone know of a repair person in US who could fix? Thanks.

That really sucks. I know utopias sometimes have a channel die. When I first bought mine (new) one of the channels was dead on arrival. Luckily, it was easy for me to just send them back and get a new pair.

Last I remember, Focal has a five year, transferable warranty, so I would suggest first finding out if yours are still under warranty, and see if Focal themselves can repair or replace the channel (or headphone - not sure what they do).

I unfortunately don’t know how possible or practical it is to try to repair them in the US, so we can see if others chime in there.

3 Likes

Thanks! I can check in with the guy I bought them from and see if he replies. Shipping back to France seems like
a lot. I’m guessing it’s just a loose connection.

I think Focal can sometime insists upon them being repaired through the dealer who sold them.

Yeah I have no idea who the dealer was but maybe the seller will get back to me. Was thinking there must be some headphone fixit guru out there

1 Like

You might be in trouble with repair part supplies though. I heard brand new shiny Utopias are hard to come by due to supply chain issues. Hopefully not.

Maybe its something easy like a loose wire.

I would expect that’s the case.

Hate to ask this, but assume you swapped the cables to verify that the issue is on the headphone and not the cable? I had a cable failure on my Stellias.

1 Like

As long as you can get the receipt from the person you purchased from (and they purchased from an authorized dealer) or you can find out what store they purchased from and reach out to them you should be fine for repair. Most repairs are done in Focal’s Canadian headquarters in Quebec unless it requires a certain part.

3 Likes

Not to answer for Steve but I believe he did swap cables.

Do you have a digital multimeter?

If so, tone out the Left channel with the cable connected. If you get a tone, the driver might be frozen. If you get no tone, something broke the circuit.

Remove the cable and tone out the Left channel of the cable. Tone = cable is fine, problem in the headphone. No tone = bad cable.

At least doing this you would have some idea of where the problem is.

It might actually be cheaper to purchase a replacement cable (if your cable is bad) than it would be to ship the headphones + cable lord knows where.

Edit: I just saw this part of your post:

How do you know it’s fine? Just curious.

I swapped the right and left plugs and there still was no sound on the left channel. Also sent the old cable to the manufacturer for repair, who said there was nothing wrong with it but sent me a new one anyway …

I don’t have a digital multimeter … I see one for 12 bucks on Amazon. But since I am confident the problem isn’t the cable, not sure it would be useful?

I should have asked for one when I bought it from him, but now I’ll have to hope he checks messages on Audiogon, which might not happen anytime soon. But I’ll try and find his contact some other way. I have the shipping box so maybe there’s something on there …

Yeah, wouldn’t bother then

I think I have a certain magnetic frequency that causes gear to go wonky. It’s more unusual when a piece of hi-fi equipment actually works perfectly for five years straight. Even brand new gear winds up going right back. So I dunno … But if there’s some history of the Utopias dropping a channel then that’s good to know.

1 Like

Had the same problem. Contacted Focal’s US service center here:

Focal Naim US

They replaced the defective driver. I was very satisfied.

3 Likes

Fantastic, thanks.

I did find an original shipping date on the box from 2017, so they are still within the 5-year window.

7 Likes

OK, I got all the info gathered about the original purchase for the Focal folks and am filing a request, hope it works.

4 Likes