Focal Utopia Review (collective stream of consciousness)

Discussion in 'Headphones' started by Marvey, Aug 25, 2016.

  1. Rthomas

    Rthomas Friend

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    Anybody else waiting for the next Katz Corner where his colleagues weigh in on the Utopia vs LCD-4?

    I've been very patient but it's been 2 weeks already :D
     

  2. TonyNewman

    TonyNewman Rando

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    I have just sold my Utopias. They are a brilliant headphone technically - best detail, clarity, dynamics and punch I have ever experienced. However, for me they are just too "in your face" all the time. I can't relax and chill using the Utopia - it is too forward, too energetic - and just not what I was looking for. So mine are sold and am very happy to return to my modded HE6. A much better fit for for my tastes and gear.
     
  3. cskippy

    cskippy Friend

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    Wow! I still need to hear one, but it seems like it's just a different flavor, not necessarily better than HE-6 or other ToTL cans.
     
  4. TonyNewman

    TonyNewman Rando

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    It beats the modded HE6 in several ways IMHO, but is just too "full on" all the time for me to enjoy it and relax with it - and that is kinda the point of the exercise for me.

    Please don't take this as a criticism of the Utopia - it isn't the right headphone for me and my gear - but it could be for you (as it is for many others).
     
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  5. AllanMarcus

    AllanMarcus Friend

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    Come to the Albuquerque meet in late April and listen to mine :)
     
  6. pippenainteasy

    pippenainteasy Rando

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    If anyone is interested in earpad mods, it appears the MrSpeakers Ether Electrostatic (and possibly the regular Ether or Flow) pads are compatible with the Focal Utopia. The pads are more or less the right size to just pull right over the Utopia earcups.

    In terms of sound I would say it's somewhere between the brighter sound of the stock Utopia pads and the darker, more distant sound of the Elear pads. It has more bass than the stock Utopia pads, but less than the Elear, and the soundstage is wider than with both (makes sense, the pads are huge). It does lose some of the punch being that the driver is now venting over a much larger area. I'd say I still slightly prefer the more focused imaging of the Elear pads, but it's more comfortable than either of the Focal factory pads for anyone with big ears (both Elear and Utopia pads were previously pinching tips of my ears). To me, this mod to me makes it better than the SD HD800 in pretty much every way now (minus the advantage in weight the HD800 has) as it removes the major weakness of the Utopia's (soundstage).

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2017 at 1:20 AM
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  7. murphythecat

    murphythecat Facebook Friend

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    Pipe, thaks a lot for this information.
    I decided to order a pair of mrspeakrs pads myself.
    anyone else have tried the mr speakers pads or other pads for the Utopia?

    I dont know what happened with my utopia, but the first few weeks of ownership, i had some doubts on whether the Utopia were worth it.

    this week, ive began playing with interconnects and I have at the moment cardas quadlink 5 c and Cardas neutral reference. To my extreme surprise, switching from 1$ interconnects to the quadlink 5 c literaly removed the slight harshness I experienced somewhere in the upper mid/lower treble of the utopia. Ive been trying to hear again the harshness but it seems the cardas IC'c really helps to remove the brightness.

    I actually tried to sold my Utopia due to the slight hardness that seem to be gone now.

    Anyone compared different headphone cable for utopia? im also looking to upgrade the stock cable. budget around 200-300$...
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2017 at 2:21 PM
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  8. AllanMarcus

    AllanMarcus Friend

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    There is lots of discussion on cables not he HF "Focal Utopia (& a little Elear) impressions and discussion" thread.

    As for your cable switch, please switch back and see if the "harshness' returns. It might just be your headphones are a little more broken in, or you are just now used to the sound of the headphones.
     

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