Focal Elegia

Discussion in 'Headphones' started by netforce, Oct 5, 2018.

  1. limesoft

    limesoft Acquaintance

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    I really wanted to like these - stunning build quality and I'm a fan of the Focal Spirit Pros... Unfortunately the Elegia is very bright (lean bass), metallic and bit honky- even a warm tube amplifier can't salvage the situation. I seriously don't know what Focal were thinking with this... their speakers are actually nice sounding and neutral
     
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  2. jexby

    jexby Posole Prince

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    owning the Elegia for a couple weeks now, hooked up to a (pre-owned) WA8 Eclipse which isn't the most goo tubey or overly warm amp. especially in 2 tube mode, it's more linear with less power output.

    regarding characteristics above:
    do agree with maybe a bit honky- if that means not deep richness or warmth to the mids.
    don't agree with very bright, unless you are a mega fan of warmpoo.
    more true, Elegia is up front (like Focal Clear) doesn't roll treble, nor is HD800 like.
    lean bass- hm, maybe in slam. yet there is a sub bass that can even rumble and impede on lower-mids at times.

    for a work desk pair of closed cans, have been pretty satisfied.
    continue to be surprised at the WA8 Eclipse which has easily been the best AIO desktop unit for me to date.
     
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  3. limesoft

    limesoft Acquaintance

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    I was also testing the Elegia with my WA8 Eclipse - I dread to imagine what they sound like out of a solid state as the WA8 has a knack for making everything plugged into it sound fantastic.. almost everything.
    They sounded lean, bit rough and tiring. I also ran a frequency sweep and the high treble was wonky and not matched across both cans. I agree the bass and sub bass is there, it's just that there isn't enough of it ultimately.. the Focal Elear was more satisfying and dynamic even considering it's shortcomings
     
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  4. jexby

    jexby Posole Prince

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    this is truth. i remain stunned when plugging in Campfire Andros to the WA8 and hearing no hiss.
    just black silent background. most impressive. when playing musics there is slight warmth without loss of resolution.

    have no Elears to compare, will try to give Elegia some critical listening as time allows at work.
    so far haven't detected channel imbalance, but if one needs "moar bass" than Elegia, it's a matter of style / preference over Focal's attempt at closed-headphone resolution + some neutrality.
    Elegia are not the perfect headphone, would love a side by side listen with the ZMF Eikon.
     
  5. limesoft

    limesoft Acquaintance

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    On a side note - how are you finding the Andros with the WA8 - Is the bass boost too much? I assume thats why you're using an IEMatch to get the output impedance bit higher for a more neutral tone.
     
  6. famish99

    famish99 Friend

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    When I auditioned them in shop directly off of a Chord Dave, I greatly preferred the Elegia to the Eikon, to the point of the Elegia being the closed back of choice if I had to buy one. My impression of the Elegia closely tracks yours, with the exception of the treble, which I didn't think was overly bright, but it certainly was.

    I felt like the Elegia was the least closed in sounding closed backed headphones I've heard mostly due to its lack of cup reverb more so than headstage size. While the Eikon on the other hand definitely sounded more closed in and was noticeably less resolving than Auteur with Eikon pads due to cup reverb. The Elegia and Eikon both have a upper bass or lower mids recession, but I felt that it was more noticeable on the Eikon due to its sub bass emphasis. I also felt the imaging was a tad better on the Elegia as well, it doesn't sound as 3 blob as the Eikon did for me. Lastly, microdynamics were better on the Eikon but transients are better on the Elegia.
     
  7. Mithrandir41

    Mithrandir41 Friend

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    I tried these out at the Source AV on Monday. Being a happy Clear owner, I was curious if they could replicate that sound in a closed back: the short version is no. Compared to any of the open back models, these sound thin and brittle with unrefined treble. For a closed back comparison, the LCD-2 closed just slay these, although they are much bigger and heavier. Fuller, deeper bass and better rendered low and upper mids and more refined treble.
     
  8. crenca

    crenca Acquaintance

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    Interesting comments from those who have had their ears on them. Particularly the opinions about the treble seem conflicted.
     
  9. Mithrandir41

    Mithrandir41 Friend

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    Id rather have a pair of Sennheiser momentums or pm-3s. The tonality is waaay better.
     
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  10. I_want_all_the_tacos

    I_want_all_the_tacos Almost "Made"

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    I got to hear Elegia at the Source AV this last weekend as well and I am not a fan. It was just "ok" to me. I own Elear (don't care for) and Elex (love) and I also really enjoy Clear and Utopia. I feel like Elex balances just right in being mostly neutral and slightly lean sounding, but quick and incisive on attack that comes together really well. Elegia seems to tip that scale too much and the bass was just too light and the overall sound was too thin which does emphasize the treble even more. It wasn't offensive but it didn't impress me like the rest of the Focal lineup. In that price range I definitely prefer Atticus or Eikon for closed backs.
     
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  11. limesoft

    limesoft Acquaintance

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    Depending on the music - because of the Elegia's wonky (peaks and dips) treble response, some songs can sound okish, and some bright , others just plain weird.

    I don't understand why these are getting positive reviews. Focal Spirit Pro, Denon D7200 or Oppo PM3 are better and tonally more correct in my opinion. I'm going to give Focal negative flack wherever I can - I know they can do better. If I spend this cash on speakers I would expect them to at least give me a smooth and balanced response, everything else is a bonus.
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2019
  12. DaveB

    DaveB Rando

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    Well that's pretty stupid.
     
  13. crenca

    crenca Acquaintance

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    Well shucks. I am needing a replacement for my travel/bed/etc. Oppo PM3's as my wife has taken them over. Last week I got a pair of Audioquest NightOwl's and, well, the dark tonality is just not responding to my EQ efforts well enough for me. As I have experience fixing Elears with EQ and my Clear's are my current go to, I was thinking about just picking these up and using EQ to smooth them out. However based on this feedback this might be more difficult than I assumed. I don't really want to get into the $1K+ territory for occasional use closed backs...
     
  14. Resolve

    Resolve Acquaintance

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    I've listened to them a few times now and I'm starting to get a sense of why opinions on this headphone are so split.

    The Bass - Some impressions indicate that it lacks bass, or feels thin. Rest assured it absolutely does not lack bass. It actually has more than the Clear up until about 100hz (maybe higher). The confusion is likely caused by one of two potential issues (or both):

    A) The Elegia sound critically depends on having a good fit. I had to tweak it a bit to get it comfortable and as I was doing so I noticed a substantial change in the bass response. Like I can imagine someone with glasses feeling super left out when it comes to anything below 500hz.

    B) There is a dip in the upper bass region that ensures nothing bleeds into the midrange. Some tracks simply don't have the frequency range to be able to take advantage of the lower frequencies, and they bottom out at or before the dip. This leaves them sounding a bit thin and anemic. But for the tracks that do reach low enough, you're never left wanting more quantity. A simple EQ of a boost at around 200hz by a few db might fix the issue but I think if anything, one of the Elegia's strengths is that it's so clinical with frequency range.


    Midrange - This is definitely a mid forward headphone and it's one of the highlights, especially the lower mids. It reminds me of the mids from my old HE-500 (not quite as lush), and perhaps a bit sharp in comparison to something like an HD650 - but super detailed, tight and well-controlled. The upper midrange starts to get some weirdness in it, but I think this is just the Focal sound, because I found the same quality in the Clear.


    Treble - For now this is my least favourite part of the Elegia, possibly because I can't quite wrap my head around how I feel about it. But it's not without potential either. Speed, detail, and clarity is all there. It's just not as soft and smooth as I like. Again it's maybe a bit clinical, and the lower treble's FR causes an awkward timbre for certain types of music. This might be what people describe as 'metallic', although I personally wouldn't characterize it that way. I have yet to try it on my own source gear, so I'm not sure if it was just the source I was using that caused a bit of the sharpness. I had the same initial reaction to the Clear, and that ended up being fine in the long run. On the plus side, the Elegia is surprisingly open and airy sounding despite being a closed-back. So with a bit of EQ here in the treble, and on the right source, it could be just fine.


    This is probably the best closed back I've heard, and I hesitate to say it but I think it's a step up from the AFC. A tougher comparison is likely with the Eikon (which I haven't heard), because it may have a more agreeable tuning (I have the Auteur, and I'm told it has a similar tuning). But the Elegia is straight up faster than the Auteur, with a similar level of resolution and detail. So if you're a speed junkie like me.. it might be a decent choice. I'd still love to try it with all of my own source gear though to properly put it through its paces.
     
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  15. daniellistens

    daniellistens Rando

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    I've definitely found seal to be imperative for good sound on my Aeon Closed from Mr. Speakers, and the descriptions above of the bad sound quality do line up with my impressions of the Aeons with a bad seal.
     
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  16. Poleepkwa

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    I really like the Focal Spirit Pro. Great sounding for not much money. Would the Elegia be an upgrade in comfort and technicalities or more of a side grade?
     
  17. Zed Bopp

    Zed Bopp Friend

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    I'd bet it's an upgrade in comfort, since that is clearly FSP's greatest weakness. The pads are pretty soft, but they're smallish and that tight clamp can't be denied.
     
  18. Poleepkwa

    Poleepkwa Friend

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    Yes. Agreed, but that also means they provide some seriously good isolation.
     
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  19. Resolve

    Resolve Acquaintance

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    I have one at home now and have been listening for 5 hours straight, running it balanced from the IHA-6. I had to use my 4pin XLR attenuator (shows 35z so I get a consistent FR) because the Elegia is fairly low impedance, and this amp has a bit too much power for it. Anyway, the IHA-6 is extremely fast, and this is like doubling up on the Elegia, since that driver is no slouch either. My immediate reaction was "oh damn, this is way better than it sounded in the shop". I love those "oh damn" moments.


    The treble isn't bothering me as much as it was before either, and I think my amp is helping in that regard. Bottom line is that the Elegia is a closed back detail monster. I'm increasingly impressed with its detail retrieval, enough to confidently say it's just like the Clear in this respect. If any detail is lost between the two I'd have a tough time identifying it. It's also a midrange monster, and all that clarity does acoustic instruments and voices incredibly well. I did boost 100-200hz by about 2db where the upper bass dip is.


    I'm also loving the air, transparency and sense of openness of these. It's like going from a stuffy room to open air. I'll have to try this on more sources to get a better sense of what else is possible.
     
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  20. Poleepkwa

    Poleepkwa Friend

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    How have you found the basslevel in relation to the mids and treble? Watching the interviews about the Elegia, it became clear this is the closed back version of the Clear, and not the Elear as I at first suspected, so I would expect the bass to be pretty similar between the Elegia and Clear, although impression about it seem to vary from one extreme to the next.
     

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