About the Focal Utopia
High-performance headphones live up to their lofty name
Focal brought the Utopia headphones to Crutchfield for a listening event — they sounded spacious, effortless, and incrediby nuanced.
High-performance headphones live up to their lofty name
Focal dipped their toes in the headphone pool a few years back and earned rave reviews. Now these world-renowned speaker experts have decided it's time to dive headfirst into the deep end. The Focal Utopia open-back headphones employ the same spare-no-expense approach to design, engineering, and execution that made Utopia such a prestigious name in the worlds of home and car speakers.
Our special listening session here at Crutchfield
Focal stopped by Crutchfield HQ with a sample of the Focal Utopias (and their sibling, the Elear headphones). We were wowed by the strikingly realistic sound. I can't throw enough superlatives at them.
These headphones were clear and detailed in ways I've never heard. Home A/V editor Jim Richardson pointed out that “Limelight” by Rush — a song we've all heard countless times — has so much more going on in the low-end than we ever realized. You could pick out each instrument like the band was playing right in front of you.
Fine materials and state-of-the art design
"Knowing Focal, there's beryllium under the hood," said our longtime home speaker buyer Tim, while discussing these headphones. He was right. Focal uses beryllium in their Utopia loudspeakers, and includes the precious material here to help emulate the sound of those high-end drivers. Beryllium is much lighter and stiffer than titanium or aluminum, so it can move more smoothly and efficiently.
Praise from InnerFidelity's headphone expert Tyll Hertsens
I'm not surprised in the least that these cans were four years in the making. Focal has largely redefined...or better said, refined anew, what it means to be a high-end headphone. A technological tour de force... Astonishing!”
— Read the full article: World's Best Headphone: The Focal Utopia
For the 40mm drivers in the Utopia headphones, Focal formed beryllium foil domes into a unique "M" shape. This patent-pending design allows the drivers to perform with rigid agility. You get incredible sound that spreads across a wide frequency range, even beyond human hearing — all without any built-in crossover. The drivers are suspended in large, open-air chambers to cut down on resonance and create an extremely tight and lifelike stage for your music.
Focal's specially designed driver uses materials like pure beryllium, for accurate sound with speaker-like dynamics.
Sturdy, comfortable fit adds to the experience
Focal's Utopia speakers are prized as much for their one-of-a-kind looks as their stunning sound. I'd say these headphones follow suit. The carbon-fiber headband yoke blends smoothly and symmetrically with the strong open-back earcups and mesh grilles. Both the 'cups and headband slide on seamlessly. They're also both padded with 0.8-inch thick memory foam and lined with beautiful, breathable Pittards leather — the same classic material found in quality handbags and fashion accessories. (Dare I say these headphones fit like a glove?)
This solid build dampens vibrations for better sound. It also helps ensure that you'll enjoy the Focal Utopia for years to come. They arrive magnet-sealed in a padded solid storage case that befits a pair of luxury headphones. Inside you'll also find an extra-long oxygen-free copper cable with a Neutrik® stereo 1/4" jack on one end and two shielded, lock-in-place headphone connectors on the other end.
- over-the-ear, open-back design for reduced resonance and spacious, natural sound
- 40mm dynamic drivers made of high-grade materials like strong, lightweight beryllium
- specially designed "M-shaped" pure beryllium domes help reproduce a wide frequency range
- a separate headphone amplifier is required to properly power these headphones for optimum sound quality
- designed, developed, and assembled in Saint-Etienne, France
- drivers positioned in open-back headphone chamber to help emulate the sound of loudspeakers
- headband and earcups lined with Pittards leather
- generous memory foam padding on the headband and earcups
- carbon fiber headband yokes slide comfortably and sturdily into place
- 13-foot oxygen-free cables with Neutrik 1/4" stereo plug
- two shielded "Lemo®" connectors lock into headphones for secure, high-quality connection
- solid storage case with padded interior and magnetic locking system
- frequency response: 5-50,000 Hz
- sensitivity: 104 dB
- impedance: 80 ohms
- warranty: 1 year
- Our 60-day money-back guarantee
- MFR # Utopia
What's in the box:
- Over-ear headphones
- 10.5' Audio cable (straight 1/4" plug)
- Storage case
- User Manual
- Beryllium Precautions for Use document
- Safety Precautions and Warranty guide
- Focal brand brochure
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More details on the Focal Utopia
Features & specs
|Earcup Width x Height||3.597" x 4.122"|
|Mic For Taking Calls||No|
|Frequency Response||5-50k Hz|
|1/4-inch Adapter Included||No|
|Parts Warranty||1 Year|
|Labor Warranty||1 Year|
Overview: The Focal Utopia reference over-ear headphones are the result of innovation, development, and manufacturing of high-end speakers and drivers. These audiophile headphones are designed and manufactured in France, and feature the only full-range, near-field loudspeakers built within a pair of headphones. The Utopia comes with a 10.5-foot cable, and a rigid carrying case with a magnetic closure.
Drivers: The Utopia features large 40mm full-range "M"-shaped dome drivers made of pure Beryllium. Beryllium is 3 times more rigid than Titanium, and 5 times that of Aluminum, while having only 40% of the density of Titanium, and 70% of the density of Aluminum. This combination of low mass, high rigidity, and high damping factor makes Beryllium an ideal material for a speaker driver.
Open Headphone Design: Focal decided that the best way to deliver all of the Utopia's performance was to utilize a fully open headphone design for total decompression of the loudspeakers. The open design provides the lowest possible acoustic impedance to reproducing accurate and detailed bass frequencies, and gives you an extremely natural listening experience.
Ear Cups: The circum-aural ear cups feature 20mm thick memory foam cushions, covered by a bi-material construction made with true lambskin leather and perforated microfiber fabric. This combo provides a balance between a lively room with lots of reverb and a "damp" room with no reflections. The result is a flat frequency response in the upper mid and high frequencies between 1 kHz and 10 kHz.
Cable: The included 10.5' (3-meter) high fidelity cable features 24 AWG conductors with OFC (oxygen-free copper) shielding and an extremely low impedance (<90 mΩ). The 2-sided cable features shielded 9.5mm Lemo connectors with a self-locking bayonet system to plug into the ear cups. The end of the cable has a standard 1/4" plug.
- Frequency Response: 5Hz - 50kHz
- Impedance: 80 ohms
- Sensitivity: 104dB SPL / 1 mW @ 1kHz
- THD: <0.2% / 1 kHz / 100dB SPL
- Ear Cup Dimensions: 3.597" W, 4.122" H, 2.268" D
- Weight: 17.3 ounces (without cable), 24.8 ounces (with cable)
Q Crutchfield asked: Why did you buy this?