I've now auditioned the Audeze LCD-3s, Focal Clears, and Utopias for 2+ weeks each. You can find my comparison between the Clears and LCD-3s on their pages. In this review: "okay, tell me why the Utopias cost so much more. Do they really sound that much better?" The short answer is that going from cheap earphones to the Focal Clears will make you go "wow!", but the difference between the Clears and Utopias is very small by comparison. They both have a very neutral sound with great reproduction of crackling textures in the high frequencies. Try out Yosi Horikawa - Bubbles for auditions. The ping pong balls tickle your ears with both sets, but a marginal amount more with the Focal Utopias. Letting friends try both, the most common answer is either "I can't tell the difference", or "they sound different, but I can't decide which one I like best." I regret buying these given how similar they are to the Clears. Move up to the Utopias only if you have unneeded cash, or an uncurable case of audiophilia. More details: the bass is crisp here, but not the star of the show. These work great for all music. The treble can be described as "brilliant" or "harsh", not unlike looking at a bright white light. But that brilliance is why you spend the money: the fine details are there. The Clears come with 3 cables of varying connectors. The Utopias come with one long one with a 1/4" connector. I would have preferred they leave out the stitched leather case and just give me some e
Pros: * Sharp details, especially in high frequencies * They suit all listening needs well, pulling the details out of most any source.
Cons: * High frequencies can come across as harsh, like being hung over. * At this price I would prefer more cabling options. * Questionable cost vs. benefit relative to Focal Clears * The open backs on these broadcast themselves to the room more than e.g. my Grado SR-80s.
26 of 28 found this helpful
Poor sounding headphone! Very disappointed!
12 of 93 found this helpful
During the last 04 months, I have listened extensively to Audeze LCD-3, Focal Elear and now the FOCAL UTOPIA. This headphone is loaded with great laurels. Excellent build,great aesthetics and superb comfort. The LEMO connectors and the long OFC cable are excellent. In fact, Focal provides the user flexibility to make a XLR cable from the supplied cable by cutting it and soldering LEMO connectors FGG.0B.302CLAD52 and Neutrik NC4MX on the ends. Now let me deliberate on the sound quality. Utopia has bright sonics with lot of shimmer on higher frequencies- in fact a very difficult attribute to attain for the audio designer. Here is the magic of berrylium M-dome. The sound is open and all around and has the illusion of room accustics. Resolution of musical notes and human voice particularly the female is top notch. Instruments audibility is distinct and you desire no more of the impact of their sound. The real talent of UTOPIA emerges on music rich in orchestration when you can discern different instruments right in their places. Bass is decent but not like of AUDEZE LCD-3 and that is perfectly understandable. A downside of Utopia - It is not for everyone. It needs a decent amp and a rich source to deliver. Unlike Audeze LCD-3, It does not add any flavour to the input. Agreed it excels the former in treble and resolution. Ordinary sources may sound mundane,even flat at times.So make sure you have a decent amp and a good source, at least best recorded MP-3.
Pros: Excellent sound, great resolution, three dimensionality. Very fast and resolving. Not even an iota of crossover. Build Quality , Comfort, LEMO connectors and Long premium cable
Cons: A bit shy on bass. Very honest headphone. Will not add any coloration. Demands decent source to shine
20 of 23 found this helpful
Its quality is amazing i thought it was ridiculous to pay that much for headphones, but for the quality they are amazing but other than that it is the BEST headphones ive ever purchased. They are sure to last me until i pass away!
Pros: Its quality is amazing i thought it was ridiculous to pay that much for headphones, but for the quality they are amazing but other than that it is the BEST headphones ive ever purchased.
Cons: The only problem ive found with these is the price but they're worth the buy for me.
12 of 33 found this helpful
Driven by a Pass Labs HPA-1. I like these over the Stax 009 driven by the SRMtII. The Utopia is more natural, has better dynamics, and is more comfortable. By comparison, the 009 struggles with the bass, is not as harmonically accurate, and does not dig as deep into the music. The Utopia is unrivaled in my estimation for its detailed and realistic presentation. I can hear more elements of the mix. Subtle and not so subtle. Overlapping bass lines are clearly resolved. Trills sound realistic - you know those pesky 2nds. Vibrato is clean - a function of low IM distortion. I believe the low mass and stiff beryllium driver is big step forward. Closer to ideal from the perspective of physics. One difficulty with the Utopia is volume control. Be careful! There is pretty much no distortion to make you want to turn it down. It is 104dB efficient. I find lower volumes have to be used than first impressions would dictate or I'll make myself deaf. Compared to AKG K1000 driven by First Watt F1, the Utopia is not as comfortable, doesn't image as well (no surprise there), but still trumps on the detail and accuracy. You hear more of the TRUTH. The bass has more kick in the K1000, but more truth harmonically in the Utopia. Subjectively, I can listen to the K1000 louder that the Utopia - not sure that that is a good thing. Finish is elegant. This is a fine piece of equipment. Buy a pair. You will not be disappointed.
33 of 46 found this helpful