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Focal Elear

Open-back over-ear headphones

9 Reviews | 1 question - 1 answer

Overview

Our take on the Focal Elear

What happens when a leading speaker company dedicates time, resources, and effort toward an epic personal listening experience? We get the Focal Elear headphones. These high-performance over-ears were developed and built alongside Focal's top-of-the-line Utopia headphones in the company's Saint-Etienne, France headquarters. Many acoustic and engineering breakthroughs were shared along the way.

From the minds of world-renowned speaker experts

closeup of earcup Focal Elear

The Focal Elear headphones sport an open-back design for spacious, accurate sound.

What happens when a leading speaker company dedicates time, resources, and effort toward an epic personal listening experience? We get the Focal Elear headphones. These high-performance over-ears were developed and built alongside Focal's top-of-the-line Utopia headphones in the company's Saint-Etienne, France headquarters. Many acoustic and engineering breakthroughs were shared along the way.

The Elear's soundstage has been crafted to emulate the sound of the company's high-end speakers. And the engineers actually designed the drivers as if they were “extremely near-field monitors.” You'll appreciate that when you lean back in your chair, nestle your ears in the oversized, comfortable earcups, and let your music take over.

State-of-the art drivers made with fine materials

Focal used the same patent-pending “M”-shaped design for the diaphragm domes that they used in the Utopia headphone drivers. For these Elear headphones, they formed the lightweight domes from a blend of aluminum and magnesium. The design makes the drivers super-efficient, giving you precise, consistent sound across a wide frequency range.

My hands-on experience

"Like their big siblings, the Utopias, these headphones sound strikingly lifelike. The Elears may not be the at the very top-of-the-line, but they are no slouch 'phones — in fact quite the opposite.

They have a first-class feel from the moment you take them out of the case, on through to hours later when you finally take them off. Super dynamics and potent bass make for exciting listening — I'm talking genres from Bach to Biggie.

How many times have we all heard Tom Petty's "Breakdown"? Well, I've never heard it have quite the angst and passion as I did through the Elears. Musical details and nuances in his vocals added an extra gut-punch to the song. 

 — Jeff Miller, Crutchfield headphone guy

Sturdy, comfortable fit adds to the experience

The aluminum headband yoke slides smoothly (and it looks pretty smooth, too). It connects to the sturdy, industrial-looking open-back earcups and mesh grilles. The headband is lined with leather, and the earcups are covered in soft, breathable micro-fiber. Both are filled by nearly an inch of memory foam padding.

The solid build quality and high-grade materials help dampen vibrations for better sound. They also help ensure that you'll enjoy the Focal Elear for years to come. To properly keep and display these luxury ‘phones, Focal provides a rigid, padded storage case that seals with a magnet. They've also included an extra-long,oxygen-free copper cable with a stereo 1/4" jack on one end and two lock-in-place miniplug headphone connectors on the other end.

Product Highlights:

  • over-the-ear, open-back design for reduced resonance and spacious, natural sound
  • 40mm dynamic drivers made of high-grade materials
    • specially-designed "M-shaped" aluminum/magnesium domes deliver wide-range frequency response
  • 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
  • leather-lined headband and micro-fiber fabric-lined earcups
  • generous memory foam padding on the headband and earcups
  • aluminum headband yokes slide comfortably and sturdily into place
  • 13-foot oxygen-free cables with 1/4" stereo plug
    • two 3.5mm connectors lock into headphones for secure, high-quality connections
  • rigid storage case with padded interior and magnetic locking system
  • frequency response: 5-23,000 Hz
  • sensitivity: 104 dB
  • impedance: 80 ohms
  • warranty: 1 year
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

What's in the Box:

  • Over-ear headphones
  • 13.1' (4-meter) Audio cable with dual 3.5mm plugs on one end and straight 1/4" plug on other end
  • Storage case
  • User manual
  • Safety Precautions and Warranty guide
  • Focal brand brochure

I have always been a big fan of Focal, and this is no exception. I have several pair of the Focal Spirit's, and those sounded nice, but these are entirely different. If you like the Focal sound, you will love these headphones.

KEVIN, GA

Reviews

Focal Elear Reviews

Average Customer Review(s):

(9 Reviews)

Focal Sound

KEVIN from GA on 1/13/2018

I have always been a big fan of Focal, and this is no exception. I have several pair of the Focal Spirit's, and those sounded nice, but these are entirely different. If you like the Focal sound, you will love these headphones.

Pros: Great sound stage, good balance throughout, build quality

Cons: None

Missioned accomplished

Robert from Cleveland, TN on 9/18/2017

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I was looking for a step up from my Psb m4u1 headphones, which are very good. Wow did I get a step up. These phones are exceptional. Dynamics are off the chart and The clarity is outstanding. Makes my 60 year old ears feel like 35 again! Bass is tight but not over done. Mid range (voices) is well above average. I only have one problem now. Should I listen through my Kef ls50s or through the Elear. Both are great with vinyl and CDs. One of the best purchases I have made in a while, especially since the price dropped.

Pros: Clarity Dynamics Tight bass Long cable

Cons: Cable is heavy

Winner with a Knock Out

Stan from Pennsylvania on 9/15/2017

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I own an embarrassing number of headphones. Some of my favorites are Audeze LCD 2's, Beyerdynamic T90's, Grado RS1i's, Hifiman HE 560,400i's, Philips X2's, Sennheiser HD 700,650, 600's . But the Elear's take your breath away. They are that good. Nothing I own has a sound that has this kind of punch. A joy to listen to. I still love my other cans but these are something else. These have become my first choice when I pick up something to listen to.

Pros: Dynamic, excellent sound

Cons: Recessed upper mid's and lower treble. Somewhat closed sound stage for open back. This is nit picking.

Good value

Stuart from Ft Worth, TX on 6/12/2017

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Top notch sound. Very detailed, clear. Some reviews have said bass is very good, but some others are better. I don't want more bass and the quality is excellent. Many reviews say well built. Well that is true but what most don't say is they are very heavy as a result. As a result they don't feel delicate and fragile when handling. So they are heavy on the head but still very comfortable.

Pros: Detailed sound Bass

Cons: Heavy

Headphone Bargain

Gerald from Hamptead, N.H. on 3/24/2017

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Upgrade for me from the HiFiMan Edtion S. Moving from Marantz SA8001, Marantz CC4003, to Denon DRA-697CI(HD) no problem driving the Elears. Sometimes I did notice what sounded like clipping of a track on various cds. Not using the loudness control on the Denon helped control this. Listening from Hendirx to Ray Charles, big band, Jazz etc. love these headphones. Build quality and performance lives up to its price tag. Sound stage is there, while not huge and bass (for me) is just right. The cord is heavy but of high quality and not a problem for me.

Pros: High performing phones.

Cons: None for me

Winner in Bass + Lower Mid Range

Kumar from Nesconset, NY on 12/12/2016

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Upgrade for me from my sennheiser HD 600. Using it with Chord Mojo and sometime with Dragonfly v1.2. Easy to drive Headphone so we don't need any crazy Amp. It's definitely an upgrade from HD 600 but then HD 600 generally retails around $250. Bass is punchy and combines well with midrange which adds weight to vocals which everyone will enjoy. Only concern i see is somewhere in upper mid. While listening you always feel you are almost there but then something is missing. However those who enjoy laid-back sound will enjoy it. Best feature is the combination of bass with lower midrange which makes it a winner. The soundstage , imaging and separation is little better compared to HD 600. Very good looking and comfortable. Look and feel justifies 1K price point. Only thing they should have included the 3.5 mm adapter, i had to buy one from Grado. i wanted to give 4 because of upper mid and lower treble but thats a small thing to overlook and can be easily ignored. Once you put in you feel like giving 5 points.

Pros: Bass is punchy and combines well with midrange which adds weight to vocals which everyone will enjoy

Cons: Only concern i see is somewhere in upper mid. While listening you always feel you are almost there but then something is missing.

Focal Elear

Anonymous from Redding, CA on 11/20/2016

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Well built. Looks great. Sounds super.

Pros:

Cons:

Focal Elear

Anonymous from Nampa,ID on 8/31/2016

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Impeccable fit and finish, acoustically amazing! Never bought a pair of headphones before without first trying them out therefore was a little weary. Could not be happier with the headphones and Crutchfield for the professionalism associated!

Pros:

Cons:

Fantastic Headphone!

Jeff from Jonesboro, AR on 8/30/2016

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Wow, wow, wow! These headphones are a superb value! I also own a pair of Sennheiser HD800's (original) and MrSpeaker Ester C's, both of which I really love. But for the money (the Elear's are at least $600 less expensive), I would highly recommend the Elears. Actually, I recommend the Elears, regardless of the price! Great Bass extension, better than HD800 and Ester C, IMO. The Ester C's have the best Mids and I still love the detail and soundstage of the HD800's but for all around performance I would pick the Elears.

Pros: Great sound. Very comfortable.

Cons: None.

Details

Hands-on research

Features and Specs

General
Earcup Type Open
Earcup Width x Height 3.552" x 4.066"
Noise-canceling No
Bluetooth No
Mic For Taking Calls No
iPhone Control No
Lightning Connector No
Android Control No
Frequency Response 5-23k Hz
Sensitivity 104 dB
Impedance 80 Ohms
Weight 22 ounces
Cord Length 157.2"
1/4-inch Adapter Included No
Volume Control No
Parts Warranty 1 Year
Labor Warranty 1 Year

Product Research

Features

Overview: The Focal Elear audiophile over-ear headphones,  inspired by the same technology and research that went into designing and manufacturing the flagship Utopia headphones. The Elear is designed and manufactured in France, and feature wide-range, near-field loudspeakers built within the headphones. The Elear comes with a 13.1-foot cable, and a padded carrying case with a magnetic closure.

Drivers: The Elear features large 40mm full-range aluminum/magnesium "M"-shaped dome drivers. The unique shape of the drivers is the same as the ones used in the Utopia, offering high quality sound and blocking distortion.

Open Headphone Design: Focal decided that the best way to deliver all of the Elear's performance was to utilize a fully open headphone design to totally decompress 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, wrapped in a soft microfiber fabric.

Cable: The included 13.1' (4-meter) high fidelity cable features OFC (oxygen-free copper) shielding with 24 AWG conductors and an extremely low impedance (<90 mΩ). The 2-sided balanced cable features dual 3.5mm connectors for plugging into the ear cups, and a standard 1/4" plug for connecting to your source unit.

Specifications:

  • Frequency Response: 5Hz - 23kHz
  • Impedance: 80 ohms
  • Sensitivity: 104dB SPL / 1 mW @ 1kHz
  • THD: <0.3% / 1 kHz / 100dB SPL
  • Ear Cup Dimensions: 3.552" W, 4.066" H, 2.273" D
  • Weight: 15.5 ounces (without cable), 22 ounces (with cable)

Our Product Research Team

At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team. They verify what’s in the box, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.

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Q & A

Customer Q&A

Crutchfield asked  
Why did you buy this?

Great pair of headphones. [ Aubrey  Jan 29, 2017 ]
Online Reviews of product. [ PATRICK  Jan 06, 2017 ]
The company's reputation for quality & great sound. [ loves film  Nov 07, 2016 ]

1 question already asked

You may return items that are complete and like new for any reason within 60 days of your purchase. For more details on our return policy you can check out this portion of our website: http://www.crutchfield.com/support/returns.aspx I hope that helps! [ Larry  Sep 13, 2016 ]  Staff
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Focal Utopia open back over-ear

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Focal's top-of-the-line pair of headphones

The Focal Utopia offers these features:

40mm dynamic drivers made of high-grade materials like strong, lightweight beryllium

padded headband and earcups lined with Pittards leather

frequency response: 5-50,000 Hz