I've got to wonder how long Focal's strategic timeline was when they first entered the headphone market with the Spirit One in 2012. Price-wise, it’s actually in the middle of the Focal open back lineup, between the more expensive Focal Utopia and the lower priced Focal Elear. The headband outer cover is medium gray leather; the earpads and headband pad are perforated Alcantara-like microfiber; yokes are a sandblasted aluminum; outer capsule covers are stainless steel mesh; cables are black and white striped cotton covered—the Clear is a harmonious symphony of premium materials at play in the light, teasing you for attention. Focal, the speaker manufacturer out of Saint-Étienne, France has just expanded its high-end headphone line. The Utopia are on sale now for $2300, making them a real alternative. But, I suppose that's not such a bad problem to have as an Audioholic. From my estimate, it starts clipping at 87 dB. The Focal Clear headphones sitting on a desk As far as connections go, Focal made sure to provide almost every kind of connection in the box with three different kinds of cables. Focal Clear headphones: 2. But that begs the question - is Clear worth $500 more? Continuing in the spirit of Utopia and Elear and using the best of Focal technologies, Clear offer the sensation of listening to your favourite music in a space that no longer has limits. Focal Clear Professional Open-Back Over-Ear Studio Monitor Headphones -Red/Black. At 450 grams, or around 1 pound, the headphones aren’t necessarily light — but considering the padding and nice-feeling materials, we never f… 1 x 3m with 6.35mm stereo jack connector: 5. Continuing in the spirit of Utopia and Elear, and using the best of Focal technologies, Clear offers the sensation of listening to your favorite music in a space has no limits. The Clear uses an aluminum/magnesium-dome full-range driver with a 25.5m x 5.5mm copper voice coil designed specifically for these ’phones. On the other are, either an XLR jack or a “full-size” 6.35mm jack, making up two 3m (10-foot) cables. The Focal Clear headphones are a benchmark design that is one of the top performing headsets I’ve experienced. And now, having the Focal Clear in hand, I sense they've reached their goal. The Focal Clear headphones stand one step above the bottom of the company’s price tree at $1,490. The foam is coated in the same perforated microfiber as the underside of the headband. The Clear comes with a beautiful fabric covered, hard-side clamshell case with zipper closure and leather strap carry handle. The 'M'-shape Aluminum/Magnesium dome benefits from a new copper voice coil. Its extremely well-balanced performance would provide long … 1. The newest entry, Clear, will take its place between Utopia and Elear. The open-back design lets Clear rest lightly with no need for sonic isolation. Replacement pads are available through your dealer. Focal's Clear provides remarkable dynamics across the audio spectrum. Both Elear and Clear bring a healthy dose of emersion and excitement to whatever recording you throw at it. Both the Elear and Utopia comes with very long and heavy cables; the new Clear cables are a welcome change. Without the Elear or Utopia to compare head-to-head it’s difficult to nail down exactly what sets the sonic signature of Clear apart. On one end of Focal’s new cables are two 3.5mm mono jacks that plug into each earcup. Dan Clark (of MrSpeakers) and I had a chat about this recently and we both agreed that for some unknown (to us) reason, having less isolation from external sounds does somehow translate to perceived improvements to a headphones perceived openness. Clear looks almost like the Elear, but with lighter grey accents. Generally this headphone doesn’t need a dedicated headphone amp to go … Focal Clear is poised to be the reference open-back headphones under $2,000. Cables must be removed for the Clear to fit in the case, but a molded central compartment is available to store a cable or two. In our current-era where ear-cushions are generally faux leather and black, it’s a refreshing change to see light grey and soft microfiber rather than pleather. As a result, because the cups are large, the pads leave lots of space for a wide variety of ears to fit. The highs are spectacularly detailed as with all of Focal's headphones in this line. With such a close product to Elear - is it possible that perhaps Clear stands to one day replace Elear? The voice coil impedance is also lower than the 85 Ohms of other two Focals at around 60 Ohms. The Focal Clear has clipping/pop type issues with its drivers when you try to listen at loud volumes, sometimes it can be present at low volumes. Clear, Focal’s newest reference headphones, are one of the best I have ever reviewed. Focal calls it a locking mechanical connection, but it seems more like a detented mating to me. The driver itself is a 1.6″-diameter unit that Focal calls an “M”-shaped dome, because it is M-shaped if viewed from the side. Focal Reference Headphones for much less The Focal Clear is a new over-ear open-back headphone from Focal made for audiophiles. Like its siblings, the Clear is a wonderfully comfortable headphone. 5 out of 5 stars (1) 1 product ratings - Focal Clear Professional Open-Back Over-Ear Studio Monitor Headphones … Join our Exclusive Audioholics E-Book Membership Program! Even with Elear’s overly long, rubberized cable, I’d live the rest of my headphone listening days with Elear as an indoor-only headphone that I plug into a standard quarter-inch headphone jack (with no XLR option) and I’d be a happy with its punchy, detailed sound. 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