Focal Elegia closed‑back headphones

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Focal Elegia

In terms of fit, the Elegia reminded me of the Focal Clear. And while it is a medium weight design, the Elegia feels light and comfortable due to its padded headband and soft over-ear pads. At the end of several two-hour-plus listening sessions the Elegia was as comfortable at the end as at the beginning. Isolation was far greater than from an open headphone design and was almost as good at keeping outside noise from intruding as some of my most-isolating closed-back headphones, such as the AKG K-501. You could use these in a library as long as you don’t go for max volume near another patron. Bundled accessories include a 1.2-metre single-ended terminated cable that has both 3.5mm mini-stereo and standard 6.35mm jacks and a protective travel case.

With a published sensitivity of 105 dB and 35-Ohm impedance the Elegia can be driven successfully by even a smartphone. My iPhone SE achieved comfortable volume levels at only about 60% of its maximum output. On the other end of the spectrum, the Elegia really came alive when it was tethered to something with a bit more push, such as the fantastic Manley Absolute Headphone Amplifier. I was especially impressed by the Elegia’s bass control, which was nearly as extended and dynamic as the Abyss Diana Phi. Unlike some closed designs where the low bass can almost box your ears with excessive impact, the Elegia’s bass response is more like an open enclosure design.

Imaging precision through the Elegia was excellent, with lots of space between instruments. The soundstage size was big enough to provide a panoramic soundstage, but the overall size was not quite as large as from the open-design MrSpeakers Aeon or Abyss Diana Phi. The Elegia’s harmonic balance was basically natural but overall had a slightly drier harmonic character than the Abyss Diana Phi. Female vocalists have less 'chest sound' through the Elegia and lack a bit of overtone complexity. Also, the Elegia have a tighter, more damped overall sound than the Abyss Diana Phi. 

So, if you loved the sound, feel, and overall quality of the Focal Clear but require a headphone that provides far more isolation, the Elegia should be on your must-audition list. 

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS

Type: Over-ear, closed-back

Drivers: Dynamic Driver

Frequency Response: 5 Hz - 23 KHz

Impedance: 35 ohms

Sensitivity: 105 dB/1mw

Connector: 3.5mm dual-pin custom

Weight: 15.4 oz, 430 grams

Price: £799 UK, $899 US

MANUFACTURER INFORMATION

Focal-JMlab

BP 374 - 108, rue de l'Avenir

42353 La Talaudière cedex

France

+33 04 77 43 57 00

URL: focal.com

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