Since Focal began making headphones their roster of offerings has grown precipitously. Currently you can find Focal earphones such as the Spark Wired models for as little as £59/$69 or you can go big with their flagship Utopias (£3499/$3999). Focal’s latest headphone release is priced in the middle; the Elegia (£799/$899) is Focal’s first closed-enclosure, wired, over-ear headphone. Although they are not Focal’s most expensive closed-enclosure model, they share much of the design aesthetic and technical DNA of Focal’s premium high-performance open-enclosure designs. How do they fit into the Focal line-up and how well will they fit into your audio lifestyle? Let’s find out.
The Elegia enclosures have a similar shape and size to the Clear or Utopia headphones. They feature Focal’s front baffle design that places the 40mm aluminum/magnesium full-range driver as far forward as possible and at an angle, which according to Focal is important so as “not to have too much space between the speakers and the ears to ensure the best dynamics and an ideal tonal balance on the entire audio spectrum.” The driver itself uses a surround that is similar to the Clear, but with a different thickness of 110 microns. The Elegia also has a new internal geometry that improves the driver’s movement and allowed Focal to reduce the driver’s coil height from 5mm to 4mm. Also, to increase the new driver’s magnetic flux, Focal switched to a new copper wire and a N50 grade neodymium motor.
Although the Elegia uses a closed enclosure, it has two vents; one is part of the driver itself while the second vent is actually built into the logo design in the centre of the earcup. The entire earcup design has been optimised to an ideal volume for optimal decompression and damping. It uses both internal diffusers as well as EVA foam to break up any standing waves and spread the energy evenly throughout the enclosure. According to Focal, “The main objective here being at all costs to prevent the energy emitted by the back wave from returning to the speaker driver cone and thus turning into an additional unwanted sound signal.” Even Elegia’s microfiber earpads got a redesign so as to optimize their isolating abilities while enhancing their comfort and preserving Elegia’s high acoustic impedance.