Focal released their newest reference headphone for $1500 called Clear. The circum-aural open-back headphone for audiophiles are equipped with a ‘M’-shape Aluminum/Magnesium dome with a new voice coil made of 100% copper. Focal claims remarkable dynamics across the audio spectrum, bass that is always controlled, even at high volumes, and exemplary linearity in the high-end. The new generation of perforated microfiber ear cushions add to Clear’s open design, giving the headphones a weightless, almost invisible feeling.
Focal claims Clear sits right in between Elear ($999) and Utopia ($4000) in term of bass level and their overall dynamic. Also compared to Elear the high frequencies are even more linear with Clear thanks to its enhanced full-range speaker driver and upgraded open back design.
Drawing on its 35 years of expertise, Focal has developed the “M”-shape inverted dome, originally launched on Elear and Utopia headphones. Composed of an Aluminum/Magnesium alloy, it offers an ideal combination of lightness, rigidity and dampening. The company claims these traits alongside its open-back design mean that listeners will feel like they are using the best high-fidelity loudspeakers on the market, while enjoying the mobility and comfort that a headphone offers.
Clear also supplies a full range of connectors. Included are three types of cables. The braided cotton sleeve and 24 AWG oxygen free copper cable offer low resistance to deliver sound with utmost transparency. While the two 3.5mm mono jack sockets in the headphones themselves are lockable to secure the connection of the cables.
The 3 cable options are:
- 4ft (1.2m) cable finished with a 3.5mm stereo jack plug
- 10ft (3m) cable finished with a 6.35mm stereo jack plug
- 10ft (3m) with a 4-point XLR connector
The final accessory supplied with Clear is the rigid carrying case. A thermoformed shell is shaped like the headphones, protecting them from impacts and other travel-related hazards. With enough room to fit a 10ft (3m) cable while still being compact enough to easily be stored in a bag or backpack.
The new microfiber ear cushions and 1mm diameter micro-perforations on the outer edge of the ear cushions create openness, while the band and ear cup position offer the user a comfortable, almost weightless experience, regardless of head size or shape.
Focal developed a headband in which the bend remains constant, regardless of the size of the head. This spreads the weight of the headphones evenly over the head, to prevent pressure on the head or ears, which is often the case with other products. The solid Aluminum yoke with its asymmetrical attachment points has been designed to improve the distribution of pressure, ensuring excellent sealing and further improving comfort. This is all thanks to its lack of traditional vertical rotating mechanics, as they have been integrated into the headband.
|Type||Circum-aural open-back headphones|
|Sensitivity||104dB SPL / 1mW @ 1kHz|
|THD||0,25% @ 1kHz / 100dB SPL|
|Loudspeaker||1.6″ (40mm) Aluminum/Magnesium ‘M’-shape dome|
|Weight||0.99lb / 450g|
|Hard-shell carrying case provided||9.8″x9.4″x4.7″ (250x240x120mm)|
Price and Availability
Focal Clear Headphone is available now (as of October 6, 2017) for $1,499 USD / $1,899 CAD.