A few of our viewers on the MajorHiFi YouTube channel have requested about how the Focal Stellia compares in sound to the Focal Clear. At first, I hadn’t thought-about this comparability since they’re in such totally different worth factors and since The Stellia is closed-back and the Clear is open-back. Nevertheless, the query someway grabbed maintain of me and I couldn’t get it out of my head. How do the 2 examine? And is an improve from the Clear to the Stellia value it? In that case, who’s it value it for? Immediately, let’s take a better take a look at these two with this Focal Stellia vs Focal Clear Comparability Evaluate!
Within the Field
|Focal Stellia||Focal Clear|
|Focal Stellia headphones||Focal Clear headphones|
|1.2 m cable with three.5 mm connector||1.2 m cable with three.5 mm connector|
|three m balanced cable with Four-pin XLR connector||three m cable with 6.35 mm connector|
|three.5 mm to six.35 mm adapter||three m balanced cable with Four-pin XLR connector|
|zipping inflexible journey carrying case||three.5 mm to six.35 mm adapter|
|leather-based storage case||zipping inflexible journey carrying case|
The scarf of the Focal Stellia and the Focal Clear are similar in form and measurement, though the Clear is a bit heavier than the Stellia. Each are extraordinarily snug and balanced on the top. Their frames are product of aluminum and each have tender foam coating their undersides. Firstly, the headbands of the Stellia and Clear differ of their shade. The Clear is silver. The underside of the padding is coated in grey perforated suede. The highest of the padding is coated in slick, darkish grey leather-based.
However, the Stellia is a copper brown colour. For my part, its colour is tough photograph, and in actuality the headphones are much less orange than they seem in pictures. The underside of its padding is coated in a skinny layer of extraordinarily gentle, darkish brown perforated leather-based. The highest of the padding is coated in a nearly-as-soft lighter brown leather-based. Basically, this leather-based is softer than that of the Clear, and extra nice to the contact, though it is going to be hotter as nicely.
The earcups of the Focal Stellia and Focal Clear, just like the headbands, are equal in measurement and form. Each sport a Focal emblem within the center. The most important, most blatant distinction between the 2 in regard to design is that the Stellia is closed-back and the Clear is open again.
Consequently, the earcups look fairly totally different from one another. The Stellia has a sample of circles in brown and copper which flow into across the metallic Focal emblem within the center. Because of this distinction in colours, the headphones have a cool combination of a retro and futuristic look. Against this, the Clear has a silver, aluminum protecting grill that goes across the emblem. It has an aesthetic, mature look however isn’t overly flashy.
The earpads of the Focal Stellia and Focal Clear have the identical measurement and form. Each are full of tender foam. Their coatings are totally different which not solely will have an effect on the sound, however may even have an effect on how they really feel.
On available, the Stellia’s earpads are coated in tremendous gentle leather-based. For people in hotter climates, you may discover these too scorching! Nevertheless, for those who’re in a extra average local weather, the delicate leather-based on the ears is nice and cozy and exudes a way of lavishness.
Against this, the Clear’s earpads are coated in the identical perforated suede materials because the underside of its headband. They’re smooth and funky to the contact.
The cables of Focal Stellia and Focal Clear are almost similar. Each headphones include two cables: a 1.2 m unbalanced cable with a three.5 mm connector (and a three.5 mm to six.35 mm adapter) and a three m balanced Four-pin XLR cable–though, as well as, the Focal Clear comes with one other cable, a three m unbalanced cable with a 6.35 mm connector. The cables connect to the identical place on the backside of every earcup. They’re precisely the identical besides for his or her shade. The jacket of the Clear’s cable is coated in material and has black and white material stripes. Against this, the Stellia’s has brown and black stripes. I respect the brown and black design as a result of it should present filth lower than the opposite.
Whereas each the Focal Stellia and Focal Clear have the Focal patented ‘M’ formed domes, they’re made of various supplies. The Stellia’s is made from Beryllium and the Clear’s is manufactured from Aluminum-Magnesium. So what are the advantages of Beryllium over Aluminum-Magnesium?
Focal says there are three necessary elements when deciding on driver supplies: mass (which can decide the headphone’s capacity to exude sign dynamics), rigidity (which can relation to the quantity of distortion), and damping (which can relation to the quantity of coloration). Beryllium has the most effective ratio between mass-rigidity and damping of all of the supplies.
The low frequencies of the Focal Stellia and the Focal Clear really feel comparable in degree and power. Actually, they’re so comparable, that I couldn’t hear a lot of a distinction in any respect. Nevertheless, I did really feel a distinction within the relationship between the lows and the low-mids.
On one hand, the Stellia had more room between the lows and low-mids. Consequently, low-mid wealthy devices like bass guitars, cellos, and organs had a bit extra separation than the Clear. The Clear’s low-mids really feel barely extra obscure as compared.
For instance, once I was listening to the music Roll with the Punches by Dawes, the kick drum feels almost similar in each pairs. Maybe there’s barely barely extra punch to the kick on the Stellia (though I’m unsure if that is extra of a distinction I hear as a result of it’s simpler to drive, and thus arduous to degree match between the 2). Nevertheless, the place I used to be capable of hear the distinction is clear within the track round three:11. At the moment stamp, the brand new verse turns into sparse. With the Clear, the bass guitar and kick really feel shut to one another. And whereas I can hear each, their congruity within the groove makes them more durable to listen to as separate elements. Against this, when listening to this part the Stellia, the bass guitar feels prefer it has a higher sense of tightness which helps to separate it from the kick drum tonally.
The midrange of the Focal Stellia and Focal Clear have comparable tonality as nicely. The Stellia has barely extra power within the low a part of the low-mids. Nevertheless, each have a pleasant sense of evenness within the center a part of the midrange, making them able to displaying harmonic complexity in midrange wealthy devices like guitars, synths, pianos, and strings. I begin to hear a much bigger distinction between the 2 headphones within the high-mids.
On one hand, the Clear feels extra even within the high-mids. Nothing is especially emphasised, though it does have a little bit of a minimize towards the highest a part of the high-mids. Against this, the Stellia has extra power within the low a part of the high-mids. Consequently, vocals sit extra ahead in area with the Stellia and tonally lean extra towards the face than the chest. Moreover, devices with high-mid power like crunchy electrical guitars, drum assaults, and horn stabs take up more room and really feel extra intimate.
For instance, once I was listening to the track Lazarus by David Bowie, the snap of the snare drum felt louder within the combine with the Stellia. Moreover, Bowie’s voice had extra presence and the broad, crunchy electrical guitars felt textural in a extra particular approach.
Against this, the Clear had extra spaciousness within the high-mids. Bowie’s voice had emphasis nearer to his throat than his face. The snare drum sat again in area a bit, nearer to the horns. The crunch of the broad electrical guitars matched the power of its middle-mids level-wise, and thus felt smoother and fewer textural.
The excessive frequencies of the Focal Stellia and the Focal Clear each have emphasis within the decrease treble and higher octave. Nevertheless, their excessive ends are weighted barely in a different way. The Stellia has extra power within the prolonged highs with emphasis on larger frequencies within the higher octave. Against this, the Clear has extra emphasis within the higher treble than the Stellia. Consequently, highs have extra extension with the Stellia however really feel extra textural with the Clear.
For instance, once I was listening to the music So Tender by Keith Jarrett, the cymbals really feel lighter, larger, and a bit thinner with the Stellia. Against this the cymbals really feel a bit louder within the combine with the Clear and have extra texture than then Stellia.
Regardless of one having a closed-back design and one having an open-back design, the sound levels of the Focal Stellia and Focal Clear are remarkably comparable. In different phrases, surprisingly, the Clear doesn’t sound notably prolonged as compared. Nevertheless, the variations in frequency emphasis translate to totally different emotions in regard to soundstage.
On one hand, due to the Stellia’s emphasis within the high-mids, vocals and different high-mid heavy devices really feel nearer in area. This comes throughout as being extra intimate than the Clear, but in addition contributes to a bit little bit of a way of crowding there. Moreover, due to the dip within the Stellia’s higher treble, the excessive frequency devices appear to have extra spaciousness and a extra expansive sense of peak in comparison with the Clear.
Against this, because of the Clear’s evenness throughout the midrange, the soundstage feels extra true to the mixer’s intention. Moreover, as a result of it doesn’t have such an enormous emphasis within the high-mids, there appears to be a extra correct sense of directionality widthwise.
This sounded probably the most clear once I was listening to the track Didn’t Cha Know by Erykah Badu. With the Stellia, the emphasis of the high-mids on the background vocals introduced them nearer in area to the lead vocal, making much less area for the vocal in these elements. Against this, the Clear helped them sit additional again in area, and consequently, they appeared to sound wider too. Moreover, the peak of the hand drum, percussion, and high-hat had fantastic distinction from the grounding kick drum and bass guitar within the music. Nevertheless, this distinction appeared a bit larger with the Stellia than the Clear.
General, there are lots of similarities between the Focal Stellia and Focal Clear. Tonally, you won’t discover the distinction in case you aren’t intimately accustomed to both. Nevertheless, the most important distinction is within the midrange and highs and the place the 2 emphasize issues. The Stellia has a higher sense of air, and brings out extra specificity within the high-mids.
Against this, the Clear has barely extra emphasis on textures and is extra impartial within the high-mids. In case you’re contemplating upgrading to the Stellia from the Clear, I might advocate doing so for those who’ve been involved with sound isolation however need a headphone with an general comparable sound attribute. You get a bit extra element with the Stellia, and a have higher isolation from the surface world.
Each the Focal Stellia and the Focal Clear can be found for one of the best worth right here:
Focal Stellia at Audio46
Focal Stellia on Amazon
Focal Clear at Audio46
Focal Clear on Amazon
|Focal Stellia||Focal Clear|
|Sort||over-ear, closed-back||over-ear, open-back|
|Impedance||35 ohms||55 ohms|
|Sensitivity||106 dBSPL @ 1 kHz/1 Vrms||105 dBSPL/1 mW @ 1kHz|
|Frequency Response||5 Hz – 40 kHz||5 Hz – 28 kHz|
|Weight||435 g||450 g|