For most individuals, the most recent closed again headphone from Focal is unattainable. At $2999, it’s a headphone reserved for the one probably the most critical audiophiles. But when this worth level didn’t scare you off but, you’ve in all probability additionally had your eyes on the Sennheiser HD 820. Each of those cans are their model’s flagship closed-back headphones. So which one is a greater candidate for you? At the moment, let’s take a better look with this Focal Stellia vs Sennheiser HD 820 Comparability Evaluation.
Within the Field
|Focal Stellia||Sennheiser HD 820|
|Focal Stellia headphones||Sennheiser HD 820 headphones|
|1.2 m cable with Three.5 mm connector||Three m cable with 6.35 mm connector|
|Three m balanced cable with Four-pin XLR connector||3m balanced cable with Four.Four mm connector|
|Three.5 mm to six.35 mm adapter||Three m balanced cable with Four-pin XLR connector (optionally available)|
|zipping inflexible journey carrying case||picket storage field|
|leather-based storage case||documentation|
Look and Really feel
The seems to be of the Focal Stellia and the Sennheiser HD 820 fulfill totally different aesthetic tastes. On one hand, the Stellia’s brown leather-based feels rustic. This sense contrasts with the chrome coloured accents and flashy precision of the sample on the earcup.
Against this, the Sennheiser HD 820 invokes a way of equipment. It has a extra mechanical, futuristic really feel to its aesthetic with its black, geometric angles and its clear view of the internal workings of the earcup.
So whereas each headphones really feel fairly totally different in who they could appeal to, one commonality is their sense of excellence and high quality. Each are made of top of the range supplies. Their frames are product of aluminum. Each use leather-based of their earpads. And whereas each have totally different shapes to their design of scarf and earcups, each are remarkably snug.
Once I maintain the Focal Stellia and the Sennheiser HD 820 side-by-side, it’s clear that the HD 820 weighs much less. Nevertheless, when contemplating which one I’d somewhat journey with, I might decide the Stellia.
First, the Stellia comes with a extra moveable carrying case. And for such a excessive worth, I might really feel irritated having to buy a separate case for the HD 820. The HD 820’s field is a lovely picket black field, however it’s definitely not made to journey in any respect. Against this, the Stellia’s case is protecting, has a zipper and deal with and would simply slot in a backpack.
Secondly, the Focal Stellia has higher sound isolation. In comparison with the Sennheiser HD 820, the Stellia has a barely firmer clamping pressure. It isn’t over-the-top, however that little additional squeeze, mixed with the nearer match of the earpads’ holes round my ears makes the surface noise quieter round me.
Lastly, the Focal Stellia is simpler to drive than the Sennheiser HD 820. Now, when you’re an enormous audio nerd (which you have to be in case you’re contemplating spending over $2000 on a pair of headphones) you in all probability have or be ok with shopping for a pleasant and highly effective moveable DAC/amp just like the Chord Mojo or iFi Micro iDSD Black Label. Nevertheless, it’s value point out how straightforward it’s to drive the Stellia. I might drive it with my telephone if I needed to, however may also drive it simply with a DAP’s inner amplifier. The HD 820 is a little more energy hungry and would require extra devoted amplification.
In consequence, I might advocate wanting towards the Stellia in case you plan on bringing these headphones round, for instance, to and from the workplace. Nevertheless, if you realize your headphones will reside at residence or in a extra stationary state of affairs, look towards the HD 820.
The low frequencies of the Focal Stellia and Sennheiser HD 820 are fairly totally different from one another. Whereas each have a way of extension, the Stellia’s low finish has extra power and degree than the HD 820. The HD 820’s lows are modest in quantity, though have a sense of evenness and realism to them. The Stellia’s lows have emphasis within the sub area in addition to the world the place the elemental frequency of many kick drums sit. Consequently, the Stellia makes the low finish really feel vivid and vigorous, whereas the HD 820’s low finish feels modest, but practical.
And whereas these low frequencies are so totally different between the 2 cans, they each profit from a way of fast dynamic exercise within the lows, offering a way of punchiness and emotional influence.
For instance, once I was listening to the track I’m Callin’ by Tennis, the kick drum moved extra air once I listened with the Focal Stellia than the Sennheiser HD820. That added loudness and power of the kick contributed to its grooviness within the track. Moreover, the emphasis of the kick targeted on the load of it within the lows.
Against this, the emphasis of the kick drum once I was listening to the Sennheiser HD 820 was targeted extra on the beater of the drum, quite than the weighty physique of it. And whereas the kick was quieter within the combine, it maintained a way of punchiness due to the lively dynamics of the 820. Moreover, the lows generally felt even and with the 820 and even had a small, though quiet, sense of extension.
The center frequencies of the Focal Stellia and Sennheiser HD 820 have some similarities, though they emphasize totally different areas of the midrange. On one hand, the Stellia has extra power within the low-mids. In consequence, it has a larger sense of thickness than the HD820.
Each headphones have a good center a part of the midrange. In consequence, they each help harmonic complexity for midrange devices. Moreover, each headphones deal with the high-mids equally. The decrease area of the high-mids has a little bit of a reduce, whereas the upper a part of the high-mids is boosted. In consequence, there’s a sense of spaciousness in each headphones between the center a part of the midrange and the place the vocals sit. It makes vocals lean towards the face and throat moderately than the chest.
For instance, once I was listening to the track No Dad by Taylor Hollingsworth, Taylor’s vocal leans towards the face with each headphones. His voice sounds comparable in each headphones, though has rather less physique with the HD 820.
The obvious means the totally different midranges impacts this music is audible within the tone of the electrical guitar and bass guitar. The guitars are extremely distorted and crunchy sounding. With the Focal Stellia, the guitar really feel thicker and fuller and have a texture that resembles the phrase, “crunch”.And whereas the bass guitar and electrical guitar mix collectively based mostly on how they have been combined, I can really feel extra of the depth of the bass, giving it a higher sense weight.
Against this, when listening with the Sennheiser HD 820, the bass feels quiet, and I’m not so positive I might hear it. Nevertheless, the emphasis on the electrical guitar is extra towards the excessive mids and highs. Consequently, the feel feels totally different, and nearer resembles the phrase, “fuzz”. It’s a smoother sounding texture than the crunchiness of the guitar with the Stellia.
The excessive frequencies of the Focal Stellia and Sennheiser HD 820 have emphasis, though really feel fairly totally different from one another. General, the Stellia’s highs really feel extra colourful and fewer reasonable than the HD 820’s. They’ve emphasis in areas all through the excessive frequency spectrum, however they aren’t notably even sounding. And whereas the headphones can reproduce a way of airiness, they emphasize the textures of the higher treble.
Against this, the excessive frequencies of the Sennheiser HD 820 really feel extra spacious and prolonged than the Stellia. And whereas the 820 emphasizes the decrease treble a bit of bit and the higher octave, the highs really feel extra even and practical than the Stellia. They really feel notably harmonically complicated, making them nice for classical music. Nevertheless, additionally they add a reasonably sense of air to vocals, cymbals, strings, vibrant synths, and different devices with excessive frequency info.
For instance, once I was listening to the track I’ll Present You by Justin Bieber, each headphones revealed the airiness in Justin’s voice. Nevertheless, the Focal Stellia emphasised the snare sound and dancing excessive hats.
Against this, the Sennheiser HD 820 emphasised a better a part of the air on Justin’s voice. Aesthetically, the highs are clean and revealing, they usually contributed a way of prettiness to the brilliant, ethereal synths.
The soundstage of the Focal Stellia and Sennheiser HD 820 are exceptional for closed again headphones. Each have a way of Three-dimensionality that helps deliver a higher sense of life to music that one may in any other case expertise.
The Focal Stellia’s power lies in the way it reveals the complexity and fullness of room mics and reverbs. It has a great sense of width, and a nuanced, wide-ranging feeling of peak. It exhibits depth, whereas sustaining a way of vocal intimacy.
Nevertheless, for a way good the soundstage of the Stellia is, the Sennheiser HD 820 has a extra expansive sense of width and depth. It has a nuance to the depth, which makes it notably spectacular for thick preparations.
For instance, once I was listening to the music Miles Runs the Voodoo Down by Miles Davis, the Sennheiser HD 820 helped the devices really feel like they have been positioned particularly at factors in area. Due to the increase within the higher space of the high-mids, the Focal Stellia’s sense of depth introduced all of the midrange devices (horns, guitars, keys, and so on) nearer in area.
General, each the Focal Stellia and Sennheiser HD 820 are superb choices for high-end closed-back headphones. The Stellia is best for these on the lookout for a thicker midrange, or for headphones that favor rock, pop, hip-hop, and indie music. Moreover, the Stellia is best for these trying to convey their headphones on-the-go as a result of they’ve a protecting journey case, are simpler to drive, and has higher sound isolation than the HD 820. For many who like a extra reasonable, harmonically complicated high-frequency response for the strings of classical music or the wealthy cymbals of jazz, or the airiness of the vocals of singer-songwriters, flip your consideration towards the Sennheiser HD 820. It’s tremendous snug for lengthy listening periods at house, and has a soundstage that brings music to life.
The Focal Stellia and the Sennheiser HD 820 can be found for one of the best worth right here:
Focal Stellia at Audio46
Focal Stellia on Amazon
Sennheiser HD 820 at Audio46
Sennheiser HD 820 on Amazon
|Focal Stellia||Sennheiser HD 820|
|Sort||over-ear, closed-back||over-ear, closed-back|
|Impedance||35 ohms||300 ohms|
|Sensitivity||106 dBSPL @ 1 kHz/1 Vrms||103 dBSPL/1 mW @ 1kHz|
|Frequency Response||5 Hz – 40 kHz||12 Hz – 43.eight kHz|
|Weight||435 g||360 g|