Focal’s $3K Stellia headphones are the sound of luxurious



Focal Stellia headphones


Focal began getting severe about making high-end headphones in 2016 with the introduction of the Utopia, it was proper up there with the perfect on the earth. Now with the Stellia, the engineers have pulled out all of the stops and made a superb-sounding closed-back mannequin that does an incredible job of blocking out exterior noise. Stellia runs a cool $3,000 within the US, £2,799 within the UK and AU$4,499 in Australia. In the meantime, the flagship open-back Utopia sells for $4,000 within the US, £3,499 within the UK and AU$5,500 in Australia.

Focal is significantly better recognized for its audio system, and years in the past I owned a set of its child flagship Focal Mini Utopias, so I am effectively acquainted with what the corporate’s engineers are able to. Now they’re crafting world class ‘telephones!

Tech specs begin with the Stellia’s 40mm pure beryllium dome drivers with copper voice coils. Impedance is an easy-to-drive 35 ohms, and the headphone weighs nearly a pound (435 grams), but it feels nice on my noggin. The headphone comes with two units of pretty stiff cables: one 10-foot (3-meter) cable terminated with an XLR plug; and a 4-foot (1-meter) cable with a 3.5mm plug plus a 6.3mm adapter. I so want Focal would provide extra versatile cables.


Stellia in its carry case.


Stellia’s colour selections, Mocha or Cognac, are deliciously out of the bizarre, with matching actual leather-based ear pads and headband. It is reassuring to notice Focal’s high-end headphones are made in France, similar to its audio system.

The Stellia seems and feels luxurious, she coddles your head in addition to ears and provides a young embrace each time you don the ‘telephones. Stellia’s isolation from exterior noise was effectively above common, even after I listened in a loud park close to my Brooklyn residence.

Effectively-recorded acoustic jazz from guitarist Gene Bertoncini and bassist Michael Moore on their Two In Time album appeared like I used to be listening on to the microphone feed, the sound was that shut.

Jeff Tweedy’s vocals sounded excellent on Wilco’s Schmilco album; his band’s refined electrical accompaniment tickled my ears. Nice headphones just like the Stellia make it simple to listen to into the combo.

Trumpet participant Erik Truffaz‘s electronica-tinged jazz is very textured, and the ultradeep bass beats coursing by way of his Bending New Corners album all however massaged my eardrums. The bass goes actually low, but it surely by no means felt overdone — the management down there’s distinctive. Reggae had loads of drive over the Stellia.

Sadly, I did not have Focal’s Utopia headphones available for a direct comparability, so I popped on a set of Audeze LCD-MX4 headphones and the tonal stability cooled down, and I missed Stellia’s richer tone. Although the MX4 is an open-back design, the sound felt extra canned than it did on the Stellias. The Focal is a really open sounding closed-back design. 

Stellia is very easy to drive it sounded fantastic with my iPhone 8, performed over the Apple Lightning-to-3.5mm dongle. It is hardly a great setup, however for journey it is completely serviceable. It’s in any case, a really giant headphone, so transporting Stellia is not for the faint of coronary heart. Dwelling listening with a Mytek Brooklyn amp kicked Stellia’s sound high quality up just a few notches.

I used to be interested in the Focal Stellia first for its sound, however I stayed for its consolation. It is really a luxurious design, and I am unable to say that about too many high-end headphones.

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