I get despatched rather a lot of headphones. A lot so, that it’s uncommon that I get actually excited a couple of new pair of headphones. That, nevertheless, occurred after I received a bundle from Focal — a bundle that I knew included the Focal Utopia headphones.
The Focal Utopia headphones are imagined to be one of the best of what Focal can provide in a pair of headphones — and it’s an bold endeavor. Focal is understood for its high-end gear, however it clearly has to significantly impress to warrant the value tag of an eye-watering $4,000.
In fact, given the premium supplies and high-tech design, they might be definitely worth the cash — and we’ve had the enjoyment of placing them to the check over the previous few weeks to search out out for ourselves.
Focal has been constructing high-end audio merchandise for many years now, and it reveals. Externally, the headphones are constructed with lovely metallic silver accents, gentle but robust leather-based, and a premium look all through. Focal even makes use of carbon fiber for a super-strong body — and whereas we might by no means advocate utilizing these as headphones you are taking out and about, a robust construct helps be certain that the headphones final for years of day-to-day use and the unintentional drop every so often. Be aware: we didn’t drop-test the Focal Utopia headphones, and we advocate being extremely cautious if you find yourself getting your palms on them.
Whereas some like a number of coloration, I respect what a glossy black construct can provide. Whereas the headphones do have a number of silver accents within the type of the Focal brand on the ear cup and a silver speaker grill, aside from that, these headphones are black-on-black — and it’s lovely.
All the things else concerning the headphones screams premium too. The cables are thick and professional-grade, and it terminates in a Neutrik 1/4-inch plug. There’s loads of gentle padding within the ear cups and underneath the headscarf, and that padding is roofed with lambskin leather-based.
The design of those headphones extends underneath the hood. The large-ticket function right here is the beryllium drivers, that are mounted barely off-center and deep into the ear cups, in an try to supply a wider soundstage. We’ll get into how they fare a bit of later within the overview, however even with the driving force design the ear cups aren’t overly thick. They’re massive, to make sure, however not unnecessarily so.
Finally, once you’re spending such an enormous sum of cash on a pair of headphones, you need them to sound superb — however an amazing design helps too. The Focal Utopia headphones look costly — and so they’re constructed with clearly premium supplies too.
The gentle padding, lambskin leather-based, and delightful construct efficiently makes for a snug listening expertise — which is nice information contemplating the truth that as soon as you set these headphones on, you gained’t need to take them off. All of the tech underneath the hood does make for a heavy pair of headphones, and these are available in at 490 grams, or a bit of over 17 ounces, and that may be felt — however not as a lot as you’d count on.
Regardless of the heavy weight, we had been capable of hearken to music on these headphones for hours on finish, so don’t let the burden put you off an excessive amount of. Coupled with the soft-feeling leather-based and good quantity of padding, and you’ve got a reasonably comfy match certainly.
On to the primary occasion — the sound high quality. Let’s get the apparent out of the best way: the Focal Utopia headphones sound unbelievable. Coupled with a Feliks Audio Espressivo amplifier and at occasions an Audio Technica vinyl participant, the headphones ship an ultra-wide soundstage, superbly pure frequency response, and a ton of element. Audiophiles, take notice — in the event you’re on the lookout for arguably the best-sounding pair of headphones you’ll find, the Focal Utopia headphones might be it.
Normally once we overview shopper headphones we take a look at bass, midrange, and high-end individually, however there’s virtually no level in doing that right here — these headphones do all of it properly. It’s nonetheless value a shot although — the bass response is punchy and fast. Some headphones react a bit of slower to the low finish, however these headphones don’t actually fall into that lure — which is an efficient factor. Bass response can be very pure. It’s not excessive, as shopper headphones would possibly are likely to get, however it’s nonetheless clear-sounding and detailed.
The phrase “detailed” could develop into a theme right here. The midrange boasts loads of readability, with a natural-sounding heat to the low-mids and a sure air to the high-mids that’s uncommon to search out within the headphone world.
The high-end completes the image. Transient response on the Focal Utopia headphones is unbelievable, whereas the imaging is extraordinarily exact. The headphones have the uncanny means to ship dynamics with ease — quiet, sloppy, laid-back jazz piano sounds simply nearly as good on these headphones as a rock observe that’s been lower to hell and again in recording.
The open-back design helps make for a extra pure really feel too. These headphones are constructed to be loved at house, with out a lot exterior noise, so don’t count on to have the ability to take these out in public.
Ultimately, the Focal Utopia headphones sound effortlessly unbelievable. Frequency response is tuned to close perfection, whereas the soundstage is big and the element is nearly unmatched.
So the Focal Utopia headphones are arguably an ideal pair — however there’s one different breathtaking factor about these headphones, and that’s the value. Are the value it? Effectively, for many, no — however these headphones aren’t constructed for many. For the suitable individual, the Focal Utopia headphones are completely value shopping for. In the event you’re an audiophile wanting arguably the best-sounding headphones on the planet, and are prepared to spend money on a good headphone amp and high-quality audio, then we advocate the Focal Utopia headphones with out hesitation.
There’s no surprises right here — the Focal Utopia headphones are one of many few pairs of headphones to get the Headphone Evaluate Gold Medal. These are additionally the primary pair of headphones to get an ideal rating in sound — and that’s not one thing we do frivolously.
|Frequency response||5Hz – 50kHz||Energetic noise cancellation
|Driver dimension||40mm||Noise attenuation||Unknown|
|Sensitivity||104dB||Earpad materials||Reminiscence Foam|
|Complete harmonic distortion
|Rated enter energy
|Most enter energy
||No||Cable size||3m (9.8ft)|