Focal Redefines standards with the Focal Utopia
Focal are a French audio company, with a respected history of high-end audio. Specialising in loudspeakers and headphones, Focal loudspeakers can be found in some of the world’s best in-car audio systems, and in the homes – and on the heads of some of the most discerning hi-fi enthusiasts.
Today’s blog looks at the Focal Utopia headphones, Focal’s ‘flagship’ model in the range. These sit above the Elear to complete Focal’s line of premium, open back Headphones. For those requiring closed back headphones, Focal also offer the excellent Spirit and Listen Headphones.
Up until recently, our best selling high-end headphones have been Sennheiser’s excellent HD800s. Sennheiser know a thing or two about great headphones, but it may surprise you to hear that the Focal Utopia headphones have recently become our best selling high-end headphones – even at twice the price of the Sennhesiers.
Yes – they really are THAT good. Let’s take a look…
ADVANCED DESIGN – UNRIVALED FIDELITY
Focal claim that the design of the Utopia is the culmination of 35 years of design and research, certainly the specifications seem to back up that claim. An incredible frequency response of 5Hz to 50kHz is quoted for the Focal Utopia! This has been made possible by the Utopia’s unique driver units. Focal describe them as a ‘fully open back loudspeaker built into a headphone‘. Pure beryllium is used in the manufacturing of the driver diaphragms, formed into what Focal describe as an ‘M shaped Dome’.
Quality of materials used throughout, is exceptional: A carbon fibre yoke is used on each side to support the driver assembly. Each earpiece is covered in a lambskin/microfibre composite – stretched over 20mm thick memory foam padding. The headband also utilises leather over foam, and allows for the earpiece yokes to swivel, for an exceptionally comfy fit on the listeners head.
PREMIUM CABLE PERMITS USER CUSTOMISATION
Focal include a high quality, well thought out connection lead with the Utopia. The cable itself was chosen to be as transparent as possible, and to this end features a very low impedance (<90mΩ/metre) and very low crosstalk (<70 picofarads). This all contributes towards an exceptionally balanced, open sound, plus a long cable length (3m) without fear of signal degradation. The cable itself is terminated at the headphone end with locking, professional Lemo type connectors, with a Neutrik 1/4″ stereo jack connector at the ‘business end’. That the cable is detachable, opens up the possibilities for user customisation.
THE BEST HEADPHONES MONEY CAN BUY?
It’s a bold claim, but the Focal Utopia certainly make an extremely good case for themselves. The lack of any crossover and a driver which offers exceptionally wide, and flat bandwidth, all contributes to a pair of headphones which are capable of delivering that often elusive ‘acoustic window’ straight through to the source recording.
If this has whetted your appetite, please contact us at Audioaffair – we’d be very happy to assist in choosing your set of next heapdhones