jumboshrimp93 t1_jeegevj wrote

Focals do tend to be a bit more polarizing it seems. People either love the Clear or dislike them. But those that dislike them still recognize that they are good headphones.

They are good headphones, they’re just not for everyone. Just like every headphone this hobby has seen pretty much. I have the Clear and I am a fan, fwiw.


jumboshrimp93 t1_jeeg441 wrote

I have the same feeling towards the Clear and ultimately felt that while I might be missing out on the soundstage of the HD800S and the planar bass of the Arya or LCD-X, I’d just be getting a damn good all-rounder headphone that doesn’t do anything wrong. And coming from the Sennheiser family yes, it’s a great upgrade.

I’ve had mine for 2 years now and still love them. Add in the fact that you can get a new pair for $900 in the US now, or even less open box or used, you’re getting an end-game headphone for a really good price.


jumboshrimp93 t1_jaa119o wrote

Yeah, I think when you look at the best headphones in this price category, it ends up coming down to preferences as they all have their own strengths and weaknesses, but it’s hard to go wrong with any of them.

For example, some may gravitate towards the HD800/S for soundstage, precision, comfort, build, etc, but it’s more analytical/cold. The Clear has a more lively, fun and warm sound but you’re sacrificing soundstage.


jumboshrimp93 t1_ja9g4ns wrote

Yea I played a couple tracks and as soon as I heard how soft and muffled the highs sounded next to the Clear I had pretty much made my decision.

I suppose the Clear’s soundstage could be bigger but I’ll admit I haven’t really heard anything that sounds wider than the Clear or Sundara (aka haven’t heard the Arya or HD800S) so I’m not really a soundstage junkie. I do think they image very well, and have an adequate soundstage, and still sound open to me. They almost give the effect of a ring around the head


jumboshrimp93 t1_ja5bq9o wrote

It’s kinda hard to describe. I do think that detail can be “faked” by heightening a frequency response. Or, listening to a new headphone can make you hear new things because the frequency response is different, or “new toy” syndrome is forcing you to pay more attention than you normally would.

On the flip side, some headphones and even driver types can do things that are simply unique. For example, I compared my Focal Clear to the Sundara I previously owned, and the Sundara had that “plucked” quality to its bass that I’ve heard some describe, where it sounds like each bass note has its own little vibration or feel to it. Meanwhile, the Clear has this dynamic capability that’s hard to match, and it can come with either a lot of dynamic swing where drums have a lot of power, or something soft where you can kind of feel the air or breath of a voice or instrument. Something like that is what I call detail, because you can actually feel the driver doing something. Acoustic guitars on the Clear are amazing in a similar way, because you can sort of feel the strumming and air around the notes that’s otherwise hard to replicate.

I’ll also say that the recording you’re listening to plays a major part.


jumboshrimp93 t1_j96ifxi wrote

I have the Clear and Emu Ebony for headphones, and U12t and AirPod Pros for IEMs.

The Clear and U12t are very close but if I had to choose one it’d be the U12t. They just sound so smooth, so clean, detail on them is amazing. What they do for being IEMs still kinda blows my mind sometimes. Add to the fact that being IEMs makes them more portable, that makes them my desert island headphone.


jumboshrimp93 t1_j6eramc wrote

Great journey, we’ve found ourselves in similar spots too. I have Focal Clear, end game IEM (in my case U12t) and AirPods. That’s all I really need, though I also got some EMU Ebony closed backs.

You preferred the Clear to the Utopia? I’ve been hoping to stumble on a Utopia for a good price, but it does seem like some folks prefer the Clear for being a little warmer. And, the IER-Z1R is simply gorgeous. Sony makes a great product, even the M9 seems like a wonderful IEM.


jumboshrimp93 OP t1_j26xquf wrote

I’m looking at both this time last year, where my bill was around $110 (though usage was lower) and looking at my highest usage bill this summer, which was $170.

When they say there’s a 64% increase they should be referring to the static service rate right? The thing that’s confusing me is the service rate going from .11 to .33. That’s not 64%. And it’s the only thing that I saw a jump in from this pill and previous bills.


jumboshrimp93 t1_iybaisx wrote

Is this the most polarizing headphone? People seem to either really love them or really hate them.

I can kind of get the shouty part but I’ve never really heard these as metallic. I see people say that all the time, and yet I can’t hear it. I even compared it side by side with the HD6XX, Sundara and still own an EMU Ebony and the Clear doesn’t really stand out to me as having an off timbre.

Not knocking your opinion or anything as it’s a common and valid criticism but I’ve just never really noticed it. I thought it blew away the HD6XX and Sundara from a technical standpoint tho.