Over the last few weeks, we’ve been checking out some of Focal’s best and most impressive headphones, including the much-loved Focal Utopia headphones, the closed-back Focal Stellia headphones, and the slightly more affordable Focal Clear headphones. Now, we’re taking a look at a pair of headphones that are even more affordable — the Focal Elegia headphones.
Of course, we say “affordable.” In reality, the headphones still cost $900 — so it’s worth careful consideration before actually buying them. Are they worth the cash? We put the Focal Elegia headphones to the test to find out.
The first thing you’ll notice about the Focal Elegia headphones is their design, and they’re beautiful. The headphones look much like the other Focal headphones we’ve looked at over the past few weeks, except for the fact that they come in a black-and-silver color scheme and have do away with the open speaker grill in favor of a dimpled design — which looks great.
One of the best things about the Focal headphones we’ve been reviewing is that they have such a great build quality, and the Focal Elegia headphones are no exception to that rule. The headphones boast a strong metal frame that should be able to withstand the majority of abuse that you can throw at it.
Focal has put a lot of effort into the build and look of the headphones, and that extends to accessories like the cables too. Unlike some other Focal headphones, you’ll only get one cable in the box here, but it’s nice and strong and should be fine for most. Our only complaint is that the cable could have been a little longer. You’ll also get a nice strong carry case, which is a helpful touch.
The stunning design of these headphones is complimented by how comfortable they are. As mentioned, the headphones are built with plenty of padding, and the result of that is that they’re very comfortable to use for hours at a time.
Perhaps the only downside to the comfort level of these headphones is the fact that they’re a little heavy. The Focal Elegia headphones come in at 430 grams, or almost a pound — which is a lot. That said, considering the fact that there’s plenty of padding under the headband, you don’t really feel the weight too negatively — and we were able to wear the headphones for hours on end without any real issue.
If you’re buying a pair of $900 headphones, then perhaps the most important thing to consider is how they sound — and the Focal Elegia headphones sound incredible. These were actually some of Focal’s first high-end closed-back headphones — but you wouldn’t know it by how they sound.
The bass response on these headphones is ever so slightly laid back, but not in a way that’s disappointing by any means. Generally, bass response was accurate and natural, despite being slightly slower in precision compared to some of Focal’s more expensive cans.
In the midrange, the headphones offer a nicely-tuned sound. Low mids are dynamic and punchy, offering plenty of warmth without getting muddy. High mids offer plenty of cut for vocals and a quick response.
The highs on the headphones were clear and detailed, offering plenty of clarity for all kinds of music. We especially appreciate the clarity and detail here — the headphones aren’t quite as detailed as the higher-end Focal open-back headphones, but they’re still supremely detailed, which is nice to hear.
The Focal Elegia headphones employ some fancy tech to make for a better sound and wider soundstage. For example, the headphones angle the drivers in the ear cups a little, mimicking how we experience music through more traditional speakers. It’s a nice touch — and the soundstage is certainly good on these headphones, despite the closed-back design.
These headphones don’t match the Focal Utopia or Focal Stellia headphones — but for a pair of headphones in this price range they sound absolutely beautiful.
The Focal Elegia headphones are an incredible pair of cans for those that want a pair of closed-back headphones at under $1,000. It’s hard not to compare them to other Focal headphones — but the fact is that in this price range, these headphones really stand out.
Because of the fact that these headphones offer so much and sound so great, we’re awarding them the Headphone Review Gold Medal.
|Frequency response||5Hz – 23kHz||Active noise cancellation||No|
|Driver size||40mm||Noise attenuation||Unknown|
|Driver type||DRIVER TYPE||On-ear controls||No|
|Sensitivity||105dB||Earpad material||Memory Foam|
|Rated impedance||35Ω||Magnet material||Aluminum/Magnesium|
|Total harmonic distortion||0.1%||Water resistance||No|
|Rated input power||Unknown||Battery life||N/A|
|Maximum input power||Unknwon||Wireless distance||N/A|
|Wireless connection||No||Cable length||1.2m (4ft)|
|Wired connection||Yes||Case type||Hard case|