Focal has built a reputation of offering ultra high-quality headphones — and while they’re not always the most affordable, they generally boast a premium audio quality and great design. We certainly found that to be true a few weeks ago when we reviewed the Focal Utopia headphones — and now its the Focal Stellia’s turn.
Like the Focal Utopia headphones, the Focal Stellia headphones are aimed at offering the best of the best. Unlike the Utopia headphones, Stellia offers a closed-back design.
But are they worth the $3,000? We’ve been testing the Focal Stellia headphones for a few weeks now to find out.
The first thing you’ll notice about the Focal Stellia headphones is their design and they’re stunning. They’re perhaps even more beautifully designed than the Focal Utopia headphones, given their classy bronze color-scheme.
Like other Focal headphones, the Focal Stellia headphones offer a very premium look to them. The headphones are largely built from metal, with a nice-feeling full-grain leather and strong feel throughout. As mentioned, the headphones have a nice bronze color-scheme, with a darker brown peppered around the headphones, including on the ear cups and under the headband.
From first glance, everything about the headphones looks and feels premium — and that extends under the hood too. The headphones feature Beryllium drivers aimed at delivering a dynamic, clear sound quality — which we’ll get into a little later.
Apart from the headphones themselves, in the box you’ll find a 1/8-inch to 1/4-inch adapter a detachable cable, and a beautifully-designed and strong hard case. It’s nice to see — while you probably won’t want to take these headphones on the road with you, if you do happen to take them out of the home they should be relatively well-protected.
The Focal Stellia headphones feel pretty darn great too. As mentioned, they boast a premium leather and foam in the ear cups and headband, making for a listening experience thats as comfortable as it is great-sounding. Thanks to the padded headband and plenty of padding in the ear cup, we were able to wear the headphones for hours on end.
There’s also plenty of room for adjustment for those with larger heads, and while the headphones are heavy, they’re not too heavy, coming in at 0.96 pounds, or 435 grams.
Ultimately, the most important thing to consider is how the headphones sound, and as you would expect from a pair of $3,000 headphones, the Focal Stellia headphones sound amazing.
Like the Focal Utopia headphones, these offer Focal’s much-hyped Beryllium drivers, and coupled with a decent headphone amp, the quality is undeniable.
One of the best things about these headphones is just how dynamic music is. The headphones remain precise and detailed throughout a dynamic build, ensuring that the full impact of louder parts of a song are on full display.
Frequency response is beautifully detailed. Low-end is punchy and precise without getting muddy by any means. Focal has decided against going over the top with the low end response, which we really appreciate — and we think most other audiophiles will too. Mids on these headphones are nicely tuned, while the high-end is superbly detailed and clear.
Given the fact that these are closed-back headphones, you would expect a significantly slimmer soundstage than headphones like the Focal Utopia headphones. There is a narrower soundstage, to be sure, but the way these headphones are built ensures that music is still wide and realistic — far more so than most other closed-back headphones.
The Focal Stellia headphones are an absolute joy — but, of course, they’re not for everyone. If you’re an audiophile who really wants the best of the best and prefer a closed-back design, then these are the way to go. Most, however, will want to steer clear of the sky-high price tag and go for something a little more affordable.
Still, considering the fact that these are such incredible-sounding and beautifully-designed headphones, the Focal Stellia headphones are an obvious winner for the Headphone Review Gold Medal.