World’s Best Headphone The Focal Utopia

Read full InnerFidelity review here:


terry kemp says:

My Bluedio’ UFOs make less noise than the Focal Utopia Their high performance materials working together. The Utopias look good though, even though it lacks imaging for $4,000.

George Tanu says:

Really? Are these better then Stax Sr-009? I dont think so, electrostatic headphones are the leaders.

Andy says:

You sound so sad and unenthusiastic during this review…can you disclose how much they paid you to produce this content?

andrew ganley says:

Purchased a complete Naim CD/Pre/Power/Hi-Cap/Focal Aria speaker package for the same price! great ‘phones though just shaved by the Stax 007 got the Elears to complete the package


fast forward to December 2017 and hear how tyll contradicts hes reverence for the utopia in the focal clear review…
pure hyperbole I reckon.

Victor Cheung says:

Hi buddy. I final save enough for my utopia and have it for a couple of days now. how long does this headphone need to burn in?

seanp789 says:

what dac and amp are you running this with? i wasnt able to find it in the article.

Aldorino Adhisasmita says:

4000$ With Squeaks he said (y)

J L says:

Sennheiser 800 s not better?

Jay Bizz says:

Well, I didn’t believe you first, but now omg, they sound outstanding, the best listening experience I ever had. On the fourth day I was addicted. If you find them for just over 2k it is a fantastic deal. I am blown away how good they sound, also they have perfect treble in my opinion, great punch, simply the best headphones!!

Jucel Malonga says:

$4000?? No wonder its called utopia. We don’t live in one…

arrshyan says:

4 grand headphone creaks WHAAT

AFINO says:

considering my Focal Trio6 Be’s are incredible.. I have no doubt that these are absolutely spectacular as far as sound quality goes

paul stanton says:

Like any sane person I ignored the trolls below and went ahead and bought a pair. A day in here are my initial thoughts:

1) comfort – generally comfortable although the band sits a little tight on the top of my head compared to my HD800s say
2) sound – very engaging, very incisive, and very direct – the HD800s sound distant against them (not helped by their lower sensitivity)
3) bass extension – bass can seem a little lightweight (and no more so than the HD800s) but only on inferior recordings. With high quality digital for example (eg Qobus) they can be breathtaking.
4) upper mid – some evidence of upper mid congestion even resonance which is particularly noticeable with high sopranos (eg Lucia Popp) or upper register orchestral instruments at full tilt. I put this down to the need for them to burn in a little.

Overall a distinct improvement on the HD800s except perhaps for late night easy listening (maybe just a tad too intense). Are they worth the extra money? Only if you are very serious about your music listening.

Tested with both a Naim Uniti2 using a range of sources (Linn LP12, Esoteric RD-1 CD player, Naim HDX QNAP NAS, Youview TV box) and a Meridian Explorer USB DAC with Windows 10 PC (still waiting for my Chord Hugo TT to be returned from servicing), and with a range of genres from Kate Bush to Pierre Boulez!

The Homeboy channel says:

If I win the lottery I’ll get these. Until then….waaayyyyy too pricey

Lolita Frolova says:

I like elear more

Patrik Lövström says:

I listened to them the other day and love them.

sierre00 says:

Can you do a review of audioquest night hawk and pioneer se-master1?

Dio Dio says:

They have a horrible ringing ar 6kHz.

Mikey Hope says:

You can plop the best sounding pair of headphones in the world that pay me 1000 dollars a day and lets me have conversations with Jesus Christ himself. I don’t want it if it creaks.

Frank Guo says:

$4000 and it’s not planar nor electrostatic. No thanks.

MrWalker1000 says:

wwhat kind of people are stupid enough to buy this? Stupid people who make stupid amount of money.

nothing inside the headphones could be worth that much

Berren Drown says:

Shit, $4000? Guess I can only buy three. One for work, one for the commute & one for home. Would ideally like to have three more; one for each of my holiday homes.

Aunchient Pistol says:

400,000 pennies, btw


expensive doesnt mean its The best (m40x & HD 598 SE are the best with accurate stereo sound)

Adrian Troff says:

“world’s best headphone”–lists multiple problems

Torolla & Co says:

Remember testing these, and holy….. They sound dull and overpriced. Like wtf is this guy talking about.

robertsmith says:

they squeaky

defialpro says:

that’s insane. Only if you’re a multi-millionaire can you afford this, if not, you’re really wasting your money, and taking a chance that at some point, you might sit on them, and it being equivalent to a damn car accident.

Ticho Plays says:

buy stax not this shit

Purpasmart _ says:

Came for the review, stayed for the shirt.

Corley Kinnane says:

I own the Elear and many have spoken about the Focal lack of soundstage, I agree it’s not wide and like you, I’m thinking it might be a reverse property, maybe all other dynamic headphones are creating soundstage through their design, perhaps in the baffle inside the cups. This makes sense to me, because the Focal are the most open design yet, with the baffle designed to get out of the way of the drivers as much as possible. My Beyer T1 has perhaps more sparkle and more soundstage, but adjusting the perforations on the inside of the earcups makes a dramatic difference to both tone and soundstage. The Elear and perhaps the Utopia just don’t create this possibly false sense of soundstage that other headphones have.

InstaDan says:

I love all the comments here from the peasants who can’t afford them, never heard them, think they know all about them when they haven’t even listened to them and still manage form an uneducated, non factual comment about these.

Peter Fredrikson says:

They are definetly not worth 4000$. I have 400i and have listened to Focal Utopia, it´s not a big difference, and for less then 400$ 400i is a bargain and one of the best headphones that exist.

elmhurst86 says:

Would these pair well with a Luxman P-700u headphone amp or are they better suited with the SIMAUDIO Moon 430HA headphone amp?

Robert H. says:

Stunning, absolutely gorgeous. Please could you tell me where you purchased the shirt?

Juan David Pabon says:

For this price, LCD-4 by far, mostly because of that squeak…

TimmyK916 says:

Merriam Webster’s website definitions for “hyperbole” and “exaggeration” should just link directly to this video.

socksumi says:

Are they electrostatic? I’ve never heard any moving coil headphone compete with a good electrostatic.

Carlos Dasilva says:

these things creak like I’m inside a Roman war ship galley.

GraveNoX says:

“Build quality is absolutely terrific” and “it’s a little squeaky” in the same sentence.


There is no reason for headphones to cost so much money, even at $1000 price point.

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