Focal Elegia
Focal Elegia
Focal Elegia

Focal Elegia: Closed-back on-ear headphones for audiophiles

Focal Elegia is the first audiophile closed-back on-ear headphones from Focal. The new product, according to the developers, is distinguished by a comfortable fit and excellent sound insulation, and was presented today at the Rocky Mountain Audio Fest. According to the manufacturer, the headphones are distinguished by an even tonal balance and high detail at both low and high volumes. They play in the range from 5 Hz to 23 kHz, their weight is 430 grams.

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The ergonomic design provides incredible comfort and excellent sound isolation, making these headphones ideal for long-term use. While working on Elegia, Focal’s engineering team introduced several innovations aimed at improving the quality of sound reproduction. The 40mm aluminum/magnesium alloy full-range driver with M-shaped cone provides clear response across the entire frequency range and is the basis for the dynamic sound of the Elegia.

The closed format and 35 Ohm impedance will allow you to use Elegia not only with stationary, but also with portable sources. The short (1.2 meters) cable also hints at portable use. The kit includes an adapter from a 3.5 mm to 6.3 mm plug. The ear pads are thick – 20 mm, filled with memory foam and trimmed with microfiber. The headband is made of aluminum alloy, adapted to the shape of the head and decorated with genuine leather and microfiber with perforations.

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In addition, the frameless voice coil is lightweight yet rigid enough to reproduce fine details, adding credibility to a wide variety of music. With its precise tonal balance and long-term listening comfort, Focal Elegia makes a serious claim to leadership in the closed-back headphone segment.

Before I open the box with the newest “Elegies”, I would like to convey three important messages for everyone who is interested in personal audio in general and the Focal brand in particular. First: these models use the same engineering and technological base as other Focal headphones in the audiophile series, which have collected a lot of awards over the past two or three years. Second: the parameters of branded drivers with M-domes have been significantly changed in comparison with open analogues – the resistance has been reduced from 80 to 35 Ohms with a slightly increased sensitivity (105 dB) opens up excellent opportunities for using headphones with any standard-power mobile audio devices. And the third (and, I think, the most pleasant) message is that the manufacturer kept its promise to keep within the price category of up to 1000 euros and even exceeded it a little in your favor – the recommended price of Elegia turned out to be even lower than that of Elear – its closest open classmates . Well, now let’s open the package.

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The new items are well made. The design of the headband is as reliable and comfortable as that of other Focal representatives of the audiophile series, and the cushions of the ear pads differ only in the design of the covering – in the “Elegies” it is made of microfiber in two colors with a light compacted inner insert, which gives the product a rather fashionable and memorable look. If you look closely, you will notice another difference – inside the cases there is no characteristic “transparent” perimeter of the driver basket, and the ovals themselves, which carry sealed covers with a metal insert, do not look as bulky as those of open models. By the way, the weight is also less – 20 grams compared to Elear.

But despite their relative compactness, these new products should without a doubt be classified as true surround-type headphones without any “overhead” compromises – in this regard, they are more advanced than the entire Listen series. The size, shape, strength and uniformity of pressure of the soft rollers to the head are selected in such a way that good sound insulation and the necessary comfort for long hours of listening are achieved, which will be highly appreciated by anyone who often has to fly long distances by plane (if I have such a business trip, I I can tell you exactly how long you can sit with “Elegies” on your head). There is only a small problem – the headphones do not come with airplane adapters. In general, the contents of the box are minimalist: the buyer receives only a transport case, a 1.2-meter cable with a 3.5 mm jack and a quarter-inch adapter. The wire has a normal Y-configuration, is removable and equipped with standard connectors – replacing it with another, including a balanced one, will not be a problem. The ear pads can also be easily removed.

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The main feature of “Elegies” is, without a doubt, the heads. They are unique in that the driver, printed from a thin sheet of lightweight aluminum-magnesium alloy and suspended on a very elastic suspension with a thickness of only 110 microns, has a complex profile and, in cross-section, resembles an inverted letter M. This shape not only gives the 40 mm cone additional rigidity, but it also forms a thin inner edge on which the voice coil is wound. Due to this, a minimum moving mass is achieved.

In open models, M-drivers also featured a tubeless magnetic drive design. Elegia also inherited a similar solution in general terms, but in this case it is no longer possible to consider the heads “tubeless” due to the closed design of the headphones themselves; moreover, the cavity on the other side of the radiating membrane is supplemented with a large, ingenious insert with different-sized honeycombs to suppress resonances.

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The phrase “first closed”, which the company uses in the presentation of “Elegies,” may scare some, but it should not be taken literally. This only applies to the audiophile series. In general, Focal’s experience in developing closed-back headphones is very enviable, not only in the household, but also in the professional studio field. I would be very surprised if the new models contained at least some acoustic shortcomings or compromises characteristic of the “raw” models. So they are not there. According to the first impression, even unheated “Elegies” sound with luxurious, full-fledged dynamics without range compression typical of other closed models. According to the passport data, the distortions they introduce are completely negligible – even less than those of open structures. But the main thing is that they have neither a pronounced “shell” tint, nor sharp local distortions in the frequency response caused by internal resonances. The frequency range is really huge and Focal-like linear – I heard only two weakly expressed smooth rises (approximately 400 – 500 and 1200 – 1400 Hz), which will most likely smooth out after the drivers have fully “warmed up”.

Key features of Focal Elegia over-ear headphones:

Closed-back audiophile-grade headphones for use at home and on the go.
Exclusive full-range driver with Focal’s patented M-shape aluminum-magnesium alloy cone.
Precise tonal balance and detail are maintained at both high and low volume levels.
Outstanding results when used with audiophile-grade portable players.
Good sound insulation from ambient noise.
Comfortable and ergonomic.

Characteristics of Focal Elegia:

Type closed monitor dynamic headphones
Category wired
Impedance 35 Ohms
Sensitivity 105 dB (1 kHz, 1 mW)
Harmonic coefficient less than 0.1% (1 kHz, at a sound pressure level of 100 dB)
Frequency range 5 Hz – 23 kHz
Speakers 40 mm (1.57”) wideband electrodynamic drivers with increased membrane travel, M-shaped dome membrane made of aluminum-magnesium alloy, elastic suspensions 110 microns thick, lightweight rigid frameless coils wound with copper wire Cup
material plastic, metal
Ear pad material microfiber fabric, memory foam filling
Straight cable, double-sided, detachable, OFC copper conductors, outer fabric braid, 3.5 mm cup connectors, length: 1.2 m
3.5 mm plug
Hard case included
Adapter for 6.3 mm jacks
Headphone weight 430 g
Case dimensions (WxHxD) 250x120x240 mm