Focal’s new headphones mix

“Focal aim’s for easy mobile use with the Listen as well as out-of-this-world high-end audio experience with the Utopia.”

After more than 30 years in the speaker business, French audio company Focal started with headphones in 2012.  The headphone line grows from four to seven units with the  three new models:

  • Listen           (mobile use) $249
  • Elear             (True High End for serious listening)  $999
  • Utopia          (out-of-this-world,  new reference for headsets) $3,999


The Focal Listen is a pretty straightforward pair of closed-ear headphones. It has a plastic body and a cord with a mic on it terminating in a 3.5mm headphone jack. There’s no built-in wireless or active noise cancelation.  Some reviewers found it did block out noise effectively.

The Elear and Utopia Focal both come with a four meter cord that terminates in a quarter-inch stereo jack. It’s clear these headsets are meant to be hooked up to your stereo for luxurious home listening. You want a cord that can stretch across the room to your easy chair. These ought to be able to do that. Both allow their cables to be detached, too, so they can be swapped out for something shorter if you’re planning to sit right beside your audio source.

While the “Listen” will be used with a phone or laptop, the two high end models are meant to be hooked up to a decent DAC/Headphone Amplifier.  I will contact Focal and give them a try with the new Bryston BHA-1 Headphone Amplifier and the Chord  DAC, you can read about it later.


Looks are industrial and luxurious.

An depth story about the technology and sound can be found at  audio-head Focal Elear review.