Aktualisiert: Nov 19
Explanation: In contrast to the full review, the QUICK VIEW only provides a brief tonal and functional overview. Either I haven't been able to spend enough time with the headphones, where the rating has to be taken with a grain of salt, or I don't consider it particularly worthwhile in terms of sound. I will mark which of the two variants applies with "Time", or "Average". The weighting of sound and handling is 2:1.
frequency range: 5 - 40000 Hz | sound pressure level: 106 dB | impedance: 35 Ohm | dynamic
Bass Mids Trebles Stage Imaging
9 8 8.5 9 9
Processing Comfort Earpads Headband Weight
9 8 8 8 450 grams
Price 3000 €
Quick View reason: Time
With the STELLIA, FOCAL proves after the rather semi-successful ELEGIA that they can also build closed headphones. It differs a bit from the basic sonic concept of the other FOCALs, because it emphasizes the bass and the upper mids, which reminds me a bit of IEM representatives of MOONDROP, or TANCHJIM and therefore should pop up the word HARMAN.
Handling The structural similarities to the ELEGIA, or CLEAR are obvious, but the STELLIA gets a fresh coat of bronze (okay, from FOCAL's side it says: cognac and mocha finish). They also change the microfiber pads of the other models to a pure leather version, both for the headband and the pads, but they don't take anything away in comfort with the microfiber pads. Nevertheless, my ear does not seem to be the best match for the FOCAL models, as it bumps against the auricle here and there.
At 435 grams, it is discreetly lighter than the ELEAR, or CLEAR. It comes with a "Cognac and Mocha" striped 1.2m cable with a 3.5mm connector and a 3m cable with 4-pin XLR connector in the same color scheme. The headphones are packed in a hardcover transport case and we will also receive another high-quality transport box for the cables and a 6.3mm adapter.
But you can also expect a little bit of knick-knack for 3000 € UVP.
The isolation is good so far, but could be better, especially on the outside.
The bass has a firm punch and sounds very organic, but not growling or overloaded, despite the clear boost. I find it very textured and dynamic.
This fast and accurate bass is probably also due to the used driver material (Beryllium).
I think I can hear some HARMAN out of the STELLIA. It is more sparkling and lively than the CLEAR, especially in the mids. But sometimes he overdoes it to me a bit and can slip into shrillness or glaring. This makes it a bit inconsistent in the naturality of voices and here and there too much "In Your Face".
The STELLIA sounds brighter and slimmer than for example the CLEAR or ELEAR, but the bass and midrange emphasis brings fun into the room and you feel surrounded by lively music.
It is a welcome change in the FOCAL series. In addition, the high frequency can convince with fine details, skilful bypassing of sibilants and gain stability. The STELLIA reminds me here a little bit of the CAMPFIRE SOLARIS, even if the comparison between headphones and IEM is always a bit difficult.
Stage and imaging are impressive for a closed headphone. I would wish for a bit more width, but you don't have the feeling of hearing closed headphones as soon as you perceive the dimensions of the stage. The imaging is great and the sharp separation ensures excellent localization. To be honest, the technical features don't take anything away from the open CLEAR.
Outro I always try to look at a headphone regardless of the price tag. But sometimes it's really not easy for me to hide it completely, so I'll say it straight out: For its performance the STELLIA is definitely too expensive for me because of the alternatives. Especially the mids are sometimes a little dealbreaker due to the sometimes somewhat aggressive voice presentation.
For half of them the CLEAR is for me the much better price-performance ratio, even if it is absolutely no bargain. Sure, it's a bit about sound preferences, certainly also about the brand FOCAL and the STELLIA is a very potent and competent headphone, but the price seems to me to be exaggerated.
Thanks to K55.ch for providing the headphones and the exciting day in the showroom.