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Focal Stellia Review

"The Stellia really are an impressive headphone, with a relatively smooth and natural sound free from the typical closed back drawbacks."

Focal Stellia

 

Aesthetics, Build Quality and Accessories:

The Stellia are quite bold when it comes to looks, the colour scheme is unlike most high-end headphones. The brown/copper look is quite out there, some will love it, some will hate it. I like how Focal have been bold, and it is definitely refreshing to see something other than black/silver.

 

The build quality is excellent, using pretty much the same headband as all the other Focal models (bar the Utopia with its carbon fibre yokes). The headband has genuine leather padding, and the cups have spots of tan leather on them. The included cables are great, but do create a little noise when rubbing against clothing. Overall the Stellia is a solidly built headphone.

 

Accessory wise you get the usual Focal carry case, along with a short single ended cable, and longer 4-pin XLR balanced cable. The manual comes in a leather case and everything just feels luxurious, as it should for this price.

Comfort:

The Stellia are not the lightest of headphones, again due to the excellent build quality. But just like the Clear and Elegia, I do not find them to have enough padding on the headband, and this does create some discomfort for me personally after a short time listening to them. This is not an issue that affects everyone, but I wish the weight was distributed better. The earcups are spacious and the genuine leather earpads feel great.

Sound:

Bass: Those looking for energetic and full lows might want to look elsewhere, however those who appreciate accuracy over quantity will really enjoy these. The lower priced Elegia have more fun factor, the Stellia are more reserved with a focus on clarity. The definition and control down low is superb, they are not lacking in quantity and there is a subtle amount of body being added to the sound, which makes these sound smooth and refined compared to the livelier Elegia.

 

Midrange: The midrange can be described as natural, open and detailed. Never lacking in any part of the midrange, the resolving capabilities are showcased best in the midrange, with excellent insight into recordings. They work well with all genres, the midrange isn’t pushed forward but it sits perfectly central in the mix, sounding well separated but never detached. The layering really stands out, along with a smooth transition into the treble region.

 

Treble: The treble is smooth and well extended, I cannot detect any nasty spikes which is a relief. They don’t rely on peaks to create an artificial sense of detail, instead they just have the detail without trying to grab your attention. I cannot find any fault with the treble to be honest, it is well presented but without drawing attention to itself. It’s resolving capabilities are natural rather than forced, and this really shows when listening to them.

 

The soundstaging capabilities are a little limited on the Stellia, but there is fairly good height compared to the width. Separation and imaging however are superb and the Stellia never lose focus, even with the most complex of mixes. These don't suffer from a boxed in sound, the engineering that has gone in to remove cup reflections really works well and they don't have any nasty resonances that I can detect.

Conclusion:

The looks of the Stellia may divide opinion, but the sound is sure to impress anyone looking for a refined and resolving closed back headphone with incredible technical capabilities and an overall easy to listen to sound.

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