If you are after high-end headphones, Focal might be a reputation you acknowledge. Its headphones can generally fetch outlandish costs (as is the case right here) however the result’s a pair of really jaw-dropping cans.
Such is the case for the Focal Clear Mg, which sells for $1,500 (€1500, £1,399, AU$2,199), and sits properly in between the price range Focal Listen and the highest of the road Utopia. While $1,500 is sort of some huge cash for headphones, we got here away extraordinarily impressed by the Focal Clear Mg’s decision, tuning, and design.
This might be the top recreation for a lot of headphone fans.
Price and availability
The Focal Clear Mg is accessible worldwide for $1,500 (€1500, £1,399, AU$2,199).
In phrases of Focal’s open-back headphone choices, the Clear Mg is barely bested by the Utopia, which prices a staggering $4,000 (€4,000, £3,699, AU$5,499).
The Clear Mg’s design is unmistakably Focal. The firm has achieved a terrific job creating an iconic look and using it throughout its total headphone portfolio. In phrases of supplies, they’re created from aluminum, leather-based, and microfiber.
The headphone is extraordinarily comfy due to its cheap weight and microfiber headband and earcups whereas the perforated microfiber ear pads permit your ears to breathe so that you’ll by no means get sizzling throughout lengthy listening classes.
The Clear Mg are fully open again, which implies sound is allowed to move out and in. This permits the headphones to mission sound from exterior your head, however you’ll be relegated to listening at dwelling in a quiet room because the sound leakage would simply annoy anybody sitting round you on a practice or at your workplace desk.
Powering the Focal Clear Mg are magnesium ‘M’-shaped dome drivers, that are extraordinarily stiff however gentle. This helps give the Clear Mg wonderful sound high quality, which we’ll cowl beneath.
The Focal Clear Mg comes with two cables: one single ended and one balanced. This means you possibly can join the headphones to any 6.35mm or XLR balanced amplifier. Thankfully, the Clear Mg makes use of 3.5mm jacks on the earcups, making it straightforward to swap for aftermarket cables.
While the headphones don’t fold, they do include a pleasant arduous journey case that may carry each cables and the headphone. While completely nice for placing in your backpack, the included case isn’t crush proof and we’d keep away from placing them in your checked baggage to keep away from harm.
The Focal Clear Mg options two 40mm magnesium dome drivers and a 55 ohm impedance. Combined with a sensitivity of 104dB SPL / 1 mW @ 1kHz, this implies the Clear Mg will be pushed by most amplifiers and even smartphones with out concern. However, pairing them with amp will unlock their full potential.
In phrases of weight, the Clear Mg weighs in at 0.99lbs (450g). For reference, its closed again sibling the Focal Celestee is sort of the identical weight at 0.95lb (430g) and the venerable Sennheiser HD800S is sort of a bit lighter at 330g with out its cable. While not the lightest headphone, we discovered the Clear Mg comfy for lengthy listening classes.
Audio high quality
The Focal Clear Mg is among the best-sounding open-back headphones on the market and the factor that instantly grabbed us was how a lot decision the headphones provided. Every element of a observe was rendered for us however with out sounding harsh throughout quite a lot of music genres.
The Clear Mg had the uncanny skill to make even poorly recorded music at the least enjoyable to take heed to. Other headphones could supply the identical decision however don’t deal with poorly recorded materials as effectively.
In phrases of tonal steadiness, the Focal Clear Mg is ever so barely heat from impartial however your complete frequency vary is represented effectively. Highs have a ton of extension and air with out ever being sibilant or harsh. The midrange is meaty, with a slight emphasis on the mid-bass, which supplies the headphone a slight heat tilt. Bass extends deep with glorious texture, and isn’t overbearing. We have been shocked that bass is definitely extra impactful and extra emphasised than the Audeze LCD-X, a headphone identified for its bass.
Soundstage is nice, however not the widest. We want the Focal Clear Mg may mission music even farther from left and proper to create a extra immersive expertise, however soundstage depth and peak are glorious. Imaging is unbelievable as effectively, and permits listeners to pinpoint each word and sound.
We examined the Clear Mg with quite a lot of headphone amps and it’s low impedance/excessive effectivity means even the modest iFi hip-dac had no hassle driving the headphones to extraordinarily loud volumes (in each balanced and unbalanced modes). We beloved how musical the Focal Clear Mg sounded with the Naim Uniti Atom Headphone Edition however equally loved it with the iFi Zen Amp, iFi Zen DAC, and the tube WooAudio WA3. With the Clear Mg, you don’t have to empty the checking account for loopy supporting gear.
Should you purchase the Focal Clear Mg?
Buy them if…
You’re in search of unbelievable element and enjoyable
The Focal Clear Mg sound unbelievable with all genres of music and will get your toe tapping.
You benefit from the spacious sound of open again headphones
If you’ve gotten a quiet place to take heed to your music, you’ll love the spacious sound of those open again headphones. However, if you wish to block out the world, we suggest trying out the closed again Focal Celestee.
You don’t need to go loopy upgrading the remainder of your system
The Clear Mg sounds nice from a modest entrance finish so that you don’t should go spending 1000’s on DAC and amp.
Don’t purchase them if…
You need absolute neutrality
The Clear Mg has a slight mid-bass bump and consequently, is barely heat from impartial. If you need absolute neutrality, try the Sennheiser HD800S as a substitute.
You intend to combine music
The Clear Mg is for listening enjoyment, not sound engineering. You’ll need to try Beyerdynamic or Audeze for headphones that work effectively within the studio.
You’re on a price range
Safe to say, the Focal Clear Mg is sort of a splurge. There are higher price range choices for these getting began within the headphone interest.