Focal Elex (Sold Out)
FLAGSHIP HEADPHONES, HANDMADE IN FRANCE
Made with Focal’s brilliant engineering and extraordinary attention to detail, the Elex headphones take a fundamentally different approach to dynamic drivers—and deliver a better measured performance across the board than headphones several times their price. A refinement of the $1,000 Elear with elements of the $1,500 Clear, they boast several improvements to the sound, build, and aesthetic, too. The perforated microfiber ear pads bring the bass down a bit, the matching perforated microfiber headband ensures breathable comfort, and the colorway has been simplified to a subtle, mostly matte black. Finally, we’ve replaced the Elear’s 9.8-foot rubberized cable with two 6-foot cloth-wrapped cables: one with a quarter-inch connection and one with a four-pin XLR plug by Neutrik.
DRIVER DESIGN, PHILOSOPHY & PERFORMANCE
Among the world’s foremost speaker manufacturers since 1979, Focal brings a unique philosophy that emphasizes acoustic research, design purity, and a commitment to reproducing the artist’s work as faithfully as possible. The Elex features the company’s newly developed 40-millimeter full-range dynamic driver with an aluminum-magnesium “M”-shaped cone. Meant to sit about 2 inches from the ear, this driver is unmatched when it comes to impulse response, transient response, and low distortion. The driver excursion (how far the driver travels at maximum power input) is 10 times greater than most dynamic drivers, allowing the Elex to extend down to 5 Hz without roll-off: something no other headphones can claim. Another way Focal comes out heads above the rest? All its drivers are QCed to within 0.5-decibel tolerances.
UPDATES TO THE SOUND & BUILD QUALITY
With the Elear as a foundation, the Elex aims to give the audiophile community everything it’s looking for in a “super HD 650.” The memory foam ear pads are as plush as ever, and based on community feedback, they’re now wrapped in perforated microfiber to bring the bass down to a tasteful emphasis: ~3 dB above neutral, compared to the 5 to 10 dB of the Elear. The Elear’s leather headband has been updated to more breathable perforated microfiber, and it still allows for length adjustment and ear cup rotation to provide long-wearing comfort for all head shapes and sizes. Finally, instead of the Elear’s single cable, you’ll get a pair of shorter, more robust lighter-weight cables with different connection types for plugging into a variety of music sources.
FOCAL: SECOND TO NONE
Though it’s widely known among audiophiles today, Focal remains, at its core, an engineering boutique. Everything from research and development to engineering to production happens in the same facility in the Loire city of Saint-Étienne. The drivers are assembled by a handful of technicians, and every part is tested and QCed at every stage of the assembly process. The glue used to attach the driver diaphragm to the surround (the black material around it) is a custom formula created by Focal’s chemical engineers. Developed to allow maximum driver movement, the surround is 80 microns thick compared to the 200-micron-thick material available elsewhere: a testament to Focal’s belief that, when it comes to making the best products out there, every detail counts.
FREQUENCY RESPONSE GRAPHS
TOTAL HARMONIC DISTORTION GRAPHS
- Massdrop x Focal
- Open-back circumaural design
- 40mm full-range dynamic driver with aluminum-magnesium “M”-shaped dome
- 20mm-thick perforated microfiber memory foam ear pads
- Perforated microfiber headband with length adjustment and cup rotation
- Aluminum yoke
- Impedance: 80 ohms
- Sensitivity: 104 dB SPL / 1 mW at 1 kHz
- THD: < 0.3% at 1 kHz / 100 dB SPL
- Frequency response: 5 Hz–23 kHz
- Cable length: 6 ft (1.8 m)
- Product weight: 15.9 oz (450 g)
- Storage box dimensions: 12.8 x 10.2 x 6.5 in (32.6 x 26 x 16.4 cm)
- Individually serialized on sticker under right ear pad
- Handmade in France
- 6 ft (1.8 m) cloth-wrapped single-ended cable with ¼ in (6.35 mm) plug
- 6 ft (1.8 m) cloth-wrapped balanced cable with 4-pin XLR plug
- Storage box with magnetic closure
- 12 Months Warranty with NPAudio (Drop don't cover outside of USA)