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NAMM 2018: New Focal Clear Professional Headphones Are "The Ultimate Tool for HQ Playback"

NAMM 2018: New Focal Clear Professional Headphones Are
NAMM 2018: New Focal Clear Professional Headphones Are "The Ultimate Tool for HQ Playback"

Focal has announced the new Focal Clear Professional Headphones amongst this year's collection of NAMM 2018 Music Tech. These headphones add to the announcement of a new Focal Shape Series Studio Monitor (for more on that, see our news story NAMM 2018: Focal Shape Twin Studio Monitor Has Twice the Audio Coverage).

The new Focal Clear Professional 'phones are an updated design based on last year's highly-regarded Clear headphones. It's hard to believe last year's design can be improved for only a small price-increase. Here's some of last year's incredible feedback from the Clears:

The Tech Hive called them "A revelatory listening experience":

"These are among the finest headphones you can buy… I’ve had the pleasure of auditioning lots of high-end audio gear over the years. Focal’s Clear ranks right up there with the most memorable. These are the finest headphones you’ll find priced less than $2,000. They have earned my highest recommendation."

The Verve gave the Focal Clears 9 out of 10:

"I don’t think anything has been neglected with the Focal Clear. Focal made a choice to prioritize detail and precision in its sound over the more facile thrills of extra servings of bass. What has emerged from that decision is a fantastically well balanced sound married to an equally well thought-out and precise design. These headphones are just as pretty on the inside as they are on the outside."

"My ultimate test for a pair of headphones is how much I want to keep listening to them after a review is complete, and right now, I don’t care to listen to anything else."

Focal's new Clear Professional headphones are intended to start to bridge the gap between the highly-regarded Clears, mentioned above, and the truly outstanding (and significantly pricier) Utopia 'phones.

The Clear Professional headphones are a tool intended for studio professionals who need an accurate tool for monitoring audio. As Focal say, they have "an extremely open design aiming to make the headphones disappear, for the benefit of the sound."

The headphones are completely open-back (designed for clarity of sound rather than tone-isolation) and feature a raft of appointments aimed at making long mixing sessions as comfortable as possible.

The Clear Professional's have a solid aluminium yoke which moulds to your face shape, along with memory foam cushions with a perforated microfibre fabric.

The headphones also have an M-profile aluminium/magnesium dome with a new copper coil to provide "total dynamic respect over the entire audio spectrum, with an extremely articulated and always controlled bass." Focal state that these new 'phones can reproduce the tiniest details in the higher audio frequencies, and they have bass articulation down to the very lower frequencies: judging on reviews from the predecessors last year, we will certainly take Focal on its word.

At the lower end of the price spectrum, Focal has released the Listen Professional closed-back headphones, designed for music production. These headphones feature comfort technology designed for long and intensive use. In Focal's words,

"The speaker driver has been given a 100% Mylar suspension, whereas the central dome is composed of a Mylar-titanium alloy to provide more rigidity and extended frequency response in the upper end of the spectrum. Thus, the moving part is extremely light, enabling the transducer to exceed 40kHz on a flat baffle.

The reproduction of the bass and sub-bass registers also received a great deal of attention. The team of engineers managed to combine two factors which are hardly compatible: a tuning frequency which is as low as possible and extremely low distortion (0.3% at 1kHz – 100dB)."

Whatever your price budget for headphones, you'll find something special for your ears with Focal - sounds good to us.

See more Music Tech from NAMM

NAMM is back for 2019! For all the latest product news please head over to NAMM 2019.

By Matt Wilkinson

Posted on 29 Jan 2018 11:14 to category : Instruments News

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