Focal Elegia, the company’s first high-end, closed-back headphone, is a winner. I can’t think of another speaker manufacturer that has embraced the headphone movement as effectively as Focal.

In just a few short years, Focal has produced both excellent entry-level and uber high-end models, such as the exquisite $4,000 Utopia.

Gorgeous to behold, comfortable to wear

Until now, Focal’s flagship over-the-ear headphones—including the $1,499 Clear I reviewed for TechHive last year—have all been open-back models. With Elegia, Focal has thrown down the gauntlet at the closed-back competition. Build quality? Impeccable. Design? Gorgeous.

Elegia is designed, developed, and assembled in France. The look and feel of these headphones is to die for. Every time I picked them up, I couldn’t help but stop and admire some new facet. Focal’s industrial design team paid attention to every detail. The black and silver aluminum and leather accents are breathtaking, with nuances you must see in person to appreciate.

The Elegia’s ear cup has a golf-ball style dimpled design. Theo Nicolaikis / IDG

The Elegia’s ear cups have a dimpled design.

The aluminum yoke has a brushed finish, with beveled screws at the ear cups that make light dance. The black Focal logo on the ear cups is etched in a slightly cratered circle. The micro-knurled polishing, meanwhile, gives off a rainbow-hued sheen like the back of a CD.

The physical beauty of these headphones is complemented by their fit and feel. The memory-foam ear pads covered in plush microfiber create a spa-like cocoon. The ear pads also did wonders to block out the noise around me. High-quality, closed-back headphones like these always help me get lost in the music.

I use Focal’s Clear as my everyday reference headphone, and I observed similarities and differences between the two models. Specifically, the aluminum yoke and click-adjustable headband are noticeably more snug on the Elegia than on the Clear. I felt as though the Elegia had a tighter grip, with less shifting when I turned my head or was on the go.

Detail of the Focal Elegia’s ear pads. Theo Nicolaikis / IDG

Detail of the Focal Elegia’s ear pads.

Focal includes the same high-quality carrying case that comes with the Clear headphone. The stylish, dark gray hard case is a thermoformed construction. It’s perfectly molded to store, protect, and carry the Elegia wherever you go.





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