Kool Toos: Utopia Reference Headphones
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Kool Toos: Utopia Reference Headphones

Focal’s Utopia (www.focal.com/headphones) is a top-of-the-line and premium priced ($3,999) headphones with sonic excellence. The open-back reference headphones were designed to offer the ultimate listening experience for the most critical audiophile and utilize Focal’s 35-year history and experience with other product lines that carry the Utopia moniker.

In developing the headphones, Focal’s engineers began to think of the newest Utopia project as the world’s first, wearable, full-range, ULTRA near-field loudspeaker rather than strictly a pair of headphones. Beginning with the drivers, they looked at many of their previous reference products that use Beryllium, which combines the ultimate rigidity to weight ratio. Beryllium is 30 times higher cost than gold.

Creating a driver with a completely open front and open back design, Focal was able to avoid using a crossover or passive filtering process common in other headphones. The result, when used in conjunction with a proper headphone amplifier/DAC, is a frequency response from 5Hz to 50kHz, and driver assembly so light, it can vibrate 50,000 times per second, producing some of the most airy, open-sounding, yet sonically accurate music in any genre.

While designing the “wearability” of the product, Focal again maintained a goal to create a yoke that is strong and light while paying attention to comfort in the ear cups. Engineers wanted to ensure Utopia’s ability to fit all sizes and varying head shapes while creating a stunning looking product. After much research, a carbon fiber yoke was established as the ultimate design material, which offers an elegant look, while being lightweight and extremely rigid. Additionally, in order to avoid creating the joint found in conventionally-designed headphones for the rotation functionality, which breaks up the aesthetics, Focal built this feature directly into the headband, using more than 100 parts.

Included with each pair of Utopia Reference headphones, is a rigid packaging with magnetic locking system, a 4m (13.1ft) OFC cable, a Neutrik 6.35mm (1/4”) stereo plug and two shielded Lemo connectors with self-locking bayonet system.

 

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