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Kool Tools: Focal Clear headphone


Clear is Focal’s new “circum-aural” headphone for audiophiles and represents a new evolution of Focal’s open-back, full-range speaker headphone family. It’s an ultra high-end product priced at $1,499.
The M-shaped aluminum/magnesium dome is equipped with a copper voice coil that provides impressive dynamics across the audio spectrum, bass that’s always controlled (even at high volumes) and pleasing linearity in the high-end. The new generation of perforated microfiber ear cushions add to Clear’s open design, giving the headphones a weightless, almost invisible feeling.

Clear is equipped with a new generation full-range speaker driver, as well as a frame less copper voice coil. The use of copper gives the voice coil a strong magnetic field, resulting in sound which fully recreates the dynamics of the original recording. The 55 Ohms of impedance means you can use Clear with portable high-resolution audio players.

Headphones generally sound different to loudspeakers due to the shape of the sound wave created by the speaker driver and the distance between the listener and the speaker. Whether it’s an inverted or positive dome, a listening distance of barely an inch requires that the shape of the dome be completely redesigned to achieve a plain wave in the context of a full-sized headphone. Drawing on its 35 years of expertise, Focal has developed the “M”-shape inverted dome, originally launched on Elear and Utopia headphones.

Composed of an Aluminum/Magnesium alloy, it offers an ideal combination of lightness, rigidity and dampening. These traits alongside its open-back design mean that listeners will feel like they are using the best high-fidelity loudspeakers on the market, while enjoying the mobility and comfort that a headphone offers.

Clear also supplies a full range of connectors. Included are three types of cables to ensure that users always have the best solution. The braided cotton sleeve and 24 AWG oxygen free copper cable offer low resistance to deliver sound with utmost transparency. While the two 3.5mm mono jack sockets in the headphones themselves are lockable to secure the connection of the cables.

The final accessory supplied with Clear is the rigid carrying case. A thermoformed shell is shaped like the headphones, protecting them from impacts and other travel-related hazards. With enough room to fit a 10-foot cable while still being compact enough to easily be stored in a bag or backpack.

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