Review: The Focal Elegia
Focal have entered the high-end closed back market, and they clearly know what they are doing.
Aesthetics, Build Quality and Accessories:
The Elegia sport a black and silver colour scheme with textured cups and a nice logo in the middle. The earpads are black on the outside with a silver inner lining, the same as the headband. The logo in the middle of the cups really stands out. These are headphones that like to stand out in the crowd. They are not understated and reserved; they want to draw attention, but in a respectable way.
The build quality is great. The cups are hard plastic, the logo is metal and mesh and there is a mix of leather and microfibre in the headband. The yokes are aluminium, and they just feel extremely well put together when you have them in your hands. They use a recessed 3.5mm detachable cable that is easy to replace. I really like the build quality of the Elegia, but over time the cups are going to show some signs of use.
Accessory-wise, they come with a lovely hard case with heavy duty zip and leather handle. Also included is the cable, which is 1.3m long and terminates in a 3.5mm jack with a 6.3mm screw on adaptor. They included everything you need to get them up and running.
The Elegia are a well-built headphone. This comes at the expense of a little bit of weight, though. Padding is key to keeping them comfortable, and whilst the earpads are nice and plush, with good padding, the headband could be improved. I know that comfort has a lot to do with individual head shapes, so this won’t affect everyone, but the headband padding is not thick enough. I personally found them to create a hot spot on the top of my head, but not everyone will have this issue.
Bass: The Elegia have excellent bass response that is tight and controlled, yet at the same time full and fun. It is slightly elevated overall with a bit of added impact. This makes you want to crank them up a little from time to time. They are a headphone that enjoy slightly louder volumes to really come alive. Bass guitar lines are incredibly articulate, and the kicks hit with authority.
Midrange: You would think with the slightly fuller low end that the midrange might be pushed back a bit. And whilst they are not mid-forward, they still strike a good balance in the mix. Vocals never sound distant; they cut through with great detail and presence. Guitars have power and crunch when needed, yet sound intricate and detailed during other tracks. Overall, they sit well balanced in the mix, with great clarity and separation. The transition is smooth into the treble and there is no large dip like on the Elear.
Treble: The treble is slightly laid back compared to the rest of the sound, but it is not lacking in detail and extension. The treble is always present, but in a slightly lower quantity than the bass and midrange, thus creating a headphone that is easy to enjoy. They lack any hint of brightness, but this does mean that they lose out on a little sparkle. This partly contributes to the ability to crank these up a bit without issue, whilst still being able to hear everything in the recording clearly.
The Elegia don’t have a huge soundstage, but the separation and accuracy of the placement of instruments makes up for this easily.
The Elegia are a fun, full and detailed headphone that really get you tapping your feet along with the music. They like to be played a little louder than normal, so please do take care of your hearing. These put a big smile on my face with certain songs, due to the sheer fun factor, without missing out on technicalities.