Focal Unveils Clear Reference Headphones

Clear is Focal’s New Circum-Aural Open-Back Headphone for Audiophiles October 10, 2017
Why This Matters

Clear represents a new evolution of Focal’s successful open-back, full-range speaker headphone family.




Focal, the French speaker and headphone manufacturer, has unveiled Clear, the company’s new circum-aural open-back headphone for audiophiles. They represent a new evolution of Focal’s successful open-back, full-range speaker headphone family.

The ‘M’-shape aluminum/magnesium dome is equipped with a copper voice coil that provides enhanced dynamics across the audio spectrum, bass that is always controlled, even at high volumes, and exemplary 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.

“With Clear, we solidify Focal’s position as key innovators in the manufacturing of high-end headphones,” said Ben Jensen, president of Focal North America. “Building off the research used to develop high-end headphones Elear and Utopia, Clear is poised to be the reference open-back headphones under $2,000. Clear completely envelopes the user in musical purity, as one of the best headphones on the market.”

In 2016, Focal launched the Elear and Utopia headphones, featuring an innovation with the full-range, completely open-backed electrodynamics transducer. This technological development freed the headphones from any distortion generated by the ports, while ensuring the absence of any subsequent dynamic compression.

Clear is equipped with a new-generation full-range speaker driver, as well as a frameless copper voice coil. The use of copper gives the voice coil an extremely strong magnetic field, resulting in sound that fully recreates the dynamics of the original recording. According to the company, Clear can reveal the smallest of details in a recording, thanks to linear high frequencies and the respect shown to transients.

Clear also supplies a full range of connectors, including three types of cables. The braided cotton sleeve and 24 AWG oxygen-free copper cable offer low resistance. While the two 3.5mm mono jack sockets in the headphones themselves are lockable to secure the connection of the cables.

The 3 cable options are:
A 4-foot (1.2m) cable finished with a 3.5mm stereo jack plug; a 10-foot (3m) cable finished with a 6.35mm stereo jack plug; and a 10-foot (3m) with a 4-point XLR connector.

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 (3m) cable while still being compact enough to easily be stored in a bag or backpack.

Clear is available now from retail and online partners for $1,499 USD/$1,899 CAD.

“Building off the research used to develop high-end headphones Elear and Utopia, Clear is poised to be the reference open-back headphones under $2,000. Clear completely envelopes the user in musical purity, as one of the best headphones on the market.”—Ben Jensen, president, Focal North America



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