The French are ahead of us. We can put technology, the French still style. The Stellia by Focal flatters eyes, hands and of course ears. Read our test about this headphone.
- great beryllium transducers
- maximum high resolution
Stereoplay overall rating: 83 points; Sound: 68 points; Price / performance: outstandingDISPLAY
The French just have more style. Unsereins packs his headphones in jute and cardboard, while Focal sends his Stellia in the leather box into the world. The unpacking becomes an experience. With a rich smack the top dissolves from the bottom of the package. Then you meet a nice hardcase with the headphones there.
Underneath another box. This time to fold – and is free to look at two connection cables, either with XLR plug or 6.3 mm jack. Even the manual is covered by leather. Noble is ruining the world. Can this be topped?
Surprisingly yes. The headphone itself raises the bar even higher. A small leather sticker with imprint tells us that everything that looks like leather is the same. You have to fall in love with this artwork. Even the word strategists have found beautiful terms.
Here, the colors mocha and cognac are combined. The temples and the outer shells are made of frosted, colored aluminum. Even the finish of the cables is perfectly matched. In addition, an engraved, proud “Fabriqué en France”. The French just have more style.
Cheap is different
But unfortunately they also have concrete price expectations. The price is 3000 euros. That too is proud. But we know that this is not the end of Focal’s world. The Utopia listener presented three years ago was even 4000 euros – and was an open model.
With the Stellia Focal wanted to follow now a closed converter. Stupid quiz question and transition: What characterizes the large loudspeakers from Focal, what is the unmistakable distinguishing feature? Exactly – a Beryllium-Töner in the height.
The material is expensive and rare. If you research a little deeper, learn that this is an alkaline earth metal. The density is even higher than that of the direct relatives, magnesium and calcium. Inventories worldwide are estimated by experts to be 80,000 tons.
After all. But: The extraction is complex, also beryllium must be sealed consuming, because it is toxic. The high-end fans love the high speed, the stiffness and the confident joy of playing even at high levels.
In the Stellia Focal trusts the complete frequency response of only a single membrane of beryllium, which has turned out quite large with 40 millimeters in the diagonal. Here it goes up from five to 40,000 hertz. Particularly appealing to connoisseurs: the powertrain and moving mass are only 135 milligrams.
You forget the world
The comfort could not be better. We have heard violently and have fallen in love with the Stellia at some point. We overheard whole operas in one go. At some point you forget that you have shells on your ears.
If you want to complain a bit: the cables are not free from noise transmission to the sound transducers. But honestly: who rubs while listening to the whole time on the beautiful cloth coating? So negligible.
Focal has existed for 40 years now. It may be celebrated. You should also remember the merits. We have the speakers alive. With each new series, we were again fascinated by the sound aesthetics of the French.
Exactly the same values Focal has trained the Stellia. That was wonderfully body-conscious, with a maximum of high resolution. You can even get the superlative out of the box of voices: Rarely has there never been a headphone that managed to manage this wealth of information.
As first test music we streamed the new remastering of Wagner’s “Tannhäuser” – in 24 Bit and 96 Kilohertz, Sir Georg Solti conducts the Vienna Philharmonic.
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It begins softly, almost inconspicuously, with a chorale of the woodwind class, just as Stellia already recorded the listening room in these few bars, how wonderfully concrete the sound was.
Then the full force of the brass and the powerful vibrato of the strings – as if the sun was rising, this desire for dynamism. Everything traced the Focal in full riches. One could feel the high agility of the beryllium membrane.
From that moment we were lost, we heard the complete opera, three hours of delights. Above all, this picture of singing voices – we only knew that from big standing speakers, when a singer seems to stand in front of you. With such a headphone you want to hear fine, emotional music.
Here is a Lauschipp: the new album by Avishai Cohen – “Arvoles”. The drums are impulsive, the piano and the winds create complex melody phrases – and of course the striding, energetic bass. That goes down like honey milk.
The Stellia boasted with airiness and lightness. Everything was so effortless. Everything knits linear and yet glowing. Here is the loudest buy recommendation appropriate that we can trumpet out.
This wealth of information, this harmonious inner harmony. This headphone plays in the highest league. Every detail has been achieved by Focal. Above all, of course, the great beryllium converter. The soundscape has pace, precision, lightness – as it could hardly be more beautiful. One should listen in to this miracle converter, while not forgetting the sister model Utopia with more bass.