When the Focal Clear, a pair of premium open-back headphones, released in 2017, they quickly catapulted themselves to both critical and public acclaim. They remain one of my favorite headphones of all time.
And now Focal promises to make them even better with the new $ 1,490 Clear Mg.
The proof is of course in the pudding, and updates to audiophile classics aren’t always universally loved. Still, the Clear Mg claims to retain the neutral character of the original while enhancing dynamics and detail with Focal’s latest speaker and housing technology.
As you might have guessed from the name, the Clear Mg uses a new magnesium dome for the speaker, now the M-shaped Focals drivers are known for. The original Clear was called an aluminum / magnesium alloy, so it looks like this time around the company is putting more emphasis on the latter material.
Overall, the company claims the new speaker is lighter, stiffer, and better cushioned – the three crucial performance metrics for any speaker. Meanwhile, the company also upgraded the speaker with a new honeycomb grille that more closely follows the contours of the speakers and narrows the gap between the speaker and the grille. This should equate to a wider soundstage and better high frequency reproduction, according to the company.
While $ 1,490 is a lot of money (and you don’t have to spend that much to get great sound), it’s also not the norm for what some headphone enthusiasts will spend; indeed, I preferred the Clear to some more expensive models (including Focal’s own $ 4000 Utopia).
We’ll just have to wait for more practical impressions to see how they live up to the classics, of course; the headphones will be available at retailers this month.
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Published March 16, 2021 – 14:12 UTC