Massdrop x Focal Elex Headphonessearch
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Massdrop x Focal Elex Headphones

Massdrop x Focal Elex Headphones

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(76 reviews)
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Only for the USA, I'm f**** mad.
This update is for members who joined the drop in March:
Updated 5/7: As of this morning 90% of the headphones have shipped, and we expect all units to ship by the end of today. We have an update on the status of your Massdrop x Focal Elex Headphones. The headphones are currently in transit to our warehouse from France, and once they arrive they will go through the receiving and quality control check process. We wanted to give everyone a heads up that the timeline will be tight, and we’ll be cutting it close for all units to ship on May 7. We’re still aiming to start shipping the headphones on May 7, and we’re working with the warehouse to prioritize this. However, we expect the shipment to span over a few days. We apologize for this slight delay, and we’ll provide an update next week with the current shipping status.
AveryC
That sucks. Hoping you guys sort it out and dispatch it as previously expected.
Hi everyone,
With the positive community response around the Elex, we’ve been able to work with Focal to add more units to the end of the initial production. We will likely be able to open up a couple of limited quantity drops over the next few months.
The first of these runs will launch tomorrow (Mar. 6), with 125 units. The estimated ship date for this production run is May 7.
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AveryC
Hello, i am new to the Massdrop audiophile community and would like to know if a new Focal Elex drop could be available soon. Regards ! Denis
DenisF
Just click request and wait,it'll likely be restarted soon
Can somebody make this available for outside US.
Okay...... I'm only going to say this once...…. MD, PLEASE MAKE A REASONABLY PRICED TRAVEL CASE FOR THESE THINGS!!! (Yes, I am shouting on purpose!)
MaverickAH
Slappa cases work with them if you need a cheap alternative. They're a bit less roomy for extras but the headphones will fit comfortably.
I want to buy just that cable. Can't say I'm a big fan of the Elear's stock cable.
JTCPingas
Unless you want that specific cable for whatever reason, save yourself some big bucks & go to Amazon. Get either a Neomusica replacement cable for a Denon AH-D600. It's what I use.
Can a Mayflower Arc drive these effectively?
THVMP3R
Absolutely.
Does anyone have a recommendation/suggestion for a balanced cable to use with the Fiio X5 III on the 2.5mm 4-pole balanced out?
Has anyone compared these to Hifiman HE1000 any version...?
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gabrielb
Topping Nx4 with Elex.
Will these get a Black Friday discount next week?
Any hope in shipping to Europe?
Why not ship it to the EU? They're French :(
AndyZilla
Talk to Focal, not MD. It is a restriction placed on MD by Focal.
Purchased these second-hand and I can't say I'm super impressed. Detail, dynamics, sure but if you're coming from a warm headphone like a 6xx you probably won't like them. Much too bright.
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lol.. monitor arm is ergotech freedom HD. Cables, look up Norne Audio Silvergarde S3. Cheers 🥂
PrestoCG
I have a completely different take on this... The 6XX/650 to me sound dull and lifeless compared to the Elex. I have the benefit of having bought virtually all the headphones (not IEMs, though) I have ever owned this year so my hearing and tastes had not become trained to a particular heaphone's sound signature. But, if all you have listened to is something like the 6XX, yeah, I can see the Elex sounding bright and taking some getting used to. But, and here are my $0.02, the 6XX/650 are way over hyped. Maybe Elex won't be your thing, but there are a lot of headphones out there. Don't get stuck in a rut. P.S. yes, I also owned the 6XX (and 660s, and 58X). None come close to the Elex - to my tastes
(Edited)
If I buy these and I’m unhappy with the clipping issue will I get a refund or will I just get the message from focal saying to “listen at lower volume, deal with it”?
Question for the frequency experts. Should these be able to handle very low bass? I am listening to Max Richter's song "War Anthem" and it is clipping when the bass hits. It's VERY low bass, but my other four pairs of headphones do not have this issue even at extreme volume. I'm getting clipping/popping on the Elex at only about half volume. Does this sound like a limitation of the headphones or a defective pair? I tried three amps with the same result so I know it has nothing to do with the amp.
Krankcolc
Forgot to mention, I put on a Junior Boys album afterwards and had no clipping with a more electronic bass. Definitely not as deep as the Max Richter song but still significant.
Krankcolc
It's unfortunately an issue with some pairs. Contact Massdrop support if you haven't already, sounds like they've been taking care of it for people.
I have these, the hd6xx and he400i. However, I am wanting to get a well paired desktop balanced DAC and amp. I'm looking at the Topping DX7s, Massdrop CTH+SDAC or Liquid CarbonX+SDAC. I'm also open to other recommendations. I listen to 70% classical music and 30% jazz. Any help is greatly appreciated.
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Thanks again. I obviously missed the THX 789 drop, but I am sure Massdrop will make some extra units and put them up for sale sometime in early 2019. I have the Grace SCAD and an O2 Headphone Amp in one of offices that I use mostly with my HE400i's. Very clean sound for $79. I also have a SMSL M6 that I use with my old HD598 in another office. I use my Fiio X5 3rd gen DAP at home with my Elex, HD6XX and Audio Technica MSR7, however, I will eventually upgrade one of my setups with possibly one of your suggestions sometime soon. (this is an addiction!) And I am sure before too long I will even get myself a nice tube amp! Happy listening!
terryawiseman
DEFINITELY addicting. :)
Why is it that the Focal Elex can not be shipped to Europe even though they are made in France?
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Right, Focal has been saying some nonsense about it all for a while. From experieence, the Clear and Elex relationship is akin to the HD 600 and HD 650. They have a lot in common and sound damn close but they're still different. I know you keep mentioning measurements but have you seen the impedance, impulse, CSD and step charts? They tell the rest of the picture about the differences between the Elex and Clear. We also learn that the Clear has a different baffle scheme and other bits around the driver as it's the only model that doesn't have over excursion issues. I had the Elear and Clear at the same time I have the Elex and Elegia so I was able to compare everything together. I ultimately returned the Clear as they didn't make much sense over the Elex for the cost and how close they sound. The Clear sounded better but at the time, not for their full $1500. The Elear actually sound the most different out of the Focal lineup. They were just OK and I also didn't feel they were worth the price. The Elegia, remind me a lot of a closed back Clear so those I kept. I'm glad you own and enjoy the Clear, but there are more differences among them than just the coil. I'm trying to find the breakdown/teardown of them that goes more into their differences. Same if you get a chance to view their CSD plots. It shows the dampening differences between the two amongst other quirks.
jaydunndiddit
Thanks for the correction. I'm still convinced they really don't want the Elex to cannibalize Clear sales, especially since the biggest difference in price between the Elear and Clear comes from the accessories that come with the Clear. I actually have to RMA the Clear I bought and while I love how it sounds I'm not exactly impressed with the build quality.
I bought the Elex and have been very pleased with the sound and build quality.
Does anyone know why these are compared to the hd650s? The frequency charts look very different and the drivers look very different and the sound signature appears to be different anecdotally. Why are they compared to a headphone that is less than half the price?
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Perhaps, although many audiophiles do not believe in scientific measurements, so I doubt it would hurt sales much to have them here, especially since they are still on Head-fi. That still leaves the TR-X00s, which are not really equivalent to anything Fostex makes, so why take down those measurements?
The_Jniac
I'm one of those skeptical about measurements... to a degree. The measurements say that the LCX has a lot of noise but I don't hear it. Edit to include link of conversation mentioned above: https://www.massdrop.com/buy/68454/talk/1924791
Do the Elex sound like the Clears in any way or pretty similar? I'm on the fence of buying the clear so wanted to know before purchasing.
Hamsandwich
I would get the Clears if I had the money, especially at the $1,100 price that many authorized dealers offer at this moment. The Elex will always be a step down, but a great deal for those of us with a tight budget.
Hamsandwich
If the measurements on Head-fi are anything to go by, most of the difference between the Elear and the Clear is actually due to the pads, so you'll likely get 90% of the same sound, with the only differences coming from the new voice coil
My biggest concern with these headphones is the comparison to the 6xx. If the sound is equivalent or slightly higher than a 6xx, then why would I buy these? Am I missing something? I decided to pass on the clear because I have the 800s and most of what I have seen on it compares it to the 800s sound which I already have. Unfortunately I have not put these or any other Focal on my ears so I don't have an opinion on the sound just a concern that I may be paying 3 times the price I would pay for a comparable pair of headphones. If anyone has any more information on these I would truly appreciate the input as I would like to make a semi educated decision before I make my final decision. Thank you in advance for your help
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Don’t buy elex if you got hd800s and a closed-back. Maybe look into planars?
gabrielb
Thanks Bagrielb I appreciate the input, the reason why I was looking at these was because they were dynamics. My headphone collection in 2/3 planar, most of which don't get used because I have been doing 90% of my listening from my tube amp. But thank you for taking the time to offer some advice.
Think you can swing a partnership with Focal again to get a Massdrop Drop of New Closed back Elegia? (sp)
I love how the compare themselves to headphones that are half the price. It's hilarious.
Never posted before but not new to Massdrop and have need to get some data points from others in the community. While I missed on the initial run of the Elex, I got in with the immediate ship that opened recently. I have now just received my second Elex after RMA'ing the first one because of a low, but clearly audible hum that doesn't scale with the headphone amp volume. That second Elex has the exact same problem. I am pairing it with the Eddie Current x Massdrop ZDT Jr. and no other headphone I've tried expose the issue (Hifiman H4xx and AKG 7xx also x Massdrop... yes, discovering Massdrop kicked my quest for audio bliss). Am I the only one? Could it be the ZDT Jr. with a background noise instead that the Elex is sensitive enough to pick up? I haven't had a chance to try with another headphone amp yet, but now that two Elex have exposed the same issue I clearly have to look in that direction. Thoughts anyone?
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Great photo !!
f_ab
Higher impedance headphones will get rid of affixed hum from components assuming it’s not scaling with the amplifier, but if the hum is a constant tone and you have gotten it from two of the same pair of headphones but not the ones your used to, compare impedance first. If the impedance is higher with the headphones you’re comparing to and that’s the only difference (presumably) that tells you that it’s the amplification section that’s causing that issue. Otherwise I couldn’t advise on it being anything else without more information.
How come there is no UK or Europe???
Hi there I see the current drop is going to finish soon - I’m just wondering about parts, especially earpads. I see there are other pad models but I’m more curious about standard replacements. I’m accustomed to HD25s for walk around so I’m also accustomed to servicing my headphones. Obviously do not intend to walk around in open backs - but they also look more fragile than most of my monitoring/home headphones, and I really don‘t want an expiry date on a decently expensive model of cans.
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Brewbs
Built like a brick shithouse... Sing like a $20 whore... https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=FBXXtvyZaVY

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=37v-6Zs5T10


Brewbs
They don’t look cheap to me. First impressions are usually more reliably based on experience. I thought the same of my Sennheiser HD600’s when I first got them, no doubt I currently need pad replacements after undoubtedly well over 1,000 hours of use, but the frame, moveables and especially drivers hold up well, and just looking at these focal elex’s guessing by the look of the way they are structured and the reputation of the company in question, it’s safe to presume that they will be comparable in durability to what at least I am used to. Strong but light plastics and well mounted but also light drivers with good housings will not only last surprisingly long, but the impact of a fall is less disturbing to the drivers than a pair that’s twice the weight but made of aluminum, and surface damage is much less aesthetically displeasing with plastic, so I would say you shouldn’t worry about that too much.
Are these brighter than the HD 650's? If so, how much brighter?
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What is your overall impression of the Utopia’s? All I’ve heard so far were good things but not sure about the sources. Be honest
jelly-bowl
I think it would appeal to the detail junkie, coupled with a revealing source, nothing beats it on detail retrieval. When personal preferences come into play, it's not everyone's cup of tea. I'm after the ultimate "zen" sensation - when I'm listening to the Utopia, I am analyzing everything I hear, but I'm never in the mood to tap my foot.
Is it pronounced FO-CAAL or FO-CUHL?
AudioFaze
According to my French audiophille friend, it's pronounced FO-CAAL.
Jackula
Cousin is an optometrist. Will pronounce everything focal as FO-CAAL to annoy him haha.
This is the dynamic headphones to own. I have tried bose, monster, sony, sennheiser, fostex, akg and none of them blew me away compared to the wider cleaner smoother sound stage of planars from hifiman. I was literally close to giving up my interests in any dynamic headphones. Focal elex has different dynamic sound signature compared to other dynamics on the market. The elex has excellent imaging and airy sound with quick fast highs, mids, lows. I was close on going planar only route but focal changed my mind about dynamic headphones. I'm literally hooked on their focal sound signature, these are probably my end game dynamics headphones I'll keep for a long time.
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Sorry if it’s a dead discussion, but Focal does make some awesome speakers as well, they have a line-up that I would compare price wise with Paradigm’s (made in Canada). For a speaker until you get into the $6000+ range Paradigm is still my go-to, but I have a lot of respect for focal as a company.
jelly-bowl
Oh I'm aware. I am an outspoken Focal fan round these parts. I'm fortunate to have a showroom that gets all of their latest gear so I have the pleasure of listening to pretty much their entire speaker and headphone lineup (as well as owning a few bits myself). Still, as much as I love Focal, and as good as they did sound, there is no sane part of me that would spend that sort of money on speakers, let alone cables and amps. The only Focal I haven't spent a lot of time with is the Utopia as my dealer is still working on their setup. I have finally been able to own all the Focal stuff at the same time otherwise and ended up keeping the Elegia and Elex. The Elear, while good, is my least favorite Focal. And the Clear's while technically more proficient than the Elex, are just overpriced for what I felt was a very small tonal upgrade over the Elex.