Two popular headphone manufacturers in the market are the Sennheiser and Focal. They have been in this industry for quite a while and producing outstanding devices. Focal is a company based in France that have been producing headphones since 1979.
They have made high fidelity headphones, loudspeakers, professional monitor loudspeakers, and speaker drivers. Most users have complained that the models are quite expensive. Yes, they are costly, but that is because of the premium materials used to produce them.
Most of the headphones are produced from lambskin leather, beryllium drivers, carbon fiber, and shielded lemo connectors. The moment you hold them in your hands, you certainly feel as if you are having something precious.
Today, we have decided to have a comparison review between two models from the manufacturers. This would help us understand whether they are worthy of the competition or not.
We are going to read between the Sennheiser HD 800S Reference Headphone System vs Focal Clear Open Circumaural High-Fidelity Headphones. The Sennheiser HD 800S headphones come with an open-back design that provides you with opulent comfort.
The listening experience is also immersive. You can note that the transducers of the 56mm in it are among the largest drivers in the market. That means more noise isolation. The model operates with the absorber technology, decreasing the unnecessary frequency response found.
The earcups are elegantly designed, and the sound is nicely directed into your ears. This aspect gives a natural listening experience. The maker has provided you with two cables for ample connectivity.
You will notice that the audio is quite pristine and has outstanding bass. We noticed that the headband of the unit is designed using metal and plastic. These earpads have microfiber that offers you with adequate comfort during your music sessions for a prolonged period of time.
The Focal Clear headphone has top-notch durability and is produced in France. As you might know, the French are particular about their products. The make and design of the product is very artistic and is made from premium materials.
This feature of it instantly catches your eye. Unfortunately, it is an open-back designed model. You can easily hear what is happening on the outside, which can be a distraction. Well, it is typical of open-back models.
There is a speaker driver that is found in the headphone having an M shape in it. The model comes with an aluminium dome, and when connected with a stereo, eloquent music is heard. You can find various cables for several types of equipment.
Users can also see that the earpads are micro-perforated. The shape of the headband is done likewise for enabling you to wear them for lengthy periods of time. The durability and the comfort of the headphone are second to none.
They can provide you with sound in detail. It is due to a copper high unsupported coil attaining immense magnetic field features. Without wasting any of our moments, let us now read the review and find out who the winner is that we have given at the end.
|Sennheiser HD 800S||Focal Clear|
|The model is quite lightweight.|
The headphone comes produced from premium materials making it durable.
The unit has sufficient padding offered on the earpads.
Its bass is stupendous, providing you with amazing sound clarity.
It has an open-back design that does not block the voice coming from the surroundings.
|The model is quite comfortable and nicely well-built.|
The unit is quick and detailed, having superb audio quality.
The sound performance is beautifully balanced.
It has an impedance of focal is 55Ohms.
It offers a circum-aural open-backed feature.
|The padding could have been thicker.||The headphone was a little bit expensive.|
Sennheiser HD 800S vs Focal Clear: Design & Comfort
The Sennheiser HD 800S Reference Headphone System is ideal for critical listeners, and it is quite obvious in design & comfort. Its earcups are quite large and comfortable to feel on the ears. They are produced from metal and top-end plastic.
You can notice that the earpads are filled with suede-like material on them. It makes them look as if they are elegant models, which they are. We compare them to the HD 700 and the Hifiman Sundara models.
It weighs around 0.8 pounds, and the clamping force is 0.7 pounds. The listening experience of the headphones is extremely good. Their earcups are not very tight on the ears and provide ample padding on them.
They can be heavy, and when you wear them for quite some time, then you may feel uncomfortable. This is for those of you with small heads. If you are keen on using a very comfortable open-back design, please consider the Philips SHP9600.
The ventilation on the headphones is good, enabling you to wear them for a prolonged time. We did not consider them to be ideal for transportation. Yes, the model comes with a box. However, you could make use of the box for other purposes.
If you are particular about using a headphone that comes avialable with a case, you may want to use the Focal Clear Mg or the semi-open Beyerdynamic T1 2nd Generation. The Focal Clear Open Circumaural High-Fidelity Headphones comes with a nice design.
As we said in the previous segment, the French do know how to design their products. If you look at their previous models, the Focal Clear or the Focal Stellia, you can notice that aspect. You can find the logo on the earcups on both sides of them.
The design is top-notch because of the metal mixed with the honeycomb grilles found. They give an elegant appearance on the earcups coming with the chestnut trim. Our tester thought that they appeared compact and elegant from all sides of it.
The headphone weighs around 1 pound, and the clamping force is close to 1 pound. They are most comfortable, and the fit is the same as the Focal Stellia. However, they come with microfiber earpads than leather material.
We felt that this feature makes them feel nice and comfortable on your skin. Its headband is quite padded, and the earcups are very deep inside. That is a good thing because you can wear the unit for hours.
It offers you with decent ventilation. We do not see you getting sweaty and uncomfortable at any moment. They are not portable, just like most open-back models. You can’t fold them comfortably.
Sennheiser HD 800S vs Focal Clear: Build Quality
The Sennheiser HD 800S Reference Headphone System comes with the robust build quality. This is something that is quite obvious, keeping in mind it is a Sennheiser model. Our tester felt the unit was top-notch than the HiFiMan Arya.
The body’s metal frame and the plastic give it a sturdy look. The headband is also breathtaking and comes with a powerful appearance. Its earcups are quite large and dense, ensuring that the padding is fine.
We felt that the hinges were not durable. If you note, the pin found in the joints come loose. Overall, they are made from plastic. The earcups are pretty large and can fall off when you want to run with them.
The Focal Clear Open Circumaural High-Fidelity Headphones has an outstanding build quality. They are on par with the Focal Stellia as it comes with metal. The padding also found in them are fantastic.
The padding is good, and the microfiber found underneath provide adequate comfort on it. These audio cables can be detached and come with a robust design. As they are open-back headphones, they have no IP ratings and are resistant to sweat.
The stability is good, and they may not be helpful for sports activities. Like the Focal Celestee, the headphone can come off your head with fewer movements. The Sennheiser model is quite lightweight and comfortable to wear for prolonged hours without a problem.
Our tester felt that it was ideal for neutral audio. The counterpart is produced using top-notch material in France and hence is more durable compared to the HD 800S. They come with cables that are quite detachable.
However, the sound performance of the Sennheiser model is much better than the Focal Clear. If you want a model that can take you the time, go for the Focal; otherwise, you must choose the Sennheiser.
Sennheiser HD 800S vs Focal Clear: Audio Performance
The Sennheiser HD 800S Reference Headphone System has a stunning audio performance. Their frequency response consistency is exceptional. The bass with the maximum amount of deviation is 3dB.
The bass delivery above 40Hz is nice. Our tester felt that mid-range was magnificent. The response in the range of the model is quite flat. Not to mention, the treble found also was amazing.
The soundstage was fantastic, and with the good PRTF response, the soundstage is spacious. Though not as excellent as a loudspeaker because of correlated crosstalk, but does well than most open-back models like the Philips Fidelio X3.
The Focal Clear Open Circumaural High-Fidelity Headphones helps you to listen to your songs as good as you want them without a barrier. You can pair the headphone with any device or adapter you want to listen to.
We used the iPhone 7, and the results were flawless. It offers you with amazing sound flow from the device. It is quite airy and has a beautiful midrange. Our tester thought that the unit had a dynamic presentation of most songs heard using it.
Most of the spatial features of the music can be heard quite loud. Though you have to shell out a lot of money for it, the cash is well spent. We can say that this model is second to none when it comes with top-notch music.
It ranks as one of the best we have reviewed. Normally, we do not say it. But the Sennheiser model is just slightly about this unit during the crucial moments.
Sennheiser HD 800S vs Focal Clear: Microphone Performance
The Sennheiser HD 800S Reference Headphone System does not have a microphone embedded in it. When you are in search of a wired headphone having a sublime in-line microphone, then use the Bose QuietComfort 25, the Apple EarPods, and the Bose SoundTrue Around-Ear II.
As they do not come with a mic, we could not test the recording quality and the noise handling features in them. However, the model does not come with active components using the battery. There is no need for software for the customization options.
The Focal Clear Open Circumaural High-Fidelity Headphones do not have an in-line microphone. Since the unit does not come with a microphone, the recording quality and the noise handling features could not be tested.
There is no Bluetooth present on it either. However, the low impedance comes in handy when you connect them using a wireless adapter, like the Astell & Kern AK XB10. Though the models do not have the microphone feature in them, they are fabulous to work.
Sennheiser HD 800S vs Focal Clear: Compatibility
The Sennheiser HD 800S Reference Headphone System are a wired unit. It does not come with a Bluetooth connection. When you require a fantastic wireless headphone, you might consider using the open-back HiFiMan ANANDA-BT wireless and Bose QuietComfort 35 II.
It comes with low latency that is ideal for home theatre and gaming use. The model comes infused with the 1/4’TRS audio cable and only works when connecting them to the console. They include the Xbox One, PC, PS4, and a lot of others.
Additionally, it has no dock. If you require a model with a dock for movies and gaming, consider the SteelSeries Arctis 7. The Focal Clear Open Circumaural High-Fidelity Headphones comes with magnificent impedance and sound best on a dedicated head amplifier.
The HD 800S headphone comes with an impedance of 300 ohms. Unfortunately, they may not play along with medium-priced devices. However, Focal’s Clear is not a top-end product of the maker and works well with most devices without any flaw.
The top-end model from Focal is the Utopia that comes for $4000. It has an impedance of 55 ohms and a sensitivity of 104dB. They work well with most DAPs. Our tester used them seamlessly with the Sony NWZ-A17, iPhone 7, and the AK70 from Astell & Kern.
Sennheiser HD 800S vs Focal Clear: Price
The Sennheiser HD 800 S Reference Headphone System is priced under $1400. The model comes with a unique earcup design. It helps in offering the sound waves at a good angle. This provides you with a spatial and natural listening experience.
You can also find 2 connecting cables that come with single-ended 1/4 inches and a balanced 4. 4 mm Pentacon cable. The connectivity is wired. The Focal Clear Open Circumaural High-Fidelity Headphones is priced under $1500.
It is an audiophile high-end circum-aural open-back model that is ideal for less noise. The product was made and produced in France, known for some of their opulently designed products.
This company has been around for more than 35 years, and you know that they offer sublime products. The design is very technophile and sophisticated due to the solid and durable build design that comes made from a leather headband and aluminum yoke handle.
Sennheiser HD 800S vs Focal Clear: Verdict
We have ended our comparison review on the Sennheiser HD 800S Reference Headphone System vs Focal Clear Open Circumaural High-Fidelity Headphones. The Sennheiser HD 800S Reference Headphone System is a splendid model for neutral listening.
It has a stunning sound reproduction that can be measured so far. The mid-range is nicely balanced and does not sound very forward. Using the vocals and instruments, you can get it. You can also notice that it comes with plenty of basses on the model.
Our tester found them lacking on the rumble and low-end thump to the Sundara and Hifiman Ananda. Sometimes, they can sound a little sharp. The stereo is quite accurate, and the reproduction makes them quite audacious for neutral listeners.
The Focal Clear Open Circumaural High-Fidelity Headphones offer you with a comfortable fit and warm sound quality. The low bass is lacking and quite underemphasized treble. It comes with a consistent bass delivery that also depends on the fit.
The soundstage does not sound as it should. You can see that the audio is not coming from the speakers at times. The Sennheiser HD 800S Reference Headphone System is the better model because it comes with 1 Hz lower low-frequency, 23000Hz higher high-frequency, and 16mm bigger driver unit.
There is also the fact that it weighs close to 120grams of light than its counterpart. The Focal Clear Open Circumaural High-Fidelity Headphones could be the better headphone here as it has 245 ohms lower impedance, comes with a 3.5mm male connector, and they provide you with a travel bag.
Our winner in this review between the Sennheiser HD 800S Reference Headphone System vs Focal Clear Open Circumaural High-Fidelity Headphones is the Focal unit. It comes with an exceptional fit and audio quality.
Besides, you can notice that the seal is good enough for opulent music. All the genres sound as they should and fine. The Focal model has its own good and bad. It is eloquently designed coming is exceptionally durable.
James Smith has always been intrigued by electronic products since his childhood. After his post graduation in electronics from a popular university, he decided to pursue a career in the electronics sector. But his calling for writing about these marvellous pieces of work got the better of him. That is how UBG was started. With a writing career spanning more than 12 years, James has worked on several hundred product reviews. During his free time, he like to spend time with his pet dog and relax in the swimming pool.