Focal’s Elegia headphones quietly make a loud impression

French audio brand Focal knows its way around headphones, producing everything from relatively affordable models like the Listen to pricier models like the stunning Utopia headphones. Until now, all of the company’s higher-end models used open-back designs, but that has changed as now the company is launching its first high-end closed-back headphones, dubbed the Elegia.

The Elegia headphones use a 40mm driver capable of reproducing frequencies from a subsonic 5 Hz to a nearly ultrasonic 23 kHz. Unlike some other higher-end headphones, the Elegia have a low impedance at 35 ohms, meaning you won’t have trouble driving them with a portable audio player. The headphones include a vent to manage the balance between bass and lower midrange frequencies to help keep everything sounding clear, no matter how much low end you’re pumping through them.

While audiophiles and music lovers in general often praise open-back headphones, they’re not without their drawbacks, with the main one being that anyone around you is going to hear what you’re listening to, and you’re going to hear them as well. The open-back design of the Elegia means that they don’t leak nearly as much sound to anyone nearby, and they also provide much better passive noise isolation, letting you focus on the music. This is helped even more by the plush memory foam ear pads, which help with isolation while making your listening experience a much more comfortable one.

The headphones bear a striking look, with a black and silver color scheme. Premium materials like leather, microfiber fabrics on the ear pads, and solid aluminum give the headphones both comfort and style. To help keep your headphones in good shape, Focal includes a thermoformed hardshell case to keep the Elegia safe from drops, spills, and anything else that life may throw at you. Like all Focal products, the Elegia designed and developed in France.

The Focal Elegia retail for $899 and will be available beginning this month. For more information, see the Focal website, and for an idea of what the competition is and what it has to offer, take a look at our list of the best headphones you can buy.

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