Betty gave you $10 to spend on your first purchase on Drop! Sign Up to learn more.
Massdrop x Focal Elex Headphones

Massdrop x Focal Elex Headphones

bookmark_border
Where's the price?
To negotiate the best possible price for our customers, we agree to hide prices prior to logging in.
3.6k Sold
Product Description
Made with Focal’s brilliant engineering and extraordinary attention to detail, the Elex headphones take a fundamentally different approach to dynamic drivers—and deliver a better measured performance across the board than headphones several times their price. A refinement of the $1,000 Elear with elements of the $1,500 Clear, they boast several improvements to the sound, build, and aesthetic, too Read More
Here's what our community has to say
All of our reviews are from verified customers.
4.3
star_borderstar
star_borderstar
star_borderstar
star_borderstar
star_borderstar
409
check
76%
would recommend to a friend
search
close
Itr5778
2
Apr 14, 2021
star_borderstar
star_borderstar
star_borderstar
star_borderstar
star_borderstar
Great
I like this product. Previously I had owned a HD6XX and thought this was the reasonable upgrade to this headphone. I now understand "soundstage" a more and this is a great step up from what I had previously. The detail didn't strike me at first until I started to notice small things different than I remembered in the music I was used to. I haven't had an QC issues so all good news here. It would be tricky for me to reccommend this to a friend, as I have very little audio experience and could lead them astray. Thank you Drop, keep up the good work!
sandymc
10
Apr 13, 2021
star_borderstar
star_borderstar
star_borderstar
star_borderstar
star_borderstar
Great detail and resolution; build quality not so great
I'm comparing mostly to my Drop/Sennheiser HD6xx's and HE5xx's, but also to two studio monitor setups, one KRK V series, and the other Focal studio monitors. Sound: Very neutral in its presentation, but with good treble and reasonable bass. Very, very good detail retrieval and resolution. These easily blow away both the HD6XX and HE5XX and both my studio monitor setups for detail, to the point that when I listen to the other system I wonder why the sound is so fuzzy. You can hear imperfections in music, but not to the point that it's annoying for general listening. Soundstage isn't too great though - music is very "in your head". But, that's not bad for e.g., jazz vocals. I sort-of understand why people compare these a lot to the HD6XX. The midrange is similar, and both headphones are quite neutral. But to my ears, that is where the similarities end. The Elex has way, way more detail that the HD6xx, and better treble. Not really more treble in the sense of being louder, but the treble seems to to have more breadth and is better defined. My only niggle on the sound quality is that there seems to be a peak somewhere in the treble that can be a bit unpleasant. I've tried a few eq profiles off the web, but haven't (yet) found one that tames the problem. Design/Build: Not terrible, but not really $700 either.
  1. For the record, I've had no clicking/crackle from driver overload at any volume that I listen to.
  2. The cable seems to bother a lot of people, but I don't have any problem with it. Yes, it is a bit inflexible, but it's a good length, and doesn't get in my way when I'm at my desk.
  3. The only quality grumble I have is a mechanical creak on the right hand side, where the arm enters the band proper, e.g., if you move your head too fast. I wouldn't expect this at the price point. But it's not enough of an issue for me to want to return the Elex either.

Conclusion: My impressions so far is that the Elex is one of the best all-round headphones I've heard. There are others that do individual things better, e.g., the 800s for soundstage, etc. But this is a very well balanced headphone "do anything" headphone. You can listen to music all day if you want, but it also has the resolution to do mixing, etc. If I just wanted a headphone for mixing, then the HD6XX with it's "in your face" presentation of any imperfections would probably be just as well suited. If you are purely listening for pleasure, and like a wide soundstage, then the HE5XX might suit you as well as the Elex, for significantly less money.
check
Would recommend to a friend.
MadJimJaspers
1
Apr 10, 2021
star_borderstar
star_borderstar
star_borderstar
star_borderstar
star_borderstar
Sounds great, build quality is questionable.
I got my pair during black Friday 2020 and was blown away at how they sound. I couldn't decide between these and my T60rp. However after less than 100 hrs of standard use( a couple times a week, a couple hours at time, and never overdriven) the left driver in my unit stopped working for reasons unknown. But to my delight the Focal customer support has been fantastic so far and i eagerly await the return of my headphones. i wish this could have been a a 5 star reveiw but for a $700 pair of HP to have failed so early i am disappointed. To Focal's credit this could have simply been a manufacturing error with my particular unit. This is still a fantastic dynamic driver HP if you are looking to bridge the $500-$1000 price gap.
search

check
Would recommend to a friend.
Arjestin
304
Apr 8, 2021
star_borderstar
star_borderstar
star_borderstar
star_borderstar
star_borderstar
Works great until it doesn't
All the 5-star reviews you read are true. When Focal Elex works as intended, it is truly amazing. Its comfort is identical to the Focal Clear. And its sound is very similar, although a bit less neutral. So why do I give Focal Elex just 1 star? If it wasn't obvious by now, the Elex is plagued with QUALITY ISSUES! The 1st unit I got had a noticeable channel imbalance. The 2nd unit was great for a while*, until the voice coil in the left driver decided to die without a reason. * A while - period of time, determined by forces unknown. The voice coil could be DOE, die after a day, a month, a year... you get my point. I was naïve to think that my 2nd Focal Elex will not suffer the fate of so many others. You may have a perfectly good working headphone, and if so - please go ahead and enjoy it! I certainly did. Just don't get upset when it suddenly stops working, because chances are - it will, eventually. To end this review on a positive note, I will say that Drop customer service is amazing! I had a pleasure exchanging quick emails with a Drop representative, who offered to accept a return for a full refund.
close
Would not recommend to a friend.
jackbkmp
68
Apr 2, 2021
star_borderstar
star_borderstar
star_borderstar
star_borderstar
star_borderstar
Pretty damn good!
I got a defective pair initially and opted to get them replaced. Im glad I did, as this is my favorite "listening" headphone. I hope this pair will last the test of time.
check
Would recommend to a friend.
abid1340
8
Mar 28, 2021
star_borderstar
star_borderstar
star_borderstar
star_borderstar
star_borderstar
So far great
search
It was a B'day gift to my GF. Hope to be spared of the dreaded driver failure that people talk about. Happy with Drop folks in their responsiveness to my pre-purchase inquiries. Overall a good experience.
check
Would recommend to a friend.
FranciscoJav
35
Mar 26, 2021
star_borderstar
star_borderstar
star_borderstar
star_borderstar
star_borderstar
Excelent!
literally a luxury of headphones. You feel the tremendous quality in the audios, hands and eyes. Highly recommended
check
Would recommend to a friend.
luis.ryot22
36
Mar 24, 2021
star_borderstar
star_borderstar
star_borderstar
star_borderstar
star_borderstar
Love at first sight!
It is an exquisitely rich audio hearing aid. Its level of detail and musicality are very good for its value. It is easily twice as good as the HD6XX that I also have, with the difference that Focal Elex is much easier to adapt. Also emphasize its solid construction and good materials, which make it comfortable and rich in the head. East. Focal and my Audeze LCD-2 are my favorite headphones
check
Would recommend to a friend.
YoursTruely
0
Apr 7, 2021
My friend my friend my friend you are too true
Nadumi
6
Mar 24, 2021
star_borderstar
star_borderstar
star_borderstar
star_borderstar
star_borderstar
Buyers Beware - Quality assurance is nonexistent
I did a lot of homework before I grabbed a pair of the Focals on Black Friday for $550. I was aware of all the things that could go wrong and how the quality varies from one pair to another right out of the box. I was seriously hoping to get a decent pair, but oh boy was I disappointed. This is a $700 French-built pair of headphones that you'd think Focal has set the bar high for, but what I got was far from that. When I got my first pair, there was a channel imbalance - the left driver was louder than the right one, and it was more noticeable at lower decibels. I reached out to Drop's customer service and managed to exchange it for a second pair, testing out my luck again. Guess what? Right as I opened the brand new box and picked up the headphones, there was a loose screw in the left earcup. By loose, I mean it was literally in the earcup, bouncing all over the place inside it by the driver as you move the headphones a tiny bit. How did such a pair of headphones even pass QA? Is this what "Drop" quality is like, or have Focal's standards dropped beneath SkullCandy's? $700 for 2 pairs of garbage quality headphones. I ended up getting a refund and was looking to upgrade to a $800+ pair of headphones from Drop, but after my experience and my Drop rewards dropping from $30 to $6.75 after the refund, I decided to shop elsewhere. Please take a look at other headphones and avoid the Focals at all cost. Look up the YouTube reviews, there are folks who have had 3 pairs go bad on them in several years. If you are still looking to buy these headphones, then I guess nothing will stop you. Imo, the sound was okay, certainly not $700 worth or even $550. The bass is boosted and not flat. I had to check my iFi Black Label Dac/Amp multiple times to see if the XBass switch was on. Pads are great, replacement is pricey. Clamp is not strong enough. Headphones look great, but that is the last thing to worry about, especially since they're open back.
close
Would not recommend to a friend.
Will.E
22
Mar 23, 2021
star_borderstar
star_borderstar
star_borderstar
star_borderstar
star_borderstar
So far, so good!
I received my Elex Headphones about 10 days ago, and have been very pleasantly surprised. Other cans owned- this will be a long history for background- I've had nothing too high end, I'm a long time Senn HD 59X series owner- HD 595 from 2004, then HD 598SE a couple years ago, because that design just works. Over the years, I've tried IEM's, wireless headsets by Logitech, and always ended up back with the Senns for both music and gaming, which just keep working when everything else breaks and sound better than anything else I've tried. More recently, I've wanted a closed design option, but had a tough time- both the Beyer DT770 Pro 80 Ohm's and Steelseries Arctis Pro Wireless didn't make their auditions (the DT770's sounded V-shaped and flat to me), the Arctis Pro had finicky drivers and quite honestly, didn't sound nearly as good as folks talked them up to be. They are still Steelseries- no offense meant. So, up the price ladder we go for a good sound quality closed headphone, and enter the Focal Elegia (bought as B-stock/closeout for $300 off). They may need more break in, they're still a touch harsh, but holy smokes, the Elegia is just in a different class compared to what I'm used to. Unbelievable soundstage for a closed back, and they have such a well rounded, versatile sound that just works so well with so many types of music. Now i've gotten the bug- I'm getting into headphones a little more, I tried the well regarded Hifiman Sundara for a open back- very nice, and I did like the wider soundstage and fast Planar sound in general. However, not enough to keep them as an open back compliment to the Elegia. Keep in mind, I'm running everything off a Schiit Fulla 3 for the time being (Topping DX7 Pro on the way), which may have made a difference- the Focals are a more efficient headphone than the Sundara. I just prefer the Focal Sound Signature. Extremely versatile, resolving with still providing an enjoyable listen. An open-backed Focal has to sound even better, right? Yes. You better believe it! I recently saw Zeo's blustery review of the Elegia the other day (strange timing, the headphone has been discontinued), and he pronounced it the best Focal headphone yet. Erm...I definitely disagree. It's a great closed back, given. It just can't do what the open back Elex can do. The Elex is even more resolving than the Elegia, I can hear tiny details in music that I can't with other headphones I've had (which in fairness have all been much less expensive). The Elegia is a bit better in the bass department than the Elex, more punch and slam while remaining tight, but I think that's just a function of closed back vs open, and Elegia is a very good closed back design. But the Elex does literally everything else better, plenty of low end, more resolving, less harsh on the highs, wider, very natural soundstage. The best way I can put it- the Elex astonishes me, and no headphone has really done that since I first listened to my HD595's all those years ago. Don't get me wrong, I liked the Sundara, but after trying both, I don't honestly don't know why people compare the Sundara and Elex- they may be rated as some of the best headphones in their respective price ranges, but they are totally different. The Sundara have a noticeably wider soundstage and more instrument separation, and the Elex (and Elegia, for that matter) are more intimate, more natural sounding and enjoyable, while also being more resolving even given the more intimate soundstage. And I guess that's my whole review, summed up- the Elex is by far the most natural sounding headphone I've ever heard, just thoroughly enjoyable. I haven't heard anything else in this price range yet, but I have 0 regrets so far, even given the driver issues others have had. I just preordered the HD8XX, and I do have concerns that I'll like them anywhere as much as the Elex for the music I listen to, to be honest. Guess we'll find out...
check
Would recommend to a friend.
Yurio
34
Mar 24, 2021
Thank you, I'm glad I didn't spend my money that is so hard to earn.
Conroe
7
Apr 19, 2021
If you have the DX7 Pro like myself make sure you use the balanced cable for the Sundara. The extra power really makes a difference.
Showing 13 of 1009
keyboard_arrow_up
Newest
1,008 OF 1,009 POSTS
Apr 20, 2021
keyboard_arrow_down
Oldest