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Having owned the Elear, Elex, & Clear all at the same time, I disagree with the notion that the Elex is identical to the Elear except for the earpads and cables. I've had someone (blind to me) swap the earpads between the Elex and Elear and I can still easily and correctly identify which of the headphones I'm listening to, blindly.
Certainly, there are sonic similarities between the Elex and Elear but the staging and treble distribution stand out as discernible elements between the two.
It's often a toss-up as to which I prefer over the other but I do prefer both of them over the Clear, and by far.
But, they are. Elex has the same voice coil and driver as the Elear. They have the same impedance and measure identically as well. This is well documented at this point as many great folks have taken the time to measure pad swaps amongst them.
It was mentioned per MD (prior to launch) that some potential extra damping was applied but not stated how, so I'd take that with a grain of salt. This could also have been achieved with the cable since the Elex has a different cable than the Elear.
Did you keep the cables consistent between testing out of curiosity? Otherwise, I don't think the result will be 1:1 since every factor wasn't matched besides the headphone.
Can't find the post at this time but I've seen measurements for an Elex with Elear pads/cables vs an Elear stock and an Elear with Elex pads/cables vs Elex stock. They measure within the error tolerance of the measuring rig as damn near twins with the same pads/cables. They are 99.5% the same from what I've seen. I have no interest in buying an Elear to try this for myself however.
... and my wallet agrees with my ears.
Given the handmade/assembled nature and the variation present in any line of drivers this particular grouping could sound quite different to one particular set of ears. The signal chain employed by @KC-130 should be fully capable of revealing minor variations. I'm not changing my stance on the Elex/Elear but an isolated case of significant variation is possible.
"a refinement of the Elear"
I do find this sleuthing interesting, they did make changes, in the guts, not just colors, cables and holes in microfiber stuff... sorry folks who want it to have have been just a simple cosmetic/pad/cable swap... they were after more...
From Will's post: "At this point, it should be pretty clear what I'm alluding to and a critical thinker might ask "If it's closer to the Clear than the Elear, why'd you describe it as a refinement of the Elear rather than a refinement of the Clear?" "
One thing they definitely employed from the Focal toolbox (they said they did btw), they re-tuned an Elear. Magnet/ coil,, could they have also tweaked? They had time... : https://www.focal.com/en/focal-teach/tmd-tuned-mass-damper
But it still also holds true:
"Let's examine the similarities and differences between the Elear and the Clear.
They use the same housing, they use the same driver diaphragm material (an aluminum/magnesium alloy), and the same driver architecture (put a clear driver next to an elear driver, there's no visible difference). "
"The Elex is an Elear with perforated earpads and headband, a much lighter 1/4" cable, an additional 4-pin XLR cable, and a blacked out colorway for $700 (vs Elear MSRP of $1000). "
It also begs the point there was no mention of the copper coil that is in the Clear but not the Elear/Elex.
It also talks about the difference in headband to the Clear which also plays a part in damping. same with the stock cable of the Elear compared to the cable of the Elex. Same with the Elex pads not being 1:1 to the Clear pads material.
The Elex still is pretty much the Elear with upgrades while getting the tuning close to the Clear via all the aforementioned methods as they have the same impedance and coil as well. Even looking at their THD and CSDs, we start to see more of the story about the behavior of the drivers we don't see from the FR charts.
The Elex is in red, Eclair is green.
It's past time for someone to cut theirs open... volunteers?
Have you seen impedance profile comparisons between the Focal cans? This would be cheaper... and very informative as to coil/magnet;)
Did you intend to put that in, funny, love eclairs, in all their forms... small changes... count...
If someone were to offer me an Arya as a replacement I would wholeheartedly cut mine open... given the price disparity I doubt I will get any takers.... :)
I'm in for an HD800s or maybe even an HD820...
Just might buy my own Arya shortly, bonus incentives just hit. Been debating the he6se vs Arya for a bit. Also on the table is a DAC upgrade with the PS Audio GC DAC, Mytek Brooklyn+ and the Benchmark DAC3 L in the running. Would also cut open my Elex for any those!
I've been using closed headphones (Sennheiser Momentum) for the past 5 years. Strongly considering the Elex as an upgrade. My regular listening is usually prog metal and hard rock, i.e. Dream Theater, Volbeat, King Diamond, etc. I've been using an older Fiio E17 Alpen DAC/amp with them. Would I be happy with the Elex and another setup DAC/amp (suggestions welcome)? Appreciate any thoughts..
what's the difference in sound between 1000 v2 vs Arya. If nothing I'm returning the HE 1000 v2 because looks don't matter.
Haven't compared them directly myself but the Arya is supposed to be 1000v2 drivers with magnet structure similar to the newer 'phones and a different housing/headband. Most of the comparisons I've seen are with the HE1000se so not really apples to apples. I'm more debating Arya vs. he6se for myself, HE1K is too rich for my blood.
I’m returning the HEkv2 and getting Arya. The he6 would require another amp to power it
I've got the Cayin iHA-6 and a few speaker amps to play with. No concerns on power needs but I have my reservations, were it cheaper NIB I would have already jumped on the HE6se
Magnificent setup. I am fully agree with your wallet ears:))
Good to hear. I just order a pair of Elear for less than $500. Can’t wait to sink my teeth into them.
Yeah, green and blue look damn near identical, even within a couple of dB or less at spots. It's the same as the graph I linked to above.
As stated, sans the different headband, cable, pad materials, and colorway, the Elex is the Elear. Despite what some with "golden ears" proclaims.
I have the Elex and Elear, and have used the Elex pads on them with the same cables out of the THX789, and they sound identical to each other.