Think of AMP and DAC when you invest in a great headphone

I had recently invested in a set of Focal Utopia and was blown away by the transparency and dynamics of the music. This is the one headphone that I can pick out in a blind test between my other favorite headphones like the LCD4 and HE1000se. The dynamics or amplitude of the music notes are punctuated like no other with the Utopia which really brings out the energy and sheer enjoyment of music. However, the other headphone that had really impressed me is the Focal Clear which I had also picked up recently when it went on sale for $999. It was a steal I thought and totally did not regret. IMO it is a contender in the territory of flagship headphones. The dynamics tuning is so good that I love it but find it a tad fatiguing for long listening sessions. Playing the same tracks, comparing the Utopia and Clear, the Clear has more reverberation ever so slightly across the spectrum when you're listening for it, which is a characteristic of the dynamic drivers, albeit it is relatively fast one. Back to my point about the title, I tested the Utopia with the Mojo since I plan to travel with it; however, it was clear (no puns) that the Utopia's edge over the Clear is now less apparent because the Mojo simply can't compete with a proper desktop DAC/AMP combo that's tuned. At the end of the day, if you have trained your ears to appreciate great headphones, be prepared to also invest in great amps and DACs to make extract their potential.

Oct 13, 2019
Yes, if i learned one thing about audio its all about compatibility.
Oct 14, 2019
Yes indeed! Good way of framing it
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