Reviews by Topic

Our analysis shows how reviewers feel about different topics. Please note these are not full reviews.

Price Point

Drop + HIFIMAN HE4XX

(1/1)

These headphones sound great and are very affordable, but just know what you are getting. If you're looking for some great sounding headphones to listen to around your house using a headphone amp, these would be a great buy. But if you're looking for something to take to the gym, or use at work you'll probably want to look elsewhere. Pros - Excellent sound quality

Positive
Kyuss75
3 years ago

Focal Utopia

(1/2)

That being said, I’m not pushing you into the snake-oil world of high-res audio and crazy formats: all of my listening and adoration of these headphones took place with 320kbps MP3s. I tried a few FLAC files, I even listened on a Pono Player and an Astell & Kern player, and whatever difference there might be, I didn’t notice it. The Utopia and Elear sound just as good with well-recorded compressed files as they do with the super-duper lossless varieties.

Neutral
Vlad Savov
2 months ago

Sound Quality

Drop + HIFIMAN HE4XX

(1/3)

My wife disagrees, but I think movies sound punchier and more intimate on grado cans. And they have the side benefit of letting two people listen to something and just talk like nothing since they leak like mad. But again, all round? These babies, hands down.

Positive
Colin M.
5 months ago

Focal Utopia

(1/5)

Also, I had no idea how prominent and persistent the tambourine was in the entire Relationship of Command album. The simplest way to define the Utopia difference is that every sound is given its own space and definition. It’s like there are a million little speaker drivers to account for all the various instruments in a composition so that you hear each and every one of them distinctly.

Positive
Vlad Savov
2 months ago

Comfort

Drop + HIFIMAN HE4XX

(1/2)

All-day comfortable with ease (they can get a tiny bit warm with the alcantara pads in a hot room, but not even close to unacceptable) and utterly zero squeaks or creaks (looking at you, Audio Technica AD700's) The one, ONLY gripe I have with them is the nice cable they have is too short for anything other than a desktop amp or device RIGHT in front of you. BUT, it's replaceable, and lots of companies make cables for them. Side benefit is you can get a balanced cable for them, and if you get a BTR5 as well, that amp has a balanced output option. So they can sound EVEN BETTER

Positive
Colin M.
5 months ago

Focal Utopia

(1/3)

That said, I intrinsically handle my Elex a lot more gingerly than the HD600. Weight wise, it's significantly heavier than my HD600. Yet despite my initial fears of it being too heavy for regular use, I found I could go a couple hours before needing to take the off and stretch a bit. Comfort was quite good

Positive
Fc-Construct
1 year ago

Fit

Drop + HIFIMAN HE4XX

(1/1)

It's not long enough for comfortable PC/ living room AV receiver use for me, so I ordered a replacement cable when I bought the headphone. The replacement cable is that red one that everybody else is buying. I clipped the "braided" part off, and now they're really cool looking red cables. They click really nicely into the headphones - better click than the stock cable

Positive
Samantha
1 year ago

Focal Utopia

(1/3)

If there’s anything negative to be said about the Utopia or Elear’s sound reproduction, it’s the classic problem of really good audio equipment exposing really bad recordings. You’ll quickly start to hate low-quality streaming services and look for something of higher fidelity. That being said, I’m not pushing you into the snake-oil world of high-res audio and crazy formats: all of my listening and adoration of these headphones took place with 320kbps MP3s. I tried a few FLAC files, I even listened on a Pono Player and an Astell & Kern player, and whatever difference there might be, I didn’t notice it

Negative
Vlad Savov
2 months ago

Durability

Focal Utopia

(1/1)

With the Utopias, I’ve never once been compelled to take them off my head because of listening fatigue. It’s about paying for the ability to “keep listening” — while you’re deeply immersed in an audio experience unlike any other. I use Focal Utopias on a Naim Unity Atom, Qobuz streaming at 24 bit, 88-192 kHz hi-res audio. I’ve A-B tested slowly over time to get to where I am now

Positive
Chris
6 months ago