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Focal Clear vs Sennheiser HD800S Studio Headphones
Old 9th June 2018
  #1
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Focal Clear vs Sennheiser HD800S

Anybody tried comparing these headphones? I'm in between these 2 for mixing.
Old 25th July 2018
  #2
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bump same here
Old 25th July 2018
  #3
Haven't had my ears on the HD800's but the Clear Pro are absolutely stunning. Its almost like "wearing" some SM-9's!
Old 1 week ago
  #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doc Mixwell View Post
Haven't had my ears on the HD800's but the Clear Pro are absolutely stunning. Its almost like "wearing" some SM-9's!
Noice !
Old 1 week ago
  #5
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Marando's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doc Mixwell View Post
Haven't had my ears on the HD800's but the Clear Pro are absolutely stunning. Its almost like "wearing" some SM-9's!
I disagree, because the three times I auditioned the SM9’s I disliked them gigantically. The one time I auditioned the Clear Pro I was impressed a lot! I prefer them over the original HD800, I have no experience with the 800S though, sorry.
Old 1 week ago
  #6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marando View Post
I disagree, because the three times I auditioned the SM9’s I disliked them gigantically. The one time I auditioned the Clear Pro I was impressed a lot! I prefer them over the original HD800, I have no experience with the 800S though, sorry.
Welp. Ok

But,
In our demo room
The SM-9 sounded magical

Would say though, I haven’t loved them in other rooms,

So I’m not sure what we’re even saying anymore....

I think they’re similar...you may disagree with my subjective experience
Old 1 week ago
  #7
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Is the Focal Clear quite different from the Spirit Pro?
Old 1 week ago
  #8
Quote:
Originally Posted by john caldwell View Post
Is the Focal Clear quite different from the Spirit Pro?
Completely in a different world. The Clear Pro offers insane holographic sound with amazing low-end hugeness. Plus, the Spirits are closed back, the Clear Pro are open back.
Old 1 week ago
  #9
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Keep this seduction up I’m going to have to spend some money ..

Well , save first .......

currently I’ve had the HD600s for over 4 years now , they serve me well

I’m a big stereo image placement fan when it comes to mixing and listening , so the larger the sonic depth each cans offer over the next , the better !

(Befor anyone burns me , Yeh no hype on the image itself , I’m interested in new ways of creating contrasting depth , and decent hi end head cans should forfil this vision )

Still torn between these comparisons ...

As you were
Old 1 week ago
  #10
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I did compare the HD800S with the Focal Clear last week. I like the Focal more, beacause they have less highs. The resolution of the HD800s is stunning. You can see the frequency responses and download the measurements of both headphones (and also HD600, Stax Sr009, HE1, LCD2,..) on my blog
Reference Headphones – a journey – menschen und methoden
Old 1 week ago
  #11
adl
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Anybody compared the Focal Clears to the Beyerdynamic 1990 Pro?
Sorry for hijacking your thread, but been sneaking around the Focals for quiet some time and they surely are a big step up in the price range, so i´d expect a big step up in sound as well. Not sure if the Focals really deliver that.
Old 1 week ago
  #12
I have the HD800...I wouldnt use them without Sonarworks - really harsh high mids...but with Sonarworks custom calibration the detail is fantastic...Maybe the Clear Pro are better stock but with either Id use Sonarworks anyway...(and Waves NX if you are mixing)
Old 1 week ago
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adl View Post
Anybody compared the Focal Clears to the Beyerdynamic 1990 Pro?
Own the 1990 for some month now. With some EQ they are really good. (For my taste too much around 7 and 10kHz). If you have the money, you should listen to the Focal Clear ( or the Audeze LCD2 ).
Old 1 week ago
  #14
Quote:
Originally Posted by SWAN808 View Post
I have the HD800...I wouldnt use them without Sonarworks - really harsh high mids...but with Sonarworks custom calibration the detail is fantastic...Maybe the Clear Pro are better stock but with either Id use Sonarworks anyway...(and Waves NX if you are mixing)
I know it has been said in forums...but I cant confirm the "harshness" of the HD800 from my experience.
I used to work with AKG K702 and K712Pro before I came to the HD800

In comparison the HD800 sounds much smoother, with more bass extention and overall more balanced.

I added a lil EQ setting on my RME Total Mix.
-2dB at 6kHz Q4.2
-2dB shelving at 11,2kHz Q1.4
but thats it for and Im really happy with the HD800.
Old 1 week ago
  #15
adl
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IngoBingo View Post
Own the 1990 for some month now. With some EQ they are really good. (For my taste too much around 7 and 10kHz). If you have the money, you should listen to the Focal Clear ( or the Audeze LCD2 ).
Yeah, the DT 1990Pro with their Beyerpeak.
But Sonarworks takes all that away and leaves the DT1990 Pro as a really great magnifying glass to look at your mix.
Old 1 week ago
  #16
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I listened to the HD-800s and the Clear Professional yesterday, different shops though, so I couldn't compare them side by side. Both sounded really good to me, I felt the 800s where maybe slightly bright, but not in a harsh way like most cheaper cans (ATH-50X, 7506, ect). I've had HD650s for a long time now. My main issue with them, is I find them to be too rolled off in the top and too low mid forward for my taste. So I'm looking for something that is more open, with out being overly hyped. I also have the usual closed tracking cans, M50x, M40x, HD280, ect. My favorite of those is the AT-M40x, I find them to be less hyped and fatiguing than the 50's, but they are super uncomfortable for any extended use and they are still more hyped than I would like.

I was trying to find some HD-600 to compare and also the Shure 1840. No one had any HD600's, so I haven't been able to hear those, several people have told me they prefer them over the 650s for the same reasons I'm looking for. I did hear the 1840's, and they have the top I'm looking for, but the bottom was really weak even compared to the 650s, so those are out. The 1840s were very comfortable though. I still want to try the 600s, and I think I'm just going to order a pair. I also want to try the ATH-r
70x.

Now to the Clears, Vintage King had a set laying there, so I thought I'll give these a listen, even though I'm not a fan of the Spirit line of headphones, and don't love the 6be/twin line of monitors either. Honestly, on first listen, I was blown away. I pulled up some of my mix's as well as other reference material, and my first thought is that they are the best headphones I've ever put on my head. For reference, I owned a pair of Audeze LCD-X for about 2 years, and found for my taste, that outside of the good lowend, they are too boxy in the lower mids, and totally weird sounding in the upper mids and top. They sounded great with Sonorworks at about 65-75%, but for me, I was not a fan at all without SW in the picture. VK had the MX4's and LCD-X's which I compared to the Clears, and immediately I remembered what I did not like about my LCD-X's. The MX4's sounded better, but not at all worth the money IMO. On top of that, the Audeze are just too heavy for extended use. To be fair, the Clears are on the heavier side as well, but still noticeable lighter than the Audeze and super comfortable for the time I had them on. To me, it's the closest I've ever felt to being in front of monitors with headphone. They may be a little too bass heavy, but it still felt defined. I would be curious to try them with Sonarworks, and I may just bring my MBP to VK one day and try them on my portable rig with my Grace m900, as that's how I would mostly use them.

After the Audeze's, I'm honestly not that in to the idea of $1,500 headphones, but the Clears are making me think twice for sure. I'm also not real confident in Focals build quality/track record with headphones. Especially a pair that coast that much, although they did feel well made. I guess time will tell how they hold up. I still think I'll try some 600's first. One thing I realized trying all these cans, is the 650's hold up pretty well to everything I tried, even with my few grips with them.
Old 1 week ago
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dankin View Post
I listened to the HD-800s and the Clear Professional yesterday, different shops though, so I couldn't compare them side by side. Both sounded really good to me, I felt the 800s where maybe slightly bright, but not in a harsh way like most cheaper cans (ATH-50X, 7506, ect). I've had HD650s for a long time now. My main issue with them, is I find them to be too rolled off in the top and too low mid forward for my taste. So I'm looking for something that is more open, with out being overly hyped. I also have the usual closed tracking cans, M50x, M40x, HD280, ect. My favorite of those is the AT-M40x, I find them to be less hyped and fatiguing than the 50's, but they are super uncomfortable for any extended use and they are still more hyped than I would like.

I was trying to find some HD-600 to compare and also the Shure 1840. No one had any HD600's, so I haven't been able to hear those, several people have told me they prefer them over the 650s for the same reasons I'm looking for. I did hear the 1840's, and they have the top I'm looking for, but the bottom was really weak even compared to the 650s, so those are out. The 1840s were very comfortable though. I still want to try the 600s, and I think I'm just going to order a pair. I also want to try the ATH-r
70x.

Now to the Clears, Vintage King had a set laying there, so I thought I'll give these a listen, even though I'm not a fan of the Spirit line of headphones, and don't love the 6be/twin line of monitors either. Honestly, on first listen, I was blown away. I pulled up some of my mix's as well as other reference material, and my first thought is that they are the best headphones I've ever put on my head. For reference, I owned a pair of Audeze LCD-X for about 2 years, and found for my taste, that outside of the good lowend, they are too boxy in the lower mids, and totally weird sounding in the upper mids and top. They sounded great with Sonorworks at about 65-75%, but for me, I was not a fan at all without SW in the picture. VK had the MX4's and LCD-X's which I compared to the Clears, and immediately I remembered what I did not like about my LCD-X's. The MX4's sounded better, but not at all worth the money IMO. On top of that, the Audeze are just too heavy for extended use. To be fair, the Clears are on the heavier side as well, but still noticeable lighter than the Audeze and super comfortable for the time I had them on. To me, it's the closest I've ever felt to being in front of monitors with headphone. They may be a little too bass heavy, but it still felt defined. I would be curious to try them with Sonarworks, and I may just bring my MBP to VK one day and try them on my portable rig with my Grace m900, as that's how I would mostly use them.

After the Audeze's, I'm honestly not that in to the idea of $1,500 headphones, but the Clears are making me think twice for sure. I'm also not real confident in Focals build quality/track record with headphones. Especially a pair that coast that much, although they did feel well made. I guess time will tell how they hold up. I still think I'll try some 600's first. One thing I realized trying all these cans, is the 650's hold up pretty well to everything I tried, even with my few grips with them.
The big difference between the 600 and the 650 is this:

the 650 has lower distortion. also the plastic parts and foam is a bit better/more durable. the head foam is more comfortable. My foam lasted for 10 years of about 6-8h a day use.

the 600 is made to be linear. I know of a certain national scientific (they measure stuff) audiophile society deeming these the most neutral headphones made. they usually only employ double blind tests and some of the members actually manufacture some of the best speakers on the planet.
thats good enough for me. if they say its the most uncolored headphone then it is imo. I think they did back to back tests with a totally linear speaker set. Not commercial grade.

the 650 has "more bass" but its just a tiny bit bloated imo. maybe the range from 150-0hz should be lowered like 3db or so for these to sound neutral.

the 650 sounds rolled off in the top end. but not really by much imo. sure the 600 is more realistic but the 650 is very very close.

basically the 600 is the reference phone and the 650 is consumer high grade.
I had my 650ies for about 15 years now. And i have no complaints really. I have even dj:ed with them. not really optimal for this though

the 600eds may be the very best phone for studios ever made. I'm actually quite sure it is. but the 650 is the best for both home and pro use. since it sounds more "consumer friendly". aka "more bass" and less "harsh".

My 650ies sounded exactly as my custom built speakers with alu domes (now retired), and those had a rise in the upper spectrum (from like 15k or so, a few db). like all alu domes do. its a very good nice sound.

personally I think the 600 is the best choice for mixing/mastering and maybe the 650 for electronic stuff that tends to be bass heavy no matter what (so you turn it down a bit).

yeah thats just my findings.

also on a sidenote the 650 sound so realistic I have on several occasions thought that someone was breaking into my apartment or some other major thing happening in or just outside my apartment. like slamming doors and people walking around and stuff.

thats the best rating a phone can get imo. it actually fools you stuff is real.
Old 1 week ago
  #18
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Nicely put , all that , unlike how I’m about to put all of this since my gramma has gone to complete sh*t over the past few years , so much so , even the spell checker at sky net has given up on me , anyhow !

I’ve owned h650s in the past to , so i gather you not try the 800s yet ? Stores near you etc ?

I just wish the 600s were not open ended phones , they are loud without them on , I owned the 650s back in 2008 I think it was and I don’t remember them being as loud open ended ...that point in time I had to get rid of some gear , so I was quite gutted having to sell them , my memory isn’t the best either ..
——-
Granted I mention ‘loud’ open ended phones , well as most of you know , it’s at times best to mix check at low volumes too , granted.,, , if it’s mixed to satisfaction then it should sound fat clean etc at low volumes ,so as a time and a place to raise and lower when required without exposing too much of the ears to either levels for long periods .... but you get the drift ... I’m a paranoid person , and sometimes think my nabours can hear my Wacky experiments , and we are talking about headphones here !
They can get loud for Immersion sake to say the least and I wana feel relaxed in that immersion not anxious, I probably just need to lay off the weed ..

Saying all of that for general listening , listening to tunes purposes , referencing tunes , or on the Xbox , you don’t need these things up loud anyways becuase the response and clarity is there at either volume ..... but when it comes to kick and bass mixing or stereo image manipulation frenzies , synthesis, you get the picture , volume raises to begin with until satisfied , and it can sometimes take me a hour or so until I am and you know how tedious, obsessive it can get , good job I live alone ,because I’m always in these phones .... every evening
Which brings me to a question of , just how loud are the H800s in the outside world
—————-
Old 1 week ago
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silly Cybin View Post
Nicely put , all that , unlike how I’m about to put all of this since my gramma has gone to complete sh*t over the past few years , so much so , even the spell checker at sky net has given up on me , anyhow !

I’ve owned h650s in the past to , so i gather you not try the 800s yet ? Stores near you etc ?

I just wish the 600s were not open ended phones , they are loud without them on , I owned the 650s back in 2008 I think it was and I don’t remember them being as loud open ended ...that point in time I had to get rid of some gear , so I was quite gutted having to sell them , my memory isn’t the best either ..
——-
Granted I mention ‘loud’ open ended phones , well as most of you know , it’s sometime best to mix at low volumes too , granted.,, , if it’s mixed to satisfaction then it should sound fat clean etc at low volumes ,so as a time and a place to raise and lower when required ... but you get the drift ... I’m a paranoid person , and sometimes think my nabours can hear my Wacky experiments , and we are talking about headphones here !
They can get loud for Immersion sake to say the least and I wana feel relaxed in that immersion not anxious, I probably just need to lay off the weed ..

Saying all of that for general listening , listening to tunes purposes , referencing tunes , or on the Xbox , you don’t need these things up loud anyways becuase the response and clarity is there at either volume ..... but when it comes to kick and bass mixing or stereo image manipulation frenzies , synthesis, you get the picture , volume raises to begin with until satisfied , and it can sometimes take me a hour or so until I am and you know how tedious, obsessive it can get , good job I live alone ,because I’m always in these phones .... every evening
Which brings me to a question of , just how loud are the H800s in the outside world
—————-

i can tell you than all "open" phones sound ultra loud for the user. so loud you neighbours can hear it. you think at least.

if you are smoking weed at least. if you drink beer then no, they cant hear it.
but then the music is not as good. so its your paranoia vs beer basically i guess.

but in reality they can't hear jack ****. they can only hear bass from a sub or competent mains.

********************

anyway i think the 650 is the best phone sennheiser has produces since its so all round, but for 100% critical use the 600 is better. but the 650 is better for general listening since its more "rounder" with its slight bass boost and treble lowering. I have a feeling this is very esily fixed though with like putting the bass knob to -2 and the the hi/treble to +2. I think it was made for you to be able to do just this. so it would work on any mixer to make them as the 600. but still have better signal/noise ratio/lower dist. yet appeal to the home user.

this is the best home user phone ever made imo. and with very simple means it gets almost as good as the 600, very very close. (you dont need to eq the 600 to get completely neutral, and all eq cirquits are distorting more or less), thats the difference imo.

i think the 650 is better. since if you start boosting the 600 in the bass then you get distortion, just like you get will boosting bass in all speaker systems and phones. well you cant hear it up to a point. so it might not be a problem at all.
but all "systems" works like this. none of them likes you to add bass. unless you have a ****load of over-capacity (like i do).

YOU SHOULD NEVER ADD, JUST REMOVE! then it sounds good.

yeAH i'm ****ing drink and should stop rambling but both the 650 and 600 is good. the 600 is better for pro use and the the 650 for mixed use pro/home.
Old 1 week ago
  #20
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Yeh Yournnotntalking to a total noob , just an idiot :-) ... can’t say I been boosting lo end in these cans much , only if it’s needed , weak kick sample for example , if I can’t be assed to make one one on bazzism , which I can always be assed to make em on bazzism Other than that , aside from your hipassing and Lp , maybe some shelves , with some usual dip between 250-600 in order to have the lows be revealed , exposed and defined , then there is no need to boost .....however , A10 , fultec on kicks , I can boost and take away with confidence , still love URS to this day , complimented this with colourtone , ....what’s happened to tritone?

I just generally meant raising the volume of the interface while monitoring

Say about “boost” tho , little trick of the day with kick drums although nothing new but harldy spoke of , is to use a phaser on it , 100% wet with no modulation , with feedback either right back or subtly... Sounds fantastic when you find the sweet spots and use any given amount of stages depending how thin or fat the source is .... but especially on single kick drums although you can apply to anything , even the master , but ive found it does gel the low end well ... you can get your sense of “boost” by adding stages and fine tuning the frequency of the phaser until you get your desired punchy sqeeelllllch ,

One in mind that I use for this is MPhaser (Melda) try it , sounds fantastic , give it some 8x oversampling for good measure use it’s onboard saturation and you’ve got yourself a nice kick ! . There is also phase mistress , she too is a juicy bitch on kick drums .... leave her untouched , but instead just knock down the mod , feedback ,make 100% wet and then set the frequency according to your ears - juice and your good to go .. phaser is basically an eq ain’t it not ... I mean one can be made with just automating eq bands with certain notches right ? Butninstead of going around the houses with that that , the phaser algorithm itself provides something very nice to the kick drum that I can say

I’m digressing off the point , becoming more about mixing than what with , I apologise , I’m the rambler I think , but all that above I mention is always done within the pleasure and comfortable somewhat confident confines of the HD600s ...

And so back to these cans , you not have anything to say about HD800s ? Wouldn’t you want to transcend time and space a little bit Further ? Like I say I’ve had the hd600s for a few years now , I know them well enough , we have had some good times and so now it’s time to act like a slut and opt in for a higher end pair by the end of the year preferably

Going back to your comparison of them both , I feel that there isnt that much of a difference between the two , minor differences , as I say memory fails the best part of the 650s befor had to sell some gear including those .,., but the 600s id got some years down the line , price wise at the time I couldn’t stretch for the extra £50. was the only reason I didn’t buy another pair of 650s , was too dam eager to get back into it to be worry about 5o qid short of a 50+ model

Thats a few 5os in one one paragraph , anyway

.
Old 1 week ago
  #21
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mekanik's Avatar
 

I dont understand jack shjit. but i still, like that you take your time to write this. I will have to read this again tomorrow to undestand it.
Old 6 days ago
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dankin View Post
I listened to the HD-800s and the Clear Professional yesterday, different shops though, so I couldn't compare them side by side. Both sounded really good to me, I felt the 800s where maybe slightly bright, but not in a harsh way like most cheaper cans (ATH-50X, 7506, ect). I've had HD650s for a long time now. My main issue with them, is I find them to be too rolled off in the top and too low mid forward for my taste. So I'm looking for something that is more open, with out being overly hyped. I also have the usual closed tracking cans, M50x, M40x, HD280, ect. My favorite of those is the AT-M40x, I find them to be less hyped and fatiguing than the 50's, but they are super uncomfortable for any extended use and they are still more hyped than I would like.

I was trying to find some HD-600 to compare and also the Shure 1840. No one had any HD600's, so I haven't been able to hear those, several people have told me they prefer them over the 650s for the same reasons I'm looking for. I did hear the 1840's, and they have the top I'm looking for, but the bottom was really weak even compared to the 650s, so those are out. The 1840s were very comfortable though. I still want to try the 600s, and I think I'm just going to order a pair. I also want to try the ATH-r
70x.

Now to the Clears, Vintage King had a set laying there, so I thought I'll give these a listen, even though I'm not a fan of the Spirit line of headphones, and don't love the 6be/twin line of monitors either. Honestly, on first listen, I was blown away. I pulled up some of my mix's as well as other reference material, and my first thought is that they are the best headphones I've ever put on my head. For reference, I owned a pair of Audeze LCD-X for about 2 years, and found for my taste, that outside of the good lowend, they are too boxy in the lower mids, and totally weird sounding in the upper mids and top. They sounded great with Sonorworks at about 65-75%, but for me, I was not a fan at all without SW in the picture. VK had the MX4's and LCD-X's which I compared to the Clears, and immediately I remembered what I did not like about my LCD-X's. The MX4's sounded better, but not at all worth the money IMO. On top of that, the Audeze are just too heavy for extended use. To be fair, the Clears are on the heavier side as well, but still noticeable lighter than the Audeze and super comfortable for the time I had them on. To me, it's the closest I've ever felt to being in front of monitors with headphone. They may be a little too bass heavy, but it still felt defined. I would be curious to try them with Sonarworks, and I may just bring my MBP to VK one day and try them on my portable rig with my Grace m900, as that's how I would mostly use them.

After the Audeze's, I'm honestly not that in to the idea of $1,500 headphones, but the Clears are making me think twice for sure. I'm also not real confident in Focals build quality/track record with headphones. Especially a pair that coast that much, although they did feel well made. I guess time will tell how they hold up. I still think I'll try some 600's first. One thing I realized trying all these cans, is the 650's hold up pretty well to everything I tried, even with my few grips with them.
I had this same experience also. I listened to the clears, lcd-x and 800s. The 800s were too bright in comparison to the clears. The lcd-x sounded strange in the high mids / highs in comparison to the clears. All of them are fantastic headphones and it will be a case of getting used to them but the clears felt the most natural of them all, so I bought them.
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