Focal unveils Utopia
French company Focal just unveiled its newest line of premium headphones, including this high-class Utopia. Known for creating reference products such as the $220,000/pair Grand Utopia EM Reference Hi-Fi speakers, Focal spared no expense while developing the Utopia Reference headphones.
Concerning the drivers, Focal looked at many of their previous reference products that use Beryllium, which combines the ultimate rigidity to weight ratio. Beryllium is 30 times higher cost than gold. Creating a driver with a completely open front and open back design, Focal was able to avoid using a crossover or passive filtering process common in other headphones. The result, when used in conjunction with a proper headphone amplifier/DAC, is a frequency response from 5 Hz to 50 kHz, and driver assembly so light, it can vibrate 50,000 times per second, producing, according to the engineers, some of the most airy, open-sounding, yet sonically accurate music in any genre. The new Focal Utopia headphone has a 32-ohm impedance and 104-dB sensitivity.
Concerning wearability, Focal aimed to create a yoke that is strong and light while paying attention to comfort in the ear cups. Engineers wanted to ensure Utopia’s ability to fit all sizes and varying head shapes. After much research, a carbon fiber yoke was established as the ultimate design material, which offers an elegant look, while being lightweight and extremely rigid. For what concerns ear cups, designers decided to work with U.K.-based Pittards to supply the appropriate leather.
“For the past two years, we’ve offered some of the best sounding over-ear headphones with our Spirit line,” said Ben Jensen, president of Focal North America. “With Utopia, we challenged our engineers and designers to create a reference headphone that equals the sonic excellence found in our other premium lines in Hi-Fi, automotive and professional monitoring and are incredibly proud of what we were able to achieve for our most discerning audiophile customers.“
Focal Utopia will be available on June 29, at first in limited quantities from qualified dealers for the suggested retail price of $3,999.