Focal Clear Headphones Review

April 15, 2020 § Leave a comment

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“I hooked the headphones up to my phone, MacBook, Ponoplayer, McIntosh C712 preamp, the Monoprice Liquid Platinum amplifier, and Focal’s own Arche amplifier. The short story is that these headphones sounded great with every one of those sources. The longer story is that when I fed them more power, the scale and dynamic slam of these cans showed their full potential. An amp is not necessary to drive these headphones, but as one would suspect of a $1500 component, they sing best with some sort of dedicated amplification. The Arche ($2500) provided the most revealing and detailed sound for the Clear, but perhaps my favorite price/performance combo was the Monoprice Liquid Platinum hybrid tube amp ($800), as it got very close to the Arche in terms of detail retrieval, but added some extra slam and tonal warmth to the mix. I decided to use the Liquid Platinum connected via XLR for the individual music notes in this review, as it seemed like a realistic pairing for someone looking at the Clear’s price-point.”

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