Focal Elear any good?

Hi! new to the audiophile scene and wanted to get my first set of higher end cans and found used Focal Elears for around $380. Was wondering whether this would be better than getting a massdrop hd58x or 6xx. Dont have an amp or dac yet so would appreciate suggestions for whichever headphones is better for my use case. Would be used a lot for gaming as well as listening to mostly pop-rock and folk type of bands. Thanks.

Hopefully, people who have actually heard the Elear will chime in. But to get things started, the legendary headphone reviewer, Tyll Herstens, gave them a nearly rave, honeymoon review when they first came out. Since then few reviewers have followed suit, the consensus getting increasingly negative over time. Then Massdrop did the Elex for similar $ but without the sound issues. Yet many an Elear owner secretly loves them. No one can predict where you’ll fall on that spectrum. Getting harder to find a retailer that carries the Elear. I suspect Focal is simply waiting until all unsold units have sold to discontinue them.

The HD 58X, OTOH, continues to get a lotta love, so the odds do favour your liking that. Pretty sure both the Elear and HD 58X can be powered to a good level of loudness without an added amp or dac.

Listing what genres of music you listen to most, plus any other uses you have in mind like gaming or movies, would help move the discussion along.

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Thanks for the insight. The music i usually listen to would fall under pop-rock kind of bands. Then for gaming play a bunch of competitive shooters (this is why i currently use an AD700x)

how did this happen?

I have not heard them. I have heard the Elex and the Elegia; given that, I can just about promise that the Elear is a more technically capable headphone than either of the Sennheisers… but that said, you’re talking about no amp. And the 58x is about as good as it gets without an amp — of course with room for tastes, there are some alternatives. Just not too many.

I am talking music here, finally . For gaming ? Really outside of my knowledge.

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I was thinking of buying an entry level amp/dac, was looking at the iFi Zen. Would that be fine for powering the Elear? Thanks for sharing your thoughts though

Based on Elex, Zen should drive them fine. Focals benefit from higher tier amps, but generally aren’t too picky.

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