Focal Elex vs Sendy Aiva

I just got my Focal Elex today, perhaps this isn’t a very fair versus, since i haven’t broken the Elex in. But i feel i got two headphone heavy weights going toe to toe as i compared them. Here are my initial impressions:

Comfort, build, headband, cable, box it came in, who cares?

Sound. When i got the Elex i was surprised when i put them on. These are VERY open headphones. It was almost like i didnt have any headphones on. I turned off everything in the room and started the trial.

I was surprised at the treble in the Elex. It was much higher than i was expecting. The Aivas have a lot of treble too, but i always thought i had a little too much. Elex doesn’t have as much but its close. and that describes everything about these head phones “Close”. I had to go back and forth many times to hear a difference in the sound.

Of course i used my trusty Simple Minds favorites playlist. Simple Minds are a marvel as a band. They use a lot of electronics and synths in their music and the studio to create amazing sound. but at the same time they give it depth and substance and a wide emotional landscape. They where the band everyone was influenced by in the New Wave 80’s. They would put out a album and a year later everyone would sound better lol. Bands like U2, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Depeche Mode, Duran and pretty much everyone. They where the greatest band of the 80’s and they never stopped. consistently putting out great album after album throughout the years no filler. Their latest “A Walk Between Worlds” is also a marvelous listen. Sonically few bands can match them and a great band to test out headphones to lol.

One thing i noticed about the sound placement in the 2 headphones was the Elex sounded level with my head. the Aiva’s sounded a little higher up on my head.

Two different technology’s Dynamic and Planar. I noticed that if i turned the volume up a little high on some songs i heard distortion and clicking in the Elex. Dynamic? In the Planar no distortion or clicking. Planar?

The Elex had a fuller sound, seemed like more body, just a little. But the Planar had a little more highs and clarity and songs that sounded a little veiled was more negated by the Aivas highs. The Elex still handed the veil pretty well. The Elex seem to handle Simple Minds “Light Travels” a little better than the Aivas. Light travels is a interesting experiment in the studio and can be challenging for headphones.

Detail is about the same for both. Soundstage is about the same. Bass about the same.

And i feel like i’m nit picking. everything sounded so close with these headphones. Its like they are the equal to each other. I must say im preferring the sound in the Aivas a little more. But again a “little”, “tiny bit”, “close”. they really are the equal of each other. with the Elex being 100$ more. If the Blons B20’s are the same quality of the Avias then you got a cheaper headphone by 250$ and sometimes 350$.

I’m gonna keep the Elex for a while and see if breaking in improves the sound past the Aivas.

My rig: Wav’s ripped from CD’s played on Foobar through a USB 2.0 cable to a Grace SDAC Balanced. out of the SDAC’s unbalanced 3.5 port to a Schitt Magni amp.


Ya gotta be playing those pretty loud if they’re distorting lol. The distortion at pretty high volumes is a know downside to the elex

I would say just take a couple of days only listening to the elex, and come back to the sendys and see what you think

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So, it’s been a month and I’m not sure I’ve heard your final thoughts on the two headphones in comparison. Curious to know.

I’m about to pull the trigger on the Aiva’s and doing some final research between them and alternatives - right now the Elex.

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Idk. lol. the Elex is great and what i love about it is it seems to be more balanced. the Aivas are recessed in the mids, it has a V shape. the Elex is not, its more a straight line and that is great. i can trust it more, especially when listening to new music. But the Aiva’s are amazing. I call them treble kings. treble kings without pain. when i switch over to the Aivas from the Elex it makes me eyes pop. And the Aivas have a little more detail than the Elex. I was thinking of sending one of them back but i cant do it lol. i’m keeping both.


Haha. That’s just the lie we tell ourselves when we wanted all the options from the start.

Anyway I’ve decided to get the Aivas. Lol

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Welp, hope you enjoy then for sure :+1:

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I’m actually pretty excited & looking forward to getting them in. Can’t deny that they are built very attractively but I’m also in want of the clean + detailed sound that people talk about when they talk about the Aivas

The fit and finish is really nice, definitely nothing I can complain about for sure. The sound is also great too (if you aren’t bothered by a bit of sucked out mid-range) :+1:

Everyone talks about the dipped mids on the Aivas, i owned two lower pairs or cans, SHP9500 and X2’s and I have to say vocals just sound better on the Aivas regardless of the scooped/dipped mids. Yea the are not as forward as some but the detail makes up for that and then some. Love my Aivas. Waiting on the Upgraded pads and then a new AMP/DAC. Anyhow just my 2cents

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Yeah the mids are still good and are going to be a considerable upgrade to what you had before, just comparing other headphones in that price range, the mids aren’t as good in comparison

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True true, atleast I haven’t heard anything better yet… so for me it doesn’t het better, for now… bwahahaha


How recessed are the mids of the sendy aiva? I’ve never owned a pair of headphones with recessed mids so I’m curious how it sounds with vocals

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They are recessed but not to the point where they are non existent, to me the aiva is a brighter v shape, the treble is the most prominent, the mids slightly dipped, and the bass slightly raised. I don’t pay too much attention to vocals but they did take a slight backseat, but I think with the avia being more forward and intimate it wasn’t that big of an issue


Thank you very much M0N. You seem to be in every single thread on hifiguides haha! It is available on Drop for 479 dollars right now. Good deal or should I pass?

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idk if that’s the case now but it might have been awhile ago lol

It all depends on what type of sound you are after and your source gear tbh. At 479 I don’t know if it’s something I would call a good deal, but it’s not a flat out bad one either

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I believe the sendy aiva clone m570 is on sale for $200 on some websites


The m570 has worse qc and imo worse sound in comparison to the sendys, the blon version ended up being pretty similar to the aiva though