Is the Focal Elegia an update of DT1990 pro?

I would like to know if there is a substantial improvement since in my country these elegia are at the SAME price as the dt1990pro. Under 500€.

Does it improve the soundstage?
Does it improve the image?
Does it improve the brutal detail of the Dt1990 pro?

Is the loss of bass so noticeable?

Elegia is a closed back 1990 is open back
1990 has very narrow soundstage for a open back I think it’s similar to the Elegia
detail is pretty similar up until the highs where the 1990 has more
not sure about imaging
I think the Elegia has better bass capability especially with pad swaps
not sure why you’re expecting an upgrade for the same price but they have different sound signatures

personally I disliked the 1990 so much that I returned it after burning it in for 3 days and doing my tests/comparisons

Well thank you for your time. I like the dt1990 very much. Detail, image and a pretty big scene. (compared to Sundara, Hd560s, sivga Robin, k712 pro, Edition Xs). I’ll wait for someone else who likes the dt1990.

Idk man if you’re looking for detail soundstage and imaging, it sounds like the 1990 are the headphone for you, haven’t heard the elegia but since it’s a closed back I massively doubt it beats the 1990 at any of that…

Maybe save for an hd800?

It may be. It seems like the “natural upgrade” for those who like the dt1990pro.
Thank you.

In terms of the elegia vs 1990, I think it’s more different than improving on anything, and I’d also say the 1990 is generally a bit of a step ahead in most technical performance, but the elegia gets a pass because it’s closed and also now at the sale prices is a good value for closed. I will say the elegia might be a bit more proficient dynamically, but that’s really the only place where I’d say it offers an improvement over the 1990. Otherwise in the categories you mentioned, I do think the 1990 is more involved stage wise (although the elegia stage is a bit more unique), has sharper imaging, and has more detail than the elegia. Another thing to consider is that the 1990 is a bit more dependent on the source chain whereas the elegia is more forgiving but doesn’t scale as much, so on a really lackluster chain the elegia could end up pulling ahead for some, will really depend on the chain and preferences at hand, but I wouldn’t really say the elegia is an upgrade to the 1990, more just a sidegrade

But generally if you just like the 1990 and want the next step up, I’d either consider the 800s or a t1 gen 2, although both of those aren’t exactly like the 1990 and also both will have a stronger source gear demand than the 1990 does

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I own the Elegia and really don’t like it. I keep thinking I have a defective pair because of how much I don’t like using it. It sounds like I’m listening out of a tin can. The soundstage felt very distant like there is a dead-space between my ear and the nearest sound. They sound weird and have me questioning why the hell I bought them. The deal was too could to be true. I’ve never experienced such distaste for a headphone. Maybe the sound signature is just not for me. Or maybe I do have a bad pair.

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shouldn’t sound like a tin can but they are a bit weird in how they sound

Many people call the Elegia’s tuning weird and timbre somewhat “metallic.”

They’re a polarizing headphone: I don’t know anyone who says, “Meh, they’re OK about the Elegia.” People either adore or despise them.

I liked mine initially, but the wonky tuning and slightly harsh upper mids got to me. Sold them and bought Dan Clark Audio Aeon 2 Closed and am much happier with those.

I also question whether the Elegia really follows the “Focal sound.” I’ve tried Clear MG, Celestee and Stellia and have owned the Elegia, and each sounded somewhat different. The Stellia was the only one that blew me away and that I thought was worth its full retail price.

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Thanks for the reply. I think you are right and now you have me curious about the Dan Clark Audio Aeon 2.

The elegia last year cost 1200€. Now “only” 699€. Its over priced?

A bit of advice and information about my sonic preferences.

I’m very treble sensitive due to pretty severe tinnitus. So, I don’t like piercing upper mids or highs. Yet I was very curious about the sound signature of a hyper-detailed headphone like the Elegia, so I took the plunge on the $389 Adorama deal.

The detail of the Elegia is excellent. No doubt. But it comes at a cost. There is some really wonky tuning in the upper mids that just makes them sound metallic and a bit shrill at times. It was a case of “ice pick in the ear drums” piercing like some Beyerdynamics, but it was enough to annoy and fatigue me over time.

I’m also not a huge bass head, but I like to feel some down-low. The Elegia are very deceptive in that regard. Some people say the bass is “thin” or “recessed,” and that can be the case. The bass is present but stays in its place in the mix, with not much sub-bass. But when the bass kicks in a tune, man, the Elegia have a punch and slam that sometimes can feel like air being pushed into your ear in some EDM tracks, for example. It HITS, and then it returns to its hole.

Trying the Elegia made me realize a few things. One, I prefer a more constant sub-bass than recessed bass and sudden slams. Two, my distaste of shrill upper mids and treble is constant. Three, I think I prefer a slight roll-off of treble at the expense of a slight bit of detail to eliminate fatigue.

Maybe that’s why I really enjoy the HD 6XX despite the alleged “Sennheiser veil.” The rolled-off signature at both ends suits me pretty well.

So, I did some research, and the DCA Aeon 2 Closed looked like an ideal match. Found a nice pair with the fenestrated pads from the Aeon 2 Noire used at a very price and went for it.

Well, a blind squirrel found a nut on these, as I love them compared to the Elegia. The sub-bass on the A2C’s is SUBLIME. Always constant, always rich and warm but never overpowering or seeping into the mids. The upper mids and treble are rolled off slightly, so they lack the detail of the Elegia. But they also lack the metallic mids and treble, which is good for me.

My only complaint about the DCA’s is fit, at least for me. Most reviewers indicated it was among the most comfortable headphones they’ve ever tried. Maybe they all have smaller heads than my enormo-dome, as the clamping force on these is higher than my Edition XS, HE-400se or HD 6XX. Combine that will less-dense foam in the padding than I would prefer, and I get a bit of discomfort with my right ear.

But I’m experimenting with positioning and cup height, and the headband hopefully will bend naturally to accommodate my big head.

Sonically, though, the DCA Aeon 2 Closed are an ideal match for me. I listen to a lot of rock and classic rock, and the A2C are MUCH better in those genres than the Elegia. The Elegia reigns supreme with stringed music, vocals, classical, piano jazz. The A2C’s are better with everything else for me.

In a quick summation of the DCA A2C signature, imagine the 6XX on steroids, with everything better except for maybe the mids. And the DCA mids aren’t that much worse than the Sennheiser mids.

Hope this description gives you a little context about the DCA A2C.

Good luck!

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Thank you for your opinion based on your experiences. I value the opinions of people who have had or own these headphones. One last question.
Is the dt1990pro still technically better than a sundara for example?

I personally think in most characteristics the 1990 offers more technical ability, although I can see some liking the sundara more, all depends on what you are after. I will say that in overall treble response some might prefer the linearity of the sundara as it doesn’t really have the treble spikes/peaks of the 1990 and is also overall smoother in presentation. I will also give that the sundara feels a bit quicker and more speedy than the 1990 as well. I do think the 1990 offers more resolution, better impact and slam, a larger stage (perhaps similar sharpness with the edge to the 1990, depth wise they might actually be close), better timbre (tonality wise though that will be more down to preference), and are more macrodynamic and being a bit better in micro as well. Generally both go for a brighter linear ish signature, but if your main focus is forwardness and technical ability the 1990 will do better there, but if you like something a bit more smooth and relaxed (in comparison) the sundara is a good pick as well. But I’d still say the 1990 is a bit higher tier overall in technical ability in comparison. Generally amp wise the sundara is more power hungry but less quality picky, where the 1990 is more quality picky from my experience and will not take well to some of the poorer quality amps out there (especially more dry and lifeless ones). Both great cans at their respective price points, I think if you are looking for an upgrade from what you have, you might want to shoot higher though

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Maybe but some users recommend me focal elegia and the hd800s but last cost 1600€